Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: Jim Beam Signature Craft "Quarter Cask Finished"

A true appreciation of the Grateful Dead can only be achieved by listening to their live recordings.  Their studio work doesn't do them justice.

While there is a lot of debate as to their best concert, what hooked me was their May 8, 1977 performance at Barton Hall, Cornell University: click here!

The song that reeled me first was Morning Dew.  Others that will get their hooks into you are:  Scarlet Begonias, Brown Eyed Women and Jack Straw.  Click below to listen.

What does the Dead have to do with a whisky review?  Nothing really.  I just wanted to expand your musical horizons, even if I had to exploit your interest in whisky in order to do so.

Jim Beam Signature Craft "Quarter Cask Finished"



Release Date

Nose (undiluted)
Cinnamon, lavender, roses, oak.

Palate (undiluted)
Sweet corn notes, toasted oak, lemon zest, apricot. Oak dominates.

Finish (undiluted)
 Medium spiced rye, dark toast, oak and vanilla.

General Impressions
I found this bourbon to be very pleasant, quite smooth, with prominent oak and cinnamon at the forefront of taste.  For the price and 43% ABV, I expected a wee bit more flavor complexity.  So, the price is a little rich for what you get.  At $32, I would be singing its praises but at $39 there are some other aged bourbons that you may prefer if you like more vibrant and challenging flavors.

I think this will have mass appeal, especially for those who like to add ice or water.  I really think this is a very pleasant bourbon to explore neat if you want to know what all the fuss of bourbon is about and willing to pay a little premium.  And finally, I raise a toast to Jerry Garcia with this bourbon.  His positive spirit and improvisational genius has brought a lot of sunlight into this world.  Thank you Jerry!


Jason Debly

P.S.   I always admired the Grateful Dead for making their live performances available for free, even setting up a section at their concerts where fans could plug into their soundboard, and record the live performance, so long as they did not profit from the recordings.

Photo credits:  Jerry Garcia photo taken by Andy Leonard; Photo of Jim Beam taken by Jason Debly.  Mr. Leonard's photo is used here purely for entertainment and educational purposes.  Mr. Leonard retains all moral and intellectual property rights to said photo and may not be reproduced without his permission.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Trump:  Next question.  You!  Over on the left.  Go ahead!

Debly:  Moving away from ISIS and Sarah Palin's remarkable figure, I was wondering if you could tell us what you think of Monkey Shoulder?

Trump:  I don't drink alcohol.

Debly:  I sent you a sample with my tasting notes.  One of your aides said you tasted it, as it is from Scotland, "the land of his ancestors and the home of golf" as she aptly put it.

Trump:  Yeah, yeah, I took a sip.  Even though, I don't drink alcohol.

Debly:  Think of your opinion on this blended malt as a statement of your foreign policy on Scotland.

Trump:  I do love Scotland and I built a tremendous golf course there.  Absolutely tremendous!  It's a huge success!  . . . . Okay kid, read me your tasting notes, refresh my memory.

Nose (undiluted)
Citrus, oak, apples and a distinct but faint alcoholic note.

Palate (undiluted)
Smooth apples, caramel, honey and grapefruit.

Finish (undiluted)
Malty, mild pepper, lemon seed, a little rubbing alcohol chased by some slight smoke.

. . .

Debly:  Cheap price in the US.  Around $29.  Good value for money, but not north of the border in Canada.  At $59, grab a cheap single malt instead.  It may be a blended malt at 43% ABV, but not much complexity.  Actually, no complexity, much like your platform.

Trump:  Whoa?  Not much complexity?  Excuse me!  I am very rich!  I built a tremendous company!  I create jobs.  I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created!  We need to make America great again.  We don't have victories anymore because our leaders are fools outfoxed by China, Japan and Mexico, but I will change all that.  How is that for complexity?  AND!  I will win the Black vote and the Hispanic vote!

Debly:  Yes, but what about the Monkey Shoulder fan-base vote?

Photo Credits:  Photo of Donald Trump by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.  Mark Wilson's photograph is used purely for the purposes of education, entertainment and humor.  All copyright and moral rights are the property of Mark Wilson/Getty.  Photo of Monkey Shoulder bottle by Jason Debly.