Whiskey Life

Book Review: Chasing the White Dog
For some whiskey aficionados, myself included, the renegade, outlaw spirit of whiskey is part of its overall appeal. It's as if we think that by drinking a product that has gone through various stages of legality and social acceptability throughout its history we can ourselves become just a bit more bad-ass, in that James Dean, John Wayne sort of way...click to keep reading

Book Review: 99 Drams of Whiskey
I just finished reading 99 Drams of Whiskey: The Accidental Hedonist's Quest for the Perfect Shot and the History of the Drink by Kate Hopkins. Ms. Hopkins is a food writer whose blog Accidental Hedonist covers all things tasty - from beer and whiskey to cheese and candy. 99 Drams is Ms. Hopkins' first book-length effort, and it uses the informal writing style found in her blog to make learning about the history and culture of whiskey entertaining, for whiskey connoisseurs and novices alike...click to keep reading

Whiskey Bars Poppinig Up Everywhere in Philadelphia
Over the past few years the bar scene in Philadelphia has really taken off. Dozens of new brewpubs, craft-beer dens, and "fashionable speakeasy" style bars, have opened in various neighborhoods across the city, and most of them seem to be doing plenty of business, which is great to see. Recently we've even seen the addition of a few new whiskey-focused bars, to compete with some of the great whiskey bars that have been serving the thirsty in Philadelphia for years....click to keep reading

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: Whiskey River by Willie Nelson

Building A Home Bar on A Budget - Part 1 of ???
A good home bar serves many purposes. It acts as a form of home decoration and a conversation starter; it allows for at-home pre-gaming before a night out on the town; and most importantly a home bar provides quick and varied drinks for impromptu guests, dinner parties, and nightcaps after those long days at work. I get a lot of questions from friends about the best way to put together a home bar on a budget, so I thought I'd share a few tips over the course of several posts, starting with this one...click to keep reading

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: Rain is a Good Thing by Luke Bryan
Book Review: The Business of Spirits
I have a confession to make: I am a nerd. Let's be clear, I'm not a Star Wars nerd or a World of Warcraft nerd, although there's nothing wrong with those, but I am very nerdy about certain topics. One of them, as evidenced by this blog, is whiskey. Another of my nerdy interests is business & economics. I read Forbes just for fun and I get a real kick out of reading over Harvard Business School case studies. My most recent reading material, The Business of Spirits by Noah Rothbaum tapped into my nerdy interests in both whiskey and business, making for a double dose of nerdy reading pleasure...click to keep reading

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: Train to Birmingham by John Hiatt

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer by John Lee Hooker

Building A Home Bar on A Budget - Part 2 of ???
After much anticipation, I present to you the second post in my series on how to build a home bar on a budget. This post will cover what I consider to be the best part of building your home bar - shopping for booze! Yes, I like this even better than drinking the booze which comes in a close second. As discussed in my previous post, setting a budget is an important first step to building your home bar, so I'll break this lesson down into four parts - the basics that apply across the board, as well as sample shopping lists for three different budget levels...click to keep reading

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: I Drink Along by George Thorogood and The Destroyers

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: Last Call by Lee Ann Womack

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) by The Doors

Whiskey Movie: On the Irish Whiskey Trail
Netflix can be a dangerous thing - thanks to their modern technology and endless library of titles I spend untold hours watching movies that I never would have known existed in pre-Netflix days. On the Irish Whiskey Trail fits this description. I found it on Netflix while browsing through the documentary category, and added it to my queue on a whim. Turns out On the Irish Whiskey Trail is more like a commercial for Irish Whiskey disguised as an hour-and-a-half long travel documentary...click to keep reading

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss

Saturday Night Whiskey Song: American Pie by Don McLean

A Couple New Micro Distilleries
While going through the emails piled up in my inbox - which isn't nearly as fun as a big stack of paper mail used to be after a long vacation - I came across articles about two new micro-distilleries whose whiskies have recently hit the market and sound quite interesting....click to keep reading

 Back to the Music: Tennessee Whiskey

The Ballad of Chester Copperpot

Jim Murray's 2011 Whisky Bible
For whisk(e)y aficionados Jim Murray's annual Whisky Bible has been indispensable since it was first published in 2003...click to keep reading

Update from Portland 
After spending my first full day in Portland, Oregon I've already added it to my list of favorite cities. I mean what's not to like - great public transit, super-nice people, good coffee, great beer, and did I mention that I'm here for the Great American Distillers Festival which is held here for good reason...click to keep reading 

Top Five Whiskeys from Great American Distillers Festival
I'm back from the Great American Distillers Festival in Portland, OR, and now that I'm over my jet-lag I thought I'd start writing about it a bit. First things first, there was some good whiskey at the festival that I hadn't had a chance to taste before. So without further ado, my top five whiskies from the weekend:...click to keep reading

Best of the Rest from Portland
I already gave you the run down on the top five whiskeys that I tasted in Portland, but I also tasted a lot of other craft spirits that at least deserve a mention. So, in no particular order, the best of the rest:...click to keep reading 

Book Review: The Art of Distilling Whiskey and Other Spirits
The Art of Distilling Whiskey and Other Spirits is a must read for anyone interested in the production process, history, or future of fine spirits. It's edited by Bell Owens and Alan Dikty, two of the biggest names in the distilling industry...click to keep reading

The 2010 Philadelphia Whiskey Festival
Last night I attended the seventh annual Philadelphia Whiskey Festival put on by Philadelphia Magazine. This was the first time I'd attended this event, and my first surprise was the crowd - apparently Philadelphia has a lot of whiskey drinkers and they have no problem coming out on a Wednesday evening. After waiting in line for half an hour to get to the check-in table I finally got a wrist band and made my way into the crowded Ballroom at the Ben - a lovely venue for sippin' whiskey....click to keep reading

Last Minute Gifts for the Whiskey Aficionado on your List
It's almost Christmas, but I'm sure you've probably put some of your gift buying off til the last minute. Well if you have whiskey aficionados on your gift list you're in luck because I've compiled a handy list of great gifts for whiskey-lovers. Happy Holidays!...click to keep reading

Book Review: Mountain Spirits
I had been told by several people that Mountain Spirits by Joseph Earl Dabney is a must read for anyone interested in the history of American spirits. After devouring it in just a few days I must admit that it's one of the most entertaining, educational, and hard-to-put-down books I've read in a long time. Mountain Spirits' anecdotes of life in the Southern Appalachians will appeal to history buffs and Southerners, even of the non-drinking variety. If you do like a glass of corn whiskey with your history lesson then you're really in for a treat as Dabney recounts the tales of numerous moonshiners, bootleggers, whiskey runners, and revenuers...click to keep reading

Book Review: More Mountain Spirits
It was such an entertaining book that I jumped right into reading its sequel, appropriately titled More Mountain Spirits. The lengthy and descriptive subtitle of More Mountain Spirits is "The Continuing Chronicle of Moonshine Life and Corn Whiskey, Wines, Ciders & Beers in America's Appalachians." That's a mouthful of a subtitle...click to keep reading
Book Review: Boozehound
Over the course of a quick summer vacation I was able to breeze through a very entertaining and educational book called Boozehound by Jason Wilson. The subtitle of the book is On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits, which sums things up very nicely and really reels you in if you're the type of person who reads blogs like mine. The author is the Spirits Columnist for the Washington Post, a great job title if ever there was one, and he also has some local Philadelphia connections - former Philadelphia Magazine writer, teacher at Drexel University, and resident of South Jersey, just over the river. The dry wit and snide humor that I've read in Wilson's columns comes through perfectly in book form, and makes for a breezy, fun read even for non-spirits-snobs...click to keep reading

Book Review: The Social History of Bourbon
Disclaimer: this book took me a long while to get through, so I apologize to the author if I forget anything from the first half. Given that The Social History of Bourbon by Gerald Carson was published in 1963, I thought it would be acceptable to take my time with it since nothing in there could be late-breaking news. Like many a well-aged bourbon, this book went down just fine as a slow and easy sipper...click to keep reading 

Whisk(e)y Event Season is Approaching
As fall approaches so do the annual series of whisk(e)y festivals, events, and celebrations. I'm not sure why they all seem to fall during the same few months every year - at least in the Northeast - but it makes for a fun time!...click to keep reading