Friday, 14 August 2015

Creativity in tourism: Prague Behind The Scenes tour

This post gonna be slightly different from the rest as I am not going to write about alcohol today.

Well, maybe just a bit. And just at the end. I would like to share with you my recent experience from Prague. I have been living here quite a while now so I don ́t only know my my way to work and back. But true is that my knowledge of the city itself and its historical parts is not so broad. In general I am not a person who likes to fight with tourist for place on Charles Bridge or at the Prague Castle. So in general I don ́t go downtown much for sightseeing, usually just to hang out with friends to explore new places to eat/drink at.

However, my friend Dana just recently started her new business called Prague Behind The Scenesa very special tour offering Prague visitors cool alternative to all those touristy stuff. I was invited to join her one day.

The tour has a great concept, very authentic, with really carefully selected non­touristy routes which however cover the main Prague sights and take you to beautiful unknown parts of the city as well. With almost nobody around (great for taking pictures). Obviously locals know how to avoid armies of tourists!

This tour is asbolutely perfect for Prague firstimers but also for everyone who wants to learn about the city from local and get valuable information you would never find in guide books. Just at random: we saw the smallest house of Prague, we were passing absolutely unique artistic glazier workshop where stained glass windows for famous St. Vitus Cathedral were made and Dana also took us to the hidden part of the city where cannonballs from Prusian occupation of Prague can still be seen in house walls!

Great benefit of the tour is WIFI – you can use it all the time as the guide is having portable WIFI router. Every participant of the tour can get connected and post pictures online right away! I also need to mention that Dana, the founder of Prague Behind The Scenes tour, doesn ́t use any umbrella! How cool! She limits the size of the group up to max. 8 people per tour. Which is fantastic as there is enough time for discussion and question and you don ́t feel like you are following your shepherd.

Almost at the end of the tour we stopped for well deserved break in lovely „home style“ café for light lunch and delicious coffee. For beer lovers in us, Dana recommended a special pub called U Černého vola, close to Prague Castle. There are no promo signs outside, not even inside as this is true and authentic Czech pub where local fixtures still go to. Despite the fact we were just close to Prague Castle, the prices were like from perifery...

The tour ended in Prague Castle gardens with stunning view over the city. We were just sitting and starring, while Dana gave us very nice „thank you for joining my tour“ gift: polaroid­like printouts with images of sights and places we just saw on the tour. I ́ve already pinned mine on the fridge.

If you like the idea and you would like to join this tour one day, visit Prague Behind The Scenes website: or Facebook page. The tour goes daily upon previous booking.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Cognac of the revolutionary year: Frapin Château de Fontpinot Millésime 1989

With anniversary of November 1989, I decided to taste Cognac Frapin Château de Fontpinot Millésime 1989. The grapes were harvested in the area of Château de Fontpinot, the very heart of the family business. After distillation, "eau de vie" matured for 20 years in oak casks. The cognac was introduced on market in 1999.

If you want look around the  vineyards, start exploring with Google Street View.

Frapin Château de Fontpinot Millésime 1989

Notes from tasting

Color: surprisingly brighter, amber
Aroma: sweet, vanilla scent with a hint of apricots
Taste: strong taste of apricots with vanilla, light tones of an old oak
Finish: longer, stronger


For its distinct taste it fits better to more experienced drinkers. The cognac is available here.


Rum from Guatemala: Botran Anějo Reserva

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Two rums – Ron Pampero Anejo Selección 1938 and Ron Blackwell

Big thanks to my friends who gave me a nice collection of various spirits for my birthday. I have something to taste now and write about. Let´s start with rums. I got two interesting ones - Ron Pampero Anejo Selección 1938 and Ron Blackwell

Ron Pampero Anejo Selección 1938 comes from Venezuela. A year 1938 refers to the time when Las Industrias Pampero distillery was founded. This rum is aging from 4 to 6 years in oak casks previously used for bourbon. While final soaking a vintage rum year 1938 from company´s reserves is added. Most probably only in a microscopic amount.  

The rum has dark mahagony colour. We can also sense vanilla and melasa.  The taste is very soft, smooth with tones of bourbon. Great for direct drinking.  

Ron Pampero Anejo Selección 1938
In one review I found a tip for a ritul from city of Caracas - for brave only.  Put one side of lime slice to brown sugar and the other one to grounded coffee. Bite into the lime and  have a big shot of this rum.  It is a similar to the Czech drinking style called “Kofila”. However, the rum tastes really good anyway, so you don´t need any add ons.   

The other speciality is Ron Blackwell rum, which is produced on Jamaica according to a family recipe. Its full name is Ron Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum. A music legend Chris Blackwell stands behind this brand. With his music label, Island Records, he “introduced” reggae to the world.

Ron Blackwell
Ron Blackwell is traditional, a bit heavier and stronger rum. It has dark colour with beautiful red glints. We can smell melasa and traces of coffee in it.  I found the flavour nice and fruity. For not very experienced drinkers it is recommended to drink it on rocks, with a little bit of pineapple juice. Real seamen do enjoy it as it is, or with a piece of dark chocolota at most. 


Rum from Guatemala: Botran Anějo Reserva

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A little joy from traveling : Calvados Pays D´Auge Réserve – Famille Dupont

I was a bit dissapointed after my return from vacations in France. While traveling, we visited many wine shops and never seen broader offer of cognacs. French classics were everywhere. And only one deli shop offered Leyrat brand. Racks were rather full of whiskey, rum or gin.  Weird experience. I expected Nice, largely visited by Russians and Chinese, to be more “ready” in this way. 

Anyway, I bought calvados in a wine shop to bring home at least something good. I decided for Calvados Pays D´Auge Réserve – Famille Dupont.

Calvados Pays D´Auge Réserve
How is Calvados Pays D´Auge Réserve produced?

Exact portions of apples from each type—sweet, bitter and  acidic are mixed together, crushed and squeezed out. The juice is fermented, and  being double-distilled six months later and aged in 400 l oak casks for at leat four years.

Notes from tasting Calvados Pays D´Auge Réserve 

Colour: light amber

Aroma: aroma of freshly harvested green apples

Taste: juicy green apples, slightly bitter, mint tones


The French calvados inspired me to make a little experiment. I got 5 liters of Slovak “jablíčkovice” (traditional apple spirit) as a birthday present whis is a bit “stronger”.  Now I plan to buy a toasted oak cask from Czech cooper, fill it with my birthday spirit and “age it” for the next 5 or more years. Let´s see what will happen. Hope it will work out! 

Twitter: @dropoflush
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Friday, 13 February 2015

A must try for the beginner: Ragnaud Sabourin Alliance No 4 (VS)

After the vintage cognac by Frapin I´ve decided to try something lighter. I chose Ragnaud Sabourin Alliance No 4 (VS), which is the most basic and in terms of the  price also the most accessible spirit of this producer.

Ragnaud Sabourin is a family owned company that is engaged in the production of cognac since 1850, right in the heart of Grande Champagne appellation. They produce blended and vintage cognacs - from basic VS to specialties such as LeParadis, which is a blend of "eau de vie" from the beginning of the last century and also includes 10% share of the Cognac produced before the disaster with the phylloxera (ie. Before 1870). Just the ideal candidate for my collection, provided that I learn, how to save money properly. 

Ragnaud-Sabourin Alliance No.4 VS

Tasting notes

Colour: very light

Smell: light floral notes
Taste: intense, a touch drier, with slight hints of oak barrels
Finish: Langer, but enjoyable 

Recommendation: Nice and simple cognac, ideal for those who are just getting started. Well worth it´s price of 30 euro per bottle. I say: Give it a go. 


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Frapin Multimillésime No 5 Cognac

I´ve opened a sample of the Cognac Frapin Multi Millesime No 5 of 2012, which is a mixture of three vintages (1982, 1986 and 1989). Cognac was produced in a limited edition of 1270 pieces. I usually find small series enjoyable and so I´m thinking to buy this cognac into my collection.

Frapin Multimillésime No 5 Cognac

This is already the second cognac produced by Frapin family, that I´m reviewing. In November, I wrote about the excellent vintage cognac Frapin Chateau de Fontpinot Millésime 1989. Article can be found here.

The Frapin family has settled in the region of southwestern France around year 1270. Traditional producers of wine started with spirits in more recent times. Currently they own 300 hectares of Grande Champagne, 200 of which are planted with vineyards. Family is housed in the  castle Fontpinot in the town of Segonzac.

The most famous member of the family was Francois Rabelais, a prominent French writer of the 16th century and author of the famous novel Gargantua and Pantagruel. As it happens, prestigious cognac The Cuvee Rebalais was named after him. Marketing is a game and great great uncle would certainly be delighted.

Tasting notes
Color: dark amber
Aroma: sweet, vanilla
Taste: pronounced with hints of vanilla
Finish: The taste stays for quite a long time in the mouth

As I wrote at the beginning: This cognac is relatively small series, and in my opinion is masterfully blended. I really do think it´s worth purchasing. Eventually, number of the bottles with  this particular blend available on the market will decrease, allowing its price to gain an interesting growth.


Cigar Club Cognac XO Jean Fillioux

Before we start I have to admit something to you: As a sworn non-smoker I actually wonder, whether I will be able to fully appreciate this cognac. However, I´ve decided to give XO Cognac Cigar Club a try, despite my "handicap". 

Cognac Cigar Club (Jean Fillioux) is produced from grapes grown exclusively in the area of Grande Champagne and it´s blend of the "spirits" with an average age of 30 years.

About the producer

An independent family-owned company, which manages 50 acres of vineyards in the heart of Grande Champagne. Family focuses on eaux de vie of the highest quality and  has been engaged in the production of cognac  for four generations. Current owner Pascal J. Fillioux claims, that every bottle released on the market under his name is also under his personal control - from the harvest to the bottling.

Tasting notes

Colour: dark amber with a big red shades
Smell: beautiful fruity aroma with notes of honey and vanilla
Taste: full, distinctly sweet, fruity spicy flavor
Finish: Beautifuly long  


As the name suggests, this Cognac would be probably really ideal to combine with a Cuban cigar. After all, it was created to do so! Will you taste itself, or in combination with dark chocolate.