One Minute Whiskies, Random Thoughts, and Stranger Things 2

Happy Whisky Wednesday fellow scotch lovers!!

I have to admit, I didn’t expect to write this entry today but with so many small things happening all at once, I definitely feel compelled to type up some magic for you.

***** EDIT: ScotchNSniff glasses are NOW available on SIPDARK.com!!!!! *****

Right off the bat, I need you to know that ScotchNSniff finished recording 25 new videos for the youtube channel. Nineteen of them are One Minute Whiskies and the other six are typical ScotchNSniff videos but they’ll be hosted by myself and Tim and Brian from The Whisky Library DC. Hopefully you’ll find them all entertaining as we covered a gamut of topics and even had one wild rant video. Here’s the newest of the OMW videos:

For everyone who’s been following along, remember, the OMWs are lighter reviews meant to give you a quick overview of a whisky while you’re out and about. It’s not an in depth set of notes. 🙂

In terms of random thoughts, you guys might have noticed that the end of this year has been an absolute barrage of new whiskies from a number of distilleries everywhere around the world and though I hope I can review most of them, I know it’ll be super difficult so expect everything coming to be in the Scotch Versus Scotch type format.

The last thing I wanted to throw out there in this post are a few pictures that I’m excited about related to Stranger Things 2. Yes, these pictures include a set of toys from the show. No, I have no intention of doing what ScotchTrooper does. He’s a freight train when it comes to Star Wars toys pictures but these are just my own excitement for a TV show manifest in the form of some images. Enjoy!! Happy Whisky Wednesday!!

(Okay, I’ll add some other ones in there too!)

I might start selling prints of this one:

SVS : Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition VS Glenfiddich 14 Peated Handfill

Do you have any idea what it’s like to fly 3400 miles across the globe to hop into a car and drive 60 more miles to the middle of Speyside only to walk into your favorite distillery and find out that all hand-filled bottles are peated that day? Talk about irony if you’re not a fan of peat. lol.

Today we’ve got the Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition (DE) pitted against a 14 year old bottle I handfilled in the gift shop at Glenfiddich. Being there during the week known as the “Spirit of Speyside” means super special offerings from many of the local distilleries. Unfortunately for my palate, the special offering Glenfiddich does for each SoS week is a peated one. Let’s dig into it. 🙂

The 15 DE is a harvest gold color at 51% abv as opposed to the dark brown leather of the 59% abv 14 hand filled bottle (HFB).

The 15 DE’s nose is raw sugar and freshly halved apples drizzled in a simple syrupy mess. Is this heaven?! The 14 HFB is campfire smoke with tree fruit notes hinding behind it. Maybe someone started a bonfire in an apple orchard. This type of smokey peat reminds me much of the friendlier peats like that of Wolfburn and Highland Park. There is no iodine here!

The 15 DE is a bullet train to sweet city. The apples that you might be used to in Glenfiddich offerings have been transmuted into peaches. Soft and sweet at 51% is a nice departure from typical whiskies at this proof. The finish is warm with sprinkles of spices and not much else. It’s a simple dram but dram good. It really makes me want to pair it with peach slices dusted in granulated sugar. The 14 HFB is manageable at 59% but it’s definitely higher in peat content than Highland Park. A second and third sip are letting my palate know that Glenfiddich might have gone a bit far with the peat. Their sister distillery’s 17 Year Peated offering isn’t anywhere near this potent.

*sigh* That was a long way to travel to get a bottle of something that isn’t up my alley. It means I’ll definitely need to make another trip and get a custom bottle (which go for $350+ but you can pic the colors of your box and everything!!)

So there we have it. An excuse for me to head back to Scotland and get a real bottle of Glenfiddich handfilled. 😀

Scotch VS Scotch : Macallan Classic Cut VS Macallan Cask Strength (red label)

 

    • Two. Different. Boats.

A LOT of talk was happening on Instagram once the TTB released the label for the 2017 Classic Cut limited release from Macallan. Everyone was hoping the same thing I was hoping: “Please God, let this be a replacement for the Cask Strength and let it be awesome!” Well, the day finally came and the Classic Cut was finally released.

Below are the CNPF notes and my thoughts about these two bottles side by side 😉

COLOR: The cask strength (CS) is a rich, burned and caramelized sugar. The classic cut (CC) is a shade darker than gold.

NOSE: The CS smells of rich, dark, dried fruits. Raisins. Apricot. Brown sugar. Nosed side by side, the CC is almost a powdered sugar sweet over a bit of oak, actually. Bourbon vanilla.

PALATE: The CS is strong 60.1% and viscous dark espresso adventure. It’s overpowering and obviously aged in a majority of EU sherry casks without a barrage of sherry spices. It’s interesting how that’s even happened. It’s not spicy at all. It is a bit tannic at this ABV though. The CC isn’t just lighter in color and nose, but it’s lighter on the palate too. The packaging says vanilla and ginger are the two primary flavors but being a big fan of ginger, it tastes like it’s 90% ginger and 10% vanilla at best. The AM oak casks used really shine through in the form of that ginger. With water though, the CC seems to calm its ginger forward agenda just a bit and the vanilla really shines through the finish. A pleasant surprise. The CS with a touch of water loses some of its tannic heat and picks up some more raw sugar. Oh yes. The finish is still a bit drying but definitely enjoyable.

Final thoughts:
So there you have it. It’s just a totally different boat. And honestly, it reminds me of the same Macallan dichotomy that exists between the sherry aged bottles and the fine oak series. One is very sherry forward and the other is all about the oak. So which would I recommend you seek out? Well that depends on what you’re looking for in your whisky, flavorwise. If you love either sherry or vanilla ginger there’s a bottle for you. Too bad only one of them is easy to find.. For now.

Slainte.

SVS : Glendronach 12 vs anCnoc 12

It’s been a little while since we had a Scotch versus Scotch so today we’re going pit a couple of beginner friendly twelve year olds against each other and see who comes out on top.

We’ve got the PX & Oloroso sherry cask finished Glendronach 12 that wears a burnt orange hue next to the light yellow gold of the ex-bourbon cask anCnoc 12. Judging by the color alone, this will be a battle between Quercus Alba (American white oak) and Quercus Robur (European oak). One of the only indicators we can get from color is the type of wood that may have been used to age the distillate.

The Glendronach 12 brings sherry sweetness to your nose robed in a bit of spice and orange preserve vice the anCnoc 12 which reeks of lemon citrus and grassy notes. Side by side, they’re both exquisite but the nod goes to the Glendronach for having the richer nose. The fresh cut flowers in the anCnoc are also very enjoyable though.

anCnoc 12 is easy on the palate with a medium viscosity and fresh light herbal notes over oak spices and citrus peel notes. I has a smooth spice finish that lingers lightly. The Glendronach is lighter on the tongue than the anCnoc; almost like water versus oil. It’s full of melted chocolate ganache drizzled in vanilla with a bit of spice over over-ripened soft fruits. The Glendronach’s finish is spicy but enjoyable and again, richer than the anCnoc.

[anCnoc is made at Knockdhu but to not be confused with Knockando, they changed the name to anCnoc]

These two 12 year olds are so different that I can’t say one is better than the other. It’s really much more of a “what are you in the mood for” type battle. Maybe you’ve got a favorite? Go ahead and let me know which you prefer!

A few more OMWs…

Happy Whisky Wednesday fellow Whisky lovers!

New youtube videos are coming soon! And no, I don’t mean the One Minute Whisky videos (which I’ll post more of below). I mean real, hosted, Scotch N Sniff videos! I’m teaming up with Whiskey Library DC to help host a new slew of topics that should be entertaining and educational. (We’ll even cover how to buy your own barrel!)

I know I still need to finish the Scotland posts too, for those still following that lingering tale. I’ve had so many other pictures to edit recently that it’s taken a back burner but who wants to hear excuses? lol.

I’ll post the rest of the OMW videos below and a few pretty pictures for your entertainment and hopefully they’ll hold you over for a little while I create more content that’ll slake your thirst!

Oh! One more thing! I was also recently on another youtube show with the Scotch Test Dummies! I’ll link that below too!

Slainte!

Fun times with STD (scotch test dummies)

OMW The Macallan 12 Fine Oak

OMW Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel

OMW Eagle Rare

OMW Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask

One Minute Whiskies?

One Minute Whiskies is a small side project that will fall under the ScotchNSniff umbrella of fun stuff 🙂 If you haven’t subscribed to the SNS youtube channel or follow the ScotchNSniff instagram, you might want to. The goal of One Minute Whiskies will be to provide quick whisk(e)y reviews to anyone who might be out and about looking for a new bottle to pick up. They won’t be super in depth and they won’t be as detailed as typical SNS videos but they will be useful. Over time, thanks to a few choice hash tags, they’ll also be easily searchable. For now, welcome to the beginning of something new and interesting. I’ll post the first four releases below and post future blog posts along with the YT releases so you won’t miss anything if you’re only following SNS here. Cheers!

OMW: Old Pulteney 21

OMW: Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve

OMW: The Macallan Edition No 2

OMW: Highland Park Dark Origins

Balvenie 50 year? Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

A few weeks ago I got an opportunity to indulge in some of the most expensive whiskies available from The Macallan. It was a dram come true for many a whisky lover. The No 6. The M. The dream. Just when I thought I had woken up, like the movie Inception, I must have been subject to a dream within a dream. Even with the first kick of leaving the Macallan event, just a few short weeks later, I found myself drinking one of the most expensive whiskies to have ever existed.


[The Balvenie 50 Year Cask 191.]

I don’t know what you’re thinking but I know what I was thinking… did it taste like $40,000?

Some would argue that no whisky is worth that price of admission but for something distilled in 1952 only to be disturbed again in 2002, it’s hard to say that the cost per bottle wouldn’t be astronomically high considering the years of storage, care, and the angel’s share.

The color was a dark red. So dark red that it looked black any time you were looking at the edges of the dram in direct light. It was impossible to see through the bottle.

The nose had hints of fruit sweetness and actually made me believe that the pour would be on the lighter side of the palate. I was expecting something more typical of Balvenie’s signature profile but I am so glad I was wrong.

Uncharacteristic of Balvenie, the palate was an explosion of flavor. It’s typical of older whiskies that they can lose a lot of vibrancy and life from so many years in the cask but this 50 year old was alive and kicking! David Stewart, MBE., continued to try and assure me of the sweetness that I was tasting but my palate disagreed quite a bit. Yes, about 25% of what I was tasting was similar to raw sugar but the other 75% of the palate was definitely filled with spices. It wasn’t over whelming but it was definitely in your face. Amazing.

The finish was soft and unassuming, not too short and not too long.

I’m not sure what my brain was expecting beyond the honeyed and softer notes we’ve come to expect from Balvenie as of late but I definitely didn’t mind being surprised. This was bold. This was borderline brash. This was brilliant.

I’m so thankful that I had an opportunity to try it. It was certainly once in a life time and lately I’ve felt like I’ve been living enough to last a few.

Without further ado, my video interview of David Stewart, MBE. is below along with pictures from the event.

Enjoy! Slainte!


[The setup for the interview]


[@TheScotchFather and @theScotchWhisperer talking]


[Aaron of @whisky.arch interviewing DCS MBE]


[David C. Stewart, MBE.]


[A little group picture action! (thanks Jason for snapping this)]


[Tracie from Glenfiddich (@glenfiddichtf) with DCS MBE]


[Tim of @Whiskey_Library_DC speaking with Jack Rose owner @Mashbill_Thomas]


[Eric of @ScotchAndTime being ridiculous :P]


[Signature Time!]


[Tim of @Whiskey_Library_DC with DCS MBE]


[Raising a toast to @theScotchFather]


[Tracie (@GlenfiddichTF) exchanging a glance with Jen H. of Momentum who handles the marketing for WMG&S in the DC area!]


[All eyes on David]