Whisky Galore

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 in Other Life

Ah, the simple pleasures.  I have for some time enjoyed a drop of the old single malt, but have done so in a pretty scattergun fashion.  So I figured that it was time to take things to the next level and remove all the fun from the business by really starting to identify what I like and what I don’t, hence:

I had inherited an old bottle of Macallan from my grandad (1960 vintage), and thought it would be kind of worthless.  Imagine my surprise when I was able to trade it for a dozen serious bottles of scotch and still have some change left over!  So, from Islay – Ardbeg Corryvreckan, Bruichladdich Infinity.  From the Highlands, just a Dalmore 15.  From the Islands, a Talisker 18 and a Highland Park 18, from the Lowlands, a Bladnoch 20 and an Auchentoshan 3 Wood.  From Speyside, an AnCnoc 16, Longmorn 16, Balvenie Single Barrel, Aberlour 18, and a Glenfarclas 21.

The differences in packaging and presentation always amuse me, I must say.  Look at the Bruichladdich (second from the left) in a can and with information technology type jargon on it – they so modern!  Look at the mid-80s gentleman’s club styling of the Glenfarclas (third from right) – they so traditional!  The plucky folks at Bladnoch couldn’t afford a marketing consultant so they just used an old milk-bottle and stuck the label on with spit.  The Longmorn on the far right has had a fancy relaunch and hence sports some truly ludicrous packaging, with articulated magnetic box and leather footed bottle.  Really.  Cos I often find when I put the bottle down the jarring impact is most upsetting and I think to myself – I don’t care what it tastes like, what I really want is a whisky whose bottle-bottom is somehow softened for my added convenience.  THEN I’ll feel like I’ve arrived.

If anyone’s interested in hearing more about this self-indulgent voyage into my own navel, let me know.  I’m not really a tasting notes kind of guy, but I may well pair them up and compare them in a grudge match styley, a blood-sport tournament of whiskies in which there can be only one winner…

Or, if no one’s interested (and I wouldn’t blame you), maybe I’ll just drink ’em in contemplative silence.



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  1. Regarding decent beers, I highly recommend the Belgian beer La Chouffe (no its not a villain from a Bond movie!) – it’s a great beer, easy to drink (not a dark beer) and at 8.5% packs a hidden punch.

  2. Oh beer. In case you could get a hold on Schlenkerla from Bamberg in Germany.
    The malt is roasted and the beer smells like coal and tastes like liquid ham. Very special but worth a try.

    NapoleonX Cognac also a nice taste.

  3. You are missing one of my favorites, which comes directly for your set of wee islands: Connemara. Single malt Irish whiskey. Warm, smoky and smooth to sip.

  4. By the way, where’s the Glennfiddich? It’s really nice if you haven’t tried it.

  5. And to think I’ve been posting little rants in previous comments in order to provoke debate about literature, Tolkien, et cetera, to no success.

    Perhaps, being Australian, I should make some remark about English beer… :0


    Trade them back, there’s no price a vintage like that…

  7. Martin,
    Er … yes there is a price on it. I had some of my brother’s, what was it, 1962, I think, and it was nice, but it wasn’t 15 good bottles of scotch nice. Most of the value is in the collectibility, not the drinkability, and I’m interested in drinking it, not collecting it.

  8. I just started my journey around the world of whiskey (and whisky) recently as well. My favorite Islay scotch so far is Lagavulin 16 year old. I find myself drinking more bourbon currently, but every time I watch Mad Men I feel like I should have a dram of scotch in hand.

  9. Whisky is for drinking. I think if it goes past twenty years someone needs their ears boxed. I do understand the collectors spirit, near 4000 LP vinyl records I refuse to part with attest to that.
    The water of life however is made for consumption and unfortunately you cannot drop the needle for a second play of the marvelous warm glow a wee drop provides.
    The grudge match idea seems a wonderful idea. Just enough to get a gentle buzz without descending into debauchery, then losing track of the game.

  10. The Glenrothes – 1991

  11. A word of caution, I have been drinking alot more since this thread started. Something to think about. Anyone tried Delirium beer?

  12. Great collection there, Joe. Huge fan of the Talisker myself! Recently bought a bottle of their Distiller’s Edition for the first time and would recommend it for something a little different. The whisky goes through a second maturation in old sherry casks, giving it a richer taste. It’s very good.

  13. Dude…. Whiskey, gaming and writing the best books ever… How awesome can one man be?!?!?

  14. Satan,
    Is that really you? I thought you’d be more of an Ardbeg Supernova kind of guy. But yes, Glenrothes ain’t bad.

    Ian Stuart,
    Delirium Tremens. It’s strong.

    Got to say the islands aren’t my favourites. The Highland Park particularly disappointing, actually.

    This awesome, my friend, THIS awesome.

  15. Do you ever write, while drinking a few of these, is the REAL question? Does it tend to loosen up the mind? Make the scenes more vivid?

    Wine sometimes did that to me…now I use coffee as a fine substitute…

  16. And Joe, we need edit buttons on this blog to correct our mistaken grammar usages. Please.

    *offers blood*

  17. You need to try Laphroaig from Islay. The regular 10 yo works fine but the Cask Strength (55.3%). It’s like licking the hull of a newly tarred boat that is is on fire.


  18. Very interested in your thoughts on the whiskies Joe. One of my fav things.

    I often pair the reading of fantasy with the drinking of great whisky or wine.

    I will let you know what whisky i drink when i start The Blade itself which is only number 2 on my To Be Read Next list.

    I am sure you and everyone else will be fascinated…

  19. Nice sly touch with the Glencairn glasses there Joe ….. you sneaky little connoisseur you.

  20. Cheers Joe!
    I should be there between 7 and 8pm…international flight allowing. :)


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