Ezra Brooks 90 Proof Bourbon

After finding some wonderful inexpensive Bourbon recently someone suggested it may be similar to Ezra Brooks 90 Proof so I went out and snagged a bottle. At $12 a bottle it was not much of a stretch to give it a whirl, but unfortunately it was so boring neat it requires a mixed drink to even begin to shine. Every attribute of this Bourbon was so restrained it really isn’t worth the time to dry to describe them. This is a great bargain for mixing with ginger or another Bourbon based cocktail where the Bourbon does not need to shine, but otherwise I would find something more interesting.

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Bushmills Black Bush

Not long ago I spotted a bottle of Bushmills Black Bush for around $30 a bottle and decided to give it a whirl. It came with a free bottle of Red Bush and everyone should now know I think that Irish Whiskey is rubbish. Black Bush is a much different story. This 40% ABV Irish Whiskey is aged in Oloroso Sherry casks and it is actually quite taste. The aroma is filled with Sherry, brown sugar, and hints of leather. The flavor follows suit with an alcohol presence which is understated and well-balanced. I works very well in so many ways and I’ve found myself recommending this Whiskey on more than one occasion already. At first on the palate it presents a bit too sweet, but after a few sips that impression passes and the complexity of the Whiskey draw you in and leave you with a very enjoyable aftertaste. I know I’m going to keep my eye out to find this one at a great price and once I do I will restock the bar. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

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The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Not long ago I happened upon a fifth of The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey with a tag along bottle of Bushmills Red Bush. At less than 30 beans for a Single Malt I figured why not give it a whirl. The 40% alcohol by volume Irish Whiskey came in a really cool bottle, but unfortunately that is about where the love affair ends. Turns out this really cool hexagonal black bottle is a pain in the butt to pour from and the color makes it near impossible to tell how much remains after pouring. While that is a minor annoyance, the monkey juice ester which is prominent and everlasting is just a bit off-putting. I am not a fan of bananas as a fruit so why the heck would I want them to overpower the aroma in my Irish Whiskey? Oh well, after you get past the jungle juice vibe you can pick up caramel, brown sugar, peppery spice, and a hint of leather. The flavor was middle of the pack with more brown sugar and leather and a nice presence of spice. Had this been a 20 bean bottle of Irish Whiskey I might have had a different impression, but I can think of several bottles which have a lower price point and better aroma/flavor. For me it’s a pass on a second bottle and as I mentioned earlier the airplane bottle of Red Bush, even at free, was too high a price. I’d suggest you skip it unless you really want a cool bottle to have an hold which really shouldn’t be used for housing Whiskey or pouring.

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Memorial Day 2018

Never forget the reason for Memorial Day and all those who fought and died to give you the freedom you enjoy today in America! If you know a Veteran, tell them thank you for your service, if you are a Veteran, I thank you for your service.

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American Cemetery at Normandy overlooking Omaha Beach – photo taken May 5, 2018

Kirkland Signature Irish Whiskey

Once again I ran into a handle of Kirkland brand liquor at Costco and had to give it a try. Kirkland Signature Irish Whiskey was less than $30 for a half gallon and aged 4 years according to the label. The aroma wasn’t very complex, but had a light cedar spice and honeysuckle with a light waft of alcohol. The flavor was filled with a light sweetness, more honeysuckle and cedar, a light characteristic of citrus, and bit of caramel. Also in the flavor was a distinct alcohol burn which wasn’t oppressive, but could have been more restrained for my palate. At 80 proof I didn’t expect it to have no alcohol, but like the better Irish Whiskeys I expected it to be more retrained. Unfortunately this was worth about what I paid for it and for just a few bucks more there are better and more complex Irish Whiskeys out there. If you are like me and have to try everything you might as well give it a try, but I know I won’t be running back to purchase another handle.

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Bushmills Red Bush Irish Whiskey

With a recent Irish Whiskey purchase came an airplane bottle (50 ml) of Bushmills Red Bush Irish Whiskey so I figured why not give it a whirl while the price is right. The label proudly states it was aged for a minimum of three years and the alcohol content is 40% abv. The triple distilled whiskey is matured in Bourbon barrels and that is about all the information you can find on the bottle and website. It was introduced just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2017 and is a blend of single malt and Irish grain whiskey according to a press release from last year. Based on a quick search it appears the price point is around $20 in most areas. So let’s get to the important stuff, the flavor. Immediately upon pouring a strong estery banana presence wafted from the glass. In allowing the glass to air a few minutes the aroma contained lower esters than first presented, but an alcoholic note which had some higher alcohol presence with a plastic impression. Once the fusel nature was suppressed it was apparent a background presence of cinnamon, graham crackers, leather, and black pepper spice existed at a low level. The flavor had a sweet note of caramel coupled with light aspects of leather and a notable plastic as was perceived in the aroma. Black pepper, leather, oak, and cinnamon spice lasted long into the aftertaste and an alcohol burn was notable and a bit out of place in an 80 proof whiskey. The off-putting nature of the initial monkey juice notes and lingering plastic nose and flavor are enough to tell me to not add this to my bar. The Bushmills website discusses mixing and that may very well be how my other small bottle is consumed. I suggest you skid this one, even at the low price point it really is not worth the price of admission.

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Pulse Nightclub Shooting Revelations

Back when the blog was daily we had a brief post following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy and never revisited the incident. The news reported it as an attack against the LGBTQ community by a wanna be terrorist and we accepted that to be true. Recently an article from Huffington Post entitled Everyone Got The Pulse Massacre Story Completely Wrong pointed out the flaws in the previous byline. Sure, the news posted the fact the shooter visited an entertainment complex and the police presence cause him to move on. We  never put two and two together as the author of the article did to come to the realization the shooting was random and the nightclub had not been targeted for any reason other than it had a large number of people in one location who could be victims. The shooters widow was recently acquitted and it was determined her confession was bogus and only made after half a day of continuous questioning. The FBI knew her confession wasn’t true because she didn’t go with her husband to case the club and they were never near the  club at the time stated. It was a horrible hand fate dealt those at the club that the shooter went to the club they were in, but as the article points out, they were not targeted for being LGBTQ.

If you haven’t see the Huffington Post article, be sure to read it from beginning to end, it is well worth your time.

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Kirkland Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 18 Years

No, this is not an April Fools Joke. Tonight I decided to drain what remained of a bottle of Kirkland Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 18 Years I had of course picked up at Costco. As I recall the price of admission was $55 or perhaps a skinch more. I’ve found with Bourbon anything past 15 years seems to be hit or miss, but Scotch seems to stand the test of time much better. In this case the flavors had melded and became subdued, but the Sherry Cask shined through. Despite being 92 proof (46% ABV) the only indicator of the heat was the warmth post consumption. The aroma was filled with sherry, brown sugar, and hints of oak and leather and an aroma I identify as cedar. The flavor was smooth with more brown sugar, leather, and cedar spice which led to a finish of light spice, oak, sherry, and of course a light alcohol burn just to let you know you had more alcohol in your glass than you might have suspected. While this one was not outrageously priced, I can think of slightly less expensive whiskeys I might enjoy more. I do enjoy trying all the various Kirkland products from Alexander Murray and will keep checking them out as I spot them at Costco.

In case you were wondering the back label indicated this was aged in Bourbon barrels and then finished in Oloroso Sherry casks for six months.

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More Questions To Ponder

A few days ago we posted questioning which story by David Hogg was true. Since then some reports have indicated Hogg’s comment was taken out of context and he rode his bicycle back to the school later that evening at twilight to shoot film. One thing is for certain, it would have been impossible for Hogg to have heard about the shooting while sitting at home and make it there before the school went into lockdown. Since there is video which was made during and after the lockdown of Hogg, he was certainly inside the school. If his statement was simply taken out of context then shame on CBS for editing clips to drive viewership and controversy.

There still are some questions which remain unanswered. The timeline for the events in Parkland are well documented. The shooter was dropped off by an Uber at 2:19pm, the shooting began at 2:21pm and stopped at 2:24pm, the school was locked down at 2:25pm, the shooter exited at 2:28pm, went to WalMart at 2:50pm, McDonalds at 3:01pm, the lockdown lifted at 3:36pm, and the shooter arrested at 3:41pm. Edited video from Hogg has been released on various news media which has him in a classroom or closet interviewing students and providing his own commentary. It begins at 2:52pm and he indicates he heard a single gun shot at around 2:30pm. We’re only talking about a 5-9 minute discrepancy, but one would think someone who professes to be a journalist would strive for accuracy especially someone from a generation known to use a smartphone regularly as their clock. At 3:13pm in the video Hogg identifies “Nick Cruz” as the shooter. This makes us wonder how he could have identified someone at 3:13pm who was not arrested until 3:41pm.

An unedited and unverified time stamp video emerged which indicates the interview in the closet/classroom is actually taking place at 9:32 with no indication of am or pm. So has someone pieced together various videos to try to tell a particular story, or are portions completely made up? In the LA Times video Hogg can clearly be seen exiting the building after the lockdown was lifted. There can be little doubt he was in the school at the time of the incident. The questions then become is the video and edited compilation of snippets designed to tell a narrative and are portions fabricated. Also how would Hogg be able to identify Cruz before the police were able to make the identification? We’ve not seen anyone pose that question before, but to know at 3:13pm it was Cruz would mean Hogg knew information the police had not yet figured out. The only other explanations which come to mind are Hogg’s video is a fabrication or Hogg was somehow complicit in the event. We may never know the truth, but it is evident the LA Times video is edited so we are leaning toward the video being fabricated to meet a storyline.

Alex View