Sippin' Whisk(e)y

  • @David-Harris Basil inspired this one. 😜

    Heck w/the Kitty, Kitty, Kitty... uhmm... tell me about that Bourbon, eh?! One I've not sampled. Quick lookup reveals it is from Jim Beam's Small Batch Bourbon Collection.

    I am fond of Sippin' Whisk(e)y. Some of my fave Straight Bourbons:

    1. Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon, although not quite fond enough to have yet "spelled" Blanton's.

    2. Old Forester Statesman

    3. Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style is nice too and offers up a wonderful story from a period of temporary insanity.

    4. Clyde May's Straight Bourbon Whiskey

    Those are my faves, pretty much ranked in that order.

    And of course great bang for the buck always on hand standby, Wild Turkey 101.

    Presently have on hand:

  • @toby
    Yeah, if you want to get into a fist fight in the southern and eastern parts of the US, just start arguing about what is the best barbecue or the best Bourbon.

    I'll leave barbecue for another day, but here are a couple of thoughts on Bourbon. First, the name is more than a little nebulous. Technically, I think it means that what is in the bottle was distilled from more than 50% corn, but really, who gives a shit? Corn? Rye? Barley? Whatever. Either it is good or it isn't

    And wtf does "good" mean?

    Let's not even go there. You have your "good" and I have mine. Maybe there's an intersection of taste or maybe not. Don't mean shit.

    But, regarding your question about what my cat likes to drink, there are two reasons (other than keeping him happy) I put Basil Hayden's "Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey" in my cabinet. First, I like it. Maybe not the best Bourbon in the world, but it works for me. Second, it strays from the accepted norm of boosting the alcohol content of high-end Bourbons into the stratosphere. Most of the "good" Bourbons are over-the-top strong. 50% alcohol or more., whereas this one is just 40%. Which means I can have 3 glasses instead of just 2.

    Hmmm. Make that 4 glasses

    Now, regarding what I'd really like to have in the cupboard if cost and availability were no issue, well, that's easy: Woodinville Whiskey Co's "American Whiskey". That stuff is the shit.

  • @David-Harris I imagine a bit difficult to procure and/or extra pricey in Canada? We pay a premium here in ID as well due to a certain religion's views on alcohol. So it's nice when visitors from out of state gift you something special.

    I've not sampled the Basil, which is why I asked. Thought I'd share some of my faves since you seemed to be into it enough to not be shoppin' the bottom shelf at the liquor store. Which also speaks to the title of this post being Sippin' Whisk(e)y. Didn't intend to provoke any fist fights.

    As for the alcohol inebriation factor... heh.. again.. I be into sippin' the stuff. Especially come Fall/Winter when the temps drop. Alcohol percentage varies from batch to batch and is typically "standardized" at 40%, a.k.a. 80 Proof, by the addition of water. Which I do anyways to "release the esters" so I can taste the flavor nuances w/o my buds bein' blown away by the ethanol itself.

    Variety is one of the spices of life. I like to sample its offerings. Those mentioned above are my short list of favorites thus far.

    Enjoy! 🥃

  • I'm not much into whiskey, but the ex-wife's family lived in Memphis & I learned there are two types of people in the world: dry-rib people & wet-rib people. Memphis dry-ribs are soooooo-dry they nearly make you gag & I loved them from the first crunch. My tongue is revolted by wet, slimmy, sloppy ribs, as any right-thinking man's tongue should be. Jest sayin.

    Idaho dry-riblets & baked spuds from Heidi's garden. It don't git much better hereabouts.

    Oh & of course brushetta, with all the ingredients except the bread from Heidi's garden.

  • @David-Harris I like my whisky much like my bbq, a little on the smokey side but maybe not Lafraig (spelling may off) smokey.

  • @Alfalfa

    Ah, an Islay style Single Malt man, eh?

    Laphroaig 10 yr. Cask Strength, a.k.a. "Red Stripe" is the King of the smokey peat monsters! Often takes the gold against $500 bottles in blind tasting competitions. 🏅

    If yer' sippin' it in ID, ye' have me and some conversatin' with Dyke Nally, then Superintendent of Liquors, bitd to thank fer' that one. 🥃

    Wife gifted herself a bottle of Laphroaig Triple Wood for me b-day cuz I was bitching about her drinking the last of it before I got a chance to share w/me bro'.

    Her Outlandish Outlander favorite is their Quarter Cask cuz that was Sam Heughan's, a.k.a. Outlander's leading male role Jamie Fraser's during a much publicized Laphroaig tasting event.

    Interesting history behind Laphroaig and US Prohibition era. During which Laphroaig was smuggled into US quite successfully. Indeed, if you were rich enough to afford true black market Scottish Single Malt it was likely Laphroaig. How'd they do it? Laphroaig dries, ages, stored their casks outdoors, wherein they absorbed ambient smells from their coastal location. The seaweed imparts an unmistakable characteristic Iodine odor to those in the know. To those who did not... those crates labeled disinfectant and mixed in w/various other hospital and medical supplies appeared as just that. And what custom's agent of the day was going to taste test a crate of disinfectant? I suspect this legacy is responsible for Laphroaig still being an Islay benchmark in the US to this day?

    Following The Great Depression of 2008 single malts became too pricey for my blood. A coworker into Buffalo Trace turned my head towards American Bourbon and I've not looked back.

    Ironically, wife got into Outlander and Single Malt Scotch Whisky shortly thereafter so now we tend to have a bit of something nice of each to offer guests. At least when she's not drank all my Bourbon as the "cheap" alternative to her Single Malt!

  • Pulled pork w/ Scott's

    Mustard coleslaw


    Maybe throw in some collards for good measure.

    That's Barbecue!

    and later...

    Old Forester (86 proof)

    Ain't fancy, but never disappoints.

  • The Morning After...

    Forensic evidence remaining at the scene after one of our annual Whisky Frisky A-Go-Go tasting get togethers.




    Looks like Bourbons were a bit under represented at this one.

    Cheers! 🥃

    P.S.; @FritzRay all the bread and roll "palate cleansers" you see in the background and on the cutting board were homemade. That red KitchenAid mixer in the background definitely gets a workout hereabouts. 👍

  • @David-Harris My bro and I cracked the Jefferson's Very Small Batch the other night. Very nice, indeed! Both agree: Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 👍 👍

    Turns out Basil Hayden's is one of his faves as well. Looking forward to sampling it. Don't recall ever seeing it available in ID though so may have to have him rum runner it in on his next visit (well, it's legal to "import" up to one litre bottle from out of state w/o paying the LDS extortion tax, but y'all gets me drift...).

  • Well I have never gotten as sick drinking too much whiskey as I have drinking vodka or the dread tequila


    Body wrote a song about it

  • @toby said in Sippin' Whisk(e)y:

    Turns out Basil Hayden's is one of his faves as well. Looking forward to sampling it.

    Don't get your hopes up too high. It's a fine combination of quality and price, but not up there with the really good stuff.

    Regarding your earlier comment: " I imagine a bit difficult to procure and/or extra pricey in Canada?" No, good booze is readily available here. Even in the small, isolated (you have to take two ferries to get to it) community in which I live I have a wide choice of pretty much everything. Including all the stuff in your Scotch-tasting photos. And, over the almost two decades that I lived in the US, the price ratio has changed, and alcohol here is now generally less expensive that it was in Seattle when I left six months ago.

  • @David-Harris

    Good to know yer' not getting gouged. Beer was pretty pricey bitd when I spent a month craggin' at Squamish so pretty much did without. Yes, I did climb "The Grand Wall", via the "Cruel Shoes" variation. Swapped leads. Awesome route and one helluva' adventure.

    As for the pics, I do spy a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 in the mix 😉 Also a really nice Irish, the Redbreast 12 yr. Single Pot. My Irish palate is not that "educated" but I really like this stuff! Definitely preferred over Jameson during subsequent Whisky Frisky tastings. Would love to sample their 15 and 21 yr. old offerings some day. 🥃

    Doesn't always have to be "top shelf". Indeed our budget definitely appreciates the bang for the buck middle of the road category. To wit: Check out the Clyde Mays Straight Bourbon Whisky linked above if you get the chance. Runs about $35-$40 a bottle hereabouts. For comparisons sake, the other bourbons on that list run in the $50-$60 per bottle range. Yeah, I know, freakin' Idaho... Sigh...

    Be all that as it may... variety is the spice of life and sampling the Basil Hayden's is on the list.

  • Sorry, but although I can detect the difference in taste between cheap whiskey and expensive whiskey, they're just different, not better or worse to me. I'm in for the high, not the taste, as long as it's not gagging bad. So I've explored the bottom shelf stuff and drink 75 South, the Albertson's/Von's store brand. Fairly smooth, gets 'meh reviews, minimal to no hangover, and, the key is it's $13.00USD for two quarts (not a typo).

    I'll drink the high end stuff at your house if you offer me some; if you visit my house it'll be 75 South, all you want to drink😊

  • Lagavulin 16 y/o is something special if you like smokey/peaty single malts.

  • @Scole

    Indeed. Lagavulin is the distillery that hooked me into the Islay single malts. My Scotch Whisky palate had previously been rather uneducated and limited to the bottles of Glenlivet and Glenfiddich my Bro would gift me for special occasions and such cuz I was a "regular dirtbag" and the cost of a bottle of Scotch likely equated to food for a week. Or more. Hence, the afflicted amongst us forewent such extravagances in favor of more time on the rocks. Pun intended. Exploration of the extremes of smoky peat monsters ultimately led me to Laphroaig's 10 yr. Cask Strength, a.k.a. "Red Stripe". I've since lost my taste for Islay's, and Scotch, in general, preferring the subtleties of American Bourbon Whiskeys. Meanwhile, my wife has developed such so the Laphroaig Triple Wood she gifted me for my last birthday will likely linger until she gets around to crackin' it. Smart woman.

  • I did a tour around Scotland a couple of years ago. We visited a number of distilleries. Of everything I tried the Lagavulin was my favorite, although there are many good choices.

  • @Scole

    Yeah, from memory, the Lagavulin is probably a nice middle ground, balanced Islay. Laphroaig is pretty "medicinal", with a distinct iodine nose from the kelp and seaweed aromas absorbed from the surrounding air. Wife was into rum when we met. Now she's a smoky peat monster gal. Intriguing how tastes can change so dramatically.

    Did you tour Caol Ila, Ardbeg, and Bowmore?

    I've had the Caol Ila 12yr. and 18yr. and recall it was "okay" but nothing special. Ardbeg 10yr. was more "unique" in flavor but also gave me one heck of a headache. Mayhaps my constitution be too weak fer' non-chill filtered esters and phenols...

    I loathe the Bowmore and unquestionably * the* worst Scotch of any distillery I ever tasted. Legends in their own minds, they are as well, and priced accordingly. Every guest that ever sampled that Bowmore 17 yr. old never asked for a second dram. It was undrinkable in my opinion so lingered on my shelf for many, many years. Truly in a "class by itself". I had occasion to vent about it to one of their reps who totally disagreed with my description of its profile and he asserted I must have "somehow gotten a contaminated bottle". Offered to replace it but actions failed to follow verbiage so my opinion of Bowmore remains unchanged.

    Soo.. yeah... it has been a while since I sampled the Islay Tour de Force, pre Diageo when still distributed under the Classic Malts, but I'd probably concur with your Lagavulin sentiments. 🥃

    Speaking of Diageo, how many years back do you go with Lagavulin? Have you noticed a flavor profile change post Chinese ownership days ? Talisker, author Robert Louis Stevenson's preferred poison, used to be one of my all time favorite "go to" single malts as well. Then reasonably priced at about $45/bottle. Post 2008 depression that doubled. The few times I've sampled it since I've been disappointed. Don't know if because my taste buds changed over the years or because ensuing economic realities precipitated a sell out?

  • I was in Scotland two years ago. The 16y/o Lavagulin was the Peatiest/ Smokiest whiskey that I sampled. I don't know about ownership, but if it was truly 18 y/o, it predated change of ownership. Angus Thuermer (Anguish on ST) has roots on the isle of Sky, and Talisker frequently popped up on our various rambles amongst the hills, but to each their own. I really prefer Tequila or Rum to whiskey.

  • When I first sampled Lagavulin (almost 40 years ago), it retailed for $24 a bottle in Vancouver, where I was living. I loved it, and it, along with Ardbeg, remained my favorites.

    But over the years, my desire for spirits of any kind gradually waned, although I certainly enjoyed a glass of good Whiskey (or Tequila) from time to time. That shrinking desire for Lagavulin should have been a good thing, because the price of good single malt took off into the stratosphere. Unfortunately it was replaced by a desire for the Barolos and Barbarescos of Italy's Piedmont. Ouch!

    Which brings me to yesterday, when I parked in the lot of a local liquor store here in my new hometown of Powell River, BC, which, despite being only 70 miles from Vancouver in distance, is six hours away in time. (Two ferries required to get here.) It's a peaceful place, far removed from the crime and politics of most of the US and Canada, and, as usual, I didn't bother closing the car window.

    In the store I got the first of two surprises. Perusing the single malt selection I found Lagavulin 16, my old favorite -- at $124 a bottle! I knew it had gone up over the years, but damn...

    Second surprise came when I returned to my car, and noticed a sheet of white paper on the passenger seat. Had someone bumped the car? Or was unhappy with the way it was parked?

    Neither. But the two words written on the paper made clear was that someone had noticed my US (Washington) plates, and, either in sympathy or anger, had left me this...
    Fuck Trump resized.jpg

    (The car is actually my wife's and since she's still working in the US, she has kept the US plates.)

  • Whisky Frisky A-Go-Go, circa 2018?


    Clyde Mays Straight Bourbon Whiskey. One of my mid shelf favorites! Indeed. 🥃 🥃 🥃


    Quite the international round up of suspects. A couple Irish, Single Malt Scotch, and American Bourbons. Ooh, la, la!! Nice whisk(e)y sampling here. Indeed.


    Blanton's Single Barrel. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! 🐔 🥃 🥃 🥃 🥃 🥃

    I also spy, with my little eye, a couple Islays in the lurking...


    Belvenie Caribbean Cask! Not one of my favorites since I am not a rum person. Wife likes it just fine and dandy.🏖

    Although Balvenie was one of the early Scotch distillery's to begin double wooding their single malts, my all time favorite Balvenie, as well as single malts overall is the Balvenie 15yr. Single Cask. Yep. Select held back before the second cask double finish. Hard to find.


    Double Oaked Woodford Reserve. Extra oakey bourbon. A bit much for my palate.. 🥃 🥃 🥃

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