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Friday, October 31, 2014

Dining in a Different Light: A Dinner for the Blind & Visually Impaired

A valiant toast attempt.
A valiant toast attempt.



Have you ever tried eating in the dark? Using a fork and steak knife or attempting to take a sip of wine can be quite the struggle, but there are people who do this everyday. Dining in the Dark, a special event at Galatoire's Bistro, consisted of a menu not so focused on presentation, but on the elements of a dish that stand out to someone who doesn't get to "feast their eyes" on the food in front of them. The Dining in the Dark dinner prepared by Chef Kelley McCann benefited Lighthouse Louisiana, an organization that employs more blind and visually impaired citizens of Louisiana than anyone else. They also provide important industrial services as well as programs for the blind and visually impaired youth, social services, technology training, etc. 







I learned that there are several things which I often take for granted when eating with my eyes first. Be it knowing whether or not someone you're talking to is actually at the table, how difficult it is to eat soup without vision, or not being able to find my dropped napkin, dining for the blind can be somewhat of a challenge. Having that said, the evening was full of great company and conversation with some delicious bites along the way!




Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Black Saddle Bourbon: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Black Saddle Bourbon
Sometimes a 90 proof bourbon is just want the doctor ordered. Fortunately, Lock & Key has quite a few of them. We recently tasted Black Saddle Bourbon ($12/pour at Lock & Key) out of California, though it almost certainly sourced from Kentucky, Indiana, or somewhere like that. In a rather interesting development, the bourbon actually scored a 77 from all four judges. It is the first time we we've seen that consistent of scoring and may very well be our last. The nose is light with sweet floral hints and faint whiffs of grass and hay. I caught a little bit of honey and yellow cake on the aroma as well. On the tongue the bourbon is puckering with herbal and oak flavors coming through under a light char. The whiskey is oily in a mouth-coating kind of way. It finishes boozy but not biting, lingering in a pleasant way on the back of the tongue with a hit of rye spice at the end. Overall the whiskey has its ups and downs and feels slightly confused as to where it wants to go. The balance could be better, but it is definitely drinkable.

Black Saddle Bourbon Whiskey
Average Score: 77.0


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, Jeremy Spikes from Old Maul, and Natalie Parbhoo from International Wine and Spirits. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 80 is rather extraordinary and anything above 90 is world class.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Barbecue Bites: Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Meatloaf

Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Meatloaf
Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Meatloaf

I know it's hard to get excited about something as simple as meatloaf, but get ready! We sourced our grass-fed beef from Indie Plate who stocks their online shelves with food from local farmers and local food companies to serve up this flavorful dish. The Louisiana beef combined with a lovely spice blend from Red Stick Spice Co. make for a flavorful Louisiana barbecue meatloaf! Try it out and let me know what you think.



Jay D's Barbecue Meatloaf
Makes 6 servings

1 ½ lb. lean ground beef
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Baton Rouge Burger Spice Blend (Red Stick Spice Co.)
1 onion, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce

Preheat oven to 350F.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Set aside to cool. Mix together remaining ingredients and form into loaf pan. Pour 1 cup barbecue sauce over top of loaf and baste every 15 min. Bake for 45 min. or when meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Double Down on College GameDay: A Tailgating Post presented by The Home Depot

Whole Hog inside of a roasting box, rotisserie chicken, and more delicious eats.
Whole Hog inside of a roasting box, rotisserie chicken, and more delicious eats.






This past Saturday began as a crisp, fall morning in Baton Rouge. Slightly dark at 6:30am, my Chief Confusion Coordinator, Blair Loup, and I loaded up the truck with all of our finds from The Home Depot the day before and various cooking apparatuses, we made our way to LSU's stately oaks. The streets of Baton Rouge were empty until arriving on campus. Tiger fans arrived early, gearing up for a beautiful day of tailgating.










Mike getting the crowd fired up bright and early  on the Home Depot College GameDay set.
Mike getting the crowd fired up bright and early
on the Home Depot College GameDay set.








Instead of the usual petri dish teeming with clusters of tailgates, the LSU Parade Ground seemed to concentrate its congregation to the bright orange ESPN College GameDay set sponsored by Home Depot. Blair hopped out to enjoy a whirlwind of a day consisting of Mike the Tiger encounters, special VIP treatment from The Home Depot team, and hanging out backstage with the likes of Lee Corso.








A beautiful day for The Home Depot and College GameDay to come to LSU!
A beautiful day for The Home Depot and College GameDay to come to LSU!



While she spent a day in Blair Instagram heaven, I set up camp at Ford Family Tailgating. With a Rougaroux Full Moon Rum Punch in hand, I got my Iverstine Family Farms hog roasting in the La Caja China. At the same time Blair toured the College GameDay production truck, I pulled a new pair of tongs from my Home Depot bucket to turn over some links of smoked sausage. Plenty of Ole Miss fans stopped by to take a look at a tailgating setup different than those in The Grove. Stunned by the whole hog roasting at the same time a chicken was turning over a fire and ribs were grilling on the coals, they had a couple of bites and moved on to the next tailgate party. After an eventful morning at College GameDay, Blair made her way over to our tailgate in time to stir the chili, baste some chicken wings, and yell at Ole Miss fans passing by before heading into what turned out to be a phenomenal night of football in Tiger Stadium. LSU pulled off the upset, and Team Bite and Booze pulled off another great day of tailgating.


Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning goes into a large cast iron pot of Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce Pulled Pork Chili


I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this coverage of College GameDay. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bite and Booze does College GameDay: A post sponsored by The Home Depot

#LetsDoGameDay
#LetsDoGameDay




I'm gearing up for another stellar LSU matchup tomorrow! Ole Miss and ESPN's College GameDay are coming to town and I'm pulling out all the stops for a beautiful day in Baton Rouge. In partnership with The Home Depot, I took to the orange aisles to stock up on tailgate supplies. Bag chairs, charcoal, batteries, water, you name it: they've got what you need for a pre-kickoff shindig. I snagged a few sets of tongs and plenty of other barbecuing essentials like a kid in a candy store.









Jay Ducote: a serious shopper.
Jay Ducote: a serious shopper.











In addition to throwing a happening tailgate party with all of my new gear, I'll be bringing you guys an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at College GameDay! Make sure you're following Bite and Booze on Twitter and Instagram (@biteandbooze) and like us on Facebook so you won't miss a thing. See you out there, Tigers!














Team Bite and Booze is ready to roll for College GameDay! Thanks, Home Depot!
Team Bite and Booze is ready to roll for College GameDay! Thanks, Home Depot!


I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this coverage of College GameDay. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Celebrity Waiters to Light Up the Night for Red Stick Revelry!



In less than a week, on Wednesday, October 29th, I'll be taking my turn as a "Celebrity Waiter" at Stroubes as Red Stick Revelry works to raise some funds for this year's New Year's Ever Fireworks Show! I'll be partnered up with one of their waiters to serve the guests that are dining that evening. Call Stroubes (225-448-2830) now to make your reservations and request to be in my section. Mayor Kip Holden will serve as the Maitre D' of the night and Paul Arrigo from Visit Baton Rouge will emcee the festivities. There will be two seatings at 6:30 and 8 PM. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar
Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar



On a recent trip to the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar I pondered over the new cocktails which they had come up with since my previous visit. Arthur, one of the partners in the bar, suggested the Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar ($13). Curious just from the name, I queried him about the origins of the cocktail. A hummingbird is a mixture of St. Germain and Champagne, presenting a fruity, floral, and effervescent mixed drink, but not one that I'd really ever want to order. Lock & Key's version added Glenlivet 12 year, a very well rounded single malt Scotch, as well as some orange bitters. I took a sip and then another. The flavors melded together like the colors in a sunset over the sea. Balanced and refreshing, the drink had delicate flavors which opened up more on the way down. I tasted sweet peach making way for bitter citrus. The Hummingbird Walks into a Whiskey Bar comes in a coupe glass garnished with orange peel. Next time you're in Lock & Key, give it a try!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Barbecue Bites: Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili

Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili
Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, Jay D's is a super versatile barbecue sauce. It is, in every sense of the word, gourmet. 18 different ingredients come together to make the stuff chili dreams are made of.


Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chili
Makes 6-8 servings


2 lb. lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed or diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups, kidney beans, soaked overnight
1 (7 oz.) can chipotle salsa
2 cups, water


In a large sauce pot, season the ground meat with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and brown with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once browned, remove meat from saucepot and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute garlic, bell peppers, and onions until soft. Add ground meat back to the sauce pot and add tomatoes, kidney beans, barbecue sauce, salsa, and water and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Stir often to prevent sticking on bottom of saucepot. If chili becomes too thick, add a half cup of water at a time and let reduce until beans are soft.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lodge Cast Iron Nation: Marty Nation Short Ribs and a Giveaway!

Prepping veggies for the Marty Nation Short Ribs
Prepping veggies for the Marty Nation Short Ribs




If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of cooking but I'm not a fan of the clean up that comes afterwards. This is one of the main reasons I love cooking with cast iron. A quick scrub and a rinse and you're on your way to making something delicious! Lodge Cast Iron has a new cookbook out by the name of Cast Iron Nation. It's a super comprehensive collection of gorgeous recipes from soups and desserts to main events and sides all made with an array of Lodge Cast Iron products.


****You have a chance to win a 12-inch lodge skillet and the Cast Iron Nation cookbook from right here on Bite and Booze - details at the bottom of the post****










Flipping though the Cast Iron Nation cookbook, I noticed a pretty intense recipe for beef short ribs. I happened to have some delicious grass fed beef short ribs from Indie Plate in my refrigerator and my trusty Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven, so I decided to try out Marty Nation's Short Ribs (pg.144). Indie Plate is such a great resource for Baton Rouge. Put simply, they connect farmers to consumers through an online farm-to-table grocery delivery service.








Marty Nation's Short Ribs from the  Lodge Cast Iron Nation Cookbook
Marty Nation's Short Ribs from the
Lodge Cast Iron Nation Cookbook





While this recipe is a bit time consuming, it comes out very much like a traditional beef stew, and the local, fresh beef really put this dish over the top. I wanted something creamy to go along with the bold flavors of the short ribs, so I also served up an easy whipped cauliflower dish.











Marty Nation's Short Ribs
Serves 4-6

5 lbs beef short ribs, cut into 2.5" lengths
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. canola or other vegetable oil that can withstand high temperature
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup hearty red wine
1 1/2 cup beef stock
6 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
3-4 medium yellow onions, quartered
4 large carrots cut in to 1.5" pieces
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
1 cup green peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the oil in a Lodge 7 quart cast iron Dutch oven over high heat until very hot. In batches, add the short ribs in a single layer, and sear until golden brown on both sides. Remove the ribs from the pan, and pour off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat.
  3. Add the chopped onions, carrots and celery to the Dutch oven, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until tender and translucent, 15-20 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir, and reduce until darkened, about 4 minutes. Add the flour, and stir until fully combined with the vegetable mixture; cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Reduce the wine over medium heat by three-quarters, then add the short ribs, pour the stock over the ribs, and simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced again by three-quarters, about another 15 minutes. Place in the oven, and roast, uncovered, until the short ribs seem to be about 80% done, 1-1 1/2 hours. Add the potatoes, quartered onions, and carrot pieces to the pot. Return to the oven, uncovered, and cook until the vegetables and short ribs are tender. Add the green beans and peas, and cook until they are tender, another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven. Transfer the meat (which should be so tender that it's falling off the bone) to the center of a large platter, and surround it with the vegetables. If the sauce seems too thin, reduce it over high heat on top of the stove. Another way to thicken it would be to purée the chopped vegetable in it using an immersion blender. Pour some of the reduced sauce over the mean on the platter and serve the remainder in a pitcher at the table for anyone who desires extra sauce. 

Whipped Cauliflower
Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp. half and half or heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter
2 sharp cheese
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of Herbs de Provence

  1. Clean and trim the cauliflower, breaking it into medium sized pieces. 
  2. Place in a microwave safe bowl with 2 tbsp. of cream and 1 tbsp. of butter. 
  3. Microwave, uncovered, on high for six minutes. Stir to coat cauliflower with cream/butter mixture. Microwave for another six minutes on high. 
  4. Remove from the microwave and put into a high speed blender or food processor along with the cheese. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the cream and butter to your preference.

Marty Nation's Short Ribs and Whipped Cauliflower
Marty Nation's Short Ribs and Whipped Cauliflower



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Atelier Vie's Barrel-Aged Riz: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Atelier Vie Barrel-Aged Riz Whiskey
This week, Whisk(e)y Wednesday stays in Louisiana with a big announcement out of New Orleans. Atelier Vie was founded in 2011 to create flavorful new spirits in one of the greatest drinking cities of the world, New Orleans. Bringing together a shared love of craft spirits, coupled with a “do it yourself” attitude, Atelier Vie is pleased to release this initial bottling of Barrel-Aged Riz to the drinking public. Riz, initially released on June 28, 2013 as an unaged whiskey, has now developed some color and flavor from some charred wooden barrels.

Owner and distiller Jedd Haas says that “the idea of Rice Whiskey was a key inspiration for my becoming a distiller. I first heard about rice spirits being produced in Asia years ago; given the abundance of Louisiana’s rice crop, it seemed like an obvious resource for making a new style of American whiskey. We mashed and pot-distilled our first batches of Riz in 2012; and we released the unaged version of Riz in 2013. This clear ‘moonshine style’ Riz was smooth and tasty, but we suspected an aged version would be even better. After over a year in the barrel, this first release of Barrel-Aged Riz has exceeded expectations.”

According to Haas, the first barrel of Riz was filled on September 3, 2013; one year and one month later, on October 4, 2014, the barrel was emptied and the amber-colored whiskey was proofed down to bottling strength of 90 proof (45% ABV) and bottled. The label includes an age statement of “aged one year and one month.” Riz is handcrafted by Atelier Vie in New Orleans from
100% Louisiana rice, which is mashed, fermented, and distilled at our distillery in Mid-City.

This initial release of Barrel-Aged Riz is only available at the distillery during Atelier Vie’s Bottle Sale Hours, from 10am to 2pm on weekends. The retail price at the distillery is $60 for a 750ml bottle of Barrel-Aged Riz and due to the limited quantity being released, there is a limit of one (1) bottle per customer. I'm definitely hoping I can snag one! Visit ateliervie.com/visit for maps and directions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Barbecue Bites: Jay D's Chicken Quesadillas

Jay D's Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas
Jay D's Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas

I enjoy fine dining just as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just want to settle down, lay low, and enjoy a hearty snack attack. Enter the barbecue chicken quesadilla: a righteous, no frills handheld delight.

Jay D's Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas
Makes 4 servings

8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded (use a rotisserie chicken from the store if you're fancy)

4 (12 in) flour tortillas

12 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese

4 ounces Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce

1 red onion, thinly sliced, divided into 4 portions


Layer half of each tortilla with 2 ounces of chicken, 1 portion of red onion, 4 ounces of Monterey jack cheese, and 1 oz. of Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue sauce. Fold tortilla in half. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and lower the heat to medium. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Slice into 4 pieces and garnish with sliced green onions. Serve with Jay D’s BBQ Aioli.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Distiller's "Whiskey Deconstructed" Part 3 - Barreling & Aging: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

A few weeks ago I shared parts one and two of  Distiller's 'whiskeygraphics' called Whiskey Deconstructed which featured the ever-important mash and distillation process. This week we take a look at the final step in the process: barreling and aging. Obviously this is an important part of the whiskey process because all of the color and a lot of the flavor from whiskey comes from the barrels in which the spirit is aged. Un-aged whiskey is just often sold as white dog, white lightning, or moonshine, however once you put whiskey in a barrel some magic starts to happen. This 'whiskeygraphic' shows off different types of barrels and give you some notes on the aging process. Bourbons, Scotches, and other whiskeys all differ in the aging process, and it is important to understand the difference.

While these whiskeygraphics are great for a visual representation of whiskey making process, nothing compares to actually tasting different whisk(e)ys and enjoying the unique products themselves. Head on over to the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar if you're in Baton Rouge and enjoy a whiskey flight, flight school or Women & Whiskey for yourself!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Louisiana Culinary Trails Taste-umentary

Throughout early 2014 I helped produce a gastronomic video series with tommysTV for Louisiana Travel called Louisiana Culinary Trails. This project spans across the entire state of Louisiana highlighting the cultural stomach lining of our state's different delectable regions. From Prairie Home Cooking to the Creole Crescent Trail, we came across a gumbo of characters and learned the culinary blueprints of our neighbors. The most important takeaway from this video series is that there's a lot to be said about traveling within the state, especially through your taste buds! There are eight regional videos to come, but to get things started take a look at this overview video of what the Louisiana Culinary Trails has to offer:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gnarly BarleyQ: A New Brew is Born

Photo Credit: Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.
Photo Credit: Gnarly Barley Brewing Co.

The Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. in Hammond is one of the newest breweries along the Louisiana Brewing Trail. Co-Founder and Brewmaster Zac Caramonta found himself drawn to the sense of community that came with skateboarding as well as the do-it-yourself aspect of building ramps, which ultimately fueled his initiative to build beers. Once the production became too much for their home-brew garage to handle, Zac and Cari Caramonta decided to take the next logical step: turn it into a commercial brewery. Currently operating on two flagship beers, Gnarly Barley has a knack for creativity and bending the rules of brewing when it comes to flavor profiles. While, their Catahoula Common and Radical Rye P.A. have already hit the Baton Rouge, Northshore, and New Orleans markets, this October their Korova Milk Porter steps onto the scene.

Zac & Cari Caramonta rocking  their first bottles of Jay D's back pocket stye.
Zac & Cari Caramonta rocking
their first bottles of Jay D's back pocket stye.
As a longtime lover of barbecue and beer, team Bite and Booze is taking Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce down the road to Hammond on Oct.18th from 1-5pm for the Gnarly BarleyQ. Foaming to the brim with good times, the Gnarly BarleyQ is a grand tour celebration of Gnarly Barley's new release.

A ticket to this righteous event gets you  scrumptious barbecue featuring Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce and Iverstine Family Farms pork, a look at the Gnarly Barley facilities, and up to 5 beer samples for those 21 years of age and older. What could make this already radical event even better? Will Vance and the Kinfolk will be providing live jams from 2-4pm.

Tickets are on sale now at gnarlybarleyq.eventbrite.com. Tickets are only $20 thru Oct. 4th, $25 Oct.5-18th (until 1pm), and $30 at the door. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Brenne: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Brenne Single Malt French Whisky
Whisk(e)y Wednesday goes to France for the first time... which may be surprise because who has ever heard of French whisky? Wine or brandy, sure, but whisky? Believe it or not (you should because I've had it), there is a single malt French whiskey named Brenne which is aged in Cognac barrels. This rare find is available for $14 at Lock & Key and is definitely worthy of a taste. The nose starts with pure butterscotch. A sweetened butter candy aroma, seriously, straight up Werther's in a bad ass way, gives way to a creme brulee taste on the tongue with a soft, sweet, and clean mouth feel that goes down just as delicately. The whisky has a mellow medicinal quality upfront from the cognac barrel which gets drowned out quickly by the buttery candy all the way down. Though not very complex, the Brenne presents an amazingly balanced whisky with a totally unique flavor profile. There's no reason not to give it a try!

Brenne Single Malt French Whisky
Average Score: 78.25


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, Jeremy Spikes from Old Maul, and Natalie Parbhoo from International Wine and Spirits. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 80 is rather extraordinary and anything above 90 is world class.