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About SirVantes

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  1. how old is your rum?

    “Solera” rums - the homeopathic preparations of the spirit industry
  2. great wine disasters...

    The closest parallel I can think of is Henschke's Hill of Grace which has been bottled under screwcap/Stelvin or the Vino-Lok glass stopper since the mid 2000s. Would be very interesting to track their evolution.
  3. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    RGCE - it’s like smoking a chocolate profiterole
  4. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    MdO#1, OSU Jul 02. Drawing perfectly and so subtle.
  5. next 007

    Bond villain - Rob Usto Guayabera, our man in Havana gone rogue. Batman villain - El Gordo
  6. offal - do you eat it?

    In South East Asia, you'd be missing out on quite a bit if you don't eat offal. Livers braised in a claypot; beef tripe with noodles; blood cakes (pig's blood coagulated and served like a block of very unvegan tofu); chicken gizzards; a soup containing pig's intestines, liver, kidney, pancreas and lord knows what else. Love it all. Loved trippa alla romana in Rome. Loved fritto misto in Piedmont. Used to go to St John's for grilled ox hearts every time I was in London. Throw a good head cheese my way and I'm a happy camper.
  7. What's in your glass today?

    Drinking very nicely now
  8. Part 2 "Maybe cheat a little". The orthodoxy is that aging in wood was about maturation, letting time do its work. It wasn't about imparting flavour from the wood, or heaven forbid, from the previous contents of the wood (which we maybe did not clean all that scrupulously, mmm?). If the casks leaked, you would rerack, but otherwise it was Father Time who worked his magic. But then distillers started openly stating that they were "finishing" their whiskies ie. putting them into different casks at the end of their aging process specifically to impart flavour. Glenmorangie was among the first to successfully market this, with the Port/Sherry/Madeira Wood Finish range (the pioneer Port Wood Finish is now your Quinta Ruban). Some would say that this is cheating - if you deliberately use a freshly emptied cask to "finish", you will get a strong flavour influence. And maybe you can sell younger whisky with a dollop of flavour finishing? The market proved receptive, and now we have distillers finishing in all sorts - rum, pedro ximenez, malbec, barolo. Bruichladdich calls it Additional Cask Enhancement (ACE). Ironically, it has come so far that it has come all the way round. Lately, a number of distillers have released premium versions that are aged in virgin oak ie. fresh casks that never contained anything else.
  9. Part 1 "Cheap, not cheat". Scotch whisky, before it became a more industrialised product, was made by crofters in small stills, and not necessarily aged in wooden barrels. Often as not, they were in demijohns or any containers that were handy, and drunk unaged. Richer folk and whisky/wine merchants had empty wine casks lying around in their cellars, and could have them filled with large measures of spirit for transport and storage/aging, something common folk could not afford. Then their profligate American cousins came along, using fresh charred oak barrels only once (imagine that!). So the Scots bought the used barrels cheap, broke them down into staves and shipped them across the Atlantic. The Scots will say the fact that the casks previously stored bourbon was incidental, since the Scots also used port pipes or sherry casks if they were going. But what started as an expediency had a major impact on the taste of the whisky, since the flavour of the previous contents leached into the whisky, especially after long aging. Lately, this has implicitly acknowledged, with bottlers stating what the cask previously held (bourbon, sherry etc), and whether it had been reused after having aged whisky (first fill, refill etc).
  10. I don’t know about bellicosity, but I’ve just learned that, in Spanish, a campana is a bell. Does that mean that the end of the BBF that I’m sucking on is the...well, you do the math.
  11. FOH'ers Daily Smoke

    Check out the angle on the foot. Authentically Cuban.
  12. Them Scientologists are fine astrologers.
  13. Everyone knows it was Darwin who discovered Beagles, in the Galapagos. Einstein did patent Charlie Brownian motion though.
  14. It’s the time, the place and the motion. According to Einstein’s famous equation.

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