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: Redbreast 12 Year vs 15 Year

[Originally published August, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

The first time I tried Rebreast’s 12 year was back in August of 2010 at Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub in downtown Portland. Still finding my footing in the world of whiskey and scotch, I was more than happy when the waiter made some personal recommendations that turned out to be spot on.

Fast forward a day and a half to the flight back home, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the whiskey which had made such an impression on me. There had been so many new things on the short visit (including quite a few Voo-Doo Donuts) that it had all blurred together. Without photographic proof, I’d be hard pressed to remember half of the three day weekend.

About a year later, I was on the lookout to expand my bar, trying to decide between a handful of bourbons I’d been meaning to try when the sales guy asked me if I was into single malt whiskey. Lo and behold, the first thing he recommends is this Redbreast 12 year.

The penny dropped before I even saw the bottle. That name echoed around my memory and for a split second I was transported back to that Irish pub in Portland, enjoying Redbreast for the first time. 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