Sunday, May 1, 2011


I just wanted to a quick goodbye and a rundown of some of the highlights and lowlights from this blog. A farewell, and a few questions aswered.

Least Awful Drink
I'll still pick up a bottle of Night Train or Irish Rose every once in a while when I wanna get crazy with friends. It's not good by any means but, compared to T-Bird or Mad Dog, it's pretty palatable and it'll get you trashed fairly efficiently. The Pelinkovac, that weird Croatian wormwood/cinnamon thing, was actually fairly decent and I'm still working through the bottle, throwing a splash of it into Manhattans or just as flavoring in soda water every once in a while-- it's one of the few I'd recommend picking up if you have a chance..

Most Awful
The top two are Malort and that time I made prison wine, but Malort is established and successful solely on how terrible it is and the prison wine was designed to be undrinkable-- and then I think I screwed up the fermentation process and made poison. So out of the legitimate, cheap hobo-drink contenders, it's  Jacquin's Banana. Most of the other really awful things I'll sometimes pick up just for fun or to horrify my friends (really want a bottle of Malort to call my own, to be honest), but I am never touching that again.

Best ReviewI really like how the Mill Stream review turned out-- it makes so little sense that it would end up turning into a joint review of bad whiskey and a short-lived Sonic show from the 90's, but there's a really surreal beauty to it. I wish I'd done more reviews that just went absolutely nuts like that one did. The Thunderbird Cocktail Hour was also pretty great-- I love the way it turns into this Beckett pastiche at the end, and the Final Thoughts just being a picture of Kurtz is one of my favorite jokes I've ever made on this blog.

Worst Review
Probably my El Jimador review. It was around that point that I realized I was both running out of really entertaining stuff to review and starting to fall into some comedic ruts. Also, the running gag there pretty much boiled down to "more nonsensical and snobby references than usual," which... it's just not a very cohesive review, and the subject itself was pretty boring.

Most Fun Review
No contest here, Cossack vodka. Hanging out with one of the greatest people in the world, doing what I do and having a great time. Late that night-- about the point in the review where I pretty clearly leave the computer for a while and come back more drunk -- we just went outside, had a couple smokes in the Massachusetts summer (and I never smoke, except for when the drinking/close friend/nirvanic relaxation ven diagram lines up) and just talked and swapped stories for a while. One hell of a good time.

I never got around to doing any rum or tequila-- the only really clearly disreputable brand the store carried of either was Aristocrat, and we all know how awful that is. I'd have like to have expanded the blog some and tracked down weird foreign liquors and moonshine and stuff like that, but I just never had the time and the money.

Potential Theme Songs
Kimya Dawson-- "The Beer" . The opening line is about having Mad Dog 20/20 for breakfast. Pretty appropriate.
World/Inferno Friendship Society-- "Addicted to Bad Ideas". The chorus is about refusing to give up your worst decisions, drinking/morphine-ing yourself to death, and then they make a reference to Goethe's Faust.
The Mountain Goats-- "Game Shows Touch Our Lives." You gotta watch that video. The introduction he gives is pretty much the zone my brain clicked into at the end of every review. Also "I handed you a drink of the lovely little thing / on which our survival depends. / People say friends don't destroy one another / what do they know about friends?" goes out to everyone who's had T-Bird with me.

And that's it. I love you all-- and please, follow me over at The Triumph. Have good lives, and don't drink what I drink.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Last Review: Pinnacle Whipped Cream and Chocolate Vodka

Goodbye my brothers, my loves, my followers and the cheerleaders of my destruction. It has been a beautiful year and change, a beautiful series of terrible liquors and wines and beers. And this is the last review. I need to keep my liver, and I'm writing twice a week at The Triumph now. If you've enjoyed the ride here, please check out the work I'm doing there-- this has been a hobby, but The Triumph is my passion and my love. I'll have a full farewell post and a real goodbye up here soon, but here is the last review. I love you all and hope you all are happy.

So here it is: the vodka-that-is-not-vodka, something that represents everything wrong with cheap mass-market vodka for people who don't understand why you drink vodka. I was told that I should try the whipped-cream vodka because it was the epitome of "not vodka marketed at teenage girls." So, let us mourn the end of an era and the disgrace that this bullshit brings to a proud alcoholic culture by reviewing it and immersing ourselves in the darkest parts of that culture we can.
Boris Grebenshikov!
Well, it's clear. The label has a dollop of whipped cream and a generic Hershey's kiss on it, making it clear that this isn't even going to taste like good chocolate. According to the label, they import the vodka from France and then infuse it in Maine, which is...horrifying. With the exception of Grey Goose, which I really like, I don't think the French quite understand the point of vodka-- they make Ciroc out of grapes, for christ's sake. And even the people who don't go for the strong, peppery, harsh beauty of vodka-- that stark Russian beauty, that alcoholic Raskolnikovian seething --even they think that this chocolate cream shit is only for Americans.
This vodka is the equivalent of the pawnbroker's retarded sister.
The label design is pretty bad, too-- it's a translucent sticker with visible adhesive. Can I just say here that this is the same price range as Smirnoff, but that Smirnoff has some of my favorite label design in vodka? Seriously, their really-Russian redesign as of late is really gorgeous. not. The bottle shape is nice, but...the label looks like 5-dollar vodka. Nikolai has a better label.

HOLY SHIT, when you pour it into a glass this thin layer of flavored oil rises to the top. That is... I've never seen that before. What a catastrophic failure. What the hell just happened here? This makes less sense than the second 5-year-plan

It smells like condensed milk. It smells sweeter than whipped cream or chocolate. It's so wretched and wrong that it essentially keeps heaping sugar on there like the way that kids' cereal is just essentially glue and artificial sweeteners because that is the only way to trick kids into thinking it's good. It smells like Cocoa Pebbles covered in condensed milk. And then with pancake syrup over that. It's something awful and wretched that covers itself with false beauty. Like how St. Petersburg uses the gold of its domes to distract from the pallid faces of its starving citizens.
Shot in a duel because he was never able to convince himself he deserved his wife.
There's still that poisonous alcohol tinge under it, though, burning under the bottom. And while that can be a nice element of certain vodka flavors, it doesn't marry with the cream and the sugar and the candy flavors-- that alcoholic burn in no way matches the rest of the flavors, and that disconnect makes it clear that this was designed as an insult to actual vodka and a candy-ass attempt to get people drink who in no way understand the good things in this world. It exists in a bizarre culture where there's no real joy, just hollow "fun" and a secret sickness no one will admit.

God, it has been so goddamn fun writing this blog. Thank you.

TASTEIt tastes like the worst White Russian ever. There's no real chocolate flavor here, just really artificial sugar. It tastes like (I'm just assuming here, having no real-- well, no remembered experience) breast milk and splenda.

"We are all whores here, we drink as deep as moths." --A. Akhmatova, wondrous drunk
It's that really chemical sweetness that a lot of this bad booze has, the kind that coats your mouth and clings to it like you've just chugged some olive oil. Only this clinging sweet oil tastes like milk. Sort of. It actually tastes vaguely curdled-- sticky and spoiled and pungent. Well, not spoiled, just sour-sweet, like buttermilk.

Again, there's no chocolate here. It just tastes like extra sugar.  It's like how someone who doesn't like coffee tries to drink it through syrups and flavors and bullshit starbucks orders, only with vodka instead of coffee. This tastes like an office drone trying to get drunk and hide it by just mixing his vodka with non-dairy creamer and Splenda. With that acrid simmer of bitterness and bile that stands out as a separate flavor from the rest, like a tumor clinging to the underside of the sweetness and the milk. Like, there's a line in the Mountain Goats "Missouri" "Spent a long time staring at the residue / blood, milk, and oil." That's what this actually tastes like.
On the plus side, the sugar and alcohol make it a great preservative.

I'm glad I got to end with this one. It's not the worst, but there's been no liquor yet that missed the point of liquor so quickly. This tastes like a sorority party, like the absolute absence of joy in alcohol. This is no Malort, no Banana Hitler or T-Bird, but it's... I can't think of a reason why you'd ever want this. It's just straight-up bad, there's nothing fun or special here-- it's mass-produced sugary syrupy mediocrity and filth and the joyless underbelly of American liquor.

Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for encouraging me in these goddamn bad ideas and this vodka that tastes like Mother Russia's breast milk. You've been a wonderful audience, and this has been a terrible bottle.
DSCH's terror-grin under the boot of pure evil pretty much epitomizes it. It's been a year of bumwine and living like the 3rd quartet.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thunderbird Cocktail Hour.

Today is an awful day.
Today we picked up a bottle of Thunderbird with the intent of making cocktails out of it.  We're going to work with one of the worst things in the world--one of my greatest nemeses--and see how we can make it drinkable. We picked up some special ingredients that should be interesting to work with, and are gonna figure out the best way to drink Thunderbird.

The least awful way. The-- a way to drink Thunderbird.

Look: I've reviewed the Bird before, but as a recap:  looks vaguely yellow and lymph-like. Not a lot of color. But what there is is bad.
Taste: Man, it's been too long since I've had the Bird because I was not ready for that. It tastes like diesel with sugarcubes and grapes mixed in. It's simultaneously bitter and sweet and chemical and, while not the worst, is the epitome of everything wrong with what I do for fun.

I think it was with Thunderbird that Gallo really came into its own, commercially and artistically.
Special ingredient: This weird-as-hell bottled blue margarita that I picked up at the liquor store for two dollars. What makes it so strange is that it's not a real margarita--it has regular triple sec, not blue curacao. It's just tequila, triple sec, artificial lime, and blue dye. It looks, tastes, and smells exactly like melted blue freeze pops.
"What color was it mom?"

Recipe: Equal parts blue margarita mix and Thunderbird.
Look: Exactly like Windex. Exactly.
Verdict: It has the sweet tartness of an unripe plum, but that's where the similarity to anything legitimately  natural. It mostly just tastes sour and vaguely papery. Yeah. Kinda like a library book and a bag of lemons in a blender. With windex. It does not work. It actually has very little effect on the thunderbird itself.

But seriously. Why is it blue? If it's just the ingredients of a margarita, why would you make it blue? What does the windex color add to it that it was lacking otherwise?
"Why did you give me this blue margarita bullshit?"
Special Ingrdient: Red Bull.
Recipe: Equal parts Thunderbird and Red Bull. Fuckin duh.
Look: Looks pretty good actually. Sort of a golden coppery color. Looks like a beer I'd willingly drink.
Verdict: Does not taste like anything I'd willingly drink. The sweetness of the Bull really brings out the sweetness in Thunderbird, but there's nothing to counterbalance the awful parts. When you try and drink it quickly this really powerful tart flavor builds up and it gets hard to finish the rest. Better than the bluebird, but not by a lot.

It's sad, old and musty-tasting, over-sweet while being somehow bitter. It's the worst candy from the purse of the worst grandma.
I don't want to kiss you, you remind me of my own death.
That's the one.
 Special Ingredient: Absente Absinthe. Green, herbal, bitter, and strong as fuck. We decided to name it after Fuseli because of his Romantic, gothic nature and the pure horror that this drink inspired.
Recipe: 1 part absinthe, 3 parts Thunderbird.
Look: Weirdly enough, it doesn't cloud up like a lot of absinthe cocktails do. It just looks thin and green and bilious and, well, it looks like fuckin flat Mountain Dew. Which is grotesque. Which, well, is fitting to the name but I don't exactly look at Fuseli paintings and get thirsty.
Verdict: This is honestly the worst one yet. The bitterness in the absinthe comes lurching out like the darkness of man with the Bird there to help it along, and all the herbal elements wind up bound to the bitter awful aspects of the thunderbird. And the fact that the absinthe is 110-proof makes the bumwine harder to drink, not easier, thus defeating the point of this whole exercise. It's two things bringing out the absolute worst in each other to create a single, new syzzygy of horrible.
"This is a song. About two people who love each other. Very much."
Special ingredient: plain old orange juice. Let's make this wholesome and healthy, people. Jesus I have reached a low point in my life when mixing thunderbird with absinthe is considered a healthy alternative to what I would normally be doing. What have I done? What choices have you encouraged me in?
Recipe: 1 part t-bird, 2 parts oj.
Look: looks like orange juice.
Verdict: tastes like orange juice. With a slight tinge of garbage water. High amount of oj makes it hard to use up the bird, but this is the most drinkable. Try this in future. It's a good idea.
What I've become, Lisa.
Special Ingredient: All of the above. A symphony of crime.
Recipe: Like I give even one eighth of half a fuck. Like I give one-sixteetnth of a fuck.
Look: It looks creamy, opaque, yellowy-teal. It looks pretty much exactly like the thin liquid bile that dribbles from your throat when your stomach is empty but you keep retching. I want to point out that my eyelid is legit twitching right now. THUNDERBIRD.
Verdict: The red bull is definitely the strongest flavor. The whole thing tastes like a candy melange-- when you were a child and you would shove all the sweets at once into your mouth. Was it then, when you were a child, that it took hold, or was it later that you realized that Thunderbird was what suited you? And when you were alone in the dark--when Thunderbird came to one on his back in the dark--did you know that this is where you would be, that the bird would sink his talons into you and that it would taste like sugar and every crime ever committed?
A John Hurt comes to a John Hurt, in the John Hurt.

Guest Post: The Drunkest Ballplayers of All Time

[special treat today: a guest post from my good buddy over at The Desk of Solomon Kelly. Dude writes an absolutely wonderful sports blog and he sent over a post that's thematically appropriate with what he do here (make awful decisions). Enjoy!]

I've been a fan of the Gutrotter since its inception. I think it's a goddamn brilliant idea - and the fact that it must one day end is bittersweet (that my boy might be able to live to thirty is definitely a "pro").

Today I bring you a shiny new entry in my site's continuing Profiles in Not Giving a Fuck series. Tighten your sporting boots, pull up your stockings, wax your mustache and rescind upon a woman's right to vote because this one is all about the Deadball Era of baseball.


"It is literally astounding, how few fucks I am inclined to offer on the matter."

King Kelly had fine-tuned his skills as a World Class Hellraiser in Chicago and didn't miss a beat setting up shop in his new home upon being sold to Boston for a then-unheard of $10,000. Despite four recorded instances in which he managed to steal bases by darting across the infield while the umpire was distracted, Kelly was a great player - ultimately, he was as good at base running as he was at drinking.

And he was very, very good at drinking. 

Kelly's habit was, understandably, the stuff of legends. Some of which seem pretty damn plausible, all things considered (like the one where he brought a mug of beer with him onto the field) - but the actual, factual historical record is just so much better. Once, Boston's League Director himself had to pay a $200 bar tab for his star player's adventures from the night before. The same day, he gets forwarded another one, for another $200 - same night, different bar. In today's currency, that's right about $3,000 apiece.

Yes, yes of course he was Irish. Just bringing home the stereotype, there's the fact that at his wake, "Nothing is Too Good for the Irish" and "Poor Mick" were sung.

Basically, this.


Rabbit Maranville is like this close to being baseball's Patch Adams. Except for the fact that, goofy hat trick aside, dude had an especially dark sense of humor and an insatiable thirst for the cheap stuff.

He once got hammered and, for shits and giggles, staged a murder in his hotel room - complete with gunshots. After screaming and wailing and breaking shit for a few minutes, he stopped, cooly walked by the terrified throng of people amassed outside his door in the hallway, saying only "Hiya fellas!" along the way.

So dude was like... Nega-Patch Adams.


When the New York Yankees' Leo Durocher first laid eyes on Fothergill, the man they called Fats was digging in at the plate. Durocher called for a time out and made the spectacle of running down from the outfield to the umpire to protest. He yelped "Both those men can't bat at once!" When the inning was up, Fothergill chased Durocher into the Yankees dugout and proceeded to beat him down.

He drank hard and lived hard. Legend has it that he once beat Babe Ruth in a drinking contest which is an awful lot like beating Babe Ruth in a whore-mongering contest. Fats also bit an umpire on the hand once, likely mistaking the man for bacon. He ordered steaks by the pallet and was legally classified as a moon. His blood type was "ham".


It's as though Paul "Big Poison" Waner looked back into the past out at the legacies of great ballplaying drinkers like King Kelly and, having already been shitfaced to begin with, pissed all over their shoes. cites Waner as having "the sharpest bloodshot eyes in baseball" and the legendary Casey Stengel once said of him,

"He had to be a very graceful player because he could slide without breaking the bottle in his hip."


Hack Wilson was built like Mr. Incredible after he stopped fighting crime.

He weighed 195 pounds and stood only... holy shit, really? 5'6"! Oh my God, that's the best thing I've ever heard. Hack drank, he fought and he played baseball. That was this dude's life. Rumors that he also gave a fuck have since proved to be false.

Before playing ball for a living, Hack dropped out of the sixth grade and made $4 a week swinging a sledgehammer. Then his big break came and, ultimately playing with the Cubs, Hack put up simply outstanding numbers. He was also arrested in his first year in Chicago at a speak-easy while trying to escape through a back window. Ostensibly, having gotten stuck like Winnie the Pooh, kicking his teeny tiny little legs in the air.

In 1928, he climbed into the grandstands to fight a heckler. In the ensuing chaos, about five thousand people rushed the field. He fought opposing players on the field (like when he walked into the Reds' dugout and pummeled Ray Kolp) as well as off the field (like Pete Donohue, whom he felled at a train station). He was traded only when he fought a pack of reporters.

The year he quit drinking, his batting average actually went down substantially. Then he hopped right the fuck back off the wagon in 1930 and managed to hit fifty six home runs and maintain a batting average of .356. He was voted MVP that season by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New and Unimproved Four Loko (Red Dye Flavor)

First off, wanted to let my readers here know that I'm writing a new blog over at on literature-- similar attitude, slightly different style, but if you dig me here then check it out.

Welp, Four Loko is back in stores now that they've taken the caffeine out, so college kids are gonna have to go back to just crushing Adderal into vodka for their buzz and I have an excuse to review it again. This time I picked the "fruit punch"--or, as the other side of the label warns, FD&C Red #40-- and thought I'd see if it was just as bad as it was before the retool and remarketing.
"We're thinkin' 'Cyclone Beta!'"
By the way, Karim--who's a chemist-- did some research and found out that the red dye in this drink is made from petroleum. Which is an improvement on its original basis: coal tar. Also, there is a correlation between drinking it and being stupid (that's not a joke, that's actually on its wikipedia page). It's also banned in most of Scandinavia. And look, people say a lot of things about how Scandinavia's a nanny state and don't like freedom, but you can get away with a lot of shit in Scandinavia.
Stabbed a dude 26 times in the skull. Spent 12 years in prison. Less evil than FD&C Red #40.

It's actually not red--it's pink. It's very much the color of a watermelon Jolly Rancher--the completely artificial, not-appearing-in-nature-fucking-anywhere pink. There's honestly not a lot I can say here beyond that. I'm a believer that booze should really only be the color of grains, wood, or natural plant matter that goes into making it, and the fact that this candy-colored (the candy-colored fail they call the Loko) speaks volumes against it. Loko just shouldn't be, and if you look at it (which, to be honest, requires drinking it out of a glass, which I can't see any reason to do) it instantly becomes apparent that its only goal is to get you drunk while treating you like a child.
I will do anything for a Gary Glitter joke.
God, how did people never figure out what the hell Gary Glitter was? The man looked like a mascot for a sodomy-themed polo team.

The aroma's strange here. It smells like children's fruit soda and watermelon candy, but it also smells like really skunky, stale malt liquor. It doesn't smell like the two mixed together, but somehow simultaneously both, separately. It's a weird Schrodinger thing where it is both candy-juice and hobo-drank and somehow completely both at the same time. which is, honestly, a pretty accurate prediction of what the drink is. It's multiple things at once, and they're all terrible in unique ways that reveal the sins of all those who consume it.
Have I told you about the Alien God Hivemind today?
Don't take a really big gulp. Don't, for the love of God, swish it around like it was fancy wine. Don't hold it in your mouth, and don't let it get warm.

There is a deep and ancient evil in the core of Four Loko, and all of these things make it bubble to the surface and then claw into your body. The candy sweetness disappears really quickly and there's this spoiled, poisonous bitter flavor like biting into a block of soap. And then it makes you feel ill, not from the bitterness, but from that cold and isolated feeling a wormwood high give you. William Vollmann said that the best thing about absinthe is that it severs the cord that connects the soul to the body and lets you observe yourself in a slow chilled void while still being present. That's here slightly, only you're just disappointed in yourself and you just wanna run away from a body that is increasingly full of Four Loko.
"I asked if he knew how to knife fight and he said, 'have you ever met a gypsy who did not?'"
The lack of caffeine does hurt it here--I remember the last can as being bad, but more fun. The caffeine counteracts that tired sick slowness--which isn't a bad feeling brought about by something tasty, but is godawful here--and you feel lethargic and a little fevery and anaesthetic.

We made a Four Loko cocktail. We named it the Chernobyl (after the Ukrainian word for wormwood), used sweet vermouth (which used to have wormwood in it, hence vermut), and our old strange Croatian friend Pelinkovac, the cinammon-y wormwood liqueur. If I had absinthe I'd throw it in there too, but let's see how this works with a little lemon, brown sugar and Peychaud's Bitters.

Well, it looks like Cherry Coke mixed with spit, but it doesn't taste bad. You should never ever make a Four Loko cocktail, but this actually worked. The Pelinkovac's spices added some depth to counterbalance the candy flavor, the vermouth helped to nullify the skunky beer flavor, and the lemon and brown sugar counterbalance the wormwood. Still though, I'd rather taste the ingredients in their own drink, without the Loko around, but if you need to drink Four Loko (like need, like Hans Gruber is holding your family hostage unless you drink it and you're too much of a pussy to stop him), this'll choke it back.
"I'm going to count to Four Loko. There will not be a Five Loko."
For real wormoody flavor we would have used Malort. But seriously, I don't want to drink Malort ever again.

We then decided to make a Loko Sidecar--substituting the awful for the Cointreau--because we're scholars goddamnit. This, was, well...we renamed it the creeping horror. The brandy isn't sweet enough to negate the bitterness and the lemon doesn't counteract the candy flavor. The whole thing tastes really bitter and not refreshing in the least. I'm just puckered and sick-feeling now. It just makes everything worse, and marks one of the only times I've just disgustedly thrown the remnants of a glass into the sink.Thanks Brandy. Thanks Four Loko.

Welp, they should have left caffeine in. The buzz here is just awful-- slow and unfeeling and the sense of wet steam. What Tom Waits described as "ragwater, bitters, and the ruin." Don't drink Four Loko. I mean, if you're at a party and crazy and a goddam hipster, knock yourself the fuck out, but don't drink it if you wanna have a good quiet evening.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The American Vodka

So I was feeling really shitty earlier today--no particular reason, just y'know, brain problems. Probably from all the Thunderbird--and I was driving around town blasting the Moon Colony Bloodbath EP to get my head in the right place. And then I found myself in the vicinity of the town's big nice ABC store, which is also the same place I got Pelinkovac, one of the weirdest and most out-of-place things I've ever reviewed.

And there it was. It was cheaper than Five O' Clock, at like five bucks for a 750 ml bottle--making it twice as alcoholic as and only 50% more expensive than Thunderbird. It had a bizarre, ambiguous name that didn't make any sense. And that label:
(I feel kinda dirty now-- lemme wash that out). Oh, can I just mention that, of course of course, this was distilled and bottled in Bardstown Kentucky? Yes, it was. Jesus that place is like the Mordor of booze.

It's clear. 

First, I wanna say that I don't know if I love that label or fucking hate it. I mean, yes it's really cheesy, but (although you can't see it in that photo), the silver and red on the crest are both reflective. And it's in bas-relief. Plus the fact that the banner in the Eagle's claws says "Quality and Integrity" is fucking hilarious.The colors are mis-aligned though, so they can't print their kickass logo right.
Gonna ride a big truck / gonna kick some ass / gonna kick some ass in the USA.
I also really hate the name. Americans can make good vodka. We can make fucking amazing vodka-- Tito's holds its own against anything. That's The American Vodka. This is only representative of America around 1799, when our navy was twenty ships and our president so depressed he just left town in the middle of the night.

The bottle also has a huge, obvious seam in the glass and-- is that a fucking bubble? There's a bubble in the glass. Way to go guys.

Well, I'll hand The American Vodka this-- it doesn't smell sugary or industrial like a lot of the vodkas I've reviewed. It doesn't smell like much of anything.

Oh, apart from the alcohol of course. That's there. Is it ever. TAV makes up for not having any real aroma by smelling roughly like 100% alcohol. Just taking a strong huff makes me woozy and tingly.
Looks like I picked the wrong fucking vodka.
 There is...there is something definitely weird going on here. There's a little sweetness, and a lot of chemical flavor, but there's some other thing going on. Like America, its true core is elusive. There's... it's a little bit like broccoli? I think?

It's kind of...creamy, I guess. A little buttery. Like a broccoli-croissant sandwich, which actually sounds delicious, but not in alcohol form. Putting on ice lessens the burn and brings that more to the forefront, but it also makes this weird bitter note more apparent. Like...spoiled milk, I think.

I'm not gonna lie, this shit is weird as hell.
"Weird like the Polish."
It doesn't taste like vodka, to be honest. It's too tart, too creamy, too herbal. It tastes like some new kind of liquor which no one ever invented because buttered-sprouts-with-lemon-aquavit is a godawful idea. I don't even know what's going on here, but it does taste vaguely like milk and vegetables. So...healthy?

My girlfriend got me a nice martini shaker with recipes engraved on it for Christmas. She only just got it to me recently, because that's how she rolls, but hey. It's a good gift, and she knows me well. And I just fuckin' defiled it to see how this would taste with lime.
What I did.
Well, lime, brown sugar, splash of water. It's supposed to be a great mixology secret for how to make anything drinkable (also how to make a caipirinha), but man, it just does not work here. The lime mostly covers up The American Vodka's flavor, but what remains (namely, the creaminess) is just awful alongside the lime. It's like Thucydides's theory about the Peloponnesian War (later applied by Cold War historians)-- in any conflict in which the winning side has two powerful, yet opposed forces (Athens and Sparta, USA and USSR, lime and creamy vodka), they will restructure the world and instantly be in conflict as soon as the reason for their alliance is defeated.
Thucydides, more like Thu-bitch-y-please.
The American Vodka, like America, is pretty unique. But it's also like Howard Zinn's America, in that it's pretty shitty. Honestly though, for its price, you could do a lot worse. It's probably the best non-flavored vodka I've reviewed. Although I don't know. I think the flavor might be...Eldritch?

Or maybe freedom.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mogen David Blackberry

This is it, people. I didn't even know they still made this. But I turned a corner in the grocery and there it was.

Mogen David wine.

This is an important thing. Mogen David went on to become MD 20/20, but when it was this it was just kosher table wine. Kosher table wine that became well-known for sweetness and cheapness. And so became popular among poor folk. And so it became hobo-wine, back in the 30s and 40s.

This is the first bumwine. This is where it all began. This is the prequel to the legacy this entire blog lives to uphold-- or, well, experience. You have no idea what a treat this is for me: the label says that it's America's Classic Wine and in a way, it's right. Mogen David-- there's a legacy here and I'm so proud to bring it to you. Now let's see if it's as awful as its children.

As I Lay Dying is a hell of a book.
I should point out this actually our second bottle-- the first slipped out of the back and shattered on the sidewalk. The beer and scotch did not, and they hit it just as hard. I guess they just wanted to live more. Gee, I wonder why.

It looks a faaaaair bit like red wine, but not exactly. Like a lot of the MD brand, it seems close, but just a little off from how wine should. It's the uncanny valley effect, but applied to alcohol. We are most repulsed by something that seems not different, but wrong.
Man, what about Heavy Rain isn't creepy and off-putting? Well, except for the things that try to be.
There's a more purpley tinge here, which I think is because it's supposed to blackberry. But it still looks like it should be red wine. It's halfway between the two, and so, y;know, failure. So I guess it definitely fits into that part of its legacy well. Congrats Mogen David. You do not disappoint as far as disappointing utterly goes.

Not at all like wine. It smells really sweet, but there's no bitterness or acridity to the scent, which would normally be good. But wine's supposed to have a tinge or sourness to it, which is completely lacking from this. There's a really strong beer flavor to the odor, which I suspect is mostly the aroma of yeast. It does smell a little vegetative though, or a little fruity. Like sweet potatoes, I guess. What I'm saying is that this blackberry wine smells like neither blackberries nor wine.Yet another in the series of curious failures that make up Mogen David.
This is a Heaven's Gate joke.
 I can safely say that the creation of the first batch of Mogen David in 1933 was, while the definitive lowpoint, certainly a lowpoint of the Jewish community in 1933.
The Gutrotter welcomes its first celebrity follower.
It doesn't taste outright unpleasant, actually. It's definitely drinkable. But it mostly tastes like a generic "fruit" flavor. Not grapes, not blackberry. Like just, if you fermented generic "fruit juice," into not-very-good kosher table wine. (How do you make wine not kosher? Do you drain the juice out of the grapes inhumanely? Do you get horses to stamp it down? Do you have the juice agitated by shrimp?)

It doesn't taste wretched-- it's about twice as good as MD 20/20 but it's also only half as alcoholic. And let's face it, you're not spending 3.50 on wine so you can savor it.

Also, there's something vaguely eggy to it. So make of that what you will. What I make of it is a  flashing sign saying WHAT THE FUCK?

The back of the bottle suggests mixing it with something, and what we have is orange juice. Normally we would call this a screwdriver. But that's the name of a neo-nazi punk band and this is Kosher wine, so we're gonna call it a Jewdriver. And well, sorry jews because I think we just did the neo-nazis a favor on this one because it tastes bad.
Ya...ya just say bingo.
Mixing with orange juice just amplifies the generic fruit flavors, but it doesn't really change the wine that much. It tastes almost the same, just watered down and, well, bitter. Really, driving down to the cold hard core of the fact, this is what makes it even bumwine-ier. You can't hide it or bury it. It is Mogen David. Like the people it was made for, it endures and continues, it inspires an entire culture. Only, y'know, the equivalent here is Woody Allen marrying his daughter.

I just wanna say I'm proud of keeping the Jew jokes to a minimum here. That's why I've never reviewed Manischevitz: I don't trust myself. Also my friend Emma drank like half this bottle. What the fuck is wrong with her.