March 20, 2011

A Best-of Booze List, Somewhat Belated

Not a picture from the convention, but certainly from Las Vegas...

I always look forward to the Bar & Nightclub Convention. Sure, Vegas has the Electionics Convention, the Porn Convention, the Rockabilly Convention, the Fashion Convention, the Burlesque Convention, the Lounge Convention, the Roller Derby Convention.... but the Bar & Nightclub is always a winner. Unfortunately, my day job issued one of its usual authortarian demands that I must be present for 150% of my work day during that period, so i had to catch what i could when i ran in at the last minute. As always, there were some standout products, some dire poisons and, of course, all kind of wacky shit. First, to the good booze...

Corsair Distillery is three guys from Kentucky. Don't let their pseudo-Entourage/semi-Resevoir Dogs bottle label fool you: This is not a gimmick. Nope, it's some damn fine liquor, made from organic products and treated with a creative spirit. What made me stop by their booth was their Pumpkin Spice Moonshine, which managed to carry the spike of 'shine without being too sharp and the sweetness of the pumpkin without being cloying. Even more delightful is their Red Absinthe, whihc has some kind of wormwood variety called dragonwood and gets the coloring from red hibiscus. It's a trace more floral and less sharply herbal than traditional absinthe. Corsair Distillery isn't available in Vegas yet, but they were meeting with people during the convention, so keep your fingers crossed.

I also had a taste of Bird Dog Blackberry Whiskey, which was quite nice indeed -- the blackberry is just a subtle finish, rather than blended in, so it works nicely. Could probably do something interestingly Manattan-ish with it (a berry instead of the cherry, perhaps add a dash of something to the Vermouth...). Another enjoyable product is the Adult Chocolate Milk, which sure as shit does taste like chocolate milk, except with 40 proof. I could drink a lot of it. And, between this and the alcoholic whipped cream, the spiked milkshake just got a lot more powerful.

Also earning it's own portion of the floor was the craft brewery section, with some fine candidates from the microbreweries of the Northwest. Bridgeport Brewery is affilated with a restaurant/brewery in Portland and they make some nice beers. Their Kingpin balances between pale and dark brews, with a sweetish finish and whopping 7.5% Hop Czar is also a high-octane brew, but it's a little more obvious and, as you may have guessed by the name, "hoppy." Nice label, though. Also represented was Moylan's, based in northern California. They had a number of libations, two standouts being their Barleywine Ale, a rich, heavy brew that's almost like an after-dinner drink and the Kilt Lifter, their sole Scotch-style ale. Again, they are working on getting these availabe in Vegas: Apparently we do not make it easy for these people to bring us the oh-so-tasty-fruits of their labor. As always, it's the small American businessman (and the humble consumer) who get screwed.

What blew? Gimmick vodka, as usual. There was Devotion Vodka, augmented with "lacto-protein," 'cause protein makes your body metabolize faster, hence get drunk faster and juiceheads like both alcohol and protein. No wonder it was endosed by The Situation. (He was there, but i missed him. Missed Dave Navarro shilling for Monster Energy Drink as well. Woe is me. If I had a few dozen rotten eggs or a Kalashnikov, i might've made more of an effort.) Suffice to say, it was not smooth and should be honest about itself and come in a plastic bottle. The other lousy trick vodka was Cougar Juice Vodka, pushed by a toned, tanned woman in her late 40's who drew a surprisingly consistent crowd of younger dudes. Which made me assume it might be good. As we get older, we appreciate the finer things in life, like high-quality booze. I mean, my liquor cabinet brings all the boys to my yard. But nope. This is still the same sorta shit you'd pour into the punchbucket at an undergrad sorority party.

Posted by lissa at March 20, 2011 02:34 PM