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Evan Williams Cinnamon Reserve Review

Cinnamon flavored alcohol seems to be slowly following in the footsteps of spiced rum; companies are beginning to spit their own takes out, bit by bit.  Goldschlager’s gone through somewhat of a surgence, we were treated to Fireball Whisky not too long ago, and even the latest offering from Malibu, Island Spiced, promises “caribbean rum infused with coconut, vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.”

And here we have Evan Williams, certainly no stranger to flavor-infused spirits.  They’ve already granted us affordable liqueurs in the form of Reserves (honey and cherry), each sharing their own bit of success.  Naturally, a new flavor has worked its way out of the distilleries and onto store shelves.  Cinnamon Reserve promises a “hot cinnamon taste” along with “a hint of fire and spice” and, if my time with Honey Reserve was any indication, one heck of a sticky, syrupy experience.

A picture of cinnamon churros with 2D flames is certainly eye-catching amidst aisles of black, white and brown labels.  The copper color of the full bottle proves to be misleading, as the spirit’s saturation quickly fades when poured, unlike the more consistent Honey Reserve.  On the nose there’s a definite cinnamon character (what a shock), though I can’t help but compare it to Fireball, which is far more forward.  It’s odd too, since Fireball is a cinnamon-infused whisky, while Evan Williams is merely a liqueur, so the bourbon-whiskey essence is played down.

If you gave me both Cinnamon Reserve and Fireball in a blind taste test without trying either beforehand, however, I’d have thought very differently.  Where a shot of Fireball tingles your mouth and taste buds like a tasty, spicy chicken wing, Evan Williams gives you a more straightforward cinnamon flavor with cordial and bourbon essence immediately on the finish.  More cinnamon briefly creeps back up, but it doesn’t stick around nearly long enough to leave a remotely strong impression.

Much like Crown Royal Maple, the cinnamon of Fireball felt like it was an actual part of the whiskey.  Yet with so much flavor, combined with a fairly tame amount of alcohol (66 proof), Fireball lacked the soul of a true whiskey.  What it offered instead was a rather refreshing experience, given the gimmicky premise.  Evan Williams, by comparison, wants to be a jack of all trades.  It wants to feed you the added flavor, but not so that cinnamon is the only thing it offers.  Sadly, the rest of the drink is not very worthwhile.  That lingering, syrupy character which Honey Reserve bathed in is present here, bringing out an experience that makes me suspect this stuff has high fructose corn syrup.  It doesn’t have this issue quite as bad as Honey Reserve, but without as much of a flavorful profile, it’s hard for me to be generous.

I hate turning this review into a comparison, but it’s damn-near inescapable.  Evan Williams have simply found themselves stuck on the backburner once again.  Honey Reserve was an ample supply of honey, but once considered alongside Wild Turkey’s American Honey, the lower price tag began to make even more sense.  Not that Honey Reserve was a bad product, it just didn’t have much of a place amongst vastly superior (Wild Turkey) and commendably different peers (Jack Daniel’s, Bushmills).  Cinnamon Reserve can at least enjoy the potential for more accessibility in recipes, though if my town is any indication, its not going to be the easiest bottle to find.  What we have here is a spirt that feels timid, afraid of giving us the flavor and experience touted on the very bottle.  It’s not a bad drink, per se, but when you can get a more authentic and fulfilling experience for literally the same price elsewhere, it’s tough to look at the glass half full.

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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Alcohol, Alcohol, Blog, Drinks, Review

 

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Quote Reviews 100th Post: Movie Drinking Games

It’s probably safe to say that the main reason people drink alcohol is because it’s the closest thing we can get to the effects of drugs.  But given their (il)legality, our options are more than scarce.  Now, I’m not one to try and encourage people under the age of 21 to drink, but that has more to do with–again–legality than the actual idea of enjoying the occasional buzz.  It’s been brought up several times before, but the point still rests: there’s clearly a knot in a system which lets you die for your country before you can/should have drink for cheers sake.  Stay away from the booze until you’re technically allowed, boys and girls, it’s not worth trying to be Mr. BA.  But, I digress.

All that being said, I think many of us enjoy an occasional drinking game.  And being a film lover, one of my favorite ways to go about it is with movie (or TV show) drinking games.  Although I’m more one to get a decent to strong buzz than to just trash or waste myself away, so oftentimes when I look up a drinking game online it’s just preposterous.  There will literally be so many rules that you’d clear a 1.75 liter bottle halfway through any movie.  Since the only way I can enjoy most alcohol is by diluting the flavor as a mixed drink or cocktail, having that much rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc. is a bit…much.  So when I try to think of a good drinking game, I like to try something more reasonable and easygoing.  That way moderate and virgin drinkers can both have a good time together.  Some will be a shot every couple or so minutes, others will have us go stretches without anything and then BAM, get about four simultaneous shots ready (these are the most interesting).

So here are a few drinking games I’ve though up, a couple of which I’ve tried and others that have yet to be experimented first-hand.

Finding Nemo: Every time someone says “Nemo” or “Sharkbait.”

Yugioh: Every time someone breaks/bends the rules of the game, of a card effect or comes up with a random effect for anything when dueling.

Zombieland: When a rule comes on screen or is mentioned; Twinkies are brought up; a song is played; Tallahassee mocks or insults someone.

Back to the Future (Part 1): Marty lets slip a future reference while in 1955; someone says “McFly;” the DeLorean doesn’t work; Doc talks in techno-babble or doesn’t get a metaphor/reference (such as “this is heavy,” “weight has nothing to do with it.”)

Dude, Where’s My Car?: Every time someone says “dude” or “sweet” (I think we all know what scene we’d all die at…)

The Sandlot: When Ham says “you’re killing me, Smalls;” Smalls says “the biggest pickle;” someone hits a baseball with a bat; Squints adjusts or cleans his glasses.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: For pop-culture references; when Wallace is a dick to Scott; a song is played; text/subtitles come up on screen.

The Fast and the Furious: Car techno-babble is used; we clearly hear car exhaust; when NOS is used; Vince and/or Letty act stuck-up; a song is played.

Dances with Wolves: An Indian name is used or mentioned; John/Dances with Wolves narrates.

The Dark Knight: Whenever the Joker laughs, mentions his scars or says “why so serious;” Batman speaks in his raspy voice; someone says “the Batman.”

Inception (tread with caution): Whenever “dream,” “idea” or “subconscious” is said or mentioned.

The Lord of the Rings (mention for marathon): Someone says “precious,” “ring(s),” “hobbit(s),””Tookie;” a location is mentioned (Mordor, the Shire, Rohan, Gondor, etc.); Legolas makes an obvious observation; a character mentions eating or drinking or takes part in said activity; someone puts the ring on; for every narration; when the Nazgul shriek; someone speaks in non-English; someone is referred to as “son of…;” Pippin acts silly or clueless; someone cries or is on the verge of crying.

I’ve given you some of my favorites so what about you?  What drinking games have you done that led to an awesome, laughter-filled night?  Also, what are some of your favorite drinks to have?  Specifically, I’d like to know what mixed drinks you might be fond of.  A couple of my favorites are Sprite mixed with coconut flavored Bacardi and honey flavored Jack Daniels mixed with Ginger Ale.  Also, on one of the more popular mixed concoctions, does anyone else think that regular Coca-Cola mixed with regular Captain Morgan tastes just like Vanilla Coke with an added kick?  Hopefully I’m not the only one.  I guess I know what my next experiment will be: Captain Morgan and Vanilla Coke.  That is, of course, after I get a job…which may be a while.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Blog, Film, Movies

 

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