Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bombay Dry Gin

My last review of gin was more like orange vodka than gin, so I set out to get a “regular” one. I didn’t get Bombay Sapphire because I needed something for cocktails though, and that isn’t your typical gin with juniper berry as the prime flavor. This is the standard London dry version of Bombay Sapphire.

The nose of this tells me that it’s more of the gin I wanted, that pine-like smell. It has that warm alcohol nose as well though. Taking a sip of it is a step in the smoother direction though. Besides going down smoothly the palate shows the juniper berry again but there’s a lot more going on and it all intermingles so well that it’s hard to dissect the tastes. I can distinguish a little lemon rind and almond, but I needed to look at the label to distinguish the rest.

This might be my gin for tonics and such. It’s my favorite gin yet, at an A (excellent). Now I said I needed this for cocktails, so here’s a good one. The Tom Collins:
- 2 oz gin
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- club soda or seltzer
Combine the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass with ice. Top off with the soda and stir briefly. You can garnish with a cherry and/or orange slice.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Teavana Cacao Mint Black

This might be more appropriate than chai tea for winter! Just think of sitting down in front of a warm fire on a cold winter night with such a tea. I think this title sets a high standard simply listing the ingredients, so lets see if Teavana can live up to it.

I was surprised at how short the steeping time on this tea was, but I can see now it would be too strong if too long. The scent of this tea wouldn't make you think this was a tea, the chocolate and mint are equally perceptible. The actual tea is nonexistent though, but the taste brings this out. In the palate mint and cacao take a back seat. The cacao is even less noticeable as well because it seems to just be a part of the mint somehow. A slight chocolate aftertaste is noticeable to me.

Just the loose tea and steam above my cup has a passionate fragrance, but the palate doesn't live up to it. It's rather dull somehow with a simple tea base that's obviously not darjeeling or a stronger assm. It's plain so mediocre describes it well C (decent).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile

This is my first review of a chamomile tea. For those that don't know what that is, it's an herbal tea from Egypt that's commonly related with sleep and calming. Honey and vanilla sounds like a good addition to a soothing drink, right? I'll find out if Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile is something you should keep in your cupboard for a night you can't fall asleep.

This smells quite sweet. The aura put off by this is the honey with a nutty side of vanilla, but I can also identify an orange citrus in the background. Once sipped you can taste chamomile, a floral-clover flavor and the nutty vanilla. Honey and orange are underneath being barely noticeable. The honey element sticks to the back of your tongue.

This tea does its job calming for sure, I can feel it. Taste wise it's a find drink that I'll visit frequently before bed. B (good). This would be a great drink for when one's sick in bed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ommegang Hennepin

I found this beer at my local grocery store with a new selection of 750ml beers and I hadn't heard of Ommegang so I picked it up to put something new to myself on my site. (It was also a bit less expensive than the other selections).

My first impression of this beer while pouring was a lager? It fizzled as I poured with a light quickly expanding head, but after smelling I knew this was wrong. Yeast was first but light spices and honey lay underneath. Tasting had the somehow sweetened yeast as well with a light body and "light fruit" note such as white grapes, oranges, and/or pears. It finished while swallowing as something of a lager with a citrus element or perhaps spiced.

A rather unique Belgian ale due to being light and lacking any malt. I give it a B (good) because I prefer beers of this sort to be heavier and more spiced such as Allagash Dubbel or Unibroue Maudite which I'll get to eventually. I do recommend to any who like larger production production beers like Blue Moon or Hoegaarden.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sebago Slick Nick

Slick Nick, the Sebago Brewing Company's winter season brew. It's past St Nick's world wide trip, but you can still buy this. So lets see if it's worth the reminder to be good when seeing this label.

The sight of this beer is a fairly uncommon one; the beer is a copper color but it has a foamy head like most stouts. This should be interesting. You can smell sweet but not overpowering malts because some fruits can also be detected along with toffee. The palate brings out the sweet malt and you get more of a caramel taste from it. It has a middle of the road medium body that almost doesn't seem to match its head. The aftertaste is quite unique with hops and the fruit (apple), unlike the rest of the malty experience.

I can see why Sebago Brewers claims this is their best selling seasonal ale. Unlike most winter ales, this one isn't the typical spiced ale. For all those who have a hard time drinking those, pick up a six pack of this. I like spiced winter ales, but I think this one will be taken home by me just as much as any other winter season brew. B (good)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ménage à Trois ‘08

Have you heard the rule of thumb red wine goes with red meat? But what one?!?! There are so many different grapes, what one is best? If you've asked yourself this, the answer depends on many variables (most importantly your tastes). To start your search on red wine preferences try Ménage à Trois, a bottle without a grape.

This wine does a great job at combining the qualities of different grapes to create a bottle that works. Ménage a Trois has zinfandel, cabernet and merlot in this and the first thing that came to me was teh fruits of the zinfandel. Jam-like black and raspberry best describe the palate, but little tannin of the cabernet is detectable in the aftertaste. Despite these two heavier red grapes, teh merlot seems to take over teh body with a smooth texture.
I think this is a great wine for those looking to get into red wines or who don’t think they like red wine. My fiancé isn’t a fan of red wine and she enjoyed it just the same. A drink that can achieve this deserves a B (good) despite being simple in taste.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Golden Moon Tea Tippy Earl Grey

Earl grey seems to be a polarizing tea, you either love it or hate it. Golden Moon has a "tippy" earl grey that their website speaks highly of and is steeping in front of me. I don't know what tippy is supposed to mean but I care more about how this earl grey is different in taste, not title.

Smelling the haze above my cup I can perceive a black tea that's more delicate than breakfast or assam teas. Of course the standard lavender is there as well, but it doesn't overshoadow the actual tea tone like other earl greys I've had before. The palate brings out the citrus notes that initially are brought to the front but after a few more sips it blends with the tea and lavender to outline a balanced flavor. The aftertaste is of the light lavender and citrus rind.

This delicate equilirbium created gives Golden Moon's Tippy Earl Grey a high mark. A (excellent). I'm not a fan of earl grey teas, but I'm a fan of this one and it'll have a spot in my cupboard.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

St Peter's Cream Stout

If you've read some of my other reviews, you'll know I'm a fan of a real rich stout. Ireland and Maine have impressed me with a stout creation before, but today the UK in on the line. St Peter's is the brewery representing and they've been popular enough to have its products travel the Atlantic Ocean. Lets see if their stout matches up to the standards set by others.

St Peter's Cream Stout was obviously meant to be drunk warmer than American beers. It seemed inadequate at first but as it warmed up, I warmed up to it. The palate is almost tasteless served ice cold, but give it some time to warm and you'll be met with a strong taste of roasted barley. The chocolate taste of the roasted barley was on the "darker" side, like a bar of dark chocolate with more cocoa. Baking chocolate is the better way to describe the aftertaste though, bittersweet. I think this beer was one of the most full bodied stouts I've drank as well.

St Peter's Cream Stout is a blunt, no-nonsense beer that deserves an A (excellent). If you like a good strong stout as well or want to try and grow hair on your chest, go find this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Peet's French Roast

Starbucks is a household name these days in America. Most know it as a company from the northwest that brought a more european cup of coffee to the nation. Most don't know that there are actually quite a few companies from this area, available nationwide, that offer a more refined cup as well. Today I'll be reviewing one of them, Peet's Coffee.

Peet's French Roast is noted as one of the best sellers of the Peet's brand and I can understand why. I've noticed a trend in demanding coffee drinker, they want it dark. This french roast is certainly dark, but surprisingly it has a light body and is easy to drink. The palate of this is disappointing to me though, all I get besides the roast is a smoky note. It's easily smelled as well and there isn't any prominent aftertaste.

So Peet's French Roast is rather simple. Due to this I'm giving it a D (decent), but I think this coffee should be considered by those who put their coffee in a timed maker and run out the door with a thermos. It's still a good cup-o'-joe.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Stash Lemon Ginger

Sorry about the lack of posts recently, the holidays and lack of an internet connection was hindering. My first post in 2010 is Stash's herbal Lemon Ginger tea. Now I've tried many teas with lemon and ginger before, but not one with lemon and ginger.

Indian cuisine seems to be the theme of this tea. The smell put out by this mimics a lemon lentil dish perfectly with a zesty-spicy lemon scent. Once sipped the ginger factor appears as a bite and lemon takes a back seat but remains potent. It's hard to divide the two as well because they're both spicy in the same way. Once I finished my cup a light warmth lingered in my mouth like the kind you get after a hot Mexican (or Indian) meal.

Even though this tea is unlike any other I've had before with the heat and parallels to past Asian meals, I give Stash's Lemon Ginger a C (decent). Tea shouldn't be spicy like this. If you're looking for a tea to match your dinner containing a large dose of curry, I'd go and find this.