Saturday, December 03, 2011

Beer!  Beer is proof that God loves and wants us to be happy.  Ben Franklin

I like beer even more than I like bourbon, actually.  My beer of choice used to be Miller Lite...which is considered an American style lager, of course.  I liked it, I liked it a lot.  But now?  Can't stand the stuff.  Why?  Well, what flavor it has is bad.  Bitter.  Blech.

I then would drink anything with Red in the name.  Killian's Red, Newcastle Nut Brown, and Red Dog, which turns out is an American Lager.  So is Red Stripe, which I still like.  I esp enjoy the tv commercials.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2S_UOHlueY

I moved on to amber beers.  Amber Bock was a favorite, Schells Amber is a current "go to" beer.  It's the local private label.  Beetle's has it as Beetle's Brew, the Canadian Honker calls it something clever.  Glynner's calls it Rusty Truck.  John Hardy calls it John Hardy's Red.  It's pretty good, made less than 100 miles from here.  Not sold as domestic, however! 

This domestic/import thing is annoying.  Beers made here in MN are sold as imports, beers made in MO are sold as domestics.  Basically?  It's a bad term. They're using the wrong words.  Instead of import/domestic, they should say beer for import, and horse pee for domestic.  You know why I say that right?  Of course you do...

My favorite beer?  My favorite is made by New Glarus, located in New Glarus, WI.  It's only sold in WI, which is the only thing I don't like about it. Ok, I wish it was cheaper than $8/6pack.
Here's a pic of the first 2 New Glarus beers that I saw and sampled.  Spotted Cow is one of the most popular, and is available on tap in lots of places in WI.  ON the other side of the label is a wonderful description, which entices the thirsty bikers to buy them, pack them into the saddle bags and rush them home.  Interestingly enough, I didn't have the motorcycle along on this trip.  We had gone into WI to buy a trailer.

Look!  There's Val, Duke, our trailer and the inlaw's garage.  It's a nice trailer...14' long, 7' wide.  Duke doesn't much like it, but he's a big weird looking chicken.

Staghorn, Octoberfest.  Obviously a seasonal beer.  It's pretty good, not my favorite.  Here's a linky to tell you about all the seasonals.  Totally Naked and BlackTop are my favorites.  I do like Laughing Fox, too.

I have no desire to make beer.  It takes a lot of equipment, it takes a lot of fussyness that I do not possess.  You have to prepare ingredients, yeasties, you have to have the right environment, lots of time and patience.  It's a worthwhile endeavor...and New Glarus has this down to a science.  They really do it right.

What the hell is my point here, anyway?  Oh, right.  I have no point to make.  You're thinking, I know you are....You want to know since I like beer so much, why would I ever "cheat" on beer with bourbon? 

Good question.  I went on a cruise or 2, went to the captain's party where they have free drinks.  No beer.  All they have for beer is horse pee anyway, so I have to learn to adapt.  After that 2nd cruise where I had a great time at the captains party, drinking whatever it was that didn't really taste all that great, when we got home, I went to the liquor store to get some. 

What the hell is all this stuff?  Canadian whiskey, bourbon whiskey, Irish whiskey, gin, vodka, American whiskey, blended whiskey, schnapps, liqeurs, white rum, brandy, wine, dark rum, scotch, tequila, Rye whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, Kentucky whiskey, holy crap--too many choices!

Uncle Google:  what the hell is canadian whiskey, scotch, irish, bourbon....

And this is how I decided to drink bourbon.

Bourbon is made in America, from at least 51% corn.  Aged in new oak cooperage.  Sounds good to me, I grew up growing corn.  We fed all of our corn to the pigs, never sold any to make whiskey, but that's ok.  Now.  How do I choose a bottle? 

Old Crow, Old Forrester, Old Granddad, Russels Reserve, Wild Turkey, Old Overholt, Old whiskey river, Woodford Reserve, Harper, Haller, Pappy Van Winkle, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace, George Dickle, Fighting Cock, Ten High, Heavens Hill, Maker's Mark, Benchmark, 4 Roses, Knob Creek, Bulleit.

Clearly, some of those are not bourbon.  SO WHY IN THE HELL ARE THEY MIXED IN WITH THE BOURBON???  Annoys me when they mix in the Canadians, the Irish, the SC, the American blended crap, etc.  Confused me too, at first.

I think I've drunk a bottle of every bottom shelf bourbon there is, starting with Old Crow.  One of the oldest, one of the first, etc/so on.  Also one of the worst to drink neat (straight, no mixer).  Yes, I also drank a bottle of Old Crow Reserve.

One bottle that I really like is Benchmark single barrel.  I got it in a Stewartville liquor store during a snowstorm.  The cork was dried out, stuck and disintegrated.  The bourbon is wonderful, great for sipping neat.

How do I mix the cheap bourbon?  Couple ways.  Are you thirsty? no?  Ok, here's what you do.  Muddle an orange slice with some fine sugar, add some shakes of bitters, pour in the bourbon and ice.  Enjoy.  When the bourbon is gone, either add more, or eat the orange.  I call it an Old Fashioned.  Thirsty?  Pour a big glass of lemonade, add some bourbon.  Sip or gulp as required.

I find that if I sip bourbon neat, or with an ice cube, after a while, I get a little headache.  If I drink some water, it goes away.  I've never (yet) had a morning headache/hangover due to bourbon consumption. 

Can't say that about tequila or beer.

Won't touch tequila.

OK, maybe if a Latvian lady was offering a week of rumpy pumpy if only I'd drink a sip of tequila, I guess I could compromise my integrity and cheat on my bourbon.  I suspect that I don't have to concern myself with that, until after I get struck by lightening while winning the lottery.  And then if it happens, I'll wonder if she's after me for my resilience or my money.

good thing I used the spell checker tonight.  Terrible spelling.  I should be ashamed.  But I'm not....I'm tired.  The garage contains the car again, the snowblower runs, most of my stuff is put away. 
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