Scotch, Scotch, Scotch


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Hitdice wrote:
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.

What do you mean?


Never mind, I'll just embarrass myself more. Suffice to say, I misunderstood your earlier post.


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Picked up a bottle of Rowan's Creek. The whiskey comes from an unidentified source, as Rowan's Creek "Distillery" is just a bottler. The whiskey does come from a Kentucky source, just don't know which one.

It's a bit rough around the edges, the 100 proof definitely rears it's head in both the nose and the taste. It has most of the classic bourbon smells/tastes, vanilla, leather, caramel, but also a hint of mint. It's a pleasant bourbon, but nothing out of the ordinary. It does have enough bold flavor that I think it would make some really good cocktails though.

I got mine for $32, which just wasn't worth it for me. It's not a bad whiskey and I can drink it neat, it just doesn't have enough individuality to hold a spot in my cabinet.


Going back to school after nearly 20 years. Got my acceptance letter last week, so went and picked up a bottle of scotch to treat myself. Brought home Compass Box's Peat Monster ($50). It's very, very peaty, but also very well balanced. The peat is a little overpowering on the nose, but once you take a drink it mellows out. The flavors really linger as well.

It's not the best islay I've ever had. It's not the smoothest, peatiest, saltiest, smokiest, etc. It's a really good combination of those elements though and at it's price, is actually a really good buy IMO.

I like the Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 18, Coal Ila 18 and several others better than this, but they're also all nearly double the price (or more). I wouldn't call this cheap, but it will satisfy my islay cravings more reasonably.


For a friend's birthday weekend, I picked up a bottle of Michter's Small Batch. Normally I had seen it priced around $45, while tasty, isn't quite worth that price. I found it at Total Wines for about $34 + tax, which I found to be very reasonable. At that price, it's an excellent buy, very tasty and fairly smooth. We had about 7 or 8 bottles of bourbon at the cabin and this was the only bottle we finished.


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Went to the local store and was browsing the bourbon aisle. Kid that doesn't look old enough to drink comes up, and says, "This honey flavored one is da bomb!" I look and see he's wearing the store uniform, so he's not just some random -- he's actually trying to sell me something. I answer "No, man, I don't go for the flavored ones." He runs off, comes back with a more managerial-looking type, and says, "He's looking for a good straight bourbon."

I held up the bottle of Jefferson's Reserve I'd just pulled from the top shelf and the manager says, "This customer obviously doesn't need any help in that regard."


Hahaha, Kirth, brilliant. The kid didn't recognize you were a whiskey CR well above him...the manager did. ;)


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I've really focused on bourbon the last couple years and I've realized that my scotch appreciation has diminished. I've always liked islays, but highlands have been hit or miss for me, there's just something to them that tastes off. So I decided to look up some good ones and start the process of acclimating my taste buds.

I picked up the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. It runs about $50 a bottle and is extremely pleasant. It has that distinctive highland taste (to me), but it's not overly strong, has lots of other character and is a touch sweet. All around, it's a really good whisky.

I've got a whole other dimension for recommending it. It makes a really good gift. For scotch drinkers, the boring staple gift from those who don't know anything about scotch is usually Macallan of one type or another. While a solid whisky, it's sometimes considered a bit dull. This Glenmorangie is pretty common, it's not hard to find, not cheap, but not that expensive either. It's well known and appreciated, but it isn't a standard "go to" like a lot of other whiskys. If I need a moderately priced gift for a whisky drinker, this will be high on my list of potential bottles.

Liberty's Edge

Years, ago I heard Ashley MacIsaac (a Canadian-born fiddler) on the radio.

"Scots is who we are," he said in his inimitable accent. "Scotch is what we drink...a lot of."

Dark Archive

Johnnie Walker "Black Label"... I don't drink, but once or twice I've had Johnnie's.


Got a bottle of Highland Park 15. It's my first try from the distillery and I will say, it's very, very good. I had heard some good things about the 12, but that the quality had declined over the past 10+ years, but that the 18 was still really good. I didn't want to put down for the 18 yet on a distillery I hadn't tried, so I went with the bit extra and got the 15 instead.

It's starts with a fruity, citrus nose that has a hint of banana to me that develops to a touch of smoke and peat. The taste goes a similar route, nearly identically. It's a nice light flavor that dances around from one note to the next: citrus, oak, sherry, smoke and peat. It finishes with a strong, salt/smoke/peat combo, but leans significantly to the salt side as compared to a Lagavulin or Laphraoig IMO.

I like it a lot, but I'm not sure on the price. The Laphgroaig 18 is slightly more expensive, but a good upgrade. Lagavulin 16 is slightly cheaper and just as good, maybe slightly better.


For the uninitiated, the Lagavulin 16 is quite an assault on the taste buds, though.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
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.

Another update: Six months later, the blend is fully mature and the stuff is GOOD. I've had two people so far tell me that it actually does taste like Pappy's. Sadly, with Weller's 12 now totally unavailable on the open market, this was a 1-time experiment.

I've also been trying to blend Larceny with Weller's OA, but the results so far are a lot less promising.


With Weller's 12 only a cherished memory, I decided to switch back to Elijah Craig. Bought a bottle and thought, "Man, this just doesn't taste the way I remember it" -- looked at the label, and, sure enough, the 12-year age label has been conspicuously removed. According to what I've read, the current "small batch" is mostly 8-year-old.

Meh.


My first real introduction to Scotch was at a Burns Supper roughly 8 years ago. Something cheap and not that impressive. The table next to us had Laphroaig 12 and I liked it. Since then, a Rusty Nail has been my go-to when I need a "classy" cocktail.
To date, I've been more of an Islay fan, although I'm a big fan of the Dalwhinnie 15 my brother gave me a couple years ago. When I came back from my time in Afghanistan, I had it in my head to get "scotch old enough to buy its own scotch." Sadly, I just couldn't get myself past the major price jump between 18 and 21 year old variants. I ended up getting myself a Laphroaig 18, and got to try their 1/4 barrel while visiting a friend later that year.
My current stash consists of a couple year variants of Macallen, a new bottle of L18 (I finished that first one), the aforementioned Dalwhinnie, and the Glenlivet gift set my brother gave me (a fifth of 12 year, and the 2 oz bottles of 15 and 21).

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Glad to see others enjoying scotch. It is the time of year in New England to be drinking it more often.


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Some friends of my parents have a standing Friday night event at an old, classic bar in St. Paul, MN, called W. A. Frost. The bartender there is very good and makes a "Dirty Sazerac". Before he makes the sazerac itself, he takes a dash of Laphroaig 10 and swirls it around the inside of the class, just enough to coat it. He then makes a standard drink with Old Overholt. It's ridiculously good.

I picked up a bottle of Laphroaig Lore this weekend. Not cheap. It's a blended NAS (no age statement). The distiller describes it as the story of their brand and I think it holds up to that fairly well. It tastes exactly what you'd expect a stereotypical Laphgroaig to taste like, focused primarily on the iodine. There's some smoke, but mostly in the aroma. The iodine is very rich and complex though and hits every part of the tongue. It almost dances.

I took a sip of the 18 in comparison, which was much darker and muted. The Lore was brighter and lighter. It also is a touch oily, it has really thick legs which take their time to descend. It can take a couple seconds for them to even form, let alone start to disappear. This means the aftertaste really lingers and even continues to develop more after a sip. The basic flavors don't stand out from the 18, but the extra 50% in price shows up in that aftertaste and in the complexity of what you're getting. It's not quite as smooth, but still pretty smooth, the alcohol burn is moderately present but lingers with the taste for quite a while.

Thinking about it some more, I'd actually more closely associate this with Compass Box's Peat Monster. At $50, the Peat Monster is quite a bit more reasonable, but it lacks the complexity, depth and lingering quality of the Laphroaig Lore ($120). They share similar flavor profiles. In general, I'd buy the Peat Monster first (it's a good buy at that price), but I'm very glad I got a bottle of Lore.

I've only heard it third hand, but supposedly the Lore compares favorably to the Laphgroaig 32 (which clocks in around $700-1500). That reviewer thought the Lore had more flavor and character.


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Irontruth wrote:
The bartender there is very good and makes a "Dirty Sazerac".

The Sazerac is my absolute favorite cocktail, ever since I visited the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Unfortunately, outside of NOLA, it's nearly impossible for me to find someone who knows how to make one; when I offer to teach them, they invariably lack one or more of the ingredients.

Spoiler:
Right before I left Pittsburgh, I went to my favorite restaurant (the incomparable Joseph Tambellini's) with a kit and told Joe, "Here, I've got all the ingredients, and I promised last time I'd teach you guys." He told the bartender to pay very close attention, and I hope they're now proudly serving Sazerac cocktails.

The Exchange

I created an introductory guide to Scotch for new drinkers: Painlord's Pathfinder Introduction to Scotch.

I've been enjoying some of the selections mentioned on this thread and wanted a spot to offer my own and give some context to new drinkers.


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PainLord, you are wonderful, lol. :D


Picked up a bottle of Annoc 12, I've been looking for some highlands I can get into and have had some trouble (Glenfarclas for example tasted like grappa to me). It's light, a touch buttery and sweet. It still has a hint of raisin to it, but it's subtle enough that I can tolerate it. A touch of lingering heat.

At $40 or so, I find it very pleasant and reasonable. The Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is overall a slightly better dram, but runs about $10-15 more. I like the Annoc, and it's less common nature is a draw, but the Quinta Ruban is more likely to make a reappearance in my cabinet.


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Decided to go to Vegas for a few days while I'm off school. One of my activities will be going to the Whiskey Attic, which does a 90 minute lesson on tasting whiskey. Evidently the guy has his own new method and people say the enjoy it. They ask you what kind of flavors you like and build a 10 whiskey flight for you to try.


Disappointed in myself, completely missed my whiskey tasting experience. I was... uh... pre-occupied.

I did find a decent whiskey bar on the strip though, Whiskey Down in the MGM. The late night service crew was very friendly, excellent selection and only a minor rip-off on prices, instead of an outrageous rip-off like other places. They're a little stingy on pours (they measure accurately), but that doesn't bother me a ton. One night I had a glass of their Angel's Envy single barrel (an uncommon find) and Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban for a total of $34+tip. A couple nights later I tried the Highland Park 18 and Dalwhinne 15 for a combine totaled of $55. Except for the Highland Park, I'd expect to pay $12-15 for a glass of any of those, so actually in the neighborhood of normal non-Vegas bar prices. They're also open 24/7.

While waiting for a table at a restaurant I had another bar charge me $20 for a glass of Jameson Caskmates. If I had known they'd charge me for 2/3's the price of the bottle, I wouldn't have bothered.


Had lunch at Whiskey Cake (work thing; not my decision) today and nearly didn't make it out again when I spotted the mighty array of bottles above the bar -- including row after row of Scotch, and three different-age bottles of Pappy Van Winkle in the center of the bourbon display. I might have to go back sometime when I'm not working.

(And skip the food. It was overpriced and my entree was pretty bad.)


So, my new bourbon of choice is Eagle Rare -- a fairly OK 10-year-old that doesn't break the bank.

Sovereign Court

I love me some Eagle Rare, and its definitely within the budget.

@IT I hit the whisky attic back in october. It was ok but he poured out some pretty disappointing bottom shelf offerings. It wasnt until I mentioned my friend was getting married he broke out the Middleton...


I love living in bourbon country. Never have to worry about over inflated prices.

However, recently I just had some of the smoothest finest bourbon I've ever tasted that was completely unknown to me before, Yellowstone bourbon.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Can´t believe I have never seen this thread before. My first experience with Whiskey was on a two-week-trip to Turkey, because somebody told us that the alcohol helps with the intestinal problems you will get from regular food and water there. Well, it did not help all that much, but since then, I´m a whiskey fan. Was Ballantines back then.

But my first real exposure came during a week-long trip to Scotland in 2001, where we were driving around with five guys crammed into a rental car, playing rpgs while driving and have one distillery tour and tasting every day, and emptying one bottle of whiskey each evening - at least. Mind you, supermarkets there had "no-name" whiskeys, labeled only according to their regional origin - Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, etc. This stuff was good. There was a small whiskey store on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, about the size of a big living room - but the walls full of whiskey bottles, and I did not see two identical bottles there...

Today, I love Highland Park, and try never to be without a bottle. Auchentoshan Three Woods is another favorite. I´m not into the Islays, the peaty stuff is not to my taste. Another good one is Glen Grant 10 years, with a drop of water added. I have a Nikka "From the Barrel", a japanese cask strength which is so smooth that you can drink it without water. And I am still very sad that Glenfiddich stopped their whiskey honey blend (would this be called a liqueur?) - sweet and easy to drink, but at full alcohol, so this was dangerous but very tasty.

In recent years, some German distilleries tried to make whiskey as well, but the ones I´ve tasted so far were no match for the real thing. But maybe they need much more time.

The best whiskey? The one you like the most.


Stebehil wrote:

Can´t believe I have never seen this thread before. My first experience with Whiskey was on a two-week-trip to Turkey, because somebody told us that the alcohol helps with the intestinal problems you will get from regular food and water there. Well, it did not help all that much, but since then, I´m a whiskey fan. Was Ballantines back then.

But my first real exposure came during a week-long trip to Scotland in 2001, where we were driving around with five guys crammed into a rental car, playing rpgs while driving and have one distillery tour and tasting every day, and emptying one bottle of whiskey each evening - at least. Mind you, supermarkets there had "no-name" whiskeys, labeled only according to their regional origin - Lowlands, Speyside, Islay, etc. This stuff was good. There was a small whiskey store on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, about the size of a big living room - but the walls full of whiskey bottles, and I did not see two identical bottles there...

Today, I love Highland Park, and try never to be without a bottle. Auchentoshan Three Woods is another favorite. I´m not into the Islays, the peaty stuff is not to my taste. Another good one is Glen Grant 10 years, with a drop of water added. I have a Nikka "From the Barrel", a japanese cask strength which is so smooth that you can drink it without water. And I am still very sad that Glenfiddich stopped their whiskey honey blend (would this be called a liqueur?) - sweet and easy to drink, but at full alcohol, so this was dangerous but very tasty.

In recent years, some German distilleries tried to make whiskey as well, but the ones I´ve tasted so far were no match for the real thing. But maybe they need much more time.

The best whiskey? The one you like the most.

if you are a fan of highland park and Auchentoshan I recomend Thamdu and Aberlour, they go in the same direction and I, personally, like them a lot and I am a fan of Highland Park as well

from our homegrown German Whiskey Slyrs is quite good but very expensive


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aeglos wrote:


if you are a fan of highland park and Auchentoshan I recomend Thamdu and Aberlour, they go in the same direction and I, personally, like them a lot and I am a fan of Highland Park as well

from our homegrown German Whiskey Slyrs is quite good but very expensive

I think I tasted Tamdhu and Aberlour both, but long ago - it is probably time for another try. Thanks for the idea.

I´ve got a Slyrs, but I do seem to recall that I did not like it all that much.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
So, my new bourbon of choice is Eagle Rare -- a fairly OK 10-year-old that doesn't break the bank.

I haven't had it since I was at the distillery. They gave us a shot of Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare 10, side by side. At the time I had difficulty distinguishing them from each other. My palette has come along since then though.

In other news, I'm trying to put things in order to do a semester in Scotland. Distillery tours definitely being on the list of things to do while there.

@Stebehil: I'd put Springbank on the list of scotches that are in a class with Highland Park. Definitely different, but with a lot of basic shared characteristics. The Springbank 12 cask strength has some similarities with the Highland Park 15, but it packs more of a punch.


i loooove scotch and whiskey and gin


Greys0n wrote:
i loooove scotch and whiskey and gin

You realize that Scotch is a kind of whisk(e)y, right?

Silver Crusade

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Kung Fu Joe wrote:
You realize that Scotch is a kind of whisk(e)y, right?

Intelligence is knowing Scotch is a subset of whiskey drinks. Charisma is not mentioning it on a Scotch thread unless the less knowledgeable ask. Wisdom is trying a decadent Glenmorangie Signet after a wonderful steak dinner, with a simple sigh of appreciation, while your intelligent buddy drinks Old Crow, since they're both whiskeys.


LOL!


Last year for a house con (weekend of gaming at a friend's cabin), like 9 people showed up with a bottle of bourbon. We only finished one bottle, several others were half gone. To avoid this, I suggested everyone just give me the money they'd otherwise spend and I'd show up with good stuff. Just got back from shopping.

Old Overholt (to make sazeracs and manhattans)
Woodford reserve (to make manhattans for those who like sweeter)
Michter's Small Batch
Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Rye
Glenmorangie Signet

(+ vermouth, absinthe, sugar cubes, bitters and lemons)


Nice list minus the old overholt. Heading north tomorrow evening with the gents and picked up a bottle of Woodford and Oban.


You could use something more expensive to make your cocktails, but the return on investment is minimal. Old Overholt makes a damn good manhattan and sazerac IMO.


Irontruth wrote:
You could use something more expensive to make your cocktails, but the return on investment is minimal. Old Overholt makes a damn good manhattan and sazerac IMO.

True -- although I would say that that no Manhattan could possibly be described as "good," much less "damn good"!

Personally, I like to use Sazerac Rye and Herbsaint in my Sazeracs, probably out of a misplaced sense of traditionalism. Still, I'm very, very glad to see I'm not the only one who appreciates that particular cocktail (my personal favorite).

Silver Crusade

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As an avid consumer of Manhattans, I have to insert that the quality of the whiskey can make a big difference.

Angel's Envy bourbon is my favorite for Manhattans.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
You could use something more expensive to make your cocktails, but the return on investment is minimal. Old Overholt makes a damn good manhattan and sazerac IMO.

True -- although I would say that that no Manhattan could possibly be described as "good," much less "damn good"!

Personally, I like to use Sazerac Rye and Herbsaint in my Sazeracs, probably out of a misplaced sense of traditionalism. Still, I'm very, very glad to see I'm not the only one who appreciates that particular cocktail (my personal favorite).

One of my favorites for the sazerac is to add a small splash of Laphroiag to it. It works best with a weak/mild rye (like Old Overholt). The bartender at my favorite local bar does this and calls it a dirty sazerac.


I hear ya; I just don't like old overholt.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

The season of scotch is here ... at least for me.

I am drinking a lot of Suntory Hibiki Harmony Whisky a friend got me a bottle for my birthday and it is really good.


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I've mostly given up on bourbon, because idiot hipsters are buying all the good stuff for Manhattans (as if it makes a different what whiskey you use, with all those flavorings and cherries and other crap). Anyway, stuff like Elmer T. Lee, Blanton's, Weller's 12 YO, Eagle Rare are all simply unavailable now, and formerly good bourbons (Elijah Criag) are pumping underage product into the market to make up for the deficiency, so many of those are no longer quite so potable.

Give this sad state of affairs, I'm trying to move on to rums, thinking there might be some deals there until they, too, inevitably become a fad. I've been impressed so far with the Demerara rums of Guyana (El Dorado is quite nice for its price tag), with Matusalem (Dominican, supposedly from a Cuban recipe), and of course with Barbancourt rhum agricole from Haiti. Appleton Estate (Jamaica) and Flor de Cana (Nicaragua) are reasonably OK. For people who like mixed drinks, Gosling's black rum makes a mean Dark and Stormy.

I also bought a bottle of mezcal, which I find I like better than tequila anejo. The mezcal's smoky taste is one of a kind, but it's not something I'd drink every evening as a nightcap.


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I'm with you Kirth. I like my manhattans, but you don't need the "good stuff" for them. Also, it's a constant battle to stay ahead of the trendy stuff. I've felt for a while that bourbon prices have been creeping up, and quality going down among a few brands as the popularity continues to increase. It's one of the reasons I've switched back to scotches actually, if I'm going to pay that higher price, I want more unique qualities.

As for rum, El Dorado 15 is a favorite of mine. Love it.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think I finally have here the audience that can properly commiserate over this story. I went to an academic conference in Scotland, my only time there. One of the conference social events was a lecture on whisky and a whisky tasting. I went, and felt so sad. I was pregnant, late first trimester. I had a single sip of one of the whiskeys available to taste, and convinced someone to let me smell their glasses of the others. And then I bought a few bottles of things that smelled good to stash away until I could drink them. They did taste just as good as I hoped they would from the smell. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Ouch that must have been torture. But at the very least you did come up with good stuff. Do you remember what you had? By the way what is your favorite?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I do love me a Manhattan as well as cognac drinks too. I really love cocktails over all.

Rum drinks are a favorite of mine too. Been drinking me some hemingway daiquiri's grapefruit juice, lime Luxardo liquor and rum) Very tasty none of the sugar in the normal daiquiri.

I also have been making punches festive season and all with a combination of rum, cognac, cachaca, lemon and lime juice pineapple macerated and green tea finished with champagne though Processco works well.)

Sovereign Court

I believe international interest and micro distillery in virgin white oak has also contributed to rise in bourbon prices.

Scarab Sages

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I've tried scotch and decided that drinking a tree isn't for me - but I must say, here is an epic tale of Scotch!

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