Raise the Flag

Staying on the topic of Gin. Here is a bit of history from the fine folks at 33 Books…

“While researching 33 Jiggers of Gin, I became fascinated with a historical tradition of the British Navy based around a triangular piece of fabric known as a “Gin Pennant.” As the story goes, officers of one ship would raise it to invite officers of nearby ships for cocktails (usually gin-based, because England).”

Now I just need flags for beer, cider and bourbon.

Time for Old Tom

I am an inveterate gin dabbler but I have two glaring historical holes in my learning, Genever and Old Tom. Finally, thanks to Barkeeper in Virgil Village in L.A., I have ticked the latter from my to-do list.

I picked up the beautifully attired Hayman’s Old Tom.

As the English distillery describes it, “Today it’s a less familiar style of gin, but it is still a bartender’s favourite when making cocktails such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz. The generous quantities of botanicals used in our family recipe create a bold citrus and juniper pine character that is smooth and beautifully delicate with a subtle underlying sweetness.”

The nose of this is quite hot. Clears the mind and the sinus for sure. Once past that, this is a delightful gin. Super smooth and quite perfumey. Not getting citrus but there is a slight bit of lavender that is great. For me, this is one of the very few gins that I could drink straight. But I think it would make a really nice martini.


I veer into cocktails on occasion, actually bulking up my bar this year for once, so I was excited to try Thunderbolt and their primarily pre-made drinks.

I started with one of two cocktails on the menu that had a charity component to it. $2.00 from the Highball of the Month goes to the Another Round Another Rally fund for hospitality workers. The glass and the slab of ice was very eyecatching with the red/pink of the brambled gin. This is a raspberry drink that you can drink all day.

Next was a final attempt at the famous Negroni. I have had two before this and the strange Campari flavor had left me unfulfilled. The Thunderbolt version was fine but it put the nailin the coffin of me liking Negroni’s.

The location on Temple is done up real well with a dark bar vibe that is pierced by sunlight from two sides. They also have beer and cider but the star is the spirited concoctions.

5th Corner

Readers will know that I like beer names that are a little deeper than pun level. And if there is a anecdote or story about the name, even better. With that…

New Belgium has some prize barrels there. You can tell just from the video playing on the Leopold website that they go extra.

Pool Shark

Not a land shark, though that would be a logical brand extension, but Pool Shark a gin cocktail from Portuguese Bend Distilling in Long Beach.

They offer PBD rum, vodka and gin cocktails. Each can is two cocktails so when you get quoted thirty bucks for two cans, remember to divide by four and not two. I am a gin fan so I went for the spicy and fruity Pool Shark.

The jalapeno spice is there but the mango cuts it down to size as does the gin and lemon. It is a bit muddy orange in complexion but hazy IPA drinkers have seen worse. This is quite tasty and it does make me want to try the Rum Punch and Suga Suga cans as well.


As a born and raised Portlander and a Gin fan, this new milestone release from Ecliptic Brewing is doubly up my alley.

This is Batch 5000 and it will be a golden BarleyWine ale aged in Old Tom Gin barrels and will reach 13% ABV. Maybe we will see this in L.A.

Beer Into Spirit

Thumbing through a copy of Whiskey Advocate, I came across the above article about beers being made into whiskey including notable breweries with a distillery like Rogue but also the Craft Brewers Whiskey Project. Which has and will be partnering with different breweries to create unique whiskies. Captain Lawrence, Jack’s Abbey and Spencer Trappist are on the list. Add to your ISO list.