Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Friday, April 29, 2016

Why Do People TALK LOUDER When They Drink Alcohol?

     Alcohol may get the conversation going at a party, but as the drinks flow you'll find it harder to tune in. Dr Karl explains how alcohol affects your hearing.   You can't pinpoint it exactly, but there is an obvious change in the party mood, when people's alcohol levels reach that point where they loosen their inhibitions, and start relaxing and dancing.  The obvious clue to the alcohol taking effect is that the noise level goes up.

     Why does the party get louder when people drink more alcohol? What is the alcohol doing to the brain, and what are the flow-on effects?   Alcohol, known as ethyl alcohol it has wondrous properties.   It can remove oil stains from the garage floor, store body parts and axolotls beautifully for centuries, and in small quantities can improve your mood and self-confidence, and get the conversation flowing.  In bigger doses, the effects are less wondrous. It can interfere with your fine muscle control and your higher mental functioning, which messes with your decision making.

Alcohol Dampens Hearing

     But getting back to party mode, usually what you get is just that sudden increase in noise - thankfully!   
We're still not entirely sure as to what is going on, but it seems to involve a feedback loop. Once you have a few drinks, your sense of hearing is impaired. So when you speak, you mistakenly think that you are talking more softly than usual. To compensate, you (without even thinking about it) automatically start talking louder.   Sound information is carried from your eardrum to the central processing center inside your brain. How does alcohol affect your hearing? The simple answer is that we don't know.

     This hearing loss might be a direct toxic effect, or anaesthetic effect, or osmotic effect - or something else. We don't even know exactly what part of the hearing chain it affects.   The alcohol might be acting on your ear drum, or the muscles that can pull on the ear drum to quieten down the outside world, or the cochlea, or the acoustic nerve that carries the information into your brain, or it could be acting on that area that processes this information.  Even so, regardless of the exact pathway by which it happens, once you've had a few drinks, you hear yourself as if you are talking too quietly. And to compensate, you start talking loudly.

Men vs Women
     Interestingly, alcohol effects on hearing are different for men and for women.  In typical studies, men and women (in a double blind situation) drank juice, either with, or without, alcohol. Then, once the group drinking alcohol hit around around 0.03 per cent, their hearing was tested at six different audio frequencies running from low to high.   On average, the men would lose between two and nine decibels (dB) of hearing, while women would lose more, between five and twelve dB.   A lot of hearing was lost around the 500-1,000 Hz range - which are frequencies where a lot of speech happens. 

     But the hearing loss was different for long-term drinkers. They tended to have permanent hearing loss, and more often, at the higher frequencies.   We're not sure why.   There are many causes of hearing loss in our modern industrial world. Social drinking in the evening for most people usually happens in a noisy bar. This adds to the noise-induced hearing loss they may have picked up during the day.

     We worry about getting blind drunk. But maybe a greater concern for the inebriated, is getting deaf drunk ...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Puerto Angel Rum From the Mountains of Mexico

     Puerto Angel Rum has been Launched in the USA market in summer of 2015, Puerto Angel Organic Rum is a USDA Organic rum, distilled from the freshly squeezed cane juice at the Krassel family-owned distillery producing some of the finest artisanal spirits.  The family opened the distillery in 1938, and established their own sugarcane plantation in the high levels of the Oaxaca Mountains, Mexico. 
     "We are thrilled that the exceptional quality of Puerto Angel rum has been recognized and validated by the esteemed industry experts. These accolades will be instrumental in developing distribution channels and creating consumer awareness," says Marina  Wilson, the President of Double Eagle Imports Ltd. "We are well positioned now to start building the brand in the U.S. market, and we hope that discerning buyers will equally appreciate Puerto Angel's unique, exotic flavor profile and it's exquisite presentation highlighting the product's provenance, and it's artisanal nature."
     Puerto Angel Rum comes to us two expressions: Blanco, spending 6 months in new natural uncharred oak barrels to mellow the rum, then filtered to remove the color.   Amber has a straw hue that has been barrel-aged in new uncharred oak barrels for 3 years.   Both of the rums spend about 7 days in the fermentation tank before it is sent to the pot still with a double rectifier for distillation.  Puerto Angel Rums are some of those fine natural rums that is a real tribute to the industry.  Craft rums like Puerto Angel just make me feel good about tasting and enjoying fine quality spirits.
The label tell the whole story of these wonderful rums.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kayaking Bahia Honda Key

     The kayak has opened up a whole new world to us.  It allows us to silently move around on the water and see such a multitude of sights that would normally not be seen at all.   Once the kayak is in the water and we load our "stuff" on board we just start  pedaling and away we go.

     The efficiency of the vessel as it glides through the water with a minimum of effort means that you can travel for miles and just enjoy the scenery.  Today we headed to the west from the Bahia Honda Marina and wet to see the other end of Bahia Honda Bay.  The ocean side is a bit rough today, 2 to 4 foot seas and the wind from the south east at 13 miles per hour, it is time to leave bravery behind and head toward the lea side in the Gulf of Mexico.     Never knowing what you will come upon as ou move through the waters, the adventure of the day never disappoints.

     Today was a great example of all that goes on in the oceans.  We started off in some pretty rough water as the tides were coming in between the bridges and the wind blowing at a pretty stiff blow.  After clearing the highway bridge and getting into the Gulf, things settled down and we got to see a school of Tarpon jumping and stirring up the water to the north side of the bridge.  Continuing to the west, there is a place called the "Horseshoe" where a lot of divers go to enjoy the deep water without the worry of boats.   Along the edge of the "horseshoe", there are several shallows that are loaded with marine life like the Barracuda and small reef shark that we ran across there.

     The mangroves are also very interesting in that area, the provide shelter for a number of birds, butterflies, and other marine life there.   Kayaking give you an opportunity to ease up on so many things that would have been long gone in any other type of vessel.  Fortunately we do have a kayak of our own, but they can be rented from the marina and you can discover all of the exciting things that mother nature has to offer throughout Bahia Honda State Park.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Introducing Ron Cartavio Black Barrel

     Cartavio has just introduced a new Ron Cartavio Black Barrel Rum.  I was working with it today and found it to have a lot of really good characteristics for mixing as well as a really fine sipping rum.   I was looking for a semi sweet cocktail for an evening on the aft deck watching the sunset and came up with this one.

     The flavors of this cocktail will make your evening flow out in a smooth flowing tide of pleasure.   Makes your evening settle into the seal just like a great Key West sunset.

Old Key West
  • 2 oz. Ron Cartavio Black Barrel Rum
  • 3/4 oz. Agave Nectar
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Place all ingredients into a shaker half filled with ice and shake until chilled.  Strain into an “old fashion glass” filled with ice.  Garnish with a lime wedge.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pusser's Rum Gunpowder Proof

      Pusser’s ‘Gunpowder Proof’ is a traditional British Navy style rum produced at original Admiralty strength and in accordance with the Admiralty’s blending recipe last used when the Royal Navy discontinued its daily ration on 31 July 1970.
     “Gunpowder Proof”, prior to the invention of the hydrometer, the ship’s purser shutdown claims of watering down sailors’ daily tot by mixing a few grains of gunpowder to the rum to see if it would burn. If the mixture ignited, the rum was ‘at proof.’ If it didn’t, the purser might find himself tossed to sea.

     Presented at Gunpowder Proof, 54.5% ABV, this rum is dark coppery amber rum that sends pungent notes of molasses, toffee, honey, spices and oak.  Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof is full bodied rum with a solid flavor profile and a long smooth mellow finish inspite of the overproof status of the rum.

   Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof Rum is scheduled for release in the United States in May of 2016.  This is an expression that you really need to try.  Despite its 109 proof, is very sipable and mixes well in most any cocktail including a Gunpowder Pain Killer.     

Sunday, April 24, 2016

One Great Week of Rumming at the Miami Rum Festival at the DoubleTree Miami Airport

     Another wonderful week of rum, ron and rhum tasting at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival has come and gone.  The festival was a very big success with a good number of very special producers here showing their expressions for all of those who follow the spirits of the cane.

     Thanks to the beautiful DoubleTree Miami Airport for providing such a fine venue for the event and fabulous service and very comfortable rooms.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Journey to Premium Agricole with Damoiseau XO

     Agricole Rhum is not for everyone, it is very different from "industrial rums" in many ways.  Among them is a very different taste and aroma.  Agricole Rhums are made to very restrictive set of  rules compared to the "no rules" other that it must me made from a derivative of sugarcane for "industrial rums".

     Premium Agricole rhums like Damoiseau XO still follows the rule of the AOC in making their rums, but they have learned to age these rhums in such a manner that they are extremely flavorful and smooth with a wonderful slow fading finish.  Damoiseau XO has a really beautiful dark brown color, it’s nose reveals light chocolate notes followed by caramel, vanilla and hints of dried fruits.   Well balanced on the palate that brings forth flavors of spices followed by traces of caramel.    You will notice notes of roasted grains and vanilla in the back of your throat as it finishes.

     Next time you are out and about and have the opportunity to give this fine expression a try, don't miss the opportunity,  I have to admit that enjoying Agricoles has been a process for me, but this one is just plain fabulous.