With excess money comes some luxuries. Some of those luxuries can't be bought, but others can be. Some of those luxuries turn to vices and are way more common than others. One of those vices is alcohol. Now if you were stalking Chatski a few weeks ago, you'd have watched kleinbl00 and I among others discussing the beauty of various gins. During this conversation, kb spoke very highly of Scratch Distillery's Barrel-Aged Gin. So he and I were talking, and then offered to send me some. And I stupidly said nah figuring I'd try to find some around me. Then I looked around me, realized that that's impossible to get outside of a small area, changed my mind, and said yeah. So then a few weeks later, a box appeared at my doorstep. And I opened the box. And the contents were revealed:
Like damn man, not just one but two bottles. Not just gin but watches that cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. And of course a beautifully branded tote with three bottle spots.
So here's what I did:
So this was what I was expecting and incredibly excited for. I didn't start drinking until I was 21 thanks to being an RA in college and needing the free room and board. When I started it was wine and beer, easy shit. Then Christmas 2019 happened and I got a bit of extra cash, and I hung out with some friends for a New Year's Eve party during which one of them made cocktails that were divine. And I realized I always enjoyed cooking and baking, so cocktails seemed like a logical next step. So in my early cocktail exploration days, I discovered I love gin. Like this isn't some casual enjoyment. I have 5 gins in my apartment right now. I was talking to my dad at one point about all this and mid-pandemic we managed a gin tasting with stuff we got from liquor stores around (consensus was Malfy Italian Original gin was #1). So needless to say getting some fancy hard-to-get hipster gin which I would otherwise have no way to get was exciting for me. The gin smells like a wonderful combination of lemon, juniper, and cinnamon. The taste starts with lemon and vanilla and ends on orange creamcicle. I've shared it with a few people thus far and it's got stellar reviews, of which they're very much so earned. The gin is so complex and smooth. Kb said it's the only gin he can drink neat and it's easy to see why. I have not made cocktails with it and likely won't. If I do it'd have to be something that allows the gin to come through well. There's a real chance I never get a bottle of that again, so I'm trying to savor every bit of it. Full 8/8 circledots for the gin.
Now to aquavit. My innocent little mind was unaware aquavit existed. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. This is the exact aquavit I got. Of course I researched before just diving right in. And the internet shows it's some fancy Nordic thing with caraway. I am a person who dislikes caraway in rye bread, so I was very interested in what this would bring. Like caraway as a flavor is fine, but when you bite into that seed, it throws off way too much flavor. Sidenote here on rye bread -- I just did homemade corned beef for some lovely Rubens. Couldn't find good fresh rye bread and it was awful. Might have to try making my own #breadwatch. The corned beef and Ruben were awesome tho. Back to the story. So I opened up the bottle and my first thought was rye bread. Not caraway. Not dill. Full on rye bread. Association is a fun thing. So I took the first sip, and it was full caraway and rye bread. The slightest hint of dill came through at the very end, but the caraway lingered stronger than everything else. I like it, but I'm not sure what to do with it. I will likely keep having and sharing it neat with others. Caraway is a complex flavor I have no idea what flavors would go well with it, nor what cocktails to make. Scratch Distillery's website has cocktail recipes and I might try one of those eventually. Aquavit has got good reviews by those I've shared it with, but the gin has been rated higher by all. Super interesting flavor and not a beverage I knew existed, overall a solid 7/8 circledots.
Also I can't finish this all off without some comment on the watches. There's exercise in excess. There's really not much I can say beyond "why" and "engineering is cool" and "art", but I want to bring this to everyone's attention: