By Matt Goldstein
In the first year of Whiskey Goldmine, not only did we bring you reviews and history of whiskies, wine, tequilas and craft beer, we also brought you stories of debauchery only possible in America. From Fear and Loathing in Atlantic City, to the “Incident,” casino brawls, robberies and muggings, and just flat out ridiculousness, we are hopeful that these shenanigans entertained. After all, we work very hard to party at a level most think are completely unacceptable. We’re damn proud of it too.
So, most people think that we decided to call our web site Whiskey Goldmine because we would focus more on whiskey, which just happens to be a coincidence. Whiskey Goldmine was always intended to be about every alcoholic beverage that exists, be it beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, sake, soju etc. Originally we had the name for the web site as Liquid Goldmine, however, not only was that domain name already taken, it kind of sounded like the name for a porn web site. Not to mention, it’s rather cheesy. So we went with the next best thing, Whiskey Goldmine. Guess what, we’re stinking with it. People seem to like it so you should stop complaining ya freakin jerk.
How Johnny Walker Left My Shoes in Atlantic City:
You how we do’s it. It’s 3am early Sunday morning and we’re rocking out at the craps table in the Wild Wild West Casino in Atlantic City. Yup, the Wild Wild West, the place with $3 Corona bottles 24/7. Their buffet breakfast is flat out disgusting, and so is their carpet, but the beer is perfectly priced and the bar is always jumping with a party. Anywho, me and my man BJ are rocking out at the craps table playing the” pass line,” 6 and 8 like any good craps player would. But it just so happens that we’re standing next to two dickheads playing the don’t pass line. Not only are they betting against the entire table of players, their basically betting with the casino. Playing the “don’t pass line” in craps is basically worse than ruining a black jack table with bad hits. If and when you’re going to play the “don’t pass line,” then don’t expect us to refrain from talking shit to you. As a matter of fact, it’s definitely not wise to step around the table and come at two much younger guys who are both much drunker and will not hesitate to starch you in front of a bunch of casino cameras. Yada yada yada, we were really tired the next day. To make a long story short, after a day drinking on the golf course, an evening of pre-gaming at the hotel, and bar hopping until our craps table fiasco, the waitress brought us Johnnie Walker Blacks until my shoes were missing. At that point we were cut off.
Our Best Buys for a Tasty Intoxicating Beverage:
One of our favorite things here at Whiskey Goldmine is finding the best wines and spirits for the best price. There’s nothing wrong with spending a bunch of money on fancy wines and liquors, but it’s not necessary. Try some of these selections below for the best bang for your buck on the market.
Tanqueray Sterling Vodka: Priced at about $14, Tanqueray Vodka came in 2nd behind the $50 Crystal Head vodka in our double blind taste test. This vodka is a flat out stud especially if you’re drinking straight martinis, never mind a mixer. Highly recommended.
Highland Park 12: The Highland Park 18 year single malt scotch was voted the best spirit in the world 4 years in a row, only to be finally defeated this year by George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon. So if the 18 year was the best spirit in the world for 4 years in a row, the Highland Park 12 year is a steal for about $40.
Balvenie Doublewood: In the same spirit as Highland Park, the Balvenie 15 year won our double blind taste test, but the Balvenie Doublewood 12 year is just as good for about $12 less. You won’t be disappointed.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon: For about $20, the Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is simply one of the best buys on the market. Not only is Buffalo Trace better than Jack Daniels and Makers Mark, we think it’s even better than the more expensive Makers Mark 46 which retails for about $35. FYI, Buffalo Trace is probably the best distillery in the world and are the makers of Blanton’s, George T. Stagg, Elmer T. Lee, Eagle Rare, Sazerac, Pappy Van Winkle, 1972 Ridgemont Reserve, and also Rain vodka, Denaka vodka, Corazon Tequila and Caribou Crossing Canadian Whiskey.
Our Biggest Disappointments:
We don’t really get disappointed much while drinking intoxicating beverages, however, when the overpriced overhyped fail to perform, it can be pretty unsettling. For example, when a $10 of whiskey tastes like shit, how mad can you really be. It’s a mixer, not a sipper. However, when a $45 bottle of vodka doesn’t even taste like vodka, than wtf are we supposed to think? Here is an example of beers and spirits that failed miserably.
Ultimat Vodka: Not only does this vodka retail for $45 dollars, it taste like paper. Yup, stale, stinky, shitty paper. There is nothing here that even says vodka, let alone good vodka.
Pliny the Younger: Yup, often viewed as the best beer in the world and the best IPA in the world, the Pliny the younger is very hard to come by. As a matter of fact, usually one needs to buy a ticket in advance just to taste it or at least stand in line for an hour. When we paid $8 for merely about 5 ounces of of Pliny the Younger Triple IPA by Russian River Brewing, it didn’t even seem hoppy or crisp. It was actually less hoppy than Pliny the Younger double IPA. All and all it was good, but for all the hype it just seemed like a regular beer. Pliny the Younger is nothing to freak out about or waste your time and money scratching and clawing to get a taste.
1800 Tequila: The silver and the reposado from 1800 were both disappointing and seemed just average.
Conjure Cognac: Made by hip hop star Ludacris, apparently he was finally able to make something worse than his music. Conjure Cognac is a mixer at best.
Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks: How the mighty have fallen…
Grey Goose Vodka: The Goose came in dead last in our double blind vodka martini taste test.
Here’s a list of a few drinks that excelled in the face of serious competition and received championship status from our team.
The Balvenie 15 Year Single Malt Scotch: Winner of our Single Malt Double Blind Taste Test, about $50.
Ballast Point Victory at Sea Barrel Aged Espresso Vanilla Imperial Porter: Our 2011 Philly Beer Week Champion
Hoppin Frog Borris the Crusher: Winner of the last Beer Fest at World Café Live, and some even say the Dorris the Destroyer is better. For us, we we love both of these barrel aged brews.
Founders Porter: Our 2010 Philly Beer Week champion.
Jose Cuervo Tequila: Yup, Jose Cuervo won our double blind taste test and left Patron Anejo in the dust.
The Flying Fish Exit 4 American Tripel: Winner of our double blind Belgian Tripel Taste Test. Flying Fish is most definitely underrated in the world of craft beer.
Hennessy Black: Winner of our double blind Cognac taste test. The Hennessy Black is less expensive than the Hennessy Privilege VSOP and just as good.
Voodoo Brewing’s Pilzilla Pilsner: Pilzilla single handedly destroyed all of the major pilsners in the world. It wasn’t even close.
Blanche de Bruxelles Belgian White: Winner of our Belgian white taste test.