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20 Year Costco Scotch

December 25, 2012 Drink, Living No Comments

Last year’s 20 year old Scotch bottled for Costco was from The Macallan (see post). This year, it’s a mystery. Anyone know why?

Bottled at 40% abv, nosing this scotch is easy and pleasurable. There is no alcohol burn at all. Instead, I smell gingerbread cupcakes and freshly-baked fruit tarts. On the palate, it is very malty, and slightly sweet. A bit one-note. However, its redeeming feature is that it is smooth, really smooth. There is no bite at all. The finish is very short. Overall, a decent whisky for the price.

My 2012 Holiday Wish List

I will probably end up getting most of these items within the next couple of months…

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Laphroaig Tasting

December 7, 2012 Drink No Comments

This past weekend, the LA Scotch Club hosted a spectacular tasting with Laphroaig in Pasadena, California.

For 28 LASC members and guests, there was, for consumption, every bottle in Laphroaig’s current range, including the standard 10 year old, Batch 003 of the 10 year old Cask Strength, the Quarter Cask, the 18 year old, the 25 year old, the Triple Wood, and even the highly covetable PX Cask. If you’re counting, that’s already seven expressions – a complete tasting by any standard…

…just not LASC standards. Proving once again his awesomeness, El Jefe Andy, arranged for us to taste an additional five bottlings that are either discontinued, sold out, or nearly impossible to get. Specifically, we were treated to the celebratory 2012 Càirdeas Origin, the 15 year old, the 21 year old Cask Strength, the 30 year old, and the *drum roll*** legendary 40 year old. Truly, to have all of these bottles in one place and be able to drink them was, for me at least, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

To guide us through the night, the Protector of the Peat himself, Brandon Bartlett, was on hand with his photo album slideshow to make us feel that much closer to Islay.

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3 seconds of fame

November 22, 2012 Drink No Comments

2nd Annual LASC Port Tasting: 1994 Vintage Port Wine

November 21, 2012 Drink No Comments

Last week, DA hosted his annual Port wine tasting for the LA Scotch Club at the ultra-exclusive Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills.

Capped at around 18 people, it was a pretty intimate event.

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Glenfarclas 10

August 23, 2012 Drink No Comments

Lately, while giving Islay a break, I’ve been on a Speyside/Highland journey and decided to revisit Glenfarclas 10, a pretty basic yet delicious single malt whisky.


Though bottled at only 40% ABV, its youth does provide a light kick in the mouth, which could be cushioned with a drop or two of spring water…but we’re not going to do that here. Pouring it in the Glencairn, I’m immediately attracted to its straw-gold color.

Sitting on the patio this afternoon, and nosing this dram of Glenfarclas 10 reminds me of joyfulness and childhood vacations visiting my grandparents in Normandy, France. More specifically, walking with with my grandpa past apple orchards to the local patisserie to bring back fruit tarts and chocolate-filled croissants to grandma. Swirling it around and coating the bulbous end of the glass heightens the anticipation of its taste.

On the tongue, undiluted, this is a sweet, fruity treat. I definitely taste the malt, but also pick up hints of vanilla, pear, and calvados. There is also smoke, but it really does not become apparent until the moderate-length, dry finish.

Overall, a solid malt worth keeping in stock.

Link: Glenfarclas


Kilchoman Machir Bay – GOOD!

August 7, 2012 Drink No Comments

A month ago or so, a buddy turned me on to Kilchoman’s first general release bottling – Machir Bay, which I found to please my taste buds much more than their previous, limited bottle offerings. The technical specs indicate that it’s a vatting of 3 (60%), 4 (35%) and 5 (5%) year old whisky, matured in fresh bourbon barrels and finished in oloroso sherry butts for 8 weeks.

What makes this pretty outstanding and destined to be a regular in my cabinet is its complexity on the nose and palate. I get a licorice-like, pine sol lemon,  and dried wood smell, and of course some cereal grain. It’s a pretty savory, dry whisky. It kind of reminds me of the braised beef short ribs I had at Craft restaurant. Being an Islay scotch, of course it is a bit smoky and peaty, especially on the finish.  Sipping this evokes images of sitting in a boat on a lake in Spring, waiting for fish to hook themselves on grandpa’s fishing rod.


Link: Kilchoman

Rocky Patel Winter Edition 2012

March 14, 2012 Drink, Puffing No Comments

This box pressed cigar had one of the most amazing draws. It was practically effortless to puff it. Taste wise, it was pretty good.

Paired the cigar with a dram of Fighting Cock.

Seven Grand: Bowmore, Oyster, and Poetry

March 14, 2012 Drink, Living No Comments

Had raw oysters with Bowmore whisky poured on to the open shell. I don’t recall the types of oysters, but did have them with Bowmore 12, 15, and 18 year olds. Amazing!

Lots of people read poetry as well. Fun night.

Seven Grand – 2012 Spring Cocktail Preview

March 14, 2012 Drink No Comments

Spent Monday night at one of my favorite watering holes, trying out 4 newly created cocktails.


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