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Steak or Fries?

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Nozinan started a discussion

A couple of recent Connosr exchanges have got me thinking... One of our members is taking a hiatus from Scotch because of the cost of "keeping up with the @Jonesz's". Also, some private conversations about collecting have focused my attention on what role whisky plays in my life.

I feel like Connosr (and this is an observation, not a criticism) encourages more purchasing as its members learn about a greater variety of styles and genres. At the same time, for some of us, it has resulted in actual meetings and friendships with like-minded individuals. This has led to networks where we help each other get the things we want.

Now we have "Summits" - essentially, gatherings where we share some of the best of what we have. This happens on a smaller scale all over. Some call it parties, some gatherings, some epic tastings.

I feel that there is pressure (perhaps only internally) to come to these gatherings with something unique, that no one else has, and this in turn takes up time, energy and, of course, money. I fear, does this discourage some people from the game because they feel they can't keep up?

I really enjoy trying new things. But I also enjoy the company of friends over a dram. So the question is, can we come together and also enjoy GOOD whisky without it being something that other's can get? Does the gathering have to be about what's in the glass? Is the whisky the main course (i.e. - steak)? Or can it simply be a quality addition to good company (i.e. -fries)?

When you go to a whisky gathering, do you bring something good? or something unique?

When you host a gathering, is it about what is poured? Or the people who are pouring?

7 years ago

5 replies

Nelom replied

I've only been to one of these summits, and I brought a couple of unusual bottles that I happened to have and that @Victor had specifically asked about, but I also brought some of my favourites that can easily be found.

Personally I actually prefer trying something I can reasonably easily get, as opposed to something that I'll likely never get my hands on.

Yes, it was a great treat to try AP 25 and 30, but the summit also helped me discover Pendleton's 1910 which is still in production. If I had to choose between those experiences, I think I would've chosen Pendleton - simply because now I've discovered something I can make part of my rotation. Incidentally, all three of these off-the-top-of-my-head examples were from to @paddockjudge, so thanks buddy!

I've actually been thinking thoughts along this thread already (and I believe I made a small allusion to this in a post earlier) and the plan I've come up with is two-fold:

  1. I'll announce in the thread which bottle(s) I plan on bringing, and

  2. I'll also mention that any participants that would like to try something I have in my cabinet (rare or not, doesn't matter) let me know and I'll bring a sample just for them.

That way I can have the fun of picking something out that I think others will enjoy trying, but I'll also open up my cabinet to others in case I have something that people are keen to try.

7 years ago 2Who liked this?

Alexsweden replied

I enjoy bringing something rare, or extra, in a way because to me that adds to the experience. Especially if I'm tasting with more discerning friends. However it certainly shouldn't be a prerequisite! I would rather taste a cheaper bottle that someone really enjoys and wants to share that experience than something only bought for the hype or price tag

7 years ago 3Who liked this?

sorren replied

Whenever I have got together with friends to drink whisky I felt a pressure ( need) to bring something a little more special, most expect this now.. I believe it is the only chance most will get to try some of the bottles I am able to bring.. although I'm sure no one would really mind if I toned it down slightly.. it is good though to sit down with good whisky friends and drink something special just as much as it is to drink good whisky with great friends ..

7 years ago 0

BlueNote replied

The way my friends and I do it seems to work well. We choose one high end bottle in the $150 to $200 range for which we all share the cost. In addition we each bring a couple of heels of whatever we have open at home. The host organizes a sit down meal and we all contribute to the cost of the food. Last time it was a prime rib roast with all the trimmings and we each brought a side dish or an appy or desert. There are usually six of us and last time the cost to each of us was $48. We each had four ounces of the feature bottle, a 22 yr. old Linkwood IB purchased in Edmonton for $160, and then we all sampled each others offerings which were all pretty good and included some Glendronach Cask Strength Batch #3 (excellent), some Ardbeg Corryvrekkan (always good), Balvenie Carribean Rum finish (too sweet), Deveron 20 yr. old (not great, but not bad), an obscure 17 yr. old that was done to honour the Canadian troops post Afghanistan (I can only recall that it was very good), an A.D. Rattray Bowmore 15 that I brought (bought it in Scotland 2 years ago at the Whisky Castle and still had a few drams left. Absolute killer Bowmore) and a couple of others that I can't recall. There were expensive Cuban cigars provided by the host, but only himself and one other guy participated. There was also a fancy bottle of Port that I passed on after dinner, but the guys all seemed to like it. I didn't think it was a good idea to mix it in with the whisky. Plenty of filtered water on hand at all times too.

The wives dropped us off at the host's house and the son of one of the participants drove us home. We started at 5pm and were home by 10:30. We were all a bit fragile the following day, but all in all it was a great Saturday evening and plans are in place for the next one sometime early in the new year.

In answer to @Nozinan's final question: I think it is much more about the time spent with like-minded friends (the pourers), than it is about what is poured. Life is too short to drink mediocre whisky, but I would rather drink mediocre whisky with good friends than good whisky by myself.

7 years ago 5Who liked this?

Nozinan replied

@BlueNote Just reflecting on your post today after posting my "Epic Tasting" report.

Your words remain as true and important today as they were when you posted them so many years ago...

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

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