BTWOE* – Part 5 of 10 with The Whiskey Room



You didn’t think we’d let another month pass before Christopher Rhodovi from The Whiskey Room & I were able to sit down, taste and talk about #6 in the BTWOE* series** – Knob Creek did you?

 #6 on the is is Knob Creek, one of four ‘small batch’ bourbons put out by Beam Suntory (often referred to, and still by us, as Jim Beam). Since this is our first bourbon of the series, we discuss what makes a bourbon a bourbon – as well as age statements (which Knob Creek as of this past fall now lacks) and what it means to be ‘small batch’.

Chris and I failed to mention on this podcast how when Chris first encountered Knob Creek it was a bit too intense for his liking. Time has passed, and palates change/develop – much as Crown Royal surprised as more enjoyable than we would have thought -Knob Creek has become a bourbon staple for our bars, and many others. We encourage you to grab a glass, pour a dram, and join us.

Cheers!

*-“Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth”, order from the UPROXX article “These Are The Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth, According To Twenty Thousand Whiskey Drinkers

**-Baron of Beverage (BoB) will run several series interwoven through their regular podcasts, rather than run all contiguous/uninterrupted.


Road Trip to NYC – The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking



I’ve been to New York City many a number of times through auditions and to see operas primarily. As of late my trips to NYC have almost exclusively been in my role as a National Officer in my union, AGMA. These trips usually take up all my time and leave no time for ‘fun’ – something I was resolved to change if possible.

With that in mind as I sat down on my early morning train, fired up my phone, and searched for ‘Broadway Shows on Mondays’. I presumed theatres were (historically) dark on my one free night. To my pleasant surprise there were a fair number of ‘off-Broadway’ shows with performances that evening. When I scrolled down and saw “The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking” – I simply had to attend. [The fact that there were three drinks included in the price of admission didn’t hurt either!]

Realizing that this isn’t a theatre review podcast/blog, I still need to point out that this was a fantastic show. What writer/staring Anthony Caporale has put together both a thoroughly enjoyable night out – and manages to have everyone also leave just a little bit more knowledgeable about the ‘party & dance’ drug humans have been enjoying for millennium. Was it a theatrical revelation a la “Hamilton”? Certainly not. Was it the the most entertaining alcoholic beverage presentation I’ve ever come across in my life – most definitely.

Anthony and I sat down after the performance to talk a little bit about the show and taste his Raspberry Creamsicle Old Fashioned (the show’s second featured drink). This cocktail served as a reminder that modern twists on classic cocktails don’t have to sacrifice the celebration of the spirit.

Without reservation, I recommend seeing if there’s a performance for this – or any of their other ‘variations’ (There are brunch, holiday, and pirate versions seasonally in rep too!) when you are next in NYC.

Cheers!

@The_Imbible

#ThirstyTheatre


BTWOE* – Part 4 of 10 with The Whiskey Room



It seems like it took all month, and it practically has, to find a time to sit back down with Christopher Rhodovi from The Whiskey Room. So just a couple of days after the ‘summer solstice we were able to sit down, taste and talk about #7 in the BTWOE* series** – Crown Royal (Fine De Luxe).

Each of us had a Crown Royal whisky drinking experience from our earlier days of whisk(e)y exploration and it was good to reach back into our past, as well as taste this spirit with a ‘fresh palate’.

 #7 on the is is Crown Royal, the No. 1 Exported Canadian Whisky. We discuss its history created in 1939 for King George VI on his visit to Canada that year; what makes Canadian Whisky different from other whisk(e)ys – barrels, aging, grains, the process – and yet somehow overlooking that Canada is one of the places that always spells its whisky without an ‘e’. Tasting it neat and on the rocks – and eschewing the most common ways Crown Royal is enjoyed, in Coke or Ginger Ale (similarly to Old No. 7).

Cheers!

*-“Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth”, order from the UPROXX article “These Are The Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth, According To Twenty Thousand Whiskey Drinkers

**-Baron of Beverage (BoB) will run several series interwoven through their regular podcasts, rather than run all contiguous/uninterrupted.

 


Jameson Black Barrel with Charles Tappan



There are few more natural things to do on a Friday night after a long week than to belly up to the bar and enjoy a beverage. Last Friday I had the pleasure of meeting up with Charles Tappan, Mixologist with Pernod Ricard at Looney’s in Bel Air to taste Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey and discuss its distinctions as compared to the Jameson Original with which most are familiar.

The primary distinctions between the Black Barrel and the original are that the Black Barrel is aged approximately twice as long as the original – and that the casks that they use are undergo additional charring to ‘full alligator‘ or Level #4. The increased length of aging in these re-charred barrels creates a spirit that still retains Jameson Original’s sweet nutty core, but adds to it a baking spices and a fruitiness that stand out on the mid-palate and finish.

Perfectly enjoyable on its own, yet another great feature of the whiskey is its ability to come through when used in cocktails. And Friday night we tasted one of Charles’ favorites – the New York Sour. [Basic components are 2 parts whiskey (in this case Black Barrel), 1 part Lemon juice, and 1/2-1 part Simple Syrup (depending on your sour preference), with a light handed red wine floater on top.]

Cheers!

 

 


Ancho Reyes – Ancho Chile Liqueur – ‘It Cures What Ails You’



When a chance to taste something unusual falls across my path, I almost always take the time and taste. OK – who am I kidding? I ALWAYS take the time to taste – especially the unusual beverage items.

One evening last week I had the pleasure of tasting Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile liqueur. Based on a 1927 recipe from Puebla, a town in Mexico known for its ancho chiles, which are dried and smoked poblanos. While many employ this spirit as a spicy addition to classic cocktails like the Margarita, Daiquiri or Paloma, your original concoctions, or it can be enjoyed on its own.

And this is how we tasted it. Point of fact, I highly encourage that you taste each of your own spirits before utilizing them into your cocktails. It is the best way to understand what proper proportions might be, how it will interact with other spirits/mixers, etc.

Don’t let the ‘It Cures What Ails You’ moniker dissuade you from trying this unique and tasty liqueur. I was merely referencing the fact that I forced my wife, the Baroness, to taste along wide me while she was recovering from a congestive cold. Which as the podcast will demonstrate, ‘got things moving’.

Cheers!


Whitney Webre from Zeke’s Coffee – Nitro Cold Brew



Some listeners won’t know this, but I starting roasting coffee over 20 years ago at an independent establishment (once again the BoB getting in ahead of the trend) called the Green Bean Coffeehouse where I not only managed but became their Master Roaster. After a few years life took me in a different direction and I stopped working in coffeehouses – moving into sommelier and fromagerie territories. But my passion for coffee has never left (and I credit the things I learned from that time has helping feed my passion into wine, beer, and spirits as well). A little over 5 years ago I was gifted a home roaster and the folks at Zeke’s Coffee have been helping fuel my passion by being my green bean supplier.

Zeke’s is brimming with enthusiasts, one of whom is Whitney Webre my guest on this podcast. With this episode, he and I embark on a non-regular series* of discussions about coffee – trends, methods, beans, roasting, and anything we can relate to our love for the bean!

Due to summer’s heat, which is fast upon us, our topic today is cold brew – and more specifically the hottest trend in cold brew – Nitro Coffee. “We welcome you to listen, learn, and head out to find some nitro coffee at Zeke’s (cafe and farmer’s markets) or other local coffee roasters (for those outside the Baltimore/DC area).

Cheers!

*-Baron of Beverage (BoB) will run several series interwoven through their regular podcasts, rather than run all contiguous/uninterrupted.


BTWOE* – Part 3 of 10 with The Whiskey Room



While Whiskey Room’s Christopher Rhodovi and I managed to get together just 4 days after we tasted the Glenfiddich 12, the rest of the week proved so busy as to delay the posting of our podcast on #8 in the BTWOE* series** – Jack Daniel’s.

Last week we found ourselves in Washington, D.C. with any extra half hour on our hands prior to a dinner we both were attending, so we grabbed an outdoor table at Chatter – a D.C. pub that’s partially owned by another (slightly more famous) podcaster – Tony Kornheiser.

 #8 on the is is Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, a Tennessee Whiskey – and if they had their way, it’d be the only Tennessee whiskey (but it’s not). Chris and I cover what makes Old No. 7 special, the Lincoln County Process (& what specifically Jack Daniel’s does differently within that process), as well as had fun with Chris skewering the tasting note video from Jack Daniel’s. Tasting it neat and on the rocks – and eschewing the most common ways Old No. 7 is enjoyed, in Coke or Ginger Ale.

Cheers!

*-“Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth”, order from the UPROXX article “These Are The Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth, According To Twenty Thousand Whiskey Drinkers

**-Baron of Beverage (BoB) will run several series interwoven through their regular podcasts, rather than run all contiguous/uninterrupted.

 


BTWOE* – Part 2 of 10 with The Whiskey Room



The Whiskey Room’s Christopher Rhodovi and I managed to get together again and taste #9 in the BTWOE* series** – Glenfiddich 12.

We discovered that the list by Ranker is a shifting target and so decided to stick with the order from the UPROXX article “These Are The Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth, According To Twenty Thousand Whiskey Drinkers” that I had first came across. That is the order we will use throughout. Fickle masses be damned!

#9 on the is is Glenfiddich 12 , a Speyside Single Malt. Glenfiddich was the first producer to import a single malt into the US market in 1963. They even released a replica of that first single malt a few years ago to celebrate that fact – ‘The Original’.

The Glenfiddich 12 is aged for 12 years in a mix of Oloroso Sherry European Casks and American Oak Barrels; then married together. This creamy single malt from the ‘Valley of the Deer’ is definitely a world recognized winner – and affordable!

*-“Best Tasting Whiskies On Earth”

**-Baron of Beverage (BoB) will run several series interwoven through their regular podcasts, rather than run all contiguous/uninterrupted.


Memorial Day Wrap-up: Noble Vines 515 Rose



Wrapping up a busy Memorial Day weekend, Page & I found ourselves ready relax and unwind with a glass of Rosé – specifically Noble Vines 515.

Dry Rosés are currently the fastest growing still wine category – while only ~1.5% of the market, it has enjoyed practically 50% growth in sales over the last year.

The Baron welcomes you to grab a bottle and enjoy some yourself this summer season. It’s not only festive, but it’s downright delicious.

Cheers!


Memorial Day Kickoff: 2 Ballast Point Porters; Guest Rodger Stroup



One of the things that always helps a holiday weekend – when shortly after 5pm on Friday someone says, “I think it’s time for a drink/adult beverage.” And with my wife’s parents in town for the weekend, a great opportunity presented itself in the form of tasting some porters with Rodger (my father in law) which are his favorite style of beer. We had purchased some Ballast Point Porters back in March, when he was supposed to visit and remarkably we didn’t drink them by the time he made it for this visit.

First up Ballast Point Victory at Sea, an Imperial Porter with coffee & vanilla – and available from the brewer year-round – at first blush one might think this an overly sweet experience, but they do a fine job of only letting the porter’s malty sweetness through without feeling the need to augment it – other than with dusty coffee and vanilla highlights.

Then we tried a seasonal version Peppermint Victory at Sea – which thankfully we all found less ‘minty fresh’ and more minty highlights of the above.

Cheers!