Search This Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Angel Food Bakery II

I had mentioned Angel Food Bakery previously. It is a wonderful place to hang out and be a kid again....and to enjoy gourmet food in a neighborhood restaurant....not to mention the awesome treats! Stephanie Samuels who owns the place is a fellow graduate of  Beloit College (although she graduated some time after I did....I still feel a bond!). If you live in Chicago....go to this great place today...and say Dominick sent me!  See story in SunTimes below....and picture of Middle College below the left are some of the Easy Bake Ovens Stephanie has! DM

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whisky Advocate Award: Highland Single Malt of the Year

Aberfeldy 14 year old Single Cask, 58.1%, £115

.....Single cask Aberfeldy bottlings are very few and far between, and this 2011 release is right up there with the best. After initial hogshead maturation, the whisky ultimately underwent a period of finishing in an ex-sherry cask prior to bottling. ...

Comments: If you like must subscribe to the Whisky Advocate blog. A great place for great info on this aqua vitae!

Maino's Whiskey Tasting Notes: Amrut 2 Continents

Maino's Whiskey Tasting Notes: Amrut 2 Continents

Amrut Two Continents begins in the barley fields of India's North West Provinces, irrigated by glacial melt waters from the Himalayas in Bangalore. It is matured first in India where because of its climate the Angel’s share is as much as 12% of the original volume. It then spends several years in Scotland or other undisclosed region in Europe to finish. This distillate is of a limited release with all bottles numbered. Only 360 bottles (mine is numbered 321) were sent to the USA with 900 going to Europe.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Whiskeys of the Year

Candian Whiskey of the Year according to the Whisky Advocate Blog.
Wiser’s Very Old/18 Year Old, 40%, $65

 American Whiskey of the Year
Elijah Craig Barrel No. 3735 20 year old bourbon, 45%, $150

 Artisian Whiskey of the Year
Low Gap Whiskey, 42.7%, $40

Just took one of "those" tests...

According to a personality test I just took....
Others see me as fresh, lively, charming,  amusing, practical, and always interesting,  someone who's constantly in the center of  attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head.  They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding, someone  who'll always cheer them up and help them out.
I was really close to being:
Others  see me as sensible, cautious, careful &  practical.  They see you as clever, gifted,  or talented, but modest.  Not a person who  makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone  who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and  who expects the same loyalty in return.Those who really get to know you, realize  it takes a lot to shake your trust in your  friends, but equally that it takes you a long  time to get over if that trust is ever  broken.
...and for the most part....I am all of the above. DM

Aunti Jewel: Shopping Cart Drivers from La La Land

I was in the neighborhood Jewel today, and came across 4 shoppers who were clueless. Why do they leave their cart in the middle of the aisle so that you cannot go left or have to stop, put a smile on your face and say, "Excuse me."  Wake up people! Urrrggh. DM

Monday, February 20, 2012

GlenDroach 18 Year Old: Tasting Notes

The GlenDronach 18 year old (now called Allardice)  is a single sherried malt that is not chill filtered and exhibits its natural color. It matures in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks.

 ABV 46%


Color: Tawny gold highlights. As I swirl the contents in the glass, it clings, slightly oily in nature. Long after the swirling is done, it holds to the glass.

Nose: It is a "present" whisky. Not shy. The olfactory system works overtime to decipher the many subtle aromas within its boldness. You can "sense" the Spanish Oloroso sherry casks influences. Intensely focused, fruity.

Flavor: A bit of smoke with a hint of peat. It lasts upon the tongue.

Finish: A long finish with hints of cherries, chocolate, and peat.

With Water

Color: No change. It still clinks to the glass as I swirl...but with less tenaciousness.

Nose: Lighter, less intense. Fruity. Peat (?) highlights.

Flavor: Still present. Little change from the neat state.

Finish: The warmth is present, the flavor becomes slightly muted. It lasts...nicely.

MainosMusings Rating 3Ms+ MMM+s. If it wasn't for the Peat/Smoke, I would have rated it higher. DM

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Whisky Advocate:Campbeltown Single Malt of the Year: Springbank 18 year old

Campbeltown Single Malt of the Year: Springbank 18 year old (2nd Edition), 46%, $150

....Springbank remains one of the last family-owned distilleries in Scotland, and the distillery itself is superbly idiosyncratic, continuing to malt its own barley on traditional malting floors and to bottle on site. Three distinct types of spirit are produced, namely Springbank (distilled two and a half times), Longrow (heavily-peated and distilled twice), and Hazelburn (unpeated and triple distilled). The wash still is unique in being heated both by internal steam coils and direct-fired by oil.....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saint Landelin La Divine

 I have trying to find some bottles that have a replaceable top. I know that there is some lemonade that has bottles like this...but I have been unable to find them. These bottles will then be used for my wife's homemade Arancello.  I like using the zest of Italian blood oranges and a polish grain Alcohol called Spirytus, which is 96% alcohol (192 proof).


1 liter of Spirytus

10 medium to large Italian blood oranges
1½ liters of water (6 1/3 cups)
3 lbs of sugar(6 1/2 cups)

Wash the oranges with a vegetable brush & hot water to remove any residue of pesticides or wax. Pat dry. Using a potato peeler, take all the lemon rind off of the lemons. Be very careful to not get any of the white pithe on the peels, or it will make it bitter. Place the rind-peelings in a large container (like a glass sun-tea jar) with theSpirytus . Cover the container and let sit for 7 days. On the 8th day, remove/strain the peels from the alcohol, & discard the peels.

In a large saucepan, make a simple syrup by combining the water & sugar. Let it simmer "fast" for 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature & add to the alcohol. Bottle and store in freezer.

Anyway....for the bottles I need with just the right top, I found Saint Landelin La Divine beer. This beer is made in France and comes in a large 24.5 oz dark brown bottle. The beer is OK...the bottle just what I needed.

Will let you know how the Arancello turns out. DM

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm THAT Guy!

The Pediatrics/Binocular Vision Service at the Illinois Eye Institute/Illinois College of Optometry recently interviewed candidates for next year's residency positions. We have 2 positions available and 16 applicants, so you know the competition is tough.

As you might expect, most of the questions asked of the candidate are the usual ones. Why do you want to do a pediatric/binocular vision residency? What have your experiences been working with children? But over the years, I've been designated (self-designated?) as the guy who gets to ask the "off the wall questions". The answers to these questions are not as important as the way the candidate goes about developing the answer. Are they reflective? Anxious? Quick to answer? Does the answer make sense? Does the answer have to make sense?

I usually think of a question after talking to the candidate for several minutes. I may use where they were from as a part of the question....or just reach into outer space as needed.

Here's and example of some of the questions asked:

If you could be a body part, what part would you be and why?

If you could be an ancient god or super hero who would you be and why?

If you could be a kid's toy, what would you be and why?

If you could be one of the digits on your hand, which one would you be and why?

Let's say you were the first optometrist on a mission to Mars. You would provide eye care for your team, but also eye care for any Martians you met. Unfortunately, Martians have 3 eyes! How would you do an eye examination?

As a Canadian you know that the Canada is famous for many things including deer, moose and Elk. If you could be one of these 3 creatures, which would you pick and why?

As a Wisconsinite, you know that Wisconsin is famous for cheese. Of all the cheeses available which would you be and why? Would you hide beyond the cheddar curtain?

One of the candidates told me that as a kid's toy, she wanted to be an orange crayon.... I don't recall why, but it made perfect sense for this individual's character.

The Martian eye examination question elicited a groan from my colleagues....and a moment of panic from the candidate...but she survived.

Remember that when you  interview for a position not only does the answer to the question matter....but your approach to answering the question matters as well.

One of the thing I noticed about most of the candidates, is that they answered the expected questions in a similar fashion....most answers did not make the candidates stand out from any other candidate...  But when they answered my questions, you could see the wheels a turnin', the creative juices flowin' and just enough fear/panic/stage fright present to put an edge right where it needed to be.

When you interview...always remember what makes you different. If it's true that you are an orange crayon on the inside....and...part Martian to boot....make sure those who are doing the interviewing....know how special you are. DM

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Myopia Progression Rates in Urban Children Wearing Single-Vision Spectacles

Myopia Progression Rates in Urban Children Wearing Single-Vision Spectacles

....In children wearing single-vision spectacles, higher myopia progression rates were found in urban Asians compared with urban populations of predominantly European descent. Younger children and females demonstrated greater annual rates of progression of myopia....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

RedBreast 12 y/o

The Whisky Advocate Blog says this is the best Irish Whisky for 2011. I haven't tried is now on my list.

....... the cask strength version of the much-loved 12 year old Redbreast, ...carried off the honors....A rich, bittersweet plummy, red berry, oaky-spiced delight, the increased strength gives an already great whiskey a richer, fuller, fruitier dimension, and makes an already complex whiskey…even more complex. For me that makes it not just the best Irish whiskey of this year, but of any. An utter joy. —Dominic Roskrow....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Glenfiddich 12: Tasting Notes

Glenfiddich 12 year old is a single malt Scotch for all. It is one of the most popular single malts in the United States...understandably so. Compared to Macallan, it is reasonably priced  while being of the very best quality. This 12 year old is not only a sipping Scotch....but a slow-drinking single malt Scotch. You can spend an evening with this whisky in combination with your friends and enjoy it tremendously.


Color: Sunlight, golden-yellow. As I swirl, it clings slightly to the glass...

Nose: Very light, fruity: apples, pears. It is there, then gone.

Taste: Smooth. Light. Clean upon the palette. Lasting, but no where near as firm as the 30 year old..

Finish: Pear, apple...more apple. A very slight hint of nuttiness.Mild warmth.

With Water

Color: All is the same as what you find neat.

Nose: still present. Hint of pear.

Taste: More ephemeral. Small warmth....stays, lingers.

Finish: Warmth still there...but you need to wait for it. Warmth is all that is hints hardly linger.

This is the bottle I bring to share with friends. It is always welcome. Always appreciated. If you have not gotten into Scotch before, this is where you should begin. DM

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chicago Scotch Meetup

Thursday, February 23, 2012, 7:30 PM

Chicago Scotch Meetup  ...

....In February, we'll head to another new (to us) place that's been highly recommended:  Chief O'Neill's.   For those of you who take public transportation, you may want to check out the location in advance and plan your route. 

If you're new to the group, here's how it works:  we gather informally and keep track of what we each consume (food and drink) to settle up the bill at the end. This is very laid back, just good scotch and conversation with other members. Hope you can join us!...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Secrets of the 401(k) Millionaires

Secrets of the 401(k) Millionaires 

Only 0.2%, the topmost of savers have managed to put away more than $1 million in their 401(k)s....  It can be done, however. Read what it says at the bottom of the picture to the left. DM