Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Training

So I just got back from a mini vacation to escape the winter blues. The wife and I went down to Bradenton, FL for Pirates Spring Training. It was a nice extended weekend. I managed to get sunburned on the very first day. Anyways, in my previous post Sui Generis, I talked about how I like to pick up spirits unavailable in PA whenever I go out of town. Well, we ended up checking a bag on our return flight specifically for the booze we picked up, and I thought I might share with you what we got.

Fighting Cock Straight Kentucky Bourbon: This 103 proof whiskey is aged a minimum of 6 years. I am thoroughly expecting it to be anything but high class, but when you have a name like that and a crazed rooster on the bottle, it's hard not to say "oh, I gotta get me some of that."

Pusser's British Navy Rum is the original Navy Rum. The recipe was purchased from the Royal Navy by an American Entrepreneur after the Navy officially ended a long tradition of issuing daily rum rations to sailors. The back of the bottle touts a fanciful story of how the rum has been traditionally made in wooden pot stills over the past two hundred years, and how this process somehow imbues the rum with it's unique characteristics. A pleasant tail, but not exactly 100% accurate. The truth is that Pusser's doesn't distill their own rum at all. The original recipe, dating back over 350 years, is actually a blend of five other rums from various West Indian Islands; a process that today's modern Navy rum still follows. I plan to write a more in depth article about the Royal Navy's rum at a later date. I've been reading a very good book about rum's influence on the New World. It's because of this fascination that I told myself I had to buy a bottle of Pusser's if I ever came across it.

Wiser's Very Old 18 Year Blended Canadian Whisky: I am Actually quite surprised that the PLCB does not carry any of the Wiser's line. It happens to be a fairly well known and established brand. Even Thorogood refers to his good buddy Wiser in his song "I drink Alone" (and you thought he was just singing about beer). As the name implies, this is a very old Canadian whisky. It's been aged 18 years and I am looking forward to cracking this one open.

Ron Diaz Spiced Rum is a 3 year old rum out of Barbados. I didn't know a thing about this rum when I bought it. After some research, I found out that it's actually is a pretty cheap rum popular with the college crowd. I found this picture of what the bottle used to look like.I was definitely drawn in by a very well done makeover. But it may not be just cosmetic. I also noticed that they upped the alcohol content from what used to be 60 proof to 70. But I never knock anything till I try it. I truly hope it turns out good. After all, back in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Barbados was where all the best rum came from. Of course back then you're basically comparing one distillery to another by who threw more dead rats into the mix to kick-start the fermentation, or how many chamber pots were emptied in to keep the slaves from steeling it. Hmm tasty.

So that's what I brought back from Florida. I will be sure to give a follow up on how things turn out once I get around to trying them all. Until then, keep on drink'n.

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