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Consumers Select the Best Spirits at the 2011 SIP Awards: International Spirits Competition Announces Top Medal Winners

The Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards (https://www.SIPAwards.com) hosted its 2011 international spirits competition at the Vin de Syrah spirit & wine parlor in downtown San Diego, CA on June 28, 2011.

Distillers rallied their highest quality spirits to compete for the coveted status as a consumer favorite. The competition, which enlists consumers to form its judging panel, featured 73 judges who participated in a blind tasting of 249 global spirits. Total scores reflected each judge's rating across three areas: aroma, taste and finish.

“We carefully select judges who have no industry affiliation and represent an accurate sample of the public. This is not about who has the best marketing campaigns, which brand has won awards in the past, or who has a local fan base- it is purely about quality…” explains executive producer Paul Hashemi. “These are not distillery experts or professional food and wine critics who write to please advertisers; our judges are the people who rate beverages all the time as they select a spirit on the weekend or evening for their own enjoyment.” The judges spoke by awarding the highest honors to the following competitors: 
-Platinum – “Best of Class”- 
Nadared Vodka 
NutLiquor / Peanut Butter Vodka 
London Dry Gin / New Amsterdam 
Revel Stroke Spiced Whisky 
Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
El Tesoro Platinum Tequila 
Antiguo Reposado Tequila 
Don Rich Reserva Anejo Tequila 
KAH Extra Anejo Tequila 
Zignum Anejo Mezcal 
Angostura Reserva 
Angostura 1919 
Donq Mojito 
Cruzan Single Barrel Rum 
XO Borderies Camus Cognac 
Adult Chocolate Milk 
Tails Cosmopolitan 
Bong Spirits Vodka 
KAH Tequila Series

-Distinguished Platinum Winners- 
Enchanted Rock Vodka 
Is Vodka 
Little Black Dress Original Vodka 
Twenty 2 Vodka 
Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka 
Little Black Dress Pineapple Honey Vodka 
360 Georgia Peach Vodka 
TY KU Sake Silver 
Don Benito Silver Tequila 
Herradura Blanco 
Tributo Blanco Tequila 
El Decreto Reposado Tequila 
Ambhar Reposado Tequila 
Tres Mujeres Reposado Tequila 
Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila 
The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes - Limited Edition 
Gold Miner Dark Rum 
Whistling Andy Hibiscus Coconut Rum 
Donq Gran Anejo Rum 
Berneroy XO Calvados 
Brady's Irish Cream Liqueur 
Luxardo Amaretto 
Jaan Paan Liqueur 
VnC Cocktails Pacific Breeze 
VnC Cocktails Margarita 
Signature Vodka 
u'Luvka Vodka 
SX Liquor Series

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An opinion on Ardbeg

[Note: I am posting this for a friend of mine, Ralph Katzenell, who has voiced opinions on whisky that I respect and wish to share]

When an Israeli says "Ardbeg", usually the "expression" being talked about is Ardbeg 10 yo. This is not the only expression produced at the distillery.

Some history. For many many years, it was almost impossible to get anything other than the 10 yo. It had legendary status, as the perfection of highly peated whisky. All scotch whisky writers note the outstanding excellence of the whisky. It was also quite hard to find in the shops. In March 1981 the distillery was closed, for 8 years. When it reopened, many commentators observed that the whisky was not the same, it lacked a certain depth of body. It was produced by the new owners, Allied, mostly for use in blending.

In 1997 Allied sold the distillery to Glenmorangie, who revived the production and marketing of Ardbeg. They stopped the process of chill-filtration (good for them!). Under Glenmorangie, we have seen a whole range of different Ardbegs. There is Very Young (5 yo). Still Young (6 yo). Not there yet (9 yo), the regular 10 yo. There's Uigedail (nearly cask strength) at 54% abv) and Blasda (at 46%, at a minimal 8 ppm phenol) and lately many others with strange names.There's Corryverckan, and Alligator and goodness knows what else. The Corryvreckan is considered by some to be rather uninspired, and Alligator has had some downright bad reviews.

The general opinion among my correspondents and the blogs and web sites is that the quality of Ardbeg is no longer to be accepted as a given. At price versus quality, each expression has to be evaluated. Even more difficult, there seems to be some variation in the quality of the same expression, according to year and batch.

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Getting bars and pubs directly involved with DrinkedIn

Many people have asked me about getting others involved in DrinkedIn. In particular, I want to write a bit about bar & pub owners and their management. It's really important for them to be involved for the following reasons:

  • Bar and pub management can "own" their listing - what this means is that they will be able to edit the listing and have it reflect the information they want. This includes updating even for weekly/monthly specials, hours of operation, specialty drinks, events (including entertainers) and more.
  • Very important is a pointer back to their own website. A link from DrinkedIn to their own website helps their ranking in the search engines (i.e. it promotes their own business)
  • Groups - Each bar should create groups of their fans to enhance this visibility. It's another great way to keep the clientele involved and easy to post messages to members and keep them informed of events, contents, specials and any bits of news they want to send on...
  • Blogs - While most bars have invested money in a website, very few have blogs associated with them. Every DrinkedIn member can have a free blog and this gives the bar managers another opportunity to promote the bar.
  • Location finder - DrinkedIn's listing have the addresses of the bars and make use of Google's mapping API to show the location so DrinkedIn users can find their bar. Owners and managers can make sure that the address is accurate.
  • Visibility - I sort of mentioned this above with regards to the pointer back to the website. In general, DrinkedIn's pages are scanned very frequently by search engine robots due to DrinkedIn's sheer size (i.e. massive database of bars and pubs) - because of this, the bar owner can use this for frequent updates (specials, winners of contests, pictures, videos, and so on).
  • Relationship with DrinkedIn - DrinkedIn has started a free beer giveaway (see forum announcements for lists of winners from time to time) and will have other giveaways as well (e.g. sponsor keg parties and so on... we'll provide more information soon). By establishing a relationship with DrinkedIn, the bar owner can be a local point for DrinkedIn's giveaways (hey, we could buy the winner beers anywhere... why not at their favorite bar!) and parties.

I'll be providing more updates soon. But the bottom line is that it's in everyone's interest that bar owner's be made aware of DrinkedIn's service - after all, it's free and helps their business. The bar owner should be so happy you made him aware of it... hey, he should buy you a drink!


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A Beer just for the Ladies?

Carlsberg Copenhagen is a new beer meant just to attract women. Personally, I don't get it. If it tastes good, it's good. I wouldn't feel un-manly just drinking a beer that comes in a pretty box. How does it taste... that's all that should matter... not how you look carrying the box and if it matches your outfit...

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xNEAQUywEg 100x100]


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March of the Blondes

The Associated Press reports that:

Decked out in pink, hundreds of blondes marched through the streets of the Latvian capital Riga Saturday in a rally started to lift the Baltic state's spirits in a deep slump.

"We have more than 500 participants registered, including a 15-member team from New Zealand, seven ladies from Finland and Italy and 32 from Lithuania,¨ said Marika Gederte, head of the Latvian Association of Blondes.

The brainchild of like-minded local blondes, the parade began in 2009, the year the economy of this ex-Soviet nation of 2.2 million shrank by 18 percent. Saturday's march was the third of its kind.

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What's wrong with Duty Free shops?

After spending some time in Duty Free shops checking out the selection and prices in various airports, I've found that most "general" Duty Free shops lack any expertise in the alcoholic beverages that they are selling. I should note that this definitely is not true of Duty Free shops that specialize in high-end whisky products (e.g. World of Whiskys in Heathrow Airport)... sadly though, this definitely is true of the larger Duty Free shops that sell a larger variety of products including cosmetics, chocolates, cigars and of course, alcohol.

The problem is that most salespeople  are untrained and are almost completely driven by commissions. It's to the point that if you make a selection yourself and pick up a bottle of your favorite single malt, they will run over to you and put a sticker on the box indicating that they were the individual who made the sale.

Even worse, if you do strike up a conversation with them, they often know nothing about the product. Recently I was speaking to someone about Single Barrel Bourbons (who kept referring to them, incorrectly as malts only because they have the phrase Single Malt drilled into their heads). Later I did wander over to the Single Malts and started looking at some... the sale salesman came over to me and said, "oh this one is from Islay of Highland and is very smoky..." when it truth this was a Speyside brand ("The Balvenie Doublewood") - so I just smiled and tried to get away from the salesman...

The only thing that redeemed the visit to the store was the small taste that was finally offered by a non-commissioned employee (not pushy... just offering a sample).

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LinkedIn wants to sue DrinkedIn? Beer & Bourbon versus Billions...

DrinkedIn has received several phone calls from a LinkedIn lawyer that is upset at DrinkedIn. I spoke LinkedIn's lawyer and while he was extremely polite and cordial, he did say that LinkedIn would consider taking further action.

Personally, I can't see what the deal is... but I feel it must be IPO nerves or something... LinkedIn is looking to break out into a public offering in the billions... yes, that's right... with the letter "B"

At DrinkedIn, the letter "B" can only stand for Beer or Bourbon... clearly we are in different worlds.

Stay tuned for more updates...

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American efficiency is great - just look at the stats

  • A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year.
  • Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year.

That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!

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Some sound investment advice - don't waste time with a 401-K

  • If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today.
  • If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.
  • If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received a $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.


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An ode to a bartender with flow.

I will not lie, I am at the bar...

Milk Tiger Lounge in Calgary, AB.


If you are looking for the classics, done right, here is the only place in "cowtown" that I have found to date.

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More Kippahs Than Kilts at WhiskyFest 2010

No doubt inspired by DrinkedIn Red Sea Pedestrians were out in force looking to split to waters of life ...


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Moderate Drinkers May Toast Research Finding They Live Longer

OK - I normally don't repost other people's articles directly, but this one is important enough for people's health to warrant such a posting. So time out from the pub reviews and other articles praising this single malt whisky or that homebrewed beer... time for a public service announcement:

Moderate Drinkers May Toast Research Finding They Live Longer
2010-08-31 04:01:00.22 GMT

By David Olmos
    Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Drinking two or three glasses of
wine, beer or cocktails daily helped older adults live longer
than teetotalers in a study.
    Research on 1,824 adults ages 55 to 65 found that moderate
and heavy drinkers were less likely to die than abstainers over
20 years, said scientists at the University of Texas in Austin
and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Moderatedrinkers were defined as having one to two a day while heavy
drinkers had three or more daily, according to the study in the
journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.    The results refuted a common criticism of previous findings
that results were skewed when researchers included former problem
drinkers with poor health in the abstainers group. The results
held up even after excluding results from past problem drinkers
those with poor health status such as obesity, the authors said.
    “Importantly, any health-protective effects of alcohol
appear to be limited to regular moderate drinking,” wrote the
study authors, led by Charles Holahan, a psychology professor at
the University of Texas. “Heavy episodic drinking -- even when
average consumption remains moderate -- is associated with
increased cardiovascular risk.”

Heavy Drinkers

     Overall, older adults who didn’t drink at all had a 49
percent greater risk of dying during the 20 years of the study
than those who drank moderately, the researchers found. Heavy
drinkers had a 42 percent increased risk of dying compared with
moderate drinkers, the study found.
    The results also showed that moderate drinkers lived longer
than light drinkers, defined as those drinking an average of
less than one drink per day.
    One or two drinks may be beneficial, though “older persons
drinking alcohol should remember that consuming more than two
drinks a day exceeds recommended alcohol consumption
guidelines,” and may lead to more falls, a greater risk of
alcohol abuse and side effects from medications, Holahan said in
a statement.
    The study is published online and will be in the print
edition of the journal’s November issue. The research was funded
by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Cheerz Challenge: Las Vegas



The Cheerz Challenge Las Vegas is a reality TV show recently filmed at the legendary Hard Rock Resort and Casino. Host Stuart Brazell followed a cast of eight young adults who had never previously tried IntelliShot, as they partied it up in the Hangover Capital of the World.

Six out of eight cast members took the shots, including Yoi Tanabe, a model for NBC's Deal or No Deal, who suffers from Asian flush and was eager to see if IntelliShot would prevent the unsightly redness she gets in her face and neck after taking just a sip of alcohol. Two skeptics chose to party without IntelliShot.

The cameras were there to capture the morning after effects of partying with - or without - the benefit of IntelliShot. The results were astonishing.

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Drinking and Man's Best Friend... Could Save Your Life!

Sky News reported that a Dog saved a drunk man's life by chewing off his toe.

The dog chewed off his master's big toe, thus saving his life? How does this one work? Well, if you are in a drunk enough stupor, then it makes clear sense...

It seems that the dog's owner is suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and he needed his toe amputated anyway... during the time that the owner passed out, the dog came and did the amputation for him and even ate all the infection, thus saving his life.

OK - I'll be honest, I still haven't figured it all out, but that's not what is important here... what we all need to learn from this is that man's best friend and a couple of six packs can save your life (albeit one less toe).

Now do you understand?

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Drinkers are just classy people... why is this a surprise?

Discover Magazine reports that "People of class drink alcohol" - here at DrinkedIn, we wonder why this is a surprise?

We've always known that drinking promotes world peace, saves the whales, reverses any global warming (or is it now cooling?) trends and also tastes good all at the same time we make the world a better place. Now we know that it's truly the "classy people" who are securing a better future for upcoming generations (yes - you have to start aging that 18 year old single malt now if you want your children to really enjoy peace and prosperity).

I wonder why it's called Discover Magazine? This was not a discovery to us...

So... be proud of your favorite bar, favorite drink or just anytime you sit and relax with a wonderful bottle and a companion... knowing that you are indeed making the world a better place.

Oh... and thanks to our Brazilian drinkers for saving their rain forests...

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coupons in Zichron Yaakov

Hey All,

אני רוצה ליידע אתכם שפאבים בזכרון מקבלים קופונים למנויי האתר שלנו, הפבים

Outback Pub

The Hobbit


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