Friday, November 12, 2010

Old Mill Stream Whiskey

"Where ya been, Jasper?" is what you're thinking. You've missed me. I understand how it goes. I've been really busy with exams and papers lately is what's up with that. Also, it's been a solid month and a half since I reviewed any hard liquor, which is also a bit of a problem-- I founded this proud/awful blog to wreck my body and find the worst sources of drunkenness, not to tackle malt liquor and vermouth.

But here I am. I have emerged, like a monster from the wilderness, and I have brought Hell with me.
So I'm walking through my friendly local liquor store, trying to figure out what can wreck me tonight that's not some dirt-cheap flavored liqueur, because those aren't nearly as fun. And then I see this, and, under it, the label reading  $3.70. Whiskey is NEVER that cheap. Never. Kentucky Gentleman  was  only half whiskey, and it was five and a half bucks for a bottle the same size. And I find myself wondering, "what the fucking cock is so bad about this that they have to sell it for 2/3 the price of the Gentleman.?"

20 percent Kentucky whiskey. 80 percent neutral spirits. This is less than half what Kentucky Gentleman was. And it's made in Bardstown, KY-- the home of Gentleman and my old nemesis, Riva-- so there's a good chance this bottle is just half gentleman, half everclear.

This is less percent whiskey than a Manhattan. Than a whiskey sour. Than a Jack and Coke. This isn't whiskey, this is a goddamn hillbilly cocktail . This is what a prospector would break out for fancy occasions.
Not even a classy prospector, too.
The color's kinda weird. It's not too light-- whiskey can get to be pretty light in color without being bad (Glenlivet looks like honey), but there is something off with this. It's not as red as bourbon or as light as speyside, but somewhere uncomfortably in the middle. Sort of an orange-y color. It looks like butterscotch more than anything else.

This smells almost exactly like the faux-moonshine I reviewed back in September. Same shivery strength, same really pungent burn. Only it's sweeter, but not that gentle corn sweetness of good bourbon. Nonono, this is a more clearly artificial, fruity sweetness. It smells like moonshine and ketchup.
Which means it's healthy!
Okay, so the roommate and I are supplementing this with another review. We're watching Sonic Underground, which is to my childhood what Mill Stream is to booze. Which is to say, sodomy. By which I mean we're getting swervy and watching terrible television that makes us angry. It's sort of how we spend our Fridays.

For starters, this whisky has kind of a syrupy warmth to it, which makes the sweet part of the flavor seem really artificial-- like it's just moonshine with butterscotch dribbled into it. Also, Maurice Lamarche is all over this show-- it was in the lull between Pinky and the Brain and Futurama, so one of the greatest voice actors in animation is reduced to playing every third character on the worst crime out of many that the Sonic franchise ever committed.
A show in which this character wasn't just smashed to the ground at birth.
The three main characters (including a woman) are all voiced by Urkel and they fight with the power of rock (like, keytar-that-shoots-lasers style), which means that we have a tri-urkel musical number once an episode. An imitation of late-90s pop rock by corporate hacks. Also, this whiskey is seriously terrible. I wish I'd mustered up the extra two bucks for KY Gentleman, that's how bad it is. It's really sour, like the unaged corn whiskey was, but it's worse-- both because it's clearly starting with inferior pure neutral spirits and because they try and cover that up with really sweet, syrupy awful-whiskey.

One of the nicest things about whiskey--especially Kentucky whiskey--is the smokiness you get from wood aging and, in some cases, smoking or charcoal filtration. It's why Maker's 46 can charge ten bucks more a bottle and Laphroaig tastes like angel paste.There's none of that here. Mill Stream just tastes like grain alcohol mixed with corn syrup. It's missing the point as completely as if you made a Sonic the Hedgehog show that tried to be more cool and edgy and have more ATTITUDE than the original Sonic HEY THEY DID THAT. Man, between this and the Neverending Story sequels there really is nothing left of my childhood.
I had socks with this on them when I was seven, no lie. God, I was uncool. Not like now, where I'm spending my friday night with my roommate drinking and watching cartoons.
When I was a kid and I first had a chili dog, I was disappointed. That's the same feeling this brings up in me. I trusted Sonic then, and I trust whiskey now. And where did they lead me? To Mill Stream and to a Werehog.

Mixed it with some Dr. Lynn-- the western-NC knockoff of Dr. Pepper that is okay-- and, well, not really very good. Since there's not much flavor to Mill Stream but corn-syrup sweetness and the alcohol burn is fairly strong, it doens't really taste that different. The bad bad bad sweetness of the whiskey merges with the sugar in the soda and the alcohol overpowers the rest of the flavor, and the end result just tastes like you watered down the whiskey. This stuff is so bad that you can't even mix it. It's like how Sonic 2006 had Havok physics but was so fundamentally broken you couldn't even tell. Jesus christ it's amazing I didn't grow up to be sadder.
Just picture them holding a copy of Absalom, Absalom!, a glass of brandy, and that been-up-reading tousled Professor hair and you'll have a notion of what I narrowly skirted.
Don't let my ranting about what a SHITASSCLUSTERFUCK Sonic has become distract you-- this is terrible whiskey. If you want cheap whiskey, get the Gentleman-- or shit, get Canadian Club, it's actually about as expensive as the gentleman but is legitimately good whiskey that I would voluntarily drink. If you only have four dollars in your pocket and you wanna get smashed, get Night Train. If you wanna get smashed on hard liquor-- and I say this with a great deal of sorrow--get yourself some Five O' Clock. You have so many better choices than this. It's like if you owned Sonic Adventure and wanted to play Sonic Unleashed.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go drink some good whisky. And play Sonic 2.

Holy fuck I lead a sad life.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Schlitz High Gravity V.S.L.

Baby's begged me not to go
So many times before
She said love and happiness
Can't live behind those swinging doors
Now she's gone and I'm to blame
Too late, I finally see
What's Made Milwaukee Famous
Has made a fool out of me.
-Jerry Lee Lewis
See, not even sad-sack country musicians like Schlitz. And those are the kinds of people that do songs about PBR. Well, them and the worst people on earth.
I hope you both catch the fucking T-Virus.
I had to deliberate a little while over which brand of big can of terrible Schlitz to review for you people. By which I mean that I had to look until i saw this one was 8.5% alcohol. Then it's not really a contest.

Has anyone ever seen Schlitz? Has there ever been one person who's had it not out of an aluminum can? If I went to some bar in Wisconsin where they were dueling by riding cows across the field and swinging lawnmower blades and said "hey barkeep, can I have a nice frosty mug of Schlitz?" do you think I'd actually get one? No. Because I would probably be latched to the back of one of the cows when I walked into the bar. So I'm not going to find out. They don't take kindly to my kind there.

I don't mean gays. I mean the fact that I literally live in an ivory tower and I read for fun.
Pictured: your author. With Harry Potter. That was a fun time.
So I'm going to assume it doesn't look like black jelly or a can of slug paste or cabbage blood or unicorn jism or anything like that. Let's just assume it looks yellow and watery.

NOSE smells like unicorn jism. If that unicorn was made out of watery beer. Like, some sort of aquatic unicorn that lived in beer. Bad beer. Also, that would be a hippocamp. A Milwaukee hippocamp.
Yeah, yeah, like that, but with a cheesehead hat.
 Actually, I gotta hand it to Schlitz. Out of all the insanely cheap beers that are terrible, it has the most actually beery smell. It's not great, but at least it didn't smell like potato water like Olde English did. There is a bit of a celery tinge to it though. Ohh, that's not gonna be good.
Okay, confession time. Friday night me and some of the Gutrottin' club wanted to get drunk and watch Army of Darkness, so I drank an entire bottle of Cobra. Then we wanted to get drunker and watch Slither, so I drank about a third of a bottle of Thunderbird. Then we wanted to get drunkest and get pamcakes, so I moved on to the Gallo vermouth from last time.
Mmmm...pamcakes. And cheap booze.
I think at some point over the pancake dinner I recited Yeats. But anyway, the confession boils down to-- none of that was for journalism. That was for fun. I think I'm actually starting to acclimate to cheeeeeeap beer and bumwine.

Because this is actually kind of almost tolerable and not poison-tasting. It still is though. It's really bitter and not in a "pint of bitters luv" way or a guiness-y way. And the aftertaste really is something fairly not-good. There's a really vegetative flavor to it and a sort of wormwood bitterness, plus it just makes your mouth feel gross. Like your tongue needs a bath or something.
Problem(s) solved!
Plus, after a while, the aftertaste becomes strong and pervasive enough that you don't taste the beer anymore when you drink it. It's like a less pure-horror version of the Four Loko taste. In the end, though, it's tolerable, int he same way Cobra was. I guess if you wanna get your swerve on and spend a buck fifty doing do you could do worse. As long as you don't mind feeling sad and drunk and midwestern.
Man, even I as a 17-year-old could rock the Neil Young haircut better than Conor Oberst. Dude looks like a West Virginia van killer.