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So, what are you drinking now?

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By @Wodha @Wodha on 15th Jan 2010, show post

Replies: page 645/646

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

While not whisky, last night (Saturday), for happy hour, I made my wife and I a new to us cocktail called Tequila Manhattan (Distrito Federal). The recipe is 2 oz reposado tequila, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes orange bitters and garnish with a lime twist. For the reposado tequila, I used Hornitos, but I split the total amount of tequila in half and used Red River (New Mexico) Sotol (Mezcal like) for the other half giving the cocktail an earthy, slightly smokey note. We liked it so much, we had a second one.

about one month ago 4Who liked this?

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@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

After working in the yard all day yesterday, my wife and I had our happy hour cocktail, a Jerry Thomas Manhattan made with Old Forester 100 Proof Rye, while sitting in the hot tub.

Later, I had a Black Manhattan made with Maker's Mark 46.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

@Victor You are absolutely correct. I have had a few bottles that needed time and oxidization to improve. I will definitely keep the bottle I opened, and 'hope' (although I do not believe in hope usually) it will improve. It would be nice if I were geographically close to your location because I would be happy to give you the other bottle. So, I will take your advice and what was a common phrase from Happy Days, and, "Sit on it."

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Last night (Tuesday), I finished off my bottle of Whiskey Del Bac (Tuscon, AZ) Dorado Mesquited American Single Malt - 375ml (46% ABV).

I also had the next to the last dram of Caol Ila 18 year (Distilled 2001) - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel (Cask # 308899) - 57.1% ABV - Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice bottling.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

The last of my Shinobu 10 year-old Mizunara Cask Finished Pure Malt... while assembling some LEGO Cherry Blossoms...

about one month ago 7Who liked this?

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@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@YakLord You inspired me. I'll pour a small amount of Nikka Whisky from the Barrell as I complete my charting.

about one month ago 6Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Tomorrow night (Friday), I will be assisting Charlie MacLean with a Society "Tasting Panel Experience" event. The event consists of 6 cask samples from the Society's Glasgow warehouse. Attendees will taste each one, write tasting notes, name and rate the whisky before deciding which of these cask samples will be bottled as US exclusive releases. Tonight, I tasted through the 6 whiskies that we'll be pouring tomorrow night. I will reveal details after the event.

29 days ago 8Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

Last night’s tasting:

  • Redbreast Lustau: just as I remembered it. Not overpowered by sherry, with a rich, toffee, cinnamon, and orange zest type of flavour. Lovely.
  • Waterford Organic Gaia 2.1: surprisingly “mature” for a 4 year old whiskey. It’s very barley-forward, and deceptively easy-drinking for 50% abv. There’s also vanilla, oranges and peaches, and maybe a bit of oak spice. Entering the “Teiroir Code” on the Waterford website gives us access to a ton of info about this whiskey. Very cool. The cask composition is, 39% FIRST FILL U.S, 17% VIRGIN U.S., 19% PREMIUM FRENCH, 25% VIN DOUX NATUREL. My only real gripe is that the stopper was really difficult to remove.
  • Laphroaig PX Cask: there was a wee bit of this travel retail bottle left and it just feels wrong to have whisky and for none of it to be peated.
  • Ardbeg Ten: I felt that my pour of Laphroaig PX cask was too small and I was still craving some peaty-smoky goodness so Ardbeg stepped in to keep me happy.

29 days ago 5Who liked this?

@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

@bwmccoy I hope your evening with Charlie Maclean went well. I am envious. Well, I have to admit, I joined SMWS last Fall. I haven't posted any of the bottles I have purchased (I think) from SMWS on Connosr, so I thought I would take this opportunity to do so. Since you mentioned Charlie Maclean, I thought I would share my dram with you and everyone here.

I won't get into the aromas or flavors, since I am just getting into this. I can say that my first impressions were all positive, so much so, I regret (somewhat at least) I had not purchased a second bottle.

Cheers to you all and happy weekend.

Note. * Cask No. 94.45 "Sultans of Swig" 53.8 ABV; From the SMWSA website: "After ten years in ex-bourbon wood, this enjoyed extra time in a first-fill, ex-bodega, PX barrique."

29 days ago 6Who liked this?

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@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

@ajjarrett - Thanks! I'm a huge Dire Straits fan. I love the name of that bottle. By the way, if you do want another bottle, there are 2 left according to the Society's website (smwsa.com).

Interestingly enough, your bottle was from The Tasting Panel Experience event last year which is the same event I assisted Charlie with this year (See my next post for details). Unfortunately, Charlie was not available last year. The 2023 event was hosted by Robin Laing, current chair of the Society's tasting panel. (Charlie was the first chair of the Society's tasting panel.)

My time with Charlie MacLean was more than I could have ever imagined. This is the 3rd time (2019, 2022 and 2024) that I have worked with him on this event and it's amazing each time. I will detail more in my next post. I will preview it by saying that my Friday evening with Charlie turned into one of the most surreal whisky days on Saturday.

26 days ago 4Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

On Friday afternoon, I picked up Charlie MacLean, Tom Smith (Director of the Society in the states) and another gentleman from the Society's parent company at the airport and we went to lunch together (no whisky, just a beer with lunch).

Later that evening, Charlie, Tom and I conducted an event called "The Tasting Panel Experience" where Charlie walks the attendees through 6 Society whiskies that have not been bottled yet. As the attendees taste each cask sample, they write their own tasting notes, a suggested name for the bottle and rate each of them. This event is conducted in 5 cities across the US. After all of the events are completed, the scores are totaled to reveal which 3 of the 6 casks will be bottled as USA exclusive releases. The 6 samples that we tasted were.

Auchentoshan SMWS Cask Sample #31 (20 year - Jan. 2003) - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 53.6% ABV

Balblair SMWS Cask Sample #32 (15 year - Jan. 2008) - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 59.1% ABV

Tormore SMWS Cask Sample #36 (16 year - Apr. 2007) - After 13 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, transferred to a 1st-fill HTMC (Heavy Toast Medium Char) hogshead - 53.6% ABV

Fettercairn SMWS Cask Sample #34 (12 year - Mar. 2011) - After 9 years in an ex-bourbon barrel, transferred to a 1st-fill HTMC barrel - 63.5% ABV

Strathisla SMWS Cask Sample #35 (14 year - Feb. 2009) - After 11 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, transferred to a 1st-fill American oak ex-PX hogshead - 60.1% ABV

Craigellechie SMWS Cask Sample #33 (18 year - May 2005) - After 15 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, transferred to a 1st-fill American oak ex-Oloroso hogshead - 59.0% ABV

All 6 whiskies were very nice, but the 3 that I scored the highest (in order) were the Craigellechie, Strathisla and the Auchentoshan.

You may have noticed that none of the whiskies above were peated. This was by design. Charlie wanted us to compare 6 whiskies where the differences were very nuanced.

Since there wasn't any peat in the lineup, Tom brought a Society Ardbeg for the attendees to enjoy as our night cap.

Ardbeg SMWS 33.140 (16 year - May 2007) "The rugged beauty of Islay" - After 13 years in an American oak ex-oloroso sherry butt, transferred to a 2nd-fill Spanish oak ex-Oloroso sherry butt that had previously been used to mature SMWS bottling 149.1 (first Society cask from Ardnamurchan). This was an amazing dram and not surprisingly my favorite of the night.

After the event, Charlie, Tom and I went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We each had a Mezcal Negroni made with Del Maguey Vida.

A pretty amazing day, but it paled in comparison to Saturday. I will post about that next.

26 days ago 6Who liked this?

@Timp
Timp replied

@bwmccoy Sounds like an incredible evening. Looking forward to your next update from the Saturday!

25 days ago 3Who liked this?

@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

@bwmccoy I knew it was from a tasting panel but I didn't really look closely to when it occurred. It is my first bottle from the Fettercairn Distillery. The aromas I get on the nose are extremely enjoyable. The various tastes/flavors I get are intriguing and will take me time to appreciate and sort through. Nevertheless, there is nothing there that offends my palate, so I will continue to enjoy the "journey" in this bottle.

The line up from this year's panel is a "damn I wish I were there" list. Setting aside getting a chance to listen to Charlie Maclean the bottlings sound appealing. Okay, I had a moment of "whisk(e)y envy".

I will post another time, another SMWS bottle that I enjoyed with the first pour both aromas and flavors. Cliff hanger, "It is going to be a bottle that none of you will be surprised that I got, and not surprised I got three bottles of."

"Same bat time, same bat channel" or in our case, 'Same bottle time, same bottle channel."

24 days ago 4Who liked this?

@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

Same Bottle Time, Same Bottle Channel (Connosr):

What am I drinking now? Well, if you read my previous post it is a SWMS bottle. From a distillery that should come to no surprise to many of you. Also, it is one that I would be inclined to buy a few bottles of. Yes, it did make my account cry.

Matured exclusively in First fill Oloroso cask; 16yo; and 55% ABV.

24 days ago 5Who liked this?

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@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

@Timp - Thanks! It was. Work has been a little crazy this week, so I'm just now getting to posting about Saturday.

@ajjarrett - both of those Society bottles sound amazing, especially that 16-year full maturation in a sherry cask.

On Saturday morning, Tom Smith had a meeting that he needed to attend, so he asked me if I would mind picking up Charlie at his hotel and take him to lunch. I didn't mind at all! laughing For a couple of hours, we ate, drank, and chatted. No whisky, Charlie had a Negroni, and I had a beer.

After lunch, Charlie and I met up with Tom and went to the Westland distillery. Charlie didn't think he'd tasted Westland before. The master distiller for Westland gave us a private tour. We drank Westland's signature flagship American Single Malt Whiskey (46%) during the tour. After the tour, we went into the blending lab where we tried mostly experimental and yet to be released whiskies (I asked and received permission to post this).

Colere (what will be release #4). Each release of Colere is a different experimental malt varietal. I forgot to make note of which varietal release #4 is made from. The sample we drank was at 50% ABV and is 5 years and 354 days of age.

Garryana (Oregon oak) Edition 8 which is the current release. This release combines the savory spice qualities of Garry Oak with the rich and dark fruit tones from Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and Washington State red wine casks. 50% ABV. Minimum maturation 48 months.

Next we tried an unreleased Garryana single cask that was a refill ex-Garryana cask. 59% ABV. I love the standard Garryana flavor profile, but it might be a bit too much for some. This sample from a refill ex-Garryana cask could be much more approachable. It was beautifully sublime.

Next we tried the current (2nd release) of Solum which is their peated whiskey which uses Washington state peat. This is only about 20ppm and for me, is more earthy than smoky. It's a very nice whiskey, but don't expect a peat bomb. 50% ABV.

Westland has been giving casks to Washington state breweries and wineries free of charge, if the brewery and winery will return the cask after they age their beer or wine. Westland uses these casks for special releases. For the next 2 samples, we tried a vatting of several of their refill beer and wine casks.

First up was Beer Cask Batch 1, aged 8 years 240 days, 46% ABV.

Next we had Wine Vatting Batch 1, aged 5 years 6 days, 46% ABV. Both of these were very good.

Next, we sample 3 current single cask releases.

First, cask # 8499, 8 year old, using Westland's standard 5-malt mashbill, aged in a Georgetown Brewing (Seattle, WA) ex-18 pound Porter cask. 53.1% ABV.

Cask # 6333, 8 year old, using only Pale malt, aged in an ex-Petite Syrah cask. 61.3% ABV.

Cask # 6206 (hand-filled directly from the cask), 8 year old, using Westland's 5-malt mashbill, aged in an ex-Jurancon (a sweet white wine from Southwest France) cask. 52.4% ABV. I'm having a dram of this one as I type this. The sweetness from the wine comes through, but so does the 5-malt and new oak (standard distillery character). It's very balanced with a slight sweet wine and dark chocolate finish.

That wrapped up our Westland visit. I liked the 3 single casks so much that I picked up a bottle of each since I don't currently have any Westland in my cabinet. This was also the time that we had to say good-bye to Charlie. He had to get to the airport to head back home. I've included a picture of Charlie and I at Westland below.

Next, Tom and I headed to a Society members house in the Seattle area who has an unbelievable collection. He took us into to his whiskey storage area and told us to pick out whatever we wanted to try (opened or unopened). We didn't know where to start. It was that overwhelming! Here's what we sampled.

28 year (June 1995 - June 2023) Glenburgie single refill ex-bourbon hogshead cask # 6686 from The Whisky Cellar (bottler) Private Cellars Selection. 52.8% ABV

Midleton Virgin Irish Oak Collection Dair Ghaelach Kylebeg Wood 55.4% ABV

10 year (Sep 2011 - Feb 2022) Bruichladdich single Jurancon Vin Doux Naturel Cask # 282-1 from The Whisky Cellar (bottler) Private Cellars Selection. 58.9% ABV

Samaroli Caol Ila distilled 2013, bottled 2022. Cask # 315282. 45% ABV.

11 year (Oct. 2008 - Jul 2020) Ballechin (peated Edradour) single ex-bourbon cask. 58.8% ABV.

12 year (Oct 2009 - Mar 2022) Ballechin SFTC single ex-Oloroso cask. 58.0% ABV.

Next, we opened a Springbank SMWS 27.96 (13 year - May 1998) "Character and contradictions" - full maturation in a refill ex-sherry Gorda cask - 57.2% ABV. This bottle was purchased in May 2012.

Longrow Sherry Cask Matured 14 year - 57.8% ABV

Kilkerran 8 year cask strength 57.1% ABV

Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask Finish 51.8% ABV

Laphroaig Cairdeas Pedro Ximenez Casks 58.9% ABV

Later, we went to Woodinville Distillery for a bottle release event. The Society purchased 3 casks from Woodinville a couple of years ago. They will be released as a 3-bottle distillery deep dive package next month.

We started off with Woodinville's standard straight bourbon - 45% ABV

Next we sample the 3 Society Woodinville casks

Woodinville SMWS B8.1 (5 year - Apr. 3rd, 2017) "Last-minute thriller" - New American oak charred barrel - 57.4% ABV

Woodinville SMWS B8.2 (5 year - Apr. 3rd, 2017) "Lazy lakeside picnics" - New American oak charred barrel - 57.5% ABV

Woodinville SMWS B8.3 (5 year - Apr. 28th, 2017) "Moonbeams and moonboots" - New American oak charred barrel - 57.4% ABV

Next we had a Woodinville Straight Bourbon whiskey finished in Portuguese Ginjihna casks - 47.5% ABV. I did NOT like this one at all. Way too syrupy sweet for me.

We finished the event with Woodinville's 100% Rye finished in port casks - 45% ABV. This is so good!

After the event, Tom and I met up with a couple of his High School friends for a beer and visit.

After that, Tom and I went to my house for a night cap. He had never had Whiskey Del Bac, so I poured him a short dram of Whiskey Del Bac (Tuscon, AZ) Ode To Islay Heavily Mesquited American Single Malt finished in a mix of ex-rye, ex-bourbon & 2nd-use Whiskey Del Bac Dorado casks - 55% ABV.

After that, we each had a small pour of Caol Ila 18 year (Distilled 2001) - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel (Cask # 308899) - 57.1% ABV - Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice bottling. 

We finished the night (and an amazing day) by opening my bottle of Caol Ila SMWS 53.389 (30 year - Jun. 1991) "Goodnight and joy" - 1st-fill ex-Sherry Butt - 55.5% ABV. You would never know this is from a sherry butt, especially a first fill. It is the most ex-bourbon like Caol Ila that I've ever tasted. Having said that, it is a stunningly beautiful whisky. I had my wife try it the next night and she agreed.

Like I said in my previous post, Saturday was a pretty epic day! I apologize for the long post. As I mentioned earlier in post, in case you missed it, tonight, while writing this post, I had a dram of Westland Single Cask # 6206 (hand-filled directly from the cask), 8 year old, using Westland's 5-malt mashbill, aged in an ex-Jurancon (a sweet white wine from Southwest France) cask. 52.4% ABV.

23 days ago 6Who liked this?

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@Timp
Timp replied

@bwmccoy you teased it well. What an amazing whisky day. Well deserved for all your hard work in the whisky scene. Cheers. Ps no need to apologise for long posts, it’s great fun to read about your adventures!

23 days ago 2Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

International Whisky Day involved a flight of International Whiskies from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, starting with their World Whisky Blend and then moving on to Dutch and Swiss single malts.

23 days ago 5Who liked this?

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@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

@YakLord

I enjoy the photo very much. You cannot go wrong with the 16yo Glenlivet Nadurra.

23 days ago 5Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@YakLord - how were those blends? I have given them a cursory glance, as they come in full size bottles! I'd imagine they were good quality ...

@bwmccoy - wow! Just wow! That sounds like Lou Reed's Perfect Day (assuming Lou likes whisky)! How was Charlie? I imagine him being as much of a gent in person as he appears on screen. Some great sounding drams in amongst that lot too!

22 days ago 5Who liked this?

@YakLord
YakLord replied

@RianC I enjoyed the Millstone 4 year-old (Dutch) more than the Santis 10 year-old (Swiss), but neither of them were bad. The World Whisky Blend was interesting. It'd be nice to know what went into it.

22 days ago 4Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

@RianC - Charlie is down to earth, easy going and a true gentleman.

Last night's (Friday) happy hour cocktail was a new one for my wife and I to try. "Remember the Maine" is 2oz Rye (I used Old Forester 100 proof), 3/4oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica) and 2 teaspoons cherry liqueur (supposed to be Heering, but I have Luxardo) in an Absinthe rinsed chilled martini glass with a Luxardo cherry garnish. This was so good; we had a second one. I really liked how the Absinthe and the cherry liqueur balanced each other out. This cocktail, to me, was a cross between a Manhattan and a Sazerac cocktail.

21 days ago 5Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

I BBQed hamburgers for my sister in law's 55th birthday yesterday. Her request. My wife makes the best burgers.

I have to take good care of her because she gets to test out my age about a month before I reach it,

After dinner we relaxed and played Mah Jong (I only won 2 games), and I enjoyed a 10cc pour of Wiser's 23 YO CS in a mini Glencairn.

I've almost gone through the first half of my first bottle (Opened in 2019). This is good stuff but a little goes a long way. At this rate I have enough to last until I'm 85. After 85 I doubt my doctor will let me drink anymore...

20 days ago 6Who liked this?

MRick replied

@Nozinan You should be fine, assuming you’re your own physician! laughing

20 days ago 3Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

My wife enjoyed the new to us "Remember the Maine" cocktail from Friday night so much that she wanted me to make it again for our Saturday night happy hour. We wound up having two of them.

Later, I finished off my bottle of Caol Ila 18 year (Distilled 2001) - 1st-fill ex-bourbon barrel (Cask # 308899) - 57.1% ABV - Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice bottling. I'm really going to miss this one!

20 days ago 3Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Went to my brother-in-law's house for Easter dinner. We had the following drams.

Westland Distillery Cask # 6206 Single cask release, cask strength 8 year (4 year New American Oak Cooper's Select + 4 year 1st-fill Jurancon cask) 52.4% ABV

Caol Ila SMWS 53.389 (30 year - Jun. 1991) "Goodnight and joy" - 1st-fill ex-Sherry Butt - 55.5% ABV

Ardmore SMWS 66.223 (13 year - Nov. 2008) "Savoury combinations" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 59.7% ABV

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

My mother-in-law is in town for a couple of days. Last night, while playing cards, my mother-in-law, my wife and I each had a dram of Ardmore SMWS 66.223 (13 year - Nov. 2008) "Savoury combinations" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 59.7% ABV.

Later, I finished off my bottle of Lagavulin 16 Year Old - 43% ABV.

18 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Timp
Timp replied

Had a small dram of Glenmorangie Milsean last night. Coconut marshmallows dipped in vanilla butter caramel. If you like sweet ( I do ) this is a whisky for you. Cheers.

18 days ago 3Who liked this?

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

Tonight, my Mother-in-law, my wife and I had the following drams while playing cards.

Caol Ila SMWS 53.389 (30 year - Jun. 1991) "Goodnight and joy" - 1st-fill ex-Sherry Butt - 55.5% ABV.

Ardmore SMWS 66.223 (13 year - Nov. 2008) "Savoury combinations" - 2nd-fill ex-bourbon barrel - 59.7% ABV.

17 days ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Timp - good to see you enjoying a dram (or two!) slight_smile

17 days ago 2Who liked this?

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@Nozinan@NamBeist@fiddich1980@Timp@RianC + 61 others

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