Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

There are many more posts to come so stay tuned. This Blog is getting ready to see quite the face lift!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

GNV TO THE SEA - Four Roses: A Very Special Single Barrel

In a Shot:  During a private invitation to Gerry and Victoria's house, I am given a very unique Bourbon with a very special sentiment.

It's amazing who you come across in this business, simply by standing still.  It amazes me every time how people like Yoko will suddenly give me a bottle of Tombo Sochu (Delicious Japanese vodka) or when Jen gave me that bottle of Awamori (Lovingly called Snake Juice, spirit aged in a process using poisonous snakes).  Some of the most fascinating treats from them, I thank you for your love and support.  Then there are those who are home bread and homeward bound.  They present me not only with things from this country, but things that are only exclusive to regional aspects of our land.  It doesn't happen all the time, but every once in a while, something ironic/iconic like this happens.

A very exclusive, extremely unique and quite honestly personal dram, presented by a man who invited me into his house for a final sit down and drink before leaving under his guiding wing in his restaurant we all know has, since this post, locked it's doors indefinitely;  I present to you, the Four Roses Single Barrel Tasting Notes:

Drinking from a bottle Gerry Hebert gave me, sold exclusively at Schneider's of Capitol Hill (Fine wines & spirits) hand selected and bottled from Warehouse DS, with a 35% rye Mashbill / delicate fruity yeast:  February 18th 2011 (the month and day my wife Mary and I were married and held a reception in Gerry's restaurant only three years prior).  Aged 8 Years and 9 Months settling in at 100 proof.  A bottle (Number 2-4K) whom I'm sure Four Roses and quite possibly the Heberts had NO idea sang such poetry in our hearts and hearts.  So to you both, this Next Rounds on Me!

First glance the dram appears a burnt copper in color.

Strong ethanol at first reminding me of a hospital.  But allowing it to oxidise, simply nosing it over a span of ten minutes there are evolutionary changes.  With time to breath; Toasty oak and tart raspberry (Definitely found through the small amount of rye present and as affected by the choice of yeast), there are notes of dried dark red fruits and even canned peaches.  The mouth is coated with a warming hard candy flavor.  It takes it's time to finish, allowing it's spine tingling warmth to overwhelm the entire palate, though it sharply stings the sweet area of your taste buds.   A dusting of Hershey's milk chocolate and butter are overlapped by the expected flavors of caramel and an extra creamy vanilla.  Over time, the heat dissipates and the drink becomes remarkably smooth for a dram packing 50% ABV.

I've conducted this tasting under my usual circumstance.  A washed face, washed hands, blown nose with crackers eaten prior to the experience and lots of water  in between each section of the tasting.  This is my very formal way of creating my dossier of each drink I consume, but with Gerry and his wife Victoria, the experience was far more casual.

We enjoyed this dram prior to Gerry getting a knee surgery.  The man ate the most insane dinner and dessert that night, as if he would never be allowed to eat again, ever.  His plan was to polish off this entire bottle of single barrel by the stroke of midnight, after which if he consumed anything, would develop into a cocoon and hatch the next day a terrible Gremlin.  We sat in his living room listening to old tunes on the radio, Gerry was capable of calling out each and every band within the first 4 seconds of each song playing and we spoke about Cape May and the longevity of our relationships.  We spoke about folks in Cameron Station, Alexandria VA, a community that "rose" out off a military base that became it's own township, if you will.  We, the people of Food Matters became it's central hub.  It was experiences such as this and the times my wife and I spent at "GNV's" beach house in Cape May or the catering's to Gerry's office, or that time I went to the Masonic temple and Gerry was attempting to buy a trip (all for charity mind you) to some island or boat trip somewhere and he was up against one of America's homeland security top execs and lost "Hoping she simply just ran out of money!" from all the other bids she won.

It has been great times and Gerry's energy is something in his age, I strive for in the next five years!  He's been a father figure to me and a breath of fresh air.  I hope I've done him proud and I thank him for all that he's ever done for me.  Let this small tasting be my sentiment to him and Victoria, who helped mold me into the community supporter I am today.  I hope to make my mark as strong as I did in your community in the next place, wherever that may be.  Blessings and good times.  I say, thank you.

Cheers and with Love,

Johnny Cocktail

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