Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Four Roses bourbon is in Canada again.In my first house, one day, I suddenly became aware of a gas leak. I called our gas company who sent a man to our house with some sort of portable gas detection tricorder. I showed him where I could smell the gas and he pointed his tricorder around until he found the leak.

"You can SMELL that?" he asked incredulously. The leak was so small, he said, it was nearly undetectable by his tricorder. So you'd THINK I have a good lil sniffer, eh? Not really. And what does smelling gas have to do with whisky? The 'nose' (sniffing the scents of the dram) is half the experience! But just because my shnoz is good for gas doesn't mean anything in the whisky world.

Today I'm taking a step backwards from my Auchentoshan review and talking about Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon. If you read that rookie whisky review, which you most certainly didn't based on the staggering number of comments, you'll already know that I don't know what I'm doing and you're about half way through a big ol' mess.

Preferring to spend as little as possible without leaving my country or robbing any old grannies, I had a friend snag me a 750ml bottle of Four Roses bourbon at his LCBO at significant savings. Sale price: $23.

Four Roses has recently returned to Canada from a decades-long vacation, so I was excited to try the medium copper coloured bourbon back to back with my others. Opening the bottle, I was intoxicated by the aroma, which was primarily of sweet cedar mixed with a slight sherry note. After a time I could detect flowers too - but what kind? I dunno. White ones.

The taste was very similar: strong wood, floral, honey. Sweet on the tip of my tongue, then got hotter as it moved back. It finished with more barrel wood, a little sweet & spicy.

If you love the smell of fresh cut wood (who doesn't?), this might be a super bourbon for you. It's like a bunch of beardy lumberjacks bottled sweet Alpine forest just for you. Thank you lumberjacks! I'm going to have another. And maybe grow a beard.

LCBO clearance: $23
40% (80 proof)


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Auchentoshan 12 year Single Malt Scotch

Punch in the face? Nope. More like a delicate tongue tickle.In his prime, John DeLorean was featured in Cutty Sark scotch ads just before his company began the downward spiral that ended in bankruptcy. While his DMC-12 is not new to me, whisky is. I don't know exactly how to properly taste it, and I definitely don't know how to review it. It feels a bit fancy. And sometimes it's nice to feel fancy. Some guys like to wear women's panties, some smoke Cuban cigars, and others enjoy a dram.

A few years ago a neighbour gave me a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 year for Christmas. It was the most vile thing I'd ever tasted and I decided right then that I didn't like whisky. Over the next few years I had the occasional bourbon... and liked it. In 2010 I toured Kentucky's Buffalo Trace distillery with my car club and had a tasting there. "Mmmm!" I thought, which led to continued bourbon drinking at Halloween, Christmas, and weekend parties.

Like I said, this is new to me. My drink of choice was always gin. But whisky is a whole other animal, and I've discovered how much I like both scotch and bourbon. Should those words be capitalized? I don't even know.

The other day I went to my local LCBO. Once a month or so they put various items on sale. I scanned the aisles and decided on a bottle of Auchentoshan (Oken-toshen) 12 year single malt scotch. Sale price: $48.

It is presented in a nice silver box, which I suppose also protects it from the sun, the only triple-distilled scotch in the world. It's a medium amber colour, and without knowing the proper way to describe it or reading other people's reviews, that's the best I can do.

When I opened the bottle I was shocked at the varying and subtle smells. Old wood, green apple, orange peels, a slight toffee scent. Amazing! I went back again. There's more there, but I don't have the experience to discern the nuances.

The taste was laid-back and soft. It was sweet on the tip of my tongue. Wood, caramel, charcoal, green apple, and finally a tiny punch of smoke. There was a very slight bite as I swallowed, then slowly that apple returned. This time with a bit of spiciness. The finish was mellow and long with a delicious smokey flavour too subtle for me to distinguish.

This bottle makes me excited. It is going to be fun playing "guess the flavours" over the next few months as I learn.

LCBO sale: $48
40% (80 proof)


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Friday, January 13, 2012

DeLorean Door Adjustment

Adjusting the sexy DeLorean doors with a not-so-sexy 17mm wrench.

Arguably the most recognizable feature of the DeLorean is its super glammy gullwing doors. Of the handful of manufacturers who have produced gullwing doors, the DeLorean's (aside from the new Mercedes SLS) are generally accepted as the most reliable.

First, a cryogenically set torsion bar designed & manufactured by Grumman Aerospace "untwists" and begins to lift the door. As its limited power runs out a standard strut takes over and lifts the door the rest of the way in an uninterrupted & sexy manner.

At the factory the early cars, such as mine, had door alignment problems. Sometimes the doors would not close properly, or only one latch would catch as there were no door guides. My car has the early stainless steel quality control guides and I've always had to slam my doors. In the winter the rear latches catching were dependent on temperature. The colder it was, the less chance they'd have of catching. I decided to fix them.

I carried my toolbox into my garage and opened the driver's door to reveal the bolt. The black paint on the bolt and washer were quite worn. It was clear that my door had been adjusted before.

Bobby McFerrin would say, Don't worry, be happy. The plate doesn't fall off.Using a 17mm wrench I loosened the nut around the latch bolt about 3/4's of a turn. This allowed me to move it around within a small area. It is attached to a larger plate on the other side. I wasn't sure if that rear plate would fall off, but the design wouldn't make sense if it did. So I chanced it... and the plate stayed put.

I moved the door pin around then slowly closed my door over and over, carefully watching the latch as it swallowed up the bolt. After about 10 minutes of fiddling, I had the bolt in the perfect position and tightened it up.

Had I known it was this simple, I would've done it years ago.

I shut the door repeatedly, very happy with the results. I no longer have to slam my driver's door, and the door panel is aligned perfectly with the body! Unfortunately, I could not seem to figure out the passenger door, so maybe it's not that simple after all.

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