...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Malty Ramblings

Well, after reviewing the fancy shmantzy whisky this week, I've decided to do a Taste Off of a pair of whiskys-for-the-rest-of-us.  By that I mean they cost 1/9th of the birthday whiskys, but are still single malts.  What could they be......?

Frankly it hasn't been neat whisky drinking weather here.  The temperature has been 90+ almost every day for the last two weeks.  That weather looks to continue for a little while longer, as will the weird humidity that has settled in.  Time to bust out the highballs.  <--- Wow, that just looks wrong.

On Wednesday, Diageo announced their 2012 Special Releases.  (Oh wait, I thought they "do not make single malts for the aficionado to enjoy.")  For all my rants against Diageo, I actually do look forward to this announcement each year.

Here's the info summarized from their press release (via whiskyintelligence.com) --

Auchroisk 30yr 1982 - American & European Oak - 2,976 bottles - £230 (approx $370)
Brora 35yr 1976&1977 - American Oak - 1,566 bottles - £400 (approx $640)
Caol Ila 14yr 1997 - first fill sherry European Oak casks - "limited numbers" - £66 (approx $105)
Dalwhinnie 25 yr - "rejuvenated" American Oak hogsheads - 5,358 - £185 (approx $300)
Lagavulin 12yr - refill American Oak casks - "limited numbers" - £71 (approx $115)
Lagavulin 21yr 1991 - first fill sherry European Oak - 2,772 bottles - £350 (approx $560)
Port Ellen 32yr 1979 - refill American & European oak - 2,964 bottles - £600 (approx $960)
Talisker 35yr 1977 - refill American & European oak - 3,090 bottles - £525 (approx $840)

The positive:
These are all cask strength.  The Lagavulin 21 and Talisker 35 are really exciting.  It's only the second time they've released a Lag at that age, while this will be oldest official Talisker they've released.  The Auchroisk (never tried one) and Dalwhinnie (love the 15yr!) sound fun as well.

The negative:
The prices.  Not counting the annual Lagavulin 12 (whose price didn't change from last year's) and Caol Ila releases, with just a brief browsing one can find dozens (if not hundreds) of independent cask-strength single-cask releases of the same age priced lower than even the Auchroisk and Dalwhinnie.  The Brora price went up 14% from the 2011 Special Release reate.  The Port Ellen price almost doubled last year's.

I had a longer gripe about this, but decided against it.  The Special Releases were clearly not priced with the majority of whisky lovers in mind.  They are priced for connoisseurs with considerable disposable income.  I just hope that the people who buy 'em, enjoy 'em, and not take the whisky to the secondary market.

I can't end on the negative, though!

pic found here
Now that is some garrrrrrrrrrrrrrnish.

I'm sorry.  Bad.  No more pirates.

Have a great weekend!