Five Years of Sublime Imbibing: New Look, Same Booze + My 5 Fave Drinks
Drinking Discussions, Sipping With Smoth

Five Years of Sublime Imbibing: New Look, Same Booze + My 5 Fave Drinks 

Five years ago I bought a domain. I didn’t know how to make a website, or really what to do with one. I had a blog at the time which some of you may remember “Sipping with Smoth” hosted on Blogspot and looking closer to a site a talented five year old may have made in the 90’s than a proper 2010s blog. Luckily I had some web-savvy friends, and with a bit of money and a whole lot of unemployed free time, I launched my baby — my ode to all the fine fermented things.

“Sipping with Smoth” featured here. Red enough for you?

Half a decade has gone by, and the site I used to noodle over daily has kept growing. While I haven’t always been able to publish every week (my original goal allll the way back in 2014) I’ve never lost the passion to find a great drink for every one who tunes in to Sublime Imbibing, and that has lead to over 200 interviews, reviews and musings about booze. But while my passion hasn’t gone stale, my website sure had. Turns out web design ages much worse than a good bottle, stored properly.

My new design has a couple of really cool features I am excited about. Notably, you’ll be able to see the numerical rating in the top right corner of the images I share in my reviews, and actually flip through galleries right at the top of my picture-heavy feature articles. Additionally, newer reviews will contain a review summary at the bottom, which will break down the pros and cons of the alcohol I’ve tried.

I’m really excited for this new chapter, and hope all of you continue to enjoy reading, as much as I’ve enjoyed writing (and, uh, drinking my “research”). Five years has given me a long time to get to the bottom of a question I get asked a lot, and that is — what’s the best [drink] I’ve tried? Here they are:

5. Pol Roger Brut Champagne

Shown here on a romantic New Year’s Eve staying in.

This may surprise some of you but I don’t actually sit around all day sipping vintage Champagne. When I do drink bubbly, I’m mostly shopping in the non-deity price range. And in that range, I’ve never been more impressed than with Pol Roger, an absolutely stellar bubbly that earned a 9.2/10. My thoughts were:

Looking to buy a bottle of real champagne without selling your car? Get Pol Roger Brut. It is a wonderful champagne that far outclasses its peers in the “I can actually buy this” category of sparkling wine.

4. Rare Barrel Wise Guise 2016

Pictured here on the right

I like sours but I’m not a true sour head. At least, I’m picky enough to give even revered ones a middling review. But the first — and to date only — 10/10 I’ve ever given a beer was the Rare Barrel Wise Guise. My buddy brought them back from California, and I said:

After one sip I damn near proposed to the friend who brought it. A perfect flavour of tart raspberries mingled with light undertones of vanilla, sweet citrus fruit and a touch of funk.

3. Yamazaki 18 Single Malt Whisky

My beautiful prize — well worth the 15 hour flight.

When I traveled to Japan a few years back, I was on a mission to try the legendary Yamazaki 18. Impossible to find in stores, even in Japan, I had to go right to the source — Yamazaki distillery. Even there you couldn’t buy a bottle, but I was afforded a tasting which blew my mind, earning this whisky a 9.5/10. I described it thusly:

Yeah, the Yamazaki 18 is damn good. You’ll probably never see it, let alone be able to afford it, but if you get the chance at a tasting bar (or if you happen to be touring Yamazaki distillery) make sure you try a dram. It’s undoubtedly worth a slow sip or two.

2. Margaux du Chateau Margaux 2010

Yeah, they brought the bottle out just to flex on me.

Yeah, this was the HOUSE wine at Kanda, the only 3 Michelin star restaurant I’ve ever been to. Didn’t know that at the time when I asked for a (presumably inexpensive) glass of the house, but lo and behold I got to chisel another bottle into my personal alcohol Mount Rushmore. Here’s what I said about it and why it got a 9.5/10:

The flavours of the Margaux du Chateau Margaux were unbelievably good, especially given its relative youth. It’s a bit tight at first, but once you give it a minute, you’re hit with plums, dark cherries, fresh garden soil, and a subtle herbalness […]

All in all — a delicious glass of wine.

1.  Pappy Van Winkle 23 Bourbon

Tasting Pappy Van Winkle 23
Had to put me beside the Pappy.

This choice may seem a tad pastiche to those aware of Pappy’s reputation, but to those people I say — you probably haven’t tried it, peasant. All jokes aside this is undoubtedly the best alcohol I’ve ever tasted. It blew my mind how enjoyable it was and remains my only ever 10/10 whisky rating. I noted:

One thing that came to mind as I enjoyed this lovely whiskey was just how accessible it is. It’s laughable really — Pappy is impossible to find, impossible to afford, but might be the most obviously enjoyable whiskey I’ve ever tried.


Thanks for sticking around after all these years. I’m going to keep tasting and keep posting, and I hope I help you find a drink you like as much as any of the above I mentioned. Just make sure — as always — you sip it slow.

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