West Cork Irish Whiskey Bourbon Cask

As part of my Irish Whiskey excursion I got a bottle of West Cork Irish Whiskey Bourbon Cask when it when on sale at NCABC for $21.95. I must say it was much less sweet than 2 Gingers I mentioned recently on the blog. Neat this one was much more interesting, but still was not complex enough to keep my attention. The Bourbon mainly presented itself as oak rather than truly having Bourbon character. The flavor was lightly spicy with cinnamon and light pepper characteristics. It also had a fruit apple character and a touch of citrus. At 22 beans this one is one to try if you have not tried it before or if you are looking for an Irish Whiskey which is nice to have neat. I’m still looking for complexity, but at this price point you should definitely give this one a whirl and decide if it is up your alley or not your cup of tea.


Harris Bipod Swivel Pivot Lock

I recently found myself in the market for a bipod and settled on a Harris, not a knockoff, and opted for the 6″-9″ with a swivel. I must say finding information on the bipods was almost painful. I settled on the HBRMS which is spring loaded and has notches for 1″ increments. There is also the HBRS which is not spring loaded and does not have notches, but is the exact same price. There are options without the swivel and with longer legs, but for my purposes a 6″-9″ will work just fine.

Anyway, the Harris HBRMS comes with a knurled knob which is very difficult to grasp. For that reason there are many aftermarket pivot lock handles. After dropping the coin on the bipod, I really did not want to spend much on a pivot lock handle. After reading some Amazon reviews I settled on the Caldwell which at the time was $9.99. It is made for their Harris knockoff, but also comes with an SAE adapter which fits the Harris. Putting it on was a cinch. You remove the nut on the Harris with a 1/4″ socket or nut driver and after removing the knob, thread on the SAE adapter. Then put on the handle and using an allen wrench, 2.5mm IIRC, tighten down the screw for the handle. After that you are ready to roll. It took longer to find the tools in the toolbox than to change out the knob for the handle. I especially like that I can lift the handle if I need to reposition it to make it tighter or looser.

Anyway, if you need a handle for a Harris bipod with a swivel I recommend the Caldwell. The price is right and it only takes a few minutes to install!


2 Gingers Irish Whiskey

When it went on sale at NCABC for $16.95, I picked up a fifth of 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey to give it a whirl. I’ve been trying to expand my horizons and to give time to other spirits besides Bourbon and Scotch. Most proclaim Irish Whiskey to finish sweeter than Bourbon and Scotch and thus far I have found that to be true. 2 Gingers is just a tad sweeter than some blended Scotch, but not cloying. I drank it neat and found it tasty neat, but not overly complex and borderline boring. It had honey, citrus, and a light spice attribute. I’m sure it was crafted for mixing and it would be just fine for that purpose. It was a good choice to accompany food and I had several meals and snacks with a glass nearby. I probably would not stock the bar with 2 Gingers, but if you were running out to a party and wanted an Irish Whiskey which would not assault your palate and would pair well with whatever your host brought out it would be an excellent choice. Couple that to a low price and I can see it becoming the life of the party. On the other hand, if you want to sit on the couch and contemplate life I might seek out something with more character because we all philosophize best with a complex beverage in our hand. 😉


BJCP Exam Policy

There was some recent discussion on the BJCP Forum about Exam Admins saving seats for homebrew club members which led to discussion on the BJCP Facebook Group about requiring examinees to pretest to have a seat in the exam. Well the BJCP has a clear policy on the matter. It states:

6. Sponsors may not require examinees to take a training course, or to belong to a specific homebrew club or organization. Any qualified person is permitted to take a registered exam.

That apparently was not clear enough for some so the Exam Directorate clarified the policy on Facebook.

Exam Administrators are not to reserve seats for clubs or study sessions as BJCP exams are to be open to anyone qualified. Basically there is not to be any restrictions beyond the BJCP requirements to reserve a seat. This includes being a member of a club, attending a study session or any pre-testing for qualification (other than BJCP entrance exam). If anyone becomes aware of one of these situations, please contact your Regional Rep, the Assistant Rep or Exam Director.

Reserving of seats should be on first come first serve. We understand opening reservations at time of exam registration can lead to a long wait list with people who are flooding lists looking for exams. This leads to a very high drop out rate as these people find other exams. It is acceptable to set a date which reservations will start being accepted, 1-3 months is generally enough lead time. As an exam admin you just need to provide that same info to everyone in order to maintain an open, and fair, opportunity to everyone. If someone contacts you prior to the reservation period, just inform them of the date you will start taking reservations so they can follow back up with you at that time.

So there you have it. There should be no confusion regarding the exam policy.


Clear As Mud – NEIPA

Last night I had two beers from a new brewery in Charlotte and the bartender indicated they are adding flour to the boil to keep them cloudy and approximate the “New England” style beers. One was a Berliner Weiss and the other was an IPA. I’m sorry, but a glass full of murkiness is not appealing in anything other than a wheat beer and despite a Berliner Weiss being a wheat beer it is not murky like glass of yeast. I eventually became disgusted by both the Berliner and the IPA and had a difficult time finishing each. Whoever decided a glass full of milky beer was a good thing is an idiot or is just not capable of allowing a beer to condition long enough to drop clear. These beers last night were not slightly hazy or hazy, they were a glass of white mud. I think I’ll take a pass the next time I run into them out in about so I don’t get grossed out again.


Kirkland Signature Asolo Prosecco

Lately Costco has not carried our favorite Prosecco, Riondo, so I grabbed a bottle of the Kirkland Signature instead. If memory serves this set me back about $7 so it was a no brainer to give it a whirl. First impression is the carbonation level is much higher than Riondo and the finish is much drier. It still has the same crisp characteristics and pleasant apple and pear notes. It paired well with food and would be excellent to consume on a hot summer night or even a cool fall evening sitting by the fire. I think we’ll keep some around, but if I run into Riondo at a good price it will always find it’s way into the shopping cart.


Glen Moray Single Malt Port Cask Finish

Anyone who has read the blog more than once knows I am all about a deal. When Glen Moray Single Malt Port Cask Finish went on sale at NCABC in February for $25 a fifth I knew I had to give it a whirl. In truth I wasn’t expecting much out of a cheap single malt, but what I got was surprising. First off this Scotch is a bit on a sweet side, but that makes it so very easy to consume. It has a light touch of oak and the port cask makes you think it might be a Macallan Jr. It has dark fruit flavors and even a hint of chocolate coupled with caramel. It is a decidedly dangerous bottle as it hides all the alcohol and so you then decide to have another glass even though previous glass should have been your last for the night. At $25 or less I’d pick this up in a heartbeat. The sweetness will be off putting for some, but everybody needs a little sweetness in their life so pick yourself up a bottle of this.