AK: Hey, G-LO, you’re an experimental sort, ain’t ya?
G-LO: Depends on the subject. Sometimes I’m a creature of habit. Sometimes I like to get jiggy with it.
AK: OK, Mr. Jiggy, we’re gonna go where many have never gone.
AK: Very close, Captain Jiggy. We are going to the future… Sort of.
G-LO: Do we need roads? Maps? Binoculars?
AK: Only glasses, Mi Amigo. Glencairn glasses, which are better than roads. No tolls or potholes.
G-LO: Beautiful! Sign me up! So where we going?
AK: Well, it’s the future in a very interesting way. Wouldn’t it be great if you went to work on Monday morning and when you got there, it was Friday?
G-LO: That would be spectacular! And a bit disorienting.
AK: Nah! You’re tough. Well, let’s bring this back to something that we love way more than work. Whisky!
G-LO: Ahhhh! Now we’re speaking in similar tongues. What are we drinking?
G-LO: Hey now! If anyone’s an abomination around here, it’s you, Pal!
AK: Guilty as charged. But this is a far better evil creation since it’s our favorite beverage. Remember we’re going to the future. And our friends Bryan and Joanne have got something really cooked up here.
G-LO: Bryan Davis is the Voodoo High Priest of all things beautiful and distilled! Is this one of those rapid aging things he does?
AK: Indeed it is. Abomination is the first whisky he’s made using his rapid-aging technology gizmo, THEA. Throw the spirit in and – BOOM! – a few hours later you have Abomination that’s supposed to be aged like it’s been in a barrel for years! The future is now! Nutty, huh? The spirit goes to work on Monday and the next thing it knows, it’s Friday Friday, Gotta get down on Friday, Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend!
G-LO: Insanity, Rebecca! And if it’s as good as that Santeria Rum we had, then we’re gonna have some good old fashioned whisky fun tonight!
AK: Yep! Abomination is the name of the whisky line though the label says “malt”. It’s whisky in my book. But I’m not much of a reader.
G-LO: I’m with ya. If it looks like whisky, and it tastes like whisky, then it’s whisky in my book too! Though I guess there are a few regulatory bodies that would say otherwise. Screw those guys!
AK: I’m anti-The Man so I’m right there with you! Now aside from the fast aging science-y stuff. These first batches from Lost Spirits have another interesting quirk: The spirit comes from an undisclosed distillery… in Scotland…on…Islay! No clue which distillery supplied the spirit, but we can narrow it down to eight guesses. We know all about Undisclosed distilleries, don’t we?
G-LO: The plot thickens! So we’ve got new make Islay spirit that travels all the way to Cali, then goes through some monolithic rapid aging machine and then comes out looking like a very mature looking Islay whisky. That’s a helluva concept! It’s practically Weird Science! Cue the Thomas Dolby!
AK: You’ve blinded me with whisky! But there’s more…
G-LO: Do tell, Maestro! I’m all ears.
AK: That malt is heavy peated. Now you can say BOOM!
AK: Well said. There are two expressions of The Abomination. Let’s dig into the first one, uniquely named “The Crying of the Puma”.
G-LO: And all this time I thought only doves cried. Pouring. (glug glug glug…)
AK: Doves really cry on The Island of Dr. Moreau, and that’s where the name of the expression came from. Apparently Mr. Davis is a fanboy of that classic book and he’s naming the whiskies in the Abomination line after chapters in the book.
AK: Let’s just say, you’d make a great Panda/St. Bernard. Care to put that schnoz to work?
G-LO: Certainly! We’re not gonna talk about the appearance. Cause then we’ll get all sad when we dare speak her name. Again.
AK: Correct. No names! I love inside blogger references, by the way.
G-LO: It sure does smell like whisky!
AK: Indeed it does. And whiffy of peaty. Licorice and a bit maritime-y. Dirty old leather. The smell, not you.
G-LO: Absolutely! But not overpoweringly so. It’s subtly peaty.
AK: Smoked leather! There’s a bite in that aroma.
G-LO: Gingerbread cookies! Getting some baked apple and cinnamon too.
AK: No thanks, I had dessert. Oh, the smell! Yes, I get that too. I love the color. I want shoes that rich color.
G-LO: I own shoes this color. The whisky is cheaper.
G-LO: Well, when you only buy shoes every 5 years, ya gotta make sure they’re gonna last!
AK: You’re a pro’s pro. Very economical!
G-LO: You get what you pay for. Your label says they “aged” this using toasted riesling staves. Getting some raisins too.
AK: According to Bryan, the “Puma” uses toasted staves from the riesling barrel made of American oak.
G-LO: I love toast! Rye. Extra butter. Now I smell caraway seeds.
AK: Hey, me too! Lost Spirits buys specific ends of staves from a undisclosed cooperage. They are cut into neat little squarish things that get put into the magic aging machine. Let’s call them Stave Ends or Stave Cubes. The staves are from the same wood recipe so there’s consistency in the batch. Who knew you could buy that?! The barrel maker normally throws away the ends after they’re cut off to make the staves the right length.
G-LO: I’ll buy almost anything if the price is right! How do you know this, Mr. Wizard?
AK: Funny you should ask, Funny Man. The Rocket Scientist wife and I got a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Lost Spirits distillery in the Arts District of Los Angeles. The public opening is coming soon. Fascinating place! Like no distillery I’ve ever been to.
G-LO: No doubt! Bryan is a mad man in a very awesomely spectacular way! Thanks to you, I’ve been able to try mucho from Lost Spirits. Shall we taste?
AK: Uh, I might have already. So, sure!
AK: Oh, by the way…it’s 54%. Easy there, fella.
G-LO: Lightly oily and surprisingly smooth for 54% ABV! I really hate the “smooth” expression when talking about whisky, but it applies here. It’s like liquid silk.
AK: Wow. Rich and oily. And sweet!
G-LO: But not too sweet! And there’s peat. But not too much peat. Balanced? Absolutely!
AK: I get way more of the peat on the nose now. It’s about 45 ppm but your mileage may vary. I love the young, peated whiskies. Call me nuts but sweet and smokey is right in my wheelhouse.
G-LO: WOW! This stuff coats your mouth with flavor. It’s quite dry too.
AK: There’s a flavor there that I can’t place…
G-LO: Give me a hint.
AK: Uh, bigger than a bread box but smaller than Louie Anderson. Maybe cinnamon. Maybe barbecue sauce.
G-LO: Hmmm. Cardamom? NUTMEG!
AK: Definitely Cardamom, Mon.
G-LO: Maybe some candied ginger too. This is dangerous. I can drink the entire sample in one sitting.
AK: What’s interesting is that it has that Lost Spirits “funk” that was so omnipresent in the whiskies they made and barrel aged, pre-THEA. How is that possible?
AK: The spirit is from Islay and the aging is from a machine. I no get. But the funk is there. (Scratches head. Drinks more.)
G-LO: It’s an awesome funk! Like Super Funkadelic Funkity Funk Funk!
AK: I like the finish. Think this thing is getting peatier for me. It Ard-begs for another pour.
G-LO: The finish lingers for a looooooong time!
AK: Crazy long actually.
G-LO: Geez. We’re gonna need an intermission before Act 2. Got water in the Southland?
AK: We do now. #AlmostDroughtFree. It is really easy drinking, isn’t it? I gotta tell you, that new space Lost Spirits has carved out is crazy. I need to go back after they officially open.
G-LO: I may need to fly out again for a visit! And yes. SUPER easy drinking!
AK: It’s a wacky combination of the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean rides.
G-LO: Well that sounds fun! They make Tiki drinks?
AK: Apparently Bryan designed amusement parks in a former life. And the new Lost Spirits home is another wacky creation of his with amusement park-ness minus the churros.
G-LO: Really? He gets crazier by the minute. Love it!
AK: No tiki drinks yet but there’s a rum bar that is something right out of Polynesia…
G-LO: Polynesia! They serve Pupu platters?
AK: No pupu, Papa. Then you take a few steps up to wooden landing that’s in a jungle and you get on a boat… Did I mention that we’re in an old warehouse with no windows?
G-LO: Ummm. I’m in my family room. How much have you been drinking? Though if you’re alone in a family room, is it really a family room?
AK: Sometimes I wonder myself. Seriously, you step off the landing that is in this indoor jungle and get on a boat. Think: raft from Adventureland to Tom Sawyer’s Island at Disneyland without the little kid who is about to fall overboard because his parents are too busy inventorying all the pins they’ve bought in the last three days. But I digress. The Lost Spirits boat is on a “river” of water. Did I mention that this place is in a warehouse? Am I making any sense?
G-LO: You did, Rabbit. You did. And, no, you’re not.
AK: …and then Bryan captains the boat “upriver”. This boat can easily fit 10 people. The water in the river is used in for the condenser for the stills when they start distilling there.
G-LO: Madness abounds in the land of Lost Spirits! Definitely sounds like my kind of Magic Kingdom. But does he have a DiVine?
AK: BoozeLand! Once you get up river and disembark, you’re at the mash tun. Then you walk a circuitous route through the jungle by the fermenting tanks and right up to the stills that look like dragons. Bryan likes dragons.
G-LO: That sounds wild! Very Game of Thrones.
AK: Then you walk through two big doors that were probably stolen from a castle and you are in THEAland, or as Bryan calls it, “our barrelhouse”. But of course, there are no barrels because HE DOESN’T NEED ANY!
G-LO: So right from THEA to the bottling line?
AK: Right! Now after you check out the THEA reactors which are the about the size of Coke machine you head back from whence you came and it’s back to the boat. Cuz you have to go back downstream, right?
G-LO: You know, now I’m thinking Apocalypse Now. The Horror. The Horror. Did you find Kurtz?
AK: I heard shrieks but didn’t investigate. I forgot my machete. There’s another stop along the way: The Whisky Room. This room faces out to the jungle and the decor is early Captain Jack with feng shui courtesy of The Addams Family. There’s a long dark wood table surrounded on three sides with antique looking furniture. Bryan says this is where he’ll do tasting events. But this is a techie jungle Whisky Room; we need more of these, by the way. A huge screen comes down from the jungle sky and Bryan leads us through a fascinating presentation on the science of whisky and flavor. Bring a periodic table if you come out. You’ll need it. The Rocket Scientist followed along easily. I just wanted another shot of Abomination.
G-LO: Captain Jack may not get you high tonight, but he might get you drunk! I want more Abomination too!
AK: Let’s jump into the other expression, “The Sayers of the Law”.
G-LO: Let’s! Similar color. Don’t say her name!
AK: She will remain unspoken. Now when I got these bottles, being the idiot I am, I couldn’t figure out the difference. The labeling is exactly the same except one is black and one is red. Pinhead me didn’t see the expression name vertically off to the side. Luckily, Bryan pointed out the names and the differences.
G-LO: So they’re both aged with riesling staves, but one set of staves is toasted while the other is charred.
AK: Correct, Professor! Same heavily peated Islay malt. Different stave cubes used in the reactor. Less peat on the nose for the “Sayers”.
G-LO: More vapory though for whatever reason. I love it when distillers play around like this, i.e. messing with one component to get different results.
AK: Yep. Fascinating how things are so different. Definitely more vapory.
AK: The Evil Doctors of Whisky!
G-LO: Totally! Lords of the Spirit World!
AK: I’m getting a little cumin.
G-LO: This doesn’t smell as sweet.
AK: Nope. Not a whole lot of aroma.
G-LO: Getting some fennel and peat.
AK: I might drop a bit of water in on a second go with this one.
G-LO: Just caught a note I can’t place. Mesquite perhaps? Like in Brimstone. Burnt sugar too. Like when you leave BBQ sauce coated chicken on the grill to long.
AK: Hmmm. I’m not getting much of anything. Definitely no smoke. But, again, you’re a pro.
G-LO: Nah. I’m using my imagination.
AK: You’ll do well in college. Shall we partake?
G-LO: Or maybe I’m just hungry? Partaking…
AK: Mmmm..food. Love that deep rich….color.
G-LO: Scarlett! Not that other vixen. Once again, it’s lightly oily. A bit hotter though.
AK: Yep. Bit hotter but still 54%. Oddly less smokey to me.
G-LO: Yep. Still totally drinkable sans agua. There’s a little bitterness in the finish. Not bad bitter. More like Fernet bitter.
AK: I get that bitterness too. Second taste is much sweeter. Not nearly as much as the “Puma”. More astringent. Cloves, burned cloves actually.
G-LO: I’m getting that too! I think I like the Puma a bit better. This is still quite good, but not as well balanced as the Puma.
AK: The smell is different now. I’m getting the “funk” now.
G-LO: George Clinton! Or is this more Bootsy Collins?
AK: I agree, P-Funk. Puma feels more complete.
G-LO: Yep. Though to tell you the truth, the second taste was better than the first.
AK: I’m going to get a bit Bill Nye-y here and add a bit of that two hydrogen atoms/one oxygen atom combo and see what happens.
G-LO: It improves as you drink more of it. Or maybe I’m just getting tipsy? Then again, how can you tell the difference? This is me we’re talking about after all.
AK: Always talking about you. So narcissistic.
G-LO: What’s your point?
AK: Wow. Way more licorice on the nose with the added water. Maybe even those elegant band-aid notes too.
AK: I’m a generic shopper. More CVS brand than Target. Smells “hotter” too. This thing changed with water. And wayyyy more sweeter. Different dram all together.
G-LO: Opens it up a bit?
AK: More than a bit.
G-LO: Releases the oils perhaps?
AK: Chewier too which doesn’t make sense either.
G-LO: Kinda like when you splash water on your face after the Hai Karate dissipates. Brings the aromas back to the surface.
AK: That’ll get you all the hot babes!
G-LO: I’m getting some sweetness now in the nose.
AK: Did you add agua, Mi Amigo?
G-LO: Si! With my handy dandy Jewbilee dropper.
G-LO: That’s Mr. Fancy to you, Buckaroo! Definitely hotter tasting too! Like a chile pepper and cinnamon red hot. Though not overwhelming.
AK: Speaking of Jewbilee, Bryan told me that a certain Jewbilee organizer told him that Abomination tasted like it could have been a 15 year old whisky. He was only off by… 15 years.
G-LO: The Scot or the Other Guy?
AK: No comment. Wait, there’s two guys?
G-LO: Maybe the other Other Guy???
AK: There’s always an other guy.
G-LO: Do we need another guy?
AK: Guys we got. We need gals! I can defiantly say that these are not young tasting. And I guess that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
G-LO: Agreed! Kinda have a Bowmore Devil’s Cask vibe. Could it be Bowmore spirit?
AK: Ooh, interesting comparison! I was thinking Caol Ila but who the heck knows and Bryan won’t say. Still like Puma more than Sayers, but Sayers got better with water. Bryan says that the LA spot will be a rum distillery initially. Right now, any distilling going on is happening up at their original location in Salinas, CA. LA won’t be operational for distilling until the federal permits come through. You know how the government is? But when they get the official go-ahead, it’s full speed ahead up and down their river.
G-LO: Oh, don’t tell me about the governmental pencil-pushers! I absolutely concur on the Sayer with water! Puma has a better balance. More nuanced. Ain’t I fancy?
AK: You know all the big words.
G-LO: Not big, but definitely fancy. Sounds French. I can go for a baguette or a croissant. But not a croissandwich. THAT’s a real abomination.
AK: Sayers might be really good for cocktails. I like that you like food.
G-LO: Thanks! You’re cute too, Doc.
AK: Evil Abomination combinations, which is really hard to say.
G-LO: Tongue twister! Next you’re gonna ask me to make like Audrey Horne and knot a Maraschino cherry stem.
AK: You’re my kind of date! Care to guess on the name of the next expression? Pick one of these…
- I. IN THE DINGEY OF THE “LADY VAIN”
- II. THE MAN WHO WAS GOING NOWHERE
- III. THE STRANGE FACE
- IV. AT THE SCHOONER’S RAIL
- V. THE MAN WHO HAD NOWHERE TO GO
- VI. THE EVIL-LOOKING BOATMEN
- VII. THE LOCKED DOOR
VIII. THE CRYING OF THE PUMA
- IX. THE THING IN THE FOREST
- X. THE CRYING OF THE MAN
- XI. THE HUNTING OF THE MAN
XII. THE SAYERS OF THE LAW
- XIII. THE PARLEY
- XIV. DOCTOR MOREAU EXPLAINS
- XV. CONCERNING THE BEAST FOLK
- XVI. HOW THE BEAST FOLK TASTE BLOOD
- XVII. A CATASTROPHE
- XVIII. THE FINDING OF MOREAU
- XIX. MONTGOMERY’S BANK HOLIDAY
- XX. ALONE WITH THE BEAST FOLK
- XXI. THE REVERSION OF THE BEAST FOLK
- XXII. THE MAN ALONE
G-LO: Geez… Insanity abounds!
AK: I want Abomination “A Catastrophe”!
AK: Brilliant show! A good drinking show! Rob Delaney is hilarious. The final frontier for Carrie Fisher too.
G-LO: Oops. For a second there I thought this was a pop culture podcast.
AK: It’s not?
G-LO: It is? IT IS! If we want it to be.
AK: I’m very confused. Isn’t this Bill Simmons’ podcast? Boy, did I make a wrong turn at iTunes.
G-LO: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
AK: In the opposite direction. A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a Danish.
G-LO: Parting thoughts? Word association! Bryan Davis?
AK: Nuts/Creative! Puma?
G-LO: Delicious! Balanced! THEA?
AK: Futuristic. Sayers?
AK: Better with water.
AK: Lost Spirits?
AK: That will be $90. Should we bill your insurance company?
G-LO: Yes. I got the good plan. IBX Personal Choice. No referrals. Add on an MRI and a colonoscopy while you’re at it.
AK: I like a bonus procedure! I like the Abominations too. And it’s hard not to like the inventiveness of Lost Spirits and the playground that’s their new home in Los Angeles. Get off your butt and come out here so we can get lost in the indoor jungle only to survive on rum and whisky! That’s my kind of episode of Lost and you won’t be disappointed after Season 2.