Abraham Bowman Gingerbread Cocoa Finish Bourbon

For the first time, we obtained a "hard to acquire" whiskey. We have a local distillery, A. Smith Bowman right near the alphageek's headquarters. We got word of a new Abraham Bowman release, Gingerbread Cocoa finished bourbon.

We miss the days when one just drove to the Virginia ABC store and just pulled a product like Abraham Bowman off of the shelf, made a purchase and enjoyed. Now, one has to either register for a "whiskey lottery" throught the Virginia ABC, or head on over to the distillery and see what happens on release day. We made the short drive to the distillery to see how it would go.

We arrived about half an hour before opening time. There was already a line, but nothing brutal.

 The line upon our arrival.

The line upon our arrival.

 The line as sales started.

The line as sales started.

Before opening time, employees stopped by to let us know there was plenty on sale, and we had nothing to worry about. Ironically, we learned it was a 375 ml bottle, unlike previous purchases that were 750 ml, which explained the lower price. We are in favor of anything that helps Abraham Bowman go a little further around. After the sales started, we waited about anothor 30 minutes to make our purchase. Each member of our party picked up the 2 bottle limit, made a purchase and headed on home.

 The line got longer while we made our purchase.

The line got longer while we made our purchase.

We posted an initial review on twitter that you can see here. Now that we have a few minutes, let's do a little more through review.

Nose - The aroma is just amazing. A little oak of the bourbon combines with ginger and cocoa to make it feel like one is at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery eating a ginger cocoa cookie.

Pop - The initial taste is a smooth, mild experience. There is not a hit of bourbon like one might expect, but a gentle intake of flavor, almost like having a cookie or cake that has some whisky icing giving almost a desert like sensation.

Body - All products from A. Smith Bowman shine in this category, and Gingerbread Cocoa Finished Bourbon is no exception. The whisky gently swirls around the palate in a most pleasing way.

Finish - A gentle experience, the desert like tastes come back and set one up to take the next sip. There is no hint of harshness but instead just a gentle warm feeling of comfort.

So this one is a keeper. We could not be more pleased that we got in on something good without some sort of outrageous pricing scheme. This is right up there with the Abraham Bowman vanilla finished whiskey as a favorite.

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Fast Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket. Nothing evokes the rolling the eyes good compliments we get like our Smoked Brisket. The only problem is that this delicacy takes darn near forever to cook correctly. Smoked Brisket also requires a smoker, which has been damaged here at headquarters, with no repair time in sight.

Without a smoker, it would seem that Smoked Brisket is a lost cause. Enter the alphageek. We posed the question: is there a way to get that smokey flavor and yet complete the dish before the game kicks off at 8PM?

This technique is simple: cook the brisket over charcoal and wood for 1-2 hours. Then, place the brisket in a pressure cooker for about an hour to complete the cooking. Then slice and enjoy.

How does this work? We have read over and over that the majority of the smoke flavor enters the meat at the beginning of cooking. We thought that might be a good way to get the Weber grill involved. The Weber is easy to use and clean, unlike the smoker which can be quite a burden to use and then clean. This technique avoids all of that hassle. One just fires up a large batch of charcoal, adds some wood chips and then off we go. Below is the brisket we started with on a 22" Weber grill.

We then placed the lid on the grill and just walked away. No temperature probes, no further monitoring and no hassle. We came back about 1.5 hours later, to the view below.

Now we have some brisket that has cooked for about an hour or so. If one cuts off an end, the taste is already there, but the tenderness that brisket needs is nowhere to be found. Usually, that is where the hours of cooking come into play. Rather than wait, we cut the brisket into chunks to place in the pressure cooker. We have a small pressure cooker here, so it took a couple of batches for a 10 lb brisket. Below is the brisket before we placed it in the pressure cooker. One can tell that this cut of meat is not yet ready, just by looking.

The next picture below is after one hour of cooking. The meat is so tender, it was sliced with one hand, just to show off. There is a smoke ring in the meat from the earlier cooking on the grill and the meat is tender like a great brisket should be. The big deal is that this was the easiest EVER brisket to make and the results are right up there with the best I have made, or purchased at the local smoke pit. 

If you are looking for great food with amazing time savings, give this technique a try. You do not need anything fancy to get started.

Are you interested in the exploits of the alphageek? Follow the twitter feed that gets everything at  , or you can try our facebook page.

The usual social linkes are below too.