Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beer n' Bourbon. A Review.

Pappy Van Winkle
Pappy Van Winkle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Beer n' Bourbon.

Two important dudes in my life (one being husband) are really into beer, scotch and recently - bourbon.  

I like really good beer m'self, but am slowly in bourbon and scotch training wheels.  That said, seems like with my husband and our friend Jeff Malcomb's mild to massive obsession with scotch n' bourbon I'll be drinking them like they are water before summer's end.  

In fact as a side note, my husband, busy guy actually, has managed to weasel in enough free time to become a self described "Pappy Hunter," and by that, I mean none other than Pappy Van Winkle.  

Now, as another side note, if you watch the truly gloriously bizarre show Justified (kinda like Sopranos hillbilly style) then you hear a lot of reference to Pappy Van Winkle.  That creepy blond Detroit villain walks in to any given bar and orders - very cooly - "Pappy Van Winkle.  Neat."  

I aspire to be that gal with bourbon in her office - ok fine - right now it's a home office - but conjure thoughts of Mad Men and Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock.  Even Glen Close in Damages.  That was awesome. Every time someone walks in, meander over to my tray, pour myself a Pappy, Neat.  It will happen one day.  I might even get a smoking jacket to match my life partner's blue velvet one.  You've seen it on the bottom right of this blog.

But, I keep getting off track.  Drum roll please.  Here is the breakdown - well two breakdowns - about the best beers you should be drinking this summer and the best bourbon and scotch along with very articulate reasons as to "why."



  1. Pliny the Elder (Russian River) – Best IPA in the world.  Hands down.  Double IPA so you get nice hopiness.  Anyone who tells you different is a jacka**
  2. Blind Pig (Russian River) – Single IPA.  Little less bitterness than the Pliny, or maybe more bitterness.  Don’t know, don’t care.  Just love it
  3. Sclupin IPA (Ballast Point) – What (dude two) said

  1. Pappy Van Winkle 20 yr – Perfect wheated bourbon that goes down smooth.  I would bathe in this stuff if I could get my hands on 100 gallons to fill my tub
  2. William Larue Weller – No bottle age but we all guess it is around 18 yrs.  The “other” wheated bourbon from SW.  Nice vanilla notes.
  3. Macallan 18 yr – Just the ti*s

  1. Sclupin IPA (Ballast Point) - The absolute perfect balance of bitter hoppiness and bright notes of apricot and lemon.  My favorite all around beer.
  2. Pliny the Elder (Russian River) - I like it for a lot of the same reasons I like the Sculpin.  Pliny is a bit more hop forward and therefore a "bigger" beer.
  3. Hoegaarden Wit - Since it's starting to warm up I thought I'd throw in one of my favorite summer time beers.  A classic Belgian Wit (Wheat beer for us gringos).  Citrus, coriander and a hint of banana.  Mild carbonation.  It's the beer version of lemonade on a hot summer day.
  1. Van Winkle 12 year "Lot B" Bourbon - Diehards will go for the older Pappy Van Winkle, but for an "everyday" bourbon this stuff is the bomb.  Great balance of sweetness and oak.
  2. Glenlivet XXV Single Malt - I've had this a grand total of 1 time, but it is just straight silk!  Not affordable at all, but it's damn good.  An under-rated alternative from the same distillary is the Glenlivet 15 French Oak Reserve.  Good balance of fruit and spice.  Easy drinking for newcomers to single malt Scotch.
  3. Jameson 18 year Limited Reserve - woodsy and spicy, but still easy drinkin'.  This is NOT the Jameson you order with Coke at your local dive .  In fact, if you mix it with anything I will find you and take your bottle!

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR Jeff Malcomb, who will gladly drink your liquor and tell you what he thinks.  You can contact him directly at  Just kidding.  Don't do that.  

PS a great hangover helper is to chug a Coconut Water before bed and first thing when you wake up.  Just thought you might be feeling tipsy upon reading this.

The Wilsons
& Malcomb.
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