The Glenlivit, any age, anytime, straight up or rocks (one or two).
Re BC prices. Was up there in September and prices ARE nuts! If you go, bring your own! Budwieser = $50 per case, cheapest beer I could find $10 per 6-pack. Luckily I was just checking prices out of curiousity since I brought a supply with.
My sister just checked at least part of the import rules to Canada: 24 beers + 3 bottles wine per person. Enough for a quick trip anyway ;-).
I like to have a Friday night dram at home to relax after work. For a long time it was GlenFiddich 12 year. Smell is an interesting sense; everytime I look at my old L-5 archtop's sunburst finish it vividly evokes that smoky/peaty nose. For awhile it was GlenFiddich 15 year, then on a recommendation tried a bottle of The Balvenie Doublewood; a real nice mid-tier whisky with a complex nose and an easy finish, but then I add a few drops of water to a glass of scotch.
Time for his Nibs to weigh in on his favorite libations! Not to come off as a snob, but all whisky is scotch, and only made there (which Suntory would argue. Having tasted Yamazaki though, well, Mura bith e Albannach, `se CAC a bhithos ann-if it's not Scottish, it's crap!) Anything else is whiskey. Finlaggan is named for the loch in Islay, and the Crannog (man-made island) that my Clan built there. It held the seat of the Lords of the Isles in the 12th & 13th centuries, and also had a university where students could come to study religion, law, and medicine. I consider that the Clan whisky, but I might get an argument from Lady Claire MacDonald, since her favorite is Highland Park. I find it to be too young for my taste-the 12 year stuff anyway. Here, the house scotch is Black Grouse with a splash of spring water, but we also drink Finlaggan, Lagavulin, Cadenhead cask-strength, Glenlivet Nadurra, Tomatin, Laphroaig, Dry Fly, a couple of Glenmorangies, and a few Macallans, as the occasion arises...
The word whisky comes from Uisge beatha, Gaelic for water of life. It's pronounced "whisk-e-vay-ah".
Slainte Mhor a mo charaidean! (Great health, oh my friends)
Not a whiskey per se, but good sippin'.........Lagavulin 16yr Single Malt.
97 PTS WINE ENTHUSIAST, DOUBLE GOLD SAN FRANCISCO SPIRITS COMPETITION.
Rich on the palate with hints of sherry; finish is long and smooth.
Pairs best with strong flavors and that's the truth, pfttttttt.
I am employed by Diageo North America as Master of Whisk(e)y for the Pacific Northwest. I act as a brand ambassador for the Diageo whisk(e)y profile. I host and speak at whisk(e)y dinners and tastings, do staff education on whisk(e)y for bars & restaurants, and represent my brands at whisk(e)y shows and competitions.
The brands I proudly represent are:
Bulleit Bourbon and Rye Whiskey
George Dickel Tennessee Whisky
Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky
The Classic Malts of Scotland which Include:
Oban (Western Coastal Highland)
Talisker (Isle of Skye)
Clynelish (Eastern Coastal Highland)
Caol Ila (Islay)
Glen Spey (Speyside)
Royal Lochnagar (Highland)
Brora (Eastern Coastal Highland)
Port Ellen (Islay)
Whisk(e)y is defined as any distilled beverage that is produced from some type of grain and aged in an oak barrel. By this definition, bourbon is a whiskey, Scotch is a whisky, etc. Bourbon by law must be made in America by no less than 51% corn. Scotch by law must be produced in Scotland, etc.
Single Malt means that the whisk(e)y has been produced at a single distillery and made from 100% malted barley
Blended whiskeys will always share distillates from multiple distilleries. Johnnie Walker Black Label, for intance, is a blend of 42 component whiskies, all from different distilleries. Blends almost always incorporate other grain whiskies than barley, like corn, rye, & wheat. Pure barley spirit tends to be very full bodied and robust. This does not always appeal to every palate, so blenders add these other softer grain spirits to make the blends gentler and therefore to appeal to wider audience. Blending also ensures consistency in flavors over long periods.
Whisk(e)y is spelled differently depending on where it comes from. Irish Whiskey (Plural-"Whiskeys") is ALWAYS spelled with an "e". Scotch Whisky (Plural-"Whiskies") is ALWAYS spelled without the "e". Canada has adopted the Scottish spelling. American whiskeys USUALLY take on the Irish spelling. Some exceptions to this are Makers Mark and George Dickel who use the Scottish spelling. George Dickel claimed that his Tennessee whisky was as fine as any single malt Scotch, so he used the Scotch spelling.
Whisk(e)y got its start in the monasteries of Scotland and Ireland. Travelling celtic monks toward the end of the 9th century were going to places like Egypt and the Middle East. On these travels they discovered alambic stills. The Arabs and Egyptians were not using these stills to make beverages, however. Rather, they used distillation to make things like perfumes, dyes for textiles, and cosmetics. The word "alcohol" comes from the Arabic words "Al Kuhul" which means "eye make-up". These Irish and Scottish monks brought some of these alambics back to their monasteries in the British Isles and began to distill the beer that they had enjoyed for so long. They knew that liquids that went in to these stills came out purified and concentrated. Uisge Beatha (Water of Life) was born and spread to the rest of the world from there. The main grain crop in any given area was used to produce whisk(e)y. In Britain, they had barley. In Canada, they had rye & wheat. In USA, there was an abundance of corn. These grains are still primarily used to make whisk(e)y in these countries.
Scotland has the most varied styles of whisky of any country. Different regions in Scotland produce whisky with different flavors and characteristics. The barley used in Scotch whisky production is to some degree or other malted (toasted) over fires that are fueled with peat. This rich peat smoke permeates the barley, giving Scotch whisky its smoky, antiseptic flavor and aroma. Different regions use different amounts of peat. The Lowland distilleries (Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan) use little to no peat. Highland (Dalwhinnie, Oban, Glenmorangie) whiskies use a little peat, but its not the main focus. Speyside (Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan, Cragganmore, etc) whiskies also incorporate a little peat, but again, they tend to focus more on fruity, floral flavors. Island whiskies (Highland Park, Jura, Talisker, Scapa) are usually more heavily peated than their Highland and Speyside brethren. Islay (pronounced EYE-luh) (Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Caol Ila) malts are the most heavily peated. These whiskies are very smoky, full-bodied and full-flavored.
In Ireland, they omit the peat altogether. They also malt the barley in closed kilns that have forced air pushing every trace of smoke out. In Scotland, the whisky is always twice-distilled. In Ireland, their whiskey is always triple-distilled. Each distillation results in a softer, more neutral spirit. Most Irish whiskeys are blends, with about 65% grain whiskey to 35% malt whiskey. There are a handful of single malt Irish Whiskeys. Bushmills bottles some fantastic single malts, a 10yr, 16yr, & 21yr. Irish whiskey is known for being gentle and sweet with a creamy consistency.
Bourbon, by law, must be produced in the USA. Up until 1964, Bourbon had to be produced in Kentucky. Still today, most bourbons are still produced in Kentucky. There are a few exceptions. Bourbon must also be produced from no less than 51% corn. Most on the market are at least 70% corn. Bourbon must have no artificial coloring or flavoring. Bourbon must be aged in brand-new American white oak barrels. They are not allowed to re-use the barrels for Bourbon aging. These ex-bourbon casks go to Scotland and Ireland for aging their whiskeys. Bourbon is a very sweet, hearty spirit with notes of vanilla, caramel, spice, and tobacco.
I could go on and on, but I'm going to stop here. If any of you would like to know more, please feel free to pm me.
All this talk of whisky has made me thirsty. I'm going to pour myself a dram of Oban 18yr and watch some football.
i note your whisky of choice is 18 yr Oban; the only 18 year I've had is Glenfiddich Solera (sp?) my Irish friend picked up in Duty Free on his trip over here. It was sublime.
Note to my Canuk friend who remarked on prices here vs. Canada: I feel your pain, I bought a bottle of something in England and paid in Pounds Sterling what I'd pay in USD. Taxes, I presume.
One of my current favorites is the new Bulleit Rye Whiskey. Rye produces a very dry, spicy whiskey. The original Bulleit Bourbon is made from 68% corn, 28% rye, & 4% malted barley. Even with such a high rye content, it still maintains the signature sweetness that you find in bourbon.
Bulleit Rye is made from 95% rye, 5% malted barley. Bottled at 90-proof, this whiskey is still quite gentle and friendly.
Very spicy at the front tapering off to dried apricots and finishes strong with a subtle caramel sweetness.
Try any of your favorite calssic whiskey cocktails like the Manhattan, Sazerac, or Old Fashioned with rye rather than bourbon.