Beer Beer Goggles

Alas Gents, I have found a video that encapsulates everything we are trying to accomplish here at Dapper Young Gentleman.  The fine folks at College Humor have perfectly described the essence of beer choices.  This is the reason we are here, to “try and set you up with something better.”  Now it’s up to you to go out and attain that something better.

Dry Martini

bond-martini_headerEvery Gent dreams of being James Bond.  Reaching his level of manliness might be unattainable, but at least we can mimic some of his drinking habits.  For this reason, this weeks Masculine Mix belongs to the legendary Martini.

 

Dry Martini

  • 2 oz Dry Gin
  • 1 oz Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

Instructions

Mix ingredients into container with ice.  Either shake or stir according to your preference.  Shaken will leave the drink with an opaque color due to air bubbles while stirred will keep the cocktail clear.  Pour ingredients into martini glass while filtering ice.  Enjoy!

Alternatives

Rather than using Orange Bitters, a common mixture of choice is olive juice.

 

Picture credit primermagazine.com

Brew Review- Heineken Mini-Keg

Howdy folks it’s The Gentleman here with the second installment in our mini-keg series, this time sampling what the Heineken mini-keg has to offer. Heineken has clearly gone all in when it comes to the mini-keg market, as they are by far the most common brand we found when trying to locate different kinds. We found their product on shelves nearly everywhere, from liquor stores to grocery stores, even finding a few at gas stations. The availability was impressive, but what about the taste? The first thing we noticed when we reviewed the Newcastle mini-keg last post was the difference in taste and experience between the bottled and draft versions of Newcastle, with the draft version being superior in nearly every way. While that effect is certainly present in our Heineken samples we found the difference to be much less pronounced. Unfortunately for Heineken this wasn’t merely due to the bottled version just being that good, the Heineken mini-keg taste and experience is just decidedly less enjoyable. Where Newcaste is a full-flavored (and full calorie) drinkers beer, Heineken seem stuck in between identities. There simply isn’t anything extraordinary about Heineken’s taste. This doesn’t mean we’re giving Heineken a bad rating or a negative review, here at Dapper Young Gentleman we like to use a relative scale. That relative scale unfortunately, currently has Heineken second on a list of two beers that come in mini-kegs. Though on the bright side for the brewers from Holland, there are many more reviews to come.

Scotch vs. Bourbon: The War Burns Smoothly On

(Quick note from The Gentleman: Salutations Gents, allow me to introduce to you our new columnist D.Y. Gennings, aka The Guru. He was created in 1988, the product of an ambitious government experiment to fuse together samples of DNA taken from both Sean Connery and Frank Sinatra. As a child he was sent to a special boarding school where from infancy the boys were fed only rare steak and drank only Glengoulie Blue. Being a true man comes naturally to this fellow, and from now on you’ll be treated to weekly doses of The Guru’s wisdom on all things related to being the consummate gentleman. Soak it all in gents.)

 

Scotch vs. Bourbon

The War Smoothly Burns On

 

What is What?

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” – Mark Twain

All Dapper Gentlemen, young or old, should have a working knowledge and general understanding of the blessing that is whiskey. Unfortunately in today’s society the man-laws of what is choice hooch and what is not, have been undermined by fruity shots and warm cans of extra-light beers. I’m not saying these drinks don’t have their place but in keeping with the rules of being a gentleman, one should be able to at least appreciate a classy drink. So as we look into the world of whiskey (or should I say whisky) here are a few answers to common questions about that golden liquid you have had your eye on:

Q: What is the difference between Scotch and Bourbon?

A: Both Scotch and Bourbon are Whiskey’s, but rectangles aren’t always squares. They are branches of the larger category.

Bourbon whiskey generally has a narrower flavor profile. Because of the legality of what can go into it (51% sweet corn), it’s harder for distillers to achieve different flavors. Bourbon commonly smells syurpy and perfumed, and normally tastes a little sweeter than its cousin from across the pond with hints of caramel and vanilla. Bourbon has a certain sharp freshness that is unique to the drink. Bourbon usually doesn’t command quite the price that scotch does, but certain bottles can be quite expensive.

Scotch stands on the opposite end of the taste scale. Scotch is more often than not aged in pre-used bourbon barrels, smoked over bricks of peat or wood, and has a much more diverse pallet of flavor. Generally, scotches from the Islay region have a very strong peaty, smoky flavoring, while scotches from the Speyside region are much lighter, with hints of spice. Because of the variety in production processes, the leftover flavoring from the bourbon barrels, and the diversity of additives in Scotch; it is normally thought of as the more refined drink.

 

The Details:

Whiskey advertised or labeled as “bourbon”, refers to a whiskey that is strictly American made. Although it can be made anywhere in the US, the name refers to Bourbon County Kentucky (which ironically is a dry county), and the US legal requirements designated in 1964 that “bourbon” must be aged in new charred-white oak barrels, be made from a grain mix that is at least 51% corn, bottled at 80 proof, and be produced right here in the US of A. If the bourbon meets these criteria and has been aged for a minimum of two years, it can be called straight bourbon.

Scotch is generally thought of as whisky from Scotland. The spelling change of whiskey to whisky is not a typo. Scotland was so proud of its quality booze (as well as Canada & Japan), that they changed the word on all the bottles they manufacture. This is one easy way to pick out a real scotch. Also look for the exact word “scotch” (not Scottish), on the bottle to get the real McCoy. Scotch has its own set of legal rules for the production process but in very short form; it must be made from whole barely, & aged in oak-barrels for at least 3 years. The interesting thing about Scotch is that the flavors can drastically change from one bottle or brand to the next. Scotch is typically aged in old American bourbon barrels. So the scotch produced gets some flavor from the original bourbon barrel, some from the other spices added to the batch, as well as a variety of flavors from the different production processes. Scotch is usually distilled twice, while Irish whiskey is usually distilled three times. Scotch is aged anywhere between 3-50 years.  

Q: Does it age in the bottle?

A: Nope, whiskey does not age in the bottle. Hard alcohol like whiskey or vodka is distilled, a process which kills/strains the yeast from the drink, so unlike beer or wine it will not be changing flavor. Remember the universal rule of thumb: the older the whiskey, the more it costs. You will easily be able to taste the difference between anything from a 10 year old up to a 20 yr., but if you’re drinking anything nicer than a 20 it will probably taste like candy.

Q: What is a single malt, single barrel, a blend, and why does it matter?

A: Single Malt- Whiskey made from one distillery (can be separate barrels). Single Barrel- Whiskey from literally one barrel, totally unique and rare. Blend – a bunch of single malts, single grains or other whiskey mixed together in one bottle. Typically blends have a milder flavor, a general taste, and are easier to drink. The flavor of a blend like Dewar’s or Crown Royal will not be a strong or as unique as a single malt or single barrel, but it will most likely be a little easier on the wallet.

Q: What is “Cask Strength”?

A: Cask Strength or “Barrel Proof”, means a much higher alcohol-by-volume percentage. Normally hard alcohol is bottled at 40% a.b.v., but these bottles will be anywhere from 50%-65% a.b.v. Mix these with a large splash of water!

 

Chug It?

“There is a special rung in hell reserved for people who waste good scotch.” – Lt. Archie Hicox, Inglourious Basterd.

A nice glass of whiskey should be sipped not shot; not that shots aren’t good (they do their job), but they can limit your drinking experience to the jump from sober to drunk, leaving little room for you to enjoy the ride.

Whiskey should always be served neat (straight) accompanied by the option of still filtered water and/or ice. This is always an area of debate for whiskey snobs. By diluting the whiskey slightly, some of the stronger characteristics of the drink are diminished to a level easier to understand and enjoy. If you are going to add to the drink go easy:  Ice: one or two cubes, Water: a splash. The other rule here is: if you boss is drinking it neat, so do you (while you’re with him/her). In the end whiskey is a drink meant to be enjoyed: drink it the way you like it.

To Strong For Me…

Don’t lie; there is something cool about that one guy who already knows his drink order before he even sits down. A dapper young gentleman should have a go-to drink of choice; something distinctive but not bizarre, intriguing yet sophisticated that says “hello” to those who see it. Fine whiskey is one of these drinks, but if you are just beginning to taste whiskey, you may want to try a few of these mixed drinks before ordering a double Talisker 10.

v        Old Fashioned

v        Sidecar

v        Manhattan

v        King Cole

v        Seven & 7

v        Whiskey Sour

v  J   John Collins (Whiskey Collins)

v        Whiskey Presby (Presbyterian)

v         Irish Coffee

 

What to Get?

So maybe you haven’t found your drink of choice yet, or maybe you have never truly appreciated a quality glass of booze and are looking for the starting line. Well grab a few of these bottles, have a few friends over, and enjoy.

Scotch Whisky:

v        Macallan 12

v        Balvenie 17 DoubleWood

v        Glenlivet 15 Frech Oak

v         Lagavulin 16

v         Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Bourbon Whiskey:

v        Woodford Reserve Seasoned Oak

v        Blanton’s Original Single Barrel

v        Maker’s Mark 46

v        Angel’s Envy

v        Pappy Van Winkle


Cigar Review: Oliva Serie O

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The Gentleman recently got his hands on an Oliva Serie O, continuing his recent trend of sampling the best reviewed cigars under ten dollars. The Serie O has received more than solid reviews this year and for good reason, this is another quality value buy for all you young gents out there with a budget. This stoge draws easily and produces a lot of smoke, good tasting smoke at that. It’s unapologetic in it’s strong tobacco taste, complimented with tones of spice and cedar among other things. The Oliva Serie O is Gentleman approved.

 

 

Liga Privada- Undercrown Robusto


Undercrown_612x234

Another day brings upon another cigar review.  Today we introduce the Liga Undercrown Robusto.  With a modest price of only $7 dollars, this cigar was well worth the expense.  The draw was quite loose and provided an incredibly thick smoke.  With coffee and spice undertones, this cigar was flavorful throughout.  The burn was consistent from start to finish without ever becoming harsh.  Wrapped in a dark San Andres maduro wrapper, the Undercrown is more of a medium to full-bodied cigar.  Wrapped by rollers at the Drew Estate, this cigar aptly received the nickname, “The working man’s cigar”.  Overall this cigar was very enjoyable, but for the money this gentleman would still recommend the Loose Cannon 1206.

White Russian

THE_BIG_LEBOWSKIIts time for the one and only drink popularized by the Dude, or El Duderino if you’re not into that whole brevity thing.  The White Russian is the quintessential drink for any sophisticated gentleman who is looking for a smooth libation after dinner.

White Russian

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Cream

Instructions

Pour vodka and kahlua over ice and stir.  Top off with cream and enjoy

Alternatives

Rather than using cream, whole milk is a suitable substitution.

Brew Review- Newcastle Mini-Keg

Those of you that are familiar with us may have noticed our fascination (bordering on obsession) with mini-kegs, they’re stylish, they’re cost-effective, and most importantly, beer tastes best on tap. No beer we’ve reviewed here has exemplified that last bit more than Newcastle Brown Ale. Where from a bottle or can the chocolate and nutty undertones that typify Newcastle can certainly be detected, from the keg that distinctive taste comes to the forefront, the difference is significant. This is a tasty beer, not one to get drunk off of necessarily but a beer to be enjoyed. In our experience Newcastle mini-kegs can be found at almost all liquor stores for between $20 and $25. This beer is for beer drinkers, and here at the Dapper Young Gentleman we highly recommend it.

Old Fashioned

oldfashioned-590x375-300x190

 

The “Old Fashioned” is one of the original cocktails meant for starting out your days with a bang.  What better way to start your morning than with the true necessities of life:sugar, water, and whiskey.

Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 splash water
  • 1 tsp sugar

Instructions

Mix sugar, bitters, and water into a paste.  Pour in bourbon and stir.  Add ice cubes and garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

Alternatives

Many people would prefer to use rye whiskey instead of bourbon because the drink is already sweet enough as is.

Tom Collins

Martini Glass

Another day brings us to another addition to the DYG collection.  Masculine mixes is dedicated to giving the best drink recipes that each gentleman should include in his repertoire.  From this page you will find alternative drink types for various occasions.

Our first entry includes ingredients that even the simplest of home bars should include.  The “Tom Collins” is a perfect drink to sate your summer thirst due to its subtle sweetness.  Word to the wise, this drink is best enjoyed outdoors in the sunshine.

Tom Collins

  • 2 ounces Dry Gin
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 ounce lemon Juice
  • Club Soda

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients into a cup of ice.  Stir briefly and garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.