Hot Night Cap

-A variant of the Hot Scotch Night Cap (sans the scotch).


  • 1.5oz Drambuie
  • 0.5oz Creme de Cacao (white) – (I used Bols Brown Cacao because I find the Meaghers white cacao too sweet)
  • 3.5oz milk (2%, maybe I’ll try whole milk next time
  • topped with grated dark chocolate (I used Kerstin’s Hot Chocolate)
  • (optional) dollop of whipped cream (who doesn’t like whipped cream?)


  1. Pour the Drambuie and Creme de cacao in a warm mug
  2. Heat the milk and pour into the mug
  3. Get drunk

Rating: C+ (I might drink it again but I’d tweak the recipe)

Tasting Notes: The hot temperature definitely amplifies the ethyl burn on the nose, but it also warms the throat and provides a softer finish. Excellent blend of spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon), orange and chocolate but very alcohol forward.

the culprits

Van Gogh Blue (Holland)

Van Gogh Blue, 750ml 40% ABV, Holland

Introducing Van Gogh’s premium triple distilled, triple European wheat vodka. It includes a combination of wheat from the middle of France, southern Germany, and Dutch wheat from Zeeland. First sold in 2008.

  • Notes From Tim Vos, Master Distiller

    “The exceptional triple wheat Van Gogh Blue offers subtle flavors of grains from three countries, each bringing their own unique characteristics to the spirit. In Holland, the wheat is cultivated near the Dutch coast and is therefore a bit salty and dry from the maritime influence. The harvest in France comes from the center of the country and possesses a sweeter profile. While in Germany, the wheat is grown in an area where the water comes from the melted ice of a nearby mountain, providing the grain with a mineral taste. The aftertaste delivers a delicate and consistent essence of wheat grains and some minerality for a dry and polished finish.”

Other notes:

  • pretty image-in-bottle effect
  • screw-cap sealed (as opposed to Grey Goose synthetic cork)
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: <$40 (after 10%), ~$2 per shot
  • Drinkability: Easy-Medium

Tasting Notes (Oct 27/2011)

If not for the master distiller’s notes above, I really wouldn’t know what to look for. So, in comparing it to the French wheat Grey Goose, the sweetness is definitely present. There is a salty edge at the start that rounds out the flavour and slides down the sides the of tongue. The mineral notes add complexity on the top of the tongue and finishes slightly salty. The ethyl burn is rather mild and travels upstream through the nasal cavity and quickly vanishes.

-Compared to Grey Goose: not as sweet, more complex, slightly more burn, less warmth down the throat.

Rating as an (interesting) liquor: B

Rating as a vodka: A

The bottleimage-in-bottle effectnotes from the master distiller

Gran Patron Burdeos (Mexico)

Gran Patron Burdeos (Burdeos = Bordeaux in Spanish)

Here is Patron’s finest anejo 100% agave tequila (40% ABV, 750ml) Hecho en Mexico, the process:

  1. double distilled from 100% agave
  2. Aged for a year in barrels made from a mix of American mountain oak and French oaks from several regions
  3. 3rd distillation
  4. Racked in Bordeaux barrels for further aging

Packaging (old, dated packaging as of 2011)

  • Super huge box with styrofoam padding on both ends
  • Velvet-lined wooden box hand-crafted from a single piece of walnut
  • Cool brushed brass mini corkscrew
  • Unleaded crystal glass stopper

Other notes:

  • hand-numbered and initialed unleaded crystal glass bottle (it’s friggin’ heavy)
  • hand-numbered and signed wooden box
  • perfect fit cork (great for re-corking instead of using the crystal stopper)
  • Where I got it: Solo Liquor @ St. Albert
  • How much: $427 (after 5%), $25 per shot
  • Drinkability: Easy

Tasting Notes (Oct 26/2011)

The first thing you notice is the lovely rich orange colour which displays just how integral the oak-aging process is to creating this masterpiece. On the nose is a light honeyed-citrus fruit with a hint of smoke and cognac. The start is a clean tangy/tropical agave nectar paired with lots cognac flavour, vanilla, and then comes the medium straight-down-the-mid tequila warmth which ends at the tip of the tongue, down the throat and up the nasal cavity. Superb clean warm fuzzy finish, sensations of anise, menthol, and bbq smoke.

Rating as a liquor: A-

Rating as a tequila: A

walnut boxsigned boxvelvet lined boxnumbered bottlebig ass box

Orange Blossom – Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, 5.2% ABV, (brewed by Pyramid Brewing, Seattle, Berkeley, Portland)

On the front label:

“Ale brewed with honey; orange peel, natural flavor and orange flower extract added.”

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I might like it: unique orange blossom flavour
  • Who I recommend it to: bitter beer haters
  • Where I got it: W.16th
  • How much: <$15 for 6pack , 2010

Tasting Notes (updated March/2012): pours golden amber, small head, some lacing, good CO2 streams. Strong honey nose, some metallic elements. Sweet orange blossom water up front, candied orange, marmalade, clean mildly sour non-bitter finish. Aggressive 7/10-level sourness is invasive and slightly off-balance at the start.

Snow Cap seasonal ale (2009) – Pyramid breweries, 7% ABV, (Seattle, Berkeley, Portland)

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I might like it: good body, solid flavours
  • Who I recommend it to: Belgian lovers
  • Where I got it: ??? (W.16?)
  • How much: <$10 , Q4,2010

Tasting notes: pours beer bottle brown, small head, some lacing. Tastes quite nutty, malts, caramel, 5/10 sweetness with a low-med bitter finish. Medium depth, medium complexity, medium length, great balance. Definitely warming, crisp and satisfying.

Gehringer Brothers 2008 Ehrenfelser (White) (BC, Canada)

Gehringer Brothers 2008 Ehrenfelser (White), 750ml, 13.0% ABV, (BC VQA Okanagan Valley, Canada)

On the back label:

Classic Ehrenfelser

“This variety is well-suited to our viticultural area. Our Ehrenfelser has a rich honeyed bouquet, with a subtle tangy apricot acidity and a touch of almond. The initial sweetness highlights its intriguing flavour, which subsides to an almost dry impression, partly due to tannins unique to this variety. Great as an aperitif, this wine also pairs with lightly-spiced foods. Serve slightly chilled. Medium Dry.”

  • My Rating: C
  • Why I might like it: gets you drunk faster than beer.
  • Who I recommend it to: an easy-going light white wine drinker.
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor store
  • How much: $15 , 2010
  • Bottom line: would NOT drink again, would NOT recommend

Wine Tasting Notes: 1st bottle of any type of wine this year. I tend not to like wines because they rarely are distinct enough to wow me. Case in point, this wine doesn’t wow but gets you drunk. I do taste the almond which I never would have unless guided to do so. Also tastes of minerals, stone fruit (apricot), and some lemon peel. Lots of acid and tang at the funky cringing sour finish. Not exciting enough to drink again, not awesome enough for my friends.

Oct 21st/2011 2nd Tasting: Paired with chasiu-lettuce-bellpepper salad, brings out the fruity pineapple+apricot flavours. So the potential of this wine and varietal has been unlocked! Bonus points awarded but still firm on prefering to try a different bottle.

Bifrost Winter Ale – Elysian (Seatte, WA, USA)

Elysian Bifrost Winter Ale (Seasonal), 1 Pint 6 fl oz, 7.6% ABV, (Seattle, WA & Ft. Collins, CO)

On the side of the label:

Winter Ale

“Bifrost is our lively winter seasonal – bold with citrus and earthy hops and balanced with smooth malt character.”

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I might like it: good medium body, bold and complex
  • Who I recommend it to: IPA lovers
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek / W.16th
  • How much: <$10 , Q1/2011

Beer Tasting Notes: pours cloudy orange, semi-thick lasting head, sticky lacing, micro carbonation, and a plethora of champagne bubble strands. Subdued malty orange nose. Velvety mouthfeel, predominantly bitter orange peel citrus mixed in with a bitter dry hopped finish (reminds me of a med IPA). Long lingering bitter finish, medium-high body, medium complexity, medium-high depth. A well-crafted solid beer but not the flavour profile I particularly like. But it is something I can definitely appreciate.

Toasted Coconut Wit (Beermaster Series), 650ml, 5% ABV, (Aldergrove, BC)

On the side of the label:

“Toasted Coconut Wit is traditionally unfiltered, fresh, lightly spiced wheat ale infused with coconuts toasted to perfection in the oven of The Island Goddess!”

  • My Rating: C-
  • Why I might like it: Half crisp, goes down as a witbier with a bit of refreshing citrus in there.
  • Who I recommend it to: N/A
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Store
  • How much: $5, Oct/2011

Beer Tasting Notes: pours cloudy off-yellow white, quickly dissipated head, sliding lacing. Drank at 10C, very minor toasted flavour, almost non-existent coconut flavour. Somewhat sour aftertaste, with orange notes occupying the middle stanza. A little creamy, but somewhat disappointing thin body, hard rough bitter finish. Will not go another round.

Valley Trail Chestnut Ale – Whistler Brewing (Whistler, BC, Canada)

Valley Trail Chestnut Ale (Seasonal), 650ml, 5% ABV, (Whistler, BC)

On the back label:

“This limited release is a true reflection of Fall. We’ve blended robust caramel and crystal malts to give the brew deep brown amber hues, for an almost warming experience. But it’s the roasted chestnuts that impart a unique and bold nutty character, complemented by a light level of hops, for a clean but crisp finish. Here’s to fresh air, autumn colours, and fall hikes on our favourite trail.”

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like it: The novel wow factor of tasting aromatic roasted chestnuts in a beer.
  • Who I recommend it to: those who want to try a totally new beer
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Store
  • How much: $5.75

Beer Tasting Notes: pours chestnut brown, 1inch head, medium carbonation, and some good lacing. Lots and lots and lots (and lots) of caramelized roasted chestnuts on the nose. Somewhat thin at the start, but it finishes acceptably nutty and somewhat clean. Not exactly complex or deep, but has a very unique flavour profile. This would be cool in a cocktail…