Later On

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Archive for the ‘Drinks’ Category

B.C. whiskies are starting to come of age

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Joanne Sasvari has an interesting article in the Vancouver Sun:

Canada is a whisky nation. We make it, we drink it, we love it. But until recently, we haven’t had a made-in-B.C. whisky to call our own.

Now, at long last, rye, corn and single-malt whiskies are starting to come of age, and the first few sips suggest we have something remarkable in the works.

Whisky is made from four ingredients: water, grain, yeast and, perhaps most importantly, time. In Canada, grain spirit must be aged for a minimum of three years in a barrel before it can be called whisky. It often needs more than that, though, to fully develop those toffee, spice, nutty and dried fruit notes we love so much.

B.C.’s oldest artisanal distillery, Okanagan Spirits, was only founded in 2004. We now have 65 distilleries, most of which opened after 2013 when the Liquor Control and Licensing Act’s somewhat onerous regulations were eased for distillers. That’s only five years ago. Five years isn’t a whole lot of time to develop a whisky culture, yet in that short period, B.C. distillers have already produced some exceptional products, with many more in the works.

Not surprisingly, Okanagan Spirts was first out of the gate, and now offers rye, corn and
barley-based whiskies, including its Laird of Fintry single malt, which is only available for purchase through a lottery system. A handful of other independent distilleries have released their own vibrant and exciting whiskies, including Odd Society, Shelter Point, Victoria Caledonian, Pemberton and Phillips. Many others have whisky gently slumbering in barrels.

The first few sips have been impressive.

A couple of years ago, . . .

Continue reading.

I just got 3 of the whiskies mentioned in the article:

G&W Distilling Western Grains (40% ABV) Lovely dark caramel colour. This is a smooth, easy-drinking whisky with lots of vanilla, oak and sweet spice on the nose and honey, stone fruit and toffee on the palate, along with a well-integrated woody character. Impressive for such a young whisky. $39.99

Lohin McKinnon Single Malt Whisky (43% ABV) Light bodied and well made, with surprising complexity. It has aromas of vanilla, butterscotch, light spices and almonds; on the palate, more spice and butterscotch, as well as fresh pears and green apples, and a slightly tart finish. $59.99

Mark Anthony Bearface Triple Oak Canadian Whisky (42.4% ABV) Surprisingly spicy for a corn whisky, thanks to its finish in Hungarian oak, one of three barrels it spends time in. Caramel, vanilla and a touch of maple syrup on the nose; lots of oak on the palate. Creamy-smooth and bold, though not overly complex. $39.95

Prices are shown in Canadian dollars, of course. As a reference, today CDN$60 = US$45, CDN$40 = US$30.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Drinks

Beanless coffee

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From a newsletter from Institute From The Future:

Call it Impossible Coffee. Seattle’s Atomo has developed coffee that uses “upcycled plant-based materials” instead of coffee beans by combining about 40 of the compounds that give coffee its distinctive taste, smell, and mouthfeel. Why would anyone want “molecular” coffee over the real thing? Because coffee is often produced by slave labor and is a cause of deforestation, says Atomo.

Written by LeisureGuy

14 February 2019 at 5:08 pm

Canadian Club Classic 12-year-old rye

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As it turns out, an excellent base for a fine Manhattan. Extremely smooth and with an interesting flavor. And rye, of course, is the Manhattan’s true whisky.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 February 2019 at 6:44 pm

Posted in Drinks

The snow outside is deep and the day dark

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But I sit here in a warm apartment, a Scotch Mist at hand — well, a BC single-malt whisky mist (fill glass with finely crushed ice, pour over single-malt whisky, add a twist of lemon) made from BC barley, and the beef-shank-and-turnip stew with pot barley now cooked, and tasty, too. I have to say this particular single-malt, by The Odd Society, is really excellent.

It truly is proper weather for such a stew.

I just finished Russian Doll on Netflix last night. I enjoyed it.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 February 2019 at 3:58 pm

Barista milk—who knew?

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Rohini Chaki writes in Gastro Obscura:

IF THE HEART ON YOUR cappuccino foam looks extra-twirly, you might consider inquiring whether your favorite caffeine purveyor is using the newest tool in the coffee kit: barista milk. Specifically formulated for coffee shops, barista milk’s higher protein content helps create a more stable foam for latte art, and its creamy richness boosts the flavor of the roasted bean. For a global dairy industry that has seen dropping demand for conventional, liquid milk, this is a promising development.

“I think the specialty coffee industry has really upped the ante with the beans and roasting, and so the milk had to follow,” says Joanna Heart, an owner and barista at The Palm Coffee Bar in Burbank, California. “You’re working with this beautiful bean, it’s fair trade, it’s organic, and you’re putting all this effort into it, and then you’re just dumping whatever milk in it? I think baristas began to realize that milk is also something to be researched and played with as an artist.”

Don’t expect to find this milk for use at home. For now, barista milk, which is priced between 30 to 60 percent higher than conventional dairy milk, is exclusively sold to culinary professionals.

“Barista milk is crucial because of the way it behaves in tandem with good, flavorsome coffee to create an overall balance in the drink,” says Joe Towers, who handles the marketing and public relations for Brades Farm, his family’s dairy in Lancaster, England.

Barista milk is rich in . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 February 2019 at 12:32 pm

A local gin with a sense of humor

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From the label on the bottle:

[This gin] is crafted using hand-foraged herbs and unique botanicals grown in British Columbia. It’s a gin that reflects the origin of its ingredients; with bold flavours as undomesticated as the rugged BC coastline, delicately balanced with the bright freshness of an old growth forest.

Created entirely in-house, the low wines are first distilled on a 1920s British-made still affectionately christened ‘Old George’ before being refined in a new German-built refractory still. Finally, the gin is redistilled with BC-grown botanicals creating a spirit featuring a rich velvety mouth feel and punctuated with coastal rainforest flavours. It’s a gin that is not only influenced by our BC environment, but actually made from it!

The interesting thing about those old-growth BC forests is that the universal logging method used in BC was clear-cutting: minimize cost of getting timber with no regard for reforestation, aesthetics and protection of fish and wildlife habitat.

With that in mind, this gin (from Phillips Fermentorium Distilling Co. here in Victoria) has an apt albeit somewhat humorous name:

Written by LeisureGuy

10 January 2019 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Business, Drinks

Excellent diquisition on Tanqueray Gin and Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

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Interesting and in-depth.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2018 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Drinks

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