Meaningless Reviews

I applied for a writing job for a website simply looking for reviews of just about anything you could think of. On paper, it sounds like a good idea; grab a bunch of writers that can tackle a varied number of topics from porn to liquor to music to clothing, pay them a nomial fee to review whatever they encounter in life, and make a website out of it for people of all shapes and size to enjoy. I doubt it’ll amount to anything, but I decided to apply, and so i wrote a review of some cheap whiskey I found at the local liquor store. See what you can accomplish when it’s raining and you choose not to watch TV? It’s a big world out there, full of meaningless shit to review for the Internet. What are you waiting for?

$10.99 for 750 ml
by Brian Tunney

My local liquor store, like most taverns in the area, is square-shaped. Each wall is divided into types of liquor. Beer graces one wall, wine another, hard liquor still another, while the remaining wall is divided up between mixers, party favors such as peanuts and pretzels, and a refrigerated section.
The store is arranged to feature the more expensive, higher quality beverages of each sort in the center of their respective walls, with the cost and quality of the beverage lined walls depleting as you move away from the center and outwards to the corners of the store. If you’re looking for Jack Daniels, you’d look somewhere in the center of the wall, but if your wallet isn’t quite up the task of paying for a night out with Jack, then you’d begin your nightly excursion outwards into the corner.
This is the home of Early Times Kentucky Whiskey, sitting in a row of dusty bottles under the artificial light of a Budweiser display. I get the feeling that the owners of my local liquor store don’t even want their customers to find Early Times Whiskey along the walls, but after an exhaustive search with only $12.00 in my pocket, I had uncovered the holy grail and simultaneous downfall of many drinkers: cheap whiskey!
Early Times Kentucky Whiskey is from Kentucky (duh), and claims to be aged in oak barrels to unleash its special smoothness and flavor. The Early Times Distillery has been knocking out their brand of whiskey since 1860, and it’s formula features “crystal clear Kentucky water, select grains and a special yeast.” Unfortunately for Early Times, I’ve been to Kentucky more than a few times, and aside from the bottled water I’ve had while in the state, I can safely say that I’ve never seen any actual “crystal clear Kentucky water.” I’ve seen all shades of brown, but nothing that could ever qualify as “crystal” or “clear.”
All label discrepancies aside, Early Times Kentucky Whiskey isn’t what you’d be led to believe by either its price or location within my local liquor store. Upon first opening the bottle, it smells and tastes like any cheap whiskey shot you’d down in a bar for $5.00. But it goes down remarkably smooth with little to no burn, leaving the drinker with the familiar warmth of what’s to come, never drowning the moment in sharpness or bitterness.
Aside from the water claim, Early Times does seem to be living up to their bottle spoken claims, as the whiskey emits a genuine down home taste without nary a hint of artificiality or overpowering alcohol. One could in fact say, Early Times’ taste is as subtle as its placement on the wall in my local liquor store.
Then comes morning. I’ve been told that hangovers go hand in hand with cheap liquor, and judging from my past experiences with various whiskies and vodkas of plastic-bottled origins, the theory seems to be right on the mark. Early Times is bottled in glass, but the facade ends there. While it does go down remarkably smooth, it also has the ability to leave the body in remarkably rough shape when overdone. So in a way, it may have earned its placement in a dark, dusty corner of my local liquor store. Maybe the owner had a bad run-in with Early Times himself, who knows?
Early Times Kentucky Whiskey isn’t all bad. When taken in moderation, it does have the ability to fool even the toughest whiskey connoisseur, but when taken a bit far, Early Times translates into rough times. The label may be a bit misleading or over the top, and the aftermath isn’t something anyone should want to get to know, but hey, $12.00 for whiskey that can you fool Christmas party house guests with isn’t too bad at all. Give em a shot or two, tell them it’s Jack Daniels, and go searching that corner in the liquor store for more hidden treasures….

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