Saturday, March 30, 2013

Give me meth, or give me cupcakes!


1:30 am on a Friday night (well, Saturday morning), you are awoken to the sounds of electric mixers, metal bowls banging around, rapid speech and maniacal laughter.  So, is it A) methamphetamine addicts have broken into your kitchen and are making a late night batch of crank, or B) teenagers have decided 1:30 am is the perfect time to make red velvet cupcakes?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scotch Snobs


Those who know me even casually, know that I like whiskey (or "whisky").  It's good stuff.  My favorite is bourbon, but I also enjoy Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky as well.  People who don't like whiskey will say it's nasty, rough, and burns like a mouthful of gasoline.  Well, poor quality whiskey can, in fact, taste like that.  But the good stuff, the stuff I enjoy, will have (in various combinations) honey, vanilla, maple, oak, dried fruit, smoke, sherry and floral qualities to it.  It's seriously good.  However, this brings me to the Scotch snob crowd...

A Scotch snob will tell you if it tastes good, it's shit.  Only the overly peated, medicinal smoke bombs that would make a wild boar gag are the Scotches worth your time.  Only these vile whiskies are "complex" (complex is whiskey snob code for foul tasting) enough for a Scotch snob's time.  Here's a typical Scotch snob whiskey review of something they would find top notch:

Nose: smells like baby vomit...but worse.  Think of a baby eating an entire box of adhesive tape along with a couple of Band Aids, and then puked it up on your collar.  Once you get through the vomity introduction, it's followed by hints of summer road tar, and Satan farted in your car with the windows rolled up.  Some boiled cabbage comes through and some smoke.  But not wood smoke, more like if an emergency road flare had an orgy with gunpowder, burning foam sofa cushions, and overheated disc brakes...and then had a bastard love child with all of these qualities.  Some sweet vanilla comes through, but then this is immediately shat upon by wave after wave of iodine, rotting oleander, and Vicks VapoRub.  The VapoRub is followed by the smell of a glue factory.  
It's complex and amazing.  I give the nose an A+.  (Warning: after one whiff of this my olfactory senses quit working for a week...but totally worth it)

Palate: now here's where it gets interesting.  More smoke.  Like an electrical fire and burnt insulation.  Some more rotten egg and if Godzilla sodomized a volcano and then immediately wiped his dick into my glass.  A little charcoal and bitter adhesive...reminiscent of being locked in a bank vault with a bandaged hooker on a summers day, and snorting lines of powdered residue taken from your barbecue grill off of the small of her back as she is positioned on all fours and lighting a crack pipe with a blow torch.  Wood glue. Model airplane glue. Super lead solder...followed by more glue. This is followed by .0003 seconds of vanilla, oak, and wild honey, and this is mercifully strangled with a strippers bra and replaced by ancient mariners rope and disinfectant.  Some vegetal quality...spoiled sauerkraut...maybe some broccoli and asparagus.  Sweet dung...and finally isopropyl rubbing alcohol.  
It's complex and amazing.  I give it an A. 

Finish: long.  Slow.  Like slowly rotting desert roadkill left in the sun in springtime.  Instantly induces tinnitus and a short term bout of nonspecific urethritis.  Hot and a garbage landfill fire on the back of my tongue.  More charcoal and smoke...burning used tires and a dirty oven on the self clean cycle.  Momentary blindness in my left eye followed by overtones of ipecac.  Pine tar.  Cough syrup.  Dirty diapers and curry.  More curry.  Some kimchi...followed by more kimchi...Thai curry...and the baby vomit makes another appearance.  A little maple, which is immediately gunned down by a cigarette smoking, one eyed Hungarian with athletes foot, who then buries it in a swamp.  This is followed by clouds iodine, wound cleanser, the atmosphere of Venus, dirty crotch, and bug repellant.  
It's complex and amazing.  I give it an A.  
To sum up, this is mind blowing Scotch.  Highly recommended.   

If you look up a review by a whisky snob on something like Laphroaig, you'll see what I mean.

Now, here's the same review by a Scotch snob on something I'd enjoy (i.e. a Speyside, Highlands, or a high end blend*):

Nose: vanilla. Dried fruit. Wild honey. Some smoke...hints of bacon frying in the pan on a winters day. Oak.  Sherry. Compote.  Christmas spices.  Baked banana bread.  Creme brulee.  Wild flowers.  The warm skin of a beautiful woman as she lays next to you.  
It's ok, but rather dull and uninspired.  Could use more complexity.  I give it a C. (Side note: my inoperable brain tumor suddenly disappeared as I drank this....but this doesn't replace this whisky's need for more complexity)  

Palate: mana of the gods.  More vanilla, oak, mild flavorful smoke, heather, wild honey, and sherry.  Feels like a super model was massaging the back of my tongue.  Fresh baked bread, a spreading warmth like a holiday fireplace filled with flavorful oak, and some bourbon sweetness infused from the toasted cask.  Flavored lip gloss from the girl you first kissed at 14 and havent forgotten 30 years later, and hints of a Michelin starred restaurant.  Imported Swiss chocolate.  Baked Alaska surrounded by bread pudding, and finished with New York style cheesecake and wet dreams.
It's ok, but rather dull and uninspired.  Could use more complexity.  I give it a C.

Finish: I'm not sure.  It started off with the lilting sounds of angels singing and the smoothness of a gently flowing mountain stream.  Some delightful smokey warmth, and spontaneous orgasm.  Warm holiday spices and more of that vanilla and wild honey.  I then passed out from sheer bliss and cannot remember the rest of the experience.  
It's ok, but rather dull and uninspired.  Could use more complexity.  I give it a C.  

The whole experience with this dram is alright if you're looking for a Scotch that's drinkable, has good flavor, is smooth and brings you pleasure...but I cannot recommend it.  Look for something a bit more complex...and has hint's of Satan's flatulence.  In fact, there's an Islay single malt called "Satan's Wind" that has this very quality, and I highly recommend it...especially since it's a bargain at $250 a bottle.    

Anyways, what I'm alluding to here is that there are some delicious whiskies out there, and if the stuff you tried based on the review of some so-called expert tasted like probably did.  Ask your non-self aggrandizing friends who enjoy whiskey (and who also don't endlessly drone on about it...a good sign they're NOT Scotch snobs) for a recommendation.  Remember, it's important they're not uppity douchebags...otherwise they'll steer you to the "Satan's Wind" brand.  You might be surprised at what you find...and you may actually like it.      

* How to tell if you're one of the dreaded douche bags I just described above, i.e., a single malt Scotch snob:

1) You looked at the picture of the whiskey with ice in it and immediately thought: Ice???? ICE???  Ice lowers the temp and doesn't allow the full presentation, flavor and nose of the whiskey.  Only a charlatan, a bumpkin, or AN AMERICAN adds ice!!!!  You're missing out on the cabbage and baby vomit!!!!  

(Well, screw you.  I like my drinks ice cold and the ice melts and adds a little water to the whiskey, rounding its flavors, enhancing the wood and vanilla, and takes off rough edges...but that's just me.  Only the Scotch snob tries to tell another how to enjoy their drink)

2) You saw the word "blend" and scoffed, because the only Scotch worth drinking is single malt Scotch.  

(Actually, there are some amazing blends out there, some as good or better than overpriced single malts, and I've got a bottle of Chivas 18yr old to prove it.  In fact, the single malt craze is the result of a rather successful marketing strategy from years back, as it used to be thought most single malts were too rough for most palates.  Back in the day, most Scotches WERE BLENDS.  There is no shame in enjoying something easy to find like Johnny Walker black label.  It tastes good...and isn't that the point?  In fact, Compass Box is a highly regarded, craft style Scotch producer who embraces blends and makes nothing but blends...and is quickly reshaping the attitude towards blends with their highly rated offerings) 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


How to tell you're a grown ass man: all of your thermal travel mugs are in the dishwasher, and rather than go without coffee, you take one of your daughter's thermal mugs to work instead.  After all, going to work without coffee is NOT AN OPTION, and the thought of a work day filled with snarky, coworker barbs is NOTHING compared to a work day without coffee (i.e. my preferred caffeine* delivery system).

*Caffeine: an amazing legal stimulant that allows people to get to work/school on time, keeps the digestive tract humming along, is a major headache antagonist, allows one to find the upside to their very existence, encourages conversations with coworkers/classmates/peers you would normally find intolerable, gently prevents sleep without all those nasty murderous rages and demonic hallucinations associated with other stimulants, and is the major cog that drives the Earth's economic engine.