Archive for June, 2010

Scotch Whisky – Age Matters

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 Review by Brian
Scotch Age Matters

Scotch Age Matters

Via (full article):


Chivas Brothers launches global consumer campaign
on the importance of Scotch whisky age statements

The world’s leading producer of luxury Scotch whisky, Chivas Brothers, is launching a global campaign to advocate the importance and value of the age statements to consumers.

According to new research commissioned by Chivas Brothers, 94% of consumers believe the age statement serves as an indicator of quality, 93% believe that older whiskies are better quality and 89% actively look for an age statement when making a decision to purchase.

However, there is a global lack of knowledge about what the age statement actually means: only 10% understand that it refers to the youngest whisky in the bottle, nearly half (48%) believe an age statement refers to the average age and 35% believe it signifies the oldest whisky present. The Scotch Whisky Regulations (2009) make clear what an age statement means – the age of the youngest whisky in the bottle.

We Love BaconScotch!

The Bacon Explosion

Monday, June 28, 2010 Review by BetterThanAndrew

Bacon Explosion jpg

Yeah, yeah. Pretty much everyone’s heard of the fabled Bacon Explosion by now. However, it’s not on this site yet and I’m here to remedy that.

Hit this link to get the full details. I made one for the superbowl (with a few of my own little modifications – noted below) and it was fan-f#%$^ng-tastic.

My recommendations – get thick bacon with the most uniform edges from end-to-end possible. It makes it much easier to weave the mats to hold all the sausage – if the strips have too many waves along the edges, you get holes in your mat. I went heavy maple with my recipe. Maple bacon, maple sausage and Sweet Baby Ray’s (the best line of BBQ sauce available, IMHO) Hickory and Brown Sugar sauce. The sweetness of the all the maple and  brown sugar  (I also mixed a little brown sugar  in with my McCormicks Montreal dry rub) offset the saltiness of the bacon and sausage very nicely. I think I may have kneaded a little Sweet Baby Ray’s in with my sausage, too. I don’t have a smoker so I made mine in the oven and it didn’t seem to do it any harm, although it took about 40 minutes longer to come to temperature than the recipe stated. I’m sure the smoker gives it a heartier flavor and may crisp up the outer layer a bit more but mine was fine.


Why the chicken really crossed the road…

Monday, June 28, 2010 Review by BetterThanAndrew

…To go to the muthaf#$%in’ Twilight Exit to get an order of CHICKEN FRIED BACON!

Lets take this old non-humorous preschool level anecdote back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had clipped an article out of the Stranger, one of Seattle’s local free press papers, and given it to me. It proudly featured chicken-fried bacon and boasted it’s many rewarding characteristics. I made a vow that one day I would “get a piece of that action” and I posted the clip on my refrigerator.  Some time later, my current girlfriend came over and saw my yellowed shred of destiny on the door. She commented on it and, after having endured the barrage that was my excited whimsy of someday possibly partaking in such a delight (she’s, amusingly, a long-time vegetarian BTW), she tells me that she’s well familiar with the purveying establishment – The Twilight Exit, a thrice-relocated dive bar in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle. She had a history with the staff and patrons for some time and actually had plans to head there soon and she said it would be her treat if I joined her. My requisite happy dance followed.

Fast forward a couple weeks and we found ourselves there for a birthday celebration or some such. She plunked down my $6 for an order of CFB with a side of their home-made gravy and I did my best to control the tremors of anticipation as I waited.

I forget how many strips there were on the plate (I consumed a lot to drink that evening) but the portion seemed healthy. Probably 6 strips, perhaps more. The bacon was of good size and thickness. I suspect that it may have been Boar’s Head or something similar. I don’t think it was supermarket thick-cut bacon but it was hard to tell. The batter was well ratio’d to the bacon – you didn’t have to hunt for the bacon beneath a rapper’s puffy down jacket of batter. Between the grease from the bacon and the oil from the flying process, the batter wasn’t particularly crispy but it wasn’t mush, either. It was in an acceptable and understandable state in-between but had a good grip on the bacon itself. I got some of the gravy on the first strip and tore in. I recall burning the s#!t out of my mouth. Lesson number one, safety first. Don’t let your excitement override your sense of self preservation. Deep fried bacon is hot and dangerous. Like pizza… only better.

Anyhow, aside from the near-blistering injury to my soft palette, I was doing the Dastardly-and-Muttley joygasm display (copyright Hanna Barbera, 1969-present). If I had a tail, it would have made like a tiny propeller, lifting me to the ceiling where I would have drifted back down in a manner like a gently falling dove feather, all the while glassy-doe eyed and sighing with unbridled contentment. Ok, perhaps it wasn’t that good but it was fully up to my expectations.

Despite lacking a true crispy/crunchy quality to the batter, the consistency was satisfying and the bacon was just right. It wasn’t too salty and was complemented decently by a cold PBR but in retrospect would have gone better with something with a little more body and character, like an amber.

Apparently I made such a fuss that my aforementioned vegetarian girlfriend even broke precedent and tried a bite (bacon is her only weakness – BaconSalt has been a godsend for her. You know that stuff’s veggie-friendly, right? Well, you should). She was less excited than I but respected the might and glory nonetheless.

I give the Twilight Exit’s chicken-fried bacon my full endorsement. It’s the other white meat battered like the other other white meat and it’s very satisfying. I would say the only downside is that after the first couple strips, you can almost feel your arteries begin to harden and the prospect of finishing it becomes strangely daunting. I would treat it like a decadently rich mousse or cheesecake – more than your average citizen can likely handle by themselves in one sitting. I would plan to share an order with a friend or two unless you are of hearty, viking-like stock.

Check it out when you get a chance.


Friday, June 25, 2010 Review by BetterThanAndrew

So I’ve perused the existing posts and I didn’t see anything making reference to Bakon ™, the Bacon flavored vodka, produced right here in Overcastistan (Seattle), WA by Black Rock Spirits. Compared to BaconScotch, Bacon vodka is a product of the superior meat combined with an inferior (albeit slightly more utilitarian) alcohol, IMHO. Not that that disqualifies it from being good by default. Read on.

I was made aware of Bakon last summer while it was in market testing. One of my fellow derby-ites was in tight with the folks at Black Rock and had a beta bottle of the stuff. I went to an AM BBQ with promises of Bakon Bloody Marys. My anticipation rode higher than a 30 year old virgin with a comped room and a pocket full of roofies at a naive hot chicks convention.

My aforementioned anticipation got a vicious case of whiskey dick after the first sip. The presence of bacon in the vodka was faint, at best. It carried an unpleasant aftertaste as well. I was crushed. Coal at Christmas, I say!!! My girlfriend agreed that it was far below expectations. We gathered our crushed hopes and dreams and trudged off.

Months later, at another derby function, there was a full case of Bakon donated to the cause. Apparently we had not been alone in our feedback regarding the inadequacy of bacon in the previous iteration and the Black Rock folks had allegedly remedied the situation. With renewed vigor, we approached the bar, geared up for a second round of tasting.

The new batch (as it appears on shelves today) suckerpunched us with the flipside of disappointment. In our opinion, they had overcompensated and now the ratio was too high. Dare I say, too bacony (or should I say Bakony)? It was obnoxiously bacon flavored and not in a good way. We felt it was artificial tasting and overdone and still had the aftertaste issues. The “bartender” offered it up in a shot with bloody mary mix. I passed but Josie tried one, being a bigger bloody mary fan than I, and she said through her grimace that was simply not good at all.

To add insult to injury, the servers then began an aggressive campaign to get people to try shots of, get this, Bakon and chocolate milk. They attempted to paint the concept as if it was the greatest combination since strawberries and cream. More accurate would be to say it was like the combination of Michael Jackson and unsupervised children. I told the animated offerer that if I ever met the person who devised this ungodly concoction, I would complete their apparently failed initial lobotomy with whatever sharp or dull object was closest to my reach at the time. For whatever reason, this appeared to hurt their feelings but they moved on, incredulously, to the next would-be victim. I was later told, through a sea of cries of suffering and disdain of those who were actually trying the Bako-late shots, that it was supposedly one of Bakon’s creators whose cranial integrity I had inadvertently threatened earlier. I hold no regret.

Having said all this, I bear no grudge towards those who enjoy Bakon. My opinions are strictly my palette’s and my own (and my girlfriend’s and about 80 other people at the party…). It simply struck me as more fratty gimmick than solid product that I would actually consume and enjoy.

We Love BaconScotch!

Hey, what more could a person want? A cheeseburger – an all-American favorite and pizza – right up there at  the top of the list. So how about combining them. Have a glass of scotch if you want too!

Here you go and have fun~

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