I’m not a whiskey supertaster, so let’s start with the things I don’t have to think too hard about. Rough Rider is a small-batch (I got batch #3) bourbon made by Long Island Spirits in New York and it’s named after wealthy adventurer Teddy Roosevelt and the cavalry he commanded in the Spanish-American War. The bottle claims a “smooth and well rounded sweetness with complex hints of caramel, vanilla, and spice. With a light, floral nose, the finish is savory, supple, and encored by a heady heat.” 45% and 90 proof. That’s it–gonna drink like a yankee.

It is indeed a spicy, buttery joy. Good for sipping, good for shooting. Damn hot and damn delicious. It’s glazy and makes me taste doughnuts. I’ve pretty much left Irishes for bourbons and tasting Rough Rider reinforces my position. Consider it endorsed, however un-eloquently. I can’t offer much subtle analysis since coffee has scorched away most of my palette, but I can offer you this little playlist to drink to. L’chaim.

The bottle goes in the mid-$30 range but it doesn’t feel out of place there–so try it instead of Buffalo Trace or Makers Mark if you see it on the shelf.

The playlist contains no music from Long Island, unfortunately–but if you’re interested (which you should be) there’s three great Long Island music comps available to stream from Life on an Island Records.

01 – New Drink for the Old Drunk – Crooked Fingers
02 – Battle of Wounded Heart – The Haints
03 – New Reaction – Bastards of Young
04 – Strange – Patsy Cline
05 – Shoulda – The Ones to Blame
06 – Winterwind – Bottomless Pit
07 – Now and Then – King Everything

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.


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