Reviews

Reviews of all sorts of stuff, from books to movies to rum and clothing.

Review: Superior Titanium Money Clip

As you know, I live the high life something fierce, and that’s why the 1st world problem that plagues me most is finding ways to tame my tall stacks of cash. I used to shove it all in a wallet in my back pocket, but my right buttock can only handle so many bills before back pain strikes. And that’s why I decided to try a good old fashioned money clip.

The first clip I grabbed was made of spring steel. That might be good enough for those of you that only carry chump change; but me? I won’t leave the house with fewer than nine, even ten George Washingtons bursting out my pockets. With so many dead presidents, that spring steel clip got bent out of shape faster than Cornwallis’ tummy when it was time to surrender his sword to Washington back in 1781 Virginia, y’know? (more…)

The Kiwi Connection – A Reviewaventure

It was a dark, sultry night as I stumbled into my den and slowly eased into a plush velvet easy chair, ready to sink into a well-deserved libation. The Ambassador hadn’t much cared for my advice regarding the whole New Zealand debacle. Our heated conversation seemed like hours before she finally relented, but she knew when she called that if she’d wanted easy answers, I was the wrong bloke to ask.

Taketsuru Whisky and Surefire E2D FlashlightI leaned back into my seat and gently exhaled, letting the trials of the day melt from my shoulders even as my own weight eased from my feet. Reaching for my crystal lowball, two-and-a-half fingers deep in 12 year aged Nikka Taketsuru Whisky, I inhaled, savoring the warm notes of charred butterscotch and victory. I let the first sip rest on my tongue for a spell before gently swishing it around, feeling the whisky thicken as the comforting tingle filled my mouth with a gentle spice. I confess myself a novice to Japanese Whisky, but I’m well versed in what I like – and I certainly liked this. Taketsuru 12 year is a pure malt whisky with a heavy smoke finish much akin to a scotch or fine mezcal. It truly was the ideal accompaniment to my waning evening, and I prepared to take a second sip and settle into a comfortable respite.

The creaking of the floorboards, however, foretold a different story. (more…)

Review: Greenbeard the Pirate Pig

20140204-1Rating: ★★★★☆
greenbeardthepiratepig.ca

All educational and child-rearing specialists agree on the importance of reading to your kids about pirates from an early age. But they sometimes forget to mention that sharing the true exploits of François l’Olonnais with an impressionable toddler can lead to less-than-desireable results. This is why we need books like Greenbeard the Pirate Pig to ease our youngsters into the basics of high seas shenanigans without prematurely exposing them to more advanced subjects (like cannibalism.) (more…)

Review: Caliche Rum

Rating: ★★★★☆
Caliche Official Site

calicheA sippable white rum – rare, but not unheard of. But even on the shelf, Caliche stands apart from its pale brethren with its mottled glass bottle, neck wrapped in hemp. It gives a rustic, tropical appearance usually reserved for aged rums, and makes this the only white rum I can think of that indeed looks piratey (a necessity for those of truly distinguished taste.)

While white rums generally equate to un-aged, Caliche is in fact a blend of aged rums using the Solera system. This results in a rather layered flavor profile. To the nose you’re met with fruit, while on tasting a creamy vanilla sensation dominates. The finish lingers and warms with alcohol burn that’s surprisingly gentle yet persistent.

Caliche is a class act, no doubt. It’s quite excellent straight up, and when sipped in moderation is damn near refreshing (not a quality I generally equate with rum.)

Review: Dance Macaw

Rating: ★★★½☆
Buy it Now
Dance MacawIn the world of pirate music, Marooned has always seemed to me a band apart. Neither in-your-face pirate-core (too soft and subdued in nature) nor background easy listening (too stand-out in its sharply contrasted male and female vocals), their music is at once understated yet domineering – somewhat like a passive-aggressive pirate captain with a penchant for morbidity. (more…)

Review: Kinectimals 2 (a.k.a. Farcry 3)

Rating: ★★★★½
91bgUBn5VML._AA1500_Buy at Amazon.com

Kinectimals is perhaps one of the most overlooked pirate games around – mainly because you probably didn’t know it was a pirate game. True, the basic idea is “pet the tiger” or “pet the leopard” or even “pet the bear” through the magic of Xbox Kinect, but it also involves the search for pirate treasure on a tropical island filled with ancient ruins. See? Piratey.

Of course, it was also pretty heavily targeted at kids, which is why it was such a bold move when they announced the sequel, Farcry 3. (more…)

Review: Pirate Santa CD

Rating: ★★★★☆
www.piratesanta.com

Having reviewed the children’s book Pirate Santa nearly one year ago, it seems a fine time to introduce the companion CD. Yes, it features a booming voice reading the story. And yes, it includes weird and wonderful sound effects. These you expected. What you might not have expected would be the additional music thrown in for good measure.

For those unfamiliar, Mister Mac is a pirate. A pirate, and a children’s singer. Approximately 37 feet tall, his shiny bald head has sometimes been mistaken for the sun, and the adoring children gathering at his ankles appear no more than two apples tall. Yes, much like Smurfs, only less blue.

Where was I? (more…)

Review: Raiding Parties Card Game

Rating: ★★★½☆

www.raidingparties.com

We live in a glorious age. There was a time not long ago when, if you wanted to enjoy some piratey fun, you couldn’t simply fire up the computer or break out the smartphone. There was a time when you had to use wooden swords, or perhaps some books with dice and mounds of scratch paper. Of course, there was another time not so long ago when many of the tabletop adventures took place in card form. I mostly missed out on those days – just a tad too old to get into Magic the Gathering or Pokemon. And this is why I shiver in fear whenever a pirate card game comes along – it’s not their fault, but I’m somewhat mentally stunted when it comes to card games. (more…)

Review: Cane&Abe Rum

Rating: ★★★½☆
madisondistillery.com/Rum.html

Cane&Abe is a rum that just dares to be different. Its bottle, what with the loop on its neck, looks more appropriate to moonshine than rum. The native-american style eagle on the label, again, doesn’t exactly screech of high seas adventure. And being made in Madison, Wisconsin; arguably the LEAST piratey city in the entire US of A? Now my mind is blown.

But let’s not rush to judgement – it is, after all, the rum that matters. At a glance it’s a deep amber, although in the glass it’s significantly lighter. The nose is prominently butterscotch and sugarcane – one of which is a common element in rum, the other less so (I’ll leave it to you to figure which is which.)

On the tongue, Cane&Abe is again like hot butterscotch – liquid candy for adults. Light and sweet, this isn’t exactly fit for putting a kraken into a half-nelson while making out with a mermaid and kicking a spanish corpse. But while it’s not the stuff of pirate legend, it IS pretty decent in its own right, and might be worth checking out if you’d like a break from charred gunpowder and molasses.

Review: Fortuna 8 Year

Rating: ★★★★☆

rum reviews, ron fortunawww.ronfortuna.com

Wine bottles should stand tall and proud, but I’m happiest when my rum bottles sit short and squat. It just seems right that a rum stay true to its maritime heritage by maintaining a low center of gravity and wide footprint so to better brave the rolling seas. Or if ashore, to better survive the accidental bumpings that so often occur in the immediate viscinity of delicious high proof spirits.

Fortuna, Ron Reserva Exclusiva is an eight year aged rum in a classy, lovely squat bottle. The green glass disguises the hue of the rum within, but this is soon remedied by breaking the foil and removing the cork. Upon doing so, the nose is immediately met with a combined sweetness and muskiness – caramel intermingled with subtle vegetation. In the glass, this rum is a light amber much akin to honey in color.

And then, we drink… (more…)