Scotch, Scotch, Scotch


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I'm going to keep my thoughts on fad diets to myself, and instead share my thoughts on the bottle of Sagamore Spirit rye (Dandy Liquor store pick). In brief, I've been enjoying the hell out of it! It's a 75/25 blend of MGP ryes (the 95% and 65% ones, I think) and it has beautiful licorice notes that I can't seem to get enough of.


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Had the opportunity to do some proper tasting a few months back courtesy of a good friend of my parents. His collection is heavily American-centric but he was kind enough to break out a few Scotches for myself, including a Laphroaig 15 and a few rarities I unfortunately don't recall the names of. Provided a solid confirmation that I am all about that Islay peat.

Received a bottle of Laphroaig Lore for the holidays--have yet to crack it, but I'll be sure to report back once I do!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
I'm going to keep my thoughts on fad diets to myself, and instead share my thoughts on the bottle of Sagamore Spirit rye (Dandy Liquor store pick). In brief, I've been enjoying the hell out of it! It's a 75/25 blend of MGP ryes (the 95% and 65% ones, I think) and it has beautiful licorice notes that I can't seem to get enough of.

Hmm licorice like black? Sounds promising. Calumet bourbon has been what I have been drinking lately. I enjoy it but think I like the EH Taylor more just wish it hadn't gone up in price.

Maybe Sagamore will be on the agenda though thanks Kirth.

Vil-hatarn please do let us know when you crack open the Laphroaig. While I am not a fan one of my friends is and I am thinking about getting it for him for a birthday present.


Vil-hatarn wrote:

Had the opportunity to do some proper tasting a few months back courtesy of a good friend of my parents. His collection is heavily American-centric but he was kind enough to break out a few Scotches for myself, including a Laphroaig 15 and a few rarities I unfortunately don't recall the names of. Provided a solid confirmation that I am all about that Islay peat.

Received a bottle of Laphroaig Lore for the holidays--have yet to crack it, but I'll be sure to report back once I do!

Laphroaig 15 is a call back. I think they stopped bottling that quite a while ago. The 18 year just recently got cancelled (2015/16 I think). I'm nursing the heck out of the last 1/4 bottle of that as it is one of my favorite single-malts ever. I'm kicking myself for not hearing about the cancellation sooner, I would have dipped into savings to stock up.

I like the Lore a lot. It's a bit expensive though, but a lot of fun to drink.


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Kirth I got a bottle of Sagamore and I do enjoy it. Nice change of pace from the Calumet. I was getting in a rut of drinking through one bottle at a time ... but I think I like switching it up more.

Been making Manhattan's might start with some Rob Roy's as well with some scotch blends I don't normally drink.


Got a bottle of Buffalo Trace and I like it which now that I looked up the distillery shouldn't surprise me as one of my favorite bourbons so far is Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Small batch.
Certainly has opened my eyes to a whole bunch of bourbons to try though.


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Yeah, Buffalo Trace has *a lot* under their umbrella.


Vanykrye wrote:
Yeah, Buffalo Trace has *a lot* under their umbrella.

So are you a fan? Or not so much?


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As a whole they're hit and miss for me.


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Especially since the 1920's, a lot of distilleries were bought up and have had their labels gathered under a single ownership. In addition, the old practice is when you buy a distillery, you gain ownership of the label, but usually the new owner makes a new label too, so old distilleries come with dozens of labels they own now. Wild Turkey owns a bunch, Jim Beam owns a bunch, Buffalo Trace owns a bunch (though far less in volume overall than the other two), Heaven's Hill is another big one. I'm sure some more that aren't occurring to me at the moment. The number of distilleries that only make a couple labels is relatively small, or they are fairly new.


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Reporting back as requested re: Laphroiag Lore following a visit from some friends made during my time in Scotland. In a word: wow. Everything that's great about regular Laphroiag but turned up to 11, and very drinkable neat despite the peat and higher proof. I'll be treasuring that bottle.


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Picked up a Glenmorangie 12 bourbon cask aged and finished in sherry casks. For someone who doesn't like much oak, smoke, or peat (like me), this is a wonderful choice, bright and fragrant.


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Starting a group for blind tasting whiskey. We schedule our evening and pick a theme. Then, each person buys a bottle and brings it. We then pour them, without allowing each other to see them (half the group pours for the other half), and proceed to taste them. That way you don't have the labels, just the whiskey itself. See what you like, take some notes, and then we reveal what everything was.

Our first night, we're doing bourbons that have a shelf price of less than $25. I want to try some cheap bourbons, see if I get a new favorite. Also, I wanted an easy entry for our first night.

I was expecting to get 2 other people, but it's snowballed quickly into 7 total.

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ugh >$25 bourbon? Id probably skip that night. Sounds like a great group tho.

Tried Oban little bay again recently. ITs a really good scotch for 40 bucks. Not nearly as good as Oban, but at half the price, I can live with it.


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The Evan Williams Single Barrel I bought recently was only $23 and I like it just fine. I even gave a bottle as a gift recently. There are actually a fair number of good bourbons that can be had for fairly cheap. I'm planning on bringing a bottle of Wild Turkey 101. I haven't had it in over 15 years, and I wasn't a bourbon drinker yet back then. Still a kid who drank to get drunk. I've ran across numerous reviews though that all extol its virtues recently, and I am curious enough to give it a shot.

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Yeah its not so much that all cheap bourbons suck (most do) and more that I've likely tried them and would buy them if I liked them. I wouldnt need a cheap bourbon night from a tasters club.

My wheel house seems to be in the 30-40 dollar range for bourbon. Cheap scotch is the worst, but then again, i'm like the last guy to ask about Scotch since I enjoy so few types of it.


I picked up a bottle of Aberlour 12, and it is delightful. It's a sherry cask whisky. I don't like the highland or speysides when they taste like raisins (I did a drain pour of a bottle of Glenfarclas 10 instead of packing it up for a move). The Aberlour definitely has the dried fruit taste, but it's not raisins, so I've been enjoying it. I haven't had any Macallan in a really long time, so I can't do a direct comparison, but I've been told the Aberlour is similar but a little cheaper.


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Picked up a bottle of Grangestone Port cask ... not a big fan of it though. I was hoping to try something new and good ... this was not it.
I usually like port cask scotches though so slightly disappointed.

But did try High West Bourbon and that was pretty good.


Irontruth wrote:
The Evan Williams Single Barrel I bought recently was only $23 and I like it just fine. I'm planning on bringing a bottle of Wild Turkey 101. I haven't had it in over 15 years, and I wasn't a bourbon drinker yet back then.

Evan Williams white label (bottled-in-bond) is, hands-down, the best value in bourbon out there. It's essentially Elijah Craig (same distiller - Heaven Hill - and mash bill) without the "super-premium" markup. As a side note, I keep putting the Evan Williams White into blind tastings, and it keeps winning.

It's followed very closely by Old Grand-Dad 114 which is, in essence, Basil Hayden (same distiller - Jim Beam, and mash bill - their high rye recipe), at a much higher proof, for half the price.

Wild Turkey 101 is also a fantastic value.

If you can find it, grab a bottle of the new George Dickel Bonded (blue label). At 13 years old and 100 proof, it tastes like Pinocchio set his dick on fire and shoved it in your mouth. At $35 for an age-stated whiskey of that caliber, it's money very well spent.


If you like rum, check out Doorley's XO, an exemplary Barbados rum from Foursquare and legendary master distiller Ricard Seale -- at a third of the usual Foursquare price ($20 vs. $60). I'm also still a huge fan of Barbancourt (Haiti), but then again I'm a sucker for rhum agricole.


Also, sorry I haven't posted in this thread for so long. I got very, very sick early this spring and am only now starting to feel like myself again.


In the news: it's OK to cry now.


Damn it, Kirth, my day was going fine until I saw this post.

*sigh*

Cosmo, you're really gonna need to back off at some point.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
In the news: it's OK to cry now.

Don't worry... it might not last forever if he keeps digging that hole for himself? anyone seen the video where he's fondling Giuliani mockingly dressed in drag? despicable...


[Jack Sparrow]But why is the Scotch gone?[/Jack Sparrow]


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Glenlivet is releasing what are effectively scotch Tide pods.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, this seems dumb. On the other hand, this seems very dumb.


I bought a bottle of Stranahan's Single Barrel this weekend. It is stellar. It's the first American malt whiskey I've tried. I like it enough I now want to try more American malts to see what they offer.

I finally found some Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond as well. It is surprisingly hard to find in Minnesota (or at least the places I've been looking). Luckily one of the grocery store chains carries it. The price isn't amazing, but it is still pretty cheap.


Andostre wrote:

Glenlivet is releasing what are effectively scotch Tide pods.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, this seems dumb. On the other hand, this seems very dumb.

I can see frat house parties dumping scores of these in a vat of olive oil and running contests on how many you can swallow whole in one minute.

Cue to one hour later: death by alcohol poisoning.

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Andostre wrote:

Glenlivet is releasing what are effectively scotch Tide pods.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, this seems dumb. On the other hand, this seems very dumb.

Really, the only good application I can see for this item is taste testing. A nice glass is essential to the experience, imo.


It's a promotional thing for a single event. We aren't going to see these any time soon.


Gruumash wrote:
Calumet bourbon has been what I have been drinking lately.

All the Western Spirits brands (sourced from who-knows-where) seem to have the same mash bill - 74% corn, 18% rye, 8% barley. Calumet Farms, Bird Dog, and Lexington are all non-age stated, the only difference I can see being price (descending in the order listed). So if you like the Calumet, maybe try one of its more cost-effective clones?


So, Henry McKenna Single Barrel and 1792 Full Proof both won some sort of B.S. "best whiskey in the world" awards lately, which means from now on
either the prices will be jacked through the roof, the availability will be near-zero, or some combination of the two. I also notice that Old Grand-Dad 114 has disappeared from Total Wine's online ordering. This, basically, is all bad news for people who liked decent, affordably-priced bourbons.

Sigh. "Dear whiskey people: Please stop having competitions. Because every time you have one, another of our favorites is denied to us! Sincerely, Whiskey Drinkers everywhere."


I think there's a lot of market space for more distillers. Most states are slowly loosening restrictions on production and distribution. Hopefully more whiskey being produced will help open up options and reduce prices. It'll still be a long while until we see one of them grow into a major producer though.


Irontruth wrote:
I think there's a lot of market space for more distillers. Most states are slowly loosening restrictions on production and distribution. Hopefully more whiskey being produced will help open up options and reduce prices. It'll still be a long while until we see one of them grow into a major producer though.

Yeah, the time factor is a thing. The shelves are groaning under the weight of bulk sourced swill packaged under independent startup distillery labels, because their stuff is still aging. Some of them are rushing their stuff to market instead, with 2-year-old whiskeys priced as if they were 12. It'll be a good 10 years from now before a new equilibrium can be reached.


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I wouldn't look down too much on the sourced whiskey. Some of it is bland, some of it is very, very nice.

Here in Minnesota, the distillers are rushing their product to market and not going through a sourcing period. I actually wish they would start off sourcing their stuff first. Most of the whiskey here is harsh and unfriendly. It would seem to me that the master distillers have not developed their palate sufficiently to know when their whiskey is ready.

One of the problems with distilling is that often times a distiller stops drinking other whiskeys. Not out of desire, but just drinking whiskey at work AS work can change your attitude about it. They then get accustomed to their whiskey, and some of the bad tasting notes disappear... to them.

Sourcing, blending, and finishing helps avoid this. You don't have 2-3 years to acclimate to the whiskey and become blind to its faults.


Don't get me wrong; I do like a lot of sourced stuff -- most especially when they're up front about what it actually is. Sagamore, for example, tells you right out that it's a blend of MGP ryes, and it's good juice.

My views differ drastically when it comes to products like Kentucky Owl Confiscated, which is of totally unknown origin ("one or more places in KY" is all we know), non-age-stated, tastes mediocre (I recently gave it a 2.5 out of 5 in a blind tasting), and retails for $140.


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sips absinthe


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I agree with that.

Part of the problem is that the industry thinks the ONLY way to market whiskey is "history, craftsmanship, and history." When producers are willing to step outside of that it's nice.

Sometimes the sourcing is withheld due to NDAs. Other times it's obviously withheld because they're trying to portray themselves as more than they are.

I like absinthe. Sometimes I put some in my whiskey (sazerac cocktail).

There's a bartender in St. Paul, MN, he makes "dirty sazeracs," where he coats the glass with a little Laphroaig 10 first. About two years ago I went down to NOLA for a weekend and tried like 10 different bars and their sazeracs. Most were good, a couple were exceptional. His "dirty sazerac" is still my favorite though.


Sazeracs are delightful! The only cocktail I like better than straight whiskey.
I got hooked on them when I tried them at the Sazerac Bar, in the Roosevelt Hotel.

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I prefer my Sazeracs with Cognac. The Mill in NE MPLS makes a fantastic one.

I tried Skrewball's peanut butter whiskey this weekend. It was pretty subtle and overall tasted like a liquor. I wouldn't drink it regularly, but I think it would work excellent with desert such as cake or pie a few times a year.


I love cocktails .... Manhattan's lately, Rob Roy's are also fun. Love a Hemingway daiquiri, an aviation as well as a sidecar.

Ca't remember if I mentioned Bibb and Tucker Small Batch I am enjoying it on the rocks.

When I was in Greece recently I was drinking myself some Ouzo ... on ice I do like it.

Also when I was there saw for the first time Hendrick's Midsommer Solstice. Haven't had it yet ... but plan to try it.


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Couple of cocktails:

For Christmas I made eggnog. My personal favorite mix was:

1 part dark rum (Plantation Original Dark)
1 part cognac
1 part Wild Turkey 101

I blended a batch of that the night before, so it was ready to go straight into the eggnog (1 part alcohol blend, 5 parts eggnog). Then topped the drink off with orange peel shavings and a little nutmeg.

For NYE, I bought a bottle of Knob Creek Rye and Carpano Antica. Since the rye came in a 750, and the vermouth in a 375, I just mixed the entirety of each bottle and added some orange peel and angrostura bitters (orange peel isn't normal for Manhattans, but I like it). That way tomorrow all I have to do is pour and add cherries.

I have a couple of bottles that I haven't opened or done more than just a quick sip:
Oban Bay Reserve (Night's Watch edition)
Edradour 10

Sipping from my infinity bottle right now. I want to do more blending.

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I'm sure it was a sacrilegious use of good scotch, but nonetheless the Christmas pudding my stepmother doused with The Macallan was delicious.


DeathQuaker wrote:
I'm sure it was a sacrilegious use of good scotch, but nonetheless the Christmas pudding my stepmother doused with The Macallan was delicious.

You're not alone, I've been using Speyside in a brown butter 'bourbon' chocolate pecan cookie recipe. Wasn't drinking it, and the cookies are something else.


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I made mulled hot cider for Christmas, using a hodgepodge of ingredients:
- Most of a gallon of store-bought apple cider poured into the slow cooker
- Some Tortuga Dark Rum that my mom brought back from her Caribbean cruise last year. Although, instead of pouring it into the slow cooker, I just added some to each mug with a shot glass so that the kids could also have some hot cider without the rum.
- My neighbor has a meyer lemon tree/bush in his yard, but he's said that any lemons that grow on my side of the fence I'm welcome to pick. So, I squeezed the lemon into the cider and then made lemon peel twists for garnish.
- Cinnamon sticks also for garnish. The kids discovered that these could also be "funny straws," but since they're not air-tight, the sounds of slurping accompanied every kids' mug of cider.

But this is a scotch thread, so....

I received a bottle of Oban Little Bay for Christmas. It's richer than Oban 14yo (which is my normal go-to); it's smoother also. I like it a lot, but I've grown accustomed to the "bite" from the 14yo. It's still a nice option and a great gift.

I've also been meaning to mention Arran 14-year in this thread. I bought it as a present for my wife last Christmas. Laphroaig is too peaty for her, and we've both moved beyond Glenlivet, so she also enjoys Oban 14yo. I asked for a recommendation for something similar but also that we hadn't tried before, and Arran was recommended. While it is similar to the Oban, it has a different flavor that makes it a nice option. I think I was told that the distiller's proximity to the ocean is what develops its flavor. I also recently read that the Arran distillery is the newest Scotland distillery, opening in 1995.

And just because I see people talking earlier in this thread about the Johnny Walker/Game of Thrones blends, the Johnie Walker White Walker blend is delicious.


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DeathQuaker wrote:
I'm sure it was a sacrilegious use of good scotch, but nonetheless the Christmas pudding my stepmother doused with The Macallan was delicious.

Uh, that certainly sounds delicious, and that trumps sacrilege in my book.

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A tip for folks in the twin cities St Anthony municipals have Oban marked down on steep discount right now.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Vil-hatarn wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
I'm sure it was a sacrilegious use of good scotch, but nonetheless the Christmas pudding my stepmother doused with The Macallan was delicious.
You're not alone, I've been using Speyside in a brown butter 'bourbon' chocolate pecan cookie recipe. Wasn't drinking it, and the cookies are something else.

Ooh,would you share the recipe?

Gave a friend who has discerning tastes in whiskies a bottle of Sagamore Rye for Christmas and he was pleased, so I was glad I picked well. I know what I like but I'm not always how it fits other standards.


Andostre wrote:

I also recently read that the Arran distillery is the newest Scotland distillery, opening in 1995.

There's new ones all the time. Like 16 opened from 2017-2019.


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DeathQuaker wrote:
Vil-hatarn wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
I'm sure it was a sacrilegious use of good scotch, but nonetheless the Christmas pudding my stepmother doused with The Macallan was delicious.
You're not alone, I've been using Speyside in a brown butter 'bourbon' chocolate pecan cookie recipe. Wasn't drinking it, and the cookies are something else.

Ooh,would you share the recipe?

Gave a friend who has discerning tastes in whiskies a bottle of Sagamore Rye for Christmas and he was pleased, so I was glad I picked well. I know what I like but I'm not always how it fits other standards.

Here you go!

Brown Butter 'Bourbon' Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies
8 oz unsalted butter (for browning)
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter (for pecans)
1.5 cups finely chopped pecans
~30 whole pecans
2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons whiskey of choice (Speyside 12 thus far)
2 large eggs
12 ounces dark chocolate chunks or morsels

Part 1
1-Brown 8oz butter in a large skillet (Google this if you've not browned butter before, I'm still getting the hang of it myself), then transfer to a bowl (make sure to get all the toasty bits). Place in refrigerator until completely solid (about 2 hours).
2-In the same skillet, add the remaining butter and the chopped pecans and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Part 2
3-Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda, stir well, and set aside.
4-In stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer), combine browned butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and whiskey, beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined.
5-Gently fold in flour mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon, stopping when the flour begins to disappear. Fold in chocolate and buttered pecans.
6-Form 3-tablespoon balls (I use a 1/4 cup to scoop and eyeball the final size), place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press a whole pecan into the top of each ball.
7-Bake 9-10 minutes at 375 F. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling.

Original recipe calls for 2T bourbon, twice as much cinnamon, and gives the option of semi-sweet chocolate, so feel free to adjust to your own taste, but the above is what I've liked best and the whiskey comes through beautifully.

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