Work is the curse of the drinking classes. -Oscar Wilde
I have to admit; I am not the heaviest drinker, which would be admitting to not being the most experienced either. However, I have taken my fair share of rides around the block and in that time, I have become well acquainted with a few chosen alcohols. For good or bad, I know the below mentioned alcoholic brands relatively well.
That said, I’m going to share with you what I like or dislike about each. Hopefully it may shed some light or even influence you to give them a try. Or better yet, to maybe expand beyond what is your normal drink, or drinks, of choice. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Makers Mark (Whiskey): When it comes down to it, many people often give Makers Mark as a gift to celebrate some accomplishment, often times occurring in the business world. The name alone, Makers Mark, has some significance for business people as they too, being creators themselves, would like to leave their mark in some way. Whether you’ve closed a big sale, been given a promotion, or have just passed a year at your job, Makers Mark is often around when the celebration begins.
For me however, Makers Mark does little more than make me rowdy. It’s a rather harsh whiskey in my opinion, not nearly as smooth as you would expect the branding to allude to. But every time I drink it, I generally become aggravated. Not in a violent or mean hearted way, but it just get’s me amped up. The drunk feeling is also often very heavy too. Drinking other whiskeys does not do this to me, and as a result I generally try to stay away from it. Most other people however, genuinely tend to enjoy it. Though it’s not my cup of tea.
Leopold Bros. (Absinthe): Absinthe has for a long time been banned in the U.S, and though in some areas it is now allowed to sell, it is often not made in the original sense with wormwood. I’ve been fortunate enough to try real Absinthe throughout Europe and have been able to compare that to Leopold Bros. Absinthe made in the U.S. What I have found is though it’s not made the same, the effects vary little.
When it comes down to it, it is not the wormwood that makes this alcohol so distinct as it is the various other ingredients that are included. The feeling you receive from drinking absinthe is rather euphoric, and you do not notice a heavy sedated feeling as you would drinking other hard alcohols. Granted Absinthe has a high alcoholic content, it’s a pleasant drunk. Your body and mind is not as weighed down as when drinking other liquors or spirits. I genuinely like Absinthe, especially Leopolds Bros. as it is very smooth, refreshing, and if made right crisp. It’s a perfect muse… which would explain its prolific use by artists of the past.
Ol’ Stumpy (Hard Cider): I started drinking hard cider after reading the book John Adams by David MacCullough. Our second President to the United States was no different from many other people of the time, and John Adams, rather than drinking coffee or tea in the morning, would consume a pint of Hard Cider, than go on his morning walk. Most of which took place well before the sun ever rose. Always seemed like a rather easy way to start the day.
I have tried a few times to drink cider in the morning, always on the weekend, and I’ll admit I can’t get into it. Once the effects of the cider begin to wear off you sort of just become tired and sleepy. Though when consumed at a more appropriate time, usually at least after lunch, Cider of all the alcohols by far has my favorite effects. It is an easy drunk, you generally don’t feel weighed down or sedated, and it for the most part keeps me in a good mood. Once the alcohol wears off, and so long as I’ve eaten before I began drinking, I simply feel sober. It doesn’t feel as though I’ve come down from being drunk, which is always a huge benefit.
Arrogant Bastard (Strong Ale): The name alone implies exactly how this very heavy strong ale affects you. It’s arrogant and it’s a bastard. If you actually are able to finish a whole bottle of this, watch out. You’ll need to take a nap without a doubt. The beer itself is rather tasty, it’s very heavy and a little bitter. But the bite is needed to remind you that this alcohol isn’t to be trifled with, but rather respected. I also can’t help but admit I love the branding too. Sort of as though it’s taunting you to drink it, saying “You’re not worthy!”… I’ve always begged to differ.
Heineken (Pale Lager): I have actually visited the Heinekn Brewery in Holland, and so this pale ale has a rather unique place in my heart. When it comes to a light, refreshing, and easy-going beer, I always turn to these pretty green bottles. When other people choose Coors, Budweiser, or Miller, I tend to scoff in my head. Not sure what it is about the taste, but it simply seems more crisp and fulfilling to me. It doesn’t sacrifice flavor and has a rather good aroma which other similar beers tend to fail with. It is by far my favorite Pale Lager.
Midnight Moon (Moonshine): Oh the white lightning. When you positively have to get too drunk to see, there’s no better option. Recently there have been multiple TV shows committed to showing how moonshine is made, it’s history, and the drama that can surround its production. As such, being brought back into the limelight, many producers have begun selling Moonshine as an alternative liquor. I say alternative because most people have never tried it.
And thankfully so. Though it can be fancied up with cherries, strawberries, watermelon, and nearly any other flavor you can imagine. Moonshine, with no better way to say it, will get you drunk as a skunk. If that is your design, then look no further. Also, drinking it out of the mason jar adds a little flair, as though you’re bootlegging the goods yourself.
Great Divide Titan (IPA): The Titan IPA by Great Divide brewery makes my favorite IPA of all. If I had to say which type of beer I like to drink, it would be IPA, and the Titan lives up to it’s name. Great Divide does make a double IPA, Hercules (another awesome name) but unless you’re ready to call it a night I tend to stay away from this.
The Titan on the other hand, has just enough balance of flavor, hops, and bite which suits my palate. They are relatively strong, so after drinking just one you will feel its effect. But its effect is pleasant, they don’t give you that heavy sedated feeling, and rather seems to be more of a Champaign drunk. Where you feel a little giddy, a little bubbly, and overall rather happy. The first sip also always sends a tingle up my body of satisfaction, which is uncommon, and cannot be ignored.
SKA Pinstripe (Red Ale): The SKA brewery is in Durango Colorado, and produces my favorite Red Ale, the Pinstripe. Overall I enjoy most of their beers, but the Pinstripe is perfect to have with a heavy meal. It compliments meats very well, where the savory taste of a burger beyond matches well with the malty flavor of the beer. It’s a little bitter but eventually a sweet taste comes about which is pleasant.
Don Julio Reposado (Tequila): I’m not a Tequila drinker; I would argue few people are. That is, so long as the occasion doesn’t call. But when the occasion does arise… there is no better Tequila than Don Julio Repsado. This tequila has hints of lemon and spice with other notes of fruit, overall masking any harsh flavor normally found in tequila. It is rather pricey, but if you’re drinking tequila, we all know what the cheap stuff tastes like. Which is why I would argue most people don’t drink tequila. The aftertaste is rather enjoyable, where you’re not in a rush to jam the lime and salt into your mouth to end the misery.
Orin Swift Papillon (Malbec Wine): Finally, there is my favorite wine. I’ll admit I’m not as experienced as most others with wines in general, and given the choice I generally choose Malbecs. Which is why the Orin Swift Papillon is hands down my favorite. The earthy, fruity, oaken, and flowery taste is exactly what I want when I drink wine. And I know it’s against pairing practice, but I would drink this wine with nearly any type of meal. I don’t isolate it to heavy savory dishes, and even stranger, use it as a desert wine as well. The after taste and notes all seem to strike a chord with me that is undeniable. That said, I’ve never shared a bottle of this with another person who did not enjoy it or have something positive to say. And that was even with pairing it with odd dishes… even Green Tea ice cream. Sounds strange I know… but in my world you don’t fix what isn’t broken. And this wine, for me at least, gives everything I could hope for.
The author of this piece is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this article you can follow me on Twitter @CustParadigm. When I’m not writing about my favorite alcoholic brands, I’m generally testing my findings with new liquors and spirits to confirm my existing believes. It’s all trial and error…