By @Wodha on 15th Jan 2010, show post
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I've been looking out for a replacement 57° North since my last bottle four years ago and haven't seen it here for a good few years now. Given all their other offerings and special releases in that time, I'm suspecting it's been quietly discontinued. Either that or, as @Victor says, They make very few batches. I'm leaning to the former though.
2 months ago 7Who liked this?
@RianC I agree. I think it's a goner. Pity.
2 months ago 5Who liked this?
Last night, I finished off my bottle of Caol Ila SMWS 53.320 (12 year - Sep. 2007) "Raiders of the flossed ark" from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead - 58.2% ABV. I’ve been trying to make this bottle last as long as I could, but it was time to say good-bye.
@Victor - the last time I had a Talisker 57N was at the distillery in April 2016. Haven’t seen a bottle since, but great memories of a great whisky!
2 months ago 2Who liked this?
About the scant supply of Talisker 57 Degrees North, life goes on, gentlemen. Talisker could put out a Cask Strength 10 yo any time it wants. We may see that one day. I hope so!
2 months ago 8Who liked this?
Booker's 2015-01, 64.25% ABV. This remains my favourite batch of Booker's ever. I opened this bottle 1 July 2015 and it is still 85% full. A little goes a long way. I haven't had a sip from this bottle in maybe 4 years. Welcome back, old friend! Even though I haven't called you in four years, I love you just as much as I ever did!
Two more beverages for contrast:
1) Royal Canadian Small Batch, 40% ABV, Canadian whisky by Sazerac. I have always liked this one and continue to like it. Its gentle maply-ness tastes very archetypal of blended Canadian whisky, and
2) Compass Box The Peat Monster Reserve, 48.9% ABV. This one is always nice...and now, after 9 years open I am finally down to maybe the last 600 ml of my 1,750 ml bottle!
2 months ago 6Who liked this?
@Victor, parallel lines....I just gift wrapped a bottle of Booker's 2015-01 for my son, his birthday is this weekend. I gifted a bottle to a nephew last year, his father, my brother, had picked up four bottles for me when none were to be found locally. I believe @ Nozinan also picked up a bottle or two, possibly for me...so many bottles and so many favours, I can't recall exactly. I managed to empty a handful of these over the years. It is my favourite Booker's and it pairs nicely with butter pecan tarts.
I'm joining you....cheers!
2 months ago 4Who liked this?
Cheers, @paddockjudge !
2 months ago 3Who liked this?
@paddockjudge @Victor I have some of that stored away. At one time I had several of the 2015 series open (but not the -01) and when I finally combined them to make almost a full bottle, the effect was closer to the 2015-01 than any of the individual ones batches.
2015-01 is my favourite Booker's since I tried it. I tried an earlier batch first and loved it, but never compared the two. I have a bottle of that batch too. Maybe you do forget your first....
@Victor Talisker 18 is very scarce in Canada, too.
@MRick yes I've heard that from @BlueNote and others that Talisker 18 n'existe plus in Canada. Wine-searcher.com shows no current vendors for it in Canada. That one we can get in the US, including in my neighbourhood. And, to exaggerate a bit and relative to Canada, we have historically had boat loads of Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength, which no one in my neighbourhood but me seems to buy. I live in an extremely affluent county which sells a lot of Scotch, but Islay whisky does not seem to be popular here. More for me! ...and it kept the prices in check until very recently. Prices have crept up here, so I'll just chow down on my dozen stored bottles of Ardbeg and dozen stored bottles of Laphroaig.
What I have to go to Canada to get is almost all high end Canadian whisky, Glenfarclas 15, Talisker 57 Degrees North (at the Duty free, and last bought about 5 years ago), and Aberlour 10. Those are not sold in the USA.
I'm drinking now first some Alberta Premium 30 yo, followed by some OB Oban 14 yo. I've had Oban 14 from maybe half a dozen different bottles and it tends to taste different every time I have it-- which is a bit odd for a product which just seems to be malt and salt.
@Victor Oban is definitely high on my “variability list”. I’ve had bottles that were subtle but lovely (around the 88/100 mark) while others have been painfully ordinary (81/100 ish).
I’m currently sipping some Lot 40 Dark Oak. While reviews have been mixed, I’ve truly enjoyed the first 1/3 of this bottle. I’m finding this one much fruitier than the standard.
@Victor Could you re-direct one of those boatloads up here? The BC Liquor stores will have some Laph 10 CS available in early November at selected stores as part of their annual special releases. $155Can. Even at that stupid price, those of us who do not happen to live in Vancouver won't even get a sniff before it's all gone. Same with the current edition of Cairdeas at $115. It's why our group buys mostly from Alberta.
After dinner was a little pour of Uigeadail. The bottle is about halfway done, and I think it’s time to tuck it away for a few weeks. It’s starting to open up a little bit with some air exposure. I’ve moved on to a “neck pour” from a bottle of Michter’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon I forgot I had. The Internet experts seem to argue incessantly about whether this comes from Old Forester or Four Roses, but since I enjoy both of those distilleries, I’m hoping this Michter’s is enjoyable as well.
@OdysseusUnbound I'm just looking back to see what batch you said that Oogie was. Sounds like it may not be one of the better ones.
@BlueNote The first bit of this bottle of Oogie felt like it had less sherry influence than what I’m used to. It’s not bad by any means, but nowhere near the bottle I rated 96/100 awhile back. This one is maybe 88/100 or 89/100.
Last night was an online mystery whisky tasting with my group of 5 whisky friends. We take turns sending a batch of samples to th eothers in the group. Last night we had to try and guess the distillery for each sample. We got 3 clues and a guess after each clue per sample. Great fun (I came 2nd in the points). The 1st sample was a Signatory bottling of a 10y Glen Spey from a couple of refill hoggies. It had lovely honey honey and spice notes. 2nd was Bladnoch 10. A bit divisive but I love it - bright and fresh with that special lactic note aka baby sick. 3rd was really enjoyable and I was surprised to find out it was Highland Park 10. I didn't detect any smoke but it was a good combo of bourbon and sherry casks - very drinkable. The peat came with number 4 - Port Charlotte 10. Classic smoky peat and caramel. Funny how it seemed so familiar but there were about 4 distilleries I was guessing between based on taste alone. The last was a surprise. Edradour Ballechin 10. Boy was it heavily peated (even after the PC) but really enjoyable.
2 months ago 9Who liked this?
I finally succumbed to curiosity. My uncle has had this bottle in his cabinet for years, maybe over a decade. The seal was cracked but the level was at the bottom of the neck.
I’m generally not a fan of Canadian Club NAS, but this one is bottled at 50% so I’ve been curious.
It wasn’t bad. Not terribly complex but not terribly bad either. I poured off a sample to bring home to review.
@Nozinan very cool
My mother-in-law is visiting for the first time in over 2 years due to Covid. We like drinking whisky together, so we had to make up for lost time.
We (including my wife) had a couple of Black Manhattan's (Maker's Mark 46) before dinner.
After dinner, I asked my mother-in-law if she wanted to go straight to smoke (usually her preference), but tonight she wanted to start with something non-peated / smokey, so I poured us a dram of Bladnoch Adela 15 year Oloroso Cask Matured - 46.7% ABV. I don't think she has had a lowland whisky before. She loved it.
Next, it was time for smoke / peat, so I opened a bottle that I've had for a couple of years unopened. A peated Bunnahabhain SMWS 10.176 (11 year - Dec. 2007) "Tea-smoked salmon" - After nine years in an ex-bourbon hogshead transferred into a second fill Spanish oak ex-Oloroso hogshead - 59.2% ABV. This one lived up to my memory of it. This is whisky perfection for me; peat and sherry, perfectly balanced. My mother-in-law loved it as well.
From there, Laphroaig 10 year Cask Strength Batch 012 (Feb. 2020) - 60.1% ABV. This brought back great memories of when my mother-in-law and I toured the Laphroaig distillery together in 2016 while my wife sat it the car with our, at the time, 2 year old child.
We finished the night with several drams of a heavily peated Glenturret SMWS 16.52 (11 year - Dec. 2009) "Campfire breakfast on a damp morning" from a re-charred American oak hogshead - 63.4% ABV. I used this one to show my mother-in-law what a difference a few drops of water can make. She didn't really care for this one without water, but really liked it after adding water.
A fun night playing cards, drinking whisky and reliving memories from our trip to Scotland 5 years ago.
@bwmccoy hanging out with women who whisky...great times! I know them well.
@Hewie, the blind tasting, THE GREAT EQUALIZER. I love these lineups and even more so in a group setting. Often times a humbling experience.
OB Aberlour 10 yo. I've liked every sample of this I have ever had, and I've liked every sample of Aberlour 10 yo I've ever had better than every sample of Aberlour 12 yo I've ever had...or Aberlour 16 yo, for that matter.
"They" don't sell Aberlour 10 in the US. I've gotten mine from Canada.
@Victor They don't sell Aberlour 10yr anywhere anymore, unless there are dusty bottles in stores. Been discontinued for a couple years now.
@YakLord - that's a shame. I have a couple of bottles from back when I got 'the bug' and I think they cost £20 each. That was a damn good entry malt and cracking value.
@RianC It was one of my first malts, and was never a disappointment. Have to make due with the 12yr now. There's always something from Aberlour in my cabinet...
@bwmccoy That is a hall of fame mother in law. Great story.
2 months ago 1Who liked this?
@Victor - Absolutely! It’s great sharing drams with ladies! :-)
@BlueNote - Thanks! Yes, I’ve got a great mother-in-law! Very blessed in that way.
Last night, my brother-in-law was over. While watching the World Series and later a documentary on The Rolling Stones;
Started with Laphroaig 10 year Cask Strength Batch 012 (Feb. 2020) - 60.1% ABV.
Followed by a peated Bunnahabhain SMWS 10.176 (11 year - Dec. 2007) "Tea-smoked salmon" - After nine years in an ex-bourbon hogshead transferred into a second fill Spanish oak ex-Oloroso hogshead - 59.2% ABV.
We finished the night with a heavily peated Glenturret SMWS 16.52 (11 year - Dec. 2009) "Campfire breakfast on a damp morning" from a re-charred American oak hogshead - 63.4% ABV.
I have just finished a bottle of 2010 release Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey, 63.45% ABV, one of the five whiskeys that comprise the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection of whiskeys (BTAC). The story of this bottle is the story of whiski over the last 11 years.
I first tasted Thomas Handy and the other BTAC whiskeys in late 2010. In those days my wife, my sister, and I were the only people I knew who loved whiski. In those days we considered it bizarre and exorbitant to spend much more than $ 30 for a bottle of whiski. I knew no prior hype and I knew no one else who had ever had any of these BTAC whiskeys. Thomas H. Handy Rye quickly became my favourite "obtainable" whiskey. No one told me to like it. When I tasted it it became my favourite bottle I had ever had. I bought about 12 bottles of the 2010 release Thomas Handy for about $ 58 total dollars each, because they were on the shelves. 2010 release Thomas Handy came out onto the shelves in about November 2010 and bottles still sat on shelves until August 2011. I know one store owner who sold some for $ 45 a bottle to clear it out.
The 2011 release of Thomas Handy was much less available locally, but I was able to pick up a couple of bottles of it.
Then in the Fall of 2012 Jim Murray named the 2011 release of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye the World Whisky of the Year. After that Thomas H. Handy Rye became in some locations difficult to obtain, and in other locations next to impossible to obtain. By 2015 a person was lucky to ever get a bottle of Thomas H. Handy Rye. As of today, 31 October 2021, while MSRP for Handy remains around $ 100, average world secondary market asking price for Thomas H. Handy Rye is $ 1,007. And THH prices are the lowest average secondary market asking prices of the 5 BTACs. NB the lowest advertized secondary market vendors list Handy for sale around $ 400, which I believe to be its accurate average "liquid secondary market" price for those who drink the whiskey and are neither billionaires nor collectors. $ 400 is the price that a person could quickly and easily get for a bottle of this from those who love whiskey and want to drink it.
This bottle I just finished was maybe my fourth bottle of the 2010 release Handy. I got several of those 12 bottles for friends and family back in the day, and I have maybe 3 more of the 2010 release remaining. I do have 6+ additional bottles of other later vintages of Handy on hand, also, because whenever the opportunity to buy more at or near MSRP arose I took it. In the last 3 years new supply has dried up, even for me. I had had excellent relations with various liquor store owners, managers and clerks dating back to the days before the mobs came with their torches and pitchforks demanding BTACs and Pappy van Winkle.
The observations are these: 1) the excellent opportunities always exist best when you are alone without an "expert" or the crowd telling you that something is good. I was a whiski lover for several years when almost everyone I knew thought that I was a bizarre eccentric for liking the stuff. A few years later whiski became "in" and the best opportunities became "unobtainium", My $ 100 bottles became $1,000 bottles. Now many of them are $ 3,000 bottles 2) Trust your own judgment and act upon it. No bloggers, whiski writers, or anyone else's judgment. Your own judgment. You have only yourself to "thank" for not knowing what is good, not knowing what is a good value, and not acting on it while it Is actually available.
These are observations which I have made before, but they deserve continual repeating, because they are the most important observations I can make on the subject of selecting and purchasing bottles of whiski.
@Victor Words from the wise...
I still have a little left from the bottle of Handy I got in the 2014 lottery at the LCBO. I remember asking you whether I should buy it for $130. You told me that if I didn't it, someone I knew would. In the end a group of us had a tasting and opened the three cask strength bottles we had obtained (Handy, Stagg, and Weller). That was SOME gathering.
I agree with the idea that we must all choose the whiskies that we like, and grab the ones we like while we can at a reasonable price. It doesn't matter if their resale value goes up if you bought them to drink.
Of course tastes change, and you can occasionally be left with a bunch of bottles you will never get to (and think "what was I thinking"), but more than likely you will enjoy for years to come.
I had no idea the supply of affordable Amrut would dry up, that IS would be discontinued in its high proof state. But I will be enjoying whisky from that distillery for 2 decades if I never buy another bottle...
Our 22nd Anniversary Whisky: Arran 12 year-old Cask Strength, Batch #1, 1999/2011. Not 22 years old, but distilled the same year we were married.
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