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smn
Feb 15, 2005
tutkalla

The Third Man posted:

What happened was I found a new favorite Scotch. I didn't think I would find anything I liked more than Ardbeg, but goddamn if that quarter cask didn't jump to the top of my list. I think that bottle lasted maybe 2 weeks, and I was holding back on that, too.

I will always remember when I tasted the Quarter Cask for the first time. I was shopping for a special whisky for my 30th birthday at the World of Whiskies at Heathrow airport terminal 1. After deciding on a Laphroaig 30, the older gentleman who tended the shop got really excited and gave a couple issues of the Whisky Magazine to me as extras, and started pouring me drams left and right.

One of the drams was the Quarter Cask. It was the first batch as it had just been published, and it was sublime. Intense peat and fruity sweetness, an explosion of flavour. I bought 2 litres of it immediately.

Since then I've gone through lots of bottles of it, some of them good, some great, one mediocre even, but nothing will compare with my experience with the Quarter Cask.

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Haverchuck
May 6, 2005

the coolest

Just picked up a 16yo Bordeaux cask finished Bowmore since I understand it's of limited availability and I would probably never find it again. It was sort of an impulse buy so I hope I don't encounter the dreaded FWP (french whore perfume) smell associated with certain Bowmore releases!

Also, the same store I was in featured a 12yo single malt Scotch whisky from "Distillerie du Perigord" who produce eau de vie of various local fruits and little else, yet they seem to be sitting on whisky stock of indeterminate origin and bottling it under their label. Is this some sort of small-scale independent bottling situation? Like they bought some whisky to bottle and sell under the stipulation that the Scotch distillery not be named like alot of other budget IB's?

Killer robot
Sep 6, 2010

REMEMBER ME!


Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

bolo yeung
Apr 22, 2010


Killer robot posted:

Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

I really like Sazerac, especially for the price. Makes a good manhattan or old fashioned.

Kenning
Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux


Killer robot posted:

Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

If you can find Rittenhouse Bonded that's a fine whiskey and very affordable. I wish I could find it.

Thufir
May 19, 2004

"The fucking Mayans were right."

Cool, the Whisk(e)y thread is back. I've almost finished the Laphroaig 10 I posted about getting as my first scotch in the last thread and I was thinking of trying something else but didn't know where to start. Any suggestions for someone who likes Laphroaig and has absolutely no other discovered preferences (aside from not super spendy)? I was at the store yesterday looking around but didn't want to drop $40 blindly so I just grabbed a cheap bottle of Bulleit bourbon to tide me over.

Stultus Maximus
Dec 21, 2009

USPOL May

Killer robot posted:

Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

Jim Beam rye is terrible and nobody should drink it.
Old Overholt is fine if that's all you can get.
Bulleit makes a rye that's pretty good.

Pikesville Maryland Rye is also good, but has a different flavor than "normal" ryes.

PatMarshall
Apr 6, 2009



Kenning posted:

If you can find Rittenhouse Bonded that's a fine whiskey and very affordable. I wish I could find it.

I've seen it recently at liquor stores around NYC, so if you're near the city it may be worth a trip.

Haverchuck
May 6, 2005

the coolest

Killer robot posted:

Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

Wild Turkey makes this stuff and it's drat delicious. Price wise it sort of sits above the ones already mentioned and below the crazy boutique ones like Whistlepig and Rendezvous ($30-35 where I live) but yeah Overholt is like half that price and is my preferred "everyday" rye.

PainBreak
Jun 9, 2001


wormil posted:

If I order WT101 in a bar and they give me something else, I know it instantly. If you're talking about telling the difference between something like Aristocrat and Elijah Craig (EC12) then absolutely; but say between EC12 and Evan Williams, probably not. Bourbons from the same distillery often have similar enough flavors that they can be difficult to distinguish except at the more extreme ranges unless you have a sensitive palate or a lot of experience with that distillery. Places like Jim Beam or Wild Turkey basically make one bourbon, the very best of which is chosen for it's premium expressions (Bookers, Bakers, Kentucky Spirit, Russell's Reserve, etc) and the rest get blended into their more mainstream brands (Black, 101, etc). 101 for example is a mix of 6, 8, and 10 year old bourbons. Then there are bourbons like Old Grand-Dad which is a 4yr 100 proof kick in your rear end but many people love it. That's why my original reply to your question about if you should avoid anything was, "No. Try it all." But I deleted it and wrote out a longer reply because I thought the younger stuff my put you off in the beginning.

edit: I'm not experienced enough with scotch to know if those generalities apply there.

That's pretty interesting info. Interesting, but I'm not sure that it's 100% true.

I am a huge fan of the small batch bourbons that Jim Beam puts out, and Bookers, Baker's, Basil Hayden's and Knob Creek are all significantly different from each other, and from the mainstream offerings. It's possible some of the small batch stuff started life from the same mash as the mass market options(although that's questionable at best), but the way they're treated and stored during the aging process, and the way they're cut and bottled makes them all very much individual bourbons.

Basil Hayden's, for example, is made with "twice as much rye" as the white and the black, according to Fred Noe. Booker's is aged between 7 and 9 years, and bottled directly from the barrel, entirely uncut at 126 proof. Noe personally selects the charred oak barrels that the small batch bourbons are aged in.

Jim Beam Black is my go-to, but if I'm feeling fancy, or trying to impress a guest, I pull out a bottle of Booker's.

Skeleton Ape
Dec 21, 2008

The most richly flavored of all drunkards.

Thufir posted:

Cool, the Whisk(e)y thread is back. I've almost finished the Laphroaig 10 I posted about getting as my first scotch in the last thread and I was thinking of trying something else but didn't know where to start. Any suggestions for someone who likes Laphroaig and has absolutely no other discovered preferences (aside from not super spendy)? I was at the store yesterday looking around but didn't want to drop $40 blindly so I just grabbed a cheap bottle of Bulleit bourbon to tide me over.

If you're just starting out, one of my favorite all-rounders is Highland Park 12. It's got a fair amount of smoke but not nearly as much as Laphroaigh and the other Islays. It's beautifully balanced and pretty cheap too ($45 give or take).

If you want to explore more of those extremely smoky flavors I'd highly recommend Lagavulin 16. It goes for about $90 a bottle but you can find it in a lot of nicer bars if you'd like to just try a glass. People who are into smoke almost universally love this one and it's definitely in my top ten.

DerpAlert
Aug 31, 2009

Haulin' Ass, Gettin' Paid
TEN XXXTRA LARGE


Anyone got an opinion about Pendleton? It's a good regional Canadian whiskey you can get in the Pacific Northwest. Comes in a bottle with a cowboy on it.

It's got a nice vanilla note and some pear flavor to it.

Also, on the subject of cheap plastic-bottle whiskey, don't. I did that through college and I was so thankful when I could buy something that I didn't need half a glass of sweet and sour mix to choke down.

kidsafe
Aug 14, 2007
Not Dangerous

Highland Park smoke is very one-dimensional to me...like I'd imagine coal or coke smoke. If you want to try something as challenging as Laphroaig, but for different reasons, then I'd look at the new Springbank 12yr Cask Strength. It has brine, smoke, sulphur (burnt match heads), and a good amount of sherry influence. One of the most unique tastes in all of the scotch whisky industry.

I also never hesitate to suggest the various Compass Box blends. Peat Monster (not really all that monstrous) has the characteristic Islay peat and a lot of Speyside fruitiness. Spice Tree, Oak Cross, Great King Street...pick one, you can't really go wrong.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

PainBreak posted:

That's pretty interesting info. Interesting, but I'm not sure that it's 100% true.

I am a huge fan of the small batch bourbons that Jim Beam puts out, and Bookers, Baker's, Basil Hayden's and Knob Creek are all significantly different from each other...

I was assuming that since all the Beam products have similar flavors they were just different expressions of one bourbon but I found this on their website:

quote:

Knob Creek®, Basil Hayden's®, Booker's® and Baker's® are each made from their own special, time-honored recipes

Bookers tastes similar to Black and I dislike both, I would be surprised if Bookers is a different recipe. This quote from their marketing seems to support that:

quote:

Booker Noe, Jim Beam's grandson and master distiller emeritus, hand selects each barrel that will become Booker's Bourbon. Each barrel that will become Booker's bourbon is aged in the very center of the rackhouse where the temperature and humidity combines in the perfect proportion for the finest bourbon.


Bakers is one of my favorite bourbons. Beam's website makes it clear that Bakers uses a different yeast and Basil Hayden a different recipe than black. I can't find any explicit statements about Knob Creek one way or the other but I remember liking it so maybe it is a different recipe or maybe the extra aging does some good. So I stand corrected.

obi_ant
Apr 8, 2005
I plan to live forever.... So far so good!

First time whiskey drinker and I just picked up a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon. How would I go by drinking this if I don't have one of those special whiskey glasses or stones? Would a straight side glass be fine?

Kenning
Jan 10, 2009

I really want to post goatse. I wish I had 10bux


Does anybody actually use whiskey stones? Pretty sure those are just a gimmick.

If you have a snifter such that might be used for cognac that would be better than a plain old rocks glass, but in a pinch a rocks glass will work just fine. To be honest, if you're a first-time drinker you probably won't be able to pick up on all the extra smells from a special glass, so relax and enjoy your whiskey. I've heard good things about Bulleit.

schnarf
Jun 1, 2002
I WIN.

JacquelineDempsey posted:

On a visit to Manhattan last year, I figured I ought to to try the drink. I am now hooked. I've been getting them at bars with Maker's, and have gotten pretty good at making them at home. But In These Economic Times, is there something else that makes a good Manhattan (ie., is cheaper but still mixes well with sweet vermouth and bitters)?

Try Old Overholt.

NPR Journalizard
Feb 14, 2008

And now back to you in the studio.


Im just starting to get into making my own. Is there a distilling thread in here somewhere?

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Frogmanv2 posted:

Im just starting to get into making my own. Is there a distilling thread in here somewhere?

Not that I know of but I read an interesting book a while back on modern still designs, if I can find it I'll post the title, but I think it was a free e-book.

NPR Journalizard
Feb 14, 2008

And now back to you in the studio.


I have all the information I need. I was just wanting to add to the conversation.

http://homedistiller.org/ has pretty much sorted me out.

Thufir
May 19, 2004

"The fucking Mayans were right."

obi_ant posted:

First time whiskey drinker and I just picked up a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon. How would I go by drinking this if I don't have one of those special whiskey glasses or stones? Would a straight side glass be fine?

Just a glass is fine. I'm drinking some Bulleit right now!

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

Frogmanv2 posted:

I have all the information I need. I was just wanting to add to the conversation.

http://homedistiller.org/ has pretty much sorted me out.

I've been thinking hard about building a still and will check out that site.

NPR Journalizard
Feb 14, 2008

And now back to you in the studio.


wormil posted:

I've been thinking hard about building a still and will check out that site.

Do it. Its worth it. I have a small still going, only 5l, and thats enogh for me right now. I want to make my own whiskey, but apparently most of the flavour comes from the yeast, and the barrel you age it in, which I dont have.

If there is enough interest I can do up a thread on it. Im by no means a pro at it though.

Remy Marathe
Mar 15, 2007



When you say home distilling is worth it, you mean for the learning experience and fun of seeing how your experiments come out, right? I mean if home distilling is cost effective I'd consider it in a heartbeat, but I don't really have room for a labor intensive hobby that could make me go blind unless it saves me money too

Regarding glasses, I'll drink out of any functional glass and can't say I've ever honestly noticed one improving my ability to smell or taste the contents, save for broader glasses' abilities to swill the whiskey around and aerate it a bit. That said, these are my homies:


From left to right:
[top] Rocks glass (hefty portion), rocks glass (small portion), nosing glass for when I feel like paying attention, stupid bailey's glass for variety,
[bottom] tough oversize shotglass for bulk and hazardous drinking situations, break it I have more. Two shotglasses for remembering old friends and a thimble for when I just want a taste.

These all see regular duty depending on mood, but my favorites are the second and third shotglasses on the bottom- the second I'm told is an Anchor Hocking piece from the 20's or 30's and the third is just old, and I think really pretty. I suspect they all have subtly different sipping properties due to weight, size and shape since on any given night one will appeal more than the others, but that could be in my head.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

From what I've read, the concerns about going blind are drastically overstated and it's relatively simple to avoid.

quote:

Besides being illicit, white lightning has earned a reputation for blinding and killing people who drink it. Many sources attribute these effects to methanol ("the heads"), which boils off naturally during an early stage of the distillation process.

"The heads will make you blind if you drink it, but I defy you to try to drink it," says microdistiller Michael Heavener, co-owner of Highball Distillery in Portland, Oregon. "If it doesn’t make you wince when you smell it, it's probably not going to make you go blind."
The real culprit in poison moonshine was usually radiators, according to Spidell. "Copper coils are not the most efficient condenser. If you're making 10,000 to 25,000 gallons at a time, you might immerse a truck radiator in the water. Chemicals in the moonshine leach out lead salts from the soldering. As a result of that, here comes the lead poisoning."

Made properly, home-distilled spirits are as safe to drink as any commercial liquor. Still, Heavener warns, "I'd be more concerned with the danger of explosions."
http://www.wired.com/culture/lifest...currentPage=all

Killer robot
Sep 6, 2010

REMEMBER ME!


A lot of blindness and other illness/death from bootleg liquor over the years has also been industrial product being mixed in or the like too.

Also I suspect that if you're running a commercial moonshine operation you're going to produce a lot more heads in the distilling process, and you're more likely not going to throw out the bad if you think you can sell it to some broke and desperate drunk without repercussion compared to a home distiller looking to make some good stuff. Past that, a moonshining operation selling unaged liquor might just bottle as it comes out, whereas if you're trying to make drinkable stuff yourself even if you keep some bad parts it's going to mix and dilute in the barrel to just make your hangovers worse. So even if you actually do end up with some excessive amount of methanol in your batch, there are a lot of other differences from larger scale moonshining that make you less likely to hurt yourself.

NPR Journalizard
Feb 14, 2008

And now back to you in the studio.


Remy Marathe posted:

When you say home distilling is worth it, you mean for the learning experience and fun of seeing how your experiments come out, right? I mean if home distilling is cost effective I'd consider it in a heartbeat, but I don't really have room for a labor intensive hobby that could make me go blind unless it saves me money too

Both. Its good knowledge, its interesting, and there is so many different ways you can do it. Im sticking with a pot still, because I like whiskey, but if you arent that into rum or whiskey, you can go a reflux still or something like that. And then you get into putting in different flavours and strains of yeast and aging times and all the commercial essences and so on and so forth.

Also, once you get past the initial outlay you can churn out 750ml bottles of alcohol for about $10 all up. It will depend on how much you drink as to how cost effective it is.

It doesnt take much effort either. Its usually 30mins to an hour of stuff, then wait for a long time. If you take off the first 100ml-200ml of whatever comes out of your still, you will get rid of anything that will send you blind. Its also drat good for stripping paint and starting fires. I have a still(5L) and a few fermenters (20L-30L) and the rest of the odds and ends fit in a box. It doesnt take up much room at all.

smn
Feb 15, 2005
tutkalla

Regarding the barrel aging part, buy a small oak cask, say 5 litres, fill it with sherry for three weeks, chuck out the sherry and pour your whisky in. The sherry should take out some of the strongest wood and add a bit to the aroma, and you shoild get a relatively quick maturation because of the very small cask. You could do the same with bourbon I guess, if you want to try additional maturation for a young bourbon.

good luck kitten
Aug 18, 2004

Tripping the light fantastic


Just picked up a bottle of Balvenie 17 Rum Cask before I went out of town last weekend and tried it last night. Have to say that I love the sweetness imparted from the rum casks; being an avid rum drinker I have to say that I find it delicious.

BrandorKP
Jan 21, 2006

When there were five in the bed and we all rolled over I said nothing, because I would not fall off.

Just wanted to chime in with some more love for the Evan Williams 1783. If you like that the Evan Williams single barrel is even better and still fairly reasonably (20-25) priced, although it can be harder to find.

Remy Marathe
Mar 15, 2007



Has anyone here tried Buffalo Trace's "White Dog Mash #1"? I almost picked up a half bottle last night but didn't want to blow $15 on a gimmick. Reading reviews on it today has piqued my curiosity again, I've only tried new make once before at a Bruichladdich tasting and I don't really remember what it was like, just that it was inoffensive.

Remy Marathe fucked around with this message at Oct 13, 2011 around 17:52

A Winner is Jew
Feb 14, 2008

by exmarx


kaldas posted:

Just picked up a bottle of Balvenie 17 Rum Cask before I went out of town last weekend and tried it last night. Have to say that I love the sweetness imparted from the rum casks; being an avid rum drinker I have to say that I find it delicious.

Sup Balvenie Rum Cask buddy.

I have to agree with you that it's a really, really smooth scotch although pretty sure the Caribbean cask is only a 14yr and not a 17yr. (Still delicious)

Having been turned onto scotch after finding this thread about three years ago while wanting to order more than just a beer when I went out I'll give my notes on what I've tried for anyone else that wants to get into more sophisticated ways of getting poo poo faced.

Entry Level Scotch, $35-40

Highland Park 12yr: Think of this as scotch 101. At $40 a bottle, mild notes of just about all the major flavors it's been the only bottle I have purchased more than one of.

Balvenie Double Wood 12yr: If Highland Park is the remedial class, this is the honors course. Again around the $40 a bottle range however with stronger notes of smoke but also bolder tastes of spice and honey.

Macallen 12yr: I haven't purchased a bottle of this, but since it's usually the only scotch you can get in restaurants I frequent that doesn't have "Walker" in the name I've had it several times. Again a very approachable scotch but instead of heavy peat and smoke I usually taste a blend of vanilla, spices and nuts.

Mid Level Scotch $50-100

Macallen Cask Strength 15yr: Higher proof so I usually add a bit more water to it than other glasses, but when I do I find that the heavier smokey and nutty flavors open up a bit more.

Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14yr Got this instead when I went to pick up a Dalmore Rum Cask they were out of it and I'm not disappointed at all. Very smooth scotch with almost no peat taste that I feel like I could start drinking in the afternoon during the summer.

Dalmore Grand Reserva 16 yr: My new personal favorite at only $70 a bottle. A fantastic mix of citrus, chocolate, and caramel while having a fantastic light smoke finish.

High End Scotch $100+

Highland Park 18yr Have to be honest, glad I got this as a present and didn't pay for it myself. I just felt that it had an overpowering amount of spice and peat for my tastes, but if you're into that I guess go for it.

Schpyder
Jun 13, 2002

Attackle Grackle



Remy Marathe posted:

Has anyone here tried Buffalo Trace's "White Dog Mash #1"? I almost picked up a half bottle last night but didn't want to blow $15 on a gimmick. Reading reviews on it today has piqued my curiosity again, I've only tried new make once before at a Bruichladdich tasting and I don't really remember what it was like, just that it was inoffensive.

You know, I picked up a bottle a while back, and just realized I haven't cracked it yet. I'll remedy that on Sunday (I'll be out of town for most of the weekend), and post some tasting notes here for you.

On another note for the preceeding post, since when is Balvenie Doublewood in any way more smokey than HP12? That's crazy talk. It's only got the very faintest hint of smoke possible, where the HP12 has a quite noticeable peat smoke finish.

Schpyder fucked around with this message at Oct 14, 2011 around 01:27

good luck kitten
Aug 18, 2004

Tripping the light fantastic


A Winner is Jew posted:

Sup Balvenie Rum Cask buddy.

I have to agree with you that it's a really, really smooth scotch although pretty sure the Caribbean cask is only a 14yr and not a 17yr. (Still delicious)

They've released both 14 year and 17 year bottles. Haven't personally tried the 14.

kidsafe
Aug 14, 2007
Not Dangerous

Not sure what Dalmore's plans are for Gran Reserva, but it might be replaced by the born-again Cigar Malt. For that $75-100 range, I do like the Diageo Distillers Edition malts in general (in before anti-ACE sentiments.) Caol Ila, Talisker, Cragganmore in particular are quite good...and this is coming from someone who doesn't like the standard Talisker that much. Oban 18yr is still fairly available for now as well... drat I fee like a shill for Diageo now.

kidsafe
Aug 14, 2007
Not Dangerous

kaldas posted:

They've released both 14 year and 17 year bottles. Haven't personally tried the 14.
I expect the 17yr to be significantly more candied and almost saccharine sweet since it's derived from 15yr single barrels that didn't make the cut.

coronaball
Feb 6, 2005

You're finished, pork-o-nazi!

What are the major differences between Laphroaig 10 and the Quarter Cask, other than price? Winter is coming, and with it the need for a bottle of peaty scotch in my liquor cabinet.

Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007
The Bartender

Killer robot posted:

Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

Rittenhouse BIB is drat good for the money. If you're looking for something to sip and you don't mind spending a bit more, look for some of the rarer Sazerac bottlings, particularly Thomas Handy and Saz 18.

Wild Turkey Rye actually won in the blind rye taste I participated in awhile back, but only because one reviewer REALLY disliked the Thomas Handy, otherwise that would have won by a pretty fair margin. Old Overholt came in dead last - its biggest selling point is availability, cost, and that it's been around forever.

kidsafe
Aug 14, 2007
Not Dangerous

coronaball posted:

What are the major differences between Laphroaig 10 and the Quarter Cask, other than price? Winter is coming, and with it the need for a bottle of peaty scotch in my liquor cabinet.
Laphroaig 10yr: More medicinal, more earthy peat, overall sweet with some brine.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask: More wood, cleaner peat smoke, sweeter, more mineral taste.

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Efresh
Oct 21, 2007


Killer robot posted:

Any particular recommendations for rye whiskey? I've had Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Old Overholt, but the larger liquor stores around here are getting a wider variety these days and I'm not sure what to try out. Especially since so much tends to be in the premium price range.

I'll jump on the Sazerac Rye bandwagon. It's tough to find American whiskeys in where i am (Australia) other than Wild turkey, Jim beam, Jack Daniels etc and anything out of the ordinary is usually expensive, but I found a place that stocks a few ryes and am close the end of my first bottle of Sazerac and have no gripes about t even at the price I had to pay ($70, ouch).

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