Hello, I am the author of this blog and I will return you to the regularly scheduled whisky reviews tomorrow, specifically the second half of the Chieftain's tasting (see part 1 here). In addition to closing my eyes while tapping on random keys to create my posts, I do other whisky things, some of which I document on Facebook and (much more on) Twitter (and someday soon there will be an Instagram page aside from my personal one).
One of my favorite whisky things to do is lead whisky tastings for groups of happy whisky people. When presenting I go light-to-medium on history and production trivia, depending on the audience, but I do not tell the crowd what they're supposed to smell and taste in each whisky because that knocks the humanity part right out of the situation. If one smells bubblegum while I smell burnt shrinkwrap, that's cool. That's the experience. That subjectivity is why we're drinking this stuff in the first place.
Once a month, I lead tastings for the OC Scotch Club. Andy Smith (aka Mr. LA Scotch Club) and I confer a few weeks before the event and select bottles. Then we book a location. Then we invite people to show up and drink whisky while I drone on at the center of the party. Because we like weird stuff and familiar good stuff, we tend to pick some of both.
For instance, we're having Dinner and Whisky at Chapter One in Santa Ana on the 24th. For food there's burgers & Mac 'n Cheese & Fish 'n Chips & Caprese to choose from. All awesome things. But then there's the whisky, even awesomer.
Auchentoshan 13 year old 2000 Exclusive Casks. Everyone I know who tried it thinks it one of the best indie Auchies ever. So I tracked down the last bottle available.
Ben Nevis 18 year old 1995 Montgomerie's Select. It's Ben Nevis, so that's enough for me. For you, just know that Ben Nevis is an old-school, often lovely, sometimes unusual, always entertaining single malt. Plus this one is actually available at all or most Total Wines around here, so in case you like it at the tasting you can easily track it down for a relatively reasonable price.
Fukano Japanese Whisky (the K&L cask). Wait, that's not scotch. Of course not. It's a malty bourbony whisky that's actually made from rice in Japan, which Andy scooped a bottle of it before it vanished. I might even pour this one first because it's delicate. If you want to know what all the hype was about, here's a chance to taste it.
Inchgower 20 year old 1995 Hepburn's Choice (K&L excl). It's a 20 year old sherry bomb from a distillery that doesn't get enough love, probably because there are so few indies (and offishys?) of it. Plus it's a double decade sherried whisky that doesn't cost $200+. This is the one I'm looking forward to the most.
Lagavulin 12 year old Cask Strength, 2014 edition. Finally, I drop the sledgehammer at the end. It'll leave everyone's face feeling warm and peated.
So, there it is. Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Islay, and the most eastern Scottish isle, Japan. If you're in the Orange Country area on March 24th, I recommend you click on over to the site and buy yourself a very-inexpensive-for-California food-and-whisky ticket. I mean, friggin' Lagavulin 12yo CS and bacon-loaded Mac n' Cheese? Hope to see you there!