Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Male Vices

I’ve posted some of my more favorite recipes on here before, including some that I got from Tanker over at Mostly Cajun, as well as some that I learned from Mom and made up myself over the years. 

What I haven’t done is given any good whiskey recommendations in a while, which is kind of sad since I’ve discovered some really good ones recently.

First, Pendleton:  

As I’ve admitted before, I’m really a sucker for good Canadian blended whiskeys.  They are just so smooth and easy to drink, as well as having a quality that I’ve found that I like over the years – a touch of sweetness.  They also lack the peaty, smoky qualities of Scotch, that, while attractive to some, are a huge turn-off to some palettes. 

The standard, off-the-shelf Pendleton Whiskey is just absolutely outstanding.  That being said, I stepped away from the blends the other day, and bought a 5th of Pendleton 1910, which is the Pendleton recipe, but using only rye, as opposed to blended grains. 

This is, by a fair margin, the best whiskey I’ve ever had

I highly recommend Pendleton 1910 to anyone who wants to try a very solid rye whiskey that is so smooth that you have to do a double-take on the alcohol content to make sure it isn’t diluted.  If you’re trying to bring a new drinker into the whiskey fold, then by golly, you could do a lot worse than starting them out on 1910.  You could make a convert out of a fuzzy navel drinker in one afternoon.  Goes for about $35 a 5th in the local stores. 

On to Scotch.  As I mentioned before, I tried a new Scotch over at McMineman’s in Hillsboro, Oregon the weekend before last.  It was Laphroaig Quarter Cask.  It is aged in a smaller cask (called a quarter cask), which means that it draws more of the sugars out of the wood during the aging process.  It is smoky and sweet, with a lot less peaty flavor than most scotch whiskeys, which I have to admit is my least favorite aromatic in the scotch panoply.  It smelled so strongly of vanilla that I had a hard time believing that it hadn’t had vanilla extract added to it.  It goes for about $60 a 5th in the local stores.

As I always recommend when we’re talking about a good Scotch, I paired it with a nice cigar.  The smoking shed at McMinimans is grandfathered in prior to the indoor smoking ban, so we were able to sit inside the shed on a wrap-around couch while we enjoyed our drinks and smokes.  I had a Punch something-or-other.  I honestly don’t remember what it was, but it was really excellent.  The combination of the Laphroaig and cigar was over $30, so this isn’t the sort of habit that you have if you want to die rich.  That being said, I consider the opportunity to enjoy these treats while sitting about catching up with my best high school buddies that I don’t hardly see but two or three times a year if I’m lucky, and it was worth it.  

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