Blog Post: Week 26: A Smorgasbord

mezcal reviews, r/bourbon russells, clynelish, pappy20, teremana, bourbon selection

At the smor– You found God at the smorgasbord? – Yeah.

For those that think I’m crazy, I can tell you haven’t seen Tin Men. For those that got the joke, I’m glad. We’d drink well together.

This week is Week 26 of the year, about the half way point. This has been a wild year. A really wild year. Also Covid happened. So that was wild too.

I’ve been insanely busy. As a result, I’m sorry I’ve been bad about hitting these weekly. This week I have a fun sort of smorgasbord, hence the joke in the title. We’ll talk a little bit about some recent reviews, the ginvitational, some feature requests that got filled, and some bourbon stuff. I also crossed Review #1600 which is a fun milestone.


Review Wrap Up

Bourbon

This past week, I continued to compare two really heavy Limited Edition lines, with an entry for Pappy van Winkle 20yr Bourbon. That was an interesting one, as I found my past preferences held strong, and my preference nods to the 15 which is really darn great.

Scotch

In Scotch land, we tackled a 23yr Clynelish that was heavily sherried (oloroso) and bottled by the folks at Single Cask Nation (Jewish Whiskey Company). Clynelish has long been a favorite of mine, and still holds my only 10/10 rating, but I think we may see them share that spotlight in a week or two coming up.

Not Whiskey (Tequila)

Outside of the whiskey world, I reviewed the highly controversial (to tequila nerds) Teremana Blanco Tequila, which is a product of celebrity Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I found it to be alright. Certainly better than most other celebrity booze right now. The controversy flames though, as many people (perhaps the lesser of the informed camps) are certain the Teremana facility is using copper stills. I personally think they are, as it tastes nothing like diffuser fodder, but over on Reddit, the flames burn bright.

Ginvitational

The 2020 Ginvitational rages on as today sees our 12th Gin release, with about 55 left to review. Whew – that’s a lot of gin. Really strong start, and it should stay interesting as we look at some more eclectic releases next week. So far I’m finding that American craft gins are once again innovating like maniacs, in a great way. With only 20% of the gins covered so far, though, there’s lots to keep an eye on going forward.


Feature Requests

This week, I was able to knock out a couple of feature requests, mostly related to finding reviews a little easier, but also some performance tweaks.

  • Images are still behaving suspiciously with the WordPress CDN. I’m currently working on handling image uploads through a better mechanism, but if you see a review pop up without an image, refresh it. Within 10s or so, it’ll be there.
  • Limited Edition Timelines are cleaned up and looking pretty good. If you’re looking for Wild Turkey, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, E.H.Taylor or Parker’s Heritage limited edition timelines, they’re all up.
  • Glassware Index is now posted as well. For all of you who repeatedly ask about my glassware choices, I appreciate it and I’ve managed to finish it. I’ll grab the remaining images needed this week, and also keep it up to date as new glassware comes in.
  • Review tables got a little less ugly. I’ve added Github style badges to indicate the score of a review in something like the Complete Review Archive

Live Streams and r/Bourbon Selections

This past week, we had the first ever live stream for r/bourbon where I tasted along with some other r/bourbon personalities, hosted by John of The Bourbon Finder.

We tasted some Russell’s barrels from Wild Turkey to pick a barrel for the first of r/Bourbon’s 2020 bourbon selection. The reaction to the stream was overwhelmingly positive, and it brought a great sense of community as well, so we’ll keep it up. Between streams, you can keep an eye on the tracking posts here for more info on this Russell’s, the past selections and new entries for future bourbon selection.

This next Tuesday (June 30th), again at 8pm Central, 9pm Eastern, we’ll discuss the barrels and their details (proof, age, warehouse, etc) and I’ll also reveal the quantity of barrels we’ll get to purchase for our bourbon selection. We’ll talk a bit about how the rest of the selection process looks like and also discuss a pick at Smooth Ambler as well.

John and I will probably drink something along with the talky-talky, and there will be plenty of Q&A as well. If you missed the original stream, you can find it on Youtube for a restream.


MezcalReviews Blog Post Contribution

This past week, Tyler and Jonny of MezcalReviews.com released an amazing blog post that I’ve been looking forward to reading. Titled “Mezcal: The New Scotch” the post considers the similarities between the enthusiast appeal and other aspects of both Scotch Whiskey and Mezcal.

A couple months they asked me to write a section as a contribution, discussing why I, a previous whiskey only guy, was now head deep in Mezcal (it’s my fastest growing review category). I was happy to do so, and you can find my contributions nearer the bottom. Check it out, even if you’re not a Mezcal person, as there is some great Scotch info in there too.


I think that kind of wraps up the smorgasbord. I should have a more formal topic next week as we look to fulfill more barrels for a bourbon selection, and also branch into more live stream stuff, but that’ll be forthcoming. I hope you all are staying healthy, entertained, and have a great weekend.

–t8ke

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