There won't be any official Single Malt Reports this week, though I intend to have a couple next week. I've been drinking mostly beer and wine, those mates work better when staying on the water.
I've had some of thoughts on the whiskies I am and am not drinking.
A few months back, I posted a Taste Off between the European release of Jameson's Select Reserve (Small Batch) and the American version of the Select Reserve (Black Barrel). The Small Batch was better on all levels: nose, palate, and general drinkability. That drop of Black Barrel had actually been decanted into a sample bottle in December, and the original bottle hadn't been opened since. I gave that whiskey eight months to think about itself and consider its whiskey behavior. After being let out of the bottle this week, it became even more unpleasant and stubborn.
Doubling down on my Jameson's Black Barrel report. It's somehow younger & grainier than regular bottling w/ worst elements of American oak.I mean, it's bad. Even a 2:1 ratio of club soda to Black Barrel doesn't correct it. Since I wouldn't even drink the stuff if someone offered to buy it for me, I'll be dropping it from 2-1/2 stars to 1-1/2 stars. This is a quite a Diving For Pearls event since I adore Midleton Distillery and have given their whiskies ratings that many may consider bloated.
— Michael Kravitz (@kravitz_hubris) August 4, 2013
On a similar note, I had a particularly gruesome glass of Tullamore Dew at a bar last month. I won't change its rating since there may have been an issue with the bar's bottle. If it wasn't the bottle, then perhaps my palate is moving away from Irish blends. I'll be picking up a bottle of Powers in a few months to figure that out.
Bourbon and I are doing pretty well, though. My in-laws' bottle of Blanton's (the one from this post) has been open for almost two years. I had a pour of it yesterday and the stuff is divine. It's less hot than it was upon its opening yet much more expressive, especially on the finish. I need to have another glass before I reconsider its rating, and then maybe another glass. Either my palate is adapting or the whiskey settled in well over time. It's a darn shame it costs two Buffalo Traces, but maybe it's worth it?
Finally, a random shower thought. I can't remember the last time I bought an officially bottled single malt scotch. Seriously. After doing some searching, I think I've purchased THREE since February. None of which were Diageo brands. Looks like the upcoming Diageo boycott won't prove to be much of an adjustment on the single malt front. Of course, I've been buying plenty of independent bottles and those will be less prevalent on the market in the future.
Time to go. My thoughts are drifting out to the lake and my future projects. For those of you who haven't taken a break from work in a long time -- and I mean, a real break -- please do so. Leave your cell phone with the work emails inside and go outside, far from the pavement. You don't have to hug a tree or smoke a cigar or fly fish or bungee jump or even drink a beer. This is just a friendly encouragement to look beyond the flat screen.