Drink Maple

Drink Maple -- Pure Maple Water -- and Barrell Bourbon Whiskey

When I drink the finest whiskies in the world in a crystal glass, I want to control all the things that I can do something about.
I want to first make sure that my glass is clean and free of any scents or chemicals from my dishwasher.  It’s always my intention to hand-wash my tasting glasses, but even then the way to wash them is to use no soap, which often leaves a film and an off-putting taste.
Yet not washing them with soap is problematic at best.  So, what to do?  The first thing that I do is buy a gallon of white vinegar.  I soak my glassware in a 40/60 wash (vinegar to cool water) overnight in a non-reactive bowl made of glass or, better yet, a food safe bucket.  Any smells or flavors are neutralized by the low PH and high acidity of the white vinegar.  Then instead of throwing out the washing solution, I’ll add it to a bucket and disinfect my mop heads.  It’s pretty amazing stuff.  Got fruit flies in your kitchen?  Put out a dish of white vinegar, cover with plastic wrap and put a couple holes in it and say hello to a 1 way swimming lesson!
 When it’s my turn to test new liquors or combinations of liquor and water, I want a perfectly clear glass without any residue of soap or a smear of lipstick, or the worst offender, garlic pasta.
Barrell Bourbon Whiskey is exactly what I want in my tasting glass, but the only downside is the fact that it’s just after 11:30 in the morning.  I want to taste the sprits but I don’t want to get plastered on the 120 plus proof spirits at this tender hour of the day!  So, what to do?
A couple years ago, I stumbled upon a somewhat new product at the International Fancy Food Show in NYC, named Drink Maple and it’s just that.  It’s USDA Certified Organic Maple Water straight from the tree.  But how do they do this?  What, do you crush trees?
The last time I cut down a maple tree it was just after Hurricane Sandy lay waste to the forest up where I used to live in Jockey Hollow.  I was stacking wood and came upon a fallen maple tree.  My chain-saw got stuck several times because of the high liquid content of the wood.  Maple is very hard to burn in a woodstove unless it is perfectly seasoned- and that might take a couple years of sun, freeze, snow, ice, and thaw.
There’s a lot of liquid in there.  I suppose the owners of the Drink Maple company have figured out how to tap this liquid in large enough amounts to make a product like this viable.  When I think of the wood and what caused my chain-saw to lock up, I couldn’t imagine extracting the liquid in a manner that is financially viable and still delicious.
 It’s delicious…subtle, and lush. Truly gorgeous stuff against my tongue and lips. Inside the lovely, curvaceous bottle is something cooling and lithe.  It’s conversational and intellectual without being overt, trite or dare I say, trendy.  Maple Water is not trendy.  It’s been around for longer than you have.
Maple Water has a subtle sweetness, a silky and opulent mouthfeel.  It is thirst quenching and strangely calming.  And when a mere splash is added to a glass of Barrell Bourbon Whiskey, magic truly happens.  I really feel strongly about this:
  • Mouth-feel:  Soft, rich, pure, exotic spices and fresh sea breeze across the lips
  • Scent:  Subtle, sweet yet highly exciting (like real, freshly gathered branch water)
  • Palate:  Creamy and dense, a froth, bursting from the ground- pure and fresh across the tongue, a swirling tornado of lusciousness and pleasure
  • Finish:  Long finish of sweet maple gives way to deeper notes of spice and freshly cut herbs, a tangle of sweetness lingers then extends on and on to the multi-minute completion
USDA Organic and Verified non GMO, and it’s also jam-packed with electrolytes and natural antioxidants.  When added to Barrell Whiskey, the pure maple water becomes greater than just water.  Maple Water is just spectacular when mixed with some of the finest Bourbon Whiskey that money can buy.
 The Cocktail?
Take one ounce of the Barrell Bourbon (or their magnificent whiskey of your choice) and contemplate…gorgeous stuff.  Add a mere splash of the Drink Maple liquid.  And know you have in your perfectly clear glass one of the best things in the world.   And you can buy these in New Jersey, today…right now!
http://www.barrellbourbon.com/
http://www.drinkmaple.com/

A Perfect Base For An Energy Drink Rum Punch

Hackamore energy drink

Energy drinks… hmmm.  Maybe because I’m neither a millennial, nor “out of energy”, but quite honestly- I’ve never had one.

Warren Bobrow

The entire multi-billion-dollar energy drink market- completely ignored by myself.  I have no desire- none at all– to see what it’s like to mix Red Bull with Vodka.  That’s amateur hour stuff, which in my opinion, sends all the wrong messages on drinking responsibly. 

Thus, when I received a bottle of Hackamore recently, I didn’t open it at first. The 1-liter bottle filled with a crystal clear liquid stated on the frosted part of the bottle- Premium Energy.  Are the millennials growing up and drinking a higher quality energy drink?  Which part of Energy was I not seeing here?  Aren’t all energy drinks safe to drink and therefore- premium? 

Marketing in this segment of the industry is so oblique. I wouldn’t know premium from non-premium as I’ve never even put a Red Bull to my lips, mixed with vodka or not.  Just not on my radar.

Hackamore energy drinkSo, I opened my liter bottle of pure energy (premium!) and touched a bit on my tongue.  The flavor was not unpleasant, a hint of citrus- forgive my trepidation, without any alcohol levels, you really don’t know what you’re getting into unless you try it.  Should I try Hackamore on an empty stomach?  Mixed in with my espresso?  Probably not such a good idea, so I put a couple drops on my tongue.   The texture is rich and selfless- I neither disliked it, nor found it reminiscent of any liqueur.  The product does not contain alcohol (probably a good thing) nor does it really go much further into what it might do to you if you drink too much… (not a good thing).

 I’m old fashioned, I suppose.  When I need a pick me up, I reach for my Ibrik and make a slurp of cardamom scented, Greek Coffee.  The Millennials?  They would grab this stout bottle of clear liquid and play pick me up in quick shots.

This product is absolutely magnificent in its genre.  There is nothing that compares with it. Sure you can go out and buy an energy drink – there are hundreds of them.  But none of them can speak the language that Hackamore speaks.  It’s the perfect base for craft cocktails of all sorts.  Add a few ounces of this to your favorite bowl of punch and your guests will run on pure inertia for hours and hours… You can call it the rapid fire punch.   I can only imagine the conversations.

The Rapid Fire ‘Mezan XO Rum Premium Energy Punch’

Ingredients:

  • 3 Quart Freshly Squeezed Orange 
  • 3 Quart Freshly Squeezed Roasted Grapefruit Juice (split grapefruits, sprinkle with Demerara Sugar and roast for ½ hour at 300 degrees, cool and juice)
  • ¼ Pint Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Pint Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 12 oz. Double Simple Syrup- 2:1 ratio- ‘sugar in the raw’ to boiling water
  • 16 oz. Hackamore Premium Energy
  • 750 ml bottle Mezan XO Jamaican Rum
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Peychaud’s Bitters

Prep:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a punch bowl
  2. Add 20 or so shakes of both Angostura and Peychaud’s
  3. Stir and serve.

All the Cocktails and Spirits Books Published in 2016 for Reading or Gifting

I love books! Here are all the books on cocktails and spirits I know of (please do comment if I’ve missed something) published this year. Give some gifts or just stock up on your winter reading for the cold months. I’ve got stacks to get through myself.

 

Whiskey Books

6a00e553b3da20883401b8d22461da970c-200wiBourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey by Fred Minnick

More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails by Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler 

The Big Man of Jim Beam: Booker Noe And the Number-One Bourbon In the World by Jim Kokoris  

Whisky Japan: The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky by Dominic Roskrow 

Iconic Whisky: Tasting Notes & Flavour Charts for 1,500 of the World’s Best Whiskies by Cyrille Mald and Alexandre Vingtier

Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic and Original Cocktails by Michael Dietsch

The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail with Recipes by Philip Greene 

 

Miscellany 

6a00e553b3da20883401bb09376999970d-200wiMade of Iceland: A Drink & Draw Book  by Reyka Vodka, Snorri Sturluson 

Inside The Bottle: People, Brands, and Stories  by Arthur Shapiro 

The Craft Cocktail Coloring Book by Prof Johnny Plastini

Drinking with Republicans and Drinking with Democrats by Mark Will-Weber

The Moonshine Wars by Daniel Micko

Drinks: A User’s Guide by Adam McDowell

Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times (Second Edition) by Michael Dietsch 

A Proper Drink: The Untold Story of How a Band of Bartenders Saved the Civilized Drinking World by Robert Simonson 

Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by Steven Grasse 

DIY Bitters: Reviving the Forgotten Flavor – A Guide to Making Your Own Bitters for Bartenders, Cocktail Enthusiasts, Herbalists, and More by Jovial King and Guido Mase 

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons 

Drink Like A Grown-Up by The League of Extraordinary Drinkers 

The Coming of Southern Prohibition: The Dispensary System and the Battle over Liquor in South Carolina, 1907-1915 by Michael Lewis

American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites, and One Man’s Blues by Dan Dunn 

Distilled Stories: California Artisans Behind the Spirits by Capra Press

Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity by Allan T. Shulman

Craft Spirits by Eric Grossman

 

Cocktail Books, General

6a00e553b3da20883401bb08fac9f3970d-200wiCocktails for Ding Dongs by Dustin Drankiewicz (Author), Alexandra Ensign (Illustrator)

Zen and Tonic: Savory and Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker by Jules Aron

Pretty Fly For a Mai Tai: Cocktails with rock ‘n’ roll spirit  

Cocktails for Drinkers: Not-Even-Remotely-Artisanal, Three-Ingredient-or-Less Cocktails that Get to the Point  by Jennifer McCartney 

Aperitivo: The Cocktail Culture of Italy by Marisa Huff 

The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes by Lou Bustamante and the United States Bartenders’ Guild 

 Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts by Kara Newman

101 Cocktails to Try Before you Die  by Francois Monti 

Drink Like a Man: The Only Cocktail Guide Anyone Really Needs by Ross McCammon and David Wondrich

The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Cocktails by Andre Darlington and Tenaya Darlington

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau 

Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails by Matthew Biancaniello 

Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks and Buzz-Worthy Libations by Warren Bobrow

Tiki with a Twist: 75 Cool, Fresh, and Wild Tropical Cocktails by Lynn Calvo and James O. Fraioli 

Cocktail Books from Bars or Places

6a00e553b3da20883401bb094fd3d5970d-200wiThe Canon Cocktail Book: Recipes from the Award-Winning Bar by Jamie Boudreau  and James O. Fraioli 

Regarding Cocktails by Sasha Petraske and Georgette Moger-Petraske 

Brooklyn Spirits: Craft Distilling and Cocktails from the World’s Hippest Borough By Peter Thomas Fornatale and Chris Wertz

Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki by Martin Cate and Rebecca Cate

 Cuban Cocktails: Over 50 mojitos, daiquiris and other refreshers from Havana

Brooklyn Bar Bites: Great Dishes and Cocktails from New York’s Food Mecca by Barbara Scott-Goodman

The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by Frank Caiafa

Lift Your Spirits: A Celebratory History of Cocktail Culture in New Orleans by Elizabeth M. Williams and Chris McMillian

Science!


Shots of Knowledge
: The Science of Whiskey by Rob Arnold and Eric Simanek

Distilled Knowledge: The Science Behind Drinking’s Greatest Myths, Legends, and Unanswered Questions  by Brian D Hoefling 

 

Classic Cocktail Book Reprints

THE HOME BARTENDER’S GUIDE AND SONG BOOK {By Charlie Roe and Jim Schwenck}

AMERICAN BAR {By Frank P. Newman}

LOUIS’ MIXED DRINKS {By Louis Muckenstrum}

Beer (A few beer books slip through the cracks and come to me)

The United States of Beer: A Freewheeling History of the All-American Drink by Dane Huckelbridge 

The Beer Geek Handbook: Living a Life Ruled by Beer by Patrick Dawson 

 

http://www.alcademics.com/2016/12/all-the-cocktails-and-spirits-books-published-in-2016-for-reading-or-gifting.html?utm_content=buffer73188&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Barrell Bourbon New Year 2017

A selection of 5, 7, 8, 9 and 13-year old Straight Bourbon Whiskey barrels

 Separately distilled in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana

Aged in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana​

Crafted and bottled in Kentucky

​117.0 proof cask strength bottling​

Aged in American white oak barrels​​

FLAVOR NOTES

Neat

Appearance: Luxuriant 18 karat gold flecked with cinnamon red at its heart with edges of yellower gold leaf shimmering with each gentle swirl of the glass.

Nose: Wet leather and Tahitian-vanilla bean challah French toast awash in hazelnut brown butter and dark maple syrup.  Sweet plum and cherry notes give way to campfire and toasted buckwheat for a simultaneously familiar and exotic aroma.

Palate: Smoldering oak underlies the ever-present heat with each slurp accentuated by salted caramel and droplets of condensed milk.

Finish: Crackling hot late season corn pudding, covered in dollops of rapidly melting sweet butter jump at you.  Each sip plunges down the throat, drenched in spicy citrus marmalade and toasted grains.

With a few drops of water

Notes of spicy ginger beer, sarsaparilla, and birch bark rush across the palate, making way for toasted brioche topped with smoked butter and raw honey.  Filtered stream water carries the strong presence of this remarkable liquid, making it sing.

 http://www.barrellbourbon.com/newyear

Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer

Wild Ginger Brewing Company – Hard Soda Indeed!

The Wild Ginger Brewing Company approached me through their PR wanting me to review their new line of alcoholic craft soda. It’s not my usual topic, I try to stick to craft spirits, the craft soda business is much different. It’s more akin to craft beer. I don’t write about beer at all. It’s just another language!

wild

Imagine my surprise and delight when four ‘hard’ sodas of various alcohol by volume from 4 – 5% arrived at my door. I love craft soda, the kind without alcohol… it used to be one of my topics a while back. Anyhow this lineup of colorfully cartooned cans were waiting to be tasted. With the craft beer boom, top quality beers are being canned in colorful, artist attended vessels. These are no exception with a funky sense about them.

The first one that I opened was the Wild Root Original. Smacking of herbs and good old fashioned Root Beer goodness, this is as close to what I remember from my boyhood, when my father would put some of his Haig and Haig in my root beer to keep me quiet. It was a good representation of the buzz anyhow. I remember it all these years later in a sip. And what a delicious sip it is. The Wild Root is chock full of spice as well. It’s brilliant with large ice and fine bourbon whiskey- like the Barrell Bourbon #010 version that should be out any day now. It’s that good.

The Wild Sit Russ Original.. with a snarling dog on that brightly festooned label was my least likely to enjoy, yet one of the ones that tastes the most true to form. The label reads alcoholic citrus soda, there’s that snarling dog and all I can think about is Mezan XO Rum. Smacking of herbs, spices, an element of tonic from the citrus oils- this wild soda is screaming for funky, dunder laden rum that only can come from Jamaica. No other place in the world makes rum like this and no other soda should taste quite the same. I don’t always recommend mixers with this rum, but the Wild Sit Russ Original (who was Wild Sit Russ I wonder, oh, no matter) it’s good soda. Great with Mezan Rum.

The Wild Docta’ Original Rock and Rye is way too sweet for me, but with that said I mixed some really amazing barrel aged Rum from Barrell Whiskey with a splash of this ‘rock and rye’ type soda. It dried out the sweetness immediately. It’s more of a millennials drink than I’d like to admit. They’d love it to no end. With that Barrell Rum, it’s so far over the top that I’m heading for a Hemingway Daiquiri right now. I’m not a big sugar in drinks fan.. Mark my words on that.

The Wild Ginger Original Ginger Beer – Alcoholic, like the other three soda pops is a thing of rare beauty. There is an underlying element of spice that swirls around my tongue. It’s a bit sharp, but the bubble spins in an undulation that is gratifying and bold in every spin around my mouth. There is alcohol in there, you cannot miss it. This element warms as quickly as it pours down my throat. I’m charmed immediately and my palate calls out for something to deepen the spice element of the slurp. I chose a bottle of the Mezan Guyana Rum. This rum, distilled at the Diamond Distillery is a thing of rare beauty. The Ginger Beer mimics the funky elements of the Guyana Rum, the smoke and char from the barrels and the sweetness from long aging in hot climes. To mix this rum would normally be a sacrilege, but I have good feelings about this alcoholic soda. Try it. Let me know.

In conclusion, all good stuff, probably too good for the marketplace. The funky can art is creative. It’s a Millennial product. Flashy. Bold. The soda is pretty darned good; I’d like to say that they will be used as a mixer. A fine mixer at that. Best of luck to them! Cheers!

The Wild Ginger Company is doing a fine job.

http://drinkwire.liquor.com/post/wild-ginger-brewing-company-hard-soda-indeed#gs.oSXtQSQ

Barrell Bourbon Batch 009

BATCH 009

BATCH 009

Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distilled and aged in Tennessee and Kentucky

Crafted and bottled in Kentucky

112.10 proof cask strength bottling

Aged for 13 years in Char #4 American white oak barrels

Mash bill: 74% corn, 18% rye, 7% malted barley

FLAVOR NOTES

Neat

Appearance: Broiled apricot orange at the core and resplendent warm gold at the edges.  Sunlight reflecting off of burnished copper flashes across the surface leaving iridescent streaks with each swirl.

Nose: Slowly roasted exotic fruits like kiwi, coconut, and Satsuma orange swirled with smoked bergamot tea.  Herbed brown butter dripping over toasted brioche and northwest cherry

Palate: Lively and amusing across the palate, the mellow warmth makes this bourbon easy to enjoy.  Future sips touch all parts of the palate with broad strokes of thick clotted cream.  The glow of the 112.10 proof lurks just out of sight, a welcome but not distracting figure.

Finish: Oven dried stone fruit jam with a hint of citrus oils leads to Caribbean spices.  The multi-minute finish is reminiscent of sweet buttered carnival corn.

With a few drops of water

Bright sarsaparilla gives way to gooey apricot bread pudding fresh from the oven topped with rum soaked raisins.  Each taste leaves almond oil sticking to the back of your tongue.  The cool water spreads nuance and sophistication throughout each pleasurable sip.

Tasting Notes by Warren Bobrow, The Cocktail Whisperer

Fortify Me: 4 Vermouths To Stir Or Sip!

collage-2-compressed

The aromatized wine ramped up with herbs, citrus peel and other botanicals is coming into its own as an essential aperitif and cocktail ingredient.

By Warren Bobrow, CSX Contributor

Vermouth is a most maligned cocktail ingredient. Most of the stuff that goes into a cocktail is sour from age because most people don’t know that vermouth has a pretty short shelf life. In other words, vermouth needs to be refrigerated to remain usable for preparing your fine cocktails. (If you have a bottle waiting on top of your fridge and it’s been there for a few months in the heat, or if you snagged one from your grandparent’s home lurking under their cobweb laden bar, THROW IT OUT NOW.)

The original use for Vermouth involved certain core-medicinal properties of the ingredients. European vermouth contains a goodly amount of its active ingredient- wormwood, which is the also found in the socially-much-maligned intoxicant absinthe. Wormwood has shown itself to be very effective for ridding the body of internal parasites like intestinal worms and for the treatment of most minor stomach maladies like your common tummy ache.

Vermouth, like many of our modern day aperitifs and their denser amaro cousins, was not originally stirred into a mixed drink to taste. In fact, they didn’t come into play in the cocktail bar until Jerry Thomas utilized them in his “medicinal” concoctions originally dispensed by apothecaries as powerful medicinals. Vermouth’s original use was a curative against head lice–that’s the healing power of wormwood for ye!

In our modern era, a person might take an antacid tablet when they have a belly ache from eating a spicy meal or spoiled food. In the 1800’s they might have a glass of vermouth or a glass of amaro for their curative and digestion. I much prefer a few glasses of Carpano Antica Vermouth instead of chemically produced stomach tablets. Here are a few vermouths to try:

Uncouth Vermouth Apple MintUncouth Vermouth Apple Mint
Where do I start with Uncouth Vermouth? Perhaps the first place would be with founder Bianca Miraglia herself. She is an alchemist and a poet with liquids as her muse. She gathers her herbs in their wild state and unleashes their potential mixed with wines that speak clearly of their potency and passion. Bianca is mystical in her flavors and her infused wines (vermouth) speak a language that is clearly brilliant and hardly the norm. There are different varieties with the seasons. They age beautifully as well with all the finesse of their maker. Class act!

Carpano Punt e Mes
Produced by the same fine house that produces Carpano Antica, Punt e Mes speaks a different tonality than its sibling. Punt e Mes is more modern in style, lighter- more refreshing perhaps. Sure you’ll find the notes of stone fruits cooked for long periods of time enrobed in sweet chocolate aromatics and further spiced by baking aromatics. They’re all in there. But what makes Punt e Mes so spectacular is the easy way it mixes in Craft Cocktails. I’m lucky to have a bottle in the fridge; it’s magnificent drizzled over a Rum and Mexican Cola as a very enticing float.

Atsby amberthorn 1Atsby Amberthorn
North Fork of Long Island Chardonnay wine is the framework behind this gorgeous effort that uses a plethora of herbs and spices to weave a liquid driven dialog towards pleasure in your creative mixed drinks. But even outside of the cocktail bar, Atsby Amberthorn is a perfectly wonderful way to ease yourself into the evening. A snifter of Atsby and a twist of lemon with a splash of seltzer says to me more than a typical night-cap. This is one that heals the gut while easing that pounding in your aching head.

Lillet Blanc
The inclusion of wine made with Bordeaux varietal Sémillon lends a full, fleshy structure to this French aperitif wine. It’s blended with quinine liqueur from the cinchona bark in Peru, and citrus liqueurs from Spanish, Moroccan and Haitian oranges. Light, delicate and floral, you can sip it chilled or over ice with a twist a lemon or grapefruit.

Warren Bobrow is the creator of the popular blog cocktailwhisperer.com and the author of Apothecary Cocktails,Whiskey Cocktails, Bitters & Shrub Syrup Cocktails and Cannabis Cocktails. He can be reached via his website, cocktailwhisperer.com.

Barrell Bourbon: Tasting Notes and Observations

Barrell Bourbon:Tasting Notes and Observations on Whiskey

August 30, 2014
I just received two bottles of bourbon from Tennessee.  Tennessee Bourbon you say?  What is that?  I thought all whiskey from Tennessee had a black label on it?

Well to be perfectly honest with you, so did I.  I wasn’t aware that there are Craft Spirits in Kentucky.  I know that some are working on getting the laws changed to permit Craft distilling, but I’m really not sure who they are, or if they’ve been successful.

But without that tainting my impression of the Craft Spirits industry and who makes what and where, I’d like to introduce you to Barrell Bourbon.

Barrell Bourbon is a true luxury product that you can get.

DrinkupNY has it!  http://www.drinkupny.com/Barrell_Cask_Strength_Tennessee_Straight_Bourbon_p/s0185.htm

Sitting in front of me are two bottles .

Batch #001 and Batch #002.

Barrell Bourbon link here

I’ll try to be kind to you and your thirst.  This isn’t going to be easy.

Writing about and tasting fine liquid is like describing Grand Cru wine.  Most people cannot even fathom spending hundreds of dollars on a bottle of wine, much less ever given the chance to taste it.

Although Barrell Bourbon is not inexpensive, it’s not over 100 dollars per bottle either!

When a company sends me a bottle and it just isn’t available to the public, all I can do it hope that it makes you thirsty.  I do my best to guide you and help you find a bottle.

I actually had someone reach out to me the other day, who read my review on Pappy 20 Year, assuming that I had a secret in with the company to get a bottle (or more) of this highly allocated liquid.

Nope!

But Barrell Bourbon is available.  Extremely limited, but you can find it.

It’s not even noon and I’ve just taken a healthy slurp of Barrel #001.  This is Cask Strength my friends.  Rolling in at 121.6 Proof, it is straight out of the barrel.  They don’t fine pad filter this whiskey. They only use a light mesh screen to keep the larger chunks from inside the barrel out of your glass.  That’s not to say that this bourbon is crystal clear, far from, there is stuff in there.  I love spirits with a soul and Barrell Bourbon has it!

Tasting Notes:

The bottle – no you don’t taste the bottle, but bear with me… is made of fine perfume grade glass.  It’s gorgeous to the touch.  Sumptuous and smooth.  The cap is wood and real cork.  A nice touch in the world of plastic almost everything.  The label on each batch is very similar, with the only differences in the writing.

My bottle of Batch #001 reads Craft Distilled Barrel Stength.

Batch # 001, Bottle # 2384.

It goes on to read 121.6 Proof, 60.8 Alc/Vol.

Batch #002 reads Bottle # 429,  117.8 Proof, 58.9% Alc/Vol.

Batch #001 is made from a Mash bill of 70% corn, 25% rye and 5% malted barley.  It’s distilled in Tennessee and aged in Kentucky for five years in freshly charred American oak barrels.  It’s bottled at full barrel strength without any artificial colors or additives.

Flavors of Earl Grey Tea reveal themselves along with sweet vanilla, dark stone fruits, salted caramels and quince-slow cooked ones at that.  The heat is ever present.  You cannot escape it, even with a few drops of Branch Water sprinkled over the top to release the flavors and inner soul of this passionate product.  The alcohol tingles on the tongue and wraps around your brain.  This is serious stuff, worthy of your finest crystal glass.  But don’t put anything other than water into it.  This would be a waste of fine liquor!

Peanut brittle expands across my tongue along with long cooked apricots and white raisins.  Pine nuts reveal themselves, enrobed in dark chocolate.  The finish is tannic and dry.  It goes on and on.  Impressive and worthy of your hard earned money.

Batch # 002 is also made from a Mash bill of: 70% corn, 25% rye, 5% malted barley.  The first thing you perceive is the flavor of a grilled Reuben Sandwich on Rye bread.  Toasted rye has a very specific flavor and this is no exception.  There is a sharp cinnamon bitterness, almost like a red hot candy that pokes a hole right in the middle of your memory.  This is exceptionably memorable bourbon.  There really is nothing like it on the market.  Stone fruits and caramelized nuts reveal themselves after a few seconds along with deep flavors of Spanish Saddle leather and wet stones.  But not wet from a fresh water stream, they are slicked with the flavors of the ocean.

The slightly less alcohol *117.8- is a welcome relief after the hit of nearly 122% alcohol in Batch #001.

Both versions are memorable.  Orange marmalade and lemon curd fill your mind along with toasted rye bread and slabs of freshly smoked meats.  There are bursts of fleur de sel (sea salt) and more chocolate, but not the sweet kind, I’m talking 75% bitter.

Take little sips and bite your Reuben Sandwich,  let me know what you think!

This is bourbon on steroids! Definitely not for everyone!  No fooling!

***********************

Warren Bobrow,is the widely published author of: Apothecary Cocktails-Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today- Fair Winds Press- Beverly, Massachusetts. Apothecary Cocktails was nominated for a Spirited Award, 2014 Tales of the Cocktail.

His forthcoming book, Whiskey Cocktails will be released October 2014.  Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails follow with publication in spring ’15.

Warren is a master mixologist for several craft liquor companies.

Warren consults about mixology and spirits, travel, organic wine and food.  He’s written for web-blogs and magazines like: Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods: Dark Rye, Distiller, Total Food Service Magazine, Beverage Media Group, DrinkupNY, Edible Publications, Foodista, Serious Eats, Mechanics of Style and Beekman1802.  He was in the Saveur-100 in 2010.

Warren is a former, mostly self, trained cook from the pot sink on up.  J&W and ACF were thrown in for good luck.  Warren was the former owner/co-founder of Olde Charleston Pasta in South Carolina: *Dissolved his business after Hurricane Hugo in 1989* – to a career in private banking, (nearly 20 years; “a very grand mistake”) to this reinvention in 2009 as the Warren he’s finally become.

Warren is available to do highly personalized, interactive mixology events, local, national and international.
Contact: jockeyhollow@gmail.com

What’s Your Call To Action?

THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2014  From DrinkUpNY 

What’s Your Call to Action?

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

As we move headlong into the late summer months the reflection of dark liquors across our palates make a stunning resurgence.  But we call out for new flavors with the waning days of the month and these flavors signify change.  Cooler nights signify the shortening of daylight, a traditional trigger point for my palate to move over to darker liquors.  One such liquor that I really have been enjoying as of late is Templeton Rye.  Said to have been the favorite of a renowned gangster during Prohibition, this recreation of “the good stuff” is perfectly delicious when mixed.  Templeton is a high rye whiskey.  It’s well over the required 51% rye grain so the flavor is quite peppery from the rye.  It is said that you can plant a field of rye with what fits in your pocket.  (Unless your pocket has a hole in it!)That is why rye was so popular in the early days of our nation.  It is easy to transport and even easier to distill with very basic resources available.  The heartier flavor of rye, especially Templeton Rye makes for a robust drink with the zippy and spicy cinnamon notes along with pain grille and wet stones.This may not appeal to everyone, just like not everyone enjoys rye bread.  The same holds true for rye whiskey.

Templeton Rye works so well with assertive ingredients like freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice.  There really is no excuse not to use the best ingredients possible at all times.  For anyone who has ever suffered and barely tolerated themselves through a screwdriver made with orange juice from concentrate would attest, fresh makes much more interest.  Using fresh juices will keep your friends coming back for more.

Not a bad thing to have happen!

I recently used the Templeton Rye in a twist on the Whiskey Punch with both freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices.

Through research for another article, I was able to source out some handmade shrub syrups from different producers around the country.  One of these, a vividly flavored strawberry, black pepper and balsamic shrub handmade by “Shrub Drinks” in Texas, added some unexpected nerve to my traditional punch recipe.  Something marvelous happens when you mix sumptuously textured fruits and sugar with balsamic vinegar and a healthy dose of freshly cracked black pepper.   Shrub Drinks also makes other concoctions like the tomatillo and lime and serrano shrub that just screams out for Mezcal.  I haven’t tasted my way through their line, but the strawberry, balsamic and black pepper is just otherworldly in the presence of fresh juices and the Templeton Rye whiskey.

I suppose that a sizzling hot sandwich is in order as well.  Make mine a Rueben.  Make it on rye with plenty of freshly sliced pastrami and spicy mustard along with the Russian dressing and crunchy sauerkraut.  This is the kind of food that screams out for Templeton Rye whiskey!

Punch is a most misunderstood beast.  You have to make drinks that go into a punch bowl with balance.  No single ingredient can overtake another.  They need to work together in harmony.  That’s why shrubs are so important in the punch bowl.  The discovery of the product, Shrub Drinks makes my life really easy!

You really don’t have to try to hard to make professional quality drinks at home with the best ingredients possible.

First of all squeeze your citrus juices just before you use them.  Then keep them cool, but not cold- don’t
add ice to them, but you can sit them on ice.  I find it a best practice to add the spirits in last, and then only ½ as much as you think you are going to use, tasting the punch and adding more as needed.  You cannot subtract from the beginning forward or add more fruit juices if you have none left.  That is why it’s essential to add the spirits slowly and taste often for balance.  I always start with the juices and the syrups first, get their flavors right- and then add the spirits.  It’s just how I do it.  Ice is also a going concern for a well-crafted punch.  You may find it helpful to go to a restaurant supply house and buy a stainless steel insert.  Ask, they’ll know what you’re talking about.  An insert fits in a cold-line table.  They are roughly 6 inches by 9 inches and at least 10 inches deep.  This is the best way that I know to make blocks of ice in your freezer.  The stainless steel will not taste like everything in the freezer, nor will it give off any bad flavors like plastic does.  So use stainless steel!

A twist on the term plain ice would be to add some Bitter Truth Creole Bitters to the ice, for flavor and for color as the ice melts.  Adding flavor and color is a fun idea to add a bit of spark to the final equation.

Since this is a rye whiskey based punch-style drink, just multiply the final number of ingredients by the number of people you are serving.  This recipe is for two persons.  You don’t have to make so much ice, but it’s nice to know how to if needed so you won’t have to go out and buy supermarket ice.

What’s Your Call to Action?
Ingredients: 
4 oz. Templeton Rye Whiskey
3 oz. Shrub Drinks: Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper Shrub
2 oz. Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
1 oz. Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 oz. (in each glass) Seltzer Water
2 Shakes (in each glass) Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Long Orange Twist
Mint Sprig for spark!

Preparation:
To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice
Add the Templeton Rye
Add the citrus juices

Add the Shrub Drinks: Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper Shrub
Cap and Shake hard for 10 secondsStrain into a Collins Glass with a few cubes of nice clean ice
Add some Seltzer over the top
Dot with the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
Garnish with a long orange twist and mint sprig

 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

 

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys. His first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail!  Warren’s forthcoming second book, Whiskey Cocktails is now in pre-sell from Fair Winds Press. His third book, named Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails will be released in Spring 2015.

 

 

Beekman 1802- Klaus the Soused Gnome

 

Warren

Gartending: Cranberry Soused

By: IMG_4243

Klaus is a sporting lad.  What I mean by this is that Klaus likes tromping through the cranberry bogs searching for these tart berries to pop into his mouth.  He’s gotten rather adept at skimming along the surface of the cranberry bog, his little flask filled with rye whiskey.  Rye Whiskey you say?  Why rye?  Klaus will explain that of all the whiskies produced in our country, rye dates back to George Washington.  George Washington distilled rye whiskey for his consumption with 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% malted barley.  This must have been a heady concoction given the predilection for strong intoxicants in the early days of our nation.  Rye is historic, like Thanksgiving!

Rye whiskey reminds Klaus of the Old Country, where he rose out of the soil and joined the legions of drinking gnomes around the world.   His father watered the soil where Klaus popped up with rye whiskey!

Thanksgiving is coming all too soon.  Then the rush to the Christmas holidays begins.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have what Klaus has in his little ceramic flask?  Would you like to know what he concocted using ingredients you have in your kitchen right now????

Do you have cranberry sauce?  What’s that little can doing lurking in your pantry?  Open it up and add 2 tablespoons of it to a cocktail shaker.  How about that bottle of honey over there?  Yes that’s the one.  It’s all crystallized?  Perfect.  Just boil some water and add it to the honey, let it cool and pour it into the shaker.  Did I see some apple cider in the fridge?  Sure I did.  It’s gone a bit fizzy.  That’s exactly what this drink needs.  Don’t have any fizzy cider?  Try a hard cider from the supermarket beer isle.  There are dozens of them available all over the globe. Pour a bit of that into the shaker too.

Of course the most important part, the part that Klaus values over all the other parts is the giggly part.  The part that is intoxicating.  And that is the rye whiskey!  Isn’t it funny that Klaus, a little guy made of terra cotta would know the difference between “just a drink” and a well-balanced cocktail?   I think you will immediately know the very moment this comes together.  As I said, anyone can make it with ingredients that you have right now.   Ok, you may have to buy a bottle of rye whiskey and you certainly have some apple cider in your fridge at this time of the year.  These ingredients alone make a fine drink.  But add some honey syrup and some cranberry sauce and you have a lovely refreshing slurp.

 

Yes, I’ll Come to Cambridge Cocktail serves two handily.  Right Klaus?  Klaus?

 

Ingredients:  (Klaus proven!)

3 oz. Rye Whiskey *sure, you can use bourbon, or even Scotch!

2 oz. Cranberry Sauce (that little can will do)

2 oz. Apple Cider or Hard Apple Cider in a bottle with fizz

1 oz. Honey Simple Syrup- 2:1 ratio honey to boiling hot water, then cool.

Good Ice, meaning double boiled water in a tray, hand cut.. easy to do!

Lime pinwheels

 

Preparation:

Klaus has said over a dozen times, put the ingredients in the shaker, BEFORE adding the ice.  I haven’t paid attention.. Now I should..

Pre-chill with bar ice and water- two Collins Glasses for this drink, then pour out

Add all the ingredients to a Boston Shaker (except the lime garnish)

Add ice to ¾ in the shaker and then cover

Shake hard for 15 seconds

Add a couple cubes of hand cut ice to your pre-chilled Collins glass

Strain the Cambridge Cocktail over the ice

Garnish with the lime pinwheel and a long straw