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NY65912 03-01-2013 04:44 PM

Learned about Scotch
I went to a awesome class on Scotch, Whiskey and Bourbon last night at ICE (Institute of Culinary Education) in NYC.

I was amazed at the complexity of the fermentation and distillation process.

We had to sample 24 different brands of Scotch. I found the methods of imparting the wood, peat and smoke flavors into the alcohol amazing. The head, body and tail of the distilled product.

It was very informative. Some points discussed were the differences between Highlands, Islay, Campbell and Lowlands type. Sherry casks, used casks, blended, single, American whiskey, Canadian whiskey, Irish whiskey. All Scotches are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are Scotch.

Coopers are highly paid and respected in Scotland, superstars. How the Japanese are determined to reproduce true Scotch.

Bunnahabhain and McCallan 12 yr were my favorites.

The Laphroaig was very very smokey, "like licking an ashtray" as described by someone in the class.
Oh, just because a Scotch is older and more expensive does not mean it's better, it's expensive to store and maintain.

Adding water to quench the burn and bring out the flavor of your drink is the "preferred" way to get the most from a whiskey.

All very educational. I am no way a Scotch snob, but it is nice to learn the history and chemistry of how it is produced.

It was a fun night.

ZOO 03-01-2013 06:03 PM

Canadian Whisky (no e please). I'd recommend Alberta Springs Dark Horse.

I love all of them -- I'd like a recommendation for a good bourbon to drink neat, please.

As for scotches -- Highland Park 18 is my favourite,

5String43 03-01-2013 06:22 PM

+1 on adding a bit of water.

Yep, there are more than 120 distillaries in Scotland, and all the products are different. Traveling the Scotch Whiskey Trail is a fun adventure.

Bill Douglas 03-01-2013 06:27 PM

Sounds great Mike.

My GF spent 8 years in Scotland, in the highlands, and likes her "single malt" whiskeys.

Me, my memory still has recollections of having stolen a bottle of cheap whiskey from my parents and having drank it as a young teen - so I don't go anywhere near the stuff LOL

Don Ro 03-01-2013 07:11 PM


Originally Posted by ZOOMiata (Post 7304172)
I'd like a recommendation for a good bourbon to drink neat, please.

My fav.


The Bourbon Intelligencer: Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon Review:


MBAtarga 03-01-2013 07:45 PM

Macallan +1

NY65912 03-02-2013 04:39 AM

I really like the Woodford bourbons. The class was a lot of fun, now on to wines!

Forgot about the e, no e thing.


JJ 911SC 03-02-2013 05:09 AM

Every years a dozen of us get together put in $50 each and have a tasting night.

12 is a good number as it work out to about 2oz from every bottle.

In the meanwhile, I'm working on my X-mas loot:

PorscheGAL 03-02-2013 05:26 AM

Has one else tried Master of Malts and their quarterly Scotch tasters. I started up in January for my first shipment. They had it delivered in less than a week from England. They're prices are not too bad when compared to my local prices. They just have more of a selection than I can get local. This is giving me a chance to taste some scotches that I never would have had access to here. I have even found a new favorite from my first shipment, Glenfarclas 21 year. For Christmas, my husband and I will be ordering their advent calendars.

Master of Malt also sponsors a whiskey festival in Las Vegas every year. I think it is this month.

Tasting Sets - Master of Malt - Master of Malt

cstreit 03-02-2013 05:51 AM

Macallan 12 is absolutely one of my favorites too.

If you like that, try Oban and Glenlivit 15. Similar.

As far as borbons, Knob Creek is good as is Basil Haydens and Bookers

mreid 03-02-2013 06:23 AM

I retired as a senior exec from Diageo who produces more scotch than all others combined. Like you, NY, I was fascinated by the process and complexity of what seems like such a simple process (malt, dry, ferment, distill). One of the many great benefits was the opportunity to learn specific details of distilling, fermenting, and brewing of spirits, wines, and beers.

Two other facts that I was amazed by:

1. When distilling scotch, .5 degrees centigrade is the difference between a fine single malt and turpentine.

2. When distilling scotch, you have to predict what the consumption will be in 12, 15, 18, 21, etc years. No one predicted how popular brown spirits would become today. Several years ago, Diageo has a challenge where one of the single malt components if Johnnie Walker was in short supply and the company considered an alternative. The scotch whiskey association (SWA) regulates tightly and the reaction was explosive. You saw this replayed recently when Makers Mark attempted to lower the alcohol content due to short supply. They quickly changed their mind.

A couple times a year we would celebrate with a scotch whiskey dinner at Sterling Castle. Seven courses with a single or blend tasted with each course. Try this: with a glass of JW blue and a glass of very cold ice water, drink the water to chill your mouth, sip the JW blue and then breathe through your mouth to taste the true complexity of the blend. You will be amazed at the sweet, caramel, smokey, and absolutely delightful flavor.

Bottoms up!

Rikao4 03-02-2013 06:38 AM

I see Dottore pacing about going..
nein,nein, unglaublich..

Texas whisky beats Scotland's finest in London blind tasting


Chip Tate and his hand built condenser.

By Scott Andrews

Click here for a tour of Balcones Distillery

It seemed like history repeating itself last December when Balcones Single Malt Whisky beat out the competition in a blind tasting in London, England. Taking top honors at Best in Glass, a judging of new international whisky releases, the contestant from the five-year-old distillery in Waco, Texas, bested some of the most time-honored names in the Scotch industry, such as The Macallan, Glenmorangie, and The Balvenie (which entered a 17-year-old single malt). Soon referred to as “The Judgment of London” in the blogosphere and heralded in the New York Times, the win by Balcones was notable as the first time an American whisky had won the five-year-old competition, organized by the editors of the British online journal The jury included 11 UK industry notables, including Alice Lascelles, drinks columnist for The Times, of London, and spirits editor for the magazine Imbibe, andBen Ellefsen, director of prestigious spirits vendor Master of Malt.

There are many larger, older competitions, such as the San Francisco World Wine & Spirits Competition (where Balcones single malt and corn whisky have taken Double Gold Medals), but beating the Brits on their home turf raised the pulse of many an American spirits and wine aficionado.

The win harkened back to 1976, when a California cabernet sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Cellars took first place over a range of Bordeaux at a blind tasting in Paris. The competition was judged by 11 French wine experts, and organized by British wine merchant Stephen Spurrier (who dealt exclusively in French wines). Dubbed “The Judgment of Paris” by the press, the upset victory staggered the French, who were appalled that an American had won in a field considered synonymous with European culture — wine making. It was the tipping point for American vineyards, which rushed to compete in the world market.

The 1976 Paris win led to great gains by the American wine industry, and was a pop-culture moment, too — chronicled in Bottle Shock, a film that debuted in 2008 at Sundance Film Festival, and in Judgment of Paris, a book by George M. Taber now in production as a movie. Whether this award will be looked back on as a similar moment in the rise of the nascent craft-distilling movement is yet to be seen.

Skytrooper 03-05-2013 03:36 PM

My son and I went to all of these distilleries in Scotland...delicious !

I have posted before my son's whisky blog. It is very informative and includes tasting notes. He is a member (and myself, also) of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. There are just so many different types of Scotch and when you start looking into the Canandian, Japanese, Irish, and blended whiskies...there is a lot to try. Then the American whisky and Bourbon are quite facinating too.


Originally Posted by JJ 911SC (Post 7304695)
Every years a dozen of us get together put in $50 each and have a tasting night.

12 is a good number as it work out to about 2oz from every bottle.

In the meanwhile, I'm working on my X-mas loot:

Except for Port Charlotte

JJ 911SC 03-05-2013 04:18 PM


Originally Posted by Skytrooper (Post 7310830)
My son and I went to all of these distilleries in Scotland...delicious !...

One day... ;)

Head416 03-05-2013 04:18 PM


I'd like a recommendation for a good bourbon to drink neat, please.
My preferred is Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. At ~$50 it's really nice, without breaking the bank.

gtc 03-05-2013 04:44 PM


Originally Posted by Rikao4 (Post 7304781)
Taking top honors at Best in Glass, a judging of new international whisky releases, the contestant from the five-year-old distillery in Waco, Texas...

Aged in Laidlaw casks... and i'll just say they don't have peat bogs in texas, so the smoke comes from something else entirely...

cstreit 03-05-2013 09:55 PM

To add to the Johnny Walker Blue comment above, I happened to be looking at the case mine came in the other night. A plaque on the side noted "by Porsche Design". Well how about them apples?

SteamWolf 03-06-2013 12:55 AM

Uncle puts on a scotch appreciation night a couple of times a year here. My favorite is the Laphroaig 10yo, the Bruichladdich 01 and the Taliskier 10yo for islays, and Lark being the only local whisky I have tried.

Whoever said Laphroaig tastes like an ashtray needs to go back to drinking lemonade and bud light.

Uncle 03-06-2013 12:58 AM

Mmmm Scotch. I might walk up to the shed and have on now in fact.

winders 03-06-2013 01:46 AM

Ardbeg Uigeadail....


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