Booze Banter

Where We’re Going, You Don’t Need Barrels…


Say hello to Thea One.

AK: So, G-LO, what’s your take on the mystical world? Ghosts? Magic? The Underworld? Donald Trump’s hair? You believe in that stuff?

G-LO: That all depends upon how much I’ve had to drink.

AK: I hear that. Otherworldly things beyond what we know here in the good old terra firma are a bit tough to grasp. Well, tonight we have something from behind “the door”, and I don’t mean a year’s supply of Rice-A-Roni, Carol Merrill.

G-LO: What! No San Francisco treat??? You’re making G-LO sad. So what kind of tricks do you have up your sleeve tonight, Mr. Bullwinkle?

AK: Tonight, young Skywalker, we have something named after a very old hokey religion, as Han Solo would say. Santeria Rum.

Photo courtesy of Leah K.

Photo courtesy of Leah K.

G-LO: I don’t practice Santeria, but I do drink Rum. What’s the deal with this booze with the hokey religion inspired name? Tell me more. Tell me more…

AK: Remember old friend, Obi-Wan Bryan Davis from Lost Spirits?

G-LO: I do! I do! Thanks to you and your generosity, I’ve had several opportunities to try Obi-Wan Davis’s elixirs.

AK: Him of the high octane California Peated whisky and over-proof rums.

G-LO: Oh hell yes! I still want my very own bottle of the Big Kahuna Navy Rum.

AK: Well, the Jedi Master has taken his powers of chemical engineering and is using them for good in a whole new way. Making booze! Which is the really good side of the dark side.  It’s a complicated relationship.

G-LO: He was already making booze! And it was so damn good. What’s changed?

AK: Wellllll…..he’s making machines that age booze in about 12 parsecs.

G-LO: You mean we can do the Kessel Run by drinking some of his booze? Now THAT’s what I call rocket fuel!

AK: If I have this straight, he works with craft distillers to, ahem, speed up the process using his hyperdrive technology. This hyperdrive is called “Thea One”. Ask for it by name. Accept no substitutes.

G-LO: Is there a Flux Capacitor involved? It sounds like Dr. Davis has taken a page out of the Doc Brown playbook and invented a form of time travel. Color me skeptical!

AK: I only have Burnt Sienna. Will that work?

G-LO: No.

AK: How about black like your heart?

G-LO: Does the label say The Blackest of all Blacks? Or just Black?

AK: Uh, black. Blackest of all Blacks is a special order with Crayola.

G-LO: The Home of Crayola is a hop, skip, and a jump away. I’ll place an order. Though my knees kinda hurt, so I’ll just drive. So how exactly does Dr. Davis make the jump to light speed with Thea One?

AK: Knee issues? They need lubricating. Think we have something for that.

G-LO: Tiger Balm?

AK: I was thinking of rum.  Now don’t get all technical cuz I ain’t no rocket science. But I have one in the next room just in case. Here’s the deal. Obi-Wan Davis develops this thing. Let’s call it an “accelerated aging reactor” to keep the kids interested. This thing magically ages a spirit (the wet kind) in…wait for it…days. Not weeks. Not months. Not years. Not decades. Days. The 24 hour kind. The kind that suck when the prefix is Mon.

G-LO: Days??? Sounds like voodoo to me. Or black magic. Cue the Louis Prima!

AK: Bingo! He makes this old magic machine and scoots around on his speeder showing it off to the crafty spirits crowd. I’m guessing he got a lot of “I don’t like you either” responses. But then he ends up across the quadrant in Charleston, SC at Rational Spirits. How rational can they be for talking to Bryan? But that’s another story. The Rational gang says they want to make rum. FAST!  Bryan says I can make that rum in 6 days. Rational says, “Make that Rum!”. And here we are. I may be paraphrasing a bit, so pass your lawsuits along to our crack legal department.

G-LO: You know, that guy in Cleveland made Bourbon in days and many said that it might be one of the worst Bourbons ever. Either Bryan Davis really is Obi-Wan Kenobi (This is the Rum you are looking for…), or he’s got something really special going on with this Thea One thing because the reviews have been pretty stellar.

AK: And that’s why we’re here today. In six days, the Israelis can win a war; the Big Guy can create heaven and earth; and Fox can cancel another three sitcoms yet green light an Arsenio Hall project. But age rum in six days? I’m as dubious as a Kardashian is camera hungry.

G-LO: She eats cameras??? That explains the ba-donka-donk, aka the junk in her trunk. For the record, in six days I can accomplish absolutely nothing.

AK: Right there with you. Six days and I’m still deciding if I should keep procrastinating.

G-LO: You poured?

AK: Well, these Rational Spirits loons put their trust in Mr. Davis and said, “Hey, here’s our rum right off the still. Age it, Dude.” And what you have in front of you, G-LO, is the experiment of “barrel” to glass in what amounts to be minutes in this industry.  If I understand this correctly, the Thea One bombards barrel staves that are sitting in the spirit. Think: the cedar deck atop Le Mansion de G-LO after a brutal summer.  The wood changes, and the next thing you know, you’re at Home Depot debating what wood stain to buy.

G-LO: Color me intrigued.

AK: When you have alcohol exposed to that changing wood in a barrel, that’s where all the flavors get unlocked.  The Thea One just makes all that happen really fast.

G-LO: Changing colors on this rum.

AK: It’s a pretty deep color for six days of not being in a barrel or being in a machine. And “no coloring or additives” says the label in case you were wondering. Take a whiff?

G-LO: Agreed. Very dark given its youth. Burnt Sienna fo’sho. Taupe perhaps? They say it’s very soothing. Taupe that is. Taking a whiff.

AK: Smells like rum. Ok, it’s rum. We’re done. Good night! Drive safely! Don’t forget your waitresses.

G-LO: WAIT!  The show’s not over!  It smells like a rather funky rum.

AK: Cinnamon. Maybe a bit of black licorice.

G-LO: It reminds me mucho of that Venezuelan rum that I like so much. Diplomatico Riserva. That stuff is aged for many years.

AK: Interesting.

G-LO: Light on the cinnamon. Brown sugar. Allspice. Clove. I get that licorice too.

AK:  Do you think that schnozzola can pick out age?

G-LO: It’s like that Panda Licorice when you first open the bag.

AK: I have no idea what that is but I’ll take your word for it.

G-LO: Australian Licorice. Really good. Soft and chewy.

AK: Ahhh. Ready to chew some rum?

G-LO: It definitely smells older than a few days. Me, I smell like a guy that’s pushing 50. Or maybe I smell like I’m already pushing up daisies. It’s a close call. I’m a sippin.

AK: I’ll get a toe tag for you. The great Jason Johnstone-Yellin of The Jewish Whisky Co. espouses the “chew” method when tasting whisky. I shall follow that Jedi’s course and do the same with rum tonight.

Chew Your Whisky!G-LO: Chew? Literally?

AK: Literally

G-LO: I’m a-chewin’.

AK: Gesundheit. Get that spirit all over the insides.

G-LO: Hey now! This is a family show.

AK: A bit of coffee. Burnt sugar.

G-LO: Totally get that burnt sugar thing. I’ll tell ya, this sure does taste older than it is.

AK: Care to guess the ABV?

G-LO: The label on the sample you sent says 46%.

AK: Correct. Not a big number but tastes bigger.

G-LO: Not very harsh at all. It’s a nice burn. It says, “Slow your roll buddy!”.

AK: Indeed.

G-LO: There’s a touch of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel on the edges, but overall, this stuff is super drinkable.

AK: Witch hazel makes sense for this Santeria Rum, you old warlock. Bottle #56 if you’re keeping score at home

G-LO: The male witch or the motorcycle gang? I hope the former cause black leather jackets and tattoos ain’t my thing.

AK: The former. Two wheeled vehicles are missing two wheels in my book.

G-LO: You sound like Limpd.

AK: Oh, Mr. Bionic Man?

G-LO: He prefers being called The Winter SoldierYou can call him Bucky for short.

AK: He does have that assassin’s deadpan whit and nice hair.  This stuff might make a nice cocktail. It’s an easy drinker.

G-LO: Yes, it is an easy drinker. Really nice aftertaste with a lingering burnt sugar and cinnamon aftertaste. I said aftertaste twice.

AK: Short finish but it does linger if that make sense.

G-LO: I repeat myself when I’m distressed. I repeat myself when I’m distressed.

AK: Is there is echo in here? “If we can find my keys, we can drive out of here.

G-LO: You make no sense whatsoever, that’s why I like you. Gibberish loves company.

AK: I’m into telling just punch lines. I’m not patient enough for the whole joke. I could see this with a splash of a Coca-Cola product and a touch of lime. That would conger up some good spirits.

G-LO: This stuff is really easy to drink. I’m half way through the big sample you sent.

AK: Uh, I must have poured less…

G-LO: Pour more!

AK: Uhhhh (as he pours third one)

G-LO: That’s My Boy!

AK: If I only had a lime and some cola.

G-LO: So you don’t like it straight?

AK: Oh, no. I do, indeed. I could sit with this stuff on the porch in the swinging chair looking out over the magnolias and the pond if we had a porch and a swinging chair, magnolias and a pond. I do declare!

G-LO: Rum Mint Julep!

AK: That sounds yummy.

G-LO: It really does! I think Dr. Davis is on to something here with Thea One. This stuff is really tasty. Price?

AK: Under $40 I believe. I was expecting it to be rough around the edges but was pleasantly surprised

G-LO: Once again, I concur. I’m still going with the Flux Capacitor as the secret Thea One ingredient. What if they distill the rum today, put it in barrels, let them rest in a warehouse, then hop into the DeLorean, time travel to eight years in the future, load the barrels into the DeLorean, and then bring them back to the present day? Somehow that makes more sense to me.

AK: It would make more sense to you since I have no clue what that means. Negative aged spirits is the future. Yesterday.

G-LO: You know, kinda like going back in time to place bets or buy stocks, but in reverse.

AK: Mind. Blown.

G-LO: So apparently this Santeria is a Jamaican style rum. I dig Jamaican rum, and the food too. I can go for some jerk right about now.

AK: They use that same style here trying to max out the esters, Esther. Old school Jamaican rum uses the gunk from a “dunder pit” that has all sorts of stuff marinating in a pit in the jungle.  A bit of ‘da muck gets tron’ in ‘da barrel, mon, to make mo’ flavas come out, don’t ya know.   I have no idea how they recreate this process in Charleston and I don’t want to know.  I do know this rum might be yummy in a jerk seasoning.

G-LO: Mmmmm….

AK: Fascinating science. I love the whole nutty take on aging.  Might be a game changer for the little guys trying to get to market faster.

G-LO: I’m with ya! Even if Witch Doctor Davis’s experiments aren’t all winners (though they have been in my book!), you can’t say the guy’s stuff is boring.

AK: Boring his work is not.

G-LO: This was good fun, Sir! Final thoughts?

AK: I like the experimental side of these kids at Rational too. Taking a chance on something that isn’t exactly the tried and true.

G-LO: I guess the good news is that they’ll get results pretty quickly.

AK: I like it. A good everyday rum. Not sure I would have guessed it was not “old” in the traditional sense.

G-LO: They had me fooled for sure. Like I said, it reminds me of the Diplomatico.

AK: The black magic works! Alla Kazam!

G-LO: Hocus pocus to you too! Thanks for sharing this tasty stuff, Brother!

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