Monday, July 30, 2012

$77,500 bottle of Ooooops

Historic $77,500 bottle of cognac broken by mistake

A customer at London’s Playboy Club accidentally broke a bottle of  224-year-old cognac wroth more than $77,000 that was slated to be featured in the world’s most expensive cocktail and mixed in front of judges from Guinness World Records.
The U.K.'s Evening Standard reports that the Coganc, a Clos de Griffier Vieux from 1788, was smashed after a businessman, who had ordered two glasses of the brandy at $7,800 a pop, asked to look at the bottle.  But the bottle accidentally went sailing and smashed the floor when the customer stood up.
World renowned mixologist Salvatore Calabrese was to mix the potentially record-breaking cocktail.
“We all just froze, then it sunk in. I’ve been heartbroken. Not because of the value of the bottle, but because it is a piece of history that has been lost,” Calabrese told the Standard.
The bottle had previously been in the cellars of Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent before appearing on the menu at the Playboy Club, reports The Drinks Business, and was once part of a record-breaking auction in 2009.
As for the businessman, he surprisingly has not been banished from the Playboy Club for good. The Standard reports that he is a regular at the club, so all has been forgiven. But the bottle was not insured because it had been opened.
In this case, there might be just cause to bawl over spilt brandy.

Read more:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This Day in History–July 21 1899

On this day in 1899, Ernest Miller Hemingway, author of such novels as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” is born in Oak Park, Illinois. The influential American literary icon became known for his straightforward prose and use of understatement. Hemingway, who tackled topics such as bullfighting and war in his work, also became famous for his own macho, hard-drinking persona.


Happy Birthday Mr. Hemmingway -

ernesthemmingwaydrinkDon't you drink? I notice you speak slightingly of the bottle. I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure. When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky? When you are cold and wet what else can warm you? Before an attack who can say anything that gives you the momentary well-being that rum does? The only time it isn't good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hey–Pass me a Beer

Thanks to Alby for sharing – although he needs to learn that he’ll take whatever beer I pass him and LIKE IT!

This Day in History–July 20 1973

Bruce Lee

The Great Bruce Lee passed away.

Get a FREE Newcastle Glass


I always love giveaways – especially when it is for a product I enjoy.

Just the other day, Swells and I were laughing about the new Newcastle moniker – NO BOLLOCKS, so now it seems appropriate that they back it up.

How?  Well, with their new marketing campaign, you can go to their Facebook Page, fill out a quick questionnaire and they will send you a Newcastle Glass or $2. 

That's a pretty good deal.  If you don’t like their beer, they are basically paying you back for it…..and if you do like it, here is a glass to pour your next pint into.

What is my stance…..see for yourself.

Cheers -


Now THIS is Talent

Real Skill

Mixologist - Music Video

ScotRail institutes drink ban

So, one of the reasons touted for public transportation is to reduce drinking and driving.  Now they want to take that away in Scotland too?

While I understand that drunks can be unruly on the trains, BT Police are still going to be involved when enforcing this ban – why not just get rid of offenders straight away and let people who are not bothering others continue to drink?

ScotRail train drink ban comes into force

Alcohol has been banned on Scottish trains in the evenings and mornings.

ScotRail said the ban, which will be enforced on its services between 21:00 and 10:00, was in response to concerns about anti-social behaviour on its trains.

People who are drunk will also be prevented from travelling on trains.

Transport Police have dealt with 260 drink-related incidents in the past six months, with an increasing number of trains being delayed as a result.

The overnight Caledonian Sleeper train to and from London is exempt from the ban, as are the east and west coast services between Scotland and England which are not operated by ScotRail.

ScotRail runs 95% of Scotland's trains, more than 2,000 services a day. Alcohol was already prohibited on certain services carrying people to football and rugby matches and other special events.

The company carried out a four-week campaign to make customers aware of the impending ban, followed by a fortnight-long "soft" introduction of the policy.

Passengers' bags will not be searched before or during journeys and the ban will be enforced under existing railway by-laws.

"Last orders" will apply on train catering trolleys, with drink not sold from 20:30 onwards, while customers will be asked to finish any alcoholic drinks by 21:00.

British Transport Police officers will be called to deal with passengers refusing to leave trains or behaving inappropriately.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Somebody get her a beer

A couple of interesting things here (plus a somewhat related video I found) -

First, it took them 6 calls before they dispatched?  Even if it is a prank call or a butt dial, the cops always show up on the first call.  Hell, if you dial 911 and hang up – they beeline to your door.  Very Odd.

Secondly, I always love the double charges.  In this case, Disorderly Conduct and False Use of 911.  Why don’t they just place one charge (False Use of 911 seems to fit perfectly) and leave it at that?  I personally think it is so they can rake in more revenue.

Finally, if she is at home….give her another beer. Geez. She’s 36 years old, and an adult….why withhold it? 

Belleville police arrest woman who called 911 to complain about being cut off from beer

BELLEVILLE • She really wanted another beer.

Upset that her boyfriend had cut her off, 36-year-old Shannon White called 911 Saturday night to tell them that the man refused to give her more beer. She called a total of six times, police said.

Police responded to the 700 block of North Charles Street around 11:14 p.m. after White's sixth and final call. She was arrested for disorderly conduct and false use of 911.

Read more:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cigar and Coffee Pairing

This has come up a few times in the past – but I am not much of a Coffee guy.

I stumbled on this video this morning that (hopefully) will provide some guidance.

Cheers -

This Day in History–July 17 1941

Joe DiMaggio – one of the greatest hitters of all time, ended his 56 Game Hitting Streak.


On July 17 1941 (in a Cleveland night game in front of 67,468 fans) Dimaggio4DiMaggio grounded out to third twice, walked and hit into a double play – thus ending the greatest hitting streak in major league history.

It was later revealed that by ending on 56, DiMaggio lost $10,000 bonus promised to him by Heinz ketchup if he could have matched the number "57" featured on their labels.

Dimaggio 1DiMaggio won the 1941 American League MVP and retired after the 1951, completing 13 seasons with the Yankees – a career that included 11 pennants and 10 World Series wins. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

While many came to know him for his famous marriage to Marylyn Monroe (when combined with playing for the Yankees, made him one of the luckiest men in the world), but little is said of his military career. 

In 1972, Joe became the spokesman for Mr. Coffee – a position he held for 20 years.

When you look back at his life, you have to say – “What a ride”. 

Thanks for the memories Joe – you a a legend.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Breweries Map

Special thanks to @JBloss on Twitter for sending me this map (and you can follow me or submit items on twitter too – @SmokesAndBooze).  I owe you a beer sometime.

Its very up-to-date, including Rockbridge Brewery here in CoMO, and should be one of your first reference points when planning a road trip across the US.

Click to embiggen.


Ed Note – I’ve located the source (duh, it was printed in the lower right hand corner) as Pop Chart Lab.  They have some other great prints, and you can buy several different products at their online store.  I have pinged them about a few missing items – but even with the discrepancies – this is still an awesome graphic. 

Three Reasons the Olympics Suck

While this post is titled “Three Reasons the Olympics Suck”, it can really be summed up in two words – Corporate Sponsorship.


Below are just three examples from McDonald’s, Heineken and Ralph Lauren – but I am sure many more can be found.  These companies pay big dollars for the contracts, and we all know – its all about the money.

What happened to the days when the athletes were amateurs, they were sponsored by private organizations and a person could afford to attend the games.  Countries had identity and each nation was unique. 

I had the opportunity to attend this year, and I’m glad I turned it down.  Flights, Traffic in London and overall cost make this appear to be a bad experience.  My last trip over really highlighted this, when I found out from the bartender that they had raised beer prices 4 times in the last two months, and expected to raise them several times more as they got closer to the Olympics.

I support the US in every way – but I’ll be watching from home….wearing Levi’s, drinking Guinness and eating BK.

Games ban on chips, unless it's with fish

Really?  McDonald’s wants to hold such a monopoly that they shut down street vendors?

Speaking of  corporate sponsorship, flexing muscle and a country losing its identity – How about Heineken?

Heineken, official Olympic beer, condemned by British politician/pub advocate

While they are making concessions by serving Sam Smith (Want to know why I hate this beer?  Go HERE) and Strongbow Cider, the main one being pushed in still Heineken – and that will be the logo thrust in front over everyone.  Plus, at just over $11 a beer – I would rather pay for Bud at Busch Stadium, and that is saying something.

Finally, I never thought I would agree with Harry Ried, but today is just a weird day.  When it comes to losing an identity, the use of Berets and uniforms made in China – we throw politics out the window and stand together as Americans

Harry Reid on Team USA’s Chinese-Made Olympic Uniforms: ‘Put Them in a Big Pile & Burn Them’

Now, since they were made in China – one would guess they were made at a lower cost.  Considering the price tag for the uniforms was $903K – I guess Ralph Lauren in only worrying about profits.  Especially as this is just one set of clothes – what else is he on contract for?

Also, for full disclosure, Mr. Lauren has said he will manufacture the uniforms in the US…..for the 2014 Olympics.  How about we find another source there? 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Steampunk Smoking Machine

or something stolen from Doc Brown in Back to the Future – you decide.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Twitter–Beer vs Church

Thanks to @GingerMeatloaf for sending this over this morning.

I am particularly surprised by the Washington State U.P. region.


Beer vs Church

Click to embiggen

A Bartenders Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

This just in from Jen (via -

The Bartenders Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (or a Weekend at Ed’s House).



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This Day in History–July 11, 1914

On July 11, 1914, in his major league debut, George Herman "Babe" Ruth pitches seven strong innings to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians, 4-3.

Babe 7

Thank You Lance Cpl Huffman and Gary Sinise

I keep a notebook with me most of the time.  I use it to jot down tasting notes, funny things I hear (or say), reminders or just the random thing that pops in my mind.

Yesterday, while driving home from 44 Stone, I heard an advertisement on 93.9 The Eagle for a concert – Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band – a concert to help a wounded veteran.

As most of you know, as a veteran myself – I am always keen to get to know the various charities that aid my fallen brothers and sisters….so down it was jotted in the notebook.

This morning, I took a few minutes to understand what charity Mr. Sinise represents and to also read about Tyler Huffman.  Needless to say, I came away impressed on both counts.

Lt Dan

Gary Sinise is actor, musician and found of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

The Gary Sinise Foundation was officially formed in 2010, and is dedicated to serving the Nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Serving Honor and Need™ is the cornerstone of the foundation, which is built upon its founder’s life-long principals and long standing commitment to be a citizen of action, and to help in any way that one can, the people who serve our country.

Instead of just donating money, Gary uses his fame (and Musical Talents) to act as a spokesman, raise awareness and make a difference – not only with our wounded veterans, but also through the USO and other Military Organizations.  For this he should be applauded.

HuffmanOf course, the true hero here is Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler Huffman.  Lance. Cpl. Huffman doesn't have the fame that Gary does – in fact, outside of Mid-Missouri, few have probably heard of him.  Instead, he is like you and me – someone who loves his country and served with honor.  One thing however does separate Lance Cpl. Huffman from the majority of veterans – On Dec 3 2010, he was wounded in combat, sustaining injuries that have left him paralyzed.

His injuries have not dampened his patriotism or his fighting spirit – as can be seen in this quote:

“That freedom is not free, it has a price. It always has and
always will. The risk of NOT fighting overseas on the enemy’s
turf is far greater than going. If we don’t fight them there,
we would be fighting them here in our own country and
that would put our families and loved ones at greater risk.”

Sadly, as is often the case, our disabled veterans are often not taken care of as well as they should be – or perhaps they injuries that the VA/Government support groups do not properly understand – and they are left to their own devices upon discharge.

This is where the Gary Sinise Foundation really comes into play.  Partnered with the Stephan Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation, they have made it their mission to build specially adapted “smart homes” for our most severely wounded service members.

On Friday, July 27th  Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band (in conjunction with the two aforementioned charities) will be holding a concert at the Apple Creek Farm in Centertown, MO – a concert to honor and aid Lance Cpl. Huffington.  Details and tickets can be found On the Lt. Dan Band Site (HERE). 

Even if you are not located in Missouri – there are wounded veterans all over the country that can use your help, and I ask all of you to please review either the sites linked above, or do some research on your own to find something local for you, to find something that fits your beliefs.  Once you find it – contribute, donate or (at the very least) help spread the word.  I get it – times are tough, but a casual tweet or FB share might put this message in front of someone who can help.  Every little bit helps.

Of course, if you are in Mid-Missouri…..try and make it to the concert and show your support.  I’m sure it will be a good time for everyone.  I personally am traveling, but I am looking at juggling my schedule to attend.  Hopefully I will see you there.

Finally, I want to thank Gary for his dedication to our Country and Troops.  You have had an impact that goes beyond expectations, and this veteran appreciates it.

Meanwhile – to Lance Cpl. Huffman.  As any veteran knows – the wounds you suffered could have very easily been them.  We realize that at times your sacrifice goes unheralded – so I wanted to personally offer my thanks for your service….you exemplify the true spirit of a Marine.  Thank You!

Beard Beer

It’s funny how things come full circle. 

Originally this had been sent to me by Kendra, and I intended to write a blurb about it – but other things came up.

Last night, I was talking with Dave about the uniqueness and difficulties with Brett beers (beers that use Brettanomyces).  During the conversation, I mentioned this press release – which caused some disbelief amongst those in the conversation.

So – while a few weeks late, better late than never……Here is the press release in question from Rogue Beer

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Beard Beer

Newport, OR June 19th, 2012 – Columbus may have discovered America but Brewmaster John Maier has discovered a new wild yeast that was developed from his old growth beard.rogue

In cooperation with White Labs, samples were collected from Rogue’s hopyard and sent to White Labs for culture and testing. Sadly all three samples proved incapable of producing a yeast suitable for brewing.

As a joke, nine beard follicles were carefully cut from the beard of Rogue Brewmaster John Maier. The follicles were placed in a petri dish and sent in for testing.

To the shock of the experts at White Labs, the beard samples had produced a yeast strain that was perfect for use in brewing. Additional testing was conducted and confirmed that the yeast strain was not Rogue’s yeast. White Labs’ Chris White said “we were shocked and thrilled with this remarkable discovery.

John has been growing his beard continuously since 1978 and he has claimed that he will never cut it off. When told of the discovery, John said simply “it was in front of me the whole time and it only took two centuries and five decades to grow.”

The beard yeast is currently being used in test brews to determine the perfect style & yeast combination. The beard beer, New Crustacean, will be released in early 2013. Rogue Ales and Spirits is dedicated to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, barley and rye, by growing our own, one acre at a time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I’m sure someone will buy it


ZomBeer the Video Game

Hey – I like Zombie and I enjoy video games and I LOVE Beer.  I just dont know if they all go together.

I guess I will just have to wait until the release of Zombeer to find out.

Here is the Trailer – you be the judge:

Goodbye ROY Businesses

On top of this being (once again) hidden legislation buried deep in bills that nobody really knows about until they are passed – please explain to me what this has to do with a TRANSPORTATION BILL?

Your government at work here folks – coming to a city near you.

At least they didn't try to hide behind the “Prevention” Theme – instead they somewhat admit it is a cash grab.

Roll-your-own cigarette operations to be snuffed out


Posted: Jul. 6, 2012 | 2:01 a.m.
Updated: Jul. 6, 2012 | 10:42 a.m.

A tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill to be signed today by President Barack Obama will put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business at midnight.

Robert Weissen, with his brothers and other partners, own nine Sin City Cigarette Factory locations in Southern Nevada, including six in Las Vegas, and one in Hawaii. He said when the bill is signed their only choice is to turn off their 20 RYO Filling Station machines and lay off more than 40 employees.

"We'll stay open for about another week to sell tubes and tobacco just to get through our inventory, but without the use of the RYO machines, we won't be staying open," he said.

The machines are used by customers who buy loose tobacco and paper tubes from the shop and then turn out a carton of finished cigarettes in as little as 10 minutes, often varying the blend to suit their taste. Savings are substantial - at $23 per carton, half the cost of a name-brand smoke - in part because loose tobacco is taxed at a lower rate.

"These cigarettes are different because there are benefits in saving money and in how they make you feel," said Amy Hinds, a partner who operates the Sin City Cigarette Factory at Craig and Decatur.

"These cigarettes don't have any of the chemicals in them, and the papers are chemical-free, unlike the cartons people buy from Philip Morris."

But a few paragraphs added to the transportation bill changed the definition of a cigarette manufacturer to cover thousands of roll-your-own operations nationwide. The move, backed by major tobacco companies, is aimed at boosting tax revenues.

Faced with regulation costs that could run to hundreds of thousands of dollars, RYO machine owners nationwide are shutting down more than 1,000 of the $36,000 machines.

"I feel it's kind of shaky,'' Wiessen said. "The man who pushed for this bill is Sen. (Max) Baucus from Montana, and he received donations from Altria, a parent company of Philip Morris. Interestingly enough, there are also no RYO machines in the state of Montana. It really makes me question the morals and values of our elected speakers."

Sierra Bawden, a single mom with two kids who started rolling her own smokes at Hind's shop three months ago, said cost is only one factor.

"It saves me time and money, and in the end I feel better because I don't get all of the chemicals that the other cigarettes have," Bawden said. "With the brand-name cigarettes, we pay for the chemicals and the name, and I don't want any of that, so I don't even know what I'll do when the shop closes down."

In Southern Nevada, there are two basic RYO business models: traditional smoke shops that also sell brand-name cigarettes, hookah and smoking paraphernalia, and RYO lounges that sell only loose tobacco and materials.

"Our stores are like lounges where our customers can buy the pieces for the product then roll them by hand or use the machine to make their cigarettes," Wiessen said. "It's a relaxed environment. Rolling a carton of cigarettes by hand can take one person up to three hours."

Even before the bill is signed, Hinds' location on Craig Road was already feeling the pinch. They were to close Thursday because suppliers stopped delivering needed materials last week.

Wiessen and others are attempting to mount a petition drive asking for relief from the new regulations and are talking to lawyers now to explore their options.

"As it stands right now, we'll have no choice but to shut down at midnight on Friday, but we're not giving up," Wiessen said. "We have to see what our lawyers tell us and go from there."

A Friday Funny–Whales


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Web Statistics