Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review - Dragon Teeth

Michael Crichton fans may rejoice over this novel......or not. This is a manuscript that was discovered after his death and has recently been published. In typical Crichton style, he mixes reality and science with fiction.The plot concerns a young Yale student  who goes to the west with an expedition to look for dinosaur bones in 1876. This was a period that was called the "bone wars" because of the rivalry between fossil hunters and our character is in the middle of it. The problem is that this book lacks the typical suspense one sees in a Crichton novel. The writing style is more typical of Robert Parker in his western novels. The pace is slow and while our protagonists meets with danger and various real characters of the era, there is no sense of suspense. I suspect Crichton fans will be disappointed.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Rows and Rows of Racing Cars

The Cite de l'Automobile has a section of nothing but race cars. They range from the early days to recent F1 cars. All of these cars have a history and have won races while driven by famous drivers. 






Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Kilchoman Machir Bay

My wife and I were in one of our favorite Paris restaurants and were expecting the arrival of our 20 year old grandson the next day. We were texting with him and learned that his flight out of NOLa was delayed and he would have 20 minutes to make the connection in Atlanta. We were therefore a little stressed and I wanted something a little stronger. Our waiter brought me a glass of Kilchoman.

Kilchoman (pronounced Kil-ho-man) is the first distillery to be build on Islay in 125 years. It is also one of the smallest distilleries. It is based on a farm where it grows it's own barley and also practices floor malting. As it was built in 2005, their scotch has not had time to mature as long as other established distilleries. They offer 10 different scotches where the key difference is the type of barrel they are aged in.

Color: Pale
Nose: Peaty
Palate: Slight burn on the tongue, thin
Finish: Warm

The scotches from this distillery have won several awards but after looking up some pricing I think they are over rated and over priced. They need more time in the barrel to mature. It may take another 5 to 10 years before they have a scotch I would like to drink.

PS. He made the flight.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Book Review - Little White Lies

I have said before that Ace Atkins is very good at emulating Robert Parker's writing style and this book is a great example. Spenser is hired to find a con man that stole several hundred thousand dollars from his fiance. The search leads him into a web of murder, gun running and evangelist preachers. Hawk is back and plays a prominent role in the investigation. if I say anything more about the story, I would be giving away some of the plot twists. Get it and read for yourself.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year Old

Balvenie is a Speyside distillery that prides itself on its hand crafting. For example, they turn the malt by hand. The 12 year old is one of their lower grades from their wide range of about 20 whiskys, some as old as 50 years old. This whiskey is aged in 2 types of barrels. It spends at least 12 years in American oak bourbon casks and is then transferred to Spanish oak sherry casks for another 9 months. The result is a very smooth and drinkable whiskey at a reasonable price.

Color: Medium amber
Nose: Sweet with sherry notes
Palate: Smooth and mellow
Finish: Long and warming

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Head Count

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia beheaded 8 criminals during May. It was split 50/50 between murderers and drug charges and brings their year to date total to 33.

The month of June should be another low count as Ramadan has started and Islams likes to show mercy during this period.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017