Monday, December 10, 2012

2 'new-ish' products & a drink . . .

I am going to talk about 2 'new-ish' products:
1st: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon

The nose shows Cinnamon, camphor, almond, mastic, caraway, rye and oak in ways that are all good and spicy.
The palate entry is a sweeter demonstration than expected beautifully carrying the aromas with a chewy spiced display that is easy to enjoy.
The finish is warm, vibrant, sapid toasty notes that linger resolving to a corn sweetness.
Tasty neat, but fantastic with ice and AMAZING in a drink....(Will get to one..)

2nd: Calisaya
The nose shows cinchona, orange, blossoms and spice in an immanently inviting display that is balanced and complex simultaneously.
The palate entry sweetly displays those complexity of the aromas focusing on the cinchona initially and resolving to zesty, daedal orange.
The finish is layered, from bitter quinine, to sumptuous orange and a myriad of spice notes that linger gorgeously.
This is magnificent neat, on ice with a twist, with soda / sparkling wine or in a lovely cocktail (which leads me to one . . .).

No name yet (maybe 'Thank you Kevin' --any ideas?)

2 Parts Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon
1 Part Calisaya
1/2 Part Cold Coffee

Stir with ice, strain onto fresh ice in an Old fashioned glass.
Take a long, broad zest from a large orange and wring all the oils into & over the drink as you fold the zest into a "football" with only orange showing and drop it into the drink (after rubbing it on every edge of the glass.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Amaro Meletti

 In 1870 Silvio Meletti started the company because he wanted to make a 'local' anise liqueur to compete with or even excel over the best products made elsewhere. With diligent application to learning, research and experimentation, Silvio formulated advanced methods and tools to aid in his endeavor. Sourcing outstanding ingredients and tenaciously refining his techniques he landed on many fantastic recipes and this Amaro is one that stands out. Today, his descendants continue to select the finest herbs and botanicals for their products —to the point of even growing many of the ingredients on their own estate. Since 1873, Meletti has produced this deeply accessible amaro that reveals profound floral characteristics of violets, fennel and saffron supported by caramel, cinnamon, cardamom and anise. The herbs and botanicals are cold-extracted through percolation, heat is avoided to hold the bitter -to- flavor ratio under better control. Meletti Amaro is a deliciously redolent digestivo that is mild enough to work as a grander aperitvo—overall an excellent introduction to the world an Amaro (which, to over simplify, translates into 'bitter'). It is first-class after a meal to aid digestion, over ice with orange, or soda (as an aperitif) and it is deliciously mixable in a cocktail.

If you are in, or around Santa Ana on June 6th, starting at 8:30, stop by Memphis Cafe, at the Santora for Jazz Night and Craft Cocktails, featuring Meletti Amaro with Matteo Meletti himself in attendance.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

And the Winner is . . .

Jim Adams of Huntington Beach, California. Jim and i have shared a few rum (along with his lovely wife Holly) and i knew he was a lover of great rum, but this story knocked it out of the park.

Read and enjoy!

A Rum Story, by James Adams:

The best Rum experience I’ve ever had was last year when my wife and I finally realized our long-time dream of visiting Cuba, often regarded as the birthplace of Rum.  We were part of a humanitarian group delivering medical supplies, exploring the country, meeting Cubans and of course, drinking fine Cuban Rum.  Our days were filled with organized tours and lectures about Cuban culture, but the evenings were free for us to enjoy and explore.  Each evening in Havana, we ventured out for dinner and then to various bars to enjoy the amazing live Cuban music and Cuban Rums. 
On one such night a Cuban man came into the bar, selling cigars.  The guys in our group all bought Cohibas from him -- these were the real thing!  We proceeded to chat with the man and invited him to join us at our table.  His name was Leo and he told us that he had purchased a “license” from the government that permitted him to speak with tourists, as he showed us the badge he was carrying. 
Leo told us stories about Fidel and Raul Castro, the Cuban government, Cuban cigars and the history of Rum in Cuba.  He spoke of the introduction of sugar cane from the Canary Islands by Christopher Columbus to the evolution of the Bacardi and Havana Club brands.  We learned that there were fruit bats in the Bacardi distillery which led Mrs. Bacardi to suggest the bat symbol be used on the Bacardi labels.  Apparently bats were considered to be good luck and the symbol was easily recognized since many Cubans at that time could not read or write. 
We listened as Leo told us how the Bacardi family strongly supported Fidel Castro and even encouraged distillery workers to help Fidel’s rebels.  Raul Castro was even married to the daughter of a Bacardi worker.  Yet, the new Cuban government confiscated the Bacardi company after the revolution.
Leo spoke of how Havana Club was started by Jose Arechabala, a Spanish immigrant, who eventually had his operation confiscated by the Castro government.  These Arechabala family members, like the Bacardi family, fled the country.  But unlike the Bacardi family they did not have the money to rebuild their company and left behind the Havana Club name and trademark.  The Cuban government seized and continued to produce Havana Club Rum.  Leo pointed out that ironically, the Cuban government began producing ‘Ron Arecha’ as a tribute to Arechabala, after they seized his distillery and forced him into exile. 
Much later that night we left the bar delighted with Leo’s stories and the many Cuba Libres, Mojitos and glasses of Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos.  Visiting Cuba, conversing with Leo, listening to Cuban music and sipping fine Cuban Rum was a truly amazing Rum experience I will never forget!

Congratulations Jim! You deserve it.
Can't wait to be sipping some rum with you in Miami!

Thanks again to every one who participated. Even if you didn't win you can stil join us at the Miami Rum Renaissance! you'd be crazy no to.

Tell me a Rum Story contest---what they win.

So not only does winner gain international recognition from an esteemed panel of rum loving people; they will also win 2 VIP Passes to the Miami Rum Renaissance-- valued at $250 dollars a piece! (easily worth 10 times their weight in gold!).
I mean seriously click on the link and see for yourself the events that are all part of the VIP package for Rum Renaissance...Those are only the ones that are scheduled.. that can't can be announce... the fun literally is incalculable.
On top of that there is still the Grand Tasting and they get early admission to try everything before everyone else with some extra elbow room to boot!
I am glad that my first contest got so many great responses. Thank all of you for visiting, reading and most of all for your stories... They all touched me. Sorry I couldn't post all of them.

Also i would be foolish and deeply remiss if i didn't mention the Burr's.. Without them this contest couldn't have been and Miami Rum Renaissance would not exist the world would be lacking. Check out the Robs here:  and say hello to Robin when you make it to any of their awesome events.

Which leads me to the next point. There are still spots for the Miami Rum Renaissance get them while they are available!

So without further adieu, the winner is . .

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Rum Story, by Kelly Patterson

Here is another Rum story, this one is from Kelly Patterson. I asked if i could share it with you, and here it is:

A Rum Story, by Kelly Patterson.

My favorite rum stories involve our elderly relatives, particularly my mother-in-law.  87-years-old and in dubious health, she is still never one to turn down a well made cocktail.  She keeps up with any cocktail-related stories in her newspapers, since she knows we're interested, and because she doesn't get out much these days my husband and I try to bring the cocktail experience to her.  Mai Tais are often on the menu and she has a special connection to Trader Vic's since she and her late husband celebrated their engagement at Trader Vic's in New York City in 1963.  She kept the swizzle stick she got that night and, when friends came over the first time my husband made her Mai Tais, she took great relish in telling everyone "It's what they serve at TRADER VIC'S!"  It was interesting to note that not a single senior turned down the drinks that night!  Rum: it bridges the generations.

You can check Kelly out at: 
I love that story--Mai Tais are on the menu and Rum: it bridges generations--indeed.

Another Rum Story by Shauna, from The Minty...

Here is another Rum story, shared by Shauna from i asked if i could share it with you, and here it is:

A Rum Story, by Shauna.
Here's my favorite rum story. About five years ago, before this whole craft cocktails thing started happening in LA, I was a hotel bar in Manhattan Beach. I didn't enjoy my first cocktail there and said as much. The bartender was not hospitable at all and argued with me it was great. He did ask me what else I wanted. At the time, I was transitioning from vodka to rum and asked for a Mai Tai. He didn't know how to make it and asked me what was in it. I told him and he didn't believe me, especially on the orgeat part. He thought it there was amaretto in it. Eventually he consulted a recipe book and with a sullen face said I was correct. After I approved of his Mai Tai, he wanted to make another cocktail for me and we picked one out of the book together. By the end of the night, he handed over a bottle of bubbly and thanked me for helping him be a better bartender.

You can check Shauna out at the spots regularly: 
hot bartenders:
bar stories: 

Friday, March 9, 2012

A gift . . .

So yesterday, around 8:45AM, a FedEx driver knocked on my door. He carried a box that screamed "SAMPLE". I love that sight . . .!
So i signed, and opened the box . . . it was a 375 of Breckenridge Spiced Rum; which is something they only do once a year- a gift shop treasures - with no distribution . . . so totally a treat!

So, i was giddy: I'll admit it-- I love to taste stuff most people don't / won't /can't . . .I love being an insider . . ..

Included was a note / card . . . so I looked . . .

Before i go on, I met a couple of big-shots from Breckenridge last week. They were cool, i jabbed and joked with them--they were awesome, charming and Breckenridge makes delectable Bourbon and "better than the rest" Vodka so i was glad... Cool people with great products.. WIN--WIN!

One of the bigwigs was Maya (West Coast / International Sales--la de da . .) . . . and we joked around the most..She was very cool.
So back to the beginning . . Maya sent me this rare rum, after being cool and making the best new bourbon I've tasted in a while (HUGE!), so i am pumped.
And this is the card . . ..

Wow Maya. . .WELL PLAYED!

If you know me . . .You know i laughed, and laughed.. and told people the story, and laughed. . ..
The moral of this story is drink great spirits and it can be easy to have fun, and remember "something to put in your mouth other than smart ass remarks.". . .

I am saving the rum to share with my fellow Rum XP's at Miami Rum Renaissance, so I'll tell you about it later...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Rum Story / Guest Blog.

Inspired by my contest my buddy wrote me a note to tell me one of his Rum stories, so i asked if i could share it with you, my readers. (Mind you this isn't for the competition--we are sharing. There is still a few days for that--so get your stories in.):

This is from a good friend Warren Bobrow. Warren is big shot writer, an enthusiastic spirits zealot and an 'all around good guy'. Here is his Rum story

A Rum Story, by Warren Bobrow.

My favorite Rum story is one that no one that I know of could have made up.. .because truth is always stranger than fiction.
I was sailing with my mom and step-father down in the British Virgin Islands on my family's yacht.  She was a sleek vessel.  Completely hand built.  When she pulled into harbor everyone would turn and admire her lines.  A classic that also could do nearly 18 knots in a good breeze.  Pretty fast for an almost sixty foot vessel.

We had just gone to shore for lunch and some rum punches.  Near the Pusser's restaurant where we enjoyed our Painkiller's down on Virgin Gorda there used to be a small bookstore.  Reading from his book, Rums of the Caribbean was Ed Hamilton who is better known as the Minister of Rum.  I sat and listened to his stories of pirates and buccaneers, of rum and revolutions- currency of Rhode Island Rum- and vast fields of Martinique Sugar Cane just waiting, patiently to be crushed into juice.

His appearance was that of a seasoned sailor.  I hit it off with him immediately and bought one of his books.  Ed signed it for me and I treasure it to this day.  After a conversation had passed we had to get back to the yacht.  My mom was readying the grill on board for dinner later on under the stars and there was plenty of ice in the sea chests with bottles of rum chilling for later.  

Another sailboat pulled in next to us and picked up a mooring.  The boat was obviously the pride of this sailor- hardened by storms and obvious travel around the Caribbean.  She was not a flashy boat, but one could see that she was loved greatly by the man who sailed her.  That man, as it turned out was Ed Hamilton.  My step-father, who was a kind and very generous man called out to our new friend and asked him if he needed anything.  Ed called back, no, but if we had some ice- he had some warm rum.  A friendship was born!  We had plenty of clean ice- desalinated and filtered.  In a place where water costs more than Rum- clean ice is worth more than gold.  My step-dad said to Ed that we had as much ice as he needed.  Our yacht had not one but two ice makers on board.  

My step-dad invited Ed onto my family's yacht and we spent the rest of the afternoon sharing sea-tales of down island, braving storms and yes… of pirates!  
And I made a life-long friend who to this day, will always tell the story of how we met.  Over a glass of rum and…clean ice.

The End?
My favorite part of this story is I met Warren through Ed and the circle is ever growing.
You can check him out at these places regularly:
along with these places:
Williams-Sonoma, Foodista, Voda, Drinking in America, DrinkGal, Served Raw, NJ Monthly, Okra Magazine, Saveur and dozens of others. Or, if your lucky,  at some local place enjoying a drink or a meal, but most likely both.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tell Me a Rum Story-CONTEST! Win Miami Rum Renaissance VIP Tickets!

I know this sign doesn't convey how much fun this event is . . Just trust me!
This post is important!

This is my first contest and the prize is Rum perfection!
And not only is it a chance to win 2 VIP tickets to Miami Rum Renaissance 2012, but it is also an INVITATION...

So with that in mind . . . This is what you can win—2 VIP Tickets Miami Rum Renaissance!

Want to see some pictures, Click here to see a sample of the glory and splendor that is Miami Rum Renaissance, and I assure you this does not even scratch the surface!
What you could win—2 VIP Tickets Miami Rum Renaissance get you VIP access to whole thing. No words can express the experience it is that much fun!
I will select the Winner of—2 VIP Tickets Miami Rum Renaissance on 3.10.12 and announce it on 3.11.12. . . So the winner can have plenty of time to get their travel plans and rooms and everything ready for the time of their lives!
Pertinent information:

The dates for the 2012 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival are April 16-22.
It is held at the MAGNIFICENT Deauville Beach Resort in Miami.
They have special rates for attendees of the Miami Rum Renaissance.
Click here for info on these great rates at the Deauville Beach Resort,.

How to enter . . .I thought you would never ask.
First rule is: As a winner you must be available to make it to Miami to enjoy your winnings!!

Next send me an e-mail that tells about one of your favorite Rum stories . . . your favorite rum, a great drink, your favorite place to go have rum, your favorite person to share Rum with--whatever . . .. Tell me about your rumming!

That is it . . . 

Let the games begin!

I am excited. . .are you?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mr. Stox - Cigars, Champagne & Cognac

Mr Stox has achieved recognition of its excellence in service, cuisine and ambiance with the Wine Spectator Grand Award, the Golden Bacchus award, the Nation’s Restaurant News to their Fine Dining Hall of Fame, the Wine Enthusiast Magazine Award of Ultimate Distinction to name a few and The Zagat Guide continually rates the restaurant as Outstanding.

Hi-Time Wine Cellars has been an institution in fine wine, spirits, tobacco, beer and adult treats for over 50 years. It is lauded the world over for its excellent selection and incomparably well informed staff (of which I am proud to be one—so maybe a little biased!).

Mr. Stox Restaurant is teaming with Hi-Time Wine Cellars to feature Remy Martin Cognacs, Piper Heidsieck Champagnes and cigars from Arturo Fuente in a fine dining event fit for Royalty!
If you happen to enjoy these sort of things make your reservations ASAP and tell anyone else you know –thats what I am doing...

Mr. Stox Restaurant
1105 E. Katella Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92805

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

St. George Spirits Gins . . .

St. George Spirits has done it again! The team at St. George Spirit, lead by Lance Winters seem to have unrelenting forward momentum and consistently surprise with the quality and character of their products. So when they announced they were making gin I was deeply excited, but when I found out that they were launching 3 simultaneously . . . I'll admit that I was skeptical.
The first taste of this wonderful line up drove those doubts away. Each gin is a unique formulation filling a specific flavor profile exquisitely. What they all have in common is their ingredients are all selected to display special characteristics from locally foraged botanicals that like Douglas fir, wild fennel, coastal sage, wild coastal California juniper berries, coyote mint and California bay laurel, that and they are all delicious. Every Gin demonstrates remarkable dimension while displaying the terroir and the attitude of the Bay Area by utilizing indigenous flora and select sourced botanicals to create each elegant, well structured spirit. Oh, and the labels, artwork and bottles are all cool too.

Terroir--Mt. Tam Gin
A tribute to the aromatic beauty of Northern California landscape. The botanical formula intricately weaves woodsy, earthy aromas into a lovely demonstration or pine, citrus, eucalyptus, sage, spruce, fennel, evergreen, cardamom and laurel testify to this tribute inviting you to drink it in. The flavors wildly follow the aromas and follow through to a crisp clean finish.

Botanivore Gin
The whopping 19 botanicals distilled into this gin consort into tapestry of daedal citrus, herbal, floral aromas that include juniper, caraway, ginger, bay laurel, fennel, dill, coriander and a myriad of supporting scents to entice and amaze. A menagerie of flavors merge these aromas as an organization of purpose, building a crisp-clean revelation of taste in a bright, complex palate.

Dry Rye Gin
Dry Rye base spirit with twice as much juniper as the other gins—this is like genever on bad-ass. Big scents of rye new-make with huge juniper, spice, fleshy citrus, caraway, pepper and woody, earth subtleties are terrifyingly intriguing. At first the flavors are disarming—I wasn't quite sure if I liked it, but as I chewed on it, this gin shined a glorious malty goodness that now I officially love.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Truly the Envy of Angel's . . .

Angel's Envy is the blossoming vision of a Whiskey Icon--Lincoln Henderson. Lincoln, after his long and illustrious tenure at the top of the Whiskey world, wanted to do something different, something new, something special enough for him to put his signature on the bottle.
Cue Angel's Envy:
Angel’s Envy begins as Bourbon, aged between 4 - 6 years, hand selected and blended by Lincoln then placed into a port cask to secondarily age for 3 - 6 months utilizing a technique from the Old World that is amplified by Kentucky's fluctuating climate. The times vary. This is again where the touch of the master is shown. It isn't ready, until it is ready and Lincoln has the final say. The aromas of this whiskey begin at caramel, fruits stewed with maple, chocolate drizzled berries and candied nuts then carry on into a maze of lucullan oak niceties. The scents are where you begin to see the vision for this whiskey--BALANCE. Every nuanced characteristic checks against another, which in turn is checked by another nuance that ultimately results in a equilibrium that is deeply impressive. The flavor starts by demonstrating the aromas and build to include cinnamon, clove, nutmeg along with fresh plums, quince and syrupy berries including the dried/candied fruits found in the scents. The finish shows lingering, daedal flavors of maple, supple spice, chewy treacle, vanilla and creamy caramel. This delectable whiskey is opulently unfiltered and perfect to relish; try it neat, with a splash of water or with an ice cube.
So that's the great whiskey, now about the man. . . Words fail.
Lincoln hard at work . .;)
I had the privileged of meeting and sharing a meal with this noble statesman and his intellect, charm, affability were only overpowered by his kind friendliness and incomprehensible humility. His character shows in his whiskey, have one and toast with me a truly great champion of whiskey.
At this lunch were a couple of Lincoln's partners in crime: Samira Seiller, "Sam"--is a gem, her knowledge of whiskey is startling. My pal Dave spent our whole lunch together grilling her for secret information (which she is a fount of) while I hung out with Lincoln. And then there is Lincoln's local partner, and all around good guy, my buddy Dan Hagendorn who spent lunch trying to soak up both conversations.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This is an amazing deal . . i had to share it.. act fast ONLY 1 week...

Fun for everyone!
I got notification of this sale in my e-mail today and this event is a DO NOT MISS RUM EVENT!!
I was going to blog about it as it approaches (i still am planning too...), but when i saw this... I had to share it.
Beginning 1.23.12

This week only: Get your VIP Passes for Miami Rum Renaissance Festival for half price.

Use the link above to get your VIP Passes at a special discount this week: 2 passes for the price of 1.

I am planning on going so I hope to see you there April 16-22.

You can buy me a drink for all the money i saved you :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Sucks...PIPA is pathetic...

I would love to demonstrate my solidarity with this cause by blacking out my site in protest, but alas I do not have the technical prowess to do this.. Lame i know...
So the man sticks and a is trying to keep you.

Check this out for a vividly interesting point:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Panamonte 25 Year Old Rum.

Panamonte is an artifact created by world-renowned, Cuban born (and trained), Master Distiller Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez. Don Pancho personally selected and inspected each one of the American Oak Barrels used for the aging. The rum is made 100% from molasses fermented with a special yeast created and blended by Don Pancho himself. This 100% REAL 25 YEAR OLD RUM. It was monitored by Don Pancho every 3-6 months until it reached perfection. So since the very beginning Panamonte conception, Don Pancho envisioned it to be a very special product . . . A testament his life's work . . . A manifestation of his years of experience and skill utilizing the finest, specially selected Panamanian rum: One taste and you will know that his goal was wondrously achieved.

Aromas: The aromas are elegant, delicate sweet tea, honey, creamy - baked plantains, cinnamon, moist dates, sultanas, pecan, fig, overripe plum and mahogany. There is something so stately, regal and somehow inviting about the aromas.

Taste: The taste display the tea again but this time in the background along side, mild hints of lovely maple glazed, clove and nutmeg or caramels with sea salt, lightly roasted nuts leather and clean tobacco. Right at the back plate there is supple, bold  statement of peach that leads you into the finish.

Finish: The exquisite, gracious mouth-feel fades to finish clean exposing showing more of the peach with supple  demonstrations of each flavors ethereally restating themselves with a adorable addition of cocoa nib.

Panamonte has an elegance that lingers to reveals a sapidity that is luscious and leaves you with a kind invitation for more, this is a beautiful achievement and gorgeous rum.

This another excellent offering from PILSA and thanks to Don Pancho and my good friend Carlos E. Esquivel G [Executive Director at PILSA]... Here is a picture of both of them it was taken last year when they were visiting for Miami Rum Renaissance (which is coming up again on April 16th --April 22..and a great way to meat cool people like this, learn about Rum and have Rum emphasized fun!)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well here is a New Year and another anniversary for 'a drink with forrest'.

It has now officially been 3 full years and over 170 blogs!

Thanks for joining me and keep posted because i will be posting a few reviews very soon!

You all are the best and i wish you the best New Year!

2012 Bring it!