Showing posts with label whisky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label whisky. Show all posts

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Rhode Tripping: A Food and Drink-filled Day in Providence, RI

At the end of last year, I took a day press trip down to Providence, Rhode Island to explore some of the eating and drinking scene down there.

Our first stop was The Guild, which is actually in Pawtucket, RI. The Guild is a partner brewery comprised of a few New England member breweries that brew their beers there. The members include a big one that we were there to visit: Narragansett.

Gansett, as it's lovingly known, has a long history. It was founded in 1890 and Jacob Wirth was one of the six founders. It was once the best selling beer in New England but after changing hands the brewery was closed in 1981. In 2005 the brand was brought back by a team in Rhode Island who also hired former Gansett brewer Bill Anderson to recreate the original recipes.

We tried the Bancroft ale, Three Red Fez, It's About Time IPA, and the Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout.
The Bancroft had notes of pines. The Fez was a lager with noble German hops and had floral notes and a little touch of caramel. The IPA is a traditional style IPA with new school hops and it is malt forward.

The Guild

The most interesting thing we tried that day for me was the Lovecraft Whiskey. The whiskey is the result of distilling the I Am Providence Imperial Red Ale and it was distilled by the Sons of Liberty distillery in South Kingstown, RI.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Nickel Mine, West LA's New Neighborhood Social House

by @btsunoda

The Nickel Mine is a brand new bar located in West LA. I hesitate to call it a bar because it is so much more than that. It’s located on Santa Monica Blvd and there is no sign on the building. I guessed I was in the right place because from the outside, I saw a few big screens with the Dodgers playing. Due to the large picture windows, the interior of The Nickel Mine is full of indirect light. The walls are lined with aged brick. Bar height tables and chairs line the center. Regular height seating is available along the windows. On the west side of the bar, they have comfortable couches and chairs. With the bookshelf along the wall, it mimics the appearance of someone’s reading room. I like the fact that they have games (e.g., Connect 4, Zenga) available throughout the bar. Their menu is quite extensive. It’s broken down into grub, brunch, wine, beer, cocktails, whiskey, scotch, bourbon, tequila, mezcal, gin, and rum. Ten draft beers are available. I was surprised to see the Chicken and Waffles were made with a Belgian waffle on the brunch menu.

The Garlic Knots are served with a spicy marinara sauce on the side.
Knowing that I was going to try a few different offerings, I promised myself that I would only eat one. Wrong. There was something about these piping hot garlic knots combined with the marinara sauce that made it so addicting to eat.

IMG_1640The Chicken Caesar Salad was topped with large slices of chicken breast, shaved parmesan and crunchy croutons.

What made the salad surprising was the fact that the romaine lettuce was extremely fresh and crisp. An assortment of wings was served next: Buffalo, Teriyaki and Lemon Garlic. Despite my strong inclination to prefer something other than Buffalo wings, I’d have to say it was my favorite among the three.

Coincidentally, it was National Beer Day. To celebrate, I had samplers of some of their draft beers.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Cocktails and Western Whiskey Menu at Bigfoot Lodge in Los Feliz

Bigfoot Lodge in Los Feliz didn't really have a craft cocktail menu - until now. Only for this bar, the 1933 Group has tapped Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello's consulting company, Liquid Assets, to redesign the cocktail and whisky selection. Keeping in the theme, they've decided to go all Western for the whisky list - everything comes from west of the Mississippi.

Photo credit: Bigfoot Lodge
All cocktails are $11 and here are a sampling of them:
On Top of Old Smokey made Bainbridge organic whiskey out of Washington, honey, citrus juices, and "forest fire" which is a sprig or rosemary which they burnt upon serving, giving out a lovely aroma
Amazing how aroma could accentuate a seemingly simple sour!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Head Bartender Ben Scott, American Single Malts at Messhall Kitchen

Ben Scott used to bartend part time before going corporate, but he soon hated the corporate life and returned behind the bar. He's been working at Messhall Kitchen since they opened. Now that Erik Lund has moved on to Republique, Ben heads the bar program at Messhall Kitchen.

Ben Scott
Ben has a thing for American single malts and he's built quite the collection at Messhall. Japanese whiskies are huge right now but they're hard to get, so he thinks American single malts will be the next big thing. Having tasted a lot of them, Ben says that California single malts tend be chocolatey, and I found this was certainly the case with Ouroboros from Lost Spirits.
Compared to the Montana or Texas whiskies, St. George's (also from California) was the mildest. He's also got his hands of some Exclusive Malts bottle. A 30 year old scotch? Don't mind if I do.
Other than the single malts, don't miss the cocktails as Ben has made some interesting additions! The Paris, Texas is a riff on a Champs Elysees made with Balcones Rumble, chartreuse, lemon ($12)
What is Balcones Rumble?
It's a liquor made with honey, turbinado sugar, and dates. Balcones wanted to make a peaty whisky but peat was too expensive to make an affordable bottle. Well, what is there plenty of in Texas? Texas shrub!
Not only did that give it the smokiness they wanted, now they have something that is exclusively Texan.

For a surprise, try Vinny the Chin. The recipe of 2 oz Cynar, 1 oz rye, and a half spoon Amaro Nonino sounds like it would be a bitter drink, but Ben had learnt a trick. He stirs a lemon peel in the drink and the oil from the lemon brings it out from a tight drink to one that is sweet, while still tasting of celery, without using any sweetener.

I got a little taste of the Rich Man's Old Fashioned (125th anniversary Four Roses bourbon, sugar, bitters - $30).

If you need a little something to soak up the alcohol, you can't go wrong with the Pig & Pickles (crispy pork belly and house pickles, remoulade, $8) which is certainly one of the best fried pickles I've tried (granted I haven't tried that many).

Don't miss their barrel aged cocktails, as well. I recommend Death Benefits ($15), made with Kilchoman scotch, gin, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, bitters, and lemon (aged over "many moons")

I ended on a creamy note with the Tiger Milk (aged cachaca, ginger, coconut cream, whole egg, kaffir lime, $12)
Tastes like a vacation
You can come to Messhall Kitchen for many reasons, like $15 burger and bourbon (or beer) on Mondays or $1 oysters on Tuesdays or all night happy hour on Throwback Thursdays, but next time, also stay to try the great cocktails and the impressive collection of single malts!

4500 Los Feliz Blvd
 Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-6377

Monday, June 24, 2013

Calling Peat and Whisky Lovers: Peatin' Meetin' V on June 29

If you're not a member of the LA Scotch Club, you may not know about their annual Peatin' Meetin', open to anyone who enjoys peaty whisky. They will all convene next Saturday, June 29 at the Upper Picnic Area at UCLA's Sunset Canyon for over 100 peated whiskies including Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Smokehead, Lagavulin, and many more.
The great thing about this event is that the whiskies you will taste there are not just from sponsors, but they use their own club funds to source some rare whiskies. It's all about sharing a great whisky with fellow lovers.

Other than over 100 peated whiskies, 7Grand will also be on site making peated cocktails! You won't be drinking on an empty stomach, fret not. They will be peat smoking 175 lbs of New York strip sirloin this year. There will also be peated beer!

Tickets are $100 all-inclusive (or $40 for non-drinkers). You will also get a free t-shirt if you register early. Tickets and more information are available on

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dining (and Drinking) at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (Edinburgh, UK)

Scotch Malt Whisky SocietyThe Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a members-only club where you can enjoy specially bottled and rare whiskies from around the world. While a membership will cost £100, it turns out that the Edinburgh location (their first location) has an attached restaurant that is open to the public. Getting an affirmative answer to whether or not we can get their society whiskies at the restaurant, I booked a table of twelve to celebrate a colleague’s birthday.

Celebrating your birthday in Edinburgh drinking whiskies? Lucky dog.
Our party was big enough to warrant getting their private room (we feel special!)

The food at SMWS is indeed expensive, especially considering the currency conversion, but apparently if you come early enough they have a special 3-course menu that’s reasonably priced. Alas, we didn’t make the cut and had to order a la carte.

We each started with a wee dram our server had recommended: 21 year aged Glenkichie, cask strength.


Then, amuse bouche. Where else would your amuse bouche comes with a glass of whisky?

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