Friday, March 23, 2018

Kotas Reviews Doritos Flamas

Every now and again I get a taste for spicy snacks. While it isn't a constant thing, sometimes I just need to make sure my sinuses are empty and my palette is a little scorched, just to bring everything back into focus. Not every spicy snack will do, though. I like my spicy snacks with a really solid flavor and a good amount, but not too much, spice. Lucky for me, there seem to be a ton of options that meet this requirement. Here's one now! Ladies and gentlemen, let's take a look at Doritos Flamas!

This packaging isn't confused at all. No siree.
The gas station is a magical wonderland of weird food. Limited edition stuff, re-releases, and in my local area (and lots of other local areas I've been to) a plethora of snacks from South of the Border. Many of which are super good and/or super weird. In this case, it's Doritos Flamas, a lovely treat that sums up America's view on all snacks Mexican as being "chili lime", which admittedly a LOT of them are flavored with this combo. So, I guess I'm an international critic now? The Mystery Box says yes. OBEY! Ahem, anyway...let's take a gander at these.

Bold, red, and made of terror! And lime! Lime terror?
They are suuuuuper red. Nature's warning color red. Finger staining red. Did I mention they were red? Well, they are. But not a consistent red. The Flavor Dust here is super unreliable in concentration, as the yellow chip shows through randomly on some chips, and "not at all" on others. The scent is incredibly strong with both chili and amazingly chemical-ish lime notes, along with a hint of just "hot", which is totally a scent. I've had similar flavorings before, from a brand called "Taki", which weren't my favorite, but hey, what could it hurt? Let's eat!

Well, these are certainly spicy, but what I can't say is that they have no flavor to go along with that spice. Holy crap, the LIME. It just saturates every bite and, coupled with the chili and a weird chemical taste is just BIZARRE on the tongue. Personally, I find whatever artificial lime flavor they use on tortilla chips to be somewhat unpleasant, and this flavoring is no exception. It's just so fake and chemical tasting! In addition, it almost but not quite COMPLETELY overwhelms any of the other flavors, except of course "hot". There is a chili flavor under all this, but it doesn't stand out. I think though if they had left off the lime part, these would be pretty good! As it stands though, they are not the greatest thing ever. 

On the FACE Rating System, these get 1 Frowny Face. They aren't poison in a bag, they simply do not work at all for me. The chemical lime flavor is sour and nasty, but is mitigated by the decent chili and "hot" notes. It did also unclog my sinuses. I finished the (admittedly small) bag, but I won't get these again. However, if you love spicy things AND think the "hint of lime" tortilla chips are the bomb, you will probably love these. To each their own.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Kotas Reviews Tullamore Dew Caribbean Rum Cask Finish

Ah, St. Patrick's Day. A beloved holiday originally invented as a way to celebrate the persecution of druids in Ireland that has since morphed into yet another excuse for people to imbibe too much booze. Man that got dark quick. Anycrap, let's talk whiskey! As long time readers of my blog are aware, I only discovered my enjoyment of whiskey after the start of the current rye boom. Bourbon, rye, and the finest of scotch I've covered, but I never really tasted much Irish whiskey until recently. So, let's see how my latest find does. Lads and Lassies, wee tots of 21 years or older, let's ease our throat with the real old mountain dew, Tullamore Dew Caribbean Rum Cask Finish.

Top o' the mornin' to ya!
Since I'm a heathen drinker at heart, I tend to buy booze on either recommendation from friends, or by "feel". By which I mean "does the bottle look cool, and is the price right"? So when I popped into my local liquor store to get ready for St. Patrick's Day, I saw this stuff sitting by the counter, on sale. Oh hey, that's a good price for a bottle of booze at $23! So I grabbed it and took it home, not realizing that a) it was a pretty new product and b) different from standard Tullamore Dew. The brand is currently owned by William Grant & Sons, which is (wait for it) a Scottish company more known for their Scotch. Still, they own a distillery in Tullamore, and source other components from other Irish distilleries. Hooray? Let's crack it open.

The perfect drink to get you going in the morning.
Well, it's whiskey alright, but this one was aged in barrels that originally held rum. If you don't think that makes a difference, well, let me be the first to say that you are incorrect. The nose of this is definitely whiskey, but it has some of the same sweet vanilla hints as rum, along with a bright wheat scent. Not knowing much about Irish whiskey, I can only really compare it to bourbon and rye. Clean, is how I would describe it. It does not stay on the palette, and it has no spiciness like most rye has. The rum top flavor is there, but it takes a back seat to the whiskey flavoring. I can't say how it compares to regular Tullamore Dew, but you know, I like it. 

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 2 Smiley Faces. It's got a bit of rumness to it, which I like, and it doesn't linger. If I had to impart an emotion to this drink, it would be "cheerful". The price is also really good, at less than $30 (at least as of the time of this writing). The liquor shop employee also raved about my excellent choice in booze, and I can't say he was wrong. If you need to Irish up your coffee (or jam jar, in my case) this fits the bill and adds a touch of uniqueness with the rum flavors. Give it a whirl!