• Popular
  • Latest
  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Subscribe

Archive | Product Reviews

Attention Scotch Lovers

Attention Scotch Lovers


When I first tried coffee, I hated it.  When I first tried beer, I hated it.  When I first tried scotch I hated it.  What I’ve leared over the years is that taste buds evolve and become refined over time.  Now I can’t drink enough coffee in the morning and enough beer at night to quench my limitless thirst for these fine beverages.  Scotch, however is something I admit I’m still trying to conquer, but thanks to Master of Malt (http://www.masterofmalt.com/) I’ve gotten my first glimpse of this new and exciting more sophisticated world of getting drunk.


Recently we were contacted by Master of Malt who offered to send us a scotch sampler pack for us to review.  Of course we welcome all free booze being sent our way and were promptly shipped 3 high end scotches.   Each type of scotch came in a cool sampling jar (picture shown) and contain premium scotches that might normally be out of your price range.  Especially as a newcomer to the scotch world, its painful to shell out £100 – £200 on a bottle of scotch without at least a little taste test first.   Apparently these little sampling jars are referred to as Drams and you can pick your poison on their website here: http://www.masterofmalt.com/drinks-by-the-dram/.  Prices start at £1.95 and up depending on how old and premium the scotch is.  Really there is no limit to their stock of quality scotches.


Here are the samplers that we received:

Master of Malt Bowmore 26 Year Old

Ichiro’s Malt 1991 Five of Clubs

Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 16 Year Old 1990


Now when the scotch arrived the dudes at Joe Bartneder were pretty excited.  Our plan was to have a sofisticated sampling session, offering our astute reviews of each of the 3 Drams provided by Master of Malt while smoking cigars and discussing world issues.  What ended up happening is we drank the Drams during a party and got too drunk to remember what we liked and what each Scotch tasted like (they were good though!).  It seems the dudes at Joe Bartender still have some growing up to do.  In either case I can still highly recommend Master of Malt as the perfect way to get your hands on some super high quality scotches at a very affordable price.  You won’t be disapointed.


Also with Christmas coming up there are some great ideas on their Whiskey Gift Page.  Take a look through these great Whiskey Gift Ideas.


Joe

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted in Product ReviewsComments (41)

The Hangover Cure – Part 2

The Hangover Cure – Part 2


Well its no secret, the owners of Joe Bartender like to drink.  Luckily the word is out and some fine companies have been rushing to solve our greatest nemisis: the hangover.   First we had Zaca who provided us with their cool hangover patches, and now we have Drinkwel (http://www.drinkwel.com/) and their hangover pills.  These pills are the first multivitamin specially formulated for healthy people who drink, designed to replenish lost nutrients, support healthy liver function, and help prevent hangovers. Yea, everyone knows that kids have always had flinstone vitamins to look after their growing bones, its nice to know that for people who like to booze we have Drinkwel to look after punished livers!

The package we were provided with shipped with a bottle of pills and some cool single use packs for those on the road hangover emergencies.  I have been pretty consistent in taking my anti hangover pills and I think it helps.  For me the real help is those nights where you have a few pints and have to get up bright and early for work.  I find the multivitamins plus a few glasses of water really keeps you feeling great the next morning.


Give the Drinkwel hangover pills a try today and let us know how it worked for you!


Joe


Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted in Product ReviewsComments (24)

Who the Hell is Judging These Alcohol Tasting Competitions?

Who the Hell is Judging These Alcohol Tasting Competitions?


For the past several months on my daily commute to work I have been greeted by an advertisement that I eventually had to follow up on.  The sign claimed that Iceberg Vodka was voted a gold medal at the 2009 Cannes Vodka competition.  Now I regard Iceberg as a lower level offering on par with Smironoff and Absolute so I was suprised by such a prestigous award.  I figured that maybe I could save some money on the Belvedere I typically purchase and make the switch to this inexpensive yet ‘highly premium’ vodka.  Not so fast.

Iceberg and the entire North American distillery industry should be ashamed.  A lot of these awards and competitions are a farce to drive up sales.  I guess the only way to determine what is good is to sample a variety of alcohols until you stumble upons something you like.


For the past several months on my daily commute to work I have been greeted by an advertisement that I eventually had to follow up on.  The sign claimed that Iceberg Vodka was voted a gold medal at the 2009 Cannes Vodka competition.  Now I regard Iceberg as a lower level offering on par with Smironoff and Absolute so I was suprised by such a prestigous award.  I figured that maybe I could save some money on the Belvedere I typically purchase and make the switch to this inexpensive yet ‘highly premium’ vodka.  Not so fast.

Now, I haven’t tried Iceberg Vodka and after investigating this ‘award’, nor will I ever.  I did some research and there was a very casual vodka tasting event at the Cannes FILM festival and here is the list of winners. Now I don’t even care who won that competition as the number of companies participating was tiny, the event was informl and was more of a PR stunt rather then a real competition.  Even more notable is the fact that Iceberg Vodka wasn’t even a participant.


I contacted the company asking them why they had this claim in their sign hoping that I had overlooked something but was completely ignored by them.  Its too bad they didn’t realize their poor customer service skills would result in negative publicity on a popular bartending website.

As a result of this entire ordeal I figured JoeBartender.com would hold its own tasting competition.  Real people testing real Spirits.  Lets get a consumers opinion on what is good and what isn’t, forget about these weird competition with so called experts.  What matters is when people like you and I order a Vodka water or a shot of Whiskey at the bar it tastes great.  Now despite emailing every North American distillery asking them to participate I did not get one company willing to enter.  What a crock!

Iceberg and the entire North American distillery industry should be ashamed.  A lot of these awards and competitions are a farce to drive up sales.  I guess the only way to determine what is good is to sample a variety of alcohols until you stumble upons something you like.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted in Product ReviewsComments (174)

Regulars: What Draws You to the Same Watering Hole?

Regulars: What Draws You to the Same Watering Hole?


I’ve lived in 7 different places, and in each place I’ve always found a bar that becomes ‘my spot’. After about the 10th visit the bartenders start to recognize you, you get comfortable at the same table, and you’re going on a regular basis. In good times or bad, your regular hang-out can be a place to vent, celebrate, or just relax.

For me at my current spot that is about once a week, usually for a Hoegaarden or two. I recently got a kick-ass coffee table (or bar top) book, purely made up of photos of regulars (aptly titlled The Regulars) which is what got me thinking about the topic.

Sarah Stolfa is an extremely gifted photographer who took all the pictures as a student while bartending at McGlinchey’s bar in Philadelphia. Each photo depicts one person sitting at the bar where she worked, but they are more than just pictures. From all walks of life, and covering the spectrum of human emotion I find myself flipping through the book regularly, just picking a page and studying the image for a few minutes. Some look confused, some happy, some enthralled in work, some smoking an endless amount of cigarettes; every picture tells a story.

I find myself now trying to spot regulars at the bars I frequent. I think there’s a few key factors that draw me to the same bar more than once:

* the bartenders: I want a crew that can remember my name, make my drinks extra stiff and give me some ‘Regular’ attention when it gets busy
* the crowd: ah, the scenery; everyone loves a good view while you enjoy a pint or two but they key is laid back people you can talk to
* the environment: show me a patio with palm trees and Christmas lights. I’m sure some people prefer the classical dingy atmosphere you can find in the Regulars but I go out to escape. I want to feel like I’m on vacation.
* the location: If I can stumble home on the two foot express while grabbing a slice of pizza on route, then my night can be complete.

I wonder if I would make an interesting still life? Probably not. :P

What about you guys? What moves a bar from a one time visit to a routine stop?

You can grab the book I’ve been shamelessly plugging here:

Popularity: 12% [?]

Posted in Product ReviewsComments (174)

Absinthe – The Green Fairy

Absinthe – The Green Fairy


I’m sure many of you have heard all kinds of rumours about Absinthe. Here is the straight up truth, Absinthe, with or without wormwood and high thujone levels will not make you high or hallucinate.  Yes, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Back in the 1800s, Absinthe, which was incredibly popular at the time was used as a scapegoat for the murderous rampage of some individual and banned in France.  Many countries followed suit.  In the 1970s an incorrect research paper claimed thujones had the same molecular shape as THC found in marijuana and thus the same chemical reactions.  All these elements have shrouded the spirit in mystery and misunderstanding.

Enough with the science.

One thing is for sure: Absinthe gets you messed up.

However, the reason being is it’s high alcohol content (45 – 75%).  After drinking it, some people report a different sort of buzz and I’m going to agree.  I’m sure many of you have found that drinking whiskey vs wine vs beer all provide a different drunken experience.  Absinthe is no different.

JoeBartender was lucky enough to have some free samples of  Le Tourment Vert sent to us to test out (Thanks Kayla).  I had my drink after a few beers and there is no doubt, it kicked my ass.  My delicious Sundance Lift zoned me out and sent me to bed for the night.

Often Absinthe is mixed with water and some burning carmelized sugar, but there are actually some tasty recipes out there.  Here are a few provided by Le Tourment Vert branded Absinthe:

Le Tourment Vert Poison Apple Martini
Le Tourment Vert Triple French Martini
Le Tourment Vert Tourment Trance
Le Tourment Vert Green on Main
Le Tourment Vert Sundance Lift

For those of you who have tried Absinthe how did it make you feel? Did you see the lucky charms leprechaun flying around the room after a glass, did it get you wasted, or did it just make you sleepy, or maybe wasted and sleepy?

Let us know!

Popularity: 21% [?]

Posted in Product ReviewsComments (177)