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Smokehead Islay

This mystery Islay (we don’t know the distillery) doesn’t live up to the packaging hyperbole — I can’t figure out who the target demographic is. I don’t think that there is such a thing as an “entry level” Islay — if one is going to try one for the first time, one might just as well…

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Having recently sampled seven rums, the Diplomatico Single Vintage 2000 really does stand out by a long shot but I do also like the Matusalem 15 Year Solera Gran Reserva. As much as I like my single malts, I sense that rum is going to be my primary winter tipple which, by the way, goes especially well with…

Chocolate Tasting

Dick Taylor Bolivia — the winner by a mile. Dick Taylor is proving to the most consistently top-notch manufacturer. Amano Chuao — disappointing given its promotion as top-of-the-line and their bar from the last taste testing was the winner, even beating Dick Taylor. Not bad, but not distinguished. Pacari Ecuadorian — too sweet. Ethereal Meltaway —…

US Chocolate

Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. it is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits. — attributed to Baron Justus von Liebig, also considered to have made possible the invention of Marmite . . . but that’s a different story especially for you North…

Northern California Gastronomic Summary

On a recent trip to Northern California here are the highlights (with a couple of lowlights), listed alphabetically. Cape Fear Cafe Pricey but you will get a more than decent meal. Chile Lindo Empanadas that were disappointing. More like an overly dry Cornish pasty. Dandelion Chocolate Best chocolate I’ve come across and that includes France…