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post #6
bio: stu
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4/15/2004
23:18

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Five Years, My Brain Hurts A Lot
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Alcohol

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Yukon Gold
I was going to write more about the execrable report that came out from the University of California San Francisco about the brain damage that can be caused by heavy social drinking, but...uh...

What were we talking about, again?

So yes, heavy social drinking can apparently cause brain damage. There was, however, no study on heavy anti-social drinking, so I think I'm probably safe. You'll have to get back to me later, though. The criterion for the study was 100 drinks a month over at least 3 years; I'll keep experimenting and get back to you in 36,000 drinks.

Anyway, one of my goals when I started writing for happyrobot was to review as many different and obscure types of alcohol as possible--kind of a cheap-but-adventuresome alcoholic's version of Robot Journal's Wine Club. No alcohol is too obscure or nasty that I won't try it at least once (and by once, I mean until the bottle runs out). As your faithful reviewer, I pledge to experiment with any alcohol I can find; all experiments will be conducted in double-blind fashion--that is, I'll drink them until I go blind in both eyes, and then report back to you, my faithful readers.

We got started in true bohemian style with absinthe, but unfortunately we must come screaming back to earth with Yukon Jack.

According to the Yukon Jack label--a label colored tan and gold in what seems to be an effort to look simultaneously rugged and rich, but instead comes off looking like the teeth of a lifelong smoker with questionable dental hygiene--this liquor is "a taste born of hoary nights, when lonely men struggled to keep their fires lit and their cabins warm." Which is odd, because most of the Canadians I've met seem remarkably free of self-delusion and transparent artifice, and yet this liquor (really a liqueur) has them both in spades. Yukon Jack does not harken back to hoary nights and will do nothing to help you keep your fire lit. And you must be slightly suspicious about any alcohol that brags about "lonely men" directly on the bottle.

Quite simply, this is some nasty liquor.

First of all, the smell that greets you when you crack open your tar-stained bottle could make your stomach turn over: a sickly sweet odor with vague citrus overtones that smells rather like your urine does when you've had too many cups of coffee and a couple Krispy Kremes. When you combine that with the fact that it actually looks like it smells, you've got the makings of a sober night. Which no one should have to go through.

Things get slightly better if you plug your nose and take a sip, but that's something like saying Soviet Russia wasn't so bad as long as you stayed out of the gulags. Yukon Jack is a honey based whiskey, something like Drambuie or Southern Comfort, but once again, that's like saying NAMBLA is something like your local PTA. Similar areas of interest, but radically different results. While Drambuie is blended scotch and heather honey, and Southern Comfort is peach and bourbon, Yukon Jack is Canadian whiskey and honey. This may not seem like such a big deal, until you remember that Canadian whiskey is the red-headed stepchild of the whiskey family. This is a mistake.

So drinking it straight is out. Drinking your Yukon Jack with coke is an improvement, mostly because if you clear your mind and try really hard you can pretend you're just having a poorly mixed rum and coke. The back of the bottle recommends two other ways to drink your Yukon Jack, both equally wretched. The first is the "snakebite" (which is also a mixed drink made up of half lager and half cider, so if you're ordering in a bar, be sure to specify which one you'd prefer), which is just Yukon Jack over ice with a dash of lime juice. For the crazy brave and the phony tough, you could also order the "Jackhammer," which is a shot of Yukon Jack and a shot of "Yukon Jack Perma Frost Schnapps," the only other liqueur distilled by Yukon Jack distilleries. It is a sign of their desperation that they advise mixing these two drinks together, because one Jackhammer is almost enough to put a drunk back on the wagon.

To be fair (and it's hard to be fair), Yukon Jack has no wormwood in it, so even if you were desperate enough to drink a bottle of it, there's no chance of being visited by the Green Fairy (or, in this case, the Urine-colored Fairy).

I suppose that counts as a plus side.

Yukon Jack in Brief

Quality: D
Taste: Rancid Honey
Aftertaste: Honey (The aftertaste is better than the actual taste)
Strength of Liquor: 100 proof - 50% alc. by volume
Strength of Hangover: Unknown. It is highly unlikely that anyone would drink enough of this to be hungover the next morning. It is definitely not something you'd want to throw up, though.
Final Recommendation: I only drank this because it was given to me as a gift--I highly recommend you not even drink it then. If you have a bottle, save it for late in the party when your partygoer's judgement is as unsteady as the rest of them.






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