Bourbon Blitz – Week 4; September 18, 2023

I put it off long enough… at this point I am going to have to acknowledge Coach Prime. Last year, Dion Sanders was announced as the new coach of the Colorado Buffaloes and subsequently told the existing team to find a new school to play:

“We got a few positions already taken care of, because I’m bringing my luggage with me — and it’s Louis [Vuitton]. Okay, it ain’t gonna be no more of the mess that these wonderful fans, the student body, and some of your parents have put up with … for probably two decades now. I’m comin’ and when I get here it’s gonna be changed. So I wan’t y’all to get ready, to go ahead and jump in that portal, and do whatever you’re gonna get, because the more of you jump in, the more room we make, because we’re bringing in kids who are smart, say that, tough.”

That’s a rough message for any coach to deliver to student athletes, but an especially brutal one when done with such a lack of tact. And I’ve been hoping to see him struggle in his first season because of it.

Sadly, that is not happening. They are sitting at 3-0, with victories over TCU, Nebraska, and Colorado State… and more importantly, they are fun to watch. I still am not a fan of Coach Prime, but he has certainly brought excitement back to Boulder.

USA Today

On Saturday, my Buckeyes started firing on all cylinders against the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. My favorite stat of the game is that the entire population of Bowling Green, KY (about 75,000) could fit into Ohio Stadium, and there would still be 30,000 empty seats. The first third of the game was competitive, with a score of 10-14 with 8:10 remaining in the second quarter. The Hilltoppers played an aggressive D, and their quarterback Austin Reed was able to move up the field easily… and then future All-American Marvin Harrison Jr decided to get involved, and the rest of the game was over fast.

At the 8:00 mark, Harrison caught a 75-yard pass for a 1 play touchdown drive. The Buckeyes then followed that up with 3 more touchdown drives of 1 play, 4 plays, and 3 plays. An avalanche of points racked up across 9 total plays across 209 yards, and by the half the Buckeyes amassed a 42-10 lead. They would tack on another 3 touchdowns in the second half for a 63-10 win. Next week is the first major test of the season as Ohio State heads to South Bend, Indiana to take on Notre Dame in primetime.

After the game, it was time to celebrate the win and visit with some friends. We decided to meet at the Koval Distillery, whose Single Barrel Bourbon and Single Barrel Rye have been reviewed here previously. I was excited to visit their tasting room and taste some of their cocktails. It’s a very modern space, with a minimalistic back bar that highlights their spirits, and has plenty of room for a featured barrel full of aged Manhattan. I really like the space and décor, it seems to be very in-line with their brand.

There were four of us, and we had two rounds of drinks. We were able to try their Old Fashioned (Koval bourbon, cherry bark, vanilla, turbinado sugar, orange), Barrel Aged Manhattan (Koval rye whiskey, rose hip liqueur, sweet vermouth), Cranberry Gin Spritz (Koval cranberry gin liqueur, sparkling water, orange), and Lavender Gin Fizz (Koval dry gin, lavender syrup, tonic). 

My favorite was the Manhattan (pictured below).The rye was prominent, but still allowed the earthy notes from the aging process to show through.  The old fashioned was just okay, I think Nick said it well in his review of their bourbon, “Unfortunately, though, it seems that this is a little too unbalanced in the darker and richer aspects to truly excel here.” 

The cranberry gin drink was good, but on the tart side. The lavender fizz was a bust, the lavender flavor was barely there, and the drink resembled more of a gin lemonade. That said, they have quite a few cocktails, and its a great space in Ravenswood located by a lot of good restaurants. As far as distillery visits go, I would highly recommend stopping by if you are ever in Chicago.

Week 2 of the NFL was exciting. We got our first overtime games of the season: Titans beat the Chargers, and Seahawks over the Lions. We also had many games that came down to the wire: the Bears had a chance against the Buccaneers with 2 minutes remaining but blew it on a pick-6, and the Broncos Russell Wilson completed a 50-yard hail-Mary pass with 0:00 on the clock but did not convert the 2-point conversion losing to the Commanders 35-33. 

And then we have the Browns playing on a Monday night. The Chi Town Dawg Pound was hyped… and then it all changed. On the very first play from scrimmage, Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a pick-6. Later, all-pro running back Nick Chubb went down with a gruesome knee injury, and it appears he will be out for the season. There was another turnover that lead to a touchdown later, and of course who can forget the facemask personal foul called on Watson. For a team that had a chance to go 2-0 for the first time since 1993 (a team that was coached by Bill Belichick), it was frustrating to watch them revert back to the same team I’ve watched for decades.

Next week is going to be exciting with the Ohio State @ Notre Dame game.  It’s going to be an exciting game and show what kind of team the Buckeyes are this season. It will also be a test for coach Prime and Colorado as they take on Oregon in Eugene. As we wrap up, remember to tune in every week to the Bourbon Blitz for your fix of football, food, and drinks. Cheers and see you soon.

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