Monday, August 17, 2009

[Mixed Log] Bartini

Once upon a time JD and Lisa went to a magical land known as Portland, Oregon. Unlike Atlanta, Georgia, Portland has an incredible tradition known as "happy hour." During this wondrous time, many many restaurants and bars have drink specials. It was at the beginning of the aforementioned witching hour that Lisa and JD stumbled across a little place called Bartini. Kind of a dumb name, but boy does it get the point across: a place where one can find many many varieties of martinis. During happy hour all of those martinis are half priced. Lisa and JD learned the true meaning of "plastered at 4 o'clock" in this fashion. On their journey, they experienced the following:

Blackberry Lemon Drop - What's it sound like? Lemon drop with muddled blackberry, yo.
HMB - muddled cucumber and basil shaken with fresh lemon and citrus vodka.
Jasmintini - jasmine essence with tuacca and vanilla bean vodka.
Spicy Affair - chili pepper vodka, Alize passion fruit, muddled lime and pear puree with "a tryst of lime." Yes, the description really said "a tryst."
Peaches and Herbs - muddled basil and mint, vodka, peach puree, lime.
Strawberry Shortcake - baily's, vanilla vodka, strawberry puree, cream. (The bartender failed his roll on this one - it came out curdled, so they gave me another).
Chocolate Kiss - baily's, vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, cream.

*Swoon* Goodbye folks, I'm hopping on a plane now - I can't recount that much deliciousness without a return trip!

[Scotch Log] Oban 14

Scotch: Oban 14
Region: West Highlands
Malt: Single Malt, 14 years
Price: ~$75
Proof: 86

I know that I've claimed before that a scotch is "golden" but I think the Oban 14 really epitomizes the statement. Tawny golden. Your mom's wedding ring golden. Sun shining down and lighting up your whole glass golden. It's really damn golden.

The nose of the Oban is pretty complex. There's an initial hint of peaty-ness that would usually turn me off, but it leans towards the oaky side of the spectrum, so that's ok. Past that initial peaty whiff there's a much sweeter nose: something slightly vanilla and slightly floral without being at all cloying.

The Oban 14 really stands alone in its flavor. It has just enough warmth and kick to keep you paying attention, but overall is very wet and more mellow that some of its brothers. Flavors of green wood with just a hint of pine mingle with a velvety caramel undertone, combining into a lovely, complex, intelligent taste. It finishes with a hint of sea salt, but leaves the palate moist and quenched. Though the initial taste wasn't harsh, I found my mouth tingling with warmth for minutes afterwards.

Anyway, if you couldn't tell: I'm a pretty big fan of the Oban 14. It's very different from any of my other sweet, standard scotches and provides a nice change. I'll definitely be adding it to my staples, next to the Glenmorangie!