Whiskey question


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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Wang Lung » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:20 am

Royal Salute comes in a ceramic jug, not a glass bottle. The relevance is, ceramic is not uniform construction. The cork will not fit as it should under the best circumstances. Even had it removed intact, it would not re-seal properly. There's nothing wrong with the contents, other than it is an engineered product designed solely to offend no one. :wink:
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:21 pm

Blues wrote: I'm jealous... I'd love to be able to try a Scotch that costs close to $200 a bottle like Portwood, but I haven't had the opportunity to try anything over about $50 a bottle.. The Balvenie Doublewood that I enjoyed costs just over $40 at a Total Wine store here in Arizona.

If it makes you feel any better, I bought that Portwood at least 10 years ago and IIRC, it cost about $75 at the time. I had tasted it at some kind of business function, thought it was fabulous, and had to get a bottle. Needless to say, even if I drank hard liquor every day (which I don't), that would not be my regular drink. One reason I don't drink much of it is that I really think of it as an after-dinner drink, and I drink it straight up in a small snifter. Apart from the expense, when I do have an after-dinner drink (maybe once or twice a month), I'm usually more inclined to go for some kind of cognac or liqueur (Drambuie, Grand Marnier, Calvados, Cointreau, etc.). It's only on rare occasion that I'll feel like having the Portwood, or a good high-end bourbon

BTW, Doublewood at just over $40 is a bargain. With that price differential, I'm sure that when I run out of Portwood, I'll replace it with a Doublewood. I can't afford a $200 bottle of scotch either.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:04 pm

I can at least claim a track connection with Balvenie. I had never heard of it when Res Brugger, the legendary longtime director of Zürich's Weltklasse, gave me a bottle as a present. (yeah-yeah, I know, name-drop, name drop)

I've tried the Portwood, and while it's an OK tipple, the Doublewood is very signifcant bang for the buck.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Blues » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:22 pm

Conor Dary wrote:One of the joys of the University of Nottingham back in the 90's was the faculty club about 200 yards from my office. They would make periodical trips to France, where taxes then were much lower, and buy oodles of booze, including single malts. I must have tried 30 or so, and I really like the peaty ones, especially my favorite now, Laphroaig. Add a bit of water, no ice!, and you are good to go.

By the way, a good value whisky is Famous Grouse. I think it is the best of the blended whiskys and quite good.


To update, I mentioned before that I tried the standard Famous Grouse recently ($17.99 at my local market), and now I prefer to sip it straight. It seems to be a little sweeter than other Scotch whiskies I've tried (and I usually avoid sweets), and that may turn some scotch drinkers off, but there's very little burn if any, and there's less potential for hangover compared to whiskies that are aged longer. The flavor isn't as complex as say a Doublewood, but the flavor is good and I like this stuff. Other than the unique flavor that makes scotch taste like scotch, this almost tastes like an across the pond distant cousin of one of my favorite Dominican rums, Ron Matusalem, although the Famous Grouse sweetness is a little more subdued... That probably sounds really nasty to Scotch connoisseurs, but I kind of like the unique slight butterscotch/caramel aftertaste that I sense in both... All things considered, I think it's a very good product for the price, and I'm grateful to Conor Dary for the info.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:40 pm

Among good "starter" scotches, I'd also suggest Highland Park, which despite the lack of sounds-like-your-spitting Gaelic name, is actually a first-rate single malt, not the Costco house brand.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Wang Lung » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:54 pm

Blues, if you like Famous Grouse, there are other Grouses available. Snow Grouse, Black Grouse, and the generally recognized favorite, Naked Grouse. Pick up a bottle of that to try. Or not, and just do the wise thing financially, and stay with what you like for $17.99. :)
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Blues » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:46 am

gh wrote:Among good "starter" scotches, I'd also suggest Highland Park, which despite the lack of sounds-like-your-spitting Gaelic name, is actually a first-rate single malt, not the Costco house brand.



That was the name of the town in crowded northern NJ adjacent to my college dorm. My imagined vision of a beverage called Highland Park would be a budget friendly bottle of locally brewed industrial strength malt liquor routinely served in New Brunswick, NJ pubs and frats to frustrated, over 21 Rutgers sports fans.. "Yo, bartender! We just choked again in the biggest game of the season for the third time in a row, and our QB just threw six interceptions.. I gotta chug me a friggin' Highland Park, fast..." :wink:

If I come across the real Highland Park I'll try it though. I just saw that Highland Park single malt is one of the major ingredients of the Grouse blends.. Thanks.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Wang Lung » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:57 pm

HP12 is a great whisky. Must pour me a glass right...now.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Bowbridge » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:31 am

The Famous Grouse was also Katharine Hepburn's Scotch of choice. Laphroig Quarter Cask is an interesting one for the not faint of heart. One of the ones at the top of my list is Aberlour 10 year. The Yamazaki is another good one to try. Actually, they are all good ones to try, so bend an elbow.

An aside: the liquor store owner down the street told me that the Chinese are big into Champagne (and Scotch), and bought 500,000 cases of Moet and basically the whole output of one of the Scotch distilleries this year (can't think of which one he mentioned),

Quick Poll:
a) Neat
b) Straight Up
c) On the Rocks
d) With Soda or Water

I go Neat with the special occasion Scotches (anything 18 years or older), and the high end stuff like Johnnie Walker Blue, and with Soda on the Rocks with anything else.

Latest projects are Everclear 190 proof in Apple Pie Moonshine (it's in the fridge aging), and finding where I can get a few bottles of JTS Brown Bourbon (no luck here in New York or in New Jersey).
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:14 am

for me, Neat is the only way to go.

I just recently had the first scotch & soda of my life.... gack!!!! What a waste of good scotch (and good soda too, come to think of it).
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:31 am

gh wrote:for me, Neat is the only way to go.

I just recently had the first scotch & soda of my life.... gack!!!! What a waste of good scotch (and good soda too, come to think of it).


Good grief, yes. Or maybe with a little water like the Scots do. But no ice!

I might have told this story before, but my brother's wife's cousin lives in Surrey--next door to Eric Clapton, I might add. The first time they visited a few years ago, the cousin, a barrister, asks my brother if he wants a Scotch, which of course he said yes. Whereupon the cousin asks if he wants some ice. My brother knew enough to say no, neat was fine. And the cousin brought in an superb 18 year or so Scotch, and told my brother that if he had wanted ice he would have just served some plunk, like Johnnie Walker Red.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Bowbridge » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:01 am

Johnnie Red might not be up to the standards of say, The Macallan, but it's certainly not in the in the class of Bud Light or one of those infernal brews. And if you don't want to go broke drinking in the bars here in New York, you can't be too choosy. I was drinking in a bar down near Wall Street a few years ago and asked the barkeep how much a shot of Johnnie Blue was - $45. Does anyone order it? She said yeah, a lot of the Wall Street 30 somethings that want to act like big shots, they start knocking back shots of the stuff. After about 3, she said she starts downpouring. Now, I'm all in favor of honesty, but in this case, these rubes deserved what they got.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Bowbridge wrote:Quick Poll:
a) Neat
b) Straight Up
c) On the Rocks
d) With Soda or Water

When I drink Scotch before dinner, I usually drink a blend (Chivas or Dewar's) and I'll have it on the rocks. When I drink Scotch after dinner, it will always be a single malt, and I drink it neat.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Blues » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:29 pm

If it wasn't for Bowbridge's poll, I'd still be under the impression that straight up meant neat. :oops:

Until recently, on the rare occasions when I drank a Scotch whisky, I always had it on the rocks, which is probably why I only drank it on rare occasions... If a Scotch whisky tastes bad neat, I'll drink something different now. Neat or bust for me.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:42 pm

Blues wrote:If it wasn't for Bowbridge's poll, I'd still be under the impression that straight up meant neat. :oops:

Me, too. I've just learned the difference.

http://cocktails.about.com/b/2007/05/31 ... ght-up.htm

(Part of my ignorance is undoubtedly due to the fact that I'm basically a wine drinker. I have a well-stocked bar, but I rarely drink hard liquor.)
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Pego » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:34 am

Conor Dary wrote:Whereupon the cousin asks if he wants some ice.


I never knew of a custom of "booze-on-rocks" before coming to USA.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:19 am

Pego wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Whereupon the cousin asks if he wants some ice.


I never knew of a custom of "booze-on-rocks" before coming to USA.


Definitely an American thing. I never heard of it in England or Spain.

I think the cousin, who is English, just wanted to test my brother out to see if he should waste good booze on him. Fortunately, unlike like Gollum, he knew the answer to the riddle.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:33 am

I would never drink an expensive single malt or high-end bourbon on the rocks, but I certainly drink good gin and vodka on the rocks. Ditto Jack Daniel's and good blended scotch.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Wang Lung » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:38 pm

"On The Rocks" is a Scottish phrase. Before the availability of ice, they used to put cold river rocks in their glass to cool the beverage. At least, that is what I was told by a guy in the biz.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:54 pm

Wang Lung wrote:"On The Rocks" is a Scottish phrase. Before the availability of ice, they used to put cold river rocks in their glass to cool the beverage. At least, that is what I was told by a guy in the biz.


I find that a bit doubtful. What drinks do the Scots cool now with ice? Certainly not Scotch.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:58 pm

tandfman wrote:I would never drink an expensive single malt or high-end bourbon on the rocks, but I certainly drink good gin and vodka on the rocks. Ditto Jack Daniel's and good blended scotch.


At home, I never drink any of those on the rocks. I simply keep a bottle of each (not the scotches) in the freezer. A wonderfully syrupy pour with no dilution.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:21 pm

OK, this might be a scotch to lust after. I was reading a movie critic talking about product placement and he said some movie had the supposedly sophisticated couple sipping on Glenfiddich, and his reaction was, "Want to impress me? Bring me some Brora."

So I hied me quickly to google:

http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/brora.html
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:13 am

gh wrote:OK, this might be a scotch to lust after.

I'm afraid lust is going to be as far as I get with this one. The stuff costs more than $400 a bottle. A bit out of my price range. :(
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:50 am

god's way of telling you you aren't making enough money :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Daisy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:25 am

Conor Dary wrote:
Wang Lung wrote:"On The Rocks" is a Scottish phrase. Before the availability of ice, they used to put cold river rocks in their glass to cool the beverage. At least, that is what I was told by a guy in the biz.


I find that a bit doubtful. What drinks do the Scots cool now with ice? Certainly not Scotch.

Certainly not beer. What else is there?
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:27 am

God moves in a mysterious way. :)
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:04 pm

Scotland? We don't need no stinkin' Scotland.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/dinin ... claim.html
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:02 am

tandfman wrote:Scotland? We don't need no stinkin' Scotland.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/dinin ... claim.html


Yes, but sort of irrelevant in the scale of things since their inventories are so small. I see there is an Oregon whiskey, which I thought would be worth a try, but it is sold out.

    Mr. McCarthy, who says he plans to expand production in the next year, is pleasantly frustrated with his whiskey’s growing global following.“I get calls from Japan for my entire inventory,” he said. “I labor over my eaux de vie, but the product they all want is whiskey.”
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby tandfman » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:15 am

gh wrote:The difference in smoothness between their 12 and 18 is palpable. Unfortunately, so is the price.

Our group of travelling track junkies regularly wrap up meals with a wee dram of the Mac. The fun part is applying what we call "The Macallan Rule" which is that a shot shouldn't cost more than a dollar per year. Obviously, with inflation that gets tougher every year, and while the 12 hangs in there pretty close, more often than not they're now asking for about $25 for the 18. The key comes in looking at the relative price between the two and figuring which is closest to rule.


I wonder what the rule is for Scotch from the 19th Century.

http://news.yahoo.com/explorers-rare-sc ... nance.html

Alas, it will probably never be sold, at any price.
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Re: Whiskey question

Postby gh » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:25 pm

tried something new last night that the novice might like, as Balvenie perhaps channels Macallan and the sherry casks by using ones that held rum: Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask.

nice and smooth. (no idea about pricing; it was a comp)
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