The True Single Malt

True single malt whiskey is a brew that is distilled in one place. There is no inclusion of any other blends of grain whiskey in this product. A single cask whiskey has been in one cask and not transferred to accommodate other blends. This whiskey, when full strength, can exceed sixty percent alcohol by volume.

Most single malts are bottled at between forty and forty-six percent as the legal limit is set at a minimum of forty percent. Cask strength is a term used when the alcohol level is still relatively high, and the brew has not been watered down or if the addition of water was low. Cask strength is not always one cask. It can be from several barrels inclusively.

Given that there are approximately six to nine different regions in Scotland that have proven distilleriesPsychology Articles, the characteristics of the malt can vary considerably. They all have their unique techniques and style to producing their malts, and each produces a flavor all their own.




Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro

Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro is the very successful follow up in the Sun Grown line of cigars, with the Robusto rated number 2 in the top 25 cigars of 2016 by Cigar Aficionado. These cigars are hand-made in the Tavi Cusa factory in Nicaragua with Nicaraguan long fillers and a double binder. The wrapper is an outstanding dark chocolate Connecticut Broadleaf that’s toothy and oily. The Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro packs a lot of flavors into these full bodied smokes and are available in Lancero, Belicoso, Robusto, Gordo and Toro sized sticks. We’re definitely giving these a try.

  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro 
  • Binder: Nicaraguan 
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Country of Origin:Nicaragua

Buy from $163

Defiance Coffee

Defiance Coffee may not have a café or a shop for now, but they do focus on developing a broader and more elaborate range of coffee. Currently, they smoke all of their beans to some extent using natural cedar and oak which ads a fantastic and multidimensional flavor that takes you on a journey. Defiance Coffee doesn’t play around with the cheap gimmicks like making the most caffeinated coffee, they just focus on making the simple, sometimes mundane, task of drinking your coffee into an event that you look forward to every morning. Their coffee is something that you wake up excited to drink. It is something special.

The Rwandan Dark roast starts and ends with a slight oaky smoke then quickly builds into a light sweetness with hints of dark cherry mixed with a beautiful earthy flavor.

Notice how the coffee changes much like when you are drinking fine wine or top-shelf whiskey. This is not something that other coffee brands do.

Following this same principle of making multidimensional coffee experiences in the form of a beautiful black drink, they’re currently developing a coffee that is infused with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean. This coffee is not yet complete but starts out with a mild sweetness while simultaneously bringing the creaminess of the Bourbon Vanilla bean, then builds with slight notes of smoky cedar mixed with light tones of vanilla and finishes with a smooth aftertaste of rich semi-dark chocolate.


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Longrow – Campbeltown 18 Year old

This limited edition 18 year old single malt whisky originated from Scotland has been the long awaited malt for many whisky connoisseurs. The wait is over but you better act quickly. It’s already sold out in various whisky retailers. Peated spirit distilled at Springbank Distillery and matured in sherry casks and fresh bourbon basks Limited release 2017 edition. Only 4,500 bottles produced.

Nose: A complex nose: Sweet fruits, citrus, peaches and orange zest at first before a gentle earthy peaty aroma reveals itself.

Palate: Rich and very, very tasty. Well balanced. Dark chocolate, creamy coffee and gingerbread to the fore, followed by rhubarb and vanilla custard.

Finish: Long and sweet, a hint of typical Longrow peat smoke combined with more chocolate and some dried fruits.

Buy for $130


Austonian Whiskey

Austonian Whiskey is matured using a special barrel alternative technology that allows more precise control over the flavor and smoothness while using fewer resources. The process uses no artificial coloring or flavoring. This product has won two best in class awards – Whiskies of the World 2017 and Texas Whiskey Festival 2018. The full results are available with a quick search for either event. For around $30, it’s an excellent value, particularly if you compare it to the products receiving 2nd and 3rd places in those competitions.
The product has the smoothness of whiskeys that are aged many years, with caramel and vanilla notes reminiscent of bourbon but not quite the same as any other whiskey. The company recommends giving it a good 5 minutes in the glass to breathe when taken neat, and it will continue to evolve for quite a while.

This whiskey starts as a blend of two distillates, which after blending gives a mash bill like a high corn bourbon, around 88% corn, 10% rye, and a small amount of malt. The aging (or maturing) process uses no barrel aging at all, which differentiates this product from other alternatively aged products. Austonian’s aging technology is not the same as any of the ones that have been popularized (Cleveland Whiskey, Lost Spirits, Terressentia, etc.). It’s an entirely new process (actually a series of operations) that for now is being held as a trade secret.

The oak finishing starts with segments of toasted American White Oak to initially get the oak flavor and color. At that point, the product is very astringent and just tastes like wood mixed with alcohol, probably similar to a very brief time in a barrel, although perhaps with more oak content. Over the course of a month or so, the post-processing transforms it into what’s in the bottle – very smooth and drinkable with a creamy mouthfeel and pleasant flavors. Since many craft whiskeys and even big brands using short aging times, the barrels aren’t really delivering their full value, so this technology actually avoids cutting corners in a sense since it doesn’t require the years that barrel aging needs to fully mature whiskey.

It also turns out that this method uses only about 5% of the oak that is needed for aging bourbon in new 53 gallon barrels. Most whiskey fans probably don’t think much about the environmental side of it, but it’s always nice when you can apply technology to get more value with fewer resources.


Visit Austonian Spirits

Everything is borrowed

A quirky blend of engaging words, intriguing photography, and bright graphics, offers inspiration and unflinching advice to help you be a successful, humble, modern gentleman. In offering pointers for achieving a surprise for your mate or a bucket list experience for yourself, Oscar Valdes (Fourteen Robots Publisher) wants you to live life on a larger, classier scale. Do you need to know how to make a delicious salsa, put up a hammock, or earn extra money without burning out?


This short but impactful book supplies the answers and imparts lessons Valdes (Fourteen Robots Publisher) has learned so far in his interesting life. With a focus on accountability and perseverance balanced by suggestions for creating fun, taking time for yourself, and stretching your budget, EVERYTHING IS BORROWED challenges you to make the choices of a gentleman and gives detailed tips for a more enriching life, from making the perfect Michelada to taking better photos.

Buy from iBooks $0.99

Buy the softcover book $35




How to flip a jetski

‘You can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.’ In this, his second book of stunningly artistic and quirky photographs, Oscar Valdes takes us on a mesmerizing journey with little more than his imagination and an inspired aptitude for capturing that perfect moment in time. Punctuated throughout the book are great little everyday sayings we can all relate to. From basic manners, to tips on what could survive a full cycle in your washing machine, there is something to inspire us all. Write them down, photocopy your favourite and stick it on your study wall, or simply read the book every time you need some inspiration or help with getting through life’s trials. There is something for all of us in these quotes and photographs.

Buy from iBooks $0.99


The Ultimate Micro Brewery

Home brewing, that is, making your own beer at home, is an increasingly popular activity for many people. There is an absolute wealth of information, supplies, and equipment to be found on nearly every high street, and of course the internet.

Hardly surprising in this age of advertisement driven sales, where often the manufacturing costs of a particular beer are dwarfed by the advertising budget of many of the large breweries. Giving rise to a common complaint of bland, overpriced beers with little, or no taste.

So lots of people are turning to home brewing to regain the quality and taste of old. You have control over every stage of the process, and of course these days it certainly doesn’t hurt that your finished product, as well as being tasty, is considerably cheaper than the mass produced varieties.

Beer has been with us for thousands of years. It can be traced back at least 6,000 years when the Mesopotamians were known to have drunk a fermented bread mash. Via various routes it eventually arrived in Northern Europe. From where it rapidly spread all over the civilised world.

Early fermented drinks, made with grain, the early forerunner of our modern beers, made use of honey as a source of sugar. These drinks were always referred to as “ale”. The term “beer” did not come into common use until much later.

Most early ales were brewed from malted grains such as barley, oats, and wheat. They were simple beers. The addition of such ingredients as hops, which we now think are pretty much indispensable were only introduced in the early 1500’s when Flemish settlers broght over their recipes, which rapidly proved popular.

Until then many early recipes would contain such ingredients as saltpetre, tree bark, and all manner of root vegatables. The main purpose of many of these ingredients would be to offset the often “rank” taste of the brew. Obviously were it not for the alcoholic content nobody in their right mind would drink it!

Every large household in those days would brew their own beer. It generally being safer than a lot of the untreated water, was drunk by all. They would have a brewing day once a week, producing much stronger beers than are currently made commercially and were made in quite large quantities, stored in casks.

From the late 1700’s onwards small breweries started producing beer in commercial quantities, brewing excellent, good drinking beers, which were deivered to ale houses within a fairly small radius. Over a period of time, with the increase in population and improvements in transport links, many of these small breweries either amalgamated or were taken over. To be replaced by fewer, larger breweries, making a lot less types of beer.

And so we now see a swing back, consumer driven, to a lot more “micro breweries” producing a much smaller quantity of beerFind Article, but providing the variety and taste that people want. The ultimate micro brewery being of course the home brewer.



Family Party Ideas

Plan a night filled with family fun games with this uniuqe family dinner idea.  This is perfect for a family party that can be repeated on a regular basis and enjoyed by the entire family.


Seasons bring about many changes, not just the weather.  During the winter, it is cold outside. It is dark when we leave our house and dark when we return. The sun abandoned us, or so it seems, and so does our energy.

Summer brings about late nights and busy days.  Extra-curricular activities seem to be at an all time high.  Social obligations, as well as planned family functions, are also squeezed into our schedule.

Even if you are busy or not-so-busy, there is always some down time that requires an activity.  Sometimes a need arises because of the energy level of our children, at other times there is simply a void that parents need to fill.

Regardless of the reason for an outing, when the urge or necessity of an event is present, the question becomes:  what to do?

When kids are young there are only so many things we can do, as families, that doesn’t cost a small fortune or are conducive to young children.  Plus, we don’t always want to entertain our children by commercial means.  Parents want to instill in children that happiness comes from many sources, but mainly family and friends.

Another issue many of us have:  Too many times we promise to get together with the special people in our lives.  We often put it off until guilt overtakes us.

If you put those two issues together, (the need for an outing and being with family and friends), you have an opportunity to start a tradition that is good for all!

Look at how a lot of us feel in the winter:  How many of us dread getting ready for an event? We really don’t want to go but we have to. Yet when we get there, we actually have a very good time and are quite happy we went. We all go through those feelings, but more often in the winter. We just want to get home, change clothes and plop on the couch. Not surprisingly though, that rarely makes us feel better.

During the summer, time slips away and we slide on things that we later feel guilty about.

So, why not just plan a night and start looking forward to creating fun?

Plan a family dinner party!  Pick a group of friends. Or start with one or two friends and ask them to invite a friend or two. Have a get-together night.  Enjoy a cookout or make a big pot of chili, buy some tasty bread, cut up some celery and have dinner. Plan some family fun games to play while enjoying the food and each other’s company. Keep your dinner ideas simple and easy to prepare.  Remember, the trick is to enjoy your company, not wear yourself out.

Ask if anyone would like to host the next family dinner.

Pick a date, right then and there. Then, pat yourself on the back.  You had a great time, your kids had a great timeFree Reprint Articles, you made the people most important to you a priority and you taught you kids that friends and family are a source of enjoyment that is priceless without being pricey!



How to Instagram

1. Don’t sell. Don’t portray yourself as a salesperson. Social media is meant to be for sharing exciting posts.


2. Share other posts and give credit where it’s due. If there’s music in the post with video, mention the artists and title of song if possible. Even who edited the video if someone other than you. Tag anyone portrayed or mentioned in the post. Search for those people before beginning the post creation so you have the right username for everyone involved.


3. Write caption first, then tags at the bottom of your caption. You have 30 hashtags allowed to post. In the beginning stages, use this to its fullest. Be aware of banned hashtags. Do not use unrelated hashtags.


4. Use location. This increases visibility by 20%.


5. Avoid extended captions unless it’s necessary or if your audience expects it. Considering Instagram focuses on images, most users will not read through the captions.


6. Attempt consistency on the style of posts. Maybe all black and white. Maybe all smiling faces. Consistency helps the followers know what to expect.


7. Post at least three times a day minimum. The more posts, the better. Keep the posts positive, informative or intriguing. Consider taking photos with a pro or semi-pro camera. People notice the quality, and you’ll get more interaction overall.


8. Faces get more likes than inanimate objects. Smiling faces get even more likes. Crowd having fun ranks high if the photo is high quality. Famous faces get even more likes if you’re in the type of industry that surrounds celebrities.