Scotch, Scotch, Scotch


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For people not able to get their hands on the Weller's 12-yo, try Larceny bourbon -- it's the next best thing, in my opinion, although it's only 2/3 the age and you can tell. It ranked #18 in the Spirit Journal's Top 120 Spirits in the World list (2013).

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I love that this thread has been continuing and not lost. I don't like my lack of scotch I have drunk lately to add to the conversation.

Last Scotch 14 Ballvinie 14 year old sherry cask. Yum.


Happy World Apfelwein Tag, Scotch Thread


Gruumash . wrote:

I love that this thread has been continuing and not lost. I don't like my lack of scotch I have drunk lately to add to the conversation.

Last Scotch 14 Ballvinie 14 year old sherry cask. Yum.

Hi Gruumash,

How are you ?

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Doing okay and you Aeglos?


Gruumash . wrote:
Doing okay and you Aeglos?

quite good, life is never boring with a toddler in the house


Baby Gersen will be toddling soon, which means I'll need to childproof the liquor cabinet.


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Right now I'm in bourbon country. Went to Buffalo Trace yesterday, Four Roses today. Tomorrow is a flurry of places. It's a lot of fun.

Sczarni

I'll take my scotch on the rocks with the ice being frozen cubes of scotch.

Silver Crusade

Mmm. Scotch.

I forgot this thread existed, but in the last year or so, Scotch has become my go-to spirit.


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Realized my post could be read less literally. In Kentucky touring distilleries. We're doing it in a small RV and it is working very well. The region from Louisville to Lexington is fairly compact with a lot of options to visit. There are some non-bourbon things to see, the battlefield at Perryville was well presented.

The Buffalo Trace distillery was even dog friendly, my husky/samoyed came on the tour with us. The only disappointing thing has been the lack of interesting bourbons to buy. So far everything I've seen/tasted has been available back home.

There are a ridiculous number of horse farms around Lexington.


Heaven Hill whiskey connesieur tour is excellent. For $20, you get to taste three bottle about $100-130 each and a fourth that costs $240.

Woodford reserve double oak might be one of my new favorite whiskeys. Unlike a scotch with oak in the name it's very mellow and sweet. It paired amazingly well with chocolate.


Sampled the so-called 1835 Texas Bourbon (slogan "Come and Take It!"), which was on sale for $20. For such an unabashedly gimmick-y product, it was surprisingly smooth and drinkable -- especially for a 90-proof whiskey with no age statement to be found.

What bugs me, as it does a lot of people, is that this "Woo-hoo, Texas independence! Texas pride!" whiskey isn't distilled in Texas; it's a blend of anonymous "whatever" bourbons from elsewhere, that just happens to be bottled and branded here.


Basically if the bottle doesn't say "distilled by" it means they're just a bottler and the whiskey comes from somewhere else.

I don't begrudge people who do this though. For example, I like some of the High West distillery products. I think they taste pretty good, though are a little over priced. Starting up an aged distillery is an expensive prospect. You have to make thousands and thousands of gallons of whiskey and then just sit on it for 5-10 years. From what I understand, High West's strategy is to make money rebottling whiskey for a while, in the meantime they build up their infrastructure and start aging their own whiskeys. The rebottling pays the bills until they can make their own.

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Okay it is that season again. So looking for new scotches to try anyone have any favorites they want to mention?

My own favorites are the Edradour, Glenmorangie, Glen Livet and McCallan (many of its varieties).

But I would like to branch out some I prefer low land and highland scotches not so much that briney hint that some of Islay have.


I'm little to no help, since I love the briney hints/notes/statements/screams.

I would recommend Springbank (which is a Campbeltown), I have a bottle of the cask strength 12 year. It's very good IMO, but it does have that earthy/brine taste to it, but it's a very balanced earthy/brine taste. It's not as smooth or as nuanced as an expensive Laphroaig or Lagavulin, but it's much better balanced in its flavors. If that makes sense. I've shared it with people who don't normally like the Islay's and they've enjoyed it. I'd try it before you buy it though.


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You could try Auchentoshan and Dalwhinnie, perhaps? I just got an Auchentoshan Three Wood I'll be opening up tonight, but I remember it as being tasty the last time I had it.

There was a distillery called Glengoyne I visited a long while back, too, that I found very enjoyable, but I haven't been able to find more since then, and that was when I just started out with Scotch.


Thanks to Mrs Gersen's connections, I had the good fortune to attend a Balvenie tasting last night. There was a 3-whisky comparison sipping: the 14-year-old Caribbean Cask, the 17-year-old Double Wood, and the 21-year-old Port Wood. After the last one, anything else is almost a letdown, but I also got to sample a sip of the 12-year-old Bourbon barrel from straight out of the barrel -- which, in terms of enjoyment-to-cost ratio, was probably the best bet of the lot in terms of future purchases.

Overall, I was less impressed with the Caribbean Cask than was the esteemed Mr Wertz (upthread); it seemed as if the result of re-casking it wasn't quite worth the level of effort that would entail. The Double Wood was nice, but not something I'd actually buy, given the alternatives at that price. The Port Wood is described by Balvenie as "creamy," and I can definitely agree with that, but it's not, in my opinion, $200+ worth of good.


Picked up a bottle of Colonel E. H. Taylor (Small Batch). I hesitated a moment and someone snatched the Single Barrel off the shelf before me. It was a touch over $40 and may be one of my favorite whiskeys now. Very robust flavor, a little bit of spiciness, matched by some sweetness. Very well balanced.

I highly recommend tracking down a bottle.

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Kirth I am surprised I did enjoy the Caribbean Cask Balvenie and have on more than a few occasions.
But I am an avid rum drinker not sure if that makes a difference or if you enjoy rum or not?
Did you try the 12 year old Double Wood? Wondering as that is a more reasonable price scotch but I have not tried it yet.

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Cussane,

I have tried Auchentoshan and enjoyed it but not branched out to the Three Wood. I will look at the Dalwinnie and try that I have seen it before but never tried it.


Gruumash . wrote:
But I am an avid rum drinker not sure if that makes a difference or if you enjoy rum or not?

I love a good rum. Normally I drink Appleton Estate VX, because I once did a bunch of field work not too far from the distillery (sadly, I never did get to see it).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Balvenie Caribbean Cask was bad or anything -- it's a very nice dram, but just not worth the extra effort/cost, to me.

Gruumash . wrote:
Did you try the 12 year old Double Wood? Wondering as that is a more reasonable price scotch but I have not tried it yet.

Didn't get to sample that one; just the 17.


Talisker Dark Storm. Glenmorangie. Black Bowmore. Any others I can get my paws on, with a good cigar. :)


We've been tasting different rums at my Skull & Shackles game -- Captain Morgan 1671 because it was relatively inexpensive and had a cool bottle; Cannon Blast for obvious reasons (but I found it undrinkable); Shellback because one of the PCs is a self-professed cleric of "Turtlefin"; Old Monk because it's awesome; Appleton Estate because it's what I drank in the jungle in 2002.

Far above the others was Rhum Barbancourt, from Haiti; one of the players had in fact encountered their security force on the island during the earthquake aftermath (he's a former marine). I was so impressed at the beverage that I looked them up and learned that "rhum" indicates it's distilled from pure cane juice (like Brazilian cachaça), rather than molasses. Dupré Barbancourt was a Frenchman who emigrated to Haiti in 1862 and began making rum using the same distilling process as for cognac. The results are worth the effort.


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Flor De Cana 12 yr is a nicely priced aged rum. I'd consider it well priced at $40, but usually find it at $35.

El Dorado 15 yr is a little more expensive, but I'd put it alongside any $50 bottle of whiskey, so at $40 it's a pretty good buy as well. I shared a dram with a rum enthusiast and he was blown away.

Only useful if you're in the Minneapolis area (or visiting), but there's a Jamaican BBQ place that has a rum list organized by island (it's pretty extensive). They do flights of rum and include at least one aged rum in every flight.

On the Bourbon side, I got to do a vertical tasting of the EH Taylor small batch ($40), single barrel($60) and rye($80). I found them all to be very tasty and priced appropriately. The rye was definitely better than the single barrel, which was better than the small batch. It was the smoothest rye I've ever had, I'm not super versed in rye's, but I've tasted a few expensive ones and the EH Taylor was the best I've had to date.

I tasted Michter's small batch bourbon recently. I liked it, fully of honey and clove flavors, very rich and deep in flavor. I went to a store to check their selection and they had an open bottle of Michter's Rye to taste. It also tasted excellent, so much so I went home with a bottle (partly just wanted a bottle of Michter's to trot around). Once I got it home and have sat with it for a while my initial impressions have softened on it some, it tasted better in the store for some reason. That said, I still liked it and am still drinking it, but I would have liked to pay a little less for it (I paid $45). I don't regret the purchase though. It tastes almost exclusively of honey. It's not like Barenjager, or one of the honey whiskey's, it's definitely a rye, but the predominant taste throughout is honey for me.

I'm going to try it in a Manhattan, just as an experiment.


Back onto bourbons, I treated myself to a bottle of Rowan's Creek (ca. $35) and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's not tremendously memorable, but it's certainly drinkable.

I also started an experiment that may or may not work out. I checked my dwindling stash of Weller's 12-year-old and found a third of a bottle, which was perfect for my purposes. To the contents I added half a bottle of Weller's Old Antique, closed the bottle, and set it in the top of the closet. 40/60 Weller's 12/OA is the formula I'd seen for so-called "Poor Man's Pappy" (per an article in Bourbonr) -- the rumor is that the result tastes a lot like the much-vaunted Pappy Van Winkle. My batch has been sitting for 10 days now; I'll let it alone until this weekend, then try a small taste, then probably let it sit another 2 weeks, etc. I'm told 6 weeks' time to fully blend is optimal. And I will of course report the results here. Best case, it works out as claimed; worst case, I wasted 1/3 bottle of precious Weller's 12.

EDIT: I might have too much Weller's 12 in the mix, as the formula calls for 60% by weight, and my blend is by volume (and I'd expect the higher-proof Antique to have a lower S.G.). Oh, well, I can always add more Antique later; it's readily-available, unlike the 12.


Oh, yeah, Scotch.

Well, on January 25 I attended a Robert Burns night with a bunch of Scots people. I enjoyed the haggis and turnips, and then found myself at the counter where people were sampling drams of different single malts. I became a bit too ambitious and decided to try them all -- six hours later I found myself in the back of an Uber in front of my house, with the irate Iranian driver demanding his money. I haven't had a drop of malt whiskey since then.


I haven't had the Weller 12, I keep looking though. I had a bottle of the Weller SR 90, which was... well... worth the $12 I paid. It did make some of the best whiskey and coke's I've ever had.

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Oh man that sounds like it was a fun night my friend. I had a night like that at a Feast where we did hot scotch and I ended up in a cab in my kilt and my wife needing to help me to bed.


Irontruth wrote:
I had a bottle of the Weller SR 90, which was... well... worth the $12 I paid.

Yeah, the so-called "Special Reserve" is swill, and the "Old Antique" can be used to strip the paint off your car.

The 12-Year-Old is something special, though.


Since the last time I've posted in this thread...a few pages back...

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood. Loved it.

Got a sampler set of Glenmorangies. Tried them all neat first, and was not happy with any of them. Just about a month ago I was in a restaurant while on a business trip in Virginia and tried one of them with water (I can't for the life of me remember which one it was) and it was a completely different experience. Loved it.

Bowmore. Too much peat for me. Generally not a big Islay fan.

Bunnahabhain 12. This is technically an Islay, but it feels like it began life as a Speyside and had some random mutation. It's really good, but don't go into it thinking it's going to be at all similar to other Islays.


I always "crack" a whisk(e)y with a tiny little bit of water. It really opens up the flavors.


I've recently made the discovery that the Glenlivet 15 does not really taste more interesting than the 12-year-old.


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I'm with you, Kirth...never drink water without scotch, and never drink scotch without water. :)


Oh, and give the Speyburn Bradan Orach a wide, WIDE berth. Unless you like cheap tequila.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
I also started an experiment that may or may not work out. I checked my dwindling stash of Weller's 12-year-old and found a third of a bottle, which was perfect for my purposes. To the contents I added half a bottle of Weller's Old Antique, closed the bottle, and set it in the top of the closet. 40/60 Weller's 12/OA is the formula I'd seen for so-called "Poor Man's Pappy" (per an article in Bourbonr) -- the rumor is that the result tastes a lot like the much-vaunted Pappy Van Winkle. My batch has been sitting for 10 days now; I'll let it alone until this weekend, then try a small taste, then probably let it sit another 2 weeks, etc. I'm told 6 weeks' time to fully blend is optimal. And I will of course report the results here. Best case, it works out as claimed; worst case, I wasted 1/3 bottle of precious Weller's 12.

Update: Tasted the blend after two weeks, and found that the high-alcohol heat from the WOA was masking the subtle excellence of the W12. So (with some reluctance) I added a bit more of the 12, and a very tiny dash of high-mineral-content spring water, and let it sit again. This weekend will mark 4 weeks since the initial blending; we'll see if it's improved.


Brilliant, Kirth! I just picked up a bottle of Ardmore 12 year. We'll see how it goes. I've heard its an easy drinking peaty whisky.


Update: So, missed the 4-week tasting because I was sick, and the 5-week mark because I was on antibiotics (curses) and wasn't supposed to drink. So the official tasting date for my "Poor Man's Pappy" blend will be the full recommended 6 weeks.


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Let us know how it goes!

Had a great evening last night with Arborg and Johnnie Walker Black.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
I've recently made the discovery that the Glenlivet 15 does not really taste more interesting than the 12-year-old.

In some ways, age really is just a number. Even if a whisky changes over the years, it might not be for the better. That said, older whiskys will always be more expensive, because you're paying for the storage space for all those years.

Most American whiskey is only aged 2-6 years, with few being aged for 10+ (15+ is exceptionally rare in America).

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Why yes. Laphroaig and Belvenie are my two faves, for obviously very different reasons. However, since budget isn't infinite, I usually resort to Grant's Ale Cask or Vat 69 as far as inexpensive sippage goes.


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Scapa when I can get it, Glenfiddich when I can't.

And since a year in a dry village took my tolerance into the basement, a bottle lasts me a long, long time.

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Tried the Auchentoshan the other day and found it delightful.


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This was my New Year's present to myself. Still sipping at it now and then. It'll put hair on your chest.


Neighbors brought over a bottle of Four Roses single barrel and Blanton's that they didn't like. We gave them a bottle of Red Breast 15 in exchange (though we actually do like the Red Breast).

They also had a bottle of Jefferson Ocean (Voyage 3). I've been eyeing the Ocean for a while but haven't had the spare change to get it. It was excellent. Like a blend between Jefferson Reserve and a nice Islay. When I've got the money to drop on an expensive bottle, this will definitely be a consideration.


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... Neighbors who dislike Blanton's are not to be trusted... unless they despise bourbon on principle.


Irontruth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
I've recently made the discovery that the Glenlivet 15 does not really taste more interesting than the 12-year-old.

In some ways, age really is just a number. Even if a whisky changes over the years, it might not be for the better. That said, older whiskys will always be more expensive, because you're paying for the storage space for all those years.

Most American whiskey is only aged 2-6 years, with few being aged for 10+ (15+ is exceptionally rare in America).

Just seeing this now.

I expect older whiskeys to at least have a more complex aroma (if that makes sense) than their younger selves, but the 15-year-old Glenlivet is basically the same as the 12-year-old, although it may be a little smoother.

Still, it is not a bad whiskey. And it beats the Green Spot, which I was looking forward to due to high praise. Maybe pot still whiskey is not for me.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Update: So, missed the 4-week tasting because I was sick, and the 5-week mark because I was on antibiotics (curses) and wasn't supposed to drink. So the official tasting date for my "Poor Man's Pappy" blend will be the full recommended 6 weeks.

Update2: Tried a sip and my taste buds were again immediately deadened by the concentrated-alcohol heat of the Weller's Antique. When I waited a bit and added some water, however, I had the privilege of tasting one of the nicest, most mellow bourbons I've ever encountered.

I'm not sure that the Weller's 12/Weller's OA/water mix is any better than just the straight Weller's 12, but it does seem a bit more complex and also allows one to double the lifespan of the limited Weller's 12 supply.


Fabius Maximus wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fabius Maximus wrote:
I've recently made the discovery that the Glenlivet 15 does not really taste more interesting than the 12-year-old.

In some ways, age really is just a number. Even if a whisky changes over the years, it might not be for the better. That said, older whiskys will always be more expensive, because you're paying for the storage space for all those years.

Most American whiskey is only aged 2-6 years, with few being aged for 10+ (15+ is exceptionally rare in America).

Just seeing this now.

I expect older whiskeys to at least have a more complex aroma (if that makes sense) than their younger selves, but the 15-year-old Glenlivet is basically the same as the 12-year-old, although it may be a little smoother.

Still, it is not a bad whiskey. And it beats the Green Spot, which I was looking forward to due to high praise. Maybe pot still whiskey is not for me.

Does it taste sort of hoppy or something? I'm not saying I'd turn down a sample, but it sounds like weird, weird flavor combination.


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Cole Deschain wrote:
... Neighbors who dislike Blanton's are not to be trusted... unless they despise bourbon on principle.

I might be inclined to agree with you, except for the fact that they gave us an unopened bottle.

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