Originally published at BoozeBasher.com. Please leave any comments there.
Clear Spring 190 is great for sterilizing medical equipment and sure makes an excellent cleaner for all types of heavy machinery. I suppose that’s reason enough for most drinkers to avoid this stuff along with all other high-proof grain alcohols. We here at BoozeBasher try not to turn our noses up at any kind of liquor, no matter how many “CAUTION - FLAMMABLE” warnings are plastered across the bottle. It’s obvious to us that they use such warning tactics to keep away the weak-willed pseudo-drinkers. We will have none of that.
Clear Spring 190 is distilled and distributed by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. I couldn’t find any good information on Clear Spring 190 or the process they use in making it, but I do know that the distillation of all grain alcohols at such a high proof supposedly removes all flavor, color, and odor. That’s both exciting to the alcoholic and frightening to others. In fact, some states have outlawed the sale of pure grain alcohols that do not possess a certain degree of color or flavor. I suppose they do this to help “protect” people from overdoing it with grain alcohol. Damn teetotalers.
I’m not sure I would go so far as to call this stuff odorless. It just smells like pure ethyl alcohol to me. Though supposedly dangerous to do over extended periods of time, we the reviewers, bravely took half-shots of this stuff to come up with a shootabilty rating for our loyal readers. How were the results? Let’s just say that the taste was very potent and the burning sensation that followed was nowhere in the realm of pleasant. Don’t ever shoot this stuff unless you plan on spitting fireballs with the freaks in the circus (I apologize if I offended any circus freaks or filthy carnies out there).
Most drinkers would use Clear Spring 190 in some fruity concoction or as a spiking agent in hunch punch, so we used several different juices to judge mixability. I finally stuck with a simple 3:1 orange juice to Clear Spring 190 drink. When taking the first sip of the potent mixed drink, you can tell there is something amiss. You can taste your favorite juice, but it seems as though it may have gone bad. There is also a mild rubbing alcohol-like aftertaste. It’s definitely not the most delicious taste in the world. However, when taking subsequent sips, the taste of the grain alcohol nearly vanishes. It’s just like magic! It must also be noted that Clear Spring 190 is very versatile and friendly to mix. As I type this review, I am sipping a concoction I made using Clear Spring 190, cranberry juice, ginger ale, and a splash of strawberry soda. It is really marvelously smooth and easy to consume. It would be very easy to get carried away with this stuff, so I would strongly recommend keeping a close eye on anyone drinking it like a sports drink on a hot summer day.
At 190-proof (that’s 95% alcohol), Clear Spring 190 brings a serious punch to the table. The effects are actually more like a load of bricks than a punch. After one full drink, I was heavily buzzed. After two, I was drunk. After three, I was slurring my speech and swaying to my own rhythm with every step I took. I don’t believe I actually finished the fourth drink because I decided it was time to go out somewhere to share my drunken bliss with the world. It normally takes a good deal of alcohol to get me drunk, but this stuff took care of me easily. I would definitely describe the drunk it gave me as a blissful one, but I wasn’t extremely composed. I was sloppy and slurring my words more than when inebrated from other alcohols. I suggest waiting a little while between drinks made with Clear Spring 190, as it will hit you very hard. Kevin finished a fourth Clear Spring 190 drink and was so intoxicated that he called it an early night. In the past, I have unintentionally made myself sick from drinking too much of this stuff simply because it goes down so easily.
A lesser drunk may have fallen many times or found himself/herself lying in a ditch the next morning. Luckily, I awoke the next day with no noticable bruises and in my own bed. I was even able to locate all of my clothing. However, the hangover was about as bad as they come for me. My head was pounding with extreme pressure for a couple hours, and my body was utterly drained for the entire day. The only thing keeping this stuff from the absolute bottom of the barrel in the hangover rating category is the fact that I didn’t really feel too nauseated. At around $19 at your local liquor store (depending on where you live), Clear Spring 190 is worth its weight in gold for parties that aim to provide ultimate drunkenness to all those present. This is definitely not liquor you want to drink on a daily basis if you value your liver or kidneys, but it’s loads of fun for special occasions and sloppy fuzzy memories. Enjoy.
Shootability - 1.5
Mixability - 7.0
Drunkability - 10.0
Hangover-ability - 3.5
Bang for the Buck - 6.5
Overall - 5.5
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