I'm back home after two great vacation weeks. I haven't had many opportunities to vacate during the summer over the past ten years; in fact there were only two: moving across the country and my honeymoon. And like any proper whisky
I go into these hunts with realistic expectations. I'm not expecting to find a bottle of Stitzel-Weller Old Fitz or mis-priced Stagg. And there really isn't much in the way of dusty Scotch in The States, except for some old blends. So the best dusties I expect to find would be the stuff no longer in circulation or previous batches or old weirdness. If those things are considered successes, then the success rate is still usually below 10%. But I'm always open to the potential of small miracles. Or great prices.
Here were my stops:
Manhattan - The big city still has some curios in its 100s (or 1000s?) of corner liquor stores. I picked up a totally random single cask single malt that was bottled sixteen years ago for probably half of its price had it been retailing in LA.
Upstate New York - There ain't nothin' dusty around Keuka and Seneca Lake aside from some weird blends. Dew of Ben Nevis 12, anyone? Either that place was FoaFed a long time ago, or everyone has consumed everything interesting, or there was never the income level in those areas that would have inspired distributors to put their fancy stuff on those shelves.
Prescott, Arizona - If you're heading to Prescott (for whatever reason) there are a few interesting bottles to be found. When I left, there were two Thomas Handy Ryes (2012), a few older-labelled single malts, some oddball blends, and (very randomly) a dozen total bottles of five older Scott's Selection single malts. The Scott's Selection stuff was of interest, but out of my current price range. I did take home a bottle desired booze that was really discounted, along with a pair of old minis.
I drank a lot of American whiskies during my break. That's partially because I find bourbon suits a hot summer better than do most single malts. But also, I had a bunch of American whiskey on my report schedule. So this week I'm going to drop 6 Americans on you in 4 days.
As fun as that all is and as well as bourbon may "suit" this weather, I was SERIOUSLY craving some proper Scotch when I got home. So we can say good-bye to any more non-Scotch posts until after the equinox. Next week, I'll write about the birthday whisky. The following week? Here's a heavy-handed hint:
Screw the heat, we're going to end this summer with some big Scotch.