Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Don't call it Frisco
    Posts
    7

    Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    I have before me a bottle of Old Potrero Pot Distilled 18th Century Style Spirit, made from 100% malted rye, and aged in uncharred oak barrels. I have before me a Manhattan that I have just mixed and I am going to give my thoughts about this.

    Old Potrero is a spirit I credit as being very educational for me, a novice whisky drinker. I will tell you how I backed into this delightful education.

    I had never understood drinking spirits of any kind until one day I went to the liquor store (Beacon Liquors on 76th and Broadway in Manhattan, long may it prosper) and decided I wanted to try a sipping whisky. At this time of my life I was playing a lot of fingerstyle blues on my electric guitars. I thought whisky might rough up my voice enough to sing. But I didn't like Jack Daniels, it was too harsh for me.

    I noticed that there was a bottle of "Jack Daniels Single Barrel." Honestly the large wooden cork attracted my attention. Then I read the label and it pointed out that the character of the individual barrel lent uniqueness to the distillate. Long story short, I took a bottle home and was an immediate convert - I must've got a really good barrel!

    I branched out next into bourbon; I took home a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 year because the price was right and I liked the Eagle, because I like America and the Eagle is our bird here in the USA.

    I was an immediate convert at that time. I noticed that bourbon carried a sweetness very different than the maple flavor of Tennessee whisky. I also noticed that Eagle Rare had a "zing" to it that the JD completely lacked. This "zing" would numb your tongue in higher doses; in lower doses it carried with it a malty flavor.

    Well, when I tasted Old Potrero it all became clear. That "zing" must come from what Buffalo Trace assures me is the Minnesota rye, because Old Potrero is pretty much all zing. It's like what cinnamon or cloves do to your tongue, except without any of the holiday flavors/aromas of those spices. On the nose the powerful alcohol carries with it a tequila-like fresh vegetal aroma; I can taste the maltiness on the palate, and the finish is long and even, with what the wine folks call 'wet stone' and 'metallic' flavors.

    Well now this is quite delicious, and I am assured that J.P. Morgan might have liked a bit of rye whisky zing to make up his Manhattan. Far more learned posters than I have written here about exactly what J.P. might have tasted, so I will not belabor the point. The next question is which vermouth.

    Noilly Prat, whose dry vermouth is unexcelled in the Martini, makes a sweet vermouth that is passable. It contains prominent cloves, cinnamon, cassis, and bitter orange. The finish is sweet and cloying in a way that only too much cinnamon can be. Cinzano brings a distinctly different palette of flavors; I taste star anise and wormwood, the heavy bitterness offset by cane-sugary sweetness.

    We take two parts Old Potrero and one part Cinzano and shake over ice made from purified water. The result is poured into a chilled glass. Angostura bitters are omitted. When you have gone to this degree of trouble to select the delicate flavor notes of your preferred ingredients, why mask them with the extraordinarily powerful flavor of gentian?

    A Mezetta "maraschino" cherry is added; while its benzaldehyded, metabisulfited, Allura-Reddened corpse is out of place, we have yet to find any alternative. (Recommendations greatly solicited and appreciated.)

    The result is greater than the sum of its parts. Sweetness and bitterness in equal measure, with the body and strength of the malt grain as a foundation, and exotic aromatics to be found in every corner of the beverage, from the first sip on the tip of the tongue, to the lurking aftertastes that continue to delight well after the glass is empty.

    This is a very good way to take your evening's refreshment. If the gentle reader does not find that I am completely insane, I would welcome his opinions and insight.

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago SW 'burbs
    Posts
    1,178

    Lightbulb Cherries

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
    A Mezetta "maraschino" cherry is added; while its benzaldehyded, metabisulfited, Allura-Reddened corpse is out of place, we have yet to find any alternative. (Recommendations greatly solicited and appreciated.)

    I recently came across a jar of cherries with the Michter's brand name on them. These are Balaton cherries, native to Hungary but now being grown in Michigan. They are tart, zippy cherries, not at all like the typical so-called "maraschino" that isn't.

    The ingredient list on the label is quite simple: "Balaton cherries, water, high-fructose corn syrup." Well, HFCS isn't the greatest thing around, but it isn't the worst... the ingredient list on a jar of Collins cocktail cherries goes like this: "Cherries, water, corn syrup, sugar, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, Red 40, sulfur dioxide."

    They are a dark purplish, rather delicate, and smaller than your typical Collins cherry - and they don't have stems. Nonetheless, they are mighty good in a Manhattan!
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    563

    Re: Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    Try these:

    http://www.markyscaviar.com/shop/cus...cat=643&page=1

    I think you'll be happy.

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  4. #4

    Re: Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    Call me a troglodyte, but I don't hold with no fruit salad in my Manhattan.

  5. #5
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Don't call it Frisco
    Posts
    7

    Re: Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    Crispy and Mike, thanks so much. I'm going to track these cherries down and try them!

    afisher: Ok, you're a troglodyte. Some folks like their Manhattan with a lemon twist or even straight up naked, that's all OK by me!

    Are there other sweet vermouths I should be trying? Martini and Rossi is a no-go. Lillet Rouge, maybe?

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    563

    Re: Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    Vya. Definitely a must-try.

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Decatur GA
    Posts
    322

    Re: Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by afisher View Post
    Call me a troglodyte, but I don't hold with no fruit salad in my Manhattan.

    I don't like the cherry either. My favorite version is with orange bitters, which (wihtout the cherry) the recipes on the home page seems to call a Trilby, IIRC.

    Bob

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago SW 'burbs
    Posts
    1,178

    Vermouth

    Lately, I've been using Noilly Prat red vermouth. When that bottle is finished, I have a bottle of Carpano Antica Formula that I'll try. Given that I like Punt e Mes, I expect that Antica Formula ought to be just fine.

    If you want a blast of bitters, Punt e Mes does the trick nicely - though it's worth using it at 5:1 instead of 3:1 - or adding a splash of maraschino liqueur to turn it into a Red Hook.

    I'd heartily second the recommendation for Vya as well - but it's expensive and hard to get.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Montgomery County, Md.
    Posts
    120

    Re: Old Potrero

    Old Portrero is a marvelous drink, one of my friends brought a bottle back from San Francisco and poured me some. After the first delicious sip, I then added a single drop of water as he instructed. Glorious! Someday, perhaps, I'll work up the courage and money to buy a bottle.

  10. #10

    Re: Old Potrero, the Manhattan, and some random thoughts.

    A fun side by side are the Anchor 19th century style single malt straight rye whiskey and the 18th century style single malt spirit. I believe the only difference is the use of uncharred vs charred oak barrels. For me the spirit had a flavor I can't place. But it was very noticeable it was the only thing you'd taste so I didn't enjoy it that much. The rye whiskey had the same flavor but it was more subdued, and had other competing flavors. I enjoyed the rye whisky a lot more.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Random Thoughts After Visiting Several Liquor Stores
    By doubleblank in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-07-2006, 15:39
  2. Potrero pricing
    By jbutler in forum Other American Whiskey
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11-14-2004, 08:05
  3. Old Potrero
    By shoshani in forum American Rye Whiskey
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-05-2000, 14:38
  4. Old Potrero
    By gaijim in forum American Rye Whiskey
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-11-1999, 11:09

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top