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Rod and Rifle Bourbon Review
Friday, February 28th, 2014

Rod and Rifle Bourbon

This past Christmas season, I was in a liquor store in New Hartford NY wandering around trying to come up with a gift for some of my hunting buddies.  We often will celebrate the highs and lows of our season with a nice glass of quality spirits.  While in the store, I stumbled across a bourbon called “Rod and Rifle” by a company called “Prestige Imports LLC”.  As an avid outdoorsman the packaging (along with the fantastic name) immediately caught my eye and after taking a minute to read about their efforts to preserve the hunting and fishing heritage through the purchase of the bottle, they had me hooked (pardon the obligatory pun).  After hearing my buddies rave about the Bourbon a few weeks later, I decided to contact Tom at Prestige LLC and find out more about this product and their efforts.  Heritage Hunters has always been about the preservation of the hunting and fishing heritage through a variety of avenues and this sounded like another great opportunity.  Here’s our take on the Rod and Rifle products and be sure to click the photo to visit their website.

The Product itself:

Rod and Rifle offers two main products, Bourbon and Whiskey.  One of the differences, that I learned after a phone conversation with Thomas Cleaver  from the company, is that Bourbon stays in the Oak barrels to age longer than the Whiskey does.  We sampled both of these products and they are absolutely top-shelf!  Both the Bourbon and Whiskey are smooth and balanced with a satisfying finish.  Although taste is subjective, we thought that both the Bourbon and Whiskey are lively enough to keep you interested but smooth enough to keep you from jumping ship.  There certainly is no need for mixing these with anything as you’ll want to enjoy the true taste of each.  There was a hint of vanilla to the aroma of each and neither seemed watered down at all.  Of course if you like your Whiskey watered down, you can simply add some ice and time!

The Whiskey: As we’ve learned with Whiskey, many companies mix what are called “Neutral Spirits” in their products which, in essence, make the product a mixture of elements in addition to the Whiskey instead of just the pure product straight from the barrel.  These Neutral Spirits are basically “filler” that we would suspect is a cheaper way of making the product.  You won’t find any of those  Neutral Spirits or Filler in the  Rod and Rifle products and that equals high quality without the watered down taste.

Tasting Notes:

Age: 100% barrel aged whiskey

Proof: 80 Proof

Color: Golden Brown

Aroma: Clean, Smooth with Vanilla & Brown Sugar

Taste: Full Bodied with No Sign of Neutral Spirits

Finish: Thick, Rich and Balanced Perfection

Comments: “Unlike Other Blended Whiskey’s,

Tastes More Like Matured Barreled Whiskey”

The Bourbon: A mash of 70% Corn, 25% Rye, and 5% Malted barley, this product is double distilled and aged in newly charred barrels of American Oak for 48 months.   We don’t know much about how to make a really good Bourbon, but we do know what one tastes like and Rod and Rifle hit the bullseye.   Simply put, this product is as smooth as we’ve ever tasted.  Again, we found that drinking this product straight was even more enjoyable than mixing it with anything because we liked the taste so much.   The Bourbon comes with a collectible shot glass inside.  This year’s version has a beautiful whitetail buck logo on the glass and they are rolling out other versions of the glass in the years to follow (Waterfowl, fish, etc.)  A nice bottle of great tasting Bourbon, a commemorative glass, and a contribution to conservation efforts with your purchase?  Try getting all that with ANY other brand of whiskey!  We dare you!  If you need any more motivation to try this product, we’ll give you some: The Tasting Panel that rates these types of products gave Rod and Rifle a score of 92.  Now we don’t exactly know what that means, but we can tell you that similar products score in the mid 80’s and those are some popular brands.  Sure taste is a subjective quality, but the people on that panel should have some experience tasting this stuff, wouldn’t you say?

Tasting Notes:

4 Year Old Straight Bourbon

Color: Deep, Rich Copper

Aroma: Sweet Vanilla Oak

Taste: Complex & Balanced

Finish: Crisp, Sweet & Smooth

Conservation Impact:

Rod and Rifle Bourbon forwards proceeds of each customers purchase to Wildlife Forever for the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat.  If you are unfamiliar with this nonprofit charity you can read more about how they are helping to conserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife by visiting the link below:

www.wildlifeforever.org

The beauty here is that by purchasing something you enjoy, or a gift for that matter, you are also helping to preserve America’s hunting and fishing heritage.  It’s truly a win / win!  To find out more about what projects Wildlife Forever is involved in in your state click the link below:

http://www.wildlifeforever.org/projects

The Bottom Line:

Rod and Rifle Bourbon and Whiskey are produced in the highest quality manner resulting in a smooth and balanced taste.  In addition to the stand-alone quality of the product, a portion of the proceeds are going to an organization that works toward conserving the hunting and fishing heritage that we all love and cherish!  How can you go wrong with this product?  You can’t!

To find the distributor or retail store in your area go to:

http://www.rodandriflebourbon.com/distributors.html

or to purchase on-line go to:

http://www.rodandriflebourbon.com/rod-rifle-bourbon-promotions.html

Check out the Rod and Rifle website to see what other new products they are rolling out in 2014 and as always, enjoy responsibly!

Protect Your Phone! -Lifeproof 5s frē & Otterbox Defender Review
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Protect Your Phone!

In the last few years, our “smart phones” have become an important piece of hunting gear.  Not only do they allow our loved ones to rest easy knowing that we have a lifeline in the event of an emergency.  The various apps on these phones help us keep track of the weather, wind and deer activity.  These phones even give us a source of entertainment when the deer movement is slow.  With the price of such high tech equipment these days, it’s important to protect these phones from the type of elements we subject them.  We’ve tested two cases in the last few months that do an excellent job of keeping your phone protected.  Click on the pictures of the phones to go directly to the websites!

Lifeproof 5s frē case $79.99

The Iphone frē  case from Lifeproof has combined a slim, light fit with all-around shock and water protection.  We were big fans of the Lifeproof Iphone 4s cases and wondered how Lifeproof would get around the fingerprint touch ID scanner of the Iphone 5s.   They did it with a tough, but thin piece of flexible plastic that sits over the scanner itself.  This piece of plastic is thin enough for the scanner to read your fingerprint, but thick enough to provide the complete waterproof coverage. Think of this plastic as a “skin” of sorts that blends seamlessly into the rest of the case.  We have read the reviews of people having issues with the reliability of the ID scanner and this type of case.  In our opinion, these issues have more to do with the Iphone itself than any case you may be using.   Even without a case on the Iphone 5s, the Fingerprint ID is quirky to say the least!  This issue is not the fault of the Lifeproof case.

The Lifeproof 5s frē case is Protected by what Lifeproof calls (The Four Proofs)

Waterproof: Fully submersible to 6.6 feet (2m)

Dirt proof: Totally sealed from dirt and dust

Snow proof: Completely closed to snow and ice

Shockproof: Survives drops from 6.6 feet (2m)

All of the screens, buttons, ports and lenses are completely sealed and protected by this case and it is backed by a 1-year warranty.  If you’re familiar at all with our last Lifeproof review, you know that every case comes with an adapter for use with headphones.   This adapter allows for continued waterproofing even with the use of your headphones.  Lifeproof improved the headphone port by keeping the screw-in cover attached to the phone instead of previous versions needing to be taken out and attached to the adapter for safe keeping.  With this new feature, you no longer need to worry about losing the screw-in cover when using the adapter.

We had zero issues with the touch screen with this case.  All of the swiping and touch functions worked flawlessly even in wet weather.

This case is offered in a variety of colors and just recently became available in Realtree camo for us hardcare hunters.  Just don’t drop it on the forest floor!

Biggest Advantage:

This case is completely waterproof and submergible without the fear of damaging your expensive iphone.  In our minds, if you can submerge this case without any worries, it certainly will hold up to the wet weather of the outdoors!  We’ve also found that the Lifeproof cases keep your iphone looking brand new for the length of time you have it in the case.  With the iphone exchange plans available now, this is a money saver down the road for you.

Biggest Drawback:

Needs an adapter (included) to use the headphones but the total waterproof protection is well worth the slight inconvenience.  Also, the phone doesn’t come with a belt holster clip but is available online.

Otterbox  Defender

for iPhone 5S: $49.95 – $59.95

The Defender is a 3-layer case that protects your phone against drops, scratches and general debris.   The outer screen protector and polycarbonate backing snap together to sandwhich the Iphone while the outermost flexible silicone shell fits snuggly over this sandwhich and creates an extremely durable shell for your phone.  The whole thing will also fit into the included holster that clips onto your belt or gear and doubles as a kickstand for your phone.

The case has strategically placed cutouts for various ports, the fingerprint scanner and the camera while the silicone shell covers the ports so debris does not get into the inner workings of the camera.  The Fingerprint scanner and camera are not covered by the inner shell or silicone shell which allows some dust or debris to accumulate on the surface of the camera (This dust and dirt was only on the surface and could be easily cleaned off).  Routine removal of the phone from the case may be required for a spotless Iphone.  While this case is not completely “waterproof” like the Lifeproof  frē, it is “weatherproof” in terms of the normal type of weather that you might experience in the outdoors.  For the price, the Defender represents an extremely durable case that keeps your Iphone dry under normal conditions.  The included holster is a big plus for this price!

Otterbox also offers a camo version of it’s Armor Series for the Iphone 5 (Note: This case is for the iphone 5 and is a different case than the Defender case shown above.  We did not test this case)

Biggest Advantage:

The Defender protects your iphone from scratches, drops and most any impact that you could subject it to.  It also comes with a belt clip / holster / kickstand that is a nice feature for an overall affordable price!

Biggest Drawback:

The case is not completely waterproof like the Lifeproof case and there are areas that dust and debris can get to the phone underneath.

The Bottom Line for these 2 Cases:

If you want to protect your phone, you’ve got plenty of options but you certainly get what you pay for.  We’ve tested several cases over the last couple of years and these two companies are, in our opinion, the best options available on the market today.  They’ve got a case for your phone that will protect it from harm.  Give them both a look today by  clicking on the phone photos.  Tell them they both get a “thumbs up” from Heritage Hunters!

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