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.

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