04 December 2008

Hiram Walker Special Old Rye

Last night, I ventured over to my friend Brian's to evaluate another low-end alcoholic beverage, Hiram Walker Special Old Rye. Despite well-founded reservations, Brian finally agreed to sample this product along with a bottle of MD 20/20 Orange Jubilee that I picked up last year in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Brian's wife Michelle, who was present during the sampling, merely shook her head in dismay and refused to take part. Ironically, I think she would have protested this article with much more fortitude had we been evaluating KFC's new Famous Bowls (she constantly decries Brian's desires to sit down and eat one). However, as this was a mere alcohol-based product, she simply laughed at us. After a few beers, we were ready to begin, despite her attempts to dissuade us with a good ball-busting.

Brian was the first to step up to the plate. Normally, he is a straight-up beer drinker, but like a soldier volunteered to sacrifice himself to the cause (after a few pints of ale, of course). I poured him a shot of the whiskey and raising it to his lips, he smiled as he shot it back. The reaction he gave was both one of surprise and shock as this Canadian institution hit his throat. Michelle laughed at loud at the look on his face, despite his protestations that "it wasn't that bad." He placed his glass down on the table and gave me a "you're next" look. He added that he would include his thoughts on this liquor at a later time, as he needed time to mull it over.

I poured my own glass and shot it back. Normally, whiskey doesn't phase me (unless it is Jack Daniel's, of course), but this one was like an out-of control cement truck as it slid down my gullet. While not as bad as Five Star, it still burned but really wasn't that bad for a rye, despite the fact that I could never see myself buying it again. My ages-old criteria for whiskey has always been that if yoiu can't drink it neat, it isn't worth drinking. This product definately needed a healthy dose of ginger ale. The taste was consistant with most Canadian whiskies, but it was far too rough going down to make a night with it alone a pleasurable experience.

Next up was the old ghetto standby, MD 20/20. While MD 20/20 comes in a myriad of flavours, I chose Orange Jubilee for the simple fact that it was the most ridiculous flavour for a wine I have ever heard of. As you can see, it cost me a mere $2.99 for this bottle so it can easily fit into a wino's budget. However, the question remained as with all cheap street hooch: Will it be platable to actually drink, or will the experience turn out to be something akin to Strawberry Cisco? It was time to find out!

Brian was the first to try it, and once again found the taste to be inoffensive (or perhaps he was just too drunk to tell). Inspired by his dedication to the cause, I poured myself a glass of the orange-coloured swill. As I raised it to my lips, I could discern no intensely revolting chemical scent, as one does when indulging in the seven-horned beast called Cisco. I tipped the glass back and let the orange liquor flow around my tongue as to get a proper feel for the evaluation.

The taste was inoffensive and was reminiscent of orange Tang mixed with watered-down grain spirits. However, after several mugs of ale and a shot of cheap rye, the flavours didn't quite mix well which gave rise to my disgusted expression. I would still say that MD 20/20 is the least offensive of all ghetto wines I have tried, and I could see myself downing a bottle on a dare if I was in the U.S. for a week-long bender. However, I wouldn't recommend doing so after several hours of beer drinking.

As we concluded the tasting, Michelle asked if she could "finally throw [the MD 20/20] out?" To which Brian gave a stern "Never!" If you ask me, I think he has a secret penchant for bumwine and these trips "to Chicago" he keeps going on are merely an excuse to fly south of the border to get a fix. Now if only we could get a bottle of Night Train....

Brian also had a couple surpises in the back of his liquor cabinet. The first was a bottle of "Newfie Duck" sparkling wine that I picked up for him on a trip to Newfoundland in 2007. The other was a 20+ year bottle of Baby Duck sparkling wine that he managed to pick up someplace. Both of these products will be both sampled and evaluated on New Year's Eve 2008/2009 as we ring in the new year in true Liquor Pig fashion. This will definately be a grand event. Michelle has even promised to make some of her famous bacon-wrapped chestnuts for the party!

8 comments:

Plaidstallions said...

If Hobo's made little lemonade stands out of cardboard boxes, they would serve orange MD.

Liquor Pig said...

Sadly, orange MD is probably no worse for you than Sunny Delight.

Plaidstallions said...

Ewww Sunny D, there is a limit as to what I'll put in my body.

John III said...

Good God, I'd take Mad Dog any day over Sunny D...and I've never tried Mad Dog!

Are you going to sample some Johnny Walked high end stuff some time? I'd like to hear your opinion.

John III said...

I mean Johnny Walker. Geez, you'd think I was testing the hooch the way I've been typing. I was wondering if you have tried Walker Green, Gold or Blue?

Anonymous said...

this " canadian institution" was actually created buy an American, his name was hiram walker born 4th of july 4th 1816. he built the town walkerville ontario

Anonymous said...

Special Old is awesome Rye. You are a pussy.

Anonymous said...

they stoped making newfie duck ;(