The Dubliner Irish Whiskey Bourbon Cask Aged

As part of trying a few Irish Whiskey’s I picked up a fifth of The Dubliner Irish Whiskey Bourbon Cask Aged which is 80 proof and quite pleasant when served neat in the glass. Reviews are not especially stellar for this bottle, probably because there are Bourbons at the same price tag, $26, which are much more complex. I have not found Irish Whiskey to be overly complex in general, but I have found it to be quite enjoyable which is a key piece of the puzzle. The flavor contains quite a bit of sweet honey coupled to caramel and finishes with a nice residual sweetness and a light alcohol burn to remind you this is Whiskey. Bourbon is a bit of an afterthought to my tastebuds, but it is present nonetheless. Not sure I will shell out the funds for another bottle, but if someone offered it to me I certainly would not turn it down.


TSA Rules Recap: Air Travel With Firearms

If you plan to travel with firearms, please pay attention to this recent article from the NRA. It is important to follow the TSA rules, the airline rules for the particular airline on which you will be checking luggage, and also the suggestions in the article. Something I found interesting was the requirement to have a lock in every padlock hole as opposed to just a single lock. I checked on of my cases which has two locks on it and also found it had two padlock location so to fly with that case would require me to put two additional padlocks on the case. Not a big deal, but something which would certainly ruin your day if you showed up at the airport without the additional locks.


Tulsa Officer Acquitted

Back in September we posted about an officer who shot a man with his hands up. Reports at the time were the officer could not see the man’s hands, but all video of the incident clearly showed his hands were visible. Since the story emerged more information became available including interviews by 60 Minutes of the officer and the family of the man who was killed. Also toxicology reports were released showing the man had PCP in his system.

The charge against the officer was first degree manslaughter. Reports indicate the jury was charged to decide if Officer Shelby “acted in a manner that was inexcusable or unjustified, or whether the motorist, Terence Crutcher, died as a result of his own actions.” The jury asked to explain their verdict, but was denied by the judge. Officer Shelby mentioned on 60 Minutes (linked below) she was in fear for her life. While this may be unpopular, I suggest she may want to rethink her chosen profession as a police officer. Non-lethal force was available and she had backup at the time of the shooting. While Mr. Crutcher could have potentially entered his vehicle and retrieved a weapon (none was actually found in the vehicle), in my opinion he was not demonstrating a threat at the time he was shot. There can be no doubt Officer Shelby was in fear for her life based on her comments, but if she fears every person who walks away with their hands up this is not the profession for her long term. Mr. Crutcher failed to follow commands and that ultimately caused his demise. It’s easy to play armchair quarterback after an event, but what should have happened in this situation is the taser should have been used by the second officer before deadly force was instigated. The jury has decided the fate of Officer Shelby based on the evidence and testimony presented. Hopefully the Tulsa Police Department will work on training their officers so the next time deadly force is applied it will clearly be necessary and not require the officer and the family of the deceased to relive the event to determine guilt.

60 Minutes


Craft Freedom Will Have Their Day In Court

Turns out the only way to effect change to alcohol laws where the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers have a vested interest is by lawsuit. After Tim Kent and his cronies slimily reneged on a deal made with Charlotte brewery owners to increase the cap Craft Freedom has filed a lawsuit against the state. Of course our boy Timmay says no deal was ever in place and his board told him no, but I suspect this is simply more lies from him. So we shall see if the 25,000 barrel cap passes the test when it hits the courtroom or if Tim and his gang can influence the outcome of the case. I suspect with the legal power Craft Freedom brings to the courtroom the cap will be lifted. The question is by how much.


Wicked Weed Buyout By AB

The announcement a few days ago that Wicked Weed was purchased by Anheuser-Busch has brought a dark cloud over what should have been a glorious payout for hard work and investment. Wicked Weed started brewing five years ago at the brewpub in Asheville and has expanded to have four locations and almost 200 employees. Their sour beers have gained notoriety and they had several collaborations in the works which have now been cancelled, drain poured, distanced, or remixed to create new beers. The NC Brewers Guild has revoked their voting privileges and the craft brewing community has begun to distance themselves from the brewery. Wicked Weed had a festival planned for July and tickets were to go on sale this week, but the sale has been pushed back to May 20 and thus far over 20 breweries have backed out of the festival with more to follow.

With every buyout there is backlash, but sooner or later the public forgets or the beer does an end run around the beer geeks and ends up with the general public. I’m not sure in this case if the sour portfolio developed by Wicked Weed will survive the current negativity. Joe Beer Drinker is not going to try, nor buy, a $10 bottle of funky beer. Even if they dumb it down it won’t fly off the shelves. So what will AB ultimately do? I’m not sure, but if the Wicked Weed beers don’t sell I would assume they will ask them to focus on the beers which do sell.

Readers of the blog already know I had given up on the Wicked Weed bottles as I found them all underwhelming. I was a fan of The Funkatorium in Asheville, but have always found the brew pub to be a place to far too many unwritten rules. Not going back to the brew pub will not break my heart and my wallet will thank me for skipping The Funkatorium. Will I never drink another Wicked Weed beer again? I’m sure somewhere along the way the best beer on tap will be a WW and I’ll have a glass, but until that happens I don’t plan to put any of my money into the AB machine.


Rest In Peace Mark Binker

Longtime readers of the blog may recall in 2012 a database of concealed handgun permit holders in North Carolina was published. It contained streets and some house numbers to alert residents who had a permit in their area. Mark Binker was one of the people behind that database and he caught some heat from the public for it and was mentioned in this blog several times until the database was taken down in 2013 because House Bill 937 made the information private.

Mark passed away unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 43. He leaves behind his wife and two young sons. While many disagreed with his publishing of the concealed handgun permit database, no one wanted to see any harm come to Mark or his family.

There is a YouCaring fund which has been set up to received donations for Mark’s family. Please keep the Binker family in your thoughts.


House Bill 500 and Farm Breweries

Part of what remains of House Bill 500 as it came out of the ABC Committee included Farm Breweries. Representative Hurley, a Republican from Randolph County proposed an amendment to remove that verbiage from the bill. It failed, but let’s take a look at which members who are on the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers payroll voted FOR the amendment to remove the Farm Brewery verbiage so we can decide who should not hold office again in NC based on their proven record AGAINST craft beer.

No surprise to see the name of Representative James Boles Jr. of Moore County who heads the ABC Committee. He has thirteen thousand five hundred reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Representative Josh Dobson of McDowell County. He only has one thousand reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Representative Chris Malone of Wake County. He has four thousand five hundred reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Representative Shelly Willingham of Edgecombe County. He only has one thousand reasons to not allow the free market to thrive.

Now there are others who should be held accountable as well. The sources of their campaign contribution have not been investigated, but if they are your representative you should take note.

The following reps voted FOR the amendment:


L. Bell; Brisson; Hanes; Insko; Quick; Willingham


Arp; Blust; Boles; Boswell; Cleveland; Collins; Dobson; Elmore; Ford; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jordan; Malone; McElraft; McNeill; Millis; Potts; Presnell; Riddell; Sauls; Setzer; Shepard; Stevens; Strickland; Torbett; R. Turner; Warren; White

How about those who ultimately voted AGAINST House Bill 500 when it hit the floor. That list includes:


Brisson; Quick


Adams; Bert Jones; Cleveland; Collins; Dobson; Ford; Henson; Howard; Hurley; Jordan; McNeill; Millis; Presnell; Riddell; Sauls; Setzer; Shepard; Stevens; Strickland; Torbett; R. Turner; Warren; White

So there is a nice list of people who should not earn your vote as they do not support craft beer. I see my representative on the list and he should know he will not get my vote when he is up for reelection. I like it when politicians show their true colors.


NCGA House Alcohol Beverage Control Committee

You know how they say a picture is worth 1,000 words. How about several photos which demonstrate a point. I got to wondering the House ABC Committee and their decision to gut House Bill 500 and why that might have happened. Then I took a few minutes and looked at the campaign contributions they have received from the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers and it paints a picture of pay to play politics. Take a gander at the screen shots below and see if you come to the same conclusion.

It should be noted a few are not in the pocket of the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers, but it should be obvious a majority of the committee are on Tim Kent’s payroll through campaign contributions.

ABC CommitteeBellBolesDobsonGillHastingsHolleyLucasMaloneSaineWillinghamYarboroughZachary

House Bill 500 – Gutted?

Word on the street is House Bill 500 was gutted in the ABC Committee to remove the language which would increase the cap for self-distribution. The problem is the NCGA website doesn’t reflect any changes. I have it on good authority what happened is backroom politics spurred by generous giving from Tim Kent and the NC Wine & Beer Wholesalers. Deep pockets have made fast friends. I guess legislators don’t care who they get in bed with provided they are getting paid. So our good friends at Craft Freedom will have to hope for a miracle or take the state to court to win their freedom. I know I’ll be looking hard at who has received funding from Timmay in the next election and will be sure to let everyone know when the jury has been rigged.