Field of Science

All things botanical

One of the great things about being a generalist is that you never run short of botanical things to examine. It's not even that TTP set out to be a generalist, he was considered rather narrow in his early career, but everyone else has gotten so narrow.  So how can TPP pass up a chance to blog about Pow Wow Botanical Rye?  He can't!  Rye is a type of whisky supposedly made predominately from a beer brewed with malted rye.  Rye whiskies used to be quite popular but then the term came to mean cheap whisky, but now with the revival of distilling and whiskies in general, real rye whisky is back.  In general they tend to be a bit on the spicy side. And this botanical whisky kicks that up a notch by steeping a bunch of botanicals in the aged whisky to add more flavor, and this rye ends up quite spicy. Sipping it neat is almost like having a cocktail.  Because of its strong citrus notes this rye makes a dynamite old Fashioned cocktail. There are some other tastes as well, but beyond some vanilla, they cannot be identified by TPP (but he keeps trying).  The Pow Wow thing is a bit weird, a native American/first people reference to the patent medicines based on "Indian cures" from the early days of the newspaper industry.  Thus the old timey feel of the label. These tonics and remedies were generally mostly alcohol, of the everclear sort, in which various herbals had been steeped.  It was a way for ladies of good breeding to have a snort now and then, and an "out" for the teetotalers.  Mostly their curative value was limited or negligible.  So the Pow Wow name may just be a way of harking back to such steeped botanicals.  Some liqueurs are made by steeping aromatics leaving the alcohol and water to pick up the flavors. This was nearly as much fun as The Botanists Gin where the bottle lists all the botanical aromatics involved in its making.  This was not a favorite because TPP always liked the strong juniper aroma/flavor, and this gin tastes more floral. A trusted martini drinker says it made one of the best drinks she's ever had.  It isn't cheap, so TPP appreciates the foreign student who first presented it to me.

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