Posted on March 3, 2013 | By The Bon-Vivant | No Comments
You may keep your William Jennings Bryant “Cross of Gold” and your Jack Kennedy “Ask Not”, for my money, the greatest political speech ever was a short oration first delivered in 1952 by Noah “Soggy” Sweat, candidate for the Mississippi legislature. It is known to us today by the title “If By Whiskey”:
My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:
If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.
But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.
This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.
The phrases “the oil of conversation” and “the philosophic wine” have now officially entered become part of my vocabulary.
Special bonus: Here’s a video of the writer John Grisham, who clerked for Judge Sweat, discussing this noble figure and reading his words.
Posted on February 21, 2013 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
Recently Maker’s Mark announced that due to the inability to meet the demand for their bourbon they were going to make Homeopathic bourbon. If you follow homeopathic medicine, this is where they put something in water and dilute it until there are perhaps NO MOLECULES (NOT ONE SINGLE ONE) of the original solution left. Through the miracle of homeopathic magic, this water somehow retains the properties or some affinity with the original. Thus, as Rob Samuel’s of Makers Mark announced, just by lowering the proof (i.e. diluting) their bourbon, they could meet demand. (By the principles of homeopathy they could meet any…ANY…conceivable demand).
So, problem solved. Until reality came and bitch-slapped Makers Mark right in the face. It was as if Makers had peeped Chris Brown’s phone.
So, Rob Samuels proudly announced that people had spoken and Makers had listened and thus there would be no watering down of their proud product. Problem solved.
Since we announced our decision last week to reduce the alcohol content (ABV) of Maker’s Mark in response to supply constraints, we have heard many concerns and questions from our ambassadors and brand fans. We’re humbled by your overwhelming response and passion for Maker’s Mark. While we thought we were doing what’s right, this is your brand – and you told us in large numbers to change our decision.
You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.
So effective immediately, we are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning. -Rob Samuels-
Posted on January 13, 2013 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
Research conducted by Slim.Fast, one of the UK’s best-loved weight-loss brands, suggests only a third of 55-64 year olds (34%) would be willing to give up drinking alcohol in order to lose weight, despite this being one of the easiest ways to start to slim down. Surprisingly, this older audience is much less keen to give up booze than the UK’s youngsters, with almost twice as many (64%) 18-24 year olds claiming they are happy to ditch the drink to lose weight, counter to reports of a so-called irresponsible generation.
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1ybgl)
So, this being a booze blog, I looked at this. And not being a moron I was surprised at the “Surprisingly” surprise of the writer about older folks being half as likely as younger folks to SAY they would give up drinking to lose weight. For on thing, young people are delusional liars, to themselves and others. They say they would give up drinking, they would not. They think if they give up drinking, in about 2 weeks they would have the body of a model or weightlifter. They would not.
Older folks are more realistic. They might give up drinking but realize they probably would not lose weight. If they did lose weight, they probably would not look that much better anyway. Finally, if they stop drinking they would realize what morons the younger generation truly is, especially in Britain, and that would cause them to drink. Skip the middle man, keep drinking.
Posted on January 9, 2013 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
Every year around Christmas-time (a coincidence?) my birthday comes around. Sadly, if I want to drink bourbon, all bourbon is much younger than I. I could switch to Scotch, win a million dollars, and drink booze older than I, but this has not yet come to pass.
So, this year for my birthday I got to to Old Forester Birthday bourbon, the 2010 bottling. This bourbon is aged twelve years and each year they put out a limited bottling of the “birthday bourbon.” I have had it 3 or 4 times but the 2010 bottling is, so far, my favorite.
A little background based on their own dubious website: According to them, Old Forester was the first bottled whiskey. This was due to it being medicinal and ladies needing a quality standard. It also claims that George Brown, who distilled Old Forester, invented the ubiquitous cardboard separator that goes into cases of 12 bottles that keeps them from banging into each other. One of the things that makes me dubious of the whole thing is the claim that the term “spiking the whiskey” (a term that I have never heard – heard of spiking things with booze, but not spiking booze itself) comes from competitors throwing nails into the barrels of whiskey to spoil them. First, never heard that phrase. Second, can’t find any other citation for that claim. Third, how the hell would they get nails into the barrels? Nail guns? Teleporation? Trained squirrels? Wuck? So, you can read their website and decide for yourself. It seems though, that Old Forester, while not the first bottled bourbon, was the first bourbon available exclusively in bottles, which was a way that doctors and pharmacists could guarantee quality of their medicine (ha!).
They may tell a tall tale, a whiskey drinking tradition, but they also make some decent booze. This particular bourbon is unique, as are all their birthday bourbons, but so far are pretty similar to my tasting. So, it goes like this:
Color: Deep amber.
Nose: A delicate hint of ketones. Smooth, sweet vanilla and caramel.
Palate: Oak, corn, a hint of citrus. Potent on the front for my friend, it had a somewhat harsh alcohol on the back of the tongue, while being smooth and sweet on the front for me. It leaves a nice tingling-almost a fleeting effervescence. The mouth feel is smooth, almost oily and “glowing”. Adding a bit of water smooths it out quite a bit but also takes some of the sweet ketones and warm mouth feel. I think I prefer it straight, but that would definitely be a matter of taste.
Finish: Warm, pleasant and long. This is a very warming drink.
Bottle: Cool shape. Like an old decanter, but if you put some cool decorations on it, you could fool yourself into thinking it was an “I Dream of Genie” bottle. Not that would even occur to me, but it might to some.
Sipping this bourbon on my birthday, I wondered what I needed to do to finish the day. Feeling in a lucky mood I headed off to PartyCasino.com. Dropped a few dollars while sipping but then made it back to finish off a happy and lucky birthday.
Notes: Old Forester is produced by Brown-Forman. The mashbill is 78% corn, 18% rye, and 10 % barley. While I am normally a wheated bourbon fan, this bourbon is pretty sweet and drinkable even for a man of my tastes. This is also the same mashbill for Woodford Reserve, which is one of my favorites at it’s price point. The 2010 is 95 proof, so a decent kick, but not barrel strength or anything close like some bourbons.
The final word- Old Forester Birthday Bourbons are gifts that do not disappoint. Want to give a great gift? Choose this bourbon. Rave reviews every time.
The end of the Mayan World as We Know IT! Two bourbons to drink before the Mayan Apocolypse (We like to call it Mayacolypse)
Posted on December 19, 2012 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
The world is ending tomorrow. We all know it. However, we are not sure what time. I had heard 3:30 p.m. but no one said if that was Eastern Time, Central, GMT or what. So, if it is Pacific time, you luck devils on the East Coast have pretty much the whole day on Friday to get your end-of-the-world drink on! (Look! Chinese alcohols!)
Since at this point money is no object, rush out and make sure you have had these two bourbons before your inevitable and probably painful (anaesthetic is imperative) end:
First up: A product from the Barton family of bourbons by the Sazerac Company. Ten High! This is not the best bourbon. Heck, it is one of the worst. Sazerac makes some really, really good bourbons. This is not one of them. Under $15.00 for 1.75 liters. You could run your car on this cheaper than gas. However, for our purposes, it is important.
So, get a glass, put some in, neat, and take a few sips. Just when your stomach, tongue and any sensibilities you may have are getting ready to attack you, you…..
Move on to:
Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old – This is one of the finest of bourbons, and not so cheap. Put it on a credit card, you won’t have to pay, the Mayacolypse is almost here. This is hard to find because they have had very limited bottlings. They generally do only a few thousand bottles at a time. The price would probably be around $250 to $300 per bottle (Ten High is seeming like more of a bargain here). Drink it neat. Water or ice will just destroy the fine flavors. With a sweet, oaky nose with lots of vanilla, this bourbon starts out great. The flavor continues the oak and vanilla and you really taste the wheat. It finishes sweet with just a hint of bitterness at the very end. Sip and enjoy. Contemplate the errors of your life and realize that after the world is destroyed, who cares? Occasionally sniff the Ten High to remind you just how good this Pappy is.
The Ten High was the contrast to really show you how great the Pappy was. After you have sated on the Pappy you move on to the final course:
Jeppson’s Malort! Here is the link to our original discussion of this liquor. Exactly like eating a tire fire. The point here is, after having the Pappy, and basing this on their own statistics, 49 out of 50 men will welcome the end of the world after this drinking tour de force.
So, bottoms up to you, Mayans! Good Game!
Posted on November 5, 2012 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
A Turk with the name of Haroun
Ate whisky by means of a spoon.
To one who asked why,
This Turk made reply:
“To drink is forbidden, you loon.”
Pergo® XP Extreme Performance Laminate (and Home Depot® Installation)-The Review (Spoiler alert-They suck)
Posted on October 3, 2012 | By TheEnabler | 13 Comments
I would suggest to you, that the following taken directly from Pergo is an incredible lie:
PermaMax™ surface protection by Pergo features innovative ScratchGuard Advanced technology for double the wear, double the durability over ordinary laminate flooring. Authentic texture provides a realistic wood grain finish. Installation is easier and more secure than ever with the patented PerfectFold® joint and premium attached underlayment for a more natural sound. Lifetime limited residential warranty and 5 Year limited light commercial warranty
We had this crap installed in our house by Home Depot. We got the English Oak. A lovely color, looks beautiful for the first week, then you find out that it is crap. This product is billed as commercial grade, extreme performance. Ha! It is to laugh.
Here is a picture of the product, and I use the term loosely:
Okay, time for bed. I will add to this review in the following days. Check back for updates!
So, the sad saga:
Bought the Pergo. Liked the color and we have used Pergo 3 times before in both commercial and home locations and have loved it. Home Depot was offering a special of professional installation for $400.00 flat rate if you bought the Pergo from them. We went for it.
Home Depot installed and initially it looked great. – A quick aside. During the installation, while we were out and the installers were working, the dishwasher overflowed onto the floor. The installers told us what happened but said they had cleaned it up and went on installing.
So, they got done and it looked great. Then we noticed that some of the boards in the kitchen were lifting and that some of the edges in other rooms were high. Then we started getting scratches very easily on the floor which had never happened to us with Pergo. The kitchen got worse.
So, this being the XTREME! and commercial version with the 25 YEAR WARRANTY (5 year commercial) we called Home Depot. As soon as we called, the installer, without any prompting as to what room it was in or anything, said “Oh, that is from the dishwasher overflowing.” Now, this was the installer who had cleaned it up and continued on with his work. If he had told us “Oh, it overflowed and we will have to take out what we had partially put in and replace it.” we would have been fine with that. Our dishwasher overflowed. Or if he had said that we had to let it dry for a week or whatever, that would be fine also. But they said nothing. So, when he immediately piped up with blaming the dishwasher, we were not happy.
So the manager cough*Natalie Bunce* cough, came out with the installer and inspected it. They said it was nothing to do with them and that they had no reason to honor any warranty but that they would send a complaint to Pergo in case it was the manufacturer and a crappy product (which only Home Depot sells, btw).
Pergo came out, poked around and issued THEIR report. It boiled down to they were not responsible but the installers had done a crappy job, had not sealed the kitchen area as the warranty required and had not dried the kitchen after the water spill before completing installation. Pergo, in addition, said that the raised areas in other portions of the house was an installer error and was repairable. Naturally, Home Depot did not offer to repair any of it.
In addition, Home Depot and Natalie Bunce did not give us the Pergo warranty report when initially asked for it. Instead they only gave us the page that said our claim was denied and not the other Pergo report pages.
So, in summation, I would say this: Pergo sucks but Home Depot sucks worse. The XP Extreme is the worst laminate we have purchased even though it is the most expensive and supposedly of commercial quality. We have loved other Pergo’s, we hate this one. Pergo also sucks because they sell this as commercial quality but have no intention of backing their warranty even in a lower use home setting.
HOME DEPOT SUCKS THE WORST. They do a bad job of installation, try to duck responsibility, avoid giving you information, pretend that they are not in their office when they clearly are, won’t acknowledge receiving a complaint that has been mailed and faxed several times (next up, making 400 copies and dumping them in their parking lot) and won’t offer to make good on their crappy installation job.
Come back in a month or two for the update on how the lawsuit in small claims court goes.
Posted on October 3, 2012 | By TheEnabler | 2 Comments
There is almost no earthly reason to watch a presidential debate. You might as well watch zumba ads, or clean your refrigerator coils (saving the earth one dust bunny at a time!). But here is one reason to watch- Presidential Debate Drinking Games – If you get hammered you might actually believe what they say!
Posted on September 28, 2012 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
So, the headline pretty much says it all. It is National Drink Beer Day so you should drink some beer. I would suggest one of my new favorites, the Sierra Nevada Tumbler.
Tumbler is a nice, malty brown ale. I much prefer malty to hoppy in my beers. It is smooth, with a hint of chocolate. It is very nice for fall days. Unfortunately, here in the old Tumbler brewing grounds we are having a sudden surge of close to 100 degree days which detracts from this type of beer, even for me. But, in a week or two when we get some normal cool evenings, I am getting my Tumbler on! Going to take a tumble after drinking? Tumble stumble? I know there is an excellent phrase there, I am close, I can feel it.
Anyway, it is National Drink Beer Day and who are you to question the President? Get out there and drink beer and support the economy. Even Sarah Jessica Parker is!
Posted on September 27, 2012 | By TheEnabler | No Comments
As reported all over, including here in the Examiner, an “unavoidable” worldwide bacon shortage is expected to hit worldwide in 2013. And if Dictionary.com is any guide, “unavoidable” means there is no way to avoid it. Needless to say, there is panic in the streets.
The shortage has barely been felt here in North America, where there remain adequate supplies with small spot shortages here and there. President Obama helped calm things also when, while attending a meet and greet ($75,000 for a martini) at Barbara Streisand’s house, he proclaimed that the United States government stands ready to release supplies from the National Strategic Pork Reserve to take care of the “legitimate bacon needs” of the 99%. He also floated the idea of seizing stockpiles of bacon and bacon related products from the “very rich” (defined as those having more than 10 lbs. of bacon assets). Warren Buffet immediately added that he eats much more bacon than his secretary and that is just not right.
Overseas, as seen in this picture, things are harder:
What is causing this shortage? Global warming? Some experts are blaming the backlash against the backlash against the movie mocking Mohammed. These experts claim that Americans are deliberately overindulging in bacon to show their support for free speech and subtle atagonism against Muslim extremism. The real reason? Who is to know? All we know is that bacon is delicious and we may not have enough of it. Tragedy!
So, here is a recipe that can give you at least a bit of that delicious bacon flavor during the long dark night of the bacon shortage:
BACON INFUSED BOURBON
Take a fifth of bourbon (yes, yes, metric.). Here I would recommend a wheat bourbon which is generally sweeter and smoother than other bourbons. Maker’s Mark, the various Weller’s, Pappy Van Winkle (although why ruin that with bacon) or Rebel Yell (a perfect choice. This innocuous bourbon would do well with bacon and also is not that expensive). Fry 6-8 pieces of bacon and reserve 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Put bacon strips and fat into a long, flat, covered container (a gallon ziploc bag, with the air taken out and placed in a baking dish works perfectly. Leave out at room temperature for 4-5 days (the alcohol preserves the meat). Remove bacon strips and enjoy them. Place the bag into the freezer for 30 minutes or whatever to make the fat solidify thus being easier to remove. Finally, strain the bourbon through a double thickness of cheesecloth or through a coffee filter to remove more of the fat and put back in bottle and enjoy.
(Enabler’s note: Bacon Bourbon is interesting and something to try out on your friends for novelty sake, but really is not that great IMHO. Try it yourself and make the call, though. As noted, it is worth doing once just for the novelty. For looks, you can leave a nice, crispy strip of bacon in the bottle, if the mouth is large enough).keep looking »