August 26, 2011 § 10 Comments
Right now there is a pending threat of evacuating downtown Manhattan because of hurricane Irene … yet while everyone else is taking stock of their batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food supplies, I find myself taking stock of a different kind: my current whisky collection (& how could I possible bear to leave it if it comes to that!?).
This brings up a topic that has always amused me, even before I became a whisky drinker (WD): How many bottles of open whisky does any one WD have in their collection at any given time? I believe whisky drinkers are unique in this way because it’s perfectly acceptable to have multiple bottles open at any one time. (Actually, serious rum/rhum/ron drinkers are this way too – but for the sake of this article, I’m sticking with whisky).
Just now, your’s truly has 18 750ml bottles opened and, just for bragging rights, 5 750ml bottles & about 25 200ml bottles unopened. Personally, I’m proud of these numbers because I fit them (and have them looking nice) in under 400 square feet of living space (oh how I love thee, West Village! pic below).
I am, however, well aware of the fact that I can’t compete with many of you out there! There are some serious collections worthy of acknowledgement!
My “tiny” collection can’t even play in the same game as a friend of mine in Tokyo (a place also known for small living spaces). He has so many bottles of whisky that he actually bought the apartment next door to his “living apartment” JUST FOR HIS WHISKEY COLLECTION! Can you say Rock Star or Serious Man Cave!?! Last we spoke about this, he had about 2,000 bottles in this Den of Liquid Love. Ha!
I’m curious to know if you or anyone you know has an impressive collection (whisky, rum or otherwise) and if there is a bottle that, should it come to an evacuation, you wouldn’t be leaving behind. Please share!
(To be totally honest, I don’t know if I can answer that last part myself!!!)
August 19, 2011 § 5 Comments
Hello my dear readers! Get your calendars out and your credit cards ready…
Today I am reminding you to purchase your tickets for two key whisk(e)y events happening this Fall in/around NYC… and I post this bearing a coupon code gift. With over 200 whiskies from around the world being poured at each event, how could you go wrong? Keep reading!
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
*GOING BACK TO THE SPIRIT OF NEW YORK BOAT*
SMALLER SHIP – MORE WHISKY – MORE FOOD
PLUS EXCLUSIVE WHISKY & NEW RELEASES
September 8, 2011, 7:00pm-10:00
Pier 61, West 23rd Street New York, NY
And, for being your awesome selves, WhiskyGuild was super kind in giving me a coupon code to share with all of you! Please use WGmember at checkout for a 10% discount 😀
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
In addition to the main event on November 1st, Malt Advocate has also organized WhiskyWeek. Yes, I said it, a whole week of exciting whisky events happening at many of my favorite places!
Hope to see you all there! Let me know if you’re planning on attending – I’ll be the one skipping around with a huge grin on her face and a full dram in her hand!
August 9, 2011 § 14 Comments
For these warm summer nights – I love nothing more than to sit outside with a glass of Suntory’s Yamazaki 12 (or 18!) with 1 ice cube it if it’s really sticky outside and a big plate of cured meats, raw-milk cheeses and baguette.
Welcome to Summer PERFECTED
The Japanese whiskies have the structure and depth of some of the great Single Malt Scotches but by catering to a Japanese palete (think about their cuisine; light & delicate but full of flavor), their whiskies often have a crisp, pure taste and a refreshing mouthfeel (see where I’m going with this!?). The Yamazaki’s are great whiskies to drink during the warmer months and perfect companions to cut through the various flavors in the slightly oily bites of your charcuterie & cheese plate!
On the nose: Layers and layers of flavors. You can have fun just smelling this beauty! Lots of vanilla and caramel from it’s time spent in the American, Japanese and Port casks. Honey, floral, apple, orange, touch of smoke
On the palate: Mellow pepper up front, moves to floral, ends with smoked-honey
Finish: Lingers on the tip of the tongue, pepper dissolves quickly for me but the floral notes and smoked-honey stick around for a bit
Now, to be drinking outside in NYC, that usually means you’re at a bar/restaurant but if you’re lucky enough to have a balcony, roof or garden you can relax in – invite me over! er, I mean …all the better! (My fun summer outdoor drinking suggestion: Vintry Wine & Whiskey!) Cheers!
August 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Can’t believe the timing on this but if you read my post earlier this week about Balcones (HERE) and are intrigued by these awesome whiskies, there’s a FREE tasting TONIGHT from 6pm-8pm at Astor Place Wine & Spritis!
Love. Summer. Fridays.
Whisky distilled from blue corn! Blue corn whisky smoked with Texas Scrub Oak! American malt whiskey made from barley smoked with peat, cherry, and beechwood! This Friday at Astor, fight your way through the throngs of whiskey nerds and taste these truly innovative, utterly unique, mind-bendingly delicious new spirits.
6:00-8:00 | This event is free
**Announcement originally posted HERE on nycwhisky.com**
August 2, 2011 § 8 Comments
I had the HUGE pleasure of spending time with Balcones head distiller Chip Tate this past weekend.
What. a. cool. guy.
After a marathon 6 hour talk-fest on Friday (interspersed with food and whisky, of course), we picked back up Saturday evening to do a ridiculously fun whisky “tour” of lower Manhattan (Angel’s Share, Astor Place, Brandy Library, you get the idea) where I got to play sidekick to him sharing his mighty fine spirits with the owners & sommeliers of these lovely establishments.
Here’s the inside scoop – the always interesting, super smart Mr. Tate was here finalizing his NY distribution channel. Bottom line: BALCONES All-American Texas Craft Whiskies WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN NYC! Woohooo!!!
Check out this photo of his products front and center on the Brandy Library bar…
Here’s why I dig it:
1) Balcones makes everything themselves by hand, Chip even made the copper stills (yup, he welds copper).
2) They are the only distillery using artisanal Blue Hopi Corn (as opposed to generic white or yellow corn) which lends a much more refined and rounded flavor to their spirits (think Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese vs a gourmet Mac ‘n’ Cheese made with Gruyere & a bit of bacon … riiight). Makes a difference. Try the Baby Blue whisky or the cask-strength version, True Blue.
3) Small barrels lend a hint of those caramel & buttery notes we love from oak-aging but Chip doesn’t let it overpower the corn notes. The finished products are perfectly balanced with layers upon layers of delicate flavors.
4) One of the products in their line-up is Rumble. It’s fermented Mission Figs, Texas Wildflower Honey & Turbinado Sugar. On the nose, I find an interesting bouquet of rich honey, iris flower, and a hint of smoke/black tea. At 47% abv, this is no wimpy spirit – but it’s really fun to drink and experience the flavors rolling over your tongue. There is no category for this product. It’s its own thing … kind of like Balcones.
5) Last but not least, I need to mention the Brimstone whisky. He smokes the whisky. Let me repeat, he smokes the whisky – not the grains – the actual distilled liquid. It’s a secret processes, rightfully so, and he’s smoking his blue corn whisky with Texas scrub oak. Let me break it down further: it’s Texas BBQ in a bottle… with a side of corn bread. You just need to try it for yourselves. It’s a very unique experience and in my opinion, it rocks.
A nod to tradition fueled by their independent & adventurous drive.
Job well done. Welcome to NY.
PS – I also confirmed my visit to his Texas distillery in September… Stay tuned!