Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Atlanta - Nibbled to Death by Rats

I just got back from visiting Atlanta,Georgia.
I had gone there years ago on a trip and hadn't been there in years.
The guide books said there was a lot to see and do in Atlanta and its environs.
They did not mention the absolute sterility and de facto segregation of downtown- the downtown is a huge, deep, concrete and highrise labyrinth with nothing but expense account restaurants,hotels and office buildings.It is separated from the rest of Atlanta by a large buffer zone of development that effectively cuts off the rest of the city and its inhabitants . Anyone not wearing a uniform (be it suit, coveralls or tourist wear) and on foot is immediately identified as a intruder.There are more police downtown then in Las Vegas - or occupied France for that matter.Downtown is a very sterile environment enforced by a heavy police presence and very defined borders where tourists are politely but heavily discouraged to cross and locals much less politely.This did not prevent some of the numerous scams run by the locals such as the American Taxi Company - who allowed their driver to bilk me out of $10 to drive 2 blocks (off the meter by the way) and refused to return phone calls when I tried to report this price gouging or the hotels who must get a percentage from the shuttle service for those $16 a head van trips to and from the airport-while not mentioning the $1.75 train which is faster.
Not to mention the rats,I've never seen so many when I was walking around - individuals and packs of them roaming around downtown - they must have even outnumbered the office workers it seemed.
They seemed a metaphor for the numerous locals who fed on the tourists-suddenly appearing ripping you off in little bites and myriad ways till they drained you dry.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


If you are setting up a home bar, or are a serious student of drink you need the proper glassware and if you are doing things properly a lot of it.
Frankly I am disappointed by a lot of the glassware out there currently -not to mention the cost of it.
A lot of the martini glasses out there now are suitable for keeping fish in but not a drink.
A too large martini glass means your drink will get too warm before you have finished it- a ugly proposition.
I suggest going to estate sales to find good quality glassware- it is cheap and plentiful.

If it doesn't all match? Well at least you don't have to spend money on those glass charms so people can tell their drinks apart.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Additions

I hope everyone is remembering to hit the refresh button every so often. Otherwise (especially if you are using Internet Explorer) your browser will always serve up a saved version of the webpage-without the new reviews.
This week we did a few vodkas and later this week or Monday we plan on adding at least 4 tequilas and some Eau de Vies to the mix.
Meanwhile we will be updating some odds and ends along with trying to increase out linking with other pages.
If anyone would like to link to us please go to our links page to the link to us section, THANKS!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Bookmarks are up!

After days of reorganizing the damn things the new bookmarks are integrated and up. We now have 2100 or so links on the Spirits Review Links Page.( www.spiritsreview.com/links) and a number of new reviews. With the new computer things are going much faster!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New Computer Up New Material to Follow

The new computer is up. It is a dual processor type running Ubantu Linux and uses a RAID configuration that stripes and backs up (and uses 4 hard drives) .So we are ready to get back to the salt mines and post some reviews!

New Computer Up New Material to Follow

The new computer is up. It is a dual processor type running Ubantu Linux and uses a RAID configuration that stipes and backs up (and uses 4 hard drives) .So we are ready to get back to the salt mines and post some review!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Progress Report

We still haven't seen the new server,the new computer is being reworked but the filming has stopped and gone to editing.
We now will be posting more reviews the old way (slower) but they are getting done and we have a backlog of products to post. We will be up late tonight posting on the website(www.spiritsreview.com of course)We hope to have the new computers in our hands later this week and hit the ground running after July 4th on stepping up our postings !

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spirits Review FUBAR

In case anyone has been looking for some more new reviews we apologize.
Here is the current situation here:

Server has been fried by Niagara Mohawk- we are still trying to build a new one.

New computer is still not acquiescing to our demands to work.When it is up we expect to increase posting by 100-150% as our new software packages will eliminate a lot of work and boost productivity. It will also allow me to post directly to the page eliminating some time lags (see below for example)

Photographer and webmaster are MIA till at least next week.They are working on a movie called "Summer Longings" by Cyanotype Productions (www.cyanotypeproductions.com). This means no photos or postings till then.In the interim we are reviewing and writing as much as possible to get ready.

New group for "Spiritual Assistance"

We have started a new google group for Craft Distillers and Importers of fine spirits who are looking for markets,distribution, and retailers at Spiritual-Assistance@googlegroups.com .
We are looking for people who would like to sign up for membership and exchange information,tips, and leads on how to get a foothold in the market.
We will be setting up forums and topics as people ask for them and will also be setting up a website (www.spiritualassistance.com) later on and incorporate it into the site.
The aim is to form a group of individuals/companies that can help get products advertising,public relations, and to market .
This venture has started because there are so many good products out there and breaking into the market requires a lot of money,savvy and luck. We hope to overcome this through mutual assistance, trading information,and pooling of resources.
As many in the trade know, the distribution network is consolidating rapidly and many small good products are being squeezed out by the mass produced dross. Most small producers cannot get the large distributors to sell their products.
We are actively looking for distributors who are seeking high quality products and are willing to hand sell them to retailers and restaurants, retail stores ( brick and mortar and internet) restaurants who wish to have some of the best new emerging products on the market .

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Tequila Dinner at The Strathallan
Friday was Cinco de Mayo which is usually observed ib a similar fashion to St Patricks Day- An excuse to get paralitic because of something done by a ethnic group that you don't belong to hundreds of years ago, on some rot gut drinks.
This was not the case at the Strathallan.
The Strath hosted a 5 course dinner which was paired with 10 Tequilas.
The Full menu is posted on the previous post as I cannot figure out how to cut and paste this article and the menu togetherr.

All of the food was outstanding.
My only observations were:
1. The room was small,noisy and hard to around in.
2. The tequila was fairly mainstream (Mostly Herradura)
Otherwise it was a wonderful dinner, well executed and cheap considering the type and amounts of both the food and tequila. We look forward to other Spirited Dinners there and will post announcements about them as we get the information

[Posted with hblogger 2.0 http://www.normsoft.com/hblogger/]

Cinco De Mayo Dinner Menu at the Strathallan

Cinco de Mayo Tequila Dinner Menu

Friday May 5, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Course I

Smoked Tomato and Ancho Veloute with Lime Pesto and Chayote

Cazadores Reposada

Course II

Lime Dusted Ahi Tuna with Daicon Sprouts, Red Oak and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Herradura Hacienda del Cristero

Course III

Niman Ranch Cedar Smoked Pork Tenderloin Accompanied By Chipotle Pear Chutney and Sweet Potato Pierogies

Herradura Anejo

Course IV

Lime Butter Basted Opakapaka (Pink Snapper) with a Cilantro Risotto and

Citrus Baby Vegetables

Oro Azul Blanco & Chinaco Blanco

Course V

Mango Tomato Flan Parmesan Arregiano and 'Planeta' Extra Virgin Olive Oil

made with

Margaritaville Mango Tequila

Chef de Cuisine - Ethan Drake

Sous Chef - Jeff Yaniak

$75 All Inclusive (Includes Tax and Gratuity)"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This is Were I was Last Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               Contact: Tom Keating
                                   Ybor City Chamber of Commerce
                                   813.248.3712 x23               

Cane Spirits Taste Test Blows into Ybor City
Tampa’s Historic Latin Quarter Hosts International Spirits Competition

(Tampa, Florida - March 28, 2006)  
Smooth, rich, dark, sweet…?  A. Ron Zacapa rum, B. Millie Puente’s voice, C. Arturo Fuente cigars, D. All of the above.  If you said “D,” you are correct.  The first annual International Canes Spirits Festival - Tasting Competition was conducted in Ybor City this past weekend.  The Bay Area’s National Historic Landmark District was again making history as it hosted an “international tasting competition” for the sugar cane spirits industry.  The Festival spanned four days, from the judge’s reception on Wednesday evening to the awards ball on Saturday night, featuring the d├ębut of the Millie Puente Band.  The event consisted of four major components:  Tasting Competition, Rum Trail, RumFest and Rum Ball.

The key element was the Tasting Competition, which brought 28 judges from all over the world to Ybor to sample sugar cane spirits from 16 countries.  Over two days, 58 different products were judged on their aroma, initial taste, body and finish.  This is the first time an international judging competition has been held in the U.S.  According to Edward Hamilton, of the Ministry of Rum, “There are other spirits competitions around the world but none is solely for sugar cane spirits.”  Jeffrey Pogash, Directory of Communications for Moet Hennessy USA and one of the judges said, “I have been involved in a number of judging competitions and this one was flawless.”

A panel of qualified judges from across the U.S., Britain, Australia and the Caribbean awarded 28 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 12 bronze medals.  For several small brands this was the first time they have been in an international competition. Ron Zacapa Centenario - 23 year old, from Guatemala was top-rated in the premium rum category.  While many connoisseurs focus on the oldest aged rums, there were many superb white, flavored and dark sugar cane spirits as well.

Dori Bryant of Polished Palate, organizer of the overall event stated, “I am very pleased with the industry response and level of community support.  The judges and distributors loved Ybor City and are looking forward to coming back.  Ybor is an incredible venue for this event.”  A full list of results can be found at http://ministryofrum.com/iscsc.htm as well as more information about participating brands.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

I'm Going to Rehab

No , not that kind. Sorry to disappoint my critics. I'm happy with my current level of alcohol consumption. I am having to go to another kind of rehab for a occupational hazard.As a inveterate collector,sampler and reviewer of all things alcoholic I bring back a fair amount on my trips to just about anywhere.Unfortunately it weighs a lot, and I'll be damned if I am going to hand it over to the airlines to steal or smash any of my souvenirs.It seems I tore my shoulder out lugging my carry on baggage. It seemed OK for a few weeks afterward but after a while I couldn't hold a Martini in my right hand for more than 5 minutes.That was the breaking point, I was forced to admit I had a problem and that it was taking over my life- I was powerless to stop it.I had to believe in a higher power - that being rehab and therapy-not spiritual but physical, at times very physical.
So far it seems to be working I can hold a Martini glass again but I can't shake a cocktail shaker with that over the shoulder shake - yet.With time and money I hope to get back in form.