Adult Beverage Reviews Feed

Adult Beverage Review: Pinnacle Whipped Vodka

Pinnacle Whipped VodkaBachelorontheCheap.com

In a break from sampling and reviewing flavored whiskeys, I thought I would give a flavored vodka some attention.

I recently picked up a bottle of Pinnacle Whipped Vodka for a small gathering I was having at my place, but I was looking for a vanilla-flavored vodka with some Martini mixology in mind.  The store I was at was out of vanilla-flavored vodka and one of the store clerks suggested the Pinnacle as an alternative.

This stuff rocks!

It's whipped cream with a bite.  I sampled this in a shot, on the rocks, and in mixology.  With the shot, the whipped cream notes are right up front and sweet, followed by the vodka bite to balance it out.  Some might say it's too sweet, but c'mon, it's whipped cream and Pinnacle does a nice job of not letting you forget you're drinking vodka.  This is a product made for mixology.  The sample on the rocks wasn't bad, but as a whiskey man, I would prefer whiskey.  Where Pinnacle Whipped shines is in mixed drinks.

Popular right now is "creamsicle" drinks, a throwback flavor making a comeback.  It's a simple drink recipe of two to three ingredients that packs a lot of flavor, a shot of whipped vodka mixed with orange juice gives you that creamsicle feel, and adding a splash of pineapple juice gives you an "Orange Julius." 

Another popular combo is whipped vodka and root beer for a root beer float kind of thing.  It's easy to see why whipped vodka is trending right now, the drink recipes are simple, yet have a fun "wow" factor to them. 

And as that store clerk suggested, whipped vodka can replace vanilla-flavored vodka in martini mixology.  Try a Mudslide Martini, combining three equal parts of Irish Cream, Kahlua, and whipped vodka shaken, not stirred (see what I did there with the James Bond reference...) in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  It's a fun party drink.  Whipped vodka also works well with muddled fruit and berry juices.

Costing me $15.99 at Groves Liquor, I'm giving Pinnacle Whipped Vodka 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  It's a great vodka for mixology at a very reasonable price, it's most definitely worthy of a repeat buy.

Groves Liquor is located at 9983 E Kellogg Ave, Wichita, KS. 67207.  They've got a really nice selection of wines, spirits, and beer, and the service is always friendly and knowledgeable.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey is comparable to Skrewball, without the high price tag

Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey
Very similar to Skrewball, at a lower price

BachelorontheCheap.com

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks. 

Peanut Butter is one of my favorite whiskey flavors, it makes for a GREAT chilled shot and combined with DeKuyper Razzmatazz or Chambord - a fantastic PB&J shot!  I've tried a number of Peanut butter-flavored whiskeys and so far Ole Smoky's version in my book is the best one out there, better than the most popular, Skrewball, which is what most bars carry.

Having some guests over for dinner recently (shout out to Remington & Kayla!), we gave Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey a try.

A 70-proof American whiskey made by Universal Products, a subsidiary of the United States Distillery Corporation, the maker markets how the whiskey provides an intense sweetness with nutty, salty, and sweet notes.

Indeed it does.  My guests and I enjoyed the whiskey in a chilled shot.  It's a tasty, smooth, satisfying shot that's not too sweet and there's no mistaking the peanut butter flavor.  Compared to Skrewball, the Skatterbrain product was favored by all of us and is available at a lower price.

In making comparisons, here's my list of the top peanut butter-flavored whiskeys...

Ranking Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey

  1. Ole Smoky
  2. Skatterbrain
  3. Bird Dog
  4. Revel Stoke
  5. Skrewball

Ole Smoky has the best flavor and the smoothest finish.  Skatterbrain is also quite good, a can't-go-wrong second choice.  Bird Dog and Revel Stoke are both a bit harsher and why they come in at number 3 and 4 respectively, but rank above number 5 Skrewball with a lower price.  Skrewball is the sweetest of the bunch and has the highest price tag.

Costing me $19.99 at Total Wine & More in Wichita, I'm giving Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  It's reasonably priced and delivers on the peanut butter notes.  Compared to Skrewball, which costs about $10 more, Skatterbrain is the better buy.  I look forward to trying their other flavors, such as PB & J Whiskey, Peanut Butter Cream Liqueur, and Dark Chocolate Banana Whiskey.  What's not to like?

Total Wine & More is located at 2762 N Greenwich Ct, Wichita, KS 67226.  They've got everything!  If you can't find what you're looking for at Total Wine & More, other places in Wichita definitely don't have it.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey Challenge: Bird Dog vs. Skrewball

Related: Whiskey Review: Revel Stoke Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey


A Good Sour Pickle Shot Will Pucker You Up! Reviewing Texacraft Sour Pickle Flavored Vodka

Texacraft Sour Pickle Flavored Vodka
Mini bottles are a great way to sample something you haven't had before without going to the expense of a standard bottle.

BachelorontheCheap.com 

I've never done a sour pickle vodka shot before.

So inspired by a high school friend and classmate who posted a teaser pic of sour pickle vodka on Facebook a few days back...

On Friday, in my neighborhood liquor store buying a few things to restock the home bar, they happened to have some Texacraft Sour Pickle Flavored Vodka on the counter display by the register, so of course I had to buy one to check it out.

I like to buy mini bottles to sample, it's a helluva lot cheaper than buying a standard bottle, only to find out you don't particularly care for what you bought.   

I put the mini in the freezer when I got home, for a chilled shot experience.

Throwing one back about 30 minutes later, my reaction was, "Oh My!"

This stuff has authentic pickle juice flavor, it'll pucker you up!  If I hadn't poured it myself, I would have guessed it was a shot straight from a real pickle jar.  It's very pickle-forward, that's the point and the beauty of vodka, which embraces any flavoring you mix it with.

A chilled shot
It's a fun chilled shot

Texacraft Sour Pickle Flavored Vodka is so authentic in flavor, I think I could throw it in a batch of tuna or egg salad as a legit substitute.  It's a fun shot and I'm giving it 4 out of 5 BachelorontheCheap Stars making it a repeat buy.  I'm not sure I'm going to buy anything bigger than a pint of it to keep in the home bar as a novelty of sorts, although it would be a nice addition to a Bloody Mary.  The mini cost $1.29, I'll check out pricing for larger bottles during my next trip to the liquor store.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

 

 


The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Reds

Wine and cheeseWine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

This post focuses on those reds...

That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

Bogle MerlotMerlot This is one of the more popular reds and if you're looking for a wine to go with a good steak, Merlot might be for you.  A Merlot is a hearty wine that pairs well with grilled steaks, roast beef, braised lamb and tomato based pastas. If eating lighter fare, a Merlot goes well with bold flavored cheeses, such as a good sharp cheddar, gouda, or a blue cheese such as Gorgonzola.  For dessert lovers, a nice Merlot pairs well with chocolate.  And for those that like a wine on the dryer side, it's a good wine to drink by itself as well. A traditional Merlot is a medium bodied, full flavored red wine the carries fruity notes such as strawberries, raspberries, plum and/or dark cherry.  Serve Merlot slightly chilled at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 15 - 20 minutes before serving).  If you don't finish the bottle, cork it and refrigerate, it's good for up to 4 days.  Just be sure to pull the bottle and let it come up in temp (a refrigerator chills to about 41 degrees) a bit before serving to appreciate the full flavor profile.  If you haven't finished the bottle by the four day mark, cook with it.

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation:  Bogle Merlot - $9.99.  A California wine with notes of plum and dark cherry.

Noble Vines 337Cabernet Sauvignon:  THE most popular red out there, yes, even more popular than Merlot and why you see Cabernet Sauvignon selections typically outnumber Merlots 2 - 1 at your local liquor store. Classically paired with lamb dishes, Cabernet Sauvignon is also excellent with venison, a hearty meatball and spaghetti with a rich tomato sauce dinner, steaks on the grill, or pub style burgers.  If you're not into the meat thing, you can appreciate a glass of cab with Portabello mushrooms, braised cabbage or roasted root vegetables.  In pairing with cheese, think sharp cheddar, Gruyere or a baked Camembert.  TIP:  The more full-bodied the wine is - and a Cabernet Sauvignon falls into this category - the stronger the cheese you can pair with it. For dessert, stick with bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate options.  The flavor profile of Cabernet Sauvignon are notes of black cherry, blackberry, black currant, perhaps some veggie notes like green bell pepper and there can be hints of spice and vanilla from the aging in oak barrels.  A cab is higher in acid and has more tannins than a Merlot and that's part of the appeal to cabs, they age well.  Serve Cabernet Sauvignon slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 15 - 20 minutes before serving). And you've heard the phrase, "Let the wine breathe?"  Decanting serves this wine well (that means pour the wine out of the bottle and into a decanter for those of you who live in Haysville).  Do this about 30 minutes prior to serving, as decanting helps to soften the strong tannins. 

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation:  Noble Vines 337 - $10.99.  Here's the description from the Noble Vines website:  This dark, dense, flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon fills the senses with aromas of black cherry, blackberry and peppercorn. Smooth tannins and balanced acidity allow the flavors of black fruit compote, clove and spice, to come through with a lingering finish.

Cline ZifandelZinfandel:  Not to be confused with White Zinfandel, that popular box wine that wine snobs frown upon, Zinfandel is a red wine.  Having moderate tannins and higher alcohol levels ranging from 14 - 17 percent, zinfandel has a bold taste.  The flavor profile often carries fruity, almost 'jammy' notes such as blueberry, cherry, plum and cranberry, followed by black pepper and spice, perhaps even a tobacco-like smoky finish.  This puts Zinfandel on the sweeter side of red wines so pairing with lightly spiced barbecue or curry dishes is a good move.  Think pork dishes with this wine, ham, pulled pork if you're going barbecue and just about any dish that includes bacon.  Veal is also a good pairing, as is turkey so no, that 'only white wine with bird' rule is not an absolute.  When it comes to cheeses, pair with Feta, Havarti, Parmesan or a milder blue cheese like Gorgonzola.   With dessert, remember that your wine needs to be as sweet or sweeter than what is being served.  Zinfandel is excellent with cheesecakes made with fruit or have fruity sauces, fruit pies, tarts and carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting.  Serve Zinfandel like you would other red wines, slightly below room temperature, 60 - 65 degrees, putting the bottle in the fridge about 30 minutes prior to serving.

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Cline Old Vine Lodi Zinfindel - $10.99.   From the winemaker website:  Cline Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel is a challenging and rewarding wine to make. Amazing old vine fruit, detailed selection criteria and master blending show in the final wine. A wide array of jammy strawberry and plum aromas followed by black cherry, strawberry and vanilla flavors lead to a smooth and lengthy finish

Yellow-tail-ShirazSyrah a.k.a. Shiraz:  Two spellings for the same grape?  What the heck?  This one can be a bit confusing for new wine drinkers.   According to Wine Folly, the Syrah grape originated in the legendary wine-producing area of the Rhone Valley in France, way, way back.  Eventually, the grape was taken to Australia and became the most-planted grape in that country.  But they don't call it Syrah there, it's called Shiraz instead.   The grape has since become quite popular and is now being grown around the world.  Basically put, it's the same grape, Syrah is the French way to spell it, Shiraz is the English way.  Enough on the grape history lesson.  Syrah/Shiraz tends to be on the drier side, but not as dry as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Syrahs have fruity notes of black cherry, blackberry and plum along with spice notes such as clove and licorice.  In the finish there are hints of espresso and dark chocolate.  With above average alcohol levels and moderate tannins, this fruity/spicy wine pairs well with barbecue and it really doesn't what kind of meat.  Pork ribs, beef ribs, bbq chicken and just about any grilled fare from hamburgers to a leg of lamb go nicely with Syrah.  When it comes to cheeses, Syrah pairs well with blue cheeses and salty ones such as pecorino or halloumi.   Do NOT drink Syrah with seafood or salads and while it pairs nicely with dark chocolate, you might want to find another wine to drink with any other kind of dessert.  Serve Syrah with a slight chill, 60 - 65 degrees, not quite room temperature.  With its higher alcohol content, if not slightly chilled, the flavors will be dulled.  Put in your fridge for about 30 minutes before serving.

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Yellow Tail Shiraz- $8.99.   Here's the description:  Ripe Cherries and strawberries, spice, and vanilla aromas. Yellow Tail Shiraz is bold and well balanced, with earthy tones and lingering fruit on the tongue.

Alamos MalbecMalbec:  According to Wine Folly, Malbec has been a popular blending grape in France for years, but thanks to Argentina, Malbec has become popular in it's own right.   This is a very fruity wine with a deep purple color and full body.  Carrying notes of blackberry, black plum, and black cherry, the wine also has savory notes such as black pepper, spice, sweet tobacco and cocoa.  Typically higher in alcohol content than other wines it also has a short finish, to mean it doesn't stay on your tongue long.   Because of that short finish, Malbec pairs well with leaner meats like a flank steak rather than a ribeye.  Pork loin dishes are a nice pairing as is poultry with dark meat and leaner cuts of lamb.  Game meats such as bison, venison and ostrich are also good.   For folks seeking lighter fare, Malbec pairs well with goat and blue cheeses.  Mushrooms are excellent with this wine as are stuffed peppers.  For dessert, think chocolate desserts and/or salty caramel.  Serve Malbec in a wide bodied glass to take full advantage of the fruity aromas.   And like other red wines, serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving). And you've heard the phrase, "Let the wine breathe?" Malbec benefits from decanting (that means pour the wine out of the bottle and into a decanter for those of you who live in Haysville). Go with a Malbec made in Argentina, that's where the best ones come from.

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Alamos Malbec - $10.99.  Here's the description:  Alamos Malbec captures the spirit and terroir of Argentina’s signature variety. Grown at high-level altitudes, our Malbec offers layers of dark cherry and blackberry with a velvety mouthfeel. This complex red wine pairs beautifully with a wide range of cuisine and is recognized for its pronounced freshness.

Bread-Butter-Pinot-NoirPinot Noir:  First cultivated in Burgundy, France, the Pinot Noir grape is now grown all over the world.  The appeal of Pinot Noir is how versatile it is with food pairings, it's a red that can go with just about anything.  Think about that next date, you're at a quaint restaurant, a candlelit table for two...   You're having steak, your date is having salmon, what kind of wine can you share?  Get a bottle of Pinot Noir!  With flavors of cherry, plum, spice, and some earthy notes, this food friendly wine has soft tannins and a bright acidity.  It's a lighter bodied red wine with a smooth finish.  Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for a charcuterie board that includes ham, goat cheese and olives.  And in thinking of the diversity of a charcuterie board and all those great options, think pizza and all the great topping options...  Yes, pizza and Pinot Noir is a great match!  Pot Roast, roast turkey, roast chicken, glazed ham, rack of lamb, the aforementioned steak and salmon, they're all complimented by a glass (or two) of Pinot Noir.  This wine is also excellent with mushroom anything, asparagus and roasted root vegetables.  It pairs well with hummus (w/roasted red pepper is a personal favorite), gnocchi, ravioli, risotto and here's a really good one, spinach & artichoke dip.    For dessert, think chocolate, decadent brownies, chocolate covered strawberries or a chocolate mousse.  And like other red wines, serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees (refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving).

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Bread & Butter Pinot Noir - $14.99.  Here's the description:  Bread & Butter Pinot Noir is all about that juicy red fruit. Think cherries and raspberries with a touch of cassis. Delicate hints of cedar, smoke, and bay leaf cut the sweetness of the fruit, creating a nicely balanced bouquet. That luscious fruit bouquet continues onto the palate, where it’s joined by soft flavors of oak and savory notes. With a long and beautifully smooth finish, this Pinot Noir will melt in your mouth.

Nebbiolo:  Nebbiolo grapes are grown in many parts of the world, but the vast majority are grown in Northern Italy.  Nebbiolo wines are also produced in California, Argentina and Australia.  Having high tannins and acidity, it pairs well with fatty, creamy dishes with the acidity cutting through the rich flavors and cleansing the palate.  Like Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo is a food friendly wine and matches up with a number of main dishes and sides.  Look for tasting notes of cherry, raspberry, rose, star anise and tobacco.  This is a medium to full bodied wine that will compliment just about any tomato based pasta dish you can think of, especially a good ragu or bolognese and going Italian is your best bet.   When it comes to a non pasta meat dish, think fattier meats but nothing too gamey, perhaps a slow roasted pork or beef roast.  When it comes to cheeses, don't go too funky. Creamy cheeses like brie and goat are excellent paired with Nebbiolo, as are hard cheeses such as Parmigiana Reggiano or Pecorino.  For you veggie lovers out there, mushroom anything!  Roasted root vegetables are great and you can get away with loading them up with a lot of olive oil and/or butter.  A spicy Asian veggie stir fry is good as well.  For dessert, don't go there.  Nebbiolo is not a good match with anything sweet.  And like other red wines, serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees, refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving but decanter it first, it will benefit from breathing.

Kirkland BaroloBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Kirkland Signature Borolo - $19.99. I know I prefaced this with recommending good wines for $15 or less, but finding a good Nebbiolo for under $20.... Challenging!  What Costco produces with their Kirkland Signature brand hails from Piedmont, Italy, THE place on the planet for the top producers of Nebbiolo.  Here's the description from the bottle:  Rich garnet red in color with notes of vanilla and rose petal on the nose, this full-bodied wine delivers notes of black currant and licorice on the palate. Great for long-term aging.  14% alcohol.

Caparzo SangioveseSangiovese:  Sangiovese is a dry, acidic wine that is known as a "chameleon" grape, to mean that different wines using this grape can be notably different. The vast majority of Sangiovese is produced in the central region of Tuscany, Italy.   Look for tasting notes of cherry and herbal, earthy tones.  Because it's so acidic, stick to savory foods, this is a good dinner wine.  Pairing well with just about anything tomato based, Sangiovese also matches up nicely with spicy dishes.  Consider pairing it with meat dishes featuring a savory cherry sauce to take advantage of the cherry notes in the wine - think grilled pork loin.  Load up your charcuterie board with salami, prosciutto, calabrese and pecorino cheese.  When it comes to non-meat dishes, serve this wine alongside hearty bean soups or gnocchi in a brown butter and herb sauce.  Pass on this wine when it comes to sweets however, NOT a good match.  Serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees, refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving. 

Bachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Caparzo Sangiovese - $9.99.   This wine is from Italy, Tuscany region, Toscano sub-region.  Best with red meat, pasta with meat sauces, bean and barley soups.  Winemaker notes:  Intense ruby color. Fruity, spicy aromas. The palate is full, fruity, persistent.

Grenache:  Originally cultivated in Spain, the Grenache grape is now common in wine valleys around the world.  The Grenache is sold as a single varietal but it's most popular by producers as a blending grape due to its medium to low acidity, medium tannins and high alcohol.   This wine has fruity notes of black cherry, raspberry and strawberry balanced with some spice such as star anise, cinnamon and black pepper.  Grenache pairs really well with slow cooked meats, hearty stews and chili.  For meatless options think oven baked pasta dishes with cheese and veggies to include mushrooms, bell peppers, eggplant and zucchini.  The cheeses you'll want on your charcuterie board should include pepper jack, brie and mild cheddar.  For dessert be sure to select a sweet Grenache (the longer its aged, the drier it gets), this is a good red wine for a classic pairing with chocolate, pretty much chocolate anything.  Serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees, refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving and after popping the cork, let it breathe for about 10 minutes. 

Vega-Sindoa-El-Chaparral-GrenacheBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation:  Vega Sindoa El Chaparral Grenache - $15.  Hailing from Spain, this is a critically acclaimed wine by the Wine Advocate.  Winemaker notes:  Bright red. Suave raspberry and cherry preserve aromas are compelling and sexy. Musky herbal and floral qualities add complexity to the nose but fade into the red berry aromas, which continue on the palate.persistent.

Red wine selection and food pairing made easy and you can get a really nice bottle for $15 or less.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Drink Review: Ole Smoky Chocolate Cherries Moonshine

Ole Smoky Chocolate Cherries MoonshineBy Mike Thayer

I'm an Ole Smoky fan, they make a fantastic peanut butter flavored whiskey that's better than Skrewball!  I've also sampled their Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine which was quite tasty.    Also good, their Apple Pie Moonshine as well as their Sour Apple Moonshine.  So in liking all those and kind of staying on a Moonshine trend, I decided to give their Chocolate Cherries Moonshine a try.

If you didn't already know, White Whiskey is "new" whiskey, as in a raw, unfinished product, "unaged." White Whiskey skips the aged in oak barrels step so what you get is naked grain alcohol - Moonshine!

I was looking for something a little different to try on a recent trip to the liquor store, I'm a sucker for chocolate covered cherries and what?  I see chocolate, cherries and moonshine in a jar?  What's not to like? 

Here's the product description: Leave it to Ole Smoky to improve upon cherry perfection. We took Maraschino cherries and soaked 'em in a batch of Ole Smoky Moonshine, then we added a note of milk chocolate. The result? The chocolate covered cherry- flavored moonshine was born.

Back in the day and I'm talking bootlegging now, the only way to enjoy 'White Lightening' was straight from the jug.  There were no mixers, no ice, no enhanced flavors, you drank it straight.  The beauty of moonshine these day's is there's no single way to enjoy it and Ole Smoky demonstrates that with the Chocolate Cherries variety.  It's chocolate covered cherries with a kick!

Here's another Ole Smoky creation that at 100 proof, you don't notice how much of a punch the stuff has.  You get the whiff of chocolate in the nose, you get the taste of cherry up front followed by the milk chocolate - a nice blend - and the finish is moonshine warm. 

Costing me a bit over $20 for a 750ml jar, I'm giving Ole Smoky Chocolate Cherries Moonshine 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a good change of pace kind of thing and puts a nice chocolate spin on an old fashioned.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Whiskey Review: Revel Stoke Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey

Revel Stoke Nutcrusher Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey
Revel Stoke launched a new marketing campaign last fall, calling it "Stoke Your Wild" which included new labeling.

By Mike Thayer

Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks. 

Peanut Butter is one of my favorite whiskey flavors, it makes for a GREAT chilled shot and combined with DeKuyper Razzmatazz or Chambord - a fantastic PB&J shot!  I've tried a number of Peanut Butter flavored whiskeys and so far Ole Smoky's version in my book is the best one out there, better than the most popular, Skrewball, which is what most bars carry.

Today I'm trying Revel Stoke Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey.

Revel Stoke is bottled in Minnesota, but their recipe for whiskey is Canadian inspired.  Here's the marketing blurb from the company:  This 2020 World of Whiskies award winner proves that peanut butter is not just for sandwiches any more! This drink has buttery notes and the mild spice of Canadian Whisky. The combination is exactly what you never knew you needed.

Revel Stoke hits all the peanut butter notes, it's got the sweet without being syrupy.  It's smooth with a hint of vanilla and spice in the finish but the warm whiskey feel is a bit lacking.  As always, I tried this whiskey neat, on the rocks and in a chilled shot. It's good any way served.  It would also lend itself well to mixology, especially the aforementioned PB&J.  Combining it with a chocolate liqueur is quite "Reeces" nice and pairing it with a banana liqueur is fun for an "Elvis."

Costing me $19.99 for a 750ml bottle, I'm giving Revel Stoke Nutcrusher Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a good peanut butter whiskey, but not the best out there.  It's a bargain compared to Skrewball, if you're into the budget buy.  But if you're going down that road, you may want to consider Bird Dog as well.  Of the Peanut Butter Whiskeys, my favorite continues to be Ol Smokey, reasonably priced with the best overall peanut butter flavor.

4 stars

Related: Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey Challenge: Bird Dog vs. Skrewball

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Whiskey Review: Ole Smoky Amaretto

20220908_140611By Mike Thayer

It's been awhile since I've done a flavored whiskey review, not since July in fact!

But with my favorite season of the year here - football season - and oh yeah, the fall equinox on September 22, well they're both something to celebrate!  To do that, I picked up a flavored whiskey offering I haven't tried yet, Ole Smoky Amaretto. 

Here's the description from the Ole Smoky website:  We blended the flavors of toasted almond with notes of sweet cherry, to create our Amaretto Whiskey. This smooth nutty liquid was made to savor with friends or in front of a cozy fire.

As I always do when sampling, I tried the whiskey neat, on the rocks and in a chilled shot. When opening the bottle you do get a nice subtle whiff of "Amaretto" the combination of almond and cherry.  It's a pleasant nose and not overly fragrant which is a good thing. An overly fragrant flavoring usually indicates too much flavoring or perhaps a whiskey that is too sweet. You want the flavoring to compliment the whiskey, not overpower it. With its golden-amber color, the whiskey has a nice swirl to it.  In the neat sample and despite the pleasant nose however, I did find this whiskey to be a bit Amaretto forward in taste and at only 56 proof, it lacks that warm whiskey finish.  It's a decent sipping whiskey over ice, like an after dinner sipper, but it's best as a chilled shot.  With mixology in mind, an Amaretto Sour wouldn't be bad.

Amaretto Sour

  • 1.5 oz. Ole Smoky® Amaretto Whiskey
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • .75 oz. Lemon Juice
  • Fresh Orange Slice for Garnish
  • Ole Smoky® Moonshine Cherries for Garnish (once you've had these cherries, you won't want to switch back to regular maraschino cherries)

Costing me about $23 for a 750ml bottle, I'm giving Ole Smoky Amaretto 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a good chilled shot, but if I'm going for a flavored whiskey that's got nutty and fruity notes, I would prefer to reach for Bird Dog Praline which has a warmer whiskey finish and costs less.  Bird Dog Praline is a better whiskey to savor with friends or in front of a cozy fire.

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Whiskey Review: Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine

Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine
Blackberry is a great flavor

By Mike Thayer

I'm an Ole Smoky fan, they make a fantastic peanut butter flavored whiskey that's better than Skrewball!  I've also sampled their Ole Smoky Butter Pecan Moonshine which was quite tasty.    Also good, their Apple Pie Moonshine as well as their Sour Apple Moonshine.  So in liking both those and kind of staying on a Moonshine trend, I decided to give their Blackberry Moonshine a try.

If you didn't already know, White Whiskey is "new" whiskey, as in a raw, unfinished product, "unaged." White Whiskey skips the aged in oak barrels step so what you get is naked grain alcohol - Moonshine!

Here's the description of the Blackberry Moonshine from the Ole Smoky website:  Taste the sweeter side of life in the nectar of the Appalachian Gods that is captured in Ole Smoky®Blackberry Moonshine. Mix it in with some lemonade, throw it in a copper cup and enjoy a long afternoon of Corn Hole with friends. There’s no need to muddle tiny pieces of fruit when our blackberries create a smooth yet spirited flavor with a kick that’ll keep things interesting.

This stuff is almost too smooth.  Fruity, it drinks like Kool-Aid and at 40 proof, it doesn't have a harsh finish.  Moderation is key, it will sneak up on you if you're not careful.  I had it in a chilled shot, on the rocks and neat.  A warm whiskey finish is missing in this Moonshine.  On it's own it was best over ice, better yet in a mixed drink.

Here's a suggested drink recipe from Ole Smoky which is quite tasty:

Blackberry Lemonade

Mix well in a glass over ice, garnish with lemon wedge and/or optional blackberries.  Shine responsibly.

Costing me about $17 for 750ml mason jar, I'm giving Ole Smokey Blackberry Moonshine 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's smooth, refreshing, but best in a mixed drink.  I really like the blackberry flavor, but in comparing it to Bird Dog Blackberry whiskey (80 proof), I'd rather drink the Bird Dog, it's a better blackberry flavor with a better kick and warmer finish.

4 stars

Related: Drink Review: Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey

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Wine Review: Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling

20220708_162907By Mike Thayer

Looking for a good white that will please any wine palate ranging from the experienced wine drinkers to the not-very-often?

You can't go wrong with a Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling.

Here's the description from the wine maker's website:  Our Columbia Valley Riesling is a blend of Riesling from throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley. The wine offers crisp apple and white peach aromas and flavors with subtle mineral notes. This is a go-to Riesling that is incredibly refreshing, flavorful and easy to pair with a variety of foods.

That's an accurate description, it is indeed refreshing and flavorful.  I enjoyed it with Vicki S. on a date night, she ordered in sushi from Wasabi, I brought the wine.

In opening the bottle I was hit with a light surge of pear.  In the sip you get more of that pear, followed by the apple, white peach and apricot notes.   It's nicely balanced, not too dry, not too sweet and paired quite nicely with the sushi.

Costing me $9.99, I'm giving the Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Easy to drink, this wine is Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and worthy of a repeat buy.  Versatile, this wine is a no brainer to take to any dinner party, pairing well with mild cheeses (think charcuterie board), salads and seafood.  If you know what is being served for dinner this Riesling is a great match for Chinese, Thai, Tex-Mex and roast pork.

4 stars

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Five honey flavored whiskeys sampled, which one came out on top?

By Mike Thayer

Bird Dog Honey Flavored Whiskey
The latest flavored whiskey offering from Bird Dog

I recently did a review of Bird Dog's latest flavored whiskey offering, their honey flavored whiskey.  A popular flavored whiskey choice, I've sampled a few honey versions, five to be exact.  So in the name of "Whiskey Science" I've sampled honey flavored whiskey so you don't have to 'suffer' from drinking any not-so-great ones.  Below is my list from worst to first of the five I've tried. 

3 starsNumber 5 - Bird Dog Honey:  With a very visually appealing golden-amber color, the whiskey has a nice swirl to it, but in the neat sample, I did find the honey to be a bit medicinal in flavor, the balance doesn't seem quite right.  It is an 80 proof, most flavored whiskeys are 70 proof, but in comparing this honey flavored whiskey to others I've had, this one comes up a bit short.  The saving grace however is it has a really nice finish with the light spice note combined with the classic, Bird Dog Whiskey warmth gently pleasuring your throat.  I'm a Bird Dog fan, so this was kind of disappointing and it's NOT worthy of a repeat buy.

3 starsNumber 4 - Jim Beam Honey:  I sampled this whiskey in a straight shot and on the rocks.  Both were pleasurable enough, nothing harsh.  The honey flavor is definitely there and you notice the vanilla note finish.  But I will say this flavored whiskey comes up more honey than whiskey.  As I've mentioned in other flavored whiskey reviews before, I want the flavor to compliment the whiskey, not overpower it.  Jim Beam's balance here is honey forward.  After sampling the shot and on the rocks, I did a mixed drink using my very own creation, the Hillbilly High as a base recipe.  The Jim Beam is pretty darn good in a mixed drink.  Perhaps that was what Jim Beam was going for here because that's how I'll sum this up, it's better in a mixed drink, than as a shot, served neat or on-the-rocks.  Costing me about $16 for a 750ml bottle, the price is reasonable but I'm not sure if I would buy it again.  I'm going to have to try other honey flavored whiskeys before making that determination.  Jim Bean Honey Whiskey gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

3 starsNumber 3 - Jesse James Honey: Not bad.  As usual, I served this up in a straight shot and on the rocks.  I wouldn't call this an incredibly smooth bourbon as the company website claims, but with that honey flavor in the nose and in the swallow, it's a pretty good shot.  Not sweet at all, it's almost a bit harsh, but in a good way.  The honey flavor is slight, just enough to compliment and take the edge off, providing for a nice, warm, bourbon finish.  I'm thinking this is a better shot than just the straight Jesse James bourbon.  I'll have to do a taste comparison to be sure, lol.  Jesse James Honey Whiskey gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Good but not great, this whiskey was priced a bit high at $18 for a 750ml bottle.  I've had better flavored whiskeys for $16.  Part of that price is the name.  Nonetheless, when in the mood for a honey flavored whiskey, it's an OK repeat buy, but I'll be on the lookout for a better honey flavored whiskey

4 starsNumber 2 - Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey:  This is a deceptively GOOD whiskey!   Honey is SUCH a nice pairing with whiskey and Jack Daniel's has done things right by NOT making this overly sweet like other makers tend to do when it comes to flavored whiskeys. The honey is subtle in the nose, there's nothing harsh about this at all and you get the nice Jack Daniel's whiskey finish. This whiskey is almost, note I wrote 'almost' too smooth. What a nice combo.  As always, I tried this whiskey neat, on the rocks and in a chilled shot. It's very good any way served. It would also lend itself well to mixology, adding a splash of ginger ale comes to mind right away.... Costing me about $21 for a 750ml bottle, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is definitely a repeat buy and gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars!

5 starsAnd the Number 1 Honey Flavored Whiskey in this Challenge - Wild Turkey American Honey: With a proof of 71 and aged 4 years, this blend of bourbon and honey has a great, fragrant nose, you get that sweet whiff of honey right away in taking the cap off the bottle. The mouthfeel is rich and flavorful, delivering the honey in front followed by notes of vanilla from the Wild Turkey finish. Costing me about $14 for a 350ml bottle, I'm giving Wild Turkey American Honey 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. It's a bit pricey but it's quite delicious especially over ice. A repeat buy, I also look forward to cooking with this, the blend of bourbon and honey will lend itself well to a number of dishes!

I think what puts the Wild Turkey at the top of this list is that note of vanilla in the finish, it's the best honey flavored recipe, with the whiskey being flat out smooth in every aspect, from nose to finish.

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