Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...
... to 'Day Twenty-Three' of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and to the fourth instalment of "Toxic Tipple Thursday" in which I aim to recommend a selection of "batty brews", "creepy cocktails" and (perhaps) even some "wicked wines"... all suited to Hallowe'en !!
So, if you're planning to host your own spooky soirée on October 31st, you should make a point of visiting this blog EVERY THURSDAY between now and Hallowe'en for some inspirational ideas on how to keep those ghastly goblets full to the brim throughout your fiendish festivities !!
Anyway... having kicked things off with the "Unofficial Beer of Hallowe'en", aka "Hobgoblin", and followed that up with a dark & mysterious porter (or, "stout", if you prefer) called "Black Wych", both from the same 'Wychwood Brewery', I then mixed things up a bit by bringing you a spooktacular spirit, in the shape of 'The Kraken' black spiced rum, for my next post in the series. Today's post goes beyond the monsters of the deep and invites you to "experience the sinister side..." as we ignore the "Angel's Share" (lost to evaporation) and opt instead for "The Devil's Cut" which is far better suited to Hallowe'en and the long dark nights in this "season of mischief" we all love !!
The James B. Beam Distilling Company, who created this richly flavoured & distinctly bold bourbon, explain on their website, FOUND HERE, that as bourbon ages a portion of the liquid is lost from the barrel due to evaporation and that, as mentioned above, is called the "Angel's Share". However, once the barrel is emptied, a certain amount of whiskey is left "trapped" within the wood and it is that which they refer to as the "Devil's Cut"... hmmm, 'Angels' & 'Demons' - that sounds like a good theme for a Hallowe'en (H)extravaganza if you ask me !! Anyway, the folks at 'Jim Beam' developed a proprietary process by which they "pull" the rich whiskey that's trapped inside the wood of the barrel (once it's been emptied) and they "hold" the extracts until the desired bourbon "notes" have developed their proper balance. After that, they blend it with "extra-aged" bourbon and bottle it at '90 Proof'' or, as we tend to call it over here, 45% ABV... with the end result being "a robust premium bourbon with deep colour, aroma and character" (their words, not mine) which we know as the "Devil's Cut" bourbon... but, don't just take my word for it, the "proof" is (quite literally) on the label as the (above) image shows and, while you're at it, why not check out "the other side" of the label, too?!
The essence of this distinctly bold bourbon is the rich flavours unleashed (no, not like the Kraken!) from deep inside the wood of the barrel. The taste is best described as, "full-bodied, with intense oak and vanilla notes" and you'll find that the "finish" is long and smooth, with a hint of sweetness. Despite being around for only a few years, "Devil's Cut" has already notched up a few accolades, as well as some favourable reviews, all of which can be viewed online, VIA THIS LINK.
Aside from drinking it neat, or over ice (aka "on the rocks"), there are a number of interesting ideas for some "creepy cocktails" that can be made in order to better serve your ghoulish guests on Hallowe'en. The most popular variants are to mix it with coke, or ginger ale & bitters, although you'll find many more "recipes" & suggestions for other "ingredients" on the Jim Beam website, HERE. Of those shown, there are a half dozen or so that (I feel) are particularly suited to Hallowe'en and to which the "Devil's Cut" name lends itself (at least, in part) rather nicely, as follows:-
- DEVIL'S KREWE PUNCH - who doesn't love a good bowl of "punch" at a party?! This one is mainly comprised of Devil's Cut + Pomegranate Liqueur + Pineapple Juice + Cranberry Juice but you will find a full list of ingredients, plus additional notes on how to make it in THIS DRINK RECIPE.
- DANCING WITH THE DEVIL - it usually takes one or two "liven-ers" to get the party in full swing and, judging by the name of it, this should certainly get them moving! This one is mainly comprised of Devil's Cut + Triple Sec + Fresh Lemon Sour + Passion Fruit Juice + Tabasco but (again) there's a full list of ingredients, plus further notes on how to make it in THIS DRINK RECIPE.
- THE DEVIL & MISS MARY - of course, the best dances involve a partner but when you're both tired of dancing you and "Miss Mary" (or whomever you happen to be with) are likely to be in need of some refreshment such as this! In it, you'll find a blend of Devil's Cut + Tomato Juice + Worcestershire Sauce + Tabasco Sauce + Freshly Ground Pepper + Onion Salt + Garlic Salt + Fresh Basil Leaves and (as above) there's notes on how to make it in THIS DRINK RECIPE.
- DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE - if you happen to spot a loner, in the corner of the room, they'll likely be stood there with one of these looking "too cool for school" but not (necessarily) a ringer for 'James Dean' although (it is possible) they may be! Anyway, if you're equally as curious about what's in their glass as you are about them, this one has Devil's Cut + Ginger Ale + Angostura Bitters and (once more) there's notes on how to make it in THIS DRINK RECIPE.
- DEVIL'S CRUSTA - aside from being a disease of the scalp (I kid you not!), which already makes this suitable for any ghastly gathering in my book, the cocktail aficionados among you may recall the "Brandy Crusta", originally invented in 1852 by Joseph Santina, which is the more likely source of inspiration for this drink - if only to lend it's name (in part) although the presence of both 'Maraschino Liqueur' and 'bitters' suggests there's slightly more to it than that! For the record, this particular cocktail is mainly comprised of Devil's Cut + Maraschino Liqueur + Angostura Bitters + Simple Syrup with details on how to make it in THIS DRINK RECIPE.
- THE RIVER STYX - okay, so there's no "devil" in the name of this one but you can rest assured that there is definitely some "devil", "in the detail" as the saying goes, to be found in this drink! The proof of that, lies in the list of ingredients for this cocktail... which include: Devil's Cut + Dry Vermouth + Fresh Pineapple Slices + Fresh Rosemary Sprig + Blood Orange or, if you prefer, Pomegranate Syrup and you can discover how to make it in THIS DRINK RECIPE.
Of course, I can't claim to be an "expert" on Jim Beam, or the "Devil's Cut".. but I have consumed this particular spooky spirit in a variety of "creepy cocktails" and (IMHO) the best way to enjoy it is "on the rocks" (i.e. neat over ice) but, if you prefer a mixer, my favourite pairing for it is coke... which, as I said before, is a bit of a "no-brainer" since, as with rum, people have blended "whiskey & coke" for ages - sometimes, the "tried & trusted" traditional mixers really are the best... although (perhaps) for Hallowe'en that should be "tortured & twisted" mixers?!
As to where you can find this spooky spirit... it seems your options are few & far between, when it comes to the main supermarkets, with 'Tesco' proving to be pretty much the only connoisseurs of "creepy cool" this Hallowe'en - as well as the cheapest place to buy "Devil's Cut" in UK as of now - and they are (currently) offering a 700ml bottle for £25.00 whereas other sources, all of which are online, are charging upwards of £30.00 (including delivery) for the same product !!
Meanwhile, if any of you are in need of further persuasion, there's a bunch of "promo" videos to be found on the "Official" Jim Beam 'YouTube' Channel, VIA THIS LINK, one of which I've decided to share with you (below) as it's the one (currently) being screened on the "Devil's Cut" webpage too:-
So, there you have it... and, even if you are not invited to (or hosting) your own spooky soirée this Hallowe'en, you could do worse than sit back and sip your way through a glass or two of the "Devil's Cut" bourbon whiskey to while away the hours. Speaking of which... you might want to spend some of that time doing a bit of online shopping in the "Official" Jim Beam 'American Stillhouse' Store, FOUND HERE, as you enjoy your bourbon. No matter how you enjoy it, however, once you've emptied the bottle... instead of recycling it in the (hopefully) usual manner, you may wish to consider repurposing it as a "Hallowe'en" candle-holder, as we suggested with the "Black Wych" & "Kraken" bottles previously. Again, from our experience black candles work well with this bottle but, equally, ivory or red candles look every bit as good, especially once the wax has dripped down the sides !!
Before signing-off, I should (perhaps) also point out that this 'Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey' is fairly strong (45% ABV) and a 700ml bottle is equivalent to 28 UK units of alcohol so PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY and, if you are unsure, visit www.drinkaware.co.uk for full guidelines. That said, if you do happen to like it, why not post your thoughts via the "Official" 'Jim Beam' Twitter Feed: @JimBeam for those of you with a Twitter account. Alternatively, if you'd rather get social with them in other ways, there's also an "Official" 'Jim Beam' Facebook Page: Jim Beam (Facebook) but either way, when leaving your comments, don't forget to tell 'em @ukrokuchannels sent you !!
Finally, to round-off this fourth instalment of "Toxic Tipple Thursday" on 'Day Twenty-Three' of the annual 'Countdown To Halloween', I thought I'd better clarify how this ties-in with having a Roku player... and, as mentioned during the inaugural post of this series, there's two ways to look at this:-
01. If you watch a Hallowe'en / Horror Movie at the cinema, the chances are you'll have something to eat & drink while you enjoy the film... so, as you stream your Hallowe'en / Horror Movie at home (via your Roku player), why not enjoy a glass of the "Devil's Cut" bourbon whiskey with it too ?!!
02. You could always copy the above images and stream them to or via your Roku player using one of the many "Photos & Video" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store to view them on your TV... perhaps (even) as part of a Hallowe'en Screamsaver (sic) using assorted images from the various Flickr and/or Picasa photo groups that carry Hallowe'en / Horror images - just a thought !!
Anyway, that's all for today... just remember to come back in 24-hours for 'Day Twenty-Four' and more Hallowe'en-themed content, in "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", when I will reveal the next devilish dish for "Fiendish Food Friday", and (again) this time next week for another "Toxic Tipple Thursday" as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2014...
Fangs (as always) for reading !!