Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bourbon Tasting

One evening, while my son, Nate, was visiting, we decided to have a bourbon tasting. I succeeded in getting Spyke to agree to prepare a blind tasting for us. It simply involved labelling two sets of shot glasses with 1 thru 5. And then pouring the same bourbon into both 1's and so on.

Spyke assembled all the shots on a tray and presented them to us on the porch where we carefully proceeded to start with - yep - number 1. And so we went through all five shots of bourbon. We did not bother to add any water to the samples, as we were told might have been a good idea after the first sip, but here are our brief notes, but remember we did not know which brands we were drinking until after we commented and rated them from one to five stars*.

#1 **** Bulleit ($29.99 750ml) - smooth, sweet; very nice after taste. We liked this one. Too bad it was our first.
#2 ** Evan Williams Single Barrel ($26.99 750 ml) - big step down from what we just tasted. Not as smooth, and had a bite that we guessed was from the alcohol.
#3 * St Augustine Bourbon ($50 750 ml) - another step down. I was really hoping that this one would stand up well, but alas, it was a mediocre bourbon, and turned out to be our least favorite of the five. If you compare the price, you wonder why anyone would bother.
#4 ** Angel's Envy ($49.99 750 ml) - not as smooth as Bulleit, but a decent bourbon. This one will appear in future tastings.
#5 *** Blanton's (~$60 750 ml) - very comparable to Bulleit, and one I usually have on my bar for making Manhattans. A bit pricey, so I may be switching to Bulleit.

BEST **** Bulleit
BETTER *** Blanton's
GOOD ** Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Angel's Envy
MEDIOCRE * St Augustine Bourbon

Feel free to share your tasting notes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dog Poop

Nearly every morning, I take my two dogs, Macallan and Angelina, for a short walk for up to a mile. I do it about 355 times a year and have been doing it for ten years, so it is definitely a habit. I do it more for me now than for them, even though they are very supportive.
Mac is 85 lbs of smart stubbornness while Angelina is 45 lbs of eager energy. When I step up to the door, Angie is always the first one there. Mac has to be coaxed sometimes, but he sees it as a game where he is in control for a brief period. Sometimes I hook them up on separate leashes and occasionally I place a split-leash between them. On good days when traffic is scarce, I might let them run free for a while. It's very good exercise for them. If dogs can smile, they both would wear big ones during their free runs.
When we first reach the road at the end of the driveway, Mac likes to amble over to the far side and relieve himself. This may or may not be after he tries to urge me to go East instead of West (our usual direction). They both pee a lot at first, but they always save enough to squirt on every opportunity along the roadside.
It takes seven seconds for Mac to poop.
He may go within the first couple minutes of our walk, or he might wait until we are headed back, but he almost always leaves a pile in the swale (on the road opposite the houses usually). Angie will only poop about 1 out of 10 times during our walks. I swear it was a full two years before she ever pooped while on a leash. Dogs change.
Angie takes about 12 seconds to poop.
Even though she's a much smaller dog, she creates a pile about twice as big as Mac. I wonder about why that is, but I figure that it definitely is why she takes longer.
I read an article that dogs always poop facing in the same direction. I have found this not to be the case with my dogs. They tend to poop facing the direction we were headed, or on windy days, facing into the wind. Facing the wind seems like a smart thing to do for a creature with such a heightened sense of smell.
Forgive me for dwelling on the mundane, but I just had to get this off my chest. Plus, I hadn't made a blog entry for eons, so I took a swing.
Let me point out that I enjoy these morning walks almost as much as my doggies, but there are days when I'd rather be getting on with stuff or finishing breakfast first. On those days, I plead with Spyke to lead the parade.