Bliss in a Barrel

Cask Strength Art for the Whisk(e)y aficionado

Dewar’s Tasting Event at Jim Henson’s Studios April 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — L.T. Do @ 6:40 pm

It took about 3 hours to get up to LA on a Saturday night to meet with my fellow Seven Grand Society pals.  We all got to the Jim Henson’s together, and the food was fantastic.  I personally enjoyed hanging out with my friends and trying the appetizers more than the various expression of Dewar’s.   The production to this event was nice, though.  They had test tubes filled with different ingredients in each vile that ranged from peat, lavender to honey.   Although Dewar’s isn’t my cup of tea, I most definitely value the company’s and brand ambassador’s time to create this event for all of us.  I think this product is great for sippers who enjoy something light and tame.  There isn’t much development here, in terms of flavour, but its 1-dimensional (not a bad thing) profile is consistent.  


Highland Park April 14, 2012


The Blue Whale: Yamazaki 18-Year vs. 12 Year April 13, 2012

Filed under: Bars,Japanese Whisky — L.T. Do @ 6:17 am

There’s a little hidden jazz bar in LA that’s located in the heart of Little Tokyo called The Blue Whale.  For those who are serious about jazz , I’ve heard this is an ideal place to see great musicians here.  At any rate, they were serving whisky at the bar, and I saw the Yamazaki 18-Year sitting on a shelf.  Yamazaki 18 Year, huh?   I’ve seen this bottle run for about $90 at some stores.  When I ordered this whisky, the bartender poured this spirit inside an 8 ounce glass, the kind of glass you’d see at small diners, where they pour fresh orange juice into it.  The bartender poured aroughly 6 ounces of whisky into this cup and charged me about $16.   Usually, if you go to popular bars and order a shot that is bottled for $90,  they’ll charge you about $24 for 2 ounces, if not more.  This may sound like a back-handed compliment, but when you go to a bar that isn’t popular with consumers ordering whisky, there’s a chance that a bartender will give you a healthy pour.  In other cases, if a bartender isn’t privy to the price of a bottle and you see him free-pouring a drink, there’s a good chance he’ll give you a healthy pour as well.  That’s why I think it’s great to take a break from “crafted bars” or “popular hot spots” because you can great a great deal.

In terms of comparing the Yamazaki 12-Year with the Yamazaki 18-Year, I think the 12-Year is far much more exciting than the 18 -Year.  Although the 12-Year is milder than the 18-year, in the sense that there’s less astringency and peppercorn spices, the flavor profile of this beverage is more exciting; you get a cluster of raspberry fruit notes that is laced with an overtone of caramel essence that hovers at the nasal cavity.  Simultaneously, the flavour shifts and you get a slow, steady acceleration of peppercorn spices two-thirds of the sip, and the flavour falls back and recedes into raspberry notes again.  The profile of the 12-year moves in a cyclical manner like cherry blossoms wavering in the wind. As far as the 18-Year, I was greeted with plum notes, but the flavour of the oak barrels were too dominant for me; it was like chewing on dried bark.  All I got was wood notes.  It was pretty earthy, but to each his own.

All I have to say is, the Japanese ain’t fuckin’ around with their whisky.  Their craft is absolutely remarkable and exciting.  I very much admire Mr. Masataka Taketsura, the “father of Japanese whisky,” since he studied applied chemistry and studied the art of distillation in Scotland to perfect his craft.   Hats of to Mr. Taketsura, since he’s created that Yamazaki series, Hibiki and, my personal favorite, Nikka.




Chapter One: Women and Whiskies Event April 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — L.T. Do @ 5:34 am







































Hi-Times Liquor Store April 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — L.T. Do @ 4:44 am




Between the Marble Slab: The Counter Culture and Its Movement April 11, 2012

Filed under: Nerdy Stuff,Uncategorized — L.T. Do @ 5:50 am



















Lola Gaspar April 11, 2012

Filed under: Nerdy Stuff,Uncategorized — L.T. Do @ 5:32 am


Laphroaig: Whisky Tasting at Seven Grand with Master Ambassador Simon Brooking! March 24, 2012

Filed under: Islay,Seven Grand Whisk(e)y Society,Single Malt — L.T. Do @ 7:32 am

Through my grand adventures of attending drinking events, I’ve had the privilege to meet 3 absolutely adorable Scottish men. I’m a huge fan of the following Brand Ambassadors:  Martin Daraz for Highland Park, Simon Brooking for Laphroaig, and Johnnie Mundell for Glenrothes and Bowmore. I’ve concluded that their infectious charm is beyond their Scottish accents; it’s really encoded into the Scottish gene!!!

Since this portion is about Laphroaig, I will concentrate on documenting notes about my meeting with Mr. Brooking.  Before we drank, he would toast to us and sing a classic, Celtic tune!  I felt really lucky that he enjoyed my little doodle of the distillery.  Mr. Brooking showed my doodles to Jim Piser, who is one of the manager for Beam Global, and they both pointed out historical details about the distillery.  Jim pointed a section of my drawing and stated, “I’ve walked on these steps before!”  I’m hoping that I will be able to see this distillery in person soon.  If you enjoy smoky, peated whisky, then this is a great brand to explore!   Personally, I love all types of peated-style whiskies!!!  One more thing, I learned that this is Prince Charles’ favorite whisky, so on each bottle there’s the royal stamp of approval of Prince Charles’ crown!


Bar Smarts: Getting to Know the Spirits March 24, 2012

Filed under: Nerdy Stuff — L.T. Do @ 6:49 am

FYI, Bar Smarts, is a fantastic program that you can sign up on-line to learn about spirits.  Here is the link: Bar Smarts  The people who run this program are truly talented folks who have elevated the art of crafted cocktails and spirits industry as a whole.  I admire Dr. David Wondrich, one of the mentors in this program, who has written books like, Imbibe and Punch.  He travels all over the world to research original cocktail recipes.  A few months ago, Dr. Wondrich found to what appeared to be the original recipe to the Singapore Sling.  In addition, Dale Degroff, another spirit guru from the Bar Smarts program, is responsible for reviving cocktails, urging people to use fresh ingredients to hi-lite a spirit as opposed to masking it with crappy, artificial ingredients.  I hope you take the time to explore this program or read Dr. Wondrich’s works!









Tequila and Mezcal

Tequila and Mezcal







Haven Gastropub March 15, 2012

Filed under: Bars,Cocktails,Restaurants — L.T. Do @ 1:42 am
Tags: , ,

Haven is located in The Orange Circle, a quaint little town with some historical sites that is close to Chapman University.  The Orange Circle is a charming city overall, filled with vintage stores and other delicious places to eat (i.e. Felix, which is a Cuban restaurant; Citrus, a relaxing environment to get decent brunch on Sundays).   As far as Haven, I like their burgers, mac ‘n’ cheese, and shepards pie the most.  They’ve got more selections of beer than they do with whisk(e)y, and they opened a second location in Pomona around January or February of 2o12 I think.   This place opens until 2:00 AM, which is rare for Orange County.