Who Dat Kung Fu Jew?  YOU dat kung fu jew part two!

June 24, 2017

Who Dat Kung Fu Jew? YOU dat kung fu jew part two!

So the battle has been fought, and well - spoiler alert - we lost. But for fork's sake we did our best. The problem was that the boys from Single Cask Nation brought two of their infamous Jewbilee festival bottlings. Tough to beat those bad boys. Anyway a good time was had by all. The crowd was killer and Robin Robinson did a great job as guest judge and referee.  Until next time SCN.

WE'LL BE BACK!!!




Listen to the whole battle:



And don't miss the next battle:


Cheers/SB
Hand-Picked Elijah Craig Barrel

June 6, 2017

Hand-Picked Elijah Craig Barrel

The first of a few very special hand-picked barrels is available today.  We tasted a range of Heaven Hill barrels from 8-12 years, but this 9-year was the unanimous favorite. Chocolate, oak, molasses and spice make this an awesome everyday drinker.  And for $36 you can drink it every day.  Thanks to the gang at Heaven Hill for hooking up this great barrel.  We'll be dropping our podcast with the legendary bottled in bond professor, bluegrass musician, and brand ambassador Bernie Lubbers from Heaven Hill shortly.  In the meantime we recommend picking up "one for the glass and one for the shelf" since these are going quick!



Who Dat Kung Fu Jew?

May 31, 2017

Who Dat Kung Fu Jew?

Howdy Beasties,

Despite being a little quiet on the blog, I've been super hard at work on the whiskey front these past couple of months.  We had an incredible trip down to Kentucky last month.  It was some of the best drinking of my life.  We got a private tour of the new Michter's distillery. Picked a Four Roses barrel with Al Young, and the incredible highlight of the trip was going to the historic Wild Turkey Warehouse A and picking barrels with Eddie Russell. Then we got back and spent some time with Bernie Lubbers from Heaven Hill and have a private barrel coming from them as well.

And the results of all these travails is finally upon us!  The Heaven Hill barrel will be available through Beast Masters Club Shop starting this week.  We'll have the Wild Turkey barrel shortly thereafter, and the Four Roses coming up third.  The podcast with Bernie will be queued up shortly where we learn all about Bottled-in-Bond and chat with him about our private barrel.  The interview with Eddie was long, informative, and totally hilarious, so that's probably going to be a couple of podcasts worth that will be coming next month.

In the meantime, as if we weren't busy enough, we are working with Single Cask Nation on an event for their Whisky Jewbilee festival.  The night before Jewbilee (Jewbilee is June 15th, our event is June 14th), we're going to have a Battle Royale with Josh and Jason from Single Cask Nation / Jewish Whiskey Company.  (Yes, I'm Jewish too so the jokes are all in good fun).  Beast Masters Club vs. Single Cask Nation will be a blind contest where our live audience votes on the best private barrel pick from BMC and SCN's collections.  Our guest judge and moderator will be Robin Robinson (all-around whiskey veteran and former visionary for Compass Box).



There are a few seats left if you are in NYC and want to attend.

I hope to get back to regular whiskey reviews shortly (perhaps starting with some of my new barrels!!), but I hope that everyone takes a minute to participate in the club.  Signing up and listening to the podcasts is free, and we have two private barrels available right now (WhistlePig and Barrell Bourbon) and these three coming up in the next month.

We'll also have a table at Jewbilee, so if you are coming to the festival, come by and say hello.

Cheers/SB



Beast Masters Club Exclusive Podcast with Michter's Master Distiller

April 25, 2017

Beast Masters Club Exclusive Podcast with Michter's Master Distiller

This weekend we had a very special treat. Michter's Distillery Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann sat down with the club and led us on an incredible (and delicious) journey.  We discussed her career as the first woman Kentucky master distiller, her time running the Booker Noe distillery, and her role in building the impressive new operation at Michters.  Big thanks to Pam and everyone at Michters.  Tune in and give a listen as you sip your favorite Michter's!

LISTEN HERE!!



I love it when a plan comes together. David Pickerell guest hosts our next podcast event!!

March 3, 2017

I love it when a plan comes together. David Pickerell guest hosts our next podcast event!!

I love it when a plan comes together.

When my friend Ben came to me with the idea of doing a whiskey podcast I was skeptical. "Who wants to listen to me slurp on booze that they can't even buy?" I wondered. It's one thing to read a quick review online for a recommendation of a new bottle or even a vicarious sip of some fantasy collectors item. But it seemed indulgent to record the experience minute by minute.

Then we had a bit of an epiphany.  "Well we've been buying private barrels, what if we could help folks get some of this hard to find whiskey and then talk about it on the podcast?"  Hmmm, I thought, this might be an idea. "Oh, and what if we did a big live event, recorded it live, and invited the master distiller to come talk about it?" Now I was getting excited.



Beast Masters Club was born. We've had some great events so far, Signatory Vintage, Barrell Bourbon, Westland... Everyone had a great time, we hooked up the club with some excellent hooch, both in person and mail order. And we learned a lot from some cool guests.

But now I feel like we're really taking things to the next level. Dave Pickerell is a true whiskey legend.  I'm sure I don't have to tell most of you that.  We've been determined to do a rye barrel and couldn't pass up their 12 year Old World private barrel program. Then we had the idea to ask Dave if he could bring all the individual cask finished ryes (Madeira, Port, & Sauternes casks) so that everyone could taste the blending process firsthand. It took some convincing but that's happening.



BUY TICKETS HERE

Dave Pickerell Debuts Beast Masters Club WhistlePig Private Barrel
Thursday March 16th  @ 6:30 PM
Domaine Select Wine & Spirits
106 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


So we're really pumped. We hope all of you will tune it. If you're in NYC buy a ticket. We're doing a special that's pretty hard to beat where you can buy a bottle and get a free ticket.  And if you're not in the area please send us questions that you'd like us to ask Dave and then download the 'cast and we'll get them answered for you.

This has been a labor of love, but we're really starting to make some special things happen with the club.  Thanks to everyone for the support so far!  Cheers/ SB
A Genuine Smoky Beast Whisky Review!  Lagavulin 8-Year

February 19, 2017

A Genuine Smoky Beast Whisky Review! Lagavulin 8-Year

Hello beasties,

Today I have the luxury or writing a bona fide whisky review. I know these have been few and far between this year. I, along with my partner Ben and the wife, have been putting more time into whisky than ever before. And I want to sincerely thank everyone who has supported Beast Masters Club. It's a real labor of love, and it's really starting to take off. In the next few months we've got three private barrels coming out (WhistlePig, Elijah Craig, and Four Roses) and some amazing interviews including WhistlePig master distiller & all-around whiskey legend Dave Pickerell leading a tasting for us in March. Anyway thanks to everyone who has joined the club, sent amazing emails and social media posts, and showed up at our events. It's been amazing meeting so many of the people that I only knew online as readers of this blog and fellow whiskey fanatics.

Anyway, on to the matter at hand, one legitimate, non-podcast format, review! For the President's Weekend, the family headed up to the Berkshires  for a long overdue quiet several days of fires, Netflix cartoons, and of course a little nip before bedtime. I went to a random liquor store near the Stop&Shop, and lo-and-behold they had an awesome selection. I saw a bottle that I've been meaning to try, the Lagavulin 200th Anniversary 8-year sitting there for under $60 and couldn't say no. So now by the fire I'm popping it open and enjoying some warm peat on a cold night. (sure it's 60 degrees in Manhattan, but it's still in the 30's up here!).



So what do we know? We know Lagavulin was founded in 1816 and for its 200th anniversary they released a few special bottlings. One is the 25 year old which is frankly too expensive to casually pop, President's weekend or not. The other is this interesting 8-year. We've seen it cost more than the 16 year and sometimes less, so let's say it's about the same price. It is offered at a higher proof, 48% instead of Lag16's 43%, so 10 additional proof points at 96.

It comes in a very tasteful white box.

Tasting Notes

Nose:  If I nosed this blind I would not guess Lagavulin. Islay for sure, but probably I would have said Caol Ila, or wait...  maybe... Kilchoman.  Yes that's probably what I'd guess. Which totally makes sense since they're releasing very high quality younger malts. The nose has a lot of smoke, but not quite the warm smoldering campfire rocks smoke you get from older Lag. This is a more raw, slightly hot and spirit-forward and very peaty smoke. While the smoke is more in your face than what we typically think of with Lag, there are other interesting flavors that are much more prominent as well. Granny smith apples, white chocolate, citrus candies. Yes, pretty much exactly the flavors I usually pick out in Kilchoman. Funny that.

Palate: I will say in the mouthfeel department that it has a nice oiliness going on that's not as apparent in the 16. It's a bit thicker and more full on the tongue. That's kind of where the compliments end. The taste is just thinner, hotter, and not quite as complex as the 16. It's got some of the same components as the nose. White chocolate, lots of bright peat, little wood, citrus, and maybe some spice like cinnamon and red pepper flakes.

Finish: The finish is where this differs most dramatically from most of the OB Lagavulin that we've tried. It's sort of thin and hot and a little bitter. Very similar to what you get from most of the off-the-shelf Islays these days like a Caol Ila or one of the NAS Ardbegs.

Review

Look I love me some Lag. It's my first and still favorite malt. This is still a really nice whisky. If you collect Lag, obviously you're going to score a bottle or two. The box is lovely. But it you're a malt drinker shopping on a budget, it's hard to see the allure here. Getting something twice as old in the standard 16 year bottling, with a little more sherry (sure and some E150 coloring too) is just a better deal and a tastier whiskey. Granted, sitting here by the fire drinking out of a ridiculously oversized snifter, and letting the peat smoke mingle with the birch I'm burning doesn't suck. And I don't mean to sound like a dick. I love that they put out higher proof stuff, love that they aren't afraid of a younger age statement, and still love me some Lag. But there's nothing "do-not-miss" about this one if you're keeping score.

Until next time.  Cheers/Steve
The Big Westland Tasting

January 30, 2017

The Big Westland Tasting

Wow what an awesome Friday night! Our little whiskey tasting club was hosted at the stunning Norwood Club and our special guest was Chris Reisbeck of Westland Distillery. We got to taste their whole lineup include the cask strength Garryana and the special release Winter edition.

Now I know what Quercus alba is (White Oak). And what Typicity is (the degree to which something reflects it's regional/varietal origins). Drink & learn...  

Thanks to everyone who's reached out to the club online. I got to meet a few of you there! I hope those of you who are into podcasts enjoy the discussion.


(or on iTunes)

Let us know if there are distilleries out there who you think would make a great episode of Beast Masters Club!  Cheers/SB
Smoke Wars: A New Dope

January 24, 2017

Smoke Wars: A New Dope

Hola Beasties!

The weather is total crap here in NYC, so it's the perfect time to cuddle up with a dark delicious smoky glass of fine single malt. In our latest installment, your's truly Mrs. Beast took on the veteran peat maniac Josh "Big Wood" Hatton in a one-on-one duel to the death to find the best peated malt in the world.

Smoke Wars: Mrs. Beast vs Big Wood



Who won?  Who do YOU think won??  What kind of question is that?  We both broke out some serious ammunition and entrenched deeply in our peat bogs for this one.  Enjoy.  /Mrs. Beast


Top 5 Limited Release Whiskies of 2016 - HYPE OR HOT

January 18, 2017

Top 5 Limited Release Whiskies of 2016 - HYPE OR HOT

Hey Beasties,

I hope everyone is having a rocking 2016.  If, like us, you were curious about some of the outrageously hard to find (not to mention expensive) allocated limited release bottles of 2016, we have lined up our top 5 and tasted them to see if they are worth the hunt!

Check it out here!
or on iTunes


Hope you enjoy it.  Don't be a stranger!  Let us know what reviews, podcast, and whiskies are getting you excited this year!  Cheers/SB


Join us for an evening with Westland Distillery!

January 11, 2017

Join us for an evening with Westland Distillery!

A bunch of really cool shit happened this week.  I rolled a whiskey barrel across a city street in Manhattan.  I don't know which was better, the baffled look on the faces of passers-by or the satisfaction of smiling and saying "Yup, it's a barrel of whiskey!".

I popped open some amazing whiskey. Booker's Rye (which won just about every award for best whiskey of 2016) and the new Parker's Heritage 24 Year Bourbon. I hadn't planned on popping open the Parker's just yet, but when we heard the terrible news about Parker Beam passing away, it seemed like the right thing to do.  We're going to review these and other super special release whiskeys in a podcast we're recording tomorrow night, and I'll post some Cliff's Notes for all you SB readers.

The other great news is that we confirmed our next Beast Masters Club tasting. It's going to feature Westland Distillery, in our opinion one of the few truly special craft distillers in a vast sea of rough young spirit that's coming into the market.  Chris Reisbeck, who we knew from his years at Gordon MacPhail will be representing Westland and acquainting us with some very special malts.



BUY TICKETS HERE!  (they sell out fast...)

Yet another piece of awesome news is that the super swanky and beautiful club The Norwood has agreed to host. They're very excited to be involved in our fresh take on whiskey events with the interview, podcast, and tasting. And we couldn't be more thrilled at the awesomeness of their upstairs barroom as our new venue.

It was a good whiskey week all around.

I know, I know, we've been somewhat neglecting our blog.  If you care, drop a comment and let us know what you'd like us to review.  We promise to get back to it.  But at the same time, we promise that if you join the club, buy a ticket to one of these events, or take a few minutes to check out the podcast, you won't be disappointed.  Oh yeah, and we have some killer private barrels coming up too. Seriously.  I wasn't kidding about rolling the barrel down the street. You're gonna want some of that.

Cheers.  Hope everyone is having a good first few weeks of '17.  Don't stress, it'll be ok. Come have a drink with us.  /SB