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Let me tell you, it was a real treat to taste. All of the whiskeys in the R6 catalog are different in their own way, but Carmela is really something to remember. Typically I don’t think of flavored whiskey as have a well-balanced flavor, since most of them are overly sweet and syrupy. The rep from R6 told me when I tried it, that it was going to blow my mind, and it did.
The smell of the whiskey on the nose was light, but was quickly overshadowed by vanilla, caramel and buttered sweet corn. My first taste, I immediately got salted caramel pecans on the front and that finished with a spicy black pepper and chocolate taste that left spicy cinnamon lingering behind for a couple of seconds.
Since then, I’ve poured a glass of Carmela a couple of times, and each time the way those flavors come in are the same just in a different order. Sometimes I’ll get the sweet corn last and the spicy chocolate first, or I’ll even get the cinnamon first with the buttered corn hanging on. No matter what order I receive the flavors it’s still the same delicious caramel flavored whiskey.
Carmela has easily climbed towards the top of the list for when it comes to favorite flavored whiskey. Right below Kurvball, sorry R6 Mama always said I can’t have dessert until I finish my dinner. . F
or more information regarding R6 Distillery or if you would like to order some Carmela, check out their website www.r6distillery.com
Distiller Select takes Sagamore’s signature rye and finishes it in used extra Anejo tequila barrels. I don't know the age of the rye when it goes into those barrels; I don't even know how long the rye sits in the extra Anejo barrels.
I don't know how long the tequila sat in those barrels before the rye was added or even what distillery the tequila came out of. I am unprepared for this write-up, and I am no help to you. Here's what I know about the Sagamore Spirit Distiller Select Tequila Finish Rye.
The color is lovely with its hazy, amber color. I immediately pick up the tequila on the nose, it's very subtle, but it's there. As I said earlier, I am not very well-versed in tequila, but I have picked up that most extra Anejo tequilas that I've tried have all had prominent vanilla on the nose.
This rye isn't any different; there is a very distinct blast of vanilla on the nose. That vanilla also still carries characteristics of rye. Cinnamon, burnt orange, and buttered popcorn are similar to what I would get with rye.
On top of these notes, the Distiller Select has mild notes of a flower garden. The nose on the Sagamore Spirit Tequila Finish rye is as beautiful as seeing your bride for the first time on your wedding day.
My palate immediately picks up more of that earthy agave that my nose picked up, that flavor I would typically find in the tequila and rye. The two different earthy notes of the tequila and the rye balanced out perfectly.
Spicy black pepper also hits the front of the tongue, and I believe that comes from the rye. Creamy, buttery, and smooth as it hit midway through the palate. As it reaches the finish, the tequila picks up where the rye left off and finishes strong with the tequila and a lingering sweet lemon.
I find this rye amazing; I could drink this rye every day of the week; in fact, I finished the bottle in about two days. A lot is going on in this little 750ml bottle, but it works together. For rye that is 98 proof, it drinks smoothly and easily as if it were 84 proof.
I believe this is the best Sagamore Spirit I have drunk up to this point. I can't wait to see Sagamore Spirit's future ahead of them.
Live Wire is a brand of canned craft ready-to-drink cocktails that bartenders design. Aaron Polsky started Live Wired Canned Cocktails believing that bartenders can reach new and existing fans without them having to make a trip to the bar.
Aaron is one of the most influential and most well-known bartenders in the LA bar scene and believes (like many) that a bartender's work comes from a place of creativity. Aaron allows real bartenders to utilize their creative expression when making cocktails for Live Wire.
They get to choose everything from the brand of spirits they use to the artist that designs their can. Each cocktail uses the best spirits, natural juices, and premium extracts.
I recently had the opportunity to sample LiveWire’s catalog of cocktails at an in-store tasting event. I am generally very skeptical about RTDs; I find them to either have a lack of favors or the only flavor you get from the cheap alcohol base. The other thing I have noticed about RTDs is that most of them are sweet and syrupy, which also makes them less enjoyable to drink.
First in the lineup for the sampling event are HeartBreaker and Aaron Polsky's original cocktail. HeartBreaker is Aaron's twist on the classic Moscow Mule. Heartbreaker contains vodka, kumquat, grapefruit juice, jasmine, and ginger.
A lot is going on in this cocktail, and it took my taste buds a minute or two to catch up with everything. However, once my taste buds caught up, I was surprised at how well all flavors worked together. Heart Breaker is a uniquely excellent cocktail.
Golden God, another creation from LiveWire Founder Aaron Polsky, is another unique combo of flavors. Rye and brandy typically aren't two spirits I would think to mix, but the apricot, green tea, and elderflower tie these spirits together. Unfortunately, I picked up on the apricot right away and couldn't get my mind away from it, which pushed me away from enjoying Golden God.
Third on the list is Honeydew Collins by Joey Bernardo – gin, coconut, honeydew, lime leaf, and elderflower. I believe that the unique tartness that the lime leaf delivers to this cocktail brings it all together. The Honeydew Collins is the perfect refresher; it has all of the characteristics of an exotic vacation – I enjoy this one.
Rocket Queen by the beautiful and talented Erin Hayes is a cocktail made of pomelo-infused rum, cinnamon, and pandan (a herbaceous tropical plant from Southeast Asia). Rocket Queen is a tiki-style canned cocktail and is my favorite.
I would suggest that this be served very cold and then over ice. The cinnamon sits underneath the bold flavor of the rum and is equally refreshing as it is dangerous, as it’s easy to overdo it with this one.
Yael can grab the attention of any room anytime she walks into one; she has a mystery about her that I can't quite explain. I've seen her behind the bar a couple of times, and every move she makes is with a purpose. Her Crystal Shiso Mojito combines rum, shochu, shisho, coconut, and Indian lime.
Something in this cocktail didn't jive with my taste buds. I'm not sure if it was the tartness of the lime or if it was the shochu – whatever it is, my palate didn't want anything to do with it. Yael's Crystal Shiso Mojito takes nothing away from her ability as a bartender or how amazing of a bartender she is.
We sampled two of LiveWire’s bottled cocktails – the Alley Cat Old Fashioned and the Holy Tyger tiki-style cocktail. There's a flavor in the Alley Cat that seemed to clash with the other flavors; I feel like the whiskey that was used didn't balance with everything else. However, Holy Tyger is another great twist on tiki-style cocktails.
All of the flavors in the bottle seemed to work well together, and they all meshed flawlessly. Holy Tyger is another cocktail that I suggest serving cold and then pouring over ice.
All in all, my experience with LiveWire canned cocktails is a great one. I may not care for a couple of them, but I am also not the demographic for them. Nevertheless, LiveWire is a great brand that creates tremendous opportunities for bartenders across the world.
There are so many creatively talented bartenders out there, and I hope that Aaron finds every one of them and uses them to build his brand into what he envisions it.
Thank you, Aaron, for having the creative mindset to put your vision into motion.
"Pour, Shoot, Repeat"—it’s that easy to have a shot of nostalgia with Soda Jerk Orange-Cream-Flavored Vodka and Soda Jerk Root-Beer-Flavored Vodka. The familiar throwback flavors will have you visioning your bartender wearing a red and white striped apron and hat to match. The Root Beer and the Orange Cream Soda Jerk are true to flavor, but each has an added 70 proof kick. I came across Soda Jerk while doing a campaign for them through CWSpirits.com.
I initially hesitated when agreeing to the campaign due to the flavors and how hard it would be to replicate the flavors and still have a solid vodka base. However, I learned two things right away when I received my bottles: never to judge a taste based on all the others you've had, and secondly, make sure these are well beyond chilled when taking your first drink. It says drinking chilled is suggested, but I am willing to say that it is necessary to enjoy all that Soda Jerk offers.
Root Beer starts with the sweet, creamy flavor that you will want to add to your favorite vanilla ice cream. However, as it slows to a finish and the sweetness begins to fade, the vodka kick begins to come in, it doesn't stay long enough to settle and immediately gets overshadowed by the lingering taste of the root beer again.
The Orange Cream isn't much different in the trueness of flavor; its bright orange color is very reminiscent of an orange dreamsicle. Like the Root Beer, the taste of the orange cream comes in strong at first, then fades away as the vodka comes in, and as quickly as the vodka comes, it disappears, leaving that orange creamsicle flavor lingering.
I can't tell you enough how important it is to make sure these shots are cold when taking them. Soda Jerk stays stocked in my home bar; it's perfect for anyone who wants to try something different or if they want to have a blast from the past.
Soda Jerk is online, and you can use their store locator to find somewhere close to you to order form or log onto CWSpirits.com, order your two bottles and use my promo code TYLER5 at checkout to save a little money.
No matter how you decide to get your Soda Jerk, you won't be disappointed when you do get it.
Bartending is one of the best (if not the best) jobs out there; once behind the bar, you become the ringleader of your own intoxicated circus. You know you'll be the center of attention when you walk in, or you wouldn't be doing it. The stage is set, and almost everyone will leave their emotions at home; you can be whoever you want and most of the time say whatever you want; you become whatever character you choose. The best part is that people will pay you to do it, and guess what? If you're good at it, you'll be well compensated. Bartending is rewarding because it allows you to meet people from all walks of life and to be..... Wait for it..... SOCIABLE.
You get to build actual real life friendships and relationships, which I believe we miss out on by being constantly glued to technology. We'd like to teach you the art of bartending. You'll get to see us laugh, joke around, make cocktails, and have a good time—basically everything you should be doing behind the bar anyway. Mixed Up With TGM will be your go-to, with some incredible guests and interviews.
There are thousands of people out there who call themselves "bartenders" or, worse, "mixologists," but they need a reality check because they lack the necessary skills. Someone behind the bar pouring a drink or mixing a cocktail isn't a bartender (let alone a mixologist) any more than I am a '57 Chevy sitting in my garage.
Bartending is a craft with a long history, and in order to claim the title of their craft, one must first become a craftsman. Being a bartender is fun, being the host of your own party is fun, and being a guest at someone else's party and being able to whip up a fun and fancy cocktail with the ingredients you have on hand will make you a superstar.
We created Mixed Up With TGM to show the fun side of bartending while teaching you how to properly pour cocktails, make cocktails with what you have on hand, make you laugh (mostly at our expense), and share some history about your favorite cocktails and spirits. We'll even teach you the difference between a bartender and a mixologist – and maybe throw in a few fun prizes along the way.
Looking forward to working with you!