...where distraction is the main attraction.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Single Malt Ramblings, January 2013 edition

We have returned home.  The termites are (allegedly) dead.  Other than in our souls, the humans remain unpoisoned.  The Reports shall resume, thank goodness.

Robert Burns Night is this Friday.  Don't forget to celebrate appropriately.  Preferably with others.  Score some haggis if you can.

I highly recommend this Johnnie Walker Black Label post by Jordan at Chemistry of the Cocktail.  I've been tasting different things in different bottles of JWBL and I thought it was my imagination.  But I've been getting more and more confirmation.  Most recently, I've been noticing more sherry and less smoke (and almost no peat).  Further testing is planned...

Speaking of more sherry:

The Great Ralf posted this great video on Sherry and Whisky last week.

I've become increasingly sherry-sensitive with my whiskys recently.  And not in a good way.  One method to remedy this, or at least further educate myself, is to explore sherries a bit.  My hope is that will allow me to sort through my issues with ex-sherry whisky finishes/maturation/ACE'ing/etc.  And perhaps I'll be able to dig further into my "sherry" descriptors.

At the very least, it'll be booze.

I've finally updated my Dram Quest list (on the upper right side of the page).  I've laid down a bit of a gauntlet for myself this time.  The UK shipping issue makes this even more difficult.  But what's whisky life without a few challenges?

I'll see you around in a few days.  There's some bourbon on the horizon...


  1. Thanks for the nod. The release of Double Black seems like the most logically explanation for the reduced smoke in regular Black Label. It doesn't make much sense for them to have two peat-forward blends.

    If you want a good place to start, Trader Joe's amontillado sherry is pretty darn good (I went through a bottle last summer) and ~$5. Barbadillo (who also supplies TJ's) has a good set of sherries that are ~$10 a bottle. I've also had some good ones from Lustau, but they tend to be in the $20 range. But yeah. They're fairly slow drinkers, so I find that they're great when I want something to drink without quite so much alcohol.

    If you're still planning on making it to Portland, I think you could tick off a few of the whiskies on your dram quest. There are still a handful of bottles of Alligator and Glenfiddich DE floating around here. The Highland Stillhouse also has an '88 Bladnoch, a '67 Caperdonich, some late 80s Bowmores, a Cooper's Choice '94 Ardbeg, and Longrow 18 (though that'll really cost you), if you want to knock those off your list.

    1. Hey Jordan, thanks for the sherry recommendations! I'm a TJ's regular, so I'm going to hit them first.

      Just as I started making my Portland trip plans, a few months back, the damned job came along. A damned job without vacation time. Thus the Portland trip will need to be more strategic. That Highland Stillhouse is becoming a glowing beacon in the distance. I'm running towards it...

  2. For some additional variation I think you need Karuizawa (which might become the Port Ellen of Japanese whisky) on the dram list. I'm presently waiting on K&L to get their casks in (apparently the casks are caught in red tape for the moment).

    Glenmorangie Ealanta is probably the one whisky I'm anticipating the most this year. Which reminds me that I need to open my bottle of last year's Artein...

    1. That Artein is on my list of musts this year. It's one of the few wine finishes that sounds quite nice. And, yeah, the Ealanta sounds delicious!

      Yeah, it sounds like the Karuizawa casks are going to be at two price ranges. I wish I could sample 'em first, but K&L can't do tastings in LA. Heck, I'd pay for a sample. The Dram Quest has been known to change if I've found certain items too readily accessible...

    2. Also, about the Bowmores from the Morrison era, are you looking out for bottles from the '90s with whisky made in the '80s? Because I've heard the stories about the perfumed nose on those Bowmores. My favorite anecdote is Ralfy's "like getting beaten up by the bouncers in the Moulin Rouge."

    3. Yup, those infamous odd lavender-y ones. That just reminded me that I forgot to put Loch Dhu in the Dram Quest.

    4. For what is probably the Manos The Hands of Fate of whisky, Loch Dhu is becoming harder and harder to find...

      Are you planning on comparing it to standard Mannochmore?

    5. Excellent film comparison! Manos is a sloppy disaster than makes one ask "why?" from start to finish. And it's over caramelized too.

      Was thinking of comparing the Dhu to Cu Dubh if I can find it. If not, Mannochmore it is. Or something truly hideous. Maybe Kaliber, Guinness's non-alcoholic beer -- it's like club soda with a heap of caramel.