4 Whiskies (part 2)


For part two of my whiskey education, I focused in on Kentucky since I favored the Bulleit last time but to keep things fresh, I added the Red Label of Johnnie Walker and it’s Scottishness to the proceedings.  And this time, instead of club soda, I used regular ol’ Sparkletts water to mellow the affair out.

Here are my rankings for round 2:

Bulleit – Wooden and oaken with a pleasing slide into a smooth finish with a hint of caramel and spice.  The alcohol is there but it is part of the play and not the star.

Woodford Reserve – Wasn’t a fan the first time around but in this company, the balance of the heat and vanilla and smoothness slots it in at second even though it is blander in most respects to the others.

Evan Williams – Lighter upfront with an aroma of coconut.  Quite perfumey.  Some vanilla here too along with cut wood.  Harsh on the palate though.  Falls into the category of love the smell, not a fan of the taste.

Johnnie Walker Red – A light peat aroma greets the nose here.  Much harsher upfront.  Very campfire smokey to me.

Bulleit Bourbon was an even easier winner this time around.  At this point, it will take something different for me to be a fan of the Scottish and Irish style.  Too much smoke that my palate can’t handle.  But there is such a difference when it comes to the Kentucky “style”.  I was so hopeful for the Evan Williams but boy was it sharp on the tongue after a dazzling smell.



Hop that Whiskey


One of the coolest items that caught my eye while reading Tasting Whiskey was this photo.  Yup, whiskey with hops in them.  Now they aren’t part of the regular whiskey line-up from Corsair Distillery but if you can find these rare bottles or their new whiskey, Rasputin that is made from the base of a Russian Imperial Stout then I suggest giving it a try.  It really shows how much beer is a part of whiskey.

FoodGPS Teaser – Not Beer Centric

Tomorrow on my weekly FoodGPS post about beer in Los Angeles, I venture to two spots where beer is not the center of the universe.

First is the latest venture from Ryan Sweeney and Brandon Bradford, Blind Donkey. It is primarily whiskey with over 60 bottles of American craft whiskey and Scotch. On the side they also serves draft beer, 10 taps, akin to the great selections you see at Little Bear or Surly Goat. (see the trend)

Second is the Colorado Wine Company. They also run the popular and well stocked Sunset Beer Co. but their first venture has just moved and has added six taps of beer to their fun wine flights.

You will learn more plus a classic holiday ale for the beer of the week. Oh, and some craft beer homework too.

Whiskey and Hops

If you can’t get enough hops and must have it in every spirit you drink, well you are in luck. A distillery fronted by Marko Karakasevic has made two version of hop flavored whiskey using Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA.

Yoy can get Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey R5 Clear or the more expensive Charbay Hop Flavored Whiskey R5 Aged.

The website goes on to say, “The beer is distilled in double copper alambic charentais pots 24 hours a day for nine days straight before being aged for 22 months in French Oak. The result offers a definite whiskey taste profile with clear notes of hops, fruit, and malt when sipped. Distiller Marko Karakasevic, who started such experimentation with a pilsner-fueled light whiskey for Charbay nearly fourteen years ago, says he used 6,000 gallons of Racer 5 to produce 590 gallons of the spirit.”

Karakasevic is also working on a version using Bear Republic’s stout.

from persimmons to pecans

On the heels of persimmon comes this new 9to me) beer from Texas.

The label reads:“(512) Double Pecan Porter is a robust porter accented by locally grown roasted pecans and subtly enhanced by aging in recently emptied oak whiskey barrels for two months. For this first-ever bottling, only one 200L barrel was bottled. Notes of chocolate, coffee and pecan marry with the subtle flavors of vanilla and whiskey to make this a wonderful winter warmer worth sharing and savoring.”

My hope is that the pecan flavors can overcome the whiskey. Some aged whiskey or bourbon beers lose some of the nuances that I prefer.