I bought some cafe du monde coffee a while back after reading about it in A Man in Full. As I’ve said before, I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I know a thing or two from listening to my friends that are. I didn’t want a coffee machine for my home as I don’t drink much, and a kcup machine was not available, or really needed when I chose a system. The Aeropress appealed to me on several levels. Its cheap, portable, easy to use, fast, and makes a good cup of coffee. I would not recommend it if you’re making batches of coffee regularly, but for a cup here and there, its perfect. I just finished my can of cafe du monde this morning. If I can find some coffee with chicory that you can grind yourself, I might get another can. If not, I may just get another can of cafe du monde. I bought some kcups of chicory coffee for the office, but while working at home, you can’t beat the aeropress.
by rsiv with no comments yet
This will not be everyones’ taste, but I enjoy it so much I’ll go out on a limb. I think Archer is one of the funniest shows on TV. The premise of Archer is that Sterling Archer is a government contracted spy, employed by his mother, working with his on again off again girlfriend, and shirking work while jetting around the world to enjoy the good life, and getting into many misadventures in the process. The humor is pretty off-color, so be warned. Archer has been called Arrested Development meets James Bond. If you haven’t checked it out, look on Netflix, or Mondays at 10 on FX.
I don’t think these videos do the show justice, but why not:
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The wife and I have been watching black sails on stars. Its supposed to be a more realistic look at pirate life (not disneyfied). It reminds me of the series spartacus, only set in a different place and period. I’m enjoying the series, but I’m especially enjoying an excuse to break out some rum while I watch. However, I have a dilemma: Am I more pirate or privateer? I am in government contracting, but I also like to think I have a rebellious spirit. To settle the issue, lets taste some rum.
I read an article in Garden and Gun, that had this quote, “Another secret weapon is demerara rum, from Guyana. It has this smoky, charred-wood, almost gunpowdery taste. It’s what I thought rum tasted like when I was a kid watching pirate movies. A little dash of that in a drink really makes it.” After reading that, I went online and ordered a bottle. We’ll use this as our pirate rum. For the pirate rum, really any old style (not white) rum would do, but I think I picked a good one. Perhaps a bit older and more premium than would be historically accurate, but indulge me. For the privateer rum, accept no substitutes:
Pussers owns the recipe/blending information necessary to recreate the rum originally rationed to the British Royal Navy. The backstory to Pussers is complex, but to me, the differentiating aspect is this, “The Amazon “Greenwood” staves of these two old stills (two of five still used by pussers today) are impregnated with decades of esters and congeners – the organic compounds found naturally in wine and spirits that impart flavor to them. No other stills in the world can reproduce these flavors because all modern stills are made from metal which absorb nothing, and thus have nothing to impart in the way of flavor to a spirit during the distillation process. In contrast, wood soaks up the flavor of whatever it contains. In the case of the wooden stills, continuous usage over hundreds of years has made the wood of these stills extraordinarily flavorful.”
Pussers says that their wooden pot stills (not column stills) are only 60% efficient (as opposed to column stills’ 99%). This means more gets though the distillation process, and a lot of that more is flavor. All this adds up to a historically accurate rum, that is very very unique. For all those history buffs out there, I do realize that privateers would not have been issued Navy rum, but go with me on this one. On to the flavor.
Pussers gives me an immediate olfactory trigger. One waft, and I’m in the BVI, or at the Pussers in Annapolis (where I purchased this particular bottle), having a drink on the water. This is a rum I believe I could pick out of a lineup. On tasting it, you get a lot of molasses. This is definitely a dark rum. There is some caramel and pepper that even I can notice. For a more nuanced review, look here or here. Also check out some cocktail ideas. This is one of my favorites. I really appreciate the history and uniqueness, but I also can’t objectively separate good memories from its smell and taste.
The El Dorado has a tighter nose, but you know its rum. After my first sip, my impression is that this is a much more complex and sophisticated rum. I also really really like it. It doesn’t really taste like molassas the way the Pussers does. I’d say its more of a honey flavor. Or maybe the flavor of a molasses cookie. The Pussers tastes like black molasses out of the jar. Its unmistakable. Beyond that, I have trouble pulling out individual flavors. It has less alcohol burn that the Pussers. For what the experts think, look here, here, and here. More info here.
The bottom line? Pussers has been called the single malt of rum. I don’t really agree with that analogy, and I think its doing Pussers a disservice. As a marketing ploy, I can see the benefit. People like scotch, maybe they’ll try Pussers. But Pussers is unique. I like to think of it in a category all by itself. The El Dorado is similar to scotch or bourbon in that its pretty easy drinking, complex, and at least for rum, dry. If you served this to a bourbon or scotch drinker, I think they’d probably enjoy it. I’m not sure if I’d say that about Pussers. I think Pussers is more of an acquired taste. So who wins? I’m going El Dorado. I can’t believe how much I like it. Its pretty amazing. While watching black sails, I’ll still pour a glass of Pussers and think of times gone by, and this summer, you find me at Pussers having a softshell crab sandwich. Next time I’m in the islands, I’ll probably look for Pussers too, as its commonly available. However, I look forward to blowing some friends’ minds with the El Dorado. I can’t recommend either highly enough, but yo ho, yo ho, its El Dorado for me.
5E6CM9VUFZENby rsiv with no comments yet
I received this bottle of Prichard’s Double Barrel Bourbon as a very generous gift. As a Virginian (or perhaps more specifically, an non-Kentuckian), I try to keep an open mind about non-Kentucky bourbons. I had it on several occasions now, and figure I’m ready to review the bottle.
My first impression of this bourbon was after having some Evan Williams Single barrel. After a glass of EW, my friend produced his gift, and we each poured a glass. My initial impression was that it was too oaky with an almost artificially concentrated flavor. I thought it might be gimmicky, or at best, not well executed. After that, I left it on the shelf for a while. Later, I decided to give it another shot. This time around, I tasted it, and nothing else, and had just about the opposite experience. It was good, but fairly boring. The oak was still present, but not overpowering. The other normal bourbon flavors, caramel, vanilla, etc. were less obvious. If his bourbon was a girl, I might describe her as homely. Just a little too plain for my taste. I did find this bourbon a nice compliment to a cigar.
One can find some pretty positive and pretty negative reviews online. My opinion is left somewhere in-between. Not overly impressed, not really let down either. Really, the most interesting part of this bourbon is the story behind it. Its aged, cut, then aged some more. Very unique. I’m just not sure that translates into the experience of its consumption.
I’m not sure I’ll pick up another bottle, but I’ll definitely pour a glass of Prichards Double Barrel Bourbon while cleaning my gun, or reminiscing about a hunt.
Found out this bottle was the bottle of the month (featured) on the straightbourbon forum. Check it out:by rsiv with no comments yet
I’m not really much of a coffee drinker. At home, I use starbucks via for guests since I don’t have a machine. I do have an aeropress that I use very rarely. I do however, enjoy tea in the morning, and sometimes later in the day as well. I was recently turned on to stash. Their Irish breakfast tea is pretty good. I generally prefer English breakfast tea, but I like to keep both on hand. Check out their amazon reviews. Pretty impressive.
I’m in the office today. I have developed a taste for coffee with chicory, so I bought some k-cups. In my opinion, these have a more pronounced chicory flavor than cafe du monde. Its very rich, heavy, and a tad sweet. I’m a fan.by rsiv with no comments yet
I’ve had PBS Newshour record on my dvr the last couple weeks. Its supposed to be TV news without talking points, and about as centrist/objective as possible. The state of TV news is pretty depressing, but so far, I’ve thought PBS Newshour has been pretty good. I like to throw it on while I’m eating breakfast, or while my wife is getting ready for bed.
Speaking of news, check out these crazy pictures from Kiev:by rsiv with no comments yet
For Vday, the wife and I went to Sea Pearl in Merrifield. Despite how close it is to us, it was the first time we’d been. The ginger smash (shorter drink) was so good I’d order it again. That said, I was not overly impressed by anything but the company. It was very good, but not great. I found a review here I believe to be pretty fair. Then we went to the angelika film center and saw the Monuments Men. If you like history, I’d recommend it. We also watched the USA Russia olympic hockey match. Amazing.
We went house shopping with my sister in Old Town, and went to Overwood. I had southern eggs benedict. The southern part consisted of fried green tomatoes on the bottom. Delicious. Monday night my wife made homemade bread and then grilled cheese and tomato soup. Can’t beat the classics.
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Swimsuit season will quickly be upon us. House of Cards season two was just released on netflix. What better time for a post about rowing. This time, I’ll focus on indoor rowing, but once the Potomac’s water temp reaches 55 degrees, I’ll be on the water.
Frank Underwood likes the natural feel of water resistance, but I prefer the model I grew up using, the Concept 2. I would definitely recommend trying a rowing machine out at the gym before purchasing one. I rowed in high school, but as a coxswain, my technique didn’t need to be all that great. Add a decade of not rowing, and then jump back into it, and you’ve got a recipe for injury. I managed to tweak my back last season, but I’m easing myself back into it. To be clear, I believe I hurt my back rowing an actual boat, not training. I don’t think that the rowing machine is any more or less dangerous than any other machine at the gym. I do believe that the potential benefits of rowing certainly outweigh the risks. My friend that learned to row last year loves it, and fully intends to join me on the water again this year.
If you’re looking to get into the sport, Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown has a great learn to row program that gets you on the water the second day of class. I did this class last year with a friend (pictured below), and it was a blast. Upon graduation, you qualify to rent sculls and go out on your own.
If you do decide to give indoor rowing a try, make sure you get someone at your gym to explain proper technique to you, and this video won’t hurt either (***Update, my back has healed, and is good to go):
If you’ve rowed before, then you may know the basics, but its always good to have a refresher on what not to do. This may have helped me last season:
When I was rowing in high school, rage against the machine was pretty popular. It also made for great workout music. I’ll leave y’all with a video that I find quite apropos, and a short playlist to get you in the workout mood.
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After working from home all day, I got to shovel the vehicles out. It took longer than expected.
Then we took a walk to dinner.
Since my wife saw the chicken and waffles post from earlier in the week and got jealous, I took her to Dogwood Tavern to rectify the situation. We started with fried green tomatoes (not as good as homemade or in season), and then had chicken and waffles with peppered maple syrup. The beer, which was delicious, was some kind of schwarzbier. Also the collards, insane.
No snowmen or snowball fights, but all and all, a good day.
The next morning I had to use some 4wd to get out.by rsiv with no comments yet
First has a little of everything, second is for business time:
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