Ice Matters

January 16, 2012 § 18 Comments

Apparently, 2012 is shaping up to the the Year of the Ice.

And I guess this makes sense.  Our whiskies are getting more expensive, our glasses fancier … clearly that leaves the good ‘ole “rock” ready for an update too.

Earlier in 2011, I did a post on waterless “ice” reviewing the Whiskey Disks brand of chilled soapstone clinckers  (read it HERE), but today I’m going to talk about the actually frozen water kind that have, for years, danced happily out of their standard ice trays into our standard rocks glasses.

Not today, my friends.  Apparently, those closest to me (aka, Santa & his elves), thought this whisky gal’s ice was due for a re-vamp.  And a re-vamp she got.

First up – the CUBE

Photos courtesy of William Sonoma

King Cube Silicone Ice Tray from Williams Sonoma, $14.95 (click HERE for purchasing information)

I was so excited to open these and immediately started visualizing myself in a scene from Mad Men.  I love their exaggerated size and perfectly cubed shape.  Just 1 is perfect in my glass – but if you prefer a few more, be my guest!  They melt a bit more slowly then the standard ice shape and look a heck of a lot better!

WW Rating: 5/5 (easy to use, slower melt, 4 rocks/tray, 2 trays to a set, looks fantastic in a rocks glass)

BTW – this gift deserves a shout-out to it’s giver; my sister, who is also responsible for introducing me to one of my all-time favorite rye whiskies, Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye.  LOVE her!!!!!

Second – the BALL

(c) The Whisky Woman 2012

Silicone Ice Ball Maker from Muji, $11.75 USD (click HERE for more information)

This made me really excited.  It’s easy to imagine oneself in a hidden bar in Tokyo with this beauty close at hand.  No, it wasn’t hand carved right in front of you – but unless you’re deciding to take up ice sculpting this year, it’ll do just fine.  Personally, I love the minimalistic, modern look which adds an air of instant sophistication – at least something can class up my at-home whisky drinking uniform of flannel pajamas during these cold months!   In terms of the how this affects the whisky in ones glass, the Japanese always seem to know exactly what they are doing.  The big ball melts much less quickly then standard cubes but cools the liquid much faster – leaving you with the perfectly chilled, ever-so-slightly diluted glass of whisky every time.

WW Rating: 4/5 (when it comes to the whisky, I love this ice ball just a bit better than the straight cube for it’s slower melting/faster chilling ability but it gets slightly lower marks when it comes to sharing.   You have to buy multiple balls if you want to be able to offer this ice option to guests, which can get a bit expensive at $11.75 USD per mold.

PS – this also works AMAZINGLY WELL for a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

Third – the LUGE

Photos courtesy of Amazon.com

Lush Life Party Ice Luge from Amazon (click HERE to buy)

No, I didn’t receive this and no, I haven’t tried this yet – but – that’s not to say this won’t make its way into my home over the course of this next year, if only just to see my friends enjoy a post-business school whisky like only a dedicated frat-party goer could.  I think this is hysterical and whether it’s used for whisky or another spirit concoction – who says drinking has to be all serious all the time?!  Not me!

On the whisky front – I can see how this might be very nice in during the warmer months.  Acting somewhat like an adult slip-n-slid, the spirit could reduce in temp and hopefully pick up some H2O along the way!  I say, luge away!

WW Rating: ?/5 (I haven’t tried this yet but will update this should that time come …. on that note; Dear Lush Life, I’m happy to include a rating and a more useful review should you wish to send one to me to try!)

Hope you all are having a wonderful start to 2012.  I will give a toast to you on my next round.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Catoctin Creek & an easy summer weekend getaway!

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

My friends,

I am urging all of you to seek out a bottle of Catoctin Creek Organic Roundstone Rye Whisky asap.  I never fully understood love-at-first-taste until last night.  Having recently received a bottle as a gift, I was excited to open it up and have a taste.  WOW.  Was I impressed!

This award-winning whiskey has no alcohol “burn” at all and when it hits your tongue, it melts into a creamy, chewy caramel toffee with notes of vanilla.  I was so impressed with it’s smoothness, I am confident I will be a fan for life.  After a brief conversation with the distillery owner, Scott Harris, it became clear that I am not the only one to have had this reaction and apparently, they are so popular that they are struggling to fill their orders for just the VA, MD & DC markets!  Awww shucks. …Well, we’ll just have to take a road trip!

(Click on the image above to be taken to the Catoctin Creek website)

Made in Purcellville, Virginia, this small micro-brewery makes about 10,000 bottles per year.  They are doubling their production to 20,000 this year but I doubt there will be enough to make it up-stream to NY.  Using local grains, their products are both Organic and Kosher and if that’s not good enough, each bottle is signed & dated by hand.

In addition to the Roundstone Rye, they also make Watershed Gin, Mosby’s Spirit (an unaged whiskey which I’m now dying to try!), a pear brandy, an apple brandy and some seasonal fruit liqueurs.

Want a great summer weekend getaway?  Take a trip to our nation’s capitol for a day (or two), then drive about 1hr west to Catoctin Creek Distillery for a tour & tasting.  After a picnic lunch, drive another hour south to visit the Copper Fox Distillery

If you live in the DC area, check out the May Wine & Cultural Celebration Series at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar on Wednesday, May 11th from 6pm-8pm where Catoctin Creek along with many fellow VA distillers, wine makers, farmers and the like will be doing tastings.  For more information including ticket info and reservations, click HERE.

Love to hear from you!  Be sure to post a comment if you’ve ever visited the distillery or tried any of Catoctin Creek’s products!

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