Knob Creek Rye Whiskey. That’s the choice I made when deciding which of the six whiskies I should buy from those I’d tasted  yesterday afternoon at Colonial Liquors in Little Rock. I could have chosen any of the other four I liked, but selected Knob Creek Rye almost at random. The only tasted whiskey with which I was unimpressed was Knob Creek Smoked Maple Whiskey; while some whiskey afficionados might be impressed by its overwhelming maple aroma and sweet maple flavor, I wasn’t. Then, I’m no whiskey afficionado; I just like certain whiskies. If truth be told, I probably like most whiskies.

I would have been perfectly happy to go home with a bottle of the Basil Hayden’s I tasted, or a bottle of Maker’s 46, or a bottle of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, or a bottle of Booker’s. But the more appealing price of the Knob Creek Rye and the slightly peppery finish won me over; at $30 (with a $10 discount), it wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t a $50 bottle, either. I learned something about whiskey yesterday that I did not know before. It actually tastes better (to me, anyway) with a bit of ice in it. I had always thought melting ice would dilute the flavor and, in fact, I guess it does. But, as one of the young women offering the samples explained, a little ice “opens up” the flavor of the whiskey and makes it “brighter.” I tried one of the whiskies without ice and another sample with it; the one with ice did, indeed, “open up” and tasted “brighter.”

What does one do after tasting six whiskies and two beers (the names of neither of which stuck with me)? Well, one goes outside, crosses a few feet of asphalt, and buys some tacos from the Taqueria Jalisco San Juan taco truck stationed permanently in the parking lot, of course. Two tacos de lengua and one taco al pastor later (which we ate at a little table under a canopy next to the truck), I was ready to head home with my friend, who had only two tacos. I will admit that I probably like the food just a little more than I otherwise would simply because it’s made in and served from a taco truck; something about taco trucks appeals to me. But, bias aside, I really enjoy their tacos. They are not the best I’ve ever had, by any means, but they satisfy my taco cravings and that’s what counts. The downside to some taco trucks, and that includes this one, is that some taco trucks do not make available multiple squeeze bottles of various types of salsa. I prefer the fiery (as in quite spicy) fire-roasted tomato and tomatillo based salsas like those I used to get at the original Taqueria Paloma in Plano, Texas. While ordering there was sometimes a bit of a challenge because my Spanish is old and rusty and their counter help wasn’t entirely fluent in English, the food was out of this world good. When I ate there, I felt as if I’d been transported to a little stand in Mexico, where the cooks had the right ingredients, the right knowledge, and the right skills to produce taco perfection. Taqueria Jalisco San Juan doesn’t transport me that way, but you do what you gotta do when taco cravings strike, don’t you?

I checked my calendar for today and tomorrow and discovered, quite happily, that there’s nothing there that requires me to adhere to a schedule of any kind. That may change, but at this hour it appears I’m free as a bird. I recognize I should use these free hours and days to do prep work for painting the living room and, then, do the actual painting. And I might. But I also recognize that I have until October 11 to get the job done before new furniture delivery (the date delayed from September 27 at our request). So, maybe I’ll be lazy today and/or tomorrow. Maybe I’ll pretend I’m retired and have nothing tugging at my time.

I am so incredibly fortunate to be able to write what I’ve just written. The whole thing, not just the preceding paragraph. To have discretion is an incredible gift that one should not take lightly.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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