...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thirteen Hour Thursday ends and I think about whisky

Thirteen Hour Thursday has come to a close and I doubt it will be the last.  I just hope a Fourteen Hour Friday doesn''t follow.

I've just opened my 375mL bottle of Old Pulteney 12yr, tossed together a quick dinner and am settling in to catch up on blog reading before I go to bed and start the cycle all over again.

Last Sunday, I bought my first 750mL bottle of bourbon.  Buffalo Trace is its name.  It's open and it's tasty.  It's actually a single cask bottling (at 45%ABV), with the barrel chosen by the good folks at Hi Time.  It's similar to the usual Buffalo Trace, but I'm finding more spices and a little less vanilla.  It's an absolute miracle at $19.99.  Sorry, Scotch, you cannot compete at that price.

The birthday whisky buying is happening slowly and studiously.  I just placed a samples order via Master of Malt that will be sure to brighten up a long workday upon its arrival.

I've successfully kept to my $50-and-under-per-bottle rule all year, but I wonder if I should loosen that belt now that I'm employed.  Of course, I need to see a couple paychecks before any drastic purchases are made.

Here's one blog post I do want to share: How Age Statements Are Dividing The Whisky Industry by Oliver over at Dramming.com.  It's a brief but smart take on Macallan's 1824 Series and their company's attempt to equal quality with color(!) rather than age.

Macallan's Brand Ambassador says, "An age statement doesn’t give you any clues as to quality" and "Age statements have made us very lazy and one-dimensional".  While there may be some truth in the first statement, I don't think anyone really believes Macallan's song and dance.

Though many of us have critiqued Macallan's new branding decision, Oliver shines best with this brilliantly condensed knockout blow in his conclusion:
Macallan only replaces their 10 to 17 year old expressions with NAS bottlings. Why not the famous 18 and 25 year olds? If age did not matter at all, they could have got rid of those as well.
Using their products to debunk their branding pitch.  Love it!

Anyway, let's get through the rest of this week, okay?

As seen at the Long Beach Flea Market.  I present this without comment.


  1. I put a lot of thought into the question "if I can afford more expensive scotch, SHOULD I buy it?" the answer I came up with is no (for me). I feel that if I get used to more expensive stuff, I won't be able to go back to the cheaper stuff later; I'll get dependent on it. I'd rather just enjoy the more affordable stuff and save the expensive bottles for special occasions.

    1. Thankfully I haven't found that to be a problem, but I can see how it could go either way. Maybe it's because I've come at whisk(e)y from a cocktail background, so if I want complexity with cheap spirits, there are some easy ways to achieve that. But a lot of it is that I don't want something complex all the time. If I'm in the mood for something to drink that I don't have to think about too hard, a lot of whisky just seems like a waste on my tastebuds. Sometimes cheaper stuff also has a charm of its own. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed finishing off my bottle of Glenmorangie Original earlier this week.

    2. @Ryan - I agree. I think that's the best of both worlds. Sometimes whisky buying can turn into irrational OMFG-I-Gotta-Have-It consumer therapy. Gotta avoid that. I have my cheaper reliable Go-To beverages as well as my special bottles.

      @Jordan - Glenmorangie Original is a great one, especially during the summer. Irish blended whiskey has been my affordable palate pleaser for the last decade. I understand what you mean about some whiskies being a waste on the tastebuds. It's just like music. The albums I listen to most are by no means the best music I own, but they fit the mood and moment the best. Likewise, I have opened a lovely whisky bottle or two that are too tremendous for the casual experience.

    3. Jordan, I definitely agree with what you said. There are times when I'll choose to pour a Buffalo Trace or similar, no matter what other fancy bottles I may have in the cabinet. I was thinking about it from a different way, though. As an example: unlike maybe choosing to pour a Buffalo Trace over a Pappy Van Winkle when you just want to chill out, what if you had Highland Park 12 and Highland Park 18 in your cabinet? Would you ever desire the HP12 over the 18? I probably wouldn't. I think I would lose my appreciation for the 12. Right now, I'm perfectly happy pouring an HP12 on nights I want a brooding, smokyish scotch. I don't want to lose that and need the more expensive fix.

      Michael: it definitely gets irrational real quick. You can't be dependent on something new and exciting all the time, you need to keep yourself happy over the long haul.