By @Wodha on 15th Jan 2010, show post
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Burns night here in NZ. Had a few mates over to share some drams with. Nothing to get too excited about: Glendronach 12, Tobermory 10, Cardhu 12, Glen Scotia 15, Thomsons Two Tone (NZ). I didn't make a haggis this year but I did make oat cakes. Also served smoked salmon and cream cheese on blinis and pumpernickel. My fried black pudding rounds topped with caramelized apple also went down well.
4 months ago 8Who liked this?
@Hewie I'm impressed that you make your own oat cakes. They look delicious.
Happy Burns Day.
4 months ago 5Who liked this?
At my Mums for the weekend and last night tried some Allt-á-Bhainne. Not bad but nothing to write home about, very sweet with a slightly iffy waxy note and some mild peat notes.
Then had some Coal Ila 12. It's been open over 6 months but still giving that hit of lemony peat I really like.
Then a fresh opened Laphroaig QC. Really enjoyed this and forgot what a bargain this malt is. Perhaps a little heavy on the vanilla but a cracking waxy mouth feel and just the right side of well-oaked. By far the better option over the 10 @40%.
4 months ago 3Who liked this?
A Carlos I Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez . Not often I have brandy but this Spanish one is a delight. Well sherried with lots of nuts and dried fruit - a perfect after dinner substitute for a heavily sherried dram.
4 months ago 2Who liked this?
Yesterday (Saturday), I sampled the 7 whiskies that @jordytropp and I will be pouring for 40 people on Monday night at a Society tasting event. Since it’s a blind tasting, I won’t reveal details until after the event, but it’s an interesting and fun lineup.
Tonight, Glen Scotia SMWS 93.112 (14 year - Feb. 2004) "Sweet and grubby" from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 53.7% ABV. This hasn’t been my favorite Glen Scotia of late, but it tasted especially good tonight.
About to have a glass of Classic Laddie....
4 months ago 1Who liked this?
Raising a glass to my mate who we lost this week. Broke out my rock 'n roll glass for some Kilkerran WIP 7 Bourbon Wood Cask Strength. To you, Ben.
4 months ago 10Who liked this?
@Hewie sorry to hear about your mate.
First dram in 10 days. Initially I planned to do a trifecta of reviews but I was up early to help my son finish his homework. Plus, there was studying for his test tonight.
And what am I doing now? Charting. Yes, @BlueNote, charting.
As many of you know I tend to like something bold when I chart. Doesn't have to be complex. Just tasty and bold. Tonight I had to choose between to bourbons that happen to be in my satellite cabinet, Old Ezra CS 7 YO and Wild Turkey rare breed.
I chose the WT for 2 reasons. First of all, after 10 days I didn't want to shock my palate and while OE has a whopping ABV of 58.5%, the WT is much milder at 58.4%.
Second, because I got up early I want to sleep well tonight and everyone knows that Turkey has tryptophan which helps make us sleepy.
4 months ago 7Who liked this?
@Nozinan damn I'll remember to hit the rare breed when I have trouble sleeping!
@Nozinan Yes indeed. Charting a course from Old Ezra to Wild Turkey.
Three more days and I get to break the pledge. Trying to decide what to start with.
@Hewie Tough one. I've lost a couple of long time close mates over the years. Unexpected in both cases. Sorry to hear about your loss. Life's short, don't wait, live it now.
4 months ago 4Who liked this?
Cheers guys. You're right @BlueNote "Life's short, don't wait, live it now". There was plenty of that being said as we remembered and reminisced.
Very sorry for your loss @Hewie.
@Hewie my late wife liked a Buddhist reflection on the transitory nature of earthly life: upon going to bed the Buddhist might say to her/himself about awaking in the morning, "Tomorrow, or the next lifetime, who knows?"
4 months ago 6Who liked this?
Last night, while setting up for the tasting, @jordytropp shared a 10 year Society Glendronach from his personal collection; SMWS 96.31 “Poised and balanced” from a 1st-fill ex-PX cask hogshead - 60.5% ABV. Dang! That’s good whisky! Thanks @jordytropp for bringing this and sharing it!
For the tasting;
7 year (Oct. 2011) Braeval SMWS 113.24 “Attack of the killer florists!” from a 1st-fill ex-bourbon Barrel. 63.4% ABV. This had a ton of character for such a young whisky. The nose was amazing!
12 year (July 2006) Linkwood SMWS 39.185 “Splinter-studded spanking” finished for 2 years in a new oak hogshead (heavy char # 4 +) after spending the first 10 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead. 59.5% ABV. I’m a huge fan of Linkwood and the new oak really complemented their house style.
34 year (May 1984) Girvan SMWS G7.15 (grain whisky) “Mind-altering hugs” finished for 2 years in a new oak hogshead (heavy toast / medium char) after spending the first 32 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead. 57.2% ABV. The favorite of the night! The new oak finish gave it a level of character and complexity that I don’t normally find in a grain whisky.
Next was a 10 year Society blended malt called “The Big Swirl”. Combining 1st-fill Spanish oak casks and bourbon casks that was then further matured for 2 years in 1st-fill American oak sherry hogshead casks. 50% ABV. A very good, sherried, blended malt.
10 year (June 2008) Tobermory SMWS 42.47 “Oblivious to genius” from a 1st-fill ex-bourbon Barrel. 60.1% ABV. It was fine, but didn’t do much for me. My least favorite of the 7.
11 year (Oct. 2007) Bunnahabhain SMWS 10.181 “Feast of St. Columba” finished for 2 years in a 1st-fill Moscatel hogshead after maturing 9 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead. 59.1% ABV. I liked this one a lot, but It was the most divisive of the bottles. The attendees either loved it or didn’t care for it at all.
Finished with a 10 year (Sep. 2008) Caol Ila SMWS 53.305 “Totally tropical smoke” from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. 59.8% ABV. What’s not to like? It’s a cask strength, single cask Caol Ila. My second favorite of the night after the grain whisky.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy this lineup and had a great time. Thanks to @jordytropp and his lovely wife for their assistance with the tasting. I really appreciate all they do to make these events run so smoothly!
@bwmccoy, that’s a nice whisky society you are cultivating. Kudos brother.
Tonight's charting is charting a different course. I decided to pour a smaller measure of Old Ezra 7 YO BP. It is a very different whisky from last night's Wild Turkey rare breed. Good thing. I don't need 2 open bottles of the same whisky.
@paddockjudge - Thank you! I’m so thankful that I have the opportunity to share my love of whisky with others.
Last night, Mortlach SMWS 76.144 (13 year - October 2005) "I caught the darkness..." - After 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, transferred to a 1st-fill charred red wine barrique cask - 60.0% ABV
3 months ago 5Who liked this?
@Nozinan, if you enjoy Old Ezra you might want to give Kentucky Vintage a try!
3 months ago 1Who liked this?
@CanadianNinja If it were available in Canada... But at 45% I would try before I buy for sure. I have too many open bottles and I don't tend to reach for lower proof bourbons very often.
3 months ago 0
@Nozinan, is it not available at home!?
What ABV do you aim to stay above?
@bwmccoy, may you have more sharing of your love of whisky with others!
@CanadianNinja wine-searcher.com shows NO products from KBD-Kentucky Bourbon Distillers/Willett's extensive line in all of Canada.
It took me years to warm up to liking Four Roses' house style. I loved most, not all, of KBD's products from Day One. Lower proof, some of them? Yes. Taste before you buy is a good idea.
The Gold Standard remains the elusive bottles of Willett Family Estate Rye and Bourbon. Also recommended are Johnny Drum Private Stock (101 proof), Pure Kentucky X.O. (107 proof), and Kentucky Vintage (90 proof). Even w/o an age statement, one taste of Kentucky Vintage and you know that it is "old". Noah's Mill (114.4 proof) is loved by many. It is very high-pitched. I respect its quality, but it is not a favourite of mine. I like more bass resonance from the oak. These sourced KBD brands are well-priced in the US.
Benromach 10. Opened this a couple of months back but put it away again after one pour until last night. The peat on the nose has subsided a touch to reveal that wonderful leathery sweetness with a touch of peat and complex fruit notes. Deliciously ale like.
I don't have a house whisky but if I did ...
3 months ago 4Who liked this?
@RianC You could do a lot worse than Ben10 as a house whisky, there's enough going on in there to satisfy all kinds of cravings but of course we couldn't restrict ourselves to just one whisky now, could we?
I would love to do a head to head with Ben10, Springbank 10 and Ben Nevis 10.
3 months ago 7Who liked this?
Interesting @Victor. Why does Canada constantly seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to whisky!?
I love that you mentioned Johnny Drum PS. That is one of my favourites, and in my opinion often overlooked.
@CanadianNinja I don’t have a set ABV threshold but I like my whiskies bottled with as much flavour as possible, so with the least amount of water added. So I am leery of low ABVs. But I have had a few like Ben 10 43% that do well at low ABV.
The reason that Canadians get ignored by whisky producers is because we have a small population and though we have a lot of enthusiasm we remain a small market.
@CanadianNinja, yes, as @Nozinan says, the size of the market is one important factor. Japan established regular significant demand for bourbon in the 1980s. Its great popularity in Canada is much more recent.
The governmental and regulatory policies are another. If all of Canada were like Alberta for liquor, would people be speaking about Canada being difficult for whisk(e)y? Probably not.
If Canada were like Alberta, KBD would probably already be in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. It is true, though, that KBD is a much smaller producer with less reach than have the big US brands, viz. Beam Suntory, Heaven Hill, Brown Forman, and Sazerac. If I quote Chuck Cowdery correctly, those four sets of brands account for 70% of US whiskey production. They own a lot of product, and a lot of distribution pathways established over time.
3 months ago 3Who liked this?
I was experimenting in the kitchen tonight, trying to make a kind of vegan chicken tikka masala. It was good but still needs tweaking.
I needed strong flavours to stand up to the curry, started with Bookers 2018-01. As it often is with bourbon I'm finding the last 1/3 irresistible.
Switched gears and had a dram of Foursquare Premise...wow another one that just keeps getting better, there's a density to it that many other rums lack.
3 months ago 6Who liked this?
@Victor - Thanks! Hopefully, we can share a dram together again in the not too distant future!
Tonight, Glen Ord SMWS 77.57 (9 year - Apr. 2009) "Down the old wax mines” from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 59.1% ABV. I love Glen Ord and this cask/bottle is a perfect example of why.
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