Too Big Too Small….Ahhh Just What I Needed.

Talking about frame bags for this post. Just picked up this 1/2 height frame bag that came recommended by the great folks at Gravel & Grind. Bag is manufactured by OveJA NeGRA Threadworks to be used with my Salsa Warbird.


My Warbird being a 56cm the large size frame bag fits perfect. This size bag retails for $80 and so very worth it. I dislike under saddle bags not to mention a pain to access and forget it if coasting in motion. I like the 1/2 height opposed to the full frame bag as it allows me to use both my super awesome tall Camelbak water bottles while still allowing me to carry a shit ton of other stuff. Of course I had to see if it would hold a 750ml bottle of adventure nectar. In this picture the bag is cradling Caol Ila 12yo single malt Islay Whisky. As you can see there is still room to spare. Ideally this scenario is likely a trip home from the store type purpose as I doubt I would adventure ride with this but it’s good to know I have options : ) for evening indulgence camping I actually carry and use a 5oz stainless Stanley Flask. They make a 8oz. but the 5oz. is more suitable considering the contents. Carry two 5oz. if you have multi day trip and make the other Pyrat XO Rum or a Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon. Cheers!


Anyway the frame bag is truly a great product with function and doesn’t require you give something up in return. You can still use saddle / top tube and handle bar bags for carrying additional loot. I’m quite pleased with this purchase. Oh and I picked up the Large top tube bag too for another bike.

HIBIKI 12 Whisky


In honor of my Japanese Nitto bike racks arriving I popped the cork on my HIBIKI 12 whisky distilled and bottled in Japan by Suntory. This is a 12 YO blended malt whisky with 43% ABV. matured in plum liqueur casks.

Bottle in its self is a thing if beauty. 24 Facets representing both hours in a day and seasons according to lunar calendar. This product wasn’t the easiest to locate and is available in limited supply. Most places only get a couple bottles if lucky enough to get it in the first place. Price runs $64-$69.

HIBIKI 12 is very good and has won ton of awards in 2013 alone. Grain taste is noticeable in this blend but not in a bad way, just different. It’s worth the. $64 I paid and will enjoy it in my rotation.

A toast to good health and safe adventures.

Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal


A single village in Oaxacan southern Mexico with 6000 feet elevation produces this joven mezcal which is 100% espadin agave. Product is produced in extremely small quantities using traditional methods. Bottled at 46ABV (92 Proof) and costs around $72- $79 and comes packaged in a hand-woven straw basket.

The hearts of the agave are roasted over hot stones in a pit in the ground for three to five days while covered in earth, ground to a mash using horse-powered stone mills, and then naturally fermented in wooden vats. The spirit is then created using two slow distillations in wood-fired clay or copper pot stills. The result is unlike any spirit you have experienced before. Very complex, each bottle is a unique signature.

In Scotch terms, you can think of this mezcal as possessing the flavors of Islay (peat & smoke). A great sipper, recommended neat so do not mix with anything. If you want to mix then try it with Fresca original soda. 4 to 1 ratio. 4oz Fresca 1oz Mezcal.

Very different from tequila and rather smokey in comparison . Mezcal is to tequila as rye is to bourbon. So think smokey spicy. Check out Ralfy review using below hyper link.
Ralfy’s Whisky / Spirits Review rated it a 93 and Wine Enthusiast rated it 94 points .

My Big Balls. (Ice Sphere Molds)


Made by Tovolo, plastic and silicon. $10 for two molds. Functional novelty of sorts for those who like ice in their drinks. If ice is your thing may as well go big to get chilled with minimal melt for duration of consumption. I picked these up mainly for my Gin where I do like it chilled at times. Or on a hot summer day using a mid grade tequila will mix with Fresca original soda.

TAP RYE Canadian Whisky


A limited edition 8yo Port Finished Rye @ 42% abv. Not a lot of reviews on this brand with this finish. I see a lot of reviews for the 357 Maple which I haven’t tried yet. I drink it neat (no ice or water) in a glencarin glass or tumbler.

I want to say cost was around $26 for both types, port may be tad more. I can tell you that I would purchase again. Fantastic taste but as with most ryes not much of a nose compared to other Whisky / Spirits. I really enjoy this rye, for me this could easily be my go to rye. I actually like this product more than both the Angels Envy Rye and WhistlePig. I can get two of TAP port rye 750ml for the price of one of the others mentioned in this post. Even if others are tad better it’s marginal and not double the price better.

Key thing to remember is I’m a sucker for port finishes so when I saw it had to buy it and glad I did. Angel’s Envy Rye is finished in Caribbean cask and is very good. Point being I prefer the port finish but others may not. So if you like Rye and port finished will not be disappointed.

Whisky Advocate Spring Edition


Happy to receive this Springs 20th annual awards edition . I’ll be attending WhiskyFest in New York this year and super stoked. Perhaps hit Rays Town, PA on my way to and from for some epic Mountain Biking. Remainder of this evening will be reading this edition while sipping on a dram of Whisky. Cheers!

No.3 London Dry Gin


I’ve had all the common Gins on the market and decided to give this a try when I found as I heard nothing but great things about this spirit. No.3 has become my favorite Gin to drink straightand is most awesome in a Martini and the many other cocktails where Gin is used.

No.3 Gin is very traditional London dry Gin with steep price of $43 where I live. Although my favorite straight there are lots of other good dry Gins for much less money. I drink Tanqueray Ten as my go to Gin with price point of about $32 which is fantastic. Beefeater and Bombay even less.

With Gin I usually only drink with diet tonic so just about any gin works for that just fine. I’ll keep the No3 as a neat exclusive sipper or occasional Martini and Tanqueray Ten as my go to Gin for mixing beyond the Martini.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon


What can I say, best bourbon for the price. I doubt anybody will argue this if they have consumed it. Pretty common go to bourbon with price point of of only $23. 750 ml bottles sell out quick if you can’t find it just get the huge 1.75l bottle which is only $44. Product is good enough to drink straight and inexpensive enough to mix. If you haven’t heard of Buffalo Trace do yourself a favor and give it a try. Also Buffalo Trace distillery is well known for it’s many products all of which are very high end.

Pyrat Rum XO Reserve


Best rum ever for the price. Better than most rums regardless of price. MSRP is between $25-$30. Lowest price I’ve seen in 5 years is this week. I picked up a bottle for $22 on sale At my local liquor store. I should if purchased them all. This is like my 10th bottle in five years. Absolutely delicious neat … No water or ice needed. Don’t mix this spirit. If you wish to mix just buy Bacardi Premium. Pyrat is imported by Patron Spirits. Nobody I know has had this and didn’t love it! Cheers to warmer weather and good health.

Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey


Absolutely fantastic! Finished in caribbean rum cask which at one time housed French cognac. 95% Rye 5 % Barley @ 50% abv. (100 Proof)
Drink neat or with splash of water. Highly recommend trying with the 2-3 droplets of water. Price is steep $70. but easily forgotten after first sip.

I don’t mention taste / nose as it’s just one mans opinion but if you like rye whiskeys or are undecided give this a try. I’d like to hear other opinions on this product.

This will become a regular in my rotation and hope it stays around. Small batches worry me as I hate to think that I won’t be able to get them anymore : (