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Thread: The definitive HARD LIQUOR thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Default The definitive HARD LIQUOR thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, since maybe January or a bit before of this year, I've been exploring more Irish whiskies.

    For me, I haven't yet gone up to Redbreast 12 or, from the other place, the Laphroaig 10 (both are at about the entry level for top-notch stuff: roughly $70 US. Too rich for my blood, since I'll typically sip from a bottle (in a glass!) over the course of a day or a long evening, and thereby finish it.

    Most recent "first time" bottles have been:

    Bushmills Black Bush. Superb. Would go to it again any day.

    Jameson Black Barrel. No. It reminded me of sawdust sprinkled with sugar.

    The Quiet Man. A relatively new whiskey. I approved, but wouldn't necessarily buy it again. Not too much there, although it's a smooth sipping whiskey. A bit overpriced as well: maybe they had to license the name from the John Ford estate!

    Glenmorangie 10 (a Scotch, you can probably tell from the name). Delicious. Citrus notes, beautiful color and aroma. Only 80 proof, but I did find a few drops of water opened it up.

    And, at this very moment, Teeling Small Batch. 92 proof, but I don't get any alcohol burn from it, and like some of the more complex whiskies, it's well advised to take one's time with it. I had a few glasses neat, but my tongue did get a bit fatigued from the higher proof, so I'm liking it much better with a few drops (literally!) of water. Lets the quality shine a bit.

    Would not buy again

    Jameson Black Barrel
    Jameson "original" (no, I've drunk many bottles of it, and it's delicious and smooth, but there are other Irishes at the same or even lower price that are more interesting to me).
    Donegal (don't remember exactly why, but it was pretty nasty is what I recall)
    Hell Cat Maggie (ditto: just untempered raw street-brawling stuff. a novelty).
    Tullamore core expression. (I know people like it, and it's likely in even the smallest liquor stores, but I just find it smooth and uninspiring, although the light citrus and grass notes are worth noting).

    Favorites not mentioned above

    Kilbeggan (standard model: I don't think the Single Grain is worth the slight increase in price, and while the Small Batch Rye was neat, I think it's more a novelty).

    Slane. A newer company. Hearty and complex.

    Paddy's. I think it's the very best of the low-mid-shelf offerings. It has completely replaced Kilbeggan as my favorite "daily drinker" (no, I don't drink daily, it's just an expression). Peppery, sharp, and good for what ails me.

    Jameson Cask Mates (either aged in IPA or Stout casks: both are good and a bit more complex than other Jameson).

    Teacher's Highland Cream. An affordable blended Scotch, with a fair amount of peat and a great deal of subtleties. 86 proof.

    Any variety of homemade Salmiakkikossu: an infusion of vodka made from the Finnish Pfazer brand of Salmiakki salted licorice candies. In a short time (a few hours) it turns the vodka almost black in color, and is an extremely .... acquired ... taste. I love it, though. The Finnish Turkish Pepper candies are absolutely nothing like Dutch or Swedish salted licorice candies: MUCH stronger, and a hard candy with the ammonium chloride in the center, not a "chewy" licorice. I made a batch with 1.75 L of Finlandia, but next time I'll use the cheapest vodka. I drink it neat, but I think people use it in cocktails as well: I wouldn't know.

    And for a real kick-you-in-ass, grow hair on your chest, Ezra Brooks Straight Rye at 90 proof.

    Those are just the empty bottles I can see from my desk.

    Next purchases will likely be Johnnie Walker Black (actually, I'll probably order it in a bar: I just want to see what it tastes like), and Writer's Tears Copper Pot Still Irish.

    Aspirational purchases: Redbreast 12. Laphroaig 10. Probably never happen.

    When can find: Writer's Tears supposedly releases its base expression in cask strength, maybe once a year. No luck yet. Oh well.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 07 May 2021 at 03:45 PM.

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    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Oh, and under Aspirational, add Greenspot Irish. And the Yellow Spot. And I think Redbreast does a cask strength, which, for me, is worth looking out for, but not very ready on the shelves,

    And under introuvables, I can't find the Powers "John's Lane" or the Powers "Three Swallows" anywhere. Nor The Irishman in single malt. Nor the Tyrconnell 10.

    I should have added that I like Powers Gold well enough: it's just overpriced where I am for a basic Irish. IMHO, it's not a $35-$36 USD bottle of whiskey, IMHO.

    /*Oh, the Glenmorangie 10 is 86 proof: that may explain the synergy between that expression and a few drops of water. I've heard good things about the Glenmo 18, but I'd rather explore more heavily peated bog monsters from Islay and the Highlands' typically heavily peated varieties than go further into the Glenmorangies, although it was a delicious whiskey.*/

    /* And I still haven't got around to the blended Scotch Monkey Shoulder....meh, doesn't interest me, but at the price, I likely will. */
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 08 May 2021 at 12:45 AM.

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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    My whiskey tastes aren't all that sophisticated, but good luck as you continue your explorations!

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    I just had a VERY generous pour of Johnnie Black at a bar this afternoon (bartender's a friend-ish sort, and she gave me a real generous pour). I asked for a water back, but it turns out I didn't desire it.

    That is a quality whisky: modest amount of peat, not much aroma, but full body and some notes that I don't have the right language to describe.

    Basically, it's not a whisky you would "shoot" and follow with a big mouthful of beer.

    As well, this woman did say they had Laphroaig behind the bar, but at between 12 and 15 USD per serving, I think I'd rather just invest in a 750 ml bottle of Laphroaig 10, even at 70 bucks. Perhaps not, though: a nice pour of Laphroaig (one of the reportedly "smoke monsters" of Scotch) might be a good thing for a single serving. It does take time to savor a big whiskey or whisky, at least for me.

    BUT Now I know for sure that, in addition to Teacher's Highland Cream, Johnnie Black is something I can rely on for buying a bottle.

    Note how carefully I'm not disparaging Johnnie Red: I haven't tried it, and I know you, EH, like it, so in the spirit, so to speak, of all drinkers, I say to each his or her own. And cheers!

    /* And, yes, she did beat me at pool after her shift......but not by much! */

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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    My whiskey tastes aren't all that sophisticated, but good luck as you continue your explorations!
    Same here. I check out a lot of different beers. I've become a bit of a beer snob.

    Whiskey is pretty much Jameson for me. I don't generally drink Scotch. When I buy vodka, it is the cheap stuff as I mix it with liquors typically in things like a White or Chocolate Russian. etc.

    For wine, my wife and I go to wineries and I always seem to reaffirm I have no taste. I always seem to like the cheapest stuff made in stainless steel.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    Same here. I check out a lot of different beers. I've become a bit of a beer snob.
    Ah. Living in Portland, OR, I'm pretty familiar with the type! Not that I don't enjoy great beers straight from the brewery on tap, but I'm a Pabst Blue Ribbon or Rainier Man (or....Steel Reserve 211 for at home).

    Whiskey is pretty much Jameson for me. I don't generally drink Scotch. When I buy vodka, it is the cheap stuff as I mix it with liquors typically in things like a White or Chocolate Russian. etc.
    Jameson's excellent: no surprises, just extremely drinkable, reliable, and smooth as all get out, with a great aroma! That was my first entry a few months ago into "real whiskey." Whiskey snobs seem to relish putting it down, but they're kind of jerks anyway.

    Scotch came a bit later: partly from a bit of silly anti-UK prejudice on my part, that I'm glad I got over, but It's a strange category of beast in itself.

    Chocolate Russian!!!! That sounds interesting. Chocolate milk? Crème de cacao? Both?

    There was quite a long time in grad school when I would only drink White Russians at home. And I hadn't even seen The Big Lebowski: no idea where I got the idea. (Although I knew what the drink was, natch). Pint glass, some ice, and just fill it up!

    Although I go through about a gallon of milk a week for coffee and tea, the last time I was recently on a White Russian trip, I found it caused some digestive problems, which was too bad, since it's a delicious drink.

    And it's practically a health food!

    No, I don't see much value in the really expensive vodkas: TBH, I just don't care, and I don't drink it very often anyway, and almost never straight out of the bottle, hobo style! That's what cheap American whiskies are for, in the plastic "travellers" fifth bottles!

    For wine, my wife and I go to wineries and I always seem to reaffirm I have no taste. I always seem to like the cheapest stuff made in stainless steel.
    That's a tough one. My parents are into wines, I guess, as sort of a newer hobby for them, so I occasionally was able to sample some Big Reds. But, no, if I want to drink wine, it's Franzia out of the box! Maybe I'm gender confused, and I'm actually an elderly grandmother!

    But never dismiss the Night Train! Far superior to its white "wine" counterpart, Thunderbird! And both have good tunes with those names, although only "Thunderbird" is actually about the wine itself. Forget about MD 20/20: it's all about The Night Train!
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 09 May 2021 at 07:27 PM.

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    Laphroaig 10, finally pulled the trigger.

    This is one I won't drink the bottle in even two or more days.

    It has a heavy, dense, smoke/peat onset.

    I can't say what's underneath, really.

    I think a bit of water is the only way I can tame it down and try to find out what it's about.

    Heh. Here's their tagline on the bottle: "The most richly flavored of all Scotch whiskies."

    I wouldn't know, but it is an interesting and venerable company. Kind of a ballsy statement to put on the front label, but good for them!

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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    ...When I buy vodka, it is the cheap stuff as I mix it with liquors typically in things like a White Russian....
    The Dude abides.

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    Read it and weep!

    No, I don't consume the Gold Bond Mentholated Powder Spray....it's just kind of a joke that amuses me. (It is a very convenient product, however, don't get me wrong. Pro-tip: don't spray it right on your dick: it can burn a bit!)

    This is by far the fullest bodied, most nuanced Irish I've had.

    I must say, though, after having the Laphroaig 10, despite having some deep-instilled prejudices against the British, I'm not sure there's much left for me among the Irish whiskeys.

    And, yes, these are foolish purchases, for someone of modest means, but I don't know if I'd ever the chance again to at least broach the upper tiers of the whiskies.

    Redbreast 12 is a very...handsome...whiskey, I would say. Character, aplomb, a bit round about the middle.

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    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Yeah, still haven't pulled the trigger on the true Pfazer Turkinpippuri. But I did "accidentally" order about a dozen bags of Gustaf's "Dutch Licorice Double Salt."

    It's absolutely disgusting, IMHO, and I'd never eat it in a million years. I'll probably leave the box in the break "room" at work.

    But, I had to try a vodka infusion.

    Right color, but not readily dissolved in vodka. Also, not much flavor.

    But! If one fancies drinking thick, viscous, black vodka neat...welp, that's your answer!

    No. It's not very good, compared to Salmiakkikossu, but it's moderately acceptable.



    /* ETA, oh, I don't know what all that shit on that whiteboard is all about. BUT, the "k p t" relates to Finnish consonant gradation. Never mind, it's not important.

    I think the other diagram is some kind of reverse polish notation diagram. No idea why that's up there, but must have been some reason, I suppose.

    Oh. I don't know what the Myers-Briggs cognitive stack is doing up there. I don't know why that's there. */

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    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Oh. I think I've mentioned everything notable.

    But I have become in the habit of ordering a Johnnie Black neat at a bar every once in a while. Yeah, it hits the spot. I can't drink hard liquor at bars: it kind of tends to make me drunk. But it's a good one for sipping slowly.

    However I did happen to have in my satchel a little sample box of three Redbreasts in the airline-sized bottles. I'd intended those as a small gift for a family member, but this seemed like a better occasion to have a tiny whiskey tasting session.

    The Redbreast 12, which I've already had in quantity.

    The Redbreast finished in sherry casks. I think there was a nice touch of sweetness. Would not buy.

    Redbreast 15. Not worth the extra dough over the 12, IMHO.

    I was mildly peeved that the only glassware the woman I shared these with only had like those .... I forgot what they're called, but sort of a "coupe," a wide, shallow sort of wine glass. Doesn't matter, but I just don't care for drinking anything out of glasses with stems: it seems excessively fancy, and not at all in the rustic tradition of, say, the French countryside.

    Oh, I picked up just a Yellow Tail Shiraz for fun while she was buying some stuff at a convenience store. Goddamned, that shit is gross: overly grapey, with notes of sweat, acidity, and a dank, moldering red color. Well, it fulfills its purpose, I suppose.

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    Oh.

    This is a kind of interesting drink. Kind of overpriced for what it is, at least where I am, but it has a kind of cult reputation among whisky snobs as being a good alternative to Johnnie Black and other Scotches at the lower end.

    Monkey Shoulder.

    Actually, it's not really very good at all. It's kind of revolting, actually, with some extremely harsh acetone notes. I suppose one could call it smooth, compared to...I don't know....some of the Dixie-Yankee crap.

    It's drinkable, and is quite a bit more than just potable with a small amount of room-temperature water added to it.

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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    With a name like "Monkey Shoulder," I would have expected it to be jaw-droppingly good.

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    Quote Originally posted by Elendil's Heir View post
    With a name like "Monkey Shoulder," I would have expected it to be jaw-droppingly good.
    Well, people like it. Apparently the one Scotsman I "know" online suggests it's not considered anything beyond bog swill in country, but it gets rave reviews as a "beginner Scotch" from seemingly every neckbeard on the web.

    Personally, I find it disgusting, but it is advertised explicitly as an ideal Scotch for mixed drinks. It probably is.

    But for 10 USD cheaper, you can have a bottle of Teacher's Highland Cream, also a blend, natch, or the same price, a Johnnie Walker Black. Or Black Bush, or any number of Irishes, although those have a different profile.

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    Writers' Tears copper pot still Irish whiskey.



    TBH, I think this is as drinkable and smooth as Jameson's core expression. I don't see what the fuss is about.

    Plus, it is bottled in a tall bottle, like a wine bottle: I really dislike that sitting on my desk. Not for fear of spilling it, but I think it's unappealing. An accident waiting to happen.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a very good whiskey, even though at only 80 proof (I believe I've mentioned the fabled once-per-annum "cask strength" they supposedly release).

    It's just not very complex or interesting.

    Paddy's
    Slane
    Teeling Small Batch
    Black Bush

    IMHO, those are the one's to "invest" in for everyday enjoyable drinking.

    The Writers' Tears does open up with a small amount of room-temperature water, though, turning it from a pleasant, if turgid, affair into a more aromatic complexity. Almost floral, rosehips or something.

    ////////////

    Oh, to emend the earlier post about Salmiakkikossu: yes, I have in the past acquired a good amount of Fazer's Turkinppipuri, and it does very much make an excellent infusion. Just that the softer, milder Gustaf's Double Salt candy makes only a barely acceptable substitute. It is also a disgusting candy when eaten straight, while the Finnish Fazer brand is a tolerable hard candy, if one chooses.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 29 May 2021 at 08:20 PM.

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    Have the car in the shop until tomorrow morning, so figured it would be good exercise to walk up hundreds of vertical feet and relax.

    Bushmills Red Bush. You know, it is somehow "spicy" in a way that Black Bush, which I love, is not. A small dab of water does help this one open up to more vanilla, almost caramel notes.

    Very good pour.

    You people who insist on neat for everything should try a few drops of water now and then on certain whiskies. I invariably start neat, but usually, especially lately, I've found a tiny few drops of room-temperature water (the amount you could probably use an eye dropper to administer....very little) changes the profile quite a bit.


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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    Maybe I will try a little bit of water, then. But I've always been a straight-up kind o' guy.

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    Yeah, I find it kind of remarkable how little water it takes to change a "nothing" whiskey or whisky, regardless of its price, to something else.

    A bit of alchemy. Mixed with some homeopathy, and maybe a soupçon of psychological suggestibility.

    Johnnie Red. Well. It was $22, vs the $20 for Kilbeggan's core expression.

    I think it's an OK whisky, and not worthy of the various contumelies sometimes seen in whisky reviews (which I would avoid reading for the person who knows his or her taste).

    I won't be spending any more money on the Red, though, since there are other options in the same price range (both Irish and Scottish) that I like better. And I wouldn't buy a bottle of Johnnie Black for at home, since it's easy enough to order at a bar.

    Pretty decent pour for an afternoon plotting and scheming on a lazy Saturday.


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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Very pleasantly surprised, just picked up a bottle of Admiral Nelson's Coconut Rum. Only $12 for the bottle and I've used it in a chilled Kahlua and coffee drink and in Hot Chocolate so far. Very tasty at a great price. Only 42 proof.

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    So, WE?, are you finally going to unveil the secret ingredients of the Chocolate Russian?

    For making me wait, I unleash the vile fury of a drink I overheard two bartenders talking about a few days ago: The Cheeseburger. Tequila, Bloody Mary mix, and pickle juice. Served warm. Supposedly it tastes like a cheeseburger, but to me it sounds like The Purge become reality.

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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Sorry I missed this:
    Chocolate Russian!!!! That sounds interesting. Chocolate milk? Crème de cacao? Both?
    Yes, a Chocolate Russian is just a White Russian with Chocolate. If the ice cream style, use Chocolate Ice Cream. Otherwise chocolate milk, powder and/or Crème de cacao.

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    Quote Originally posted by What Exit? View post
    Sorry I missed this
    No problem! Just hassling you a bit.

    Sounds like a winner of a drink! Maybe a good candidate for Everclear/other grain alcohol if you just want to drink one single, large drink: the sweetness should mask any unpleasantness.

    Apparently "The Cheeseburger" is not just something this bartender made up. Supposedly it's three shots, room temperature, of (i) tequila (ii) tomato juice (iii) pickle brine, taken in that order.

    I'd probably order it from that particular bartender, if I wasn't sure it would make me hurl!

  23. #23
    Mi parolas esperanton malbone Trojan Man's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Yeah, I find it kind of remarkable how little water it takes to change a "nothing" whiskey or whisky, regardless of its price, to something else.

    A bit of alchemy.
    He finally says something sensible!

    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Mixed with some homeopathy

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    Quote Originally posted by Trojan Man View post
    Fine. Have one of these, then.


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