Whiskey and Nascar

Whiskey and Nascar

I’m from the northeast and was not really aware of Nascar until my teenage years because it just wasn’t really watched by anyone I knew.  I couldn’t understand what made it such a big deal until I learned to drive and realized very quickly that going fast wasn’t easy. I remember reading in high school that Prohibition and moonshining were big influences on racecar driving.  Of course, I also learned that the first car race was in 1895 in Chicago…so basically the minute that an engine was mounted to a carriage, racing them was the obvious next step.  The every man’s car, Ford’s model T, rolled off the lines a little over a decade later.  It was the first time that normal folks could afford to own a car, and they began to tinker with them and figure out how every...

Lets Hear It For The Maltsters!

Lets Hear It For The Maltsters!

One of the most amazing steps in making whiskey is the one of the first steps and is often overlooked in its importance. The first step is farming the grain, of course.  This is incredibly important in determining the quality of the grain.  So much is dependent upon the growing season, weather, rainfall and soil quality.  One harvest will differ from the next.   After the harvest, it’s the maltsters turn… Many grains are used in making whiskey, especially now that so much experimentation is being done to create craft whiskeys.  They can all be malted, but no grain has the diastatic power (enzyme power to convert starches to sugars) that barley has.  It is called the “workhorse grain” because it is often added to a mash in small amounts just for its wonderful...

Tonight’s Cooley Distillery Irish Whiskey Tasting

Tonight’s Cooley Distillery Irish Whiskey Tasting

Today is our “Irish Whiskey Tasting and Gourmet Dinner” event at the Temperance House in Newtown, PA.  The gourmet pairing menu was carefully chosen by the chef and the Dram Devotees of Bucks County to highlight the qualities of each whiskey. – Connemara Peated Irish Single Malt Whiskey Sauteed Mussels in olive oil w/ Smoked Andouille Sausage *Intermezzo (palate cleanser) of Irish Aero Mint Chocolates*  – 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey Seared Scallops w/ Rutabaga Purree & Lavender Beurre Blanc – Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey Rack of Lamb Lollipops w/ Apricot Chutney, Fried Goat Cheese and Haricot Vert – The Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey Venison Loin wrapped in Bacon w/ Whiskey and Wild Mushroom Demi Glace, Roasted Brussel Sprouts...

Lincoln Henderson’s Angel’s Envy

Lincoln Henderson’s Angel’s Envy

Most bourbon drinkers have seen that beautiful bottle of Angels Envy by now.  It has what’s called “shelf appeal” because it stands out among the other bourbons when they’re all lined up on the bar shelf.  The tattoo-like wings and the tall graceful bottle…You know you’ve seen it. The whiskey itself is about 4-6 years old. It was sourced from an undisclosed distillery in Kentucky and then finished in port barrels.  I’ve read that the port barrels used to finish Angel’s Envy bourbon are 60 gallons, but I’ve also read that they used port pipes (a large tapered barrel used in the port industry) which are closer to 150 gallons…not sure on that one.  The company didn’t establish a distillery until 2013 so the whiskey had to be sourced from elsewhere.  The most...

What’s the Sweet Spot in Age for Bourbon?

What’s the Sweet Spot in Age for Bourbon?

So I’ve been asked “What is the sweet spot in age for bourbon?” The answer always goes the same way. “The right age whiskey is the whiskey you enjoy.  If you like it young, than that’s the right one.  If you like it old, than that’s right for you.” It’s like answering the question, “Who’s the best artist in the museum” or “What’s the best food on the menu?”  The truth is that the best is relative.  You have to develop your palate and determine which you prefer.  The more you’re exposed to, the better your own understanding will be of  those preferences.  What I can tell you is there are reasons that your bourbon tastes the way it does.  Knowing how age affects your whiskey is the first step to knowing which ones to sample next.   That, and knowing that price has...