NLF: Canadian Club Small Batch 12 Year

canadianclub smallbatch12

Canadian Club Small Batch Classic 12
80 Proof – Whiskey
Approx. $19.99 750 ml

Tony’s Review:
Our good buddy Paul has contributed once again, this time with tonight’s bottle of Canadian Club Small Batch Classic 12 whisky. It for some reason, took me a couple weeks to finally get around to it, but I managed to crack it open a few days ago. Before I got around to actually tasting it, I did manage to look it up online to see if I could find anything different about this bottle. I didn’t find much, but I did discover that this is actually a re-issue of their 12 year whisky. Now they’ve added small batch to the label, and have apparently cut down on the amount of liquors blended into it in an attempt to create a bolder flavor. I’ve never tried the original, so I can’t say if it’s that much different, but I can drink this whiskey and tell you if I think it’s worth a damn.

When drinking it straight, you can definitely taste caramel, mixed an assortment of other flavors. Much more than I could possibly isolate and describe. It does give it a robust and full bodied flavor that is pretty damn tasty. Once it goes down, you get a a little bit of oakiness with a hint of tobacco, and it’s a good tobacco-ish-ness too, not like you’re drinking someone’s spit cup like some other whiskeys seem to simulate. There are also even smaller hints of pepper and what seems like dark chocolate to me. I know none of these things seem like they would go well with each other, but somehow it works in this liquor. The burn was also not that bad, and if I took a larger than normal sip, my tongue felt the burn more than my throat. This turned out to be a very nice sipping whisky.

I tried it with a couple cubes of ice, and I was a little disappointed. I was really hoping that it would bring out one of the other flavors I couldn’t pick out earlier, but that was not the case. No new flavors showed up, it just slightly watered it down and smoothed it out even more. It also removed most of the aftertaste. I preferred it straight, and I would not recommend adding any ice. If you need it cold, put it in a freezer for awhile or chill a glass, just don’t waste it by watering it down with ice cubes.

Adding coke, brought upon mixed reviews with myself. It makes a pretty decent whiskey and coke, maybe a little too flavorful, almost tastes like a good scotch and coke, not bad at all. It adds a smokey caramel taste with small hints of the original after taste showing up after each sip. It’s also good enough that I could drink it all night. Now the mixed review part comes in from how much I enjoy it straight, and as good as it is mixed, I feel like it’s still much better when sipped on.

Even with that being said, if you prefer it mixed, then by all means, mix away with no remorse. At the current cost of the bottle, you’re getting a sipping whiskey at a mixing whiskey price. It’s not like you’re wasting a forty dollar bottle by covering up all the flavors with various other ingredients. I was personally very surprised when I looked up the price as I wrote this. This is definitely a great deal, and I would suggest that if you like whiskey, you should go out and try this bottle as soon as possible.

NLF: Milagro Barrel Reserve Silver


Milagro Barrel Reserve Silver
80 Proof – Tequila
Approx. $41.99 750ml

Christal’s Review:

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to review my mom’s favorite type of liquor, tequila, and ended up picking up a bottle of Milagro Barrel Reserve Silver for tonight. Any time we want to con my mom into drinking with us, we just have to make sure we have a little tequila on hand. We only need a little because it only takes two drinks for her to turn into a drunken mess. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen her drink any other kinds of liquor.

The normal Milagro Silver is one of my favorite tequilas for making mixed drinks and taking shots. It goes down easily, but still requires a little bite of citrus fruit afterwards. I personally prefer oranges instead of limes. However tonight’s bottle seemed much smoother when it came to taking shots. It does have a slight peppery burn with a slight tinge at the end, which does fade fairly quickly, but I would still prefer to have a bite of orange at the end. Maybe it’s habit, but the sweetness of the orange will kill that tinge at the end immediately.

This tequila is “mellowed” in oak barrels for 30 days. I’m not certain about the difference between aged and mellowed, but to me it sounds like it would be the same thing. The bottle nor the website mentioned anything about it having any oak essence, but I just wanted to mention that fact. It does mention that it is supposed to have vanilla notes, but I did not get any, so either the vanilla notes must be very faint or my senses focused more on the pepper.

I would normally say this was another bottle to add to the top of my favorite tequilas list, but there’s not too much of a noticeable difference between the normal Milagro Silver and tonight’s fancy bottle version. I really was not expecting them to have such a similar flavor because the one difference I did notice, was that I was paying an extra fifteen dollars for tonight’s bottle. Unless you’re getting Barrel Reserve Silver for doing strictly shots, which was the only thing that slightly separated the two, I would just stick to the cheaper version.

NLF: Wild Shot Mezcal Silver

wild-shot silver

Wild Shot Mezcal Silver
86.8 Proof – Mezcal
Approx. $47.99 750ml


Jeff’s Review:
Last week, we celebrated my birthday weekend at a beach house and of course, there were some bottles of booze around. I decided this was the best time to break out the bottle of mezcal Christal found a few days earlier, worm and all. As I was pouring everyone a shot, I was told by almost everyone that they hate tequila. So I explained to them that they were all in luck, “This is mezcal”. After a few stalls and some mean mugging, they all took their shot. I didn’t take mine because I wanted to watch everyone else’s reaction before I tried it. Just a fun fact, I love tequila but I have hated every mezcal I have tried. I was already reluctant to drink it before I watched everyone gag, one person even puked. But once a few people noticed I didn’t join them in the fun, I was told in a very stern way, “you better drink yours!”. I stalled as long as I could, but finally took my shot.

It burned all the way down, but really wasn’t that bad. It tastes a lot more crisp than other mezcals and it finishes really smokey. The after taste is the only thing I didn’t enjoy, I got a slight tobacco flavor that hung around for awhile. Most mezcals I’ve tried have been a lot heavier and harsher. This really just tasted like a smokey tequila, and I can deal with that. I didn’t waste my time on mixing this, as the name on the bottles says, made for shooting. I wanted to get to the worm, but with me being the only one drinking it, I didn’t quite make it. I guess I’ll have to break it out another night to reach that tasty treat.

I found out online that this is yet another celebrity endorsed liquor. Toby Keith is all over the website. I did a little more searching online and found out he is getting a lot of crap from people because he doesn’t know much about mezcal. Apparently at one point, someone asked him some questions about the liquor and he didn’t even know where it was made and said he was sent some bottles and he picked the one he liked. Regardless of Toby Keith’s knowledge of mezcal, he didn’t pick a horrible bottle to endorse, it’s like mezcal light and would be a nice smokey change from a plan ol’ tequila every now and then.

NLF: Plantation Pineapple Rum

plantation pineapple

Plantation Pineapple Rum
80 Proof – Rum
Approx. $29.99 750ml

Christal’s Review:
I was looking for a new flavored rum recently at the liquor store, and I managed to find tonight’s bottle, Plantation Pineapple Rum. Normally flavored rums are made with clear rum, which was not the case  with tonight’s bottle. I didn’t think too much of it, because even though I consider darker rums as not being as sweet as most light rums, I assumed the pineapple within would sweeten it up enough. This was until I got home and found out that its not made with the yellow colored sweet pulp portion of pineapple, but instead the rind of the pineapple.

I tried it as a shot and I tried it as a mixed drink with coke. When I took it as a shot, it made me cringe and I had no interest in wanting to do that again. As a mixed drink I couldn’t force myself to drink much of it. I do get some sweet notes from it, but it was more of a molasses and vanilla taste then pineapple, but technically its ‘rind’ and I can’t say I know what the rind of a pineapple tastes like because, like a normal person, that portion belongs in the garbage.

Maybe I should have left this bottle to Jeff or Tony to review, because I feel like since they like darker rums, they would probably really like it. I tend to have a completely different taste for liquor than them. They prefer that wood barrel taste that I hate, and I love the sweet fruit flavored liquors that they complain about being too sweet to drink. If you’re someone who has those same tastebuds as me then you may want to ignore that ‘pineapple’ word on the bottle and walk on by.

NLF: Beam’s Eight Star


Beam’s Eight Star
80 Proof – Whiskey
Approx. $10.99 750ml


Tony’s Review:
I have to start this review with a little disclaimer, it’s going to be somewhat of a half ass review. OK, now that that’s settled, let’s get on with it. About a month ago, our buddy Paul dropped off a pair of whiskey bottles for us to try. Jeff reviewed one two weeks ago, Kentucky Tavern, and that left me with tonight’s bottle of Beam’s Eight Star. The only problem is, I finished this bottle three weeks ago, and I didn’t quite give it the same amount of taste testing as I normally would.

What had happened was, we were all hanging out at Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort after watching one of their dinner shows that had all you could drink beer. So, making sure we took full advantage of the endless beers, we were all a little tipsy afterwards. Once we made it back to our accommodations, we decided that we were not done drinking for the night. Some of us wanted to stick with beer, which ended up being ridiculously expensive buying it at the resort general store at sixteen dollars a six pack (Seriously Disney? It takes a certain kind of asshole to smile and tell me to enjoy my stay after watching you anal rape our wallets), while a couple of us thought that a couple whiskey and cokes sounded even better.

I think it was just former contributor Eric and myself drinking the whiskey, but the bottle emptied a little quicker than I would have thought. Like I mentioned earlier we were still a little buzzed from the beer so my memory is a little hazy. We both started off about to make our whiskey and cokes, and tried it straight before mixing anything in. I remember it not being too bad, going down rather easy and not burning too much. I think we were both surprised by how not bad it was. Especially since this looked like a bottle you would clearly find on the bottom shelf. I also recall it having a pretty simple taste, nothing complex. Just a normal whisky flavor with a little caramelishness at the start, and finishing with a little oaky aftertaste.

Despite how it tasted straight, we had no intentions of just sipping on straight whiskey that night, and just poured some soda in right away. And again, I was surprised by how good it was with coke. You could serve this to me at any bar and I would be totally cool with it. Maybe it was the slight inebriation skewing what I perceived as good, but it made a whiskey and coke just as good as any other mid shelf whiskey would. It also didn’t take very long to empty the bottle between the two of us, which is just another sign of a decent liquor.

It also seemed to get the job done pretty well too, because I at some point I decided to take a short middle of the night nap on the front porch (or if you ask Jeff, he would say I passed out), but I was still able to get my second wind afterwards and continue participating in the good times. There’s no doubt that I would say that I was happy with Beam’s Eight Star whiskey that night, and would definitely drink it again without question.