Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Impressively hazed: Russell's Reserve Single Barrel coming soon

I've been asked to mention on my blog that the new Russell's Reserve Single Barrel should start showing up in stores within a month. I agreed, because frankly anyone looking to this blog as a conduit of the latest industry news needs all the help he can get.

No, I agreed because RRSB sounds like just the sort of bourbon I'd like to see more of: non-chill filtered, a proof you can do something with (110, in this case), at a reasonable price point (MSRP of $49.99).
You'd already know about this if you prowled the TABC label website.
My favorite part of the press release is the attempt to turn what I've always heard is a marketing problem into a marketing angle:
By avoiding the chill-filtration process, the whiskey is bottled with more flavor compounds and a deeper color which is denoted by an impressive haze when ice or chilled water is added.
I can see where "a disconcerting haze" wouldn't have struck the right note for consumers.

I haven't tasted RRSB yet; Weekend Whiskey isn't exactly an unsolicited-samples-in-the-mail-type operation. But I am looking forward to trying it, and I hope even more distilleries are working on similar products.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekend Whiskey's Pub Crawl for Those Not Insisting on Exercise

Last year, I proposed a whiskey calendar
whose key dates are November 30 and March 17 -- St. Andrew's Day and St. Patrick's Day, respectively. As you know, St. Andrew's Day is particularly well-suited for drinking Scotch whisky, and St. Patrick's Day for drinking Irish whiskey.
That idea fell flat, but I haven't given up on it altogether.

The whole point of keying on those dates was to celebrate the midpoint by drinking both Scotch and Irish whiskies. But the midpoint between Sts. Andrew & Patrick Days is January 23, and Scotch drinkers aren't going to be thinking about drinking Irish whiskey 2 days before Burns Night.

So this year I'm tweaking things, and proposing the key dates be Burns Night itself -- January 25 -- and St. Patrick's Day. That puts Midwinter's Day on February 19. Adding a few other dates throughout the year gives you this:

Now, as it happens, there is both a Scottish pub and an Irish pub just a couple of miles from me. (And by "as it happens," I mean, "the reason for this whole 'whiskey calendar' nonsense.") What better way to celebrate Midwinter's Day than a pub crawl from the one to the other?

Or, more precisely, to celebrate Midwinter's Weekend, since February 19 is a Tuesday this year and some of us have to be at work the next morning.

So I plan on heading to the Royal Mile Pub for a Scotch whisky around 1 pm on Saturday, February 16, and after a suitable period of time walking the half-block to the Limerick Pub for an Irish whiskey. (All quantities are approximate.)

The blue awning of the Royal Mile Pub, as seen from the front entrance of the Limerick Pub.
Granted, as pub crawls go this one doesn't require much in the way of leg strength. But love of whiskey isn't limited to the natural born hikers among us -- nor, for that matter, to those with an infallible sense of direction.