Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The New Free Dice Bag, A Review, Sorta...

I’m not very confident about writing reviews of new OS products, even though I end up buying a lot of them. After all, most of you have much more experience with the game than myself, certainly in the last year at least. I know experience doesn’t necessarily equal greater insight...still, I hesitate. Yesterday, however, I found a product that I was comfortable reviewing.

I should start this decadent review off by saying that at first I was a Scotch drinker. I never liked bourbon, and though the first few Scotches I tasted almost made me toss, it’s possible that the taste buds of those under the age of thirty are simply not mature enough to appreciate most Scotches. On the other hand, from the younger perspective, you simply cannot trust a Scotch drinker. In any event, I somehow persevered and eventually discovered Balvenie Doublewood. Their Singlewood or Portwood are also fantastic, esp. the latter. As years went by and more people found Balvenie, the price went up. And then, sadly, there were budget cuts. So I downgraded slightly to single malt Irish whisky. At last here I settled on Jameson 1780. Quite nice and cost effective. Unfortunately, there were further budget cuts. American bourbon it was to be! After flirting with Knob Creek (nice, but it will never be smooth) and some locally produced (Oregon) whisky, among other things, I finally settled on Sazerac Rye (originally from New Orleans), a wonderful compromise between flavor, smoothness, and price. A nose of “Vanilla, clove, anise and pepper”, taste of “Candied spices and citrus”, and a “Smooth, licorice and smoked pepper” finish. Yum! Even more recently though, I’ve journeyed into the spirits land of the Canadians. I’ve spent many summers on the shores of the St. Lawrence and a couple of years living only a short drive to Niagara Falls - time enough to occasionally let loose an “Eh?” after a great amount of libation. It seems natural or familiar somehow, perhaps similar to my return to D&D, that I should have evolved or revolved to the mapley sweetness of Canada's own interpretation of whisky.

So more recently I’ve been picking up the Pendleton Canadian Whisky. I try to be a localist as a consumer, so I was initially attracted to it as it seemed to be made here. But the fact is, it’s only bottled in Oregon, hence it’s still Canadian. Thank Thor for this particular orlæg. If you like Canadian Whisky, you have to try it.

Of course before I stumbled on this, the ichor of the gods, I dabbled again with Crown Royal. Yes, a little sad. I really did need a dice bag after all those years, and it was tried and true. Well, anyhow, two birds with one stone, or debit card as it was.

But then, just yesterday, I made the rare (ahem) journey to the liquor store to procure more Pendleton, and saw a strange and new offering on the shelf - Canadian Club. The name was very familiar, but here was a startling thing - a bag! A bag perhaps to challenge the supremacy of the Crown Royal purple dice bag of yore! Taking stock, it turned out that if I bought a smaller than usual bottle of Pendleton, I could also buy the bottle of Canadian Club and get the FREE BLACK dice bag. It’s possible that these Canadian Club bags have been around for awhile and I just noticed ‘em, but still, here’s the review:

I like it. The whisky that is.

I decided to write down my thoughts immediately after drinking it so as not to be swayed by the opinions of others. Here’s what I wrote...

Smooth. Not as sweet as Crown Royal (as far as memory serves). Nice, quick finish, but lacking the subtlety and spice of Pendleton.

So after writing these few words I googled “Canadian Club vs. Crown Royal” and found this review, with which I agree 100%.

Ah, but what about the dice bag you say? Well sir, it’s crap. Number one, it’s simply too large. Much larger than the Crown Royal bag. Number two, the material! Not soft! Rough and cheap! And where are the reinforcing extra gold stitches to be found on the CR bag? Nothing like those here. And the drawstring? Also cheap. Finally, the stitched words themselves are far too verbose, in comparison to the simple and proud “Crown Royal” to be found on the classic purple bags.

Really, it’s a shame. A black bag, of comparable quality to the CR bag, might have resulted in several hundred extra sales, because generally black is cooler than purple. Even the wordiness of the CC bag might have been overlooked if the cloth and pull string were better made. Twas not to be, gentle readers. So I urge you, implore you even, to not impulse buy this whisky, as I did, based purely on the appearance of this (new?) marketing scheme. You will be disappointed.

Only slightly though, two birds with one stone after all. :-)

9 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

Even though you think black is cooler than purple, I would like to see you do some more reviews. You don't need to be an expert to have an opinion and God help us if the only opinions we ever listen to are experts.

Tenkar said...

Hey, you have a blog. That automatically makes you an expert ;)

ze bulette said...

One of these days I'll get it together and do a proper review.. Jeff - 'Generally' cooler. :P

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

Lack of knowledge has not stopped me from doing the occasional review.

Perhaps there is no encouragement in my previous statement.

Daddy Grognard said...

I need to get myself a good dice bag. Mine are currently living in a clear plastic bag (!) where they've been for many, many years.

I don't think we can get Crown Royal over in Merrie England, so I think I'll get Granny Grognard to make something for me (nice and purple, my favourite colour)

Chris Creel said...

You paned a Canadian whiskey so you'r an expert review writer. No offense to our neighbors to the north, but their whiskey is a bit watered down in my opinion. Sorry to hear your budget prevents your regular diet of Jameson. I like to keep a bottle Bushmills in my cabinet when ever possible. Perhaps the economy hasn't affected Bushmills because it runs $11 a pint or $22 a fifth.

ze bulette said...

Ah, Bushmills Black Bush is fine, but I won't drink the regular stuff (same with Jameson, has to be the 1780). Life's too short! I never much liked Canadian Whiskey either until this Pendleton experiment which turned out so well.

Barad the Gnome said...

I do not have any experience with aged Canadian whiskeys but will look out for opportunities to try the ones you recommended. Though I am a single malt Scotch fan, I do like an aged Bushmills single malt. I find it stands up to a comparable single malt Scotch with no apologies. Of course it tastes better in a real Irish pub....

And thanks Ze bulette & Badelaire for you comments on my blog about the Balvenie Doublewood. My lovely wife saw that entry and I was surprised with a bottle of Doublewood for Christmas along with a bottle of Cragganmore. Life is good. :) And yes, I concur it is as good as you recommended.

Cheers! Barad

http://gnotions.blogspot.com/

ze bulette said...

glad you liked the Balvenie! those guys should put me on commission considering how many people i've turned on to their stuff.

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