Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Willett Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel – Rub the bottle and wish for good bourbon…

It’s been a while since we've spit out a review on this bourbon blog. Walter White is dead, the Hoffman crew spent a season in the jungle and Game of Thrones is about to start back up. There are a couple reasons for the limited activity here.  First, I found a couple bourbons that I absolutely enjoyed, so every time I went to buy a bottle, I spent my cash on something I knew I’d like.  Second, Matt and I went on a film-making binge which consumed most of our creative time. Check some of it out at www.onelungers.com.

Now, on to the whiskey! When I have a glass of bourbon at night, I sometimes like to pop a batch of popcorn to compliment my drink. You may ask, “What the hell does popcorn have to do with bourbon?”  Wait, there’s a payoff for this story (not a great one but a payoff nonetheless). So I was checking out the bourbon selection at one of my favorite liquor stores when I noticed an odd shaped bottle on the top shelf. Upon closer inspection, I found it to be Willett Pot Still Reserve Single Barrel, which I had heard of, but never tried. When I say odd shaped, the thing is shaped like a copper pot still. However when presented in glass, it looks like a damn genie bottle. In fact, at my house it’s referred to as the genie bottle and not Willett.

The interesting thing about this bourbon is the pour.  When you pour from the genie bottle it makes some great sounds. Something about it makes me laugh every time I hear it and I almost want to drink it for that sound alone. Unfortunately you lose that piece of the experience as the bottle empties. It has a mellow smell with nothing in particular jumping out at me. At first taste you get hit with some caramel that fades quickly and then turns into an odd popcorn flavor at the end. The first time I tried this I thought it was okay. By the end of that first glass, I was unimpressed.  I put it on the shelf and have tried it a few times since then and something about the finishing taste really turns me off. Apparently I love popcorn with my bourbon but I don’t want my bourbon to taste like popcorn. I've has a few of my fellow bourbon loving friends drink from the genie bottle and they love it.  To each his own!

Taste: Caramel sweetness with a strange popcorn finish
Price: $40
Purchase Again: No

Jefferson's - We're not movin' on up

So it's been about a YEAR since we've updated this fucker so it's about time to bust through a bunch of the bourbons we've been knockin' back and tell you about them.


South Lyndale got in a bunch of bottles of this stuff and they were touting that it was a "Very Small Batch" especially bottled for the store. Had to be a good buy. "Movin' on Up" starts playing in my head and I flash back to my childhood sitting in front of this enormous wooden console television. I start to fantasize about sitting Weezy down on that couch in the deluxe apartment and enjoying a few dozen drinks. I also started to wonder why a stupid silhouette of Thomas Jefferson was on the fuckin' bottle instead of George Jefferson. That would have sealed the deal for me right there. Instant purchase. Instead I asked for a taste at the store. They hooked me up and I took some of my hard earned dry cleaning money and dropped the 25 bucks on the counter for a bottle.  I was feeling pretty dapper about the the purchase.

The next day I poured one from the bottle I bought...

Instead of George Jefferson, I get Mr Furley. An entirely different television program. Mr. Furley is pretty rad and all, but the thing with Furley is that he had the wool pulled over his eyes for YEARS. Jack Tripper was a little odd, but the thing he wasn't was a homosexual. If I got a bottle of Jack Tripper I would have at least known what I was getting into. Rooming with 2 hot babes, going out on dates all the time and being a kick ass chef! Pretty much an ideal situation. Have you ever known Jack to not be on the top of his game either? An O.G. player.

His scam was cheap rent spit three ways and trying to talk his roomies into a three way. Righteous... 

If I got bottle of Chrissy, I'd know that although I make goofy faces, and am a ditzy clutz...

underneath it all I'm pretty smoking hot, have an amazing sense of humor and can
still be pretty damn entertaining when I need to. A good pour Chrissy would be.

And did anyone really like Janet? I never understood the appeal. Sure she wore hot pants once in awhile, but she'd usually go and pull something like this...

Why did Mrs. Roper wear those Moo Moos? She probably had it in her head that it's all just easy access for Stanley to lift off and get going, but all I can think about is Kool Aid man rolling through a brick wall. 

No wonder this woman never got laid. When she did, I can guarantee you that Stanley was probably drinking Jefferson's. A huge headache and a shitty bourbon that has nothing to offer than a short age and acetone taste is the perfect solution for a horny Mrs. Roper. 

So if you're considering a cheap alternative to something that you normally buy and actually enjoy, go with your usual bottle and skip the Jefferson's. However, if you're looking for a bourbon to pacify a honey of a moo mooed up wife whose main goal in life is getting some sweet Stanley, pick up a Jefferson's and live in misery.

Taste: Oak notes, with acetone finish. A nice headache the next day
Price $25-$30
Purchase Again: No

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Knob Creek - I got me a headache...

by Keith Adams

Knob Creek
Knob Creek Distillery Clermont, KY

It's been a while... Since my last article they've killed off half the Stark family on Game of Thrones and Arrested Development aired an entire season. After the last episode of GoT I needed a drink that packed a punch so I went to the liquor cabinet. There it was, the bottle of Knob Creek taunting me with a fucking reminder that I hadn't yet reviewed this bourbon I purchased month's ago. You see, I've been putting off this review intentionally for a month or two now.  I know what you're thinking.... come on, there are so many awesome jokes and euphemisms for a bourbon named Knob Creek that an entire article could be written on that alone.  So what's taken me so long you ask. Well trust me, it's not the name that's been slowing me down. The knobstacle in my way is the after effects of this stuff.

The Good: This is a great tasting bourbon. At 100 proof it starts out hot and aged for 9 years gives it a nice sweet/woody taste.  You literally take a drink and ponder the joke possibilities of a bourbon with knob in the name that tastes like hot wood. I don't care who you are, there is some funny shit to be had right there! Beyond that it's a pretty one dimensional bourbon.  It has a very dry woody oak finish which is a nice characteristic that usually gets a bourbon a thumbs up in my book.

The Bad: This shit gives me a headache like you wouldn't believe the next day. We're talking a Frank Black type Headache here.

I've tried it 4 or 5 times now and it's the same result every time for me. This bottle will have to sit on the shelf and continue to taunt me until someone comes over and drinks the rest.

Taste: Sweet Wood/Spices
Price $30
Purchase Again: Not me but I would recommend others give it a try

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Four Roses Single Barrel is Legit

by Matt Adams

Four Roses Single Barrel
Four Roses Distillery

So this season of Game of Thrones is almost over, Deadliest Catch is kind of boring and I'm 3 weeks behind on Mad Men. I heard Don Draper gets stoned on something weird? I don't know. It was a long ass winter indoors and I'm about ready to throw everything to the wind as far as media devices go and spend the rest of my days outside until it snows again. Which will probably be in a few weeks.  

Something that's not weird to get "Don Draper" stoned on is this Four Roses Single Barrel. When I picked up this bottle the old lady at the check out asked me, "So when did you start drinking the higher end bourbons?" I thought to myself, "What the fuck did I get myself into? The price didn't seem that out of hand as it was on sale." I chuckled and said something like, "I like bourbon." I received a look from her like Ralph from A Christmas Story gives that a-sexual "girl?" wearing a pair of fucking flight goggles when "she/he"  says, "I like the tin-man". Just utterly annoyed and disgusted with the entire situation.

Fuck it. Little did I know that the bourbon I bought that day would indeed be a good purchase that I can safely recommend to anyone who wants to drink a good bourbon. 

Four Roses Single Barrel is the shit. It's got a kick ass nose, it's fruity and sweet.  It's not overwhelmingly oak flavored and is well-organized in the finish as well as up front. I usually like an oak finish to my bourbons, but this one has a overall sweetness throughout.  It's a lot like the Four Roses Small Batch bourbon, very smooth and easy going down, even at 100 proof. I drank this one neat a few times, but drop in some ice and a splash of water and it became my go to drink above Makers Mark.

Highly recommend this one above a lot of others I've reviewed and would venture to say that if you're looking to start drinking bourbon regularly, grab a bottle Four Roses Single Barrel. 

So up next in my cabinet I have some W.L. Weller wheated and some Buffalo Trace. I did spot the Woodford Reserve Double Oak at the booze store the crusty old lady works at. I might have to stop in there and blow her mind with another stellar Matt quote. 

Taste: YUM! Fruit, Sweet
Price: $45-$55
Purchase Again: Yes. Absolutely.

I need to talk with my cousin about starting an interactive timeline or maybe even a bourbon bracket that sorts the bourbons we've tried and narrow this shit down. Maybe a top 5 would be best. Having it available at all times on the side bar or in the banner too would be a good placement in case you bastards don't want to sit and read this shit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Templeton Rye – “The Good Stuff”

By: Keith Adams

Templeton Rye
Templeton Rye Spirits

There has been brief mention of Templeton Rye on this site, which amounted to:

"Surprising. I'm definitely going to try some more Rye."
"Was a prohibition recipe, so this shit must be good."
"I'm buying this."

While these are certainly words of encouragement, the Templeton admittedly came out late in the night of tasting. Not that all things tasted at the end of the night are good.  Someday maybe I’ll tell you about my experience with Crown Maple. Holy shit that was an experience that took days to recover... but I digress.  So anyway, it seemed only fair to follow through, buy a bottle and give Templeton a fair review.

The history of Templeton Rye is enough to make you want to give it a chance. It was made in Templeton, Iowa throughout the prohibition era, later adopted as a favorite of Al Capone and then disappeared until the recipe was resurrected in 2001. While still based in Templeton, it is distilled in Indiana and trucked to Iowa for bottling. I don’t know how much of the back-story is true but who really gives a shit. It’s a compelling story that brought out the rave review above, "Was a prohibition recipe, so this shit must be good."

At first smell, I sense the overwhelming scent of candy red hots/cinnamon followed by a stronger vanilla. The vanilla carries into the first drink which is followed by a cinnamon/red hot finish, with a little bit of pepper thrown in to heat things up.  That said, it isn’t really what I would consider “hot.”  It’s actually a pretty mild whisky that is easy to drink neat. For a whiskey that bills itself as “The Good Stuff,” I’d have to agree.  They have a good product that I’d definitely recommend.  

I mentioned in my Bulliet Rye review that I wasn’t a huge fan of that one.  Templeton definitely holds it’s own when comparing them side by side. For me, the clear winner is Templeton and it's opened up an interest in trying more rye.

Taste: Vanilla/Candy Red Hots
Price: $30-$40
Purchase Again: Yes 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wild Turkey 101 - Fire Walk with Me

By: Keith Adams

Wild Turkey 101
Austin Nichols Distilling Co

To be completely honest, I had no intention of reviewing this Bourbon.  It wasn't on my radar and any suggestion would normally be shrugged off as a lower tier bourbon that didn't interest me. In a moment of weakness I told a friend I would do this as my next review. I still consider him a friend but only because I subjected him to Rebecca Black's "Friday" when it was released.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I have to admit that this was much better than I expected. It has a nice vanilla/carmel scent and at 101 proof I was definitely expecting this thing to be packing some heat. You can imagine my surprise when I took my first swallow of this bourbon and it went down smoother than many I have tried. This was followed by 5-10 seconds of me evaluating the taste when the full heat hit me. Breathing became a chore and there is a fire that erupts from your belly up into the chest and into the esophagus.  Once you get used to that "holy shit" moment, you begin to appreciate what this bourbon really has to offer. The caramel and vanilla stay with it in the finish where it's joined by a nice cinnamon flavor.

Wild Turkey was definitely better than I expected and I'm glad I had a chance to give it a try.  For the record, I gave the remainder of the bottle to my daughter's boyfriend to finish.  There are better bourbons out there for me to spend my time with but in a pinch I would drink more Wild Turkey.

Taste: Carmel, Sweet, and when we kiss... FIRE!
Price: $20-$25
Purchase Again: No (unless stranded in a small town and your other options are Beam and Jack)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Four Roses Small Batch... I went back

By: Matt Adams

Four Roses Small Batch
From the Four Roses Distillery

So I went back and got the Four Roses after feeling guilty for not finishing the under $20 reviews properly. My motivations for getting through this bottle are purely selfish because I want to get into some other things on the checklist before spring.

This is a really drinkable bourbon on it's own and is even more so with a splash of water. It's a smooth drink that's not nearly as harsh as others I've sampled. With my untrained nose I get fruit and vanilla. There isn't much more to it other than that. I've read some other reviews where tasters have gotten black pepper, but I haven't gotten any of that shit. Up front it's very smooth and there isn't much of a burn. It is a nice introduction to bourbon if you're looking for a really smooth one to drink. Very pleasing taste on the palate which is mostly fruit, vanilla and sweetness. I don't get the barrel until the finish and even then it's not over powering and REALLY subtle. I personally like to get the barrel up front and enjoy a very heavy wood char taste, but others might like that surprise at the end. Happy endings always rule. The finish is very smooth and sweet. Everything I was expecting when I smelled it. I am curious to try the Four Roses Single Barrel next time around. If it's as smooth as this bottle of booze, I think I might have one that's going to be in the cabinet more than once. Take it this way... This is a very happy drink that's going to go down smooth and not piss you off for spending money on. I can safely say you can buy this if you're looking for something that won't disappoint you when you crack the damn seal. My personal jury is out on this one still. Is this the best Four Roses has in their repertoire? I'm not going to buy this again until I know for sure. 

Taste: Smooth, Sweet, very easy to drink
Price: $20 -$30
Purchase Again: No. Only for the hopes of other Four Roses brands being better!