Trending Now: Tequila and Cigar Pairings

[Originally published in November, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

We’re putting The Whiskey Review on hold this month to bring you something a little different. 

Hearing the word ‘tequila’ summons an image of a lime wedge perched on the salt dusted lip of a margarita glass, and this is only the beginning. Tiny umbrellas, body shots, Mexican food, spring break; whatever direction one’s imagination goes, a blue-grey puff of cigar smoke is probably not part of that picture. We pair cigars with whiskey or cognac, but clear spirits don’t even appear on the radar. To most, the thought of pairing tequila with a basically any cigar seems counterintuitive; the smoke almost certainly seems destined to overpower the delicate flavors in the spirit. There are those, however, who think outside this box.

As a Certified Master Tobacconist (among other things), Michael Herklots stands out as a rare talent in what many consider a dying art. He’s worked with manufacturers throughout the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras and now oversees Nat Sherman’s iconic flagship store on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The notes that follow are his contribution to a growing trend in cigar-tequila pairing. Continue reading

The Whiskey Review: Maker’s 46 is Like Fight Club in a Bottle

[Originally published October, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

Thirteen years ago this month Fight Club began a rather lackluster theatrical run, only making 11 million the first weekend. Even though the studio’s hopes were rather low going in to the release, this figure was still a bit less than they’d expected. Quickly dubbed the “ultimate anti-date flick”, the film grossed around 37 million above production cost (of just over 67 million). Ouch. As with most movies based on books, the film is almost always a bit of a letdown, and this is what people expected.

However, despite its less-than-enthusiastic reception in theaters, Fight Club has since become a cult classic and enjoyed an award-winning DVD release. I can say with confidence that this is one of those rare instances where the film and the book stand on their own artistic merits, each serving to compliment the experience of its counterpart.  Continue reading

The Whiskey Review: Macallan 12 Year

[Originally published August, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

I recently spent the weekend in Los Angeles reconnecting with my fellow literati. Being the only one present with a column solely devoted to whiskey (and what are the odds of bumping into another whiskey writer, really?), more than once it fell to me defend the amber.

The drink of the night turned out to be Macallan’s 12 year single malt, and since I’ve never written about it before, I figured now is as good a time as any. And, lucky me, I happened to share the first of the night with this month’s cover girl, Misty. Eat your hearts out.

In order to get an idea what she might enjoy of the whiskey persuasion, priority number one was figuring out where her preferences lie and then determining what sort of whiskey or scotch would fall in a similar vein. I quickly learned that Misty’s go-to drink is a Sapphire Gin and Tonic.

“So, why Sapphire,” I asked. “What’s the difference?” Continue reading

The Whiskey Review: Johnnie Walker Black vs The Glenlivet

[Originally published March, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

The Whiskey Review: Johnnie Walker Black vs The Glenlivet

Round 1

We’ve got a couple big contenders lined up for this month’s tasting. Last time we covered the ubiquitous Jack Daniels Old No 7, which is probably the most well-known, best-selling whiskey in America. Today we’re going to cover two of the most well-known, best selling whiskeys the world over, so I thought I’d set it up like a cage match.

Even though neither of these bottles are what you would call an investment to purchase, both ringing up at around $25-35 US, I’d still recommend finding a liquor store that carries the smaller sample bottles or going Dutch with a drinking buddy. This is primarily because if you like one selection, chances are you won’t like the other. So, proceed with caution.

Continue reading

The Whiskey Review: Jack Daniels Old No 7

[Originally published February, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

“This week, each one of you has a homework assignment. You’re gonna go out, you’re gonna start a fight with a total stranger.” ~ Tyler Durden

Now substitute “start a fight” with “have a drink” and “total stranger” with “drinking buddy” and you’re right on track.

* * *

In the first article, we covered the very basics of whiskey, how it’s made, and how to sip it right, noting color, smell and taste. This is a man’s world, after all, and the modern man knows when to order a Jack and Coke, and when to order a Highland Park 12 year, neat. And not just because your date will think you’re a genius for knowing how to order whiskey, but because these drinks really are worth tasting.

It may seem that we’re just railing on Jack Daniels here, so rather than give the impression that the Old No. 7 is a whiskey for the undiscriminating palette, let’s take a closer look to see if deserves the popularity it enjoys. Continue reading