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Once You Go Black: Big Black Dick Rum Review

…..One of the biggest advantages of traveling is being able to eat and drink some unique products found only in foreign lands. A few months back I was lucky enough to take a trip to the Caribbean and like any alcoholic I found myself searching for some good rums to take back with me. As my wife and I walked past the many local shops, each with very “aggressive” tactics to get us to come in, we were caught a bit off guard when one yelled “You have to try some Big Black Dick”… What? “Come Try some Big Black Dick, as many samples as you want”… After we got over the initial shock we realized she was talking about a rum, popular in Grand Cayman yet relatively unknown in the states. Much like many other popular rums, this too comes with an interesting back-story that inspires it’s creation. According to their label:

“It is believed that Big Black Dick was born of ‘Royal’ African parentage before being kidnapped by French slavers who gave him the name of “Richard Le Noir”. Unable to subdue his efforts to regain his freedom, his French captors, tossed Richard overboard near a Caribbean island, which may have been Grand Cayman Island. Miraculously reaching land, he served for several years labouring in a sugar cae field where he learned the secrets of how to turn the sugar cane into the Caribbean’s finest rum. His kindly Caymanian master recognizing his hard work and hoensty awarded him his freedom in the early 1700’s.A free man and a skilled seaman, Dick tossed away his French name and became known as Big Black Dick. He soon earned the rank of captain of a three-masted-square rigger named “Caymanus”. She was a ship carrying 20 cannons with a crew of near 200 men that were known as the best in the Caribbean. History tells us that “Big Black Dick” was a dashing and handsome figure of a man, wearing a bright purple velvet coat and four pistols in his red silk sash. Those who knew him most immediately, know how much of a man he, indeed, was… possessing certain physical attributes unequaled by most ‘all’ other men of his gender.After a successful career, Big Black Dick retired to a more peaceful venture of making the best original pirate rum in the Caribbean.”

Cool story right? Captain Morgan and Sailor Jerry who? Whether or not a lick of it is true is not the point, but listening to that history would be enough to arouse my curiousity. The double entendre possibilities alone when whipping Big Black Dick out at parties would be worth $31.99 price tag. See what I mean? And so after sampling several of the varieties they offer (Light, Dark, Coconut, Vanilla), as well as downing a few complimentary rum cakes made with Dick, we decided to go with the Dark rum.

Presentation: Kudos to the marketing team for this one. From the overly darkened glass bottle to the exaggerated “length” of the bottle neck, this one plays well to it’s name. Though the cartoon like labeling screams of cheap, I think with this particular rum it works well for the gimmick.

Taste: The labels claim of “Stiff yet Tasty” didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. I’ve always lived by the rule to never buy a bottle based off a name/bottle design but this one I thought would be different. Coming from an area known for great rums, and having such a bold gimmick, I was looking for an equally bold flavor that could live up to the hype. Instead Big Black Dick started strong with a huge load of rich caramel/chocolate flavor that eventually died down and and left a funny taste in my mouth. All in all I definitely wouldn’t call this a bad rum, it just wouldn’t be my first choice to pour into a glass w/ ice and sip on. What I WOULD highly recommend is using this one as a mixer or float for some amazing tropical and Tiki drinks (Try some of Beach Bum’s recipes).

Grade: C+ (The conversations that the gimmick will provide make it worth the purchase so don’t be to scared by the C+ grading, it’s still a step above Bacardi)

So next time your out combing the beaches and visiting the Caribbean make sure to stop in the Grand Cayman and try some Big Black Dick. I promise, that’s my last innuendo. For more information on Big Black Dick Rum or any of their other products visit their parent website at www.BlackBeards.KY .As always don’t forget to Like us on Facebook. Until next time, class dismissed.

 

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Review: Last Round Hangover Support

…..The Hangover… it’s not just the title to one of my favorite movies of all time, it’s every social drinkers worst nightmare. And after a long night of drinking, networking and socializing it’s the last thing you want to wake up with in the morning. For those of us that drink on the regular, we’ve heard it all and tried it all when looking for cures to the common hangover. Eat more, drink water, rest, avoid mixing types of alcohol, avoid cheaper alcohols etc. The problem is most of us know what things to do AFTER a hangover has already crept up rather then what to do to PREVENT it. Or even worse, we feed into myths rather than facts on how to cure it. As a proud member of the “I’ve only had one hangover EVER” club, I make it a point to take as many precautions to avoid getting a hangover as possible. That being said when I heard of a product out there using all natural ingredients that you could drink before going to bed BEFORE the hangover sets in, I just knew I had to try it. Last Round Hangover Support comes to you from Herbasway, the fine makers of several liquid dietary supplements and features a combination of all natural herbal extracts such as Kudzu, Stevia, green tea, and licorice. While most of us are familiar with licorice, green tea, and the stevia(sugar) plant, it’s the lessor known Kudzu that’s the star of this how. It’s claim to fame is being able to reduce cravings for alcohol.

….. I was lucky enough to receive a goodies package from the fine folks over at Last Round complete with a drinking cup, some beer pong balls and a cool poster (Thanks Guys!), but the toughest part was finding a good night to give it a try. As fate should have it, a drinking festival hit my town last weekend where myself and the Mrs. were able to finally let loose. One of the biggest worries I had when preparing myself to down the 2.4 oz bottle of liquid “get out of jail free card” was that it would either A) have a horrible taste, B) have a horrible odor, or C) All of the above. To my surprise it featured a sweet/sugary odor and a taste that resembled green tea which for me was a plus. So what’s the verdict; After a night of drinking about 6 to 8 (strong) margaritas and 3 or 4 tequila shots, with very little to eat, I woke up feeling about as good as if I had just slept 10 hours on a bed of feathers. I felt rested, and saw no lingering affects of a night of careless drinking. Success !

Price: $2.99/Bottle

Grade: A+

…..If you’re still not convinced, unable to get a hold of a bottle, or flat out just don’t want to give it a try, you can always check out my post on other Hangover Remedies to help you next time you’re out. As always don’t forget to tell your friends about us and “Like” us on Facebook. Till next time, class dismissed.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Beer, Reviews, Spirits, Wine

 

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Tastes Like Heaven, Burns Like Hell: Fireball Whisky Review

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky needs no introduction. If you haven’t tried it yet, just imagine what it would be like to get a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the face if his legs were on fire and tasted like cinnamon. Like it, love it, shoot it– your dad’s whisky never tasted so smooth. What happens next is up to you.”

…..While we wouldn’t exactly compare the kick in Fireball Whisky to a kick from the almighty Chuck Norris (How dare they!), we do agree that there’s enough cinnamon kick in this one to ignite a flame in your mouth if you aren’t careful. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky comes to us all the way from Canada, originally created to fight off the harsh winters of the North as their website suggests. Coming in at a whopping 66 proof, this whisky actually comes off a bit more like a schnapps, or liqueur.

Presentation: I love both the bottle design and logo they created. The yellow and red obviously visualize the fire and flame theme that they are going for. Easy bottle design great for pocketing and sneaking into college parties and tailgating events.

Aroma: Cinnamon, Cinnamon, and more Cinnamon. Oh and a bit of sugar too. Intense Cinnamon and sugar aromas are the only things I notice when cracking open a bottle. Not a trace of whisky on the nose but that’s not to say it isn’t in there.

Taste: Have you every wondered what Big Red Bubble Gum infused alcohol would taste like? Something tells me this is as close as you’ll ever get. There’s an intense cinnamon flavor that immediately hits you followed by a sweet finish with a bit of a bite. Again, not a Chuck Norris bite, but maybe Steven Segal-ish. It actually goes down pretty easy and blends the cinnamon and the whiskey together nicely. While many traditional whisky fans may scoff at this, Cinnamon Schnapps fans will probably embrace it and enjoy the warmer tones the whisky brings out in it. By itself it makes an excellent shot (supposedly it was meant to be consumed in shot form), and in the right drink it can make a nice warm cocktail.

Grade: C+/B- (C+  as a whisky, B- as a cinnamon gimmick drink… sorry had to do it)

Price: $19.99

Overall it’s a good gimmick cocktail sure to make some fun and interesting drinks. This definitely will be popular in the college circles for shooting purposes much like Goldschlager, Jagermeister, and other similar drinks. Here are a few recipes courtesy of Fireball Whisky.

Tennessee Apple

  • 1 oz. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  • 1 oz. Apple Schnapps
  • 1 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Shake with ice and strain, garnish with a Honey Crisp® apple

The Igniter

  • Half Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  • Half Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon
  • Shake with ice and strain into shot glass

The Wake N Bake

  • 1 shot Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  • 1 cup of your favorite coffee
  • Brew a cup of coffee or hit up your local Starbucks® and drop in a few shots of Fireball

Fireball sample for review was courtesy of representatives of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.For more information on Fireball including where you can locate it, recipes, and more visit FireballWhisky.com. As always don’t forget to friend us on Facebook for updates and other fun things. Class Dismissed !

 

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Makers Mark 46 Tasting Review

…..With Preakness now in our rear view window, and The Belmont less than a month away, we’re in full swing of the season. Not Horse Racing season, well yes that too, but we’re talking Bourbon season. That’s right, Bourbon, Racing, and Kentucky go together as seamless as “A,B,C” and with that said we thought it time to introduce you to a wonderful addition to the Bourbon genre; Maker Mark 46.
…..Now to give you a bit of background on just how significant this entry is, understand this; Since 1958, Makers Mark Distillery has made only one thing, Makers Mark Bourbon. Bill Samuels Sr’s pioneering efforts led to a bourbon that forever changed the category and rather than dilute their product over the years with multiple variations like many of their competitors, the family behind Makers Mark has stayed loyal to their core product pledging allegiance to a superior recipe that has needed no tweaking. Jim Beam carries 7 variations of it’s product, Wild Turkey currently sells 6, and Jack Daniels is pushing around 5 or 6 products on your local convenience store shelves just to give you a comparison. Fans of Makers have had to settle for lack of variety over the years in exchange for a truly amazing tasting bourbon and in fact, with the exception of a few limited releases over the years (Makers Mark Black, Mint Julep Makers), this is the first new product in 52 years.
….. So how exactly do you go about releasing the first new product from your company in half a century without screwing things up? You start by using your award winning bourbon as a base for your new creation. Makers 46 is a hand crafted, full bodied bourbon that starts out as the original makers and is then continued into maturation using a technique involving French oak staves allowing for a release of natural flavors of caramel, spice, and vanilla notes into the final product. Fancy huh? Just remember that the next time you’re pouring yourself a glass and say “Thank you Bill Jr, Kevin Smith, and Brad Boswell”. (President, Master Distiller, and “Wood Chef”). And for those of you wondering, the 46 is not a notation of alcohol percentage, but in fact is in reference to the profile number of the winning recipe after several different trials and experimentations. Now as much as a bourbon snob as I am, I’d be foolish to think on first taste I’d be able to pick apart everything different about Makers 46 so for tasting purposes I decided to break out the original Makers for reference.

Aroma: Worth noting;46’s color is slightly darker, and more amber than Makers Mark. Upon peeling the wax you get strong notes of caramel, honey, and vanilla very much like what you are use to with Makers Mark. “46” actually comes off with slightly less punch in my opinion than MM.

Taste: This one comes at you right where Makers Mark left off with strong sweet notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and honey. 46 builds on this award winning tastes with a noticeable addition of spice in its flavor. In addition, 46 comes to you at a higher proof (94) and yet still maintains a smooth finish that is both rich and delicious (think chocolate). Though 46 was built on foundations from Makers Mark, it stands on its own perfectly and will definitely become a mainstay in my liquor cabinet.

Grade: A

Price: $45 (avg, check your local retailer for exact amount)

Makers 46 sample was provided for review courtesy of representatives of Makers Mark. For more information about Makers 46 and Makers Mark, go to MakersMark.com or visit Makers Mark on Twitter and Facebook. And while you’re there don’t forget to visit INTOXICOLOGY101 on Facebook to stay up to date on our latest news and reviews. Class Dismissed !

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Reviews, Spirits, Whiskey

 

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Made For TV: Avion Tequila Review

  • …..In the alcohol industry there are two things that will make or break your brand. One and possibly the most obvious would be great taste and the other, excellent marketing. Superior taste often goes unnoticed without the proper marketing tools to get the word out and likewise all the marketing in the world would be pointless if you’re pushing an inferior product; Enter Avion Tequila. Possibly the most genius marketing I’ve seen out of a liquor brand in quite some time. Though it may not be available in your area (yet), chances are you recognize the bottle and name because it was a mainstay on the popular HBO series “Entourage” for several episodes. And though it’s entertaining storyline on the show was a work of fiction, it’s existence and superior taste most certainly are not. So thanks to great advertising you’re already familiar with the tequila and hopefully with a little help from myself you can get to know it better.

Tequila Avion is handcrafted using only the finest Blue Weber Agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco. Though Mark Cuban would have been more interesting, Avion is the brainchild of Ken Austin, a former VP for Seagram’s who decided he wanted to take a shot in the tequila world. I recently was able to get my hand on a bottle of the Silver and was impressed with what I originally thought may just be a designer tequila throwing around big money in advertisements to make up for credibility. Boy was I wrong, not only with the taste but in my assumption they paid for their Entourage marketing. (It was Free product placement !)

Appearance: The bottle is nothing fancy and in fact a shape many are familiar with, short stubby and round. No knock here. One thing I do like is that they use a cork stopper which use to be common but is becoming more and more scarce with companies switching over to synthetic stoppers. Something about it makes it feel more authentic.

Aroma: Sweetness and floral notes hit you right on the nose. Also fruity tones of pineapple are apparent. Nothing gets you excited to eat or drink more than a great aroma enticing you to dig in.

Taste: At the end of the day whether you’re a expert or novice in the drinking field you want to know one thing; Is it smooth? One word, Yes. Smooth, balanced, and offers a bit of a bite to it that I was only prepared for because I was warned by a friend. It has a bit if a spicy/peppery bite to it which may scare some off but would most certainly make one hell of a Bloody Mary. If you haven’t tried a Bloody Mary with a super fine blanco tequila you are missing out by the way. This one is definitely a winner in my books and though I’ve only had the silver (not for long I hope), I think I can say with confidence this brand isn’t going anywhere anytime soon except in your cup. If you’re having doubts just ask yourself, has Vinny Chase or any of the Entourage boys every let you down? I think not.

Price: $40-$60

Grade: B

Avion Sunrise

  • 1 ½ oz. Tequila Avión
  • ½ oz. Gran Marnier
  • ½ oz. White Cranberry Juice
  • ½ oz. Fresh Sour Mix
  • Splash of simple syrup

Add Ice Build all ingredients shake and strain. Served in a Martini or Rocks Glass. Garnish with a Raspberry and Mint Lea

Fresh Start Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Tequila Avion
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 Lime wedges
  • 1oz. Agave nectar

Muddle lemons and Limes in a shaker (Should be approx 1 oz of juice). Add ice and all Ingredients shake until ice cold and serve in a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lemon Twist and Lime wedge.

Avion Bloody Mary

  • 1½ oz. Avion Silver
  • 1 dash celery salt
  • 1/2 dash ground black pepper
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 2-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. horseradish (pure, never creamed)
  • Dash of lemon or lime juice
  • Garnish with celery stalk

In a highball glass filled with ice fill glass with tomato juice or clamato and add ingredients.

Recipes were provided courtesy of Tequila Avion. For more information on where you can purchase their products feel free to visit their website. Be sure to try a Avion cocktail this Cinco and make it a mainstay in your bar. If you’re looking for additional Cinco De Mayo suggestions check out the Blood Orange Margarita or Clase Azul Terquila Reviews as well. Make sure to become a Fan on Facebook and keep yourselves updated. Class Dismissed.

 

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Clase Azul Tequila Review

…..With only a few days before Cinco De Mayo, I thought it only appropriate I spend the week educating you on some great tequilas and tequila recipes to try this week as well as throughout the summer. Coincidentally I just returned from a week long trip in Mexico and have Plenty of reviews for you to look forward to which brings me to this one, a sophisticated tequila good for mixing, great for sipping, and sure to have you speaking Spanish in no time.

*Warning, if you’re looking for any “Jose Cuervo” reviews from me please click the little x in the top right portion of your screen to find it”

Clase Azul is an ultra premium, 100% Weber Blue Agave Reposado Tequila. It’s produced and bottled in the Jesus Maria region of Arandas, Jalisco, MX and aged for a minimum of eight months in small oak barrels. It was one of the first and last tequilas I tasted during my trip to Mexico. Usually when I see a big fancy bottle on the shelf that’s a warning more money was put into the design of the bottle than the taste of the “rock-gut” liquor inside however this one was an exception to the rule.

Appearance: It’s look is what will draw most people in. It comes in a “Talavera” style bottle unique in its shape and beautiful in it’s design. Every bottle is a unique piece handcrafted by local Mexican artists. It’s towering ceramic bottle and unique shape bring to mind antique pieces you would find at a shop or in your grandparents house. For you thrifty folks I’d suggest re-using this bottle around the house once you finish the tequila .

Aroma: Not to be outdone by the beautiful imagery on the outside, the tequila on the inside smells equally amazing. Upon opening, you get a punch in the face of floral and sweetness. A little hint of vanilla creeps into the nose as well.

Taste:
By now you’re thinking, “Ok this thing cost 5 times as much as Jose, it comes in this huge designer bottle, and it smells AMAZING, so when will I be let down”… To put it simply, this one delivers. For tequila lovers this is like a party in your mouth and for tequila “squealers” this one will turn you into a believer. (My wife “The Novice Drinker” was quite impressed. Her exact words being ‘It’s good” and that says ALOT). Don’t worry, it will still mix just fine in your Margaritas, Palomas, and Tequila Sunrise cocktails but I HIGHLY recommend you sip this one and enjoy its flavor. They manage to bring together a fully flavored tequila with a smooth finish that will have you wanting more (I sure did).

Price: $45.99-100 (Depending on where you buy, and which style)

Grade: A- (Because I have yet to find an A+)

Paloma 2011 (Created by The Professional Drinker)
1 oz Clase Aazul Reposado Tequila
2 1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice (Fresh Squeezed Please !)
Splash of Countreu
Splash of Tonic Water

Try this one with a Collins glass. Add in tequila followed by grapefruit and then top off with your orange liqueur followed by the tonic. A refreshing take on the classic Paloma.

Cranberry Refresher
1/2 oz Clase Azul Blanco Tequila
3 oz Lemon Lime Soda
Splash of Cranberry

Add ingredients one into a rocks glass. Pour tequila followed by your soda (pop) and top off with cranberry.

Tequila Sunrise (Classic)
2 oz Clase Azul Reposado Tequila
3 1/2 oz Orange Juice
2 Splashes of Grenadine (Try making your own)

Build in a highball glass. Add in Tequila and OJ and then top with Grenadine.

Cozumel OJ
1 oz Clase Azul Reposado
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
3 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker. Shake well and strain into a martini or rocks glass over ice.

Clase Azul samples were provided courtesy of just about every Mexican business owner I came in contact with. They offer a wide range of products including a delicious Pomegranate I highly recommend and a wonderful Anejo. Keep checking back throughout the week and all this summer for some excellent recipes and reviews. Remember I’m tasting these so you don’t have to ! Don’t forget to become a Fan on Facebook. Class Dismissed !

 

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Go Wild This Weekend: Absolut Wild Tea Review

If you’re a a cocktail enthusiast, you either absolutely love or absolutely hate the explosion of flavored vodkas that have hit the market in the past decade. File me under the “love it” column and a lot of that is in thanks to companies like Absolut vodka who stop at nothing to bring innovative and daring flavors to the market. In 2007, Absolut launched the innovative “City Series” Vodka line, a collection of flavored vodkas that were created in the essence of the city they were named after. While being able to dedicate a “local” flavor to a city they also found an intelligent way to test out new flavors before producing them nation wide. One of their more popular Vodkas from that line being Absolut Boston, Absolut has now re-released the popular Elderflower & Black Tea infused Vodka under the name Wild Tea. Now that we got the the history out of the way, lets open a bottle:

Aroma: First crack of the bottle lets out a rich aroma of tea. Though this flavor was inspired by the great city of Boston and their ties to the Boston Tea Party, the aroma actually reminds me of southern style tea. Sprinkled in with smell of tea is a bit of floral which comes from the elderflower.

Taste: After taking your first sip you will notice a heavy dose of black tea and that lingering flavor on the back end that you might not be familiar with is in fact the elderflower. In fact, the elderflower sticks around a bit more in my mouth then I would prefer but when mixed it loses some of that effect. I do like the vodkas ability to create the inspired flavor without overly sweetening the vodka which often happens when creating flavored vodka. In fact If you are into drinking your vodka “neat” or straight “on the rocks”, this might be perfect for you. It brings out the exact flavor of black tea without adding too much else and would go perfect in a glass with 3 ice cubes. If that’s not your style, realize that flavored teas are popping up everywhere in restaurant chains across the country, so finding a combination you like could be as easy as shopping in the fruit section at the grocery store and picking up your favorite fruit. The tea infusion here is great for enhancing your favorite mock-tail.

Price: 17.99 (avg)

Grade: B

Final Word: While Absolut’s newest addition to their flavored vodka portfolio may not be your “cup of tea”, it certainly is an interesting flavor that works well with several mixers. Absolut’s manages to bring us an innovative flavor AND another alternative to the “Tea Flavored Spirits” category that has exploded in the past 3 years thanks to “FireFly Sweet Tea Vodka”. If your looking for an everyday mixer then you might want to leave this one on the shelf, but if you’re feeling creative and want to impress your friends then give this one a try (They make minis for a reason!). Class Dismissed

A few recipes to help get you started:

Wild Tea Gimlet (Courtesy of AbsolutDrinks.com)

2 oz Absolut Wild Tea

3/4 oz of Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 oz of Simple Syrup

Pour each ingredient in a highball glass and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel

Pomegranates Gone Wild ( Created by The Professional Drinker)

2 oz Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

1 oz Absolut Wild Tea

3/4 oz Simple Syrup

Juice of Half a Lemon

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into a Martini or Collins Glass. Garnish with a Lemon Wheel.

Wild Ginger Tea (Courtesy of AbsolutDrinks.com)

1 oz Wild Tea

2 oz Ginger Beer

3/4 oz Lime Juice (Or to taste)

Add ingredients in a highball glass and stir. Garnish with a Lime wedge.

Absolut Wild Tea sample was provided courtesy of representatives of Southern Wine & Spirits. Some recipes and photos were courtesy of AbsolutDrinks.com. If you would like to have your product(s) reviewed and advertised feel free to contact me at TheProfessionalDrinker@gmail.com.

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