Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Camera and Photography at Spirits Review

We recently acquired a Pentax K-7 to do more ( and better) photography for ourselves and the website. After much research and asking around we decided on the Pentax because it gave us the most bang for the buck and is designed for rugged conditions ( like New Orleans during Tales or deserts in Peru). It's got over 20 different weather seals and even the lenses are built to be weatherproof (read more likely drink proof in my case and where I go).
I looked at Nikons and decided they were overpriced and riding on their name rather than value  and so did Canon to a lesser degree. Another point in their favor is due to their rarity you can pick up old  lenses ( film SLR) for almost nothing as no one else is competing for them.
It also had a lot of advanced features such as a automatic level, options to use AA batteries and lots of features for the money.
Only downside is the 330 + page manual - and I mean all in English- this is not some 6 language manual- It is going to take a bit to use this camera up to it's potential. But on the plus side the manual is easy to understand and well written - it's just a lot to absorb.
So far we have taken it to Miami to the Rum Renaissance Festival where we shot about 1400 photos , indoors and out with temperatures ranging from 65 F to 90+ F in full sun all day and the camera held up better than I did ! Please check Spirits Review, Face Book, and this Blog for more results.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fathers Day Suggestion - Or Any Time You Need a Nice Bottle for Someone

As my role as a "Spiritual Adviser" I am asked a lot about what bottle to get for someone who already usually has a well established private bar collection of their favorite whiskeys. Some of these are bourbon, a lot of them single malt scotch and a few Irish whiskeys as their focus. Problem is, it is getting increasingly hard to get someone something different that they will like. Most people seem to have fairly established collections and tastes, and chances are over the years between what they buy for themselves and what they have gotten as gifts you run out of options.
I recently found a nice alternative to all of the above whiskeys with a spirit that Dad probably doesn't have, or certainly not this particular expression. Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal 2 is a lovely blend of over 240 eau de vies of cognac the minimum age is 4 years and the oldest 20 years. This makes it a bit short of an XO but on the flip side less than half the money ( around $50 or so), more importantly it has many of the aroma and taste characteristics that whiskey lovers -be they Scotch , Bourbon or Irish enthusiasts-enjoy . That coupled with the fact that in many cases they can use this cognac for their familiar cocktails ( swapping the cognac for their usual)  for a somewhat familiar but new taste and all the cognac cocktails they can easily make also.
We found the Remy 1738wasn't just good in a snifter ( which it is) but mixed and tasted well in a number of cocktails. Both in price and overall characteristics it closer to a whiskey ( in many nice ways) than a cognac is traditionally thought of. Not only an opportunity to get a father something he doesn't have but would like (unlike a tie) but a chance to teach him some new tricks and expand his horizons a bit.