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Post 13 Jan 2014, 11:21 am

Japan's Suntory is purchasing Jim Beam in an est 13.6 billion dollar deal.

The Japanese are known for a fanatic interest in whisky, but Jim Beam?!? It's the most popular but it's also wretched. However, I'm not too concerned as there's really very little that could be done to make it worse.

However, the deal also comes with the acquisition of Maker's Mark which has an excellent reputation and certainly more opportunity to expand with the right touch. I wouldn't have been surprised if Suntory had purchased Maker's Mark as that would have fit their previous scotch acquisitions. But Jim Beam reminds me of the Daimler Chrysler wedding.
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Post 13 Jan 2014, 1:14 pm

Whiskey ...yechhh!
The only whiskey I like (and I like it a lot) would make a real whiskey fan sigh.
Anyone ever tried Fireball whiskey?

If you are a true fan of whiskey, then forget I said this!
But if you are on the fence about whiskey, this might be for you!? It tastes like an atomic fireball. Strong cinnamon flavor with the heat of the whiskey. Mmmm mmmm, especially on a chilly evening, it's like a tasty antifreeze!

as far as this Jim Beam buyout, from what you say this could make sense? Sort of a good-better-best positioning while using the entire line to bump up all three areas together. Economies of scale could kick in nicely?
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Post 13 Jan 2014, 2:34 pm

I like whiskey and whisky. Having only had JD or Jim Beam before, I was pretty down on bourbons. But then on the morning of my wedding, in a bar on Bourbon St, New Orleans, my Best Man bought me a shot of Makers Mark (the barman from Kentucky told us it was better than Woodford Reserve, which was not worth the extra money). And it was lovely...

Still, you can't beat a good Scotch single malt.
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Post 13 Jan 2014, 10:09 pm

It's across the Bay in Alameda but if you end up with time to fill http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/ is an enjoyable stop.
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Post 14 Jan 2014, 12:45 pm

I've been getting into my rums recently. There are some amazing ones from Barbados. Unlike most rums that I've tried, these are not very dark and bitter or clear and excessively sweet. They're kind of a rich golden colour, not dissimilar to whisky, and have a really well rounded flavour. C0ckspur is my favourite of those I've tried. It costs the same as the mass produced brand name rums but tastes infinitely superior. Well worth it if you get the chance to buy some.

edited to get round the stupid redscape swear filter
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Post 14 Jan 2014, 5:12 pm

Ah, now, rum...

golden rums are much more easy to drink neat. The darks and lights are best with mixers. Cockspur is a favourite in the West Indian social club around the corner from me, but I would say that the older Havana Club rums and Santa Teresa are nicer.

next up - Gin?
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Post 14 Jan 2014, 7:32 pm

Alright gents we'll not censor good rum anymore.
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Post 14 Jan 2014, 10:59 pm

How about Vodka?

One thing I read a while ago that I truly believe.
Don't buy into the fancy expensive vodka sales gimmicks. Flavored vodkas aside, vodka should have no taste. Take any good triple filtered vodka and I doubt anyone will notice the difference between it and one that cost two, three or more times the price. I have found Svedka to be a good value myself. If you are into flavored vodkas (some are quite tasty and mix real well with so many things) then it's about the flavor infusion and not the vodka, you may find a cheap version tastes better?

A fun thing to do is to get a plain vodka and infuse your own flavors! Fruits, peppers, vanilla, ginger, you can have a lot of fun for very little expense. Re-bottle with a label printed from your computer and you can wow your buddies!

and just checking.... cockspur
(did it get censored?)
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Post 15 Jan 2014, 12:30 pm

danivon wrote:Still, you can't beat a good Scotch single malt.

If we're talking the Islay peat monsters like Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig then I fully agree but otherwise a lot of bourbons can hold parity with the scotches. And when you start breaking it down into a value/cost per serving then the bourbons will win more often then not. But maybe your purchase price dynamic is reversed from mine, I don't know.
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Post 15 Jan 2014, 12:41 pm

Unless you're drinking Old Crow from the bottle in a brown paper bag, you're nothing but an elitist pansy. I'll bet you guys even put the stuff in glasses! Idiots...
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Post 15 Jan 2014, 12:50 pm

Awesome post! But can we drink scotch from a red solo cup?
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Post 15 Jan 2014, 1:04 pm

And when you start breaking it down into a value/cost per serving then the bourbons will win more often then not. But maybe your purchase price dynamic is reversed from mine, I don't know.


The better scotches are really expensive here too. What we do have though, which you probably can't get in the States, are cheap supermarket own brand single malts. Some of these are surprisingly good. Tesco did an Islay one which was awesome. Not too far off Laphroiag quality for about 35% of the price. They're made by the same distilleries that do the proper pricey brands so really it's more or less the same stuff, but you don't have to pay the premium. They can be hit and miss though, you'll have to try a few of them out before you find a good one.
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Post 15 Jan 2014, 3:52 pm

Neal Anderth wrote:
danivon wrote:Still, you can't beat a good Scotch single malt.

If we're talking the Islay peat monsters like Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig then I fully agree but otherwise a lot of bourbons can hold parity with the scotches. And when you start breaking it down into a value/cost per serving then the bourbons will win more often then not. But maybe your purchase price dynamic is reversed from mine, I don't know.
I think it comes down to opinion, there. Blended scotches (in the main) are different from, but I guess on par with bourbons etc.

However, there is much more to the single malts than the peat-monsters (which I can take in small doses). What you tend to get with less peaty malts (or even non-peaty lowlands) is a more complex set of flavours. Bourbons tend to be relatively simple in that sense. Smoother, yes, but perhaps less... interesting. And less varied.

I tend not to try and price per serving (otherwise I'd not have that 1/2 bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label). Scotches and other whiskys that have been casked for longer take on more flavour and that time does add to the cost as well. You also can get 'cask strength' malts which have a higher alcohol content.

Sass - Indeed, also there are some places like the Wine Society who do 'own label' whiskys which are actually rebrands of the actual originals, for a much lower price.
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Post 16 Jan 2014, 10:16 pm

Since I brought it up and Conan went to all the effort...or not...you'll see... http://teamcoco.com/video/conan-japan-whisky-ad
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Post 18 Jan 2014, 9:42 am

I was an Irish Whiskey drinker at reenactments back in the day but my stomach can't handle it any more Back when I did drink it, Tullamore Dew was the everyday bottle for around the campfire. Then we would get something a little more upscale for special occasions.

I like Rum as a mixer but not so much neat. Same issue with the stomach can't really handle the harder spirits any more. I like Calico Jack's Spiced and the Admiral Nelson line is pretty good as well.