Archive for the ‘other spirits’ Category

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

August 5, 2009

I have had Samuel Adams twice before. The first time was about three years ago and I don’t remember what brew it was. It was horrible and tasted like chocoloates and vanilla and very unlike beer. A year later, when a bunch of us classmates met to spend the weekend going to strip clubs and casinos, a committed spoilsport changed our plans and took us to hooters instead. As if that were not enough, he ordered a pitcher of Samuel Adams winter lager. It was equally horrible and flat. I took my chances this weekend and ordered a Boston lager on tap at the local pub.

Notes — Nothing extraordinary and hence not unpalatable either. Hops and malt. Easy to drink, crisp. A decent failsafe option.


Guinness Draught

May 31, 2009

A perfect Friday — lazy lunch paid for by the employer with the rest of the afternoon off. We went to the nearby P. F. Chang’s and not wanting to expirement with the Japanese and Chinese beers, I stuck to Guinness. And I regret. The beer they served wasn’t optimally cold, so I wonder if that has anything to do with the taste. The waiter tilted the bottle upside down and poured it from a height, but the famed froth was nowhere to be seen. It stayed kind of like the one in the picture.

Notes — Flat and thin with hints of herbs, much like kashayam. Not very bitter.

The last time I had one, I remember it to be rich and chocolatey with hints of vanilla and very bitter to taste. That was also from a bottle with nitro widget or rocket or whatever they call it.

Pomegranate Wine – Tree of Life

April 28, 2009

Certain products are ridiculously odd and leave you wondering what the point behind them is. Like the philips norelco shavers with counter-intuitive blades or for that matter, the quasi-luxury acura cars. This week, I happened to buy an organic wine made from pomegranates. It was neither like the tasty pomegranate juice nor like red wine. It was bland, tasteless and worst of all, even at 14% abv, there was no bodhai to be had.

Notes — dilute pomegranate juice, mildly tangy and sour.

To sum up, for a wine from Yerevan, it is surprisingly like the famous Radio Yerevan Joke.

Q: Is it true that Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov from Moscow won a car in a lottery?
A: In principle yes, but:

  1. it wasn’t Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov but Aleksander Aleksandrovich Aleksandrov;
  2. he is not from Moscow but from Odessa;
  3. it was not a car but a bicycle;
  4. he didn’t win it, but it was stolen from him.


April 21, 2009

Given the number of years I have been drinking, I have never had a Chianti before. However, I made up for that this week by having two simple and wonderful Chiantis. First, my wife wanted to go to a rather exclusive San Marinese restaurant that required you to dress in a certain way. The items on the menu had content listing and the method of preparation in place of a name . Like braised sea weeds in scallop sauce. I asked the waiter to suggest a wine to go with our vegetarian order and he brought me a glass of Chianti Placido. It was cheap at about $10 a glass, uncomplicated, bit sour and dry.

The second instance was serendipitous and the wine was much better. Looking to get a pizza delivery phone number, I turned to google local serch. Instead, it directed me to a pizzeria hardly a stone’s throw away. It was a small place centered around the pizza oven. The chefs were showy, tossing the dough up in the air and they had a no-frills wine bar that was well stocked. The wine was served in dull tumblers and the bar tender was cool enough to offer me three different wines to taste before choosing one. I chose Chianti Ruffino. It was fruity, spicy with hints of pepper and dry. Overall, excellent.

Clos Du Bois Merlot 2005

April 13, 2009

The long weekend is gone. I planned on a drink-read-eat-sleep routine but it never materialized. My wife had a laundry list of things to do and as if by some evil design, they were evenly spaced to cover every day – going to Costco, dressing up to get our portrait done and rearranging the furniture. However, I had the perfect medicine — a bottle of merlot.

I have zero knowledge of wine and I am good with any wine as long as it is not watery. I tend to go by a) the ratings pasted on the shelves b) name — European sounding is better and c) the cost must be sub $25.

Clos Du Bois 2005 Merlot North Coast. Clos Du Bois wines consistently score 85+, cost 15-25 and with a French sounding name, one of my favourites.

Notes — Fruity and a bit watery at first, but had a good dry finish. Woody. Strong like fortified wine. Seems to go well with spicy food.

Pilsner Urquell

March 30, 2009

The biggest problem with alcohol consumption is that it leads to delusions of intellectual clarity and superiority. Unsurprisingly, I see random groups picketing against outsourcing at major road intersections and people honking in solidarity as they drive by. Wondering if the picketers knew where their sneakers and Levis came from, I was chuckling smugly at the apparent hypocrisy. The usual thought train – “markets-free trade-sore losers” ensued and that was it. Until I had one too many bottles of Pilsner Urquell that night, which led to the realization that anarchy is the most desirable if one has talents that are outlawed by the government. The second most desirable has to be a totalitarian planned economy. But I digress.

Notes — Rich golden color. Bread, earthy grains with a dash of lemon. Bitter finish with hops. Very refreshing.

Summary — My favourite beer. Easy to drink. Ideal for lazing around with a book/computer. Equally wonderful when doing something like painting, cooking or cleaning.

Jameson Irish Whisk’e’y

March 18, 2009

Finding oneself in the midst of revellers could be intimidating. I ought to know. Last year at about this time, I was in a train in Boston, on my way to the airport. I did notice an unusual number of green hats and “I am Irish” t-shirts, but nothing prepared me for what happened at the Harvard station. A sea of 20-somethings in costumes of varying “green”ness flooded the train, chocking me to crap my pants. In comparison, the beach-tambaram train in madras is like a limo. Anyhow, that presented me with the excuse to down two bottles of Guinness at the airport.

Today, thanks to a colleague, I found myself in an Irish pub. I somehow have the opinion that whiskeys are inferior to whiskies and blended malts inferior to single malts. That’s just me, however. Never having tried Irish Whiskey, I ordered a glass of Jameson.

Notes — May be because I am conceited, very strong notes of the Re. 1 oorugai potlam and spirits. A few swirls later, wood and flowers. Spicy and nutty with sweet finish.

Bird catching fish

February 28, 2009

Overcome by extreme ennui, I trolled the brown quarters of the blogo-fucking-sphere. Holy shit! Frivolity and questionable judgement are the cornerstones of this blog and we don’t have delusions of intellect. However, the contents of these blogs are so stupid that even I get the itch to fisk. The new fad is to criticize and disown Bobby Jindal. Apparently, that makes a desi objective. To which I can only say Locus Standi. Besides one cannot reason with people who read HuffPo and dailykos for news and watch Olby for opinion. Instead, one can drink Kingfisher lager.

Notes — Crisp, clean and refreshing. Intense with hops. Holds itself with spicy food. Uncomplicated. Light and easy to drink, which is how I like my beer.

Summary — In my opinion, the best export from India. Almost makes up for the bad apples with H and F visas. Almost.

PS – Masochistic readers can visit desipundit, ultrabrown and sepiamutiny.

Stella Artois and Super Bowl

February 2, 2009
stella artois

Jessica Alba is supposed to appear in “The Office” after this super bowl game. In keeping with the “blending with the times” it is cold beer and chips and dip in the great lakes area. As “I sir” would put it, the Americans have mastered many things, but beer making isn’t one  of them. The guys at Samuel Adams try their best with their seasonal brews, but I’d prefer they brew something simple and crisp. So here I am with Stella Artois, the breadwinner for InBev from Belgium and watching the all-American sport.

Notes — Pale amber in color. Citrus peels, wheat bread and hops. Hops sit on the palette for a while along with sour citrus. Crisp and vibrant.

Summary — An excellent pilsner, fourth on my list, following Pilsner Urquell, Kingfisher and Carlsberg in that order.

Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal

January 25, 2009

Rémy Martin 1738

Got to blend in with the times. Which is why I decided to go for a cognac and embrace hiphop this week. Having tried the VSOPs offerings of both Rémy and Hennessy before, I decided to try something else. The XOs are a bit prohibitively priced, so this 1738 variation of Rémy was the only choice. Plus, the liquor store had a gift packing with a leather hip flask. How appropriate!

The history goes that in 1738, Louis XV of France granted Rémy Martin a warrant to expand his vineyard. Hence the name. There is more history associated with their Varietal which google could give you, if you are so interested.

Notes — spices, dried fruits and hint of flowers on the nose. Smooth on the palette with hints of pepper and cinnamon which finishes off with chocolate and tobacco. Or as avataram once noted, pretty much like ‘ARR suganda paaku’.

Overall, a smoother version of their VSOP.