Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Costco Files

Costco carries its own Kirkland signature bourbon.  A cursory googling on the godmachine revealed no reviews or tasting notes.  Is it any good?  Well according to Costco's monthly magazine one Joe Butera from Newark, Delaware reports:

I read ["Costco introduces Kirkland Signature Bourbon", April 2011].  However, being a self-professed bourbon connoisseur, I was skeptical.  I purchased a bottle and to my surprise was impressed by the quality and drinkability of the Kirkland bourbon.

Just to make sure I hadn't lost my taste buds, I invited two other bourbon drinkers over for a blind taste test.  In all we tasted seven different bourbons, which included several premium, name brand, small batch bourbons; all three of us chose the Kirkland brand as the winner.

This bottle of Kirkland brand bourbon now occupies a space on the top shelf of my home bar.

So there you have it.  Still no flavor profile.  Is is a wheated bourbon, or does the mashbill favor rye?  Or maybe a mostly barley backing.  Old Grand Dad has a strong rye presence in the mash, which gives its famous bite.  Other bourbons are sweeter with a wheat back.   Still with this glowing endorsement from Costco's own publication how could I miss?  So I just might bite the bullet and give Costco a swig.  If so stay tuned for a review, including flavor profile.  And if you, dear reader, pick up a bottle please let me know what you thought of the taste.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More guitar fingerwizards: the fastest fingers in the west

Wow that was fast...

That's what she said!

New homebrewing project: beer vs wine

I was reading James Joyce's Ulysses on the train.  Close to Bloom's day and all.  I was at the part where Blazes Boylan, Dignam, and Stephen Dedalus were discussing Hamlet at the pub.  I found I wanted a beer.  I haven't bought a beer in a long time.  I wanted a specific beer with a big barley taste and very little hops.  Is this an English Ale?  I thought I would make it myself.  Mrs Booze knows of a pet store that sells big bags of barley for horsies.  I could malt that and brew it.

I've also been working on a spiced wine recipe.  I've found quite a few recipies call for raisins, aka zombie grapes, and I'm not sure why.  I tried to imaging the flavor a raisin would impart to a wine versus a grape.  I haven't eaten a raisin in at least 15 years.  So I bought a box.  Ahhh, the flavor's coming back to me now.

At first it wasn't so good, but then the flavors lingered in my mouth and I came upon an idea.  Maybe a bad one.  Make a mash of raisins and oats.  Ferment.

The problem is that the starches in the oats need to be broken down into sugars for the yeast to be able to feast.  Since they are cut oats they cannot be malted.  So then what?  Well the raisins would provide the sugar.  The oats would provide flavor, but too much starch might spoil things.

The recipe, for now, is:

2 cups of oats
2 cups raisins
1/2 cup of sugar
a pinch of cinammon
a dash of cloves

It might be necessary to add some malted barley to this recipe so that the starches in the oats don't make a soupy unfermentable mess.  The crazy person in my head says things like "why don't you just spit in the mash.  The salivary amylase in your spit will do the trick."  Hey that sounds like a fairly simple solution.  Ok, time for my meds...

Once Mrs Booze racks her wine I will start the fermentation and we will see how good or bad this recipe is.  This seems like a great thing to drink on a chilly December evening, and I will let you know.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Youtube poop: Straight Edge Juggalo

Self explanatory.

Youtube poop bonus:  ICP explain themselves in a way that vindicates my economic analysis

"You may think this rapping duo is crazy but...these two guys will be laughing all the way to the bank"

Well said mister TV guy, well said

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deja Vu

Doesn't this

Sound like this?

I hope they paid King Diamond and Michael Denner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Beavis and Butthead prophecies

Once upon a time Beavis and Butthead opined that Jeff Walker from Carcass sounded like Dave Mustaine.  I thought that was crazy at the time, they hardly sounded alike at all.

Low and behold Jeff Walker puts out Welcome to Carcass Cuntry and guess what?  He sounds just like Dave Mustaine.

If I hadn't told you, might you have thought it was some shitty Megadeth B side from Risk?

What other observations did Beavis and Butthead make that will come true?  We must work together to decipher the Beavis and Butthead prophecies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More guitar fingerwizards: Bob Zabek

Once I had a dream that I was at a party and a guy was there with a guitar.  He laid the guitar flat on the ground and started tapping on it.  The music he made was like techno.  I awoke and immediately went googling to see if someone has done this.  They had.

Bob Zabek had done the tapping thing years ago.  Dig the floral Jem, buddy.

I like this stripped down raw performance better than what he recorded for his album, but I also haven't followed his stuff in years.  He has a whole lot of stuff on youtube now, but gone is the floral Jem.  What gives big guy?  Jem or GTFO.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pineapple coconut wine

I racked the pineapple coconut wine to secondary fermentation.  The coconut oil congealed into a thick layer at the top.  I left that in with the slurry.  I tasted the juice and it was a bit oily and a bit dry but good.  I added a little more sugar and some corn sugar that the yeast will not ferment for additional sweetness.  It will be good but will probably only yield 2 liters.  Maybe less.  The new batch was good and clear of Sulfur Dioxide.

I also tasted the orange juice/orange pineapple juice mixture.  It was bad.  The previous batch was probably contaminated because the old slurry produced more SO2.  Even after the SO2 aired out the taste was bitter.  There was no sugar left, and oranges without sweetness is a bitter drink.  So I dumped it.

So now Mrs. Booze is making wine and I am clearing out another jug of Carlo Rossi.  Can you believe it is 12 dollars?  It used to be 7 or 8.  Oh well.  What sort of wine should I make next?  After all, everything can ferment.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Officially sanctioned true Norwegian Black Metal

Apparently the government of Norway is training diplomats to be able to explain to foreign inquiries the nature of true Norwegian black metal.  Please someone Photoshop Fenriz' head onto the body of a diplomat sitting in the UN assembly hall.  Thank you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wine Odyssey

At the grocery store I wonder "will this ferment" and "will this taste any good".  Can you ferment bacon?  Can you ferment pizza rolls?  Wouldn't bacon wine be the best thing ever?

Since the tropical theme is going strong, I wondered aloud "can you ferment that coconut juice in the can from the 'ethnic food' isle?"  Mrs Booze says "yeah, of course" and then suggests I make pina colada wine and grabs some pineapple juice concentrate for me.

With this batch I will take every precaution to sterilize most thoroughly every particle.  I will do my utmost to keep it cool in case it gets to 95 degrees again.  And I will buy some white wine (champagne) yeast for this project.  I hope to have a report on the progress in a few weeks or less.  I hope to not have any sulfur smell or sour tastes that need airing out.  Cheers.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Morbid Angel: Redemption

The cool kids are into slowing down albums.  I am into slowing down albums.  Aren't you?  Of course you are.  So instead of crying like Hitler about the new Morbid Angel album you can try to find some redemption:  Heretic slowed down to 33 rpm.

That's right, only the slow burn!  All freezing blasts have been surgically removed.
So what do you think?  Is it still boring and repetitive?  Or is it more like the slow, churning, melting Morbid we all knew and loved?

Would you like a copy?  Hit me up in the comments yo, I can hook you up (you probably weren't foolish enough to buy Heretic like I was, right?).

Also, upon further review Gateways to Annihilation wasn't a bad album at all.  Funny how it takes a terrible album to put things into perspective for you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mango wine conclusion and epilogue

I couldn't wait any longer.  I am thirsty.  Time to see if the mango wine is spoiled or successful.  I cracked it open.  It fizzed and is bubbly as soda pop.  I am amazed by this bit of magic and will probably be amazed for a while.  The nose was a bit sour.  The same sort of sour that my first batch of pruno had.  The taste is ok.  It has the mango flavor.  The apples came out really strong.  It is a bit too dry.  Maybe next time I will actually measure the sugar?  Hey, before you sass me my grandmother never measured the sugar when she baked lasagne and it tasted great.  Measuring isn't how it's done.

So was it contaminated?  Possibly.  It is just a hint of sour, lingering in the back, probably coming in from the nose.  There is some acid from the apples, and of course the mango notes that dance on the back of your tongue.  As it aired out and "breathed" the sourness dissipated a bit.  Still a bit too dry and acidic for what I hoped to achieve.  The fact that it wasn't too sour and it seemed to air out suggests that it might have been from the heat, but I can't say for sure.  Maybe I've just drank too much rotgut wine to really tell?

I will admit that this mango juice wasn't the best mango juice I've ever had.  It was a blend, and I recall mangos were second on the list of ingredients behind apples.  Again I probably should have used the white wine yeast.  Oh well; I learned a lot from these experiments as I look to make the best tasting and cheapest pruno possible.  Contamination can add sour notes to the hooch and one should take as much care as possible to sterilize every piece of equipment.  Also brewing is affected by the heat, and you should either avoid brewing when it is 95 degrees or find some way to mitigate the heat like pack it in and icewater bucket or move the project to the storage locker in the basement.  I think the flavors would have mellowed if I would have let it sit longer, but time is not on my side.

If you can do me a favor, please steal all the sugar packets you can from restaurants and the like and mail them to me.  Thanks.

Mango wine status update

The mango wine started to smell of sulfur.  There are 3 possible explanations:

1.  Contamination.  I did not disinfect the airlock tubing, and the batch was possibly contaminated this way.
2.  The heat.  It has been hot and the high heat may have thrown off the fermentation.
3.  The yeast.  The wine yeast I bought, Red Star Montrachet, reputedly releases a sulfur smell.

Thus far I have tried to keep the brew cool with those freezer packs you put on your head.  The smell diminished.  I have also racked the wine into a new vessel, recharged it with more sugar, and sealed the cap so that it will naturally carbonate.  Now I really regret not going with champaigne yeast.

Additionally I recharged the old vessel with more sugar, frozen orange juice and orange juice pineapple concentrate, and more water.  It is again fermenting.  Because I was able to reuse the yeast, the costs are much lower than I previously thought.  I can either calculate that this batch costs a dollar less or that both batches cost fifty cents less.  Someone call my accountant.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

People do weird things

As you know, people do weird things.  Today I learned that some people like to make their own muppets in order to do talk shows about college football.  Watch and learn.

Yeah, no...don't ask me to explain this.  Just know that this exists, and that someone, somewhere, does this in their free time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Morbid Angel: Final Verdict

You may recall that Morbid Angel has a new album coming out, and with that the blame game arises.  Who is to blame for it being shitty?  I still blame the guy that writes all the music and is the only constant factor in the band.


Yeah that guy.

I mean every single member of the band is different from the last album except him.  Now you might be thinking that old Mister Booze is changing his tune because he didn't think it was too bad based on the two songs available.  If the whole album sounded like Nevermore wouldn't you think it was Domination part 2?  But thanks to the miracle of the internet you can hear the whole thing before being tricked into buying it and save yourself some cash.  And wowee that is a terrible album.  When Adolph Hitler rips your album you know you're in trouble.

I really wish I could interview Trey to find out what the hell he was thinking.  I mean it isn't like mixing death metal and techno is a new or novel concept.

Yeah.  That.

He seems really unaware of things.  He seems unaware that death metal fans want to go to concerts to hear death metal and not jungle drum and bass.  This is almost shockingly ignorant of his own fans.  I also want to ask why he thought it was a good business decision to alter the Morbid Angel brand after working so hard to establish the current Morbid Angel brand.

Yeah, also that.  It isn't really new (see above), just new for Morbid Angel.  And it isn't really good.  When you are outdone by something Fear Factory released over a decade ago, you know you're in trouble.

Just to reiterate:  Fear Factory > Morbid Angel.  Yeah, I said it.  I mean wouldn't you rather listen to this:

I'm going to guess that the reviews for Mechanized are better than for Illud Divinium Insanus.  Just sayin'.

Sigh...well we will always have Covenant and their apotheosis, God of Emptiness.

Sick, morbid, and original.  There was nothing like it before and even Morbid Angel themselves could never reach those heights again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mango wine

The problem with wine is that it is made from grapes.  Grapes are ok, but not my favorite fruit.  So why grapes then?  Why not wine out of whatever fruit you wish?  How will it taste?  Wine flavors represent the grapes that spawned them; I image the flavors of wines made from other fruits to represent those original flavors well.  Wouldn't coconut or mango wine be great?  I mean if plum wine is a delightful but rare taste of Asia, why not the flavors of the tropics?

So I went to the grocery store and bought some mango juice.  It has some other juices, I think apple.  Whatever.  I will try fermenting that and will comment in a week or two when I have some wine.  I even shelled out a buck for wine yeast to eliminate the sour flavor of the first batch of pruno.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

reblogging the lolz

Cleaning up the saved links and I came across this.  While I never really liked hardcore I knew a lot of hardcore kids in high school.  Even a few no fun club members. I saved this link a few years ago and I thought this might come across as dated, but apparently not.

The kids these days are still as ugly, awkward, and full of bad haircuts as ever.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Villa-Lobos playlist

I tinker on a playlist for Villa-Lobos' string quartets. This mix is the lazy summer afternoon mix.

1. String quartet #4 allegro con moto
2. String quartet #2 scherzo
3. String quartet #2 andante
4. String quartet #3 allegro non troppo
5. String quartet #4 andantino
6. String quartet #5 poco andantino
7. String quartet #8 lento
8. String quartet #10 adagio
9. String quartet #15 moderato
10. String quartet #17 lento
11. String quartet #2 allegro non troppo

I might tweak this just a bit, but you get the idea.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Booze seminar field report

Memorial day weekend saw the annual booze seminar in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  For this seminar I brought the following bottles:


Hannah and Hogg blended whiskey, Sunny Brook bourbon, Old Fitzgerald, and Ten High Ten bourbon.

I've already introduced you to Sunny Brook, but it is such a good deal for a great old whiskey I couldn't refuse.  And while you might have followed my advice on Old Fitzgerald before, this version had the old fashioned cap seal like Sunny Brook:


The sticker instead of the plastic ring that you find on new bottles suggests this bottle was from the 80s.

Finally, the Ten High Ten came in a tin made in England but cost a mere 15 dollars.

And how did it go?  Well, Hannah and Hogg tasted like I thought it would.  It was a blend of a solid bourbon with "grain neutral spirits" which is essentially vodka.  So it tasted like watered down bourbon.  I didn't know you could do that and still call it whiskey.  I also don't know why anyone would do that.  Anyways you can tell because the whiskey is more straw colored whereas the bourbons are a golden brown color.  The label specifies "The straight whiskies in this product are four years old or more.  Thirty-five percent straight whiskies, sixty-five percent grain neutral spirits".  It was only 9 bucks and is a total curiosity because A) the label says Chicago and B) the brand went under so long ago that google has very little to say about it.

The old Old Fitzgerald tastes pretty much like the new Old Fitzgerald.  So Fortune Brands/Jim Beam Global didn't change the formula too much.  Maybe there are slight differences, but not enough to concern yourself.  A good whiskey, a good price, and sort of a novelty find.

Finally, Ten High Ten.  From what I gather on the webernets this bottle was made by Hiram Walker, but the actual booze is a Barton whiskey.  Hiram Walker has since sold the brand and Barton is now phasing out the bourbon with a cheap blend.  So how did Ten High Ten fare?  Quite well.  It was, if I can recall, a solid bourbon.  Howevah, that bottle went so fast that I had maybe a glass or two.  Maybe it was just that good, or maybe the crew just needed to go to town.  So I think it was a solid buy but this I don't quite remember.

Additionally, our illustrious host brought several batches of homemade dandelion wine and beer.  A few comments.

1. This was my first time drinking dandelion wine, which I first learned about from an episode of Monsters called Mr. Swlabr.  Pretty good stuff.  The wine, that is.  The sparkling dandelion wine (dandelion champagne?) was probably the best batch.  If everyone's lawns weren't so darned well manicured around here I would definitely brew my own batch.  Also, cue the May Song.

Watch Mr. Swlabr! Good times!

Yeah, May is good.

The homemade beer was good, but very unbeerlike.  There were no hops in the brew, which is a big plus for me.  Hops give me a headache.  Also, these were extra sweet, the brewer added sugar when he bottled it so that the yeast would continue to ferment in the bottle, naturally creating carbonation.

Perhaps the best endorsement of the whole weekend:  no hangover.  I know, mixing beer, wine, and whiskey and no hangover is a minor miracle.  The lesson is stay away from tequila.