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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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  • Friday, 24 February 2012 19:29

    Top 5 Things I Don't Like About Whisky

    Written by

    No more beer and wine for me.  I like beer and wine and there are times when they fit exactly the mood I am in, but now the whisky bug has bitten and the fever taken hold I don't spend any time in the store browsing the latest wines and beers.  Instead I am drawn like a moth straight to the whisky section. With my beverage budget blown more often than a Euro Zone government, other drinks simply don't get a look in any more. 

    When your hobby involves alcohol, Texas and getting home.  For some reason, in most of the USA, the idea of clean, affordable public transport seems to translate to a concept bordering on communism.   It limits or even eliminates the enjoyment of whisky at events and bars due to the simple fact I have to drive home.  Take a taxi I hear you say?  You have never been in a Houston cab at night I say back.   I once saw a Houston taxi driver threaten someone because he didn't like the tip with a hammer he kept in the front seat.  I rather skip the drink. 

    Whisky websites that require me to enter my age.  This is getting really annoying and seems quite pointless to me.  The delinquent web page user can simply enter an incorrect date and access all the whisky pages their heart desires.  I understand if I am buying something there is an obligation to confirm my age, but to browse a web page?  If you must, at least keep it simple and ask to me to confirm with a simple click if I am of legal drinking age rather than selection of country, and the entry of a specific birth date via drop down menus.    Please.

    The Tyranny of Choice.  OK, it's not the worse problem to have maybe but nonetheless still an annoyance as every day there is a new bottle on the store shelf or a new expression released.  Which whisky to choose from a well stocked bar or even from my home selection?  Do I enjoy an old a favorite or try a new bottling?  It's all so good I find myself some just staring at a menu or at my whisky shelf like a "deer in the headlights" and trying to keep up now is simply impossible. 

    The lack of respect for American and Canadian whiskies.  Too often I see people pass over Canadian and even American whiskies in preference for the Scottish varietals.  People also sometimes seem more interested in the products of new countries like Sweden, Taiwan, Finland, India and Australia which are priced high (due the nature of their limited production and high fixed costs per bottle) and to me often don't represent good whisky value.  It seems that people are  overlooking some great North American products and some great value as well.  I believe a bottle of bourbon is usually better than an equivalent priced scotch, in part, I accept, because it matures quicker so it costs less to produce.  Jim Murray stated in no uncertain terms that he feels today the average barrel of whisky maturing in Kentucky is better quality that the average barrel maturing in Scotland.   I tend to agree.

    Based on web page hits I know there are at least 100 people out there who read these random ramblings... what about the wide world of whisky annoys you?

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    Random Whisky

    GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 5

    Can I suggest the next time some boring whisky snob complains about "No Age Statement" whisky you can humbly recommend this and then sit back smugly as they struggle to sustain any kind of argument.   This is good.  Bottled at 55.5% ABV (you need some water on hand to fully enjoy this - and in my opinion anyone who tells you they still prefer without water needs their palate adjusted with a wrench) this batch contains single malt from both PX and Oloroso sherry casks in one of the best unions since John Lennon suggested to Paul McCartney they might try to write their own songs.   The nose has dried fruits and prunes, all the classic "glass of Sherry on Xmas morning in the kitchen while the pudding is being steamed" notes you would want and expect.  The taste has fruitcake, dark chocolate, chilli, citrus and with water gets sweeter with golden syrup notes and the dark chocolate turns into chocolate cake.  The finish is dry, oak notes and tannins.  You can skip dessert as this is an almost perfect after dinner dram.  If I still gave whisky scores this one would have a higher score than Barcelona against Celtic in the Champions League.