samples with pumpkin

Tasteless Tastings: Halloween 2019 Edition

samples with pumpkin

Let’s all gather round for this here Tasteless Tasting …

Welcome to another edition of Tasteless Tastings, which is exactly what it sounds like: tasting notes from the riffraff. If you follow the liquor industry to any capacity, you probably have come across snooty tasting notes from classy people who make the new spirit sound more like a science experiment than something you consume for fun or to forget the world around you. I want to shoot gayly forward from the hip and tell you how it really tastes. So each time the nice mailman brings me a sample to try, I’ll gather up some friends and we’ll have a candid, lively and unpolitically correct discussion about said sample. So let’s do it …

What are we drinking today?:
Mount Gay Rum

The Wizard!

Mount Gay Rum Master Blender Collection: Pot Still Rum

What the hell is it?:

This is the second edition of the Mount Gay Rum Master Blender Collection, created by Master Blender and Badass Trudiann Branker. This small batch of rum was matured in American oak barrels for 10 years and then placed into used whiskey barrels for six months prior to bottling. The pot still process honors the original method of rum-making, as Mount Gay dates back to 1703.

Give me the nerdy numbers:

96 proof, $170, only 1,002 bottles available in the U.S.

What do we think?:

Anna G.: This is the twister taking us to Oz! That scary lady is riding by trying to take our dog, and then we land in world of Mount Gay color!

Bar Belle: Wow, those woody, oaky are crazy! It’s like we’re in that forest where the trees are throwing apples at us.

Anna G: We’re not in Kentucky anymore.

Bar Belle: Indeed, we are not. We’re in Barbados!

We add a cube of ice to our samples.

Anna G.: Holy hell! We’ve just gone to Munchkin Town with Glenda the Good Witch!

Bar Belle: Ice changed this thing’s life!

Anna G.: This is the world of sweet, sweet color.

 

Halloween Costume:

The Man Behind the Curtain … The Oz Himself

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What are we drinking today?:
Yellowstone Bourbon

Cajun Sasquatch!

Yellowstone Limited Edition 2019

What the hell is it?:

Straight from the Limestone Branch Distillery, this hand-picked batch includes barrels of extra-aged 9-year and 12-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It’s the oldest barrels yet used in a Limited Edition.

Give me the nerdy numbers:

101 proof, $99.99, 12,500 bottles available in the U.S.

What do we think?:

Bar Belle: This is like a warm embrace from a vampire. Definitely a cinnamon bomb, with a little Heath Bar at the end — toffee, brown sugar and that lovely caramel, of course.

Anna G.: Do Heath Bars have caramel?

Bar Belle: No, but they should!

Anna G.: Vampires are sterile — this is a warm hug from a sasquatch! The after taste comes from his backwoods muskiness.

Bar Belle: I don’t want to think about sasquatch musk, because in my mind I’m unwrapping those cubed caramels for caramel apples. Good stuff!

 

Halloween Costume:

Cajun Sasquatch

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What are we drinking today?:
Maker's Mark RC6

Han Solo!

Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series: RC6

What the hell is it?:

This cask-strength Maker’s Mark has been finished with proprietary wood staves that go by the name of R2D2 … er, I mean RC6. These unique staves are American oak that was first “seasoned” for an extended 18 months outside and then toasted in a convection oven. Since Maker’s Mark technically only makes one type of bourbon, the stave process — adding different staves to fully matured Maker’s Mark — allows them to experiment and release one-offs like this one. And not all will be one-offs, as Maker’s 46 is technically part of this new Wood Finishing Series.

Give me the nerdy numbers:

108.2 proof, $59.99, this limited-edition small batch was made from only 255 barrels

What do we think?:

Anna G.: This is delicious!

Bar Belle: I swear it reminds me of a backyard barbecue … on the Millennium Falcon!

Anna G.: It’s Han Solo after being frozen in carbonite, then being delivered to Jabba the Hut, and then saving the day!

Bar Belle: Princess Leia looked hot in that scene, when she was strapped to that fat blob.

Anna G.: Remember before Han gets all froze, she runs to him and says, “I love you,” and he responds, “I know.”

Bar Belle: Typical man. But man, this stuff is legit! Quite smooth for 108 proof.

Anna G.: I want to say “I love you” to this sample, but I’m afraid it’s just going to say, “I know.”

 

Halloween Costume:

Han Solo

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What are we drinking today?:
Booker's Bourbon

Jaws!

Booker’s “Country Ham” Batch 2019-03

What the hell is it?:

They say Booker enjoyed curing ham almost as much as he did making bourbon. Almost. This batch pays tribute to his proclivity for pork, and like his bourbon, he kept it simple — pairing the pork with only a cracker or biscuit.

Give me the nerdy numbers:

124 proof, $79.99, 6 years, 4 months and 2 days old

What do we think?:

Bar Belle: Wow, this bites without being provoked. Like Jaws let loose in Sea World!

Anna G.: The flavor is really nice, but the after effect is chaos! It’s making my nose run and it’s burning my mouth! Dammit!

Bar Belle: You better get your mouth out of that Kentucky water! This warms my palate like it warms my heart when I stumble across “Jaws 3-D” on TV on a lazy Sunday morning.

 

Halloween Costume: 

Chief Brody (or shall we say Chief Booker?) from “Jaws”: “You’re gonna need a bigger glass!”

Today’s Reason To Drink

I’m like an iguana in a rum barrel.

I made my annual journey to Destin and drank all their rum.

They were kind to say goodbye with a swift kick to the bum. 

I buried my feet in the sand and enjoyed the sun on my face.

But damn that dominating ocean nearly got to third base.

I sought refuge in the pool where there wasn’t a single wave.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t misbehave. 

You can call me pineapple princess or pina-colada whore.

As I left with a sour stomach and more than one canker sore. 

But I’ll be back for more Divas-to-Destin fun.

Because I’m just looking for my place in the sun.

 

Today’s Reason To Drink

Deck the halls with Linda’s Hot Buttered Rum.

Good news for those of you freezing your babushkas off — Linda’s Hot Buttered Rum is now available at the Outlook Inn!

Made from secret recipe that involves Mt. Gay Rum and various spices, the drink is served hot and is delicious. It’s like Christmas in your mouth, sans the tinsel.

Not to be outdone by his wife Linda, owner Ralph also has a spiked Egg Nog as well, which is made with Old Forester. I haven’t tried that one yet, but it’s on the top of my list.

Both drinks are $6.50.

Tasteless Tastings (Take 1): Papa’s Pilar Rum

Welcome to the inaugural Tasteless Tastings, which is exactly what it sounds like: tasting notes from the riffraff. If you follow the liquor industry to any capacity, you probably have come across snooty tasting notes from classy people who make the new spirit sound more like a science experiment than something you consume for fun or to forget the world around you. I want to shoot gayly forward from the hip and tell you how it really tastes. So each time the nice mailman brings me a sample to try, I’ll gather up some friends and we’ll have a candid, lively and unpolitically correct discussion about said sample. So let’s do it …

pilar_bottles_combo-x650xWhat are we drinking today?: Papa’s Pilar Artisan-Crafted Rum

What the hell is it?: It’s two different super-premium rums (Blonde and Dark) made in Key West and inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s spirit of adventure. Ernest’s nickname was “Papa.” The rum is hand-selected from the Caribbean, Central America and America, and then solera aged and blended using used bourbon, port wine and/or Spanish sherry barrels.

Why do we care?: Papa’s Pilar has recently made its way into the Kentucky market, and there is, indeed, a connection with the bourbon industry. The late, great Lincoln Henderson of Angel’s Envy served as an advisor on this rum’s early creation.

Give me the nerdy numbers: The Blonde is 84 proof, contains rums 3-7 years old, and finished in Spanish sherry casks. The Dark is 86 proof, contains rum up to 24 years old, and touches bourbon, port wine and sherry casks as well.

What do we think?: We had five panelists who each got a half-ounce pour (or more, if we had a larger quantity and the person liked it). As the host of the session, I tried to keep my tipsy tasters on task, covering the basics of a scientific spirits report: color, aroma, taste and finish. The panel included two artists (Britany B., Erik U.), a person who sells air (Tracy K.), an artsy museum nerd (Cara H.) and myself.

First up was the Blonde, because — well — we all know they have more fun, and we wanted to start out our first Tasteless Tasting having lots of that.

Me: Let’s all check out the Blonde!
BB: Looks like a white wine with no legs.
Me: Smell her.
EU: It smells like syrup. Alcoholic syrup. I want to put it on pancakes.
TK: I smell butterscotch. And vanilla.
CH: It’s like the Back Door — I feel like if I just continue to smell it, I’ll get drunk.
Me: Taste it.
EU: Ooooh, it’s sweet! It kinda tastes like Christmas — or those candles my mother has in her house.
BB: It tastes a little like high school.
TK: Butterscotch.
Me: I think it’s pretty smooth, and the finish is quite pleasant. It doesn’t linger like an awkward conversation.
BB: I would drink that again. It is more flavorful than I remember rum being.
TK: It would be good in pina coladas.
CH: It would get you lost in the rain.
BB: I think it’s caught in the rain.
CH: I get lost in the rain.
TK: If you’re not into yoga …

Our first session involved cheese ... and lots of it.

Our first session involved cheese … and lots of it.

Me: Alrighty then. Let’s go to the Dark side. This guy is a little higher in proof, so he might bite. And at one point he mingled with port wine casks.
BB: Did you say pork rinds?
Me: Port wine — not pork rind.
EU: It looks like bourbon but smells like regret.
BB: It’s the bourbon of rum.
TK: It smells the same as the other one — caramel, vanilla.
BB: The first sip is a doozy. It has much more bite.
CH: It feels like a terrible memory — like I’m going to make very bad decisions tonight.
EU: It feels like an apology.
BB: I would sip this one by itself, but probably mix the other in a cocktail — if I was near a beach.
CH: This makes me want to live near water and listen to Buffett.
Me: It’s got that spicy rum feel, but it’s quite sippable. The finish is long and warm, like I’m wrapping my tongue in velvet.
EU: Do girls like that?
Me: They don’t not like it.

Next time on Tasteless Tastings … the group tries the new Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection and Jefferson’s Reserve finished in rum casks, as well as rye whiskey from Baltimore called Sagamore Spirit.