Explore Blog

Batman Trilogy

By January 11, 2017 General
BatmanTrilogy

The Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale as Batman has been one of my favorite movie series since it came out. I’ve watched it many times and continue to watch it at least twice a year. The other day I told my dad that I could probably create a government system based off this series. The movies were made so well that despite knowing what’s going to happen, they still have great meaning. The first movie, Batman Begins, is a great intro into the world of Batman. The Dark Knight starts to show many of the struggles that Bruce has to face during his journey as both billionaire by day and unwanted, but needed hero by night. The third and final movie, The Dark Knight Rises, ends the series with people finally realizing what the once hated hero had actually done for them all this time.

The premise of this series is that a rich kid who lost his parents leaves everything he knows. Whether he leaves because home only reminds him of sad memories, or because he wants to die is unclear. Honestly, both of these are probably true. There was nothing good for Bruce at home, and he wouldn’t care to much if he died. After learning some lessons about the other side of the social hierarchy, Bruce seems to find himself wanting to help those who cannot help themselves. He goes out and learns how to defend himself and then in return disarm those who choose to do evil. After seven years he finally emerges from the dark hole he threw himself into. He has one goal: to save his city.

Batman begins has to be the best intro movie to any super hero series out there. Not only does it make Batman look epic and thoroughly tell young Bruce’s story, but it gives him an incredible moral ground to stand on. For the entire beginning of the movie the time period switches back and forth with perfect timing. One moment your watching Bruce’s sad life as a child, then the next your watching him use that emotion to strengthen himself in training. When Ducard asks him about his hatred for the man responsible for the death of his parents, the movie takes you back to the trial of the murderer of his parents to share with us Bruce’s pain. Never before have I seen such good timing for flashbacks. The creators make all the various flashbacks seem like one story instead of a bunch of rushed background information.

At the end of Batman Begins, Bruce saves the city for the first time from his former master and friend, Ra’s al gul. In order to do this he had to first publicly humiliate himself as Bruce, then switch into the persona of Batman to save the people that hate him. Next comes The Dark Knight where we get to see the best done villain role of the century, Heath Ledger’s Joker. In this movie we not only see into the eyes of Batman, but into the eyes of the Joker as well. The Batman will stop at nothing to save people who hate him, while the Joker will stop at nothing to kill anyone and destroy everything just because it’s entertaining. It reminds me of the Joker’s alteration of the word ‘laughter’ into the word ‘slaughter’ halfway through the movie on the side of a carnivals semi-truck.

Alfred suggest to Bruce that perhaps this time Bruce is the one who does not understand the criminal. The Joker’s only purpose is cruel entertainment. At the same time, the Joker cannot understand the Batman’s motives. They are the perfect set of enemies, neither will stop chasing the other because of what drives them. Amusingly the Batman won’t kill the Joker because he isn’t an executioner, and the Joker won’t kill the Batman because that would leave him with no one good enough to play with. The other struggle for Bruce throughout this movie is that the public wants the Batman gone. He risks his life saving them and he get’s nothing for it, not even gratification.

The best part of the Dark Knight is when Bruce realizes that the city needs a white knight, Harvey Dent. Batman can fight the bad guys, but at the end of the day, people take him for granted. Harvey, however, is respected by the people, and by the end of the day, they will follow his every move. The only issue is that if he messes up even once, and he is often pressured to, everything he has ever done becomes worthless. In the end, Harvey falls and Batman has to take the hit.

The Dark Knight Rises takes everything that has happened up to this point and plays off of it. Ra’s al ghul returns in the form of Bane. The sad story Ra’s tells in the begging of the series turns out to be true, he did lose everything including a wife and child. Despite having died, he truly does seem immortal in a way. Batman had to disappear after sustaining injuries from his battle with Harvey. Not only that, but the entire city is on the hunt for him. Now a new threat emerges and is after his identity (someone is finally putting the disappearance of his two identities together).  Gordon has lost everything he holds dear after helping the batman and is soon to be fired. The typical war hero story; save the world, you loved for a short while, next thing you known your thrown away.

The Batman is not only injured, but he has lost his motivation and youth. Bane seems to have all the advantages. It takes utter defeat to get Bruce back into the fight. This time though, it will take more than Bruce to win the fight. This movie shows how despite having been enough, even a hero needs the help of the people. The people of the city help create the monsters they fear, but they can also help destroy them. When everyone works together for the same cause, good things can happen. In the end, the people find their way and the Batman regains his strength. The bat dies, but the city is saved. “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”. Harvey became a villain, the bat died a hero.

This series has tons of great action even if you don’t have the time or care to dive into it’s deeper meanings. The series isn’t for everyone, but I highly recommend you watch them at least once.

 

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Jack Reacher ‘Never Go Back’ Review

By January 10, 2017 General
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Jack Reacher ‘Never Go Back’ was a good movie. It was a good book too if you are familiar with the series. The whole scenario starts out with Reacher having taken out an entire group of guys by himself. For a very short period of time, we have no idea why. When the police get to Reacher, sitting by himself eating his food, they question him. Before you know it, the cuffs he was just wearing are on the officers and he is back to being his usual drifting self.

Reacher is now making his way to Washington D.C. so he can eat dinner with the soldier who has been helping him all along. He was glad to find out this person was not a guy to say the least. When he finally makes his way to D.C. he is given some bad news. Major Turner, the friend he was coming to meet, has been arrested. To uncover the reason behind this, he has to get her out of jail. Luckily one of Major Turner’s assistants could provide a little more information about what was going on.

Once Turner is out of Jail, the two are framed for being the bad guys which comes with the honor of taking credit for all of the murders that have taken place so far. To make things even more complicated, they are forced to protect a young girl who wants no part of them.The bad guys make sure Reacher is more worried about protecting the girl than he is with handling the threats thrown his way.

Everything up until this point was just the introduction of the plot. Now begins the chase. Turner, Reacher, and Sam (the girl), now have assassins chasing them. To make things worse, the assassins have the government and lots of other resources on there side. Reacher and Turner have a girl who is making staying off the grid nearly impossible. However, the girl is fairly resourceful when she cares to be.

As the movie goes on, the group fights off every threat thrown there way. This does slow down there attempts to figure out what is actually going on. The bad guys get smart though, they figure out what Reacher is after in order to get a step ahead of him. They send one group ahead to watch the target, and they send another group to find where Reacher is staying. After a fun fight scene with Reacher against the world, one of the bad guys puts a thought in Reacher’s head. He says that no matter how hard Reacher works, they’ll eventually win.

To finish things once and for all, Reacher and Turner head out to stop the guy in charge of their man hunt. When they finally get there, they are met by a trap. While it is not a great situation, it gets them the help of a soldier who served under each of them. While he doesn’t like going against his orders, he takes a chance at believing the two. When they get to the bad guys base of operations, they are proven wrong on there theory. When Turner is being taken prisoner once more, it is up to Reacher to figure everything out. However, he is tipped off that the bad guys sent an assassin after Sam.

It is time for Reacher to make a decision, does he help Sam, or does he stop the larger threat at hand? Lots of people who reviewed this movie said that the plot wasn’t very deep. I’m not sure what they expected. If they read the book, they should know what to expect. If they watched the first movie, they would know what to expect. It’s a thriller movie, it’s all about the chase.

It’s also about Jack Reacher, hints the title. He is a very smart former military police officer. He was always quick to get promoted, but also quick to get demoted. He gets the job done, but he hates rules. This isn’t a comedic thriller, it’s an actually thriller. The movie has a serious tone to it. I’m not going to say it’s the best movie I’ve seen in a while, but it isn’t a bad movie. It gives you a fun chase to watch, some good action scenes, and a few redeeming moments.

I have few questions for ya’ll to think about before watching movies in the future. Why are you watching the movie, and how many jaw dropping movies do we actually see these days?

 

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Explore Gear: Nite Ize Financial Tool

By January 5, 2017 Gear
Nite Ize Financial Tool

Last November, I started making my Christmas wish list.  In the process, I discovered a whole new category of gear that I had never thought about before: credit card sized multi-tools.  These are handy little gadgets that can do all manor of things but are small enough to keep in a credit card slot in your wallet.

As a Christmas gift, Josh got me my very first credit card multi-tool, the Financial Tool from Nite Ize.  And don’t let the name fool you; this isn’t something that will help you make money (like a financial instrument).  Rather, it’s a handy multi-tool that can even function as your wallet in a pinch.

The Functions of the Nite Ize Financial Tool

The packaging suggests 7 functions:

  1.     Flathead Screwdriver
  2.     Wrenches (1/4″, 5/16″, and 3/8″)
  3.     Rulers (standard and metric up to 1″)
  4.     Phillips Driver/Tape Cutter (so far my favorite tool of the bunch)
  5.     Cash Wrap (like an ultra-sturdy rubber band wrapped around the card)
  6.     Bottle Opener (I’ve gotten way more use out of this than I thought I would)
  7.     Scraper

 

The Financial Tools package identifies seven of the multi-tools useful features.

The Financial Tools package identifies seven of the multi-tools useful features.

By the way, there are many “bonus” tools not mentioned in the packaging for creative people.  For example, the tool features a decent straight edge, and the slits in the metal that keep the card light in weight make pretty good stencils if you’re a doodler and can also fit over other tools to provide greater leverage/torque in a pinch.

My Experience with the Tools so Far

I’ve only had my Nite Ize Financial Tool for a few weeks, and I’m surprised by the number of times I’ve used it.  So far, I have:

  • Opened many bottles of my home brew cider;
  • Opened countless Christmas packages and taped envelopes with the Tape Cutter;
  • Opened many packages of Sinus-Max tablets;
  • Used it as my “wallet” when I wanted to travel light (with a few bills, a credit card, and a driver’s license);
  • Measured a few things with the ruler;
  • Opened a battery compartment with the phillips driver;
  • Scraped ice off my windshield;

The Financial Tool performed all of these functions admirably.  Granted, if a full-sized version of any of these tools had been readily available, I would have used them.  But that’s what makes the Financial Tool so valuable: I don’t keep a toolbox on me at all times, but my wallet is ALWAYS close by.

What I Like Best about My Nite Ize Financial Tool

Aside from the basic functionality, here are the things that (for me) set the Nite Ize Financial Tool apart from other credit card tools:

Sturdy and Light.  This tool is thicker and feels sturdier than others I’ve seen, which is important.  Yet, it doesn’t weigh down my wallet at all.  It’s very compact.

It Looks Cool.  It’s just a credit card tool, but I feel like a ninja carrying it around; it’s like a grown-up throwing star.  To me, the aesthetics are great: sleek yet rugged.

The Cash Wrap.  The one thing that makes the Financial Tool stand out of the crowd – for me – is the cash wrap.  All the other tools I’ve considered must be kept inside my wallet.  I like the ability to use the card AS my wallet.  The Financial Tool truly goes with me everywhere now, even when I’m “downsizing” for a night out.

The Size.  Somehow, the Financial Tool is small enough to take up a credit card slot in my wallet but is large enough to hold a credit card and driver’s license within the cash wrap. Well done!

The Nite Ize Financial Tool is large enough to hold a few credit cards and some cash...

The Nite Ize Financial Tool is large enough to hold a few credit cards and some cash…

...and yet its small enough to fit into my admittedly oversize) wallet very easily.

…and yet its small enough to fit into my admittedly oversize) wallet very easily.

Summary

If you’re looking for just one credit card multi-tool, I recommend starting with the Nite Ize Financial Tool.  There might be credit card tools that can do more, but I doubt you’ll carry them all the time like you will the Financial Tool.  And, for a multi-tool, availability is the best ability.  That’s why you carry it.

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Explore Whiskey: Jim Beam Double Oak Whiskey

By January 5, 2017 Whiskey Reviews
jimbeamdoubleoaktwicebarreled

In a recent visit to my local liquor store, while looking for something new, I stumbled upon Jim Beam Double Oak Whiskey.  I’ve always been a fan of Beam’s products, since I have an affinity for oaky flavors in my whiskey. I have found Beam products to be pleasantly oaky, even when not complex.

What would be the impact of aging Beam’s product in two different sets of charred oak barrels?  Read on to find out.

Appearance. Having been aged in two different new charred oak barrels, I anticipated this stuff to be significantly darker than most bourbons. It’s a nice amber color with good legs, but it’s not significantly darker than others – maybe a little less red but not really darker.  Still, it looks tasty.

Nose. The most amazing thing about the nose of this stuff comes after the glass is empty. It’s almost like taking a whiff of a recently doused fire pit…really woody and smoky. If I could get a candle that smelled like this, I would buy it. Overall, the nose is predominantly of charred oak, with hints of caramel and toffee.  (I really like keeping an empty glass next to me all evening and taking in the scents.)

Taste. The taste is very good. There’s a burn up front, followed by flavors of vanilla, oak and caramel. The taste isn’t as smokey as I anticipated, and it’s not overly complex, but it is very tasty.  Like I said, I enjoy oaky flavors in my whiskey.

Overall. If you like woody whiskey with hints of caramel and a decent burn, Jim Beam Double Oak is the stuff for you. For the price, it’s outstanding.

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Explore Whiskey: Tom Sims Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

By January 4, 2017 General
timsims2-0

Over the holidays, I spent some time with my parents and extended family in Irving, Texas.  My parents had recently hosted several parties and had a few left-over bottles of whiskey that had been used to make Manhattans.  Of course, I wanted to try the whiskeys neat, which resulted in my first encounter with Tom Sims Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  The stuff has been aged for four years, so, for a bottom shelf bourbon, I’m intrigued.

Appearance.  Like many bourbons, Tom Sims sports a medium amber color and leaves decent legs on the side of the glass.  So far, so good.

Nose.  Things start getting a bit dicey at this point.  For the first three or four whiffs, all I smelled was alcohol.  After searching (and searching) for something more, I discovered hints of oak, toffee, and caramel, but I had to hunt for them.

Taste.  There really are some nice flavors in this stuff; unfortunately, they’re not the only flavors to be found.  The nice flavors of vanilla, baking spices, and caramel were offset by acetone and a bitter woody flavor.

Overall.  Despite the up-front (in-your-face) aroma of alcohol, Tom Sims Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey drinks rather smoothly and shows promise; however, I am left remembering the bad more than the good – probably because the finish highlights the unpleasant bitter flavors.  I won’t be drinking this stuff neat again for a few years.

I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5.

 

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Grand Junction High School Sports Fields

By January 3, 2017 General

Grand Junction High School has lots to offer to it’s students. However, it also has a lot to offer to anyone lucky enough to live close to its location. Particularly during the warmer months of the year, you can go to GJHS in order to use their track or one of the many other sports fields they have to offer. They have a soccer field, a football field, a baseball field, and a tennis court. While school is in session during the day, you can take advantage of the property when it is not in use. This way you can enjoy being active without having to go to a recreation center or a park.

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Being a soccer player, I know more about the soccer field than anything else. It is not a state of the art astro-turf field nor is it the best grass in the world. However, it gets the job done and is already marked with paint unlike a basic grass field. If you are looking to shoot on goals, just make sure to stop by during the boys or girls soccer season, otherwise the nets will be down. If you are looking to practice perfect ball control so you can go play in the MLS, this field might not be right for you. Side note: if the goals are up, please do not mess up the nets.

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Football players get the luxury of practicing on any field they please as long as it is not the baseball field for obvious reasons. Each field has proper football markings as well as it’s own set of field goals. If you are interested in anything other than throwing or kicking the ball though, you may be out of luck short of your own football equipment. If you are a kicker, they do have a large net set up to help practice proper form without having to chase after the ball.

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As many fields do, the soccer field is surrounded by a track so that people can run their hearts out. During the track season there may even be hurdles out. As long as you are just there to run or have your own gear, the track and field provide the space needed to practice.

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Considering that I know little of each sport, I will combine tennis and baseball. There is a baseball field at the school as well. Seeing as it is used for games, I’m not sure if people are supposed to use it for their own fun, however I do see the occasional player practicing with a friend. As tennis goes, there are about 4 courts set up so that people can play (typically students). If you don’t break the net you are free to play if the courts are not needed. It isn’t state of the art, but it is kept up well enough to play tennis.

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The only other things that matter concern your basic health. There is usually a porter potter kept up so that players can use it if they must. I never used it during my years playing soccer there, but if you have to go bad enough I’m sure you’ll find the strength. There is also a small water fountain that works most of the time in case you forgot your own water or got carried away and stayed out longer than you were prepared for.

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Explore the Grand Valley: J & M Aquatics and Pet Center (Grand Junction)

By December 17, 2016 Grand Valley, Small Businesses to Support
J&M Aquatics

Looking for an awesome locally owned pet shop that covers everything from dogs and cats to fish and rodents and reptiles?

I went to J&M Aquatics and Pet Center seeking out a new dog food option for the Exploreblog.net mascot, Tali, and found a whole new world of pets and pet supplies that I hadn’t imagined existed in Grand Junction.

Location

J&M Aquatics and Pet Center is located at the southeast corner of North Avenue and 28-1/2 road.  With a big sign out front, it’s easy to spot.  Plus, there’s plenty of parking.

The Offerings at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center

Dog Food and Supplies.  Since I went seeking out dog food, I’ll start with it. Not only does J&M have more brands of dog food than I’ve ever seen in a locally owned pet store, but they’ve got great depth within the brands.  I found grain-free options and other foods that I didn’t previously know existed.

This photo shows just a small portion of the huge selection of dog foods at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center.

This photo shows just a small portion of the huge selection of dog foods at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center.

J&M also features several areas full of bins of dog treats and teeth cleaning treats.

J&M offers a fun and unique selection of teeth cleaning treats for dogs.

J&M offers a fun and unique selection of teeth cleaning treats for dogs.

 

Plenty of Options for Cats, too.  Not just for dog lovers, J&M offered a large selection of food, toys, and other options for cats, as well.  We even saw some cats on-site for adoption.

Fish and Fish Supplies.  With “aquatics” in the name, you’d guess J&M has plenty of fish offerings…and it does.

One of two large rooms full of fish at J&M Aquatics.

One of two large rooms full of fish at J&M Aquatics.

I was impressed with the variety of fish offered by J&M. In addition to fish, the store offers al the supplies you need to take care of fish and aquariums.  Plus…

My favorite tank at J&M features non-fish living things to put in your aquarium.

My favorite tank at J&M features non-fish living things to put in your aquarium.

 

Other animals.  If you’re looking for a different kind of pet, J&M has plenty of options.  There are reptiles, spiders, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, and more.

Looking for a bearded dragon? In addition to these babies, J&M offers them at other stages of development, as well.

Looking for a bearded dragon? In addition to these babies, J&M offers them at other stages of development, as well.

Plus, I’ve never seen a more complete selection of terrariums and habitats for all different kinds of animals.

Terrariums at J&M

Terrariums? Yep, J&M has an entire aisle full of them.

Customer Experience

At the end of my visit, I stopped by the counter to ask about dog food.  Tali has been experiencing some kidney issues, and I’ve been looking for a kidney-friendly dog food.  I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information offered by the person at the cash register.  She took time to listen and offer information and solutions.  This is the kind of customer service that makes a locally owned store so awesome.  Thanks, J&M!

Summary

Not only have I found a new pet store for all of Tali’s needs, but Cole is now working to convince me that we need more pets.  Great store!

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Explore Gear: Citizen Eco-Drive Watch

By December 9, 2016 Gear
Opening the Citizen Eco-Drive Watch feels like something special!

As a casual explore, my watch is one of my most important pieces of gear.  Unfortunately, I have struggled to find watches that can keep up with my explorations.

I had a Swiss Army watch; I broke it within a year.  I decided to go high-tech and purchased a smart watch; I broke two within a year.  I then decided to go cheap and purchased a $10 plastic diving watch that looked indestructible; within the first month I scratched the face of the watch so badly I could no longer read the time.  In these and other ways, I am a watch killer.

Enter Citizen’s Eco-Drive Watch.  I’ve only had mine for 2 months (it was a birthday present), but it’s already out-performing every watch I’ve ever owned in so many wonderful ways.

The Awesome Features of My Eco-Drive Watch

The Eco-Drive.  I failed to mention it before, but my body inexplicably kills analog quartz watches.  Seriously.  After a month or two, every battery powered analog quartz watch I’ve ever owned dies.  After replacing the batteries, the watch works for a day or two and then quits again…forever.  Citizen’s Eco-Drive seems to have changed all that for me.  The Eco-Drive powers my watch with light.  Light!  To date, my Eco-Watch never stops; it never slows down.  Awesome!  Plus, the Eco-Drive doesn’t need high-powered light, like the sun.  And, it can go for up to six months with no light at all!

The Crystal.  The crystal (the clear protective cover of the watch) seems to be darn near indestructible.  I’ve yet to detect a scratch on mine.

Appearance.  I want a watch that fits any occasion: hiking or going to a black tie affair.  My Citizen Eco-Drive is the first watch I’ve owned that is both rugged and fairly high-class.

My Citizen Eco-Drive Watch is rugged enough for exploring and classy enough to wear to a gala!

My Citizen Eco-Drive Watch is rugged enough for exploring and classy enough to wear to a gala!

Glowing in the Dark.  One thing I absolutely require in a watch is some way to tell the time at night.  Both the minute and hour hands glow in the dark, as do the hour markers of the day.   As a bonus, the hour markers are slightly different lengths, which really helps discern one from another when reading them at night.  Also, the glow-paint really works; I’ve yet to encounter the situation in which I could not read my Eco-Drive watch in the dark.

Water Resistance.  All of the Eco-Drive watches are at least mildly water resistant.  Mine is water resistant to 10 atmospheres, so it’s suitable for swimming and snorkeling.  In other words, I don’t have to worry about taking it off in the course of regular exploring.

Calendars.  My Eco-Drive watch lets me know the day of the week, the day of the month, and it has a 24-hour function (so I know how far through the day I am…which is good when I awaken from a nap.)

Awesome Instructions and Easy to Set.  I don’t know how many time I’ve purchased a watch, only to find the instructions for setting the thing to be un-followable.  The instructions for my Citizen Eco-Drive are clear and include pictures.  Plus, I set the watch to the current date and time in under a minute!

I found the instruction manual easy to read.  The pictures are helpful!

I found the instruction manual easy to read. The pictures are helpful!

The Packaging.  I know, it sounds superficial, but packaging can make a difference when it comes to perception.  When I opened my Eco-Drive watch packaging, it felt like I was opening something special!

Opening the Citizen Eco-Drive Watch feels like something special!

Opening the Citizen Eco-Drive Watch feels like something special!

Overall

It’s still early, but to date my Citizen Eco-Drive watch is the best watch I’ve ever owned.  And it’s cool to think that it will keep on working (with no battery change required) as long as there’s light!  Getting watch batteries changed can be a pain these days.  The price is a bit high compared to my $10 dive watch, but it’s worth every penny.

 

 

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Explore Whiskey: 1792 Small Batch Bourbon

By December 9, 2016 Whiskey Reviews
1792 Small Batch Bourbon

Susan bought me a bottle of 1792 Small Batch for my birthday, and we had so much fun drinking it, we completely forgot to take a picture while there was still some whiskey left in the bottle!

Here’s my review:

Appearance

You won’t be able to tell from the picture above (because the bottle is empty), but the bourbon has a medium to dark amber and substantial viscosity.

Nose

1792 Small Batch Bourbon smells of caramel, alcohol, oak and vanilla.   The alcohol scent is quite strong but not enough to overpower the other flavors.

Taste

When 1792 Small Batch Bourbon hits the mouth, fruity flavors power through the substantial alcohol burn.  I pick up bananas and raisins.  As the bourbon moves toward the back of my mouth, flavors of caramel and wood with hints of baking spices come to the forefront.  The stuff finishes with pleasing flavors of oak and vanilla.

Overall

I really enjoy 1792 Small Batch.  The baking spices add a layer of complexity that sets it apart from others.  The flavors aren’t what I enjoy on a regular basis, but it’s something I’ll reach for when I want a bit more to ponder.

 4.5 out of 5

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Explore Gear: Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy

By December 9, 2016 Coffee, Gear
Pouring Water into Brew Buddy

As an explorer, I love coffee.  As an explorer, I’m typically out and about – maybe hiking on a trail or camping out under the stars or even enjoying the comforts of a cabin in the mountains.  As an explorer, one of the most difficult things for me to find was the solution to the problem of brewing a great cup of coffee on the go; after all, Starbucks isn’t everywhere and coffee machines require electricity and a big chunk of space.

While trying to find a solution, I stumbled upon the Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy.  I liked it so much that every member of my family has now purchased one, and it’s the only way we at Exploreblog.net make a cup of coffee (unless we’re making Greek coffee, but that’s another story), whether we’re at home or in the great outdoors.

What is Primula Singe Serve Coffee Brew Buddy?

Quite simply, it’s a reusable pour over coffee filter.  What that means is you place it over a cup, add ground coffee beans, pour water over the beans, wait a few minutes, and you’ve got a perfect cup of coffee.

How to Make a Cup of Coffee with the Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy

Step 1:  Put a clean Brew Buddy over your coffee mug.  

Step 1: Place the Brew Buddy over your coffee mug.

Step 1: Place the Brew Buddy over your coffee mug.

Step 2:  Add ground coffee beans to the Brew Buddy.  I like a pretty bold cup, so I use about three heaping spoons full.  (My spoons are closer to a tablespoon than a teaspoon.)  As far as the grind to use, it’s really up to you.  Sometimes I purchase coffee that has already been ground for automatic drip machines, and it works just fine.  I also grind my own.  I have found that too fine a ground will result in some residue at the bottom of my cup of coffee, while too coarse a ground makes the process a bit trickier (it takes the water longer to flow through coarse grounds.)

Step 2:  Put coffee in the Brew Buddy.  Pro Tip - using a spoon is cleaner but pouring directly from the bag is faster.

Step 2: Put coffee in the Brew Buddy. Pro Tip – using a spoon is cleaner but pouring directly from the bag is faster.

Step 3:  Add hot water to the ground coffee in the Brew Buddy.  I have a Keurig, which I used to use…until I discover that I like the coffee made from my Brew Buddy better.  Now, I use my Keurig as a glorified water heater.  I heat the water, dispense it into a small metal pitcher (it’s actually the briki I use to make Greek coffee), and pour the water from the briki over the grounds in the Brew Buddy.

Pouring Water into Brew Buddy

Step 3: Add water to the Brew Buddy and coffee grounds.

Step 4: Wait.  OK, this is critical.  How long you let the grounds inside the filter sit in the water (in the mug) will determine how flavorful your coffee is.  Experiment until you get it right for you.

Step 5:  Place the Brew Buddy (with wet grounds in it) someplace to dry.  I use a mason jar.  Why let the grounds dry?  It makes the Brew Buddy easier to clean later.

Dry the Coffee Grounds to make clean-up easier.

Step 5: Dry the Coffee Grounds to make clean-up easier.

Step 6:  Enjoy your perfect cup of coffee.

My Everyday Cup of Coffee...Brought to me by Tucan (aka Mountain Air Roasters)

My Perfect Cup of Coffee…Thanks Brew Buddy!

Step 7.  Empty the resulting clump of dry coffee grounds into a container to save for composting.  Yes, you could discard the grounds into the trash, but why not save some space in a landfill and help out your garden at the same time?  After you dump out the used grounds, wash the Brew Buddy with water, and it’s ready for another use.

We save our coffee grounds in plastic grocery store bags.

We save our coffee grounds in plastic grocery store bags.

Why I Love the Brew Buddy

It’s so portable!  I can take it anywhere I can access hot water, and it’s ready to go.  It’s flat and lightweight, making it ridiculously portable.

It’s re-usable.  I’ve been using the same Brew Buddy for about a year.  No paper filters to discard, no more K-cups for the landfill.  I use the same Brew Buddy day after day.

It makes Great Coffee.  I settled in on the Brew Buddy after my research revealed that using the pour over method makes a superior cup of coffee…and my experience confirms it.  The Brew Buddy makes better coffee than my $150 Keurig.

Control over the process.  Part of the reason my Brew Buddy gives me such a great cup of coffee is that it gives me control over the process.  I get to decide how much to grind the beans, how much ground coffee to put in the filter, hopw much water to add to my cup, and how long to let the coffee “brew”.  Most other methods I’ve tried take some of that control from me.

Price.  We outfitted our entire Exploreblog.net family with Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddies (that’s 4 units) for about $25.  Amazing!!!

Summary

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for a coffee lover this holiday season, or if you want to gift yourself the best way I’ve found to make coffee, pick up a Brew Buddy reusable coffee filter as soon as possible.

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