Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Greylock Gin

Hand crafted in small batches at Berkshire Mountain Distillers, GreylockGin is a classy, classic American Dry Gin of prodigious character. Focused aromas of spice, sweet evergreen, creamy angelica, candied lemon zest, flowers and pulpy juniper are balanced and poised tantalizing you to taste. The palate proceeds with the implied scents, bringing the juniper to the front, and adding to its dimension flavors of cinnamon, dandelion, celery root and nuances of light orange zest. The finish is clean, round, vibrant, herbaceous and tingling with bright spice. Enjoy this in a sexy cocktail or a refreshing long drink.
i love this in:
6 Parts (1 1/2 Oz) Greylock Gin
3 Part (3/4 Oz) Carpano Antiqua Sweet Vermouth
3 Part (3/4 Oz) Stock 84 VSOP Brandy
1 Part (1/4 Oz) Stock Apricot Liqueur

i am sorry...

I guess i'll keep up with the infrequent posts.Happy Holidays.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Panama Red....

Panama Red is a new higher proof rum that is from Panama. It was blended by Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez, lately known for Ron de Jeremy and Zafra rum, but possessing a long and illustrious career in rum making.

Panama Red is loaded with rich, simple and great flavors that lead to a spicy, warming finish.
The aromas begin with caramelized  honey, over ripe tree fruits stewed with vanilla, nutmeg, smoky oak with slight alcohol to demonstrate a robust and intriguing invitation. The flavors begin at creamy caramel that dissipates to reveal sapid spice, earth and intricate oak tones.
The finish is smooth, warming restatement of that hangs around for a while.

Panama Red is bottled at 54% and still easy to enjoy straight or on the rocks, but it really shines in an adult beverage.

Bacardi 1909

i was happy to present BACARDI 1909, Ron Superior, Heritage Limited Edition.
Apparently i was one of the first in the world... Here is a clip from the e-mail we sent from Hi-Time announcing the Bacardi 1909 so long ago:

Distilled at the Destileria La Galarza, in Mexico (the oldest continually operating Bacardi distillery), this Rum is a gorgeous work of beauty released to celebrate the journey and impact of BACARDI on cocktail culture all over the world. Packaged in a classy wooden case to reflect its exquisite quality and also insure it for posterity, the bottle is a replica of one of the oldest, authenticated bottles in the BACARDI archives—copied down the minutest detail (even the space at the top of the bottle, which was left there to allow the rum to expand in the bottle without damaging the seal while traveling in warmer climates.). This limited edition has been bottled at the original strength of 44.5% showing a full, crisp, clean flavor that reveals how simply BACARDI could have made such a lasting powerful impact on the world and become the international sensation that it now is.

In the last 100 years, the BACARDI Daiquiri has traveled from its birthplace in Cuba to the finest bars around the world where it's enjoyed to this day. This BACARDI Superior Rum Limited Edition commemorates this journey and the impact of the BACARDI on cocktail culture throughout the world. This limited edition bottle is inspired by an original design created in Cuba, 100 years ago, in 1909 and used in subsequent years

This is a must have for any rum collector, or cocktail aficionado and a treat when tasted in a classic cocktail, like this one for instance:
2 Oz Bacardi
1 Oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 tsp Fine Sugar

Shake with cracked ice until very cold, strain into a chilled cocktail glass-and enjoy.

Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen Rum & Cheese Dinner (Part 2)

Way back in February i promised to "dazzle you with some of Tobin's amazing photos, a link to the video and reveal which cheeses were my favorites."

o here is a link to  Tobin's amazing photos,and
a link to the video, but i am having a really hard time with which cheese was my favorite... Maybe that is why i said 'cheeses' because they were all my favorite!

Great Rum, great cheese, great company. . . all at the AMAZING Eva's Caribbean Kitchen. . . what can i say, that i didn't already say?

Oh i know... here is a link to Part 1!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Glenlivet 1997 - Coopers Choice

Glenlivet 1997 - Coopers Choice (Vintage Malt Whisky Co)
Glenlivet 1997 - Coopers Choice is another sample / possible gem that i got from Master of Malt from their 'Drinks by the Dram' program. i am always interested in trying an independent bottling to see how they stand up / differ from the distillery offerings.
This is a single cask bottling is from Coopers Choice (an independent i had previously been unfamiliar with). It was distilled in 1997 at the Glenlivet distillery. i tried to find out for sure (my bottle didn't have the info), but i think that it was aged for 12 years in a hogshead--at least that is the best info i can find.

Glenlivet is a classic Speyside distillery that has  been around forever, wikipedia has a nice history of it here. . .

Tasting Notes:
Leading scent of stewed pears, straw, honey, flaky pastry, heather, toasty cereal, peaches, oak resin, baking spices and apples slices are a full and tempting demonstration of 'the best-of' aromas from Glenlivet.

The flavors follow the nose with the front palate emphasizing the fruit building to add peach to the orchard and the back palate emphasizing the spice (cassia, nutmeg, coriander and pepper) with a decided flourish of toasty oak

The finish is malty with golden raisins, spice and a vigorous warmth.

This single barrel bottling is a generous, classic demonstration of Glenlivet Single Malt. If you are already a fan this wont disappoint, if you are not a fan it may sway you.
i am going out on a limb to say that this was not Chilled-Filtered and was not caramel colored (my interweb, she has hidden the answer from me) which really makes a difference to the palate weight, structure, density and range of available flavors. This would be a fun side by side with the 12 Year Old distillery bottling to compare. If you do the test let me know your thoughts.
3cl Bottle

i'll say it again i am completely impressed by this idea that Masters of Malt have come up with in their 'Drinks by the Dram' program is awesome and they have an amazing selection of things to try check it out. Here is what my Glenlivet 1997 looked like:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nikka Taketsura 17 Year Old

i have only had a few opportunities to try this highly regarded Whisky from Japan and always in a 'less than perfect' setting. That being said i have always been highly impressed with each tasting of Nikka (and frankly, every Japanese Whisky i have tried.). So when Master of Malt sent this from their 'Drinks by the Dram' program i have been psyched to try it.
Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old
A little back story: The Nikka distillery was opened in 1934 under the scrutinizing eye of the whisky-pilgrim Masataka Taketsuru. This 17 year old jewel is named for Nikka's founder, Taketsuru, who is commonly regarded as the father of Japanese Whisky, as a tribute. This is a vatting of single malts, at least 17 Years old, aged in sherry casks.
 Nikka Taketsuru 17
 Tasting Notes:


Aromas of chocolate lead to dried fruit (currant, yellow plum, cherries, persimmon and fig), peach skin, old leather, tobacco, dry toffee and delicate smoke with woody caramel in the background.

The flavors are saporous, bounteous and giving. Beginning with a gallery of dried fruit that ranges from strawberries and green cherries to guava and pineapple. It then moves to the dry roasted nuts the intricately modulate into cocoa, cinnamon, fennel, treacle and toasty oak.
Very round and very balanced for such a vast display of flavor--impressive.

Lingering with subtle and mild restatements of the aromas and flavors focusing on oak, praline with hints of straw, flowers, cocoa and vanilla. The after taste reminds me of sumptuous chocolate taffy with delicate baking spices.
This is deliciously complex whisky.

Apart from this gorgeous Whisky i was completely impressed by this idea that Master of Malt have come up with in their 'Drinks by the Dram' program is awesome and they have an amazing selection of things to try check it out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't send me plastic

This was edited from a previous post.
i wanted to separate it because i felt bad associating someones casual mistake with some others hard work. i am not mad, upset or anything, but certain practices make the process of reviewing much more difficult, so i thought i should address one of these 'kind-of' things.

There was a product i had already mentioned i was going to write it up before i saw the sample (my bad..) and it was sent in plastic, so what could i do?

i gave it my best and i learned a few thing: 1. Don't commit without all the information / tools whatever. . 2. Let everyone know what you need:

If you put alcohol in a plastic container it will taste of plastic. If it is not full the effect is extremely exaggerated.

If you don't want to send me a whole bottle... fine don't.

If you can't send me a whole bottle --100 ml in a full glass container is OK by me. i just need enough to taste, but it must be fresh, untainted by container and full so whatever effects that oxidation may have, haven't been had.

My pal Camper English compiled a nice list of Do's and Dont's. i would just add No plastic and full glass.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ron de Jeremy Rum

Well someone sent me a sample of this rum and i was honestly interested in trying it. Mainly because i am a fan of Cuban born (and trained), Master Distiller Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez and his history blending fantastic rums.

 Here is a cool video of Don Pancho, the legend, talking about making this rum for Ron Jeremy. (Scroll to the bottom)

Ron de Jeremy Rum is a 7 year old rum blended from Panamanian rum. The package is classy and fun representing the sense of humor that went into developing this product without getting cheesy, or going raunchy. It seems as if they were willing to make a joke to get you to try it and that once you tried the product they wanted it to stand on its own and it does.

My buddy Rumdood did a real nice review here.

Here are my thoughts. . .

Nose: Allspice, honey, ginseng, caramel, cola berry, oily nuts, bran and cinnamon.

Palate: Begins with a clean follow through of the flavors implied by the nosing but fall into oak tannins and notes of over-extracted tea towards the back palate.

Finish: Strong tannins, toasty oak, cinnamon, nutmeg and 'warmth'.
Overall: i like it. Not a mind blowing, super intricate rum, but (for less than $30) it is certainly an enjoyable drink. This rum shines brightest on ice, in an Old Fashioned, an El Presidente or a multitude of tasty rum cocktails.

Here is a picture me in Miami at Rum Renaissance (where i was one of the fortunate Judges for the RUM XP,) spending time with the who's who of rum and generally having an amazing time. The picture shows me hanging out with Don Pancho on my right, i am in the middle and Carlos E. Esquivel G [Executive Director at PILSA (the people who make RdJ) and one hell of nice guy] is on the left...

**i edited this post.

Well here is a post . . .

Hello, would you care for a beverage?

It seems somehow i am getting more followers and more traffic on this site since i haven't been posting regularly.

Is this a clue?

Are you guys telling me i shouldn't post as much as i was (2 or 3 times a week) or are you telling me to get back up to that number again?

Either way thanks for dropping by and let me know if there is anything i can do to answer any questions you may have or if you have any ideas for me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

OG XO Brandy

Original Gangster XO is a 10-year-old French Brandy from the Languedoc region of France. Bottled in a 'flashy/ornate' decanter emblazoned with the moniker 'Original Gangster' in hot stamped gold. Apparently 'Ice T' is a partner in the company, and though it did little to motivate me to try this brandy, i am certain it will be a strong motivator to other lucky people; which is good, because aside from the name and garish package, this is delectable brandy that sells at a very reasonable price (less than $30).
The aromas lead with fruit: peaches, sultana, yellow pear and apricot against creamy vanilla, caramel and toasted nuts; not incredibly complex but invitingly friendly. The flavors are delivered in a viscous, sweet mouth-feel that shows ripe plum, mulberry and vanilla again. The finish is supple, soft and clean with a nice restatement of the aromas and flavors. This is good brandy. It would do quite well by itself, in a snifter or as a component in a cocktail.
i'll just call it 'OG' XO, i like the ring of it over its full name, but really how could you go wrong...great price, great brandy...Win, win...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Miami Rum Renaissance

The Miami Rum Renaissance begins this year with the Zombie Jamboree at the Mai Kai in Ft Lauderdale on the inconspicuous date of Monday, April 25 at the 'respectable' time slot of 5PM to 7pm. Inauspicious as it may seem, do not be fooled, i assure you there will be 'festivities! There will be merriment. There will be RUM!

What better a way to start a "Rum Renaissance Festival' than with an homage to the Zombie Cocktail, led by the preeminent expert in said field, world renowned aficionado of said styling and generally recognized all around good guy Jeff "Beachbum" Berry at the Polynesian 'Tiki' Playground known as the Mai Kai in Ft Lauderdale. . . heck why not follow the Jamboree with the Mai Kai's celebrated Fire Dance Dinner show.

You must RSVP to attend the Zombie Jamboree and the Fire Dance Dinner show. Call the Mai Kai to RSVP.


Here is a list of whet you appetite. . .

Come one come all and i'll see you there!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Zaya 12 Year Old

Zaya is distilled, blended and aged for at least 12 years in Trinidad. The first aromas are brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. The nose, when examined, also reveals banana chips, cocoa dust and dates. The copious, billowy mouth feel is luxurious and creamy. The sapidities demonstrate the scents and evolve back note flavors of persimmon, marasca cherry, apple skin while the vanilla, caramel and cocoa qualities persist and dominate. The finish dawdles demonstrating a balanced review of the aromas and tastes in a pleasant and gratifying manner. Try this rum neat, on ice or in a Spirit forward beverage.

Rhum J.M. Vieux Agricole 1997

The sugar cane is cultivated in a micro climate that is unique and deeply influences the quality of this spirit. Also, painstaking attention is paid to every detail of the production of Rhum JM,. From the growing, harvesting, pressing of the cane, to the distillation, aging and even bottling of the spirit –everything is done at the distillery/estate to maintain control over each step. Rhum J.M. Vieux was distilled directly from this estate grown, hand-cut, fresh pressed sugar cane juice in 1997 then aged for 10 years in ex-Bourbon barrels. The aromas begin with panforte, toffee and vanilla building to baked bananas and raisins dusted with ground coco nibs. The scents are all very enticing. The flavors follow suit and do not disappoint; they evolve to include roasted nuts, cassia, thyme, fennel, ginger, dried mango, passion fruit and nutmeg. It finishes with a dawdling, contemplative fade delicately restating the aromas and tastes. This is gorgeous Rhum! Try it neat with friends.

Yet again i stole this image from my pals at the Rum Examiners... Sometimes i just cant be bothered to get out my camera... Sorry Rob's...
Here is what they say here . . .

Plantation Grand Reserve Barbado 5 Year

Bottled by Cognac Ferrand, Plantation Grand Reserve Barbados Rum is a precious gem available at a price that will tempt any true rum lover. The aromas reveal sauteed plantains, vanilla, molasses, oak nuance, caramelized honey and clean, fresh ground spices. On the palate, more tropical fruits are revealed— stewed papaya, coconut, grilled pineapple, toasted oily nuts, plump raisins and brown sugar. The mouth feel is rich, full and giving. The finish lingers and is clean—showing hints of caramel and delicate dried fruit. This is unbelievably good rum at an exceptional value. Try it in a snifter, with ice or in a cocktail—anything goes.

THis picture was also stolen from the Rum Examiners, see what they said here . . .

Dos Maderas 5+5 PX

This wonderful elixir begins as rums aged for 5 years in, and from, Barbados and Guyana. The rums then move to Jerez, Spain for a ‘secondary’ aging in Sherry barrels; first for 3 years in "Dos Cortados" Palo Cortado sherry then followed by 2 more years in "Don Guido" Pedro Ximénez sherry (PX). The final results are beguiling. Intricate aromas filled with molasses, baking spice, caramel, roasted nuts, tea, sherry and Jamaican Bread Pudding. The flavors show ebullient caramelized honey, raisins and mission figs evolving to a fervor that display recherché nuances of cocoa, tea and vanilla. The finish lingers sumptuously rewarding you with an aftertaste of Custard Bread Pudding and an invitation for more. Try this neat and allow time to enjoy it.

i stole this picture from my buddies at the RUm Examiner see what they said here...

Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen Rum & Cheese Dinner (Part 1)

Well being the man about town that i am let me tell you about an event i went to a few weeks ago.

Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen Rum and Cheese Dinner
 Eva's has a series of Rum themed events called "RUM Me into Submission"where we look at aspects of Rum (Rhum) under a magifying glass to see the fun loving versatility of Rum/Rhum.
Previos Rum Me into Submissions have feature Rhum Agricoles, Rum and CHocolate, El Dorado Rum from Guyana, Rhum and Cigars... You get the idea, all this paired with Eva's amazing cuisine in an amazing atmosphere, with great people (all having fun) and of course GREAT RUMS!
This "RUM Me into Submission"showed off the simple versatility of Rum and Cheese. So Eva brought in the Nationally known expert on the subject--Barrie Lynn - The Cheese Impresario and Matt "Rumdood" Robold and i talked about the Rums..

Barrie Lynn-The Cheese Impressario
  i am sure you guy's know  'Rumdood' and i pretty well by now, but to best introduce Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario i am going to send you to her site and to her show 'Cheese Rules' on Small Screen Network. Here is her notes about the fantastic Artisanal Wisconsin cheese she discovered, brought, shared and discuss with us.

Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen
Rum and Cheese Dinner

World Restaurant Premier
Meister Cheese Company – Muscoda, Wisconsin
Meister Piña Colada Jack – CowI was visiting Wisconsin to conduct my Artisanal Cheese & Sake Pairing Adventure Class at the Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival and toured the Meister Cheesemaking facility.  Third generation cheesemaker, Vicki Meister, is a flavor expert and very passionate about bringing their award-winning cheese together with a range of flavors.   I noticed she focused on savory flavors and asked her about this.  It was then Vicki told me about her Piña Colada cheese.  One bite later and I was going wild over this unique and delicious cheese. Vicki uses four different preparations of coconut and pineapple then adds it to their famous Käse Meister Jack.  No one I know makes this flavor of cheese.

 I asked Vicki why she chose this combination of tastes.  She answered, “in Wisconsin it gets cold and dark in the winter and I started dreaming of tropical Islands and drinking beautiful piña colada.”
 Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen is the first restaurant in the world to serve this amazing rum-loving cheese.   Enjoy the premier!

RUM Pairing: Rhum JM Vieux 1997
Holland’s Family Farm – Thorp, Wisconsin
Cheesemaker - Marieke Penterman
Raw Milk Foenegreek Gouda - Cow
This handmade farmstead Gouda is made from Marieke’s traditional Dutch recipe with their family farm’s fresh raw cow’s milk.   This cheese is then aged on Dutch pine planks four to six months to develop a creamy, nutty flavor.  Aging makes Holland's Family Farm Goudas very different from most American Gouda-style cheeses, which are usually sold very young.  Marieke’s Foenegreek Gouda won best in class at the 2007 US Championship Cheese Contest.
RUM Pairing: Clement Premiere Canne-Rhum Agricole Blanc
Sartori Foods – Plymouth, Wisconsin
Cheesemaker - Mike Matucheski
Sartori Reserve Raspberry BellaVitano– Cow
Wisconsin in its terroir and Italian in its heart, BellaVitano’s elegant flavor profiles are unique in the world of cheese. This premium cheese features a unique Parmesan flavor and a creamy Cheddar texture.   This cheese is unique in the world as it is soaked in New Glarus Raspberry Tart Ale to bring out the fruity notes of the cheese. Sartori Reserve's Raspberry BellaVitano took first place in its class at The American Cheese Society Competition.
RUM Pairing: Dos Maderas PX 5+5
Widmer’s Cheese Cellars – Theresa, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker  - Joe Widmer
Third generation cheesemaker, Joe Widmer, is a fine artist whose medium is cheese.  Joe is one of only 45 Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers who have passed the state’s rigorous standards…much like a Master Sommelier or Master Chef program.

Aged Brick Spread – Cow
OOOHHH, you will crave this spread once you’ve had just a teeny bite. I tasted it when I went to visit Joe at his small creamery in rural Wisconsin and had the joy of being turned on to Joe’s Aged Brick Spread.   Enjoy!  Made from a blend of Joe’s Aged Brick and his Cheddar, this delectable spread will keep you coming back for more.  Slather it on artisan bread and you will be in heaven.
RUM Pairing: Plantation Grand Reserve Barbados 5 Year
Hook’s Cheese Company - Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Cheesemakers – Tony and Julie Hook
Tony and Julie Hook are true artisans.   They make such small production cheeses…they have no employees…just these two passionate people.  The couple were college sweethearts and have made cheesemaking their life for more than 35 years.
They spent months refurbishing an abandoned facility built in the 1850s that was once a livery stable and a blacksmith's shop before being converted to a cheese plant in 1929.  Built into the side of a hill, the building came with ideal cave-like conditions for aging cheese, and the Hooks have made doing so an art form as you will taste this evening.   Their awards are numerous and Julie Hook was, and still is, the only woman to win the World Cheese Championship.  Slow Food honored the Hook’s by making them delegates to the Terra Madre event in Italy.

Hook’s 10-Year Cheddar - CowChefs are wild about this majesty of a Cheddar.  This super-aged cheese has a deep, rich, outrageously sharp cheddar taste with tiny sparks of flavor crystals and a long elegant finish. It's a testament to the skill and experience of Tony and Julie Hook that a cheese aged this long still retains a smooth, sensual creaminess rare in a cheese half its age.  This cheese won first place in its class at the 2006 American Cheese Society Competition.
RUM Pairing: Zaya 12 Year Old

Nice right?? That is good stuff! So to tally everything completely there was an introductory cocktail, 5 rums paired with with five cheeses a feast that included a Spinach and Artichoke entrée, a Monte Cristo, Filet Mignon, Lobster and Creme Brulee for dessert! Oh yeah!
That is Part 1. For part 2 i will dazzle you with some of Tobin's amazing photos, a link to the video and reveal which cheeses were my favorites.

Well i am late, but . . .



That is right 'a drink with forrest' is now over 2 years old!

Over these last 2 years i have 'averaged' a blog a week and this year i am going to try and do even better!
So thanks for coming by and i hope that you enjoy 'a drink with forrest'....