Category Archives: drinks

Casa Noble’s Reposado Tequila Review

It’s damn good.

As a person who considers tequila as something only good for margaritas and bad decisions, I was shocked to love Casa Noble‘s Reposado Tequila. I’ve always discredited people who consider tequila “a nice sipping drink” until giving Reposado a shot. It has a dark, rich and smokey taste that I’ve never found in a tequila before now.

After trying it (and loving it), I got on Casa Noble’s website and found out they mature the Reposado in French white Oak barrels for three hundred sixty four days. In my book, aging anything in an oak barrel is a good idea. The process of aging in these barrels leaves you with a smokey and spicy flavor that is incredibly smooth. For the first time ever, I considered a tequila to be “a sipping drink.”

For those looking for a nice out-of-the-normal gift this holiday season, consider giving this handsome blue/silver bottle, particularly if you’re looking to impression a dad or in-law. You’ll see various prices around the Internet, but the average price (or maybe the MSRP) is $60. I really enjoyed receiving this bottle from Casa Noble’s PR company. There are benefits to being a pr-friendly cocktail writer & blogger.

For those looking for tequila recipe ideas or margarita recipe ideas, here you go!

The Calaca

-1.5 oz. Casa Noble Reposado
-1.5 oz. Fresh Watermelon Juice
-.25 oz. Organic Agave Nectar
-.25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
-1 pinch of Hepp’s Scorpion Salt

I have another recipe up my sleeve, but you’ll have to visit the Examiner page to check it out.


November 10, 2013 · 3:45 pm

Limited Edition Glen Grant with Limited Taste

Note: It’s nice being a pr-friendly wordpress blog with ties to because receiving pitches and products for review is fun… who’da thought? Obviously, the spirits industry reps are my favorite people to hear from, but everything is fun. I actually have some new facial hair products & reviews coming out in the next month or so. Stay tuned. In the mean time, here’s a review of a very average-tasting scotch.

Glen Grant Five Decades Limited Edition Single Malt ScotchLast month, Glen Grant announced the Five Decades Limited Edition Single Malt Scotch and made a large media push to announce it. I had my hopes up for this, all things considered, but it fell short. The taste was average, but only that exciting.

The Five Decades is characterized by an appearance of light golden barley, and a bouquet melding vanilla, honey and Oloroso sherry. Once on the tongue, the Five Decades instills tastes of honey and orange blossom, with intensely creamy sweet toffee and raisin fruit. The finish is smooth and lingering, with continued notes of fruit. While this may sound amazing to some people out there, it conflicted with my tastes, particularly the fruity ascents. That’s just me. For the price they’re asking, I would go a different route. By the way, the price is high and you can find different price points around the Internet, but the pitch listed it at $250. No thanks.

For those who are still interested, here’s the PR pitch and link to the site.

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Last Minute Cocktails: Cucumber Mint Margarita


zulka pure cane sugar can be used for bottling beer, too!

It’s Saturday night and you need a cocktail idea. Worse, you need a fun cocktail recipe for Cinco de Mayo!

Calm down, I have just the thing for you. First, let me introduce the muse of the post, Zulka Pure Cane Sugar. Zulka is a Non-GMO Project verified “Morena” sugar – a term used to describe granulated sugars that do not undergo conventional refining processes, which remove the complexity and flavor in raw sugar cane after it has been pressed.

They kindly reached out to me and provided me with a sample bag and the recipe below. I have made several drinks with it rimming the glass and several more with simple syrup I made with it, including this cocktail with Rosé Exlusiv. TRY IT! It’s a much better decision that standard, white, refined sugar.

Visit my Examiner page to see the recipe for the Cucumber Mint Margarita

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Photos: My Last Few Months

If a picture is worth 10,000 words, then please appreciate this post.
Also, please notice the large number of work-related posts. I hope my team doesn’t believe 75-hour weeks are the norm for Nate Knox. They are not.

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Is that too much work? Not enough scones? Guns? Blowup dolls? Drinks? Beautiful Wifey?

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Quotes by Sarah

“You know how a Shirley Temple is Sprite and grenadine? A Judy Garland should be that with vodka, because she lived such a crappy life… We won’t even get into Liza Minnelli”

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Review: Exclusiv Vodka

I received arguably the best package a person could receive in the mail about a week ago, a bottle of vodka. Biting down the urge to post a snap review, I started making drinks. How can a writer give an honest review of anything without allowing proper time for multiple testings? That’s certainly not fair when is comes to the spirits industry and some very kind PR outreach.

So, in case you couldn’t guess, I made a bunch of drinks with the product… Exclusiv Vodka.

Here’s an excerpt from their website:

From the gently rolling wheat fields of Moldova, near the shores of the Black Sea, comes exciting new vodka steeped in Russian tradition begun centuries ago. A spirit so exclusive in taste we had to name it Exclusiv.

Exclusiv evokes images of icy mountain peaks and crystal clear streams. It brings to mind expressions like clean, fresh and crisp. The best and truest description we can offer is… Perfect.
Taste it.
We believe you’ll agree.

They said I would agree, and though I was skeptical, I did.

To check out the rest of my review, visit my Examiner page. I would paste the whole thing, but…nah

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Nothing in particular

It feels like a Saturday morning.I’m sitting here eating eggs, drinking orange juice and listening to music.

This album actually.

I just bought it on iTunes. In the first verse of the first song, I paused with my eggs and thought, “Holy *expletive* I love this album!”

A few song have passed and I’m in love with it!

The band, in case you’re not quick enough to notice the picture, is called Mumford and Sons. They’re coming to Minneapolis in May and I’m just might go. Based on this album, I’m assuming they’ll put on a great show. We’ll see.

It’s a perfect Saturday morning scenario.

Really, it’s a Saturday afternoon; I woke up late. Sarah and I had an engagement party last night and we’re beat. Apparently when a party is thrown for (partly) me, I can’t just leave when I get tired. I have to stay. The whole time. Luckily, we have a lot of really great friends who are REALLY fun to hang out with. We also had a lot of good food and lots of really good beer. When I went out for my 2nd or 5th beer, I stopped and looked at our selection. It was impressive! We had Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber, Red Lager, 1888 Bock, Creamy Dark; Sam Adams Boston Lager; Goose Island (something…); Fat Tire; Summit India Pale Ale, Extra Pale Ale, Extra Bitter Ale, Pilsner…. we had a lot of good beer, ok?

Thanks to Laura and Trudi for throwing us the party.

Laura had a really awesome idea for the party. She bought a little journal and passed it around to people the whole time and everyone wrote 5 sentences each, telling a story about Sarah and I after our honeymoon. I think that’s the premise. I’m not sure. I’m excited to read it.

This post is about nothing is particular. I just felt like typing. While this album played. It’s still amazing. You should maybe, probably buy it.

I’m going to go try starting my day. After all, it’s not a Saturday morning.


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St. Paul’s Tequila Bar – Barrio

I posted this last night on my Examiner page…

Unbeknownst to the general public outside of the state, Minnesota’s Twin Cities area is a thriving cultural hub in which the music, theater and food/drink scenes have launched into Splendor. Some may argue it, but many will proclaim it. Whether they’re blogging about some new song they heard on the Current or posting about being in a favorite bar on Twitter, the MNScene is Alive!

Last night, I took my soon-to-be fiance (shhh! don’t spoil it) to Barrio in downtown St. Paul. Barrio is a Minnesota-based tequila bar, which I didn’t even know Minnesota had until now, that is “brought to you” by the same folks who own La Belle Vie.

The place was packed!

I couldn’t tell if it was just a really popular place or if the crowd was a product of St. Paul’s Winter Carnival, which was going on right across the street. Either way, there were people everywhere. Sarah and I walked in and were seated immediately despite the crowd. I made a reservation online at their website – cool idea, Barrio!

After being seated we immediately ordered chips and guac and a couple margaritas. A nice guy brought us our chips and guac right away and gave us a little cup of tangy, slightly spicy salsa to compliment the guac. It was delicious! It wasn’t skimpy on the guac either, we actually ran out of chips before finishing the guac and salsa.

When our drinks came, we were annoyed. Despite being really good and strong margaritas, our drinks were in small, plastic cups. Part of me understands the use of plastic cups because it was so busy. Another part of me cried foul. This isn’t college. This isn’t even a college town. I see LOTS of glassware. I see glasses that would have been an appropriate size for a drink.

We paid $9 each for small cups of margarita mix.

Not cool.

Then our food came quite a while later. We ordered a few tacos and enchiladas. They were SMALL! For the three bites it took to each one, they were pretty fantastic… but they were hella expensive. You can see pictures of our food in the Slideshow. Each taco, which was about the size of the palm of my hand, was $4.

I recognize my tendency towards sticker shock, but still, $4 for a damn taco is ridiculous.
After we left still hungry, we went to the store for more food.

All in all – Barrio is a really cool place and a really nice atmosphere. There is a wall of Mexican-style wrestling masks covering one wall, a huge wall of tequila above the bar and dancing marionette dolls above the entryway. You can see most of this stuff in the Slideshow pictures. However, it is a really expensive place (expensive for my tastes… I’m a laid back kid who enjoys college-priced drinks, not the reality of downtown-priced drinks).

One thing I noticed in reading other comments about Barrio online is that people criticized it for their tequila. But they all had one thing in common: they were scared of tequila and only ordered Patron. So I have some Advice, when you go to a TEQUILA BAR, order something that you will only see in a tequila bar. Don’t order something typical. Get away from the norm. If I were with a group of people, and not driving, I would have ordered a few rounds of assorted tequila to try out. But it was Sarah and I with me driving.

I Would go back to Barrio, but not without a group of friends or family from out of town who are ready to throw down a fist of cash to pay the bill.


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Just add (cubed) ice

 I write about alcohol and cocktails for as the “St. Paul Cocktails Examiner” and you might assume I have some really complicated drink listed as my favorite drink. Well, I don’t. It’s simple, it involves:

  • Bourbon
  • Ice — cubes (not crushed

I posted these two new article yesterday, which were inspired by the Bourbon Blog.

One is about the “original” Manhattan (a loved drink by yours truly) and a “Christmas” cocktail.

Check them out!

Here’s a picture of the yummy drink.

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Product Preview: Yummy Tea

I’m sitting in my kitchen right now with an awful crick (sp?) in my neck, trying to relax.

The stereotype is accurate: all Minnesotans play hockey.

However, not all of us do it regularly. I just got back inside from playing a bunch of hockey with some friends in the park rink in my backyard. It was fun, but my skates need to be sharpened BADLY!

So after thoroughly destroying my legs and burning my nostrils and lungs with the 3 degree air, I came inside to shower and veg out. I grabbed some of the tea that I received to review on here and “put the kettle on.”

I grabbed the Kashmiri Chai (as pictured) that Golden Moon Tea so kindly provided and I’m not on my second cup. This stuff is great! I’m eating pepper jack cheese cube with Wheat Thins as a snack also. The tea and this snack are hitting me just right.

Here’s what the site says about it, “Kashmiri Chai is an exotic, spiced loose leaf tea from the Himalayas of Northern India. Aromatic and warming, natives of India often comment that the authentic and delicious recipe reminds them of home. Serve with cream and honey for a rich treat.”

It is very warming and the spices are perfect…at least for my situation right now.

I am going to write a full product review for the oolong tea that I got in the mail soonish, but I just wanted to give Golden Moon props for such a quality tea. I’m honestly really, really enjoying it right now.


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