Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Try This -- for real!

Rhett and I finished sampling the new Cragganmore and sat down for a warm and fuzzy Laphroig QC. Then we mixed in a few Bud Lights. Believe it or not following your Laphroig with a Bud is surprisingly tasty. I suspect there is some interaction between the salt in the Laphroig and some ingredient in the Bud but it really highlights/changes the taste of the beer. Me likey.


Cragganmore 12yr - nice

I decided to add a Speyside to the collection yesterday and opted for the Cragganmore 12yr. Of course Rhett and I had to sample it... for posterity and for kicks we took a stab at describing it before reading the "official" description on our favorite info site royalmilewhiskies.com. I'd say we did a pretty good job.

Our description: Aroma - instant fruity note, apples and peaches, and not much peat. Palate - lots going on but a fragrant flowery note is prominent as is a slight sweetness. It finished with something Rhett called 'grass' and what seemed to me to be the taste you might expect from chewing on flower petals.

Royalmilewhiskies.com description: Nose - Complex, rich mix of flowers, fruit (dried and caramelised), plum, baked apple, currant, honey, roast chestnut, meat and toffee. Phew. Palate - A soft start, then dark fruits mixed with light honey and cooked peach. A rich, elegant, silky texture that fills the mouth. Highly complex. Finish: Soft with a gentle hint of smoke. Comment: Balances richness and fragrance superbly.

Pretty close indeed. I especially like RMW's "silky texture" comment -- dead on. Thinking a good drink to end a night with. Considering Speyside isn't my first choice regarding regions at $39.99 I'm glad to have it on hand.

Not my fav as I prefer peat, but E8 as a Speyside example. If you remember to pay attention to it's subtlety it is easier to appreciate the taste.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Longrow, 14yr virgin.

I was fortunate to receive a bottle of Longrow 14yr today as a gift of appreciation for help I provided creating a website for the Concert for Caring. I've had Longrow 10yr in the past, but never the 14yr. I'm super stoked to try it out ... about 5 minutes from now. I promise to have a review up soon! Let's hope it tastes like burnt condom rubber in bubblegum spit. ONLY KIDDING! ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I take the casual approach to Scotch...

Was reading up on some Scotches that I have yet to try, and came across this review of Adelphi Cask:

Nose: The initial sweetness (marshmallows and candy floss) curiously takes us to a dentist office (latex rubber gloves and fluoride mouthwash). The addition of water brings a more Carbolic sweetness with bubblegum, strawberry ice-cream and smoked fudge.
Taste: Ashy mouthwash with more of that bubblegum. A little soap comes out with water however this is a clean and balanced dram with a lovely oiliness.
Finish: Long with yet more bubblegum.

Really? Latex rubber gloves and flouride mouthwash mixed with smoked fudge and bubblegum soap? Sounds terrible! Then they follow it up with:

Comments: Our favourite dram this year!

Umm ... what? Seriously? I need to visit their dentist's offices over there (insert oral hygiene joke here).
If I were to read that review without seeing that last comment, I'd certainly stay away from it. But now I need to get my hands on it, and see if I can clear my head enough of their review to enjoy it as much as they did...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Erik, 40yr single malt.

Happy 40th birthday to Erik (on Saturday)! He was out of town, but Chris and I celebrated anyways with a pair of Laphroaigs at the Indy. Quite the healthy pour, might I add.

Sorry about the belated post. The celebration was johnny on the spot though.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Whiskey vs Whisky

You learn something new every day:
Scotch whisky labels contain the exact words “Scotch whisky”; “Whisky” is sometimes capitalized. If the word “Scotch” is missing, the whisky is probably made elsewhere. If it says Scotch “whiskey” or “Scottish” whisky, it might well be counterfeit.

Oops. Looks like I'll need to add that one to my spell checker...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Region Map

This map sheds some light on the geography of scotch producing regions. We will refer to this map often.
So a note on how I plan to contribute to Scotchyscotch... Much of the scotch I drink, especially non-Islay, is when I travel and have some time to kill at a local watering hole. I plan to post pictures of my experiences -- and don't tear me apart for throwing in the occasional bourbon reference. Islay single malts are my favorite and will dominate my at-home posts.
Lastly, a note to followers -- all interesting experiences involving scotch whisky are welcomed and pictures are encouraged. Thanks to Rhett for creating this forum. It will be fun.

Bowmore 12yr

Rhett and I shared this one over a hockey game. It's a steal at $28 on sale at our favorite whisky friendly liquor store.
It's an Islay single malt and a good way to round out your cabinet for those times you crave a peaty pour. It's not as overpowering as Laphroaig (my fav) but hard to beat at the price. Also a great way to tempt your 'highland' buds away from their comfort zone. E7

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sheep Dip, and the Utility Scotch

Not too long ago I was fortunate enough to score a bottle of Sheep Dip scotch. Its a blend of 16 different scotches that range in age from 8-21 years ... I was pretty stoked to try it, maybe it was the blends that I was excited about, or perhaps it was the bad ass illustration that graces the label. However, the taste was a bit underwhelming. It was subtle, slightly tart, and had a heavy aftertaste that I wasn't the biggest fan of. It certainly wasn't a bad scotch though, and by the end of my first pour, I was already craving another glass of this unique mix.

Last summer, I was having a conversation with the owner of a liquor in Victoria, MN. I mentioned to him that I was simply searching for a utility scotch - something I could drink after a night of partying, or something I could hand out at parties willy-nilly without feeling guilty pouring good scotch down unappreciative throats. A fan of scotch himself, he suggested that I keep a bottle of Passport on hand. Its stupid cheap (I have found it for as little as $12), and the taste is remarkably impressive. More than a few friends have expressed their appreciation for it before knowing that it was a bargain blend. I simply sex it up by pouring it into a fancy decanter. :) Props to Passport - it allows me to afford this habit.

Laphroaig and a Steak

Fired up the grill for the first time this season. Tossed a couple thick steaks on and torched em up perfectly ... accompanied my steak with a short pour of Laphroaig Quarter Cask. It's a perfect marriage of smoke and meat. I think the only way it could have been better would have been if I still had some Longrow left over from the bottle I received for Christmas.
Laphroaig and Longrow are currently tops on my list, with the slight edge going to Laphroaig, simply because Longrow is just too expensive to keep around all of the time - although I'm pretty impressed with myself ... for as good as Longrow tastes, I was able to stretch the last bottle I had from Christmas up until the late days of February. Trust me, that was a hard thing to do.

When in Rome ... er Dublin?

Spent most of the evening at Jake O'Connor's Public House. Partied with the Irish ... Poured plenty of Smithwick's & Guinness down the hatch. Toss in an Irish Car Bomb, a Jameson or two, and it made for a pretty toasty night.
Pic above taken at some point during the chaos of the night: Heather, Erik, Skinny Ed, Lance and his new squeeze (I apologize - her name escapes me ... I blame our bar tenders Tim & Katie) ;)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Pat's

St. Patrick was born with the given name Macwyn Succat around A.D. 385 in Scotland... Nice.

However today we celebrate with the Irish. Cheers!

Fact: The Local, in Minneapolis, MN, sells more Jameson Irish Whiskey than any other place in the world.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Currently in stock...

My scotch supply is running low. Down to less than 8 fingers of my Glenmorangie 10, and my Bowmore 12. Doing my best to preserve my Laphroiag Quarter Cask ... which is proving to be difficult. It really does get much better than that, yet...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Ambrose Scotch Blog Birth

We will keep track and rate all scotches that adjust our attitudes in one way or another, here.