What I’ve been drinking

Several people have mentioned that I’ve been neglecting the blog lately, which I suppose is better than no one noticing that I haven’t been updating. I’ve been far too busy testing drink recipes for my forthcoming cocktail guide to have time for writing. It’s a terrible burden, but someone has to carry it! Recipe selection wraps up today and then I am off to Houston for my ten year high school reunion, so things should return somewhat back to normal next week. In the meantime here are a few spirit reviews…

Glenlivet 1973 Cellar Collection– How does one review a whisky that sells for more than $1,000 a bottle? At that price it no longer makes sense to ask if it is worth the money in an ordinary sense. I can say that it’s an excellent whisky. It’s rich, warming at 98 proof, and has a slight fruit note that I assume comes from finishing in sherry cask. It’s not every day I get to taste a whisky older than I am and sometimes very old whiskies are just too woody. That’s not the case here. I only have a couple ounces of this but I would happily drink much more. This is a fantastic Scotch and if I’d gone into banking instead of blogging I might be tempted to buy a bottle.

Oxley gin — What sets this gin apart is its unique distillation process. As you might remember from physics class, when you lower the pressure on a liquid its boiling point drops as well. Oxley is distilled in a near-vacuum at a few degrees below freezing. That’s interesting for science nerds but it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t taste good. Luckily it does, with the fresh citrus peel used to flavor it standing out against lighter juniper notes. Its grapefruit taste makes it perfect for a Pegu Club. Definitely recommended.

Sagatiba cachaca — A few weeks ago the Oregon Bartenders Guild hosted Sagatiba brand ambassador John Gakuru for a cachaca event. Sagatiba isn’t in the state yet, but hopefully it will be soon. The Pura is a light, clean, and smooth unaged cachaca. It’s good but I am more excited about the Velha, a pot still cachaca aged between two and three years in bourbon barrels; this is nice neat and I could see it being great in cocktails. Finally we were also treated to their Preciosa, a very limited bottling of cachaca left to age 23 years in Cognac barrels. The finish is long and woody; it’s an unusual spirit worth sipping if one comes across it. Oregon is short on quality cachaca so the Pura and Velha will be very welcome additions here (I don’t know if the Preciosa is coming in).