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Swill & Suds

Spirits Review: Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey

August 19, 2017
Spirits Review: Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey | SwineAndSwill.com

By Patrick Gary, Contributor

I have been told that every Irishman in the world is a storyteller, and that every story told by an Irishman is true. That said, I’ve also been told about Cuchulain and Fin McCool, so at least in the realms of absolute veracity, there are some “true” stories that are, at the very least, embellished.

A story that I was told recently, that seems to be more truth than legend, concerns the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. That would be Kilbeggan Distilling Company, in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath. The original distillery made its spirits for 200 years before shuttering the business. However, 50 years later, in 2007, Kilbeggan was able to dust off its small-pot copper stills and start sharing their variety of Irish whiskey.

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Swill & Suds

Spice Up Your Shots with Himalayan Salt Glasses

June 29, 2017
Spice Up Your Shots with Salt Glasses! | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

Most of what I review is the liquid that goes into glasses. In this case, I had the novel opportunity to review the container itself. Root7 is making shot glasses from pure Himalayan pink rock salt, which both is a lovely way to present the drink and provides the salty taste that completes a tequila shot.

It does require careful care, as these are not machine-washable, nor are they supposed to have liquid kept in them for long. Salt is a natural preservative and antibacterial agent, though, so the glassware should be fine for continued home use as long as it is stored correctly.

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Spirits Review: Kimo Sabe Mezcal

June 25, 2017
Spirits Review: Kimo Sabe Mezcal | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

A couple of things to start off with if you aren’t familiar with the basics of mezcal: Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the pina of any one of the 30 varieties of the agave cactus. Tequila is a specific type of mezcal made in a specific region of Mexico from only the blue agave. Therefore, tequila and mezcal are related, but mezcal is not generally designed to be either shot or mixed into cocktails, is consumed generally without salt or lime; is generally meant to be sipped neat; and when it is well made, it is very smooth. That said, Americans like cocktails, and there are mezcals that cater to that taste. There, if you didn’t know exactly what we were talking about, now you know enough.

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Spirits Review: Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

June 19, 2017
Spirits Review: Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

I must admit that when I was asked to review Rum Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva that I was not familiar with the history of rum production in South America. I had always thought of rum as being a Caribbean spirit, with some lovely offerings from Guatemala or the Philippines being worthy outliers. However, as I started researching the distillery, I learned that while Venezuelan rum is new to me, it is not new to the market.

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Give This Coconutty Rum Blend a Shot

May 27, 2017
New Liqueur Goes Nuts with Coconut | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

Summer is approaching, and with it comes a craving for a different, more tropical flavor with your food and beverages. Captain Morgan recently released a new creamy coconut-rum blend to enhance your party atmosphere. It is called LocoNut, and it is easily spotted in its coconut-shaped and decorated bottle.

For those who are interested in this as an alternative to Malibu or some other coconut rum, first note that this is something different. It functions fine as a replacement for Malibu, but it really stands up like Amarula or Bailey’s Irish Cream as a very nice drink on its own merits, especially if chilled. More than just the coconut milk, there are hints of cinnamon, cloves and allspice. It has a thicker texture and a fuller mouthfeel. Malibu is a rum that tastes of coconut. LocoNut is closer to a fermented coconut milk that has been sweetened and lightly spiced.

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Kona Brewing Brings Island-Fruity IPA to Dallas

May 25, 2017
Island-Fruity IPA Hits Dallas | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

After more than a year of waiting, Kona Brewing Co. has finally rolled its tribute to Kauai out to the U.S. mainland. Hanalei Island IPA is a smooth, sessionable IPA with mild fruity notes that come from the POG (passionfruit, orange and guava) mash. For those who have not traveled to Hawaii, POG is omnipresent on the islands but practically unheard of once you leave.

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Swill & Suds

Tasting The Macallan’s Fine
New Whisky, Edition No. 1

April 7, 2016
Tasting Macallan's Finest Whisky Expressions | SwineAndSwill.com

[Ed. note: Our intrepid contributor Patrick Gary was invited to a tasting of The Macallan’s premium expressions with the label’s Ambassador, Jeremy Fonicello. Enjoy Pat’s delicious musings!]

In general, it’s been a good time to be a whiskey drinker recently. In the past few years, consumers have been introduced to innovative bourbons like Ranger Creek’s small-caliber series, Corsair distillery’s Triple Smoke Whiskey and Quinoa Whiskey, High West 36th Vote, Balcones Baby Blue, and even Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut. Japanese whiskey, especially Suntory Yamazaki, started to gain a reputation as one of the best in the world. Then recently, Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye was rated the best that this planet has to offer in 2016. All the while, Scotch was standing on the sidelines, sticking with making the same things that their patrons love, but holding to tradition instead of innovation.

Seeing their competition gaining on their reputation, The Macallan decided to respond to the myriad challenges with some distinctive, rare, and rather beautiful offerings. No longer resting on their laurels, The Macallan is releasing a collection of new items aimed at different kinds of whiskey and whisky fans.

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Tasting Distinct Texas spirits from IronRoot Republic

September 14, 2015

One of the most interesting things about being a spirits writer is that people always want to know about the most interesting thing is that they’ve never heard of. Some little thing that is really special but that nobody has heard of. However, unlike restaurants or beer, most of the really large liquor companies actually do a pretty decent job of making a good, distinctive product. A beer snob will certainly scoff at a Bud Light. A whiskey drinker is normally fine with Jack Daniels Old No. 7 or a glass of The Glenlivet.

But sometimes there is something really special being done in small batches that the whole world doesn’t know about yet. That is surely true of IronRoot Republic Distilling in Denison, Texas.

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Swill & Suds

Swill Sampling: Ranger Creek Rimfire whiskey

August 12, 2015

Ed. note from Farah: While Swine & Swill is a labor of love for Jerry and I, we’re all about opening the doors to those who want to share their love of all things boozy and porky in this forum. So we’re happy to welcome our friend and very experienced spirits writer Patrick Gary to do some occasional contributing to the blog. Check out his review of San Antonio distiller (and brewer!) Ranger Creek’s single-malt Rimfire whiskey.

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