Old Forester Signature 100 Proof

At the suggestion of a friend I picked up a fifth of Old Forester Signature 100 Proof when it went on sale for about $25. I wasn’t expecting too much, but what I got was actually quite tasty. The aroma was filled with brown sugar, pepper spice, leather, oak, and coffee coupled to hints of cinnamon and clove. The flavor was similarly spicy with brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, oak, and caramel at first on the palate quickly followed by cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. The alcohol in the aroma was minimal and in the flavor it came through, but only in the finality of the finish and warming post consumption do you remember this puppy rings in at 100 proof. Despite the fairly low price point the complexity of the aroma and flavor rival that of a much more expensive Bourbon. This one was quite nice neat, with a cube, or mixed into a drink. At any rate, I finished off the bottle tonight so I may have to snag another the next time I locate it on sale.



Old Forester Single Barrel – Augusta Liquors 2016

The almost empty bottle of Old Forester Single Barrel from Augusta Liquors has been sitting in the bar for far too long so tonight I decided to bid it a fond farewell. The label for the 90 proof Bourbon indicated it was from Floor 5 of Warehouse G and bottled for Augusta Liquors in 2016. I found it in Augusta of course and I think the price for admission was around $55. The spicy nose was filled with cinnamon and pepper on top of a backbone of brown sugar and oak. Alcohol tickled the nose hairs letting you know this one held a bit of a burn. Also present was a fruity and floral note and a hint of orange citrus. The flavor was a tad bit hot on a clean palate as the alcohol let you know you were drinking a Bourbon which packs some punch. The main flavor had hints of leather, oak, citrus, all wrapped in a smooth brown sugar and caramel flavor. The finish was dry with alcohol and a lasting impression of leather and oaky char. Some may want to tame the beast with a cube or a splash which would allow the Bourbon to open up a bit and tame the burn. Should I run into another bottle somewhere I would probably snag one since this one was quite nice it isn’t too much of a stretch to think another barrel would be just as tasty. If you find it, I suggest you give it a whirl.


The Irishman Founder’s Reserve

Came home tonight and decided to pour a glass of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve which has been a whiskey I have enjoyed quite a bit lately. It seemed fitting as today is St. Patrick’s Day, but much to my chagrin there was only a single glass remaining. The 40% ABV Irish Whiskey is described as being 70% aged single malt blended with 30% single pot still whiskey and the result is a quite approachable libation. The aroma has sweet and peppery notes with sherry and light citrus. The flavor beings with an initial sweetness on the palate of brown sugar and honey with chocolate, bourbon, and caramel.  The finish goes dry with a pleasant alcohol and a final pleasant flavor of peaches which fades into the distance. I seem to recall this was sub $30 and I am near positive I purchased it on sale. Hopefully I can locate another bottle at that price to refill the liquor cabinet. If you see it, give it a whirl if you are an Irish Whiskey fan!


Gun Sense?

Sometimes a teachable moment comes along. We noticed a tweet on someone’s page from Shannon Watts who is the director of Mom’s Demand Action For Gun Sense In America. It showed a rifle, a black one, and said, “You can buy this at @SportsmansWH if you’re 18.” We went to Mrs. Watts twitter feed and sure enough the photo below was there with the tweet.

We should take a minute to understand what “THIS” is exactly. Sure it is a black rifle, but what it is really? Look closely and you will notice it is a BOLT ACTION. For those who may not be familiar with rifles, in order to load a cartridge you pull back the bolt and when the bolt is closed a cartridge is removed from the magazine and placed in the chamber. After firing the bolt can be cycled to eject the spent casing and load another cartridge. We really need to peel the onion one step further in this case. In addition to being a bolt action this is also a .22LR. Mrs. Watts would have known this if she had simply typed Ruger 8400 into a Google search and then viewed the results.

We’ve been told all our lives to not judge a book by its cover. Just because a firearm is black and appears tactical it is not an assault weapon. Perhaps Mrs. Watts should work on her “Gun Sense.”


Ruger Precision Rimfire

Kirkland Premium Small Batch Bourbon Aged 7 Years

On the advice from a friend I picked up a liter bottle of Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon Aged 7 Years from Costco in Myrtle Beach, SC. The bottle was marked Batch T-1796 and was 51.5% ABV or 103 Proof. The bottle gave no indication of the distillery other than to note Tennessee Distilling in Columbia, TN. I typically steer clear of any Bourbon which does not originate from KY or Indiana (MWGP), but the friend who suggested this bottle is one I trust so I snagged one for $27 best I can remember. The neck label indicated the Beverage Tasting Institute rated it 93 points. The aroma had hints of brown sugar and leather with hints of pepper alcohol spice. The flavor was filled with brown sugar, molasses, citrus fruits, and a nice complex caramel presence. When you boil it all down the price point suggested a Bourbon which could command a higher price point. The prickly alcohol and spice attributes which stay on the palate post consumption let you know this one has a bit of a kick. My suggestion is if you find this one to pick it up. Heck, go ahead and pick up two!


Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – 81 proof

When it went on sale at a sub twenty dollar price I snagged a bottle of Wild Turkey Rye and decided to take it for a spin. Unfortunately it doesn’t have much in the way of character and consuming it straight just doesn’t keep your interest for more than a few seconds. Luckily you can mix it with ginger and it begins to show off some spicy rye notes one would expect. At 81 proof it was never hot or offensive, if I spot it at 101 proof I might give it a try to see if it has more to offer. Otherwise the 81 is a pass for me as there are better and more interesting rye whiskeys on the market.


Kirkland Signature Aged 27 Years Blended Scotch Whiskey

Some time back while perusing a Costco liquor store I spotted a small display of Kirkland Signature 27 Year Blended Scotch Whiskey Bourbon Cask Matured and snagged a bottle. I seem to recall it being around $55 and so I figured why not. When I got to the counter the clerk indicated several people had purchased a single bottle and then returned the next day after sampling to purchase several more. All they had was what was left and they did not expect to receive anymore. I figured it was a good choice so I stuck it in the queue and recently it found a space with the other open bottle selections in the bar.

As with other Alexander Murray releases there is no actual indication of origin. At 40% ABV I expected the Scotch to be smooth and easy to consume, but the alcohol was slightly off-putting. It wasn’t hot or fusel, but there was something in the alcohol which didn’t make me want to drain the bottle. The flavors seemed muted and almost musty. There was oak, leather, apple, brown sugar, and a myriad of other characteristics, but they just didn’t quite play well together. While I had high hopes for this Scotch, the truth is I found it just a bit difficult to love. Had it been half the price I’d think I’ll still find it just a bit hot and a long in the tooth. If you see it, give it a whirl for the notoriety, but otherwise I’d suggest you find something more interesting and spend your money on that instead.

Kirkland 27

The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old

When it went on sale at NCABC I grabbed a bottle of The Macallan Double Cask which is 12 years old and 43% ABV. I’m not sure of the exact price point, but around 63 beans or less is what I seem to recall. The name comes from the time the Scotch spent in Sherry barrels made of both American and European Oak. The flavor has a sublime mix of oak, chocolate, leather, citrus, and caramel which leads to a slightly sweet finish tempered by peppery alcohol and a nice alcohol warmth. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this, but I noticed the bottle did not hang out long once opened and while it was not mind blowing, it also was drained in short order. If you find this at the right price buy one and give it a whirl, heck, if you find it at the right price, buy two!


Left Hand’s vs White Labs

Haven’t posted in awhile, will try to do better in the future. News broke last week about the lawsuit filed by Left Hand against White Labs claiming contaminated yeast. Specifically that yeast was contaminated with diastaticus. Now I gotta admit I don’t know as much about yeast and yeast variants as I should, but my understanding is diastaticus will chew up sugars other yeasts leave behind and Left Hand has a very popular Milk Stout which undoubtedly contains lactose which is widely accepted as largely unfermentable by most yeast. Add in a yeast which chews up anything which is thrown at it and you have a recipe for disaster. Left Hand contends they had to dispose of over $2 million in beer and White Labs didn’t even send a condolence card.

At first you might be thinking what I am thinking how do you prove this is the source of the contamination? If you perform a web search you will find many instances in both the Pro and Homebrew arenas where people complain about contaminated batches of beer and the commonality was White Labs yeast. For me a single instance or brewery is not enough proof as anyone can have an off batch if they are not careful with cleaning and sanitation, but when you begin to add all of them together there could be some merit in the claim. I read somewhere diastaticus takes a week to incubate and most breweries don’t have time for that, but you would think a yeast company should be running long term QC checks.

At any rate, this one should be interesting. Does it move forward in the court system, settle outside of courts, or ultimately go to trial. I know I’m grabbing the popcorn and you should as well.