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Thread: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

  1. #21

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Longmorn, Distiller's Choice
    Scotch Whisky, Speyside

    Quote Originally Posted by Review
    On the nose the only scent I can detect is that of alcohol. Pure ethyl alcohol. But for some reason it doesn't smell harsh or fiery at all. The unexpected combination makes it almost smell refreshing (again, almost; it does not actually smell refreshing!), like a mountain pool or like liquid crystal, if that makes any sense. The taste comes quick and smooth, and matches the scent surprisingly well. I don't know if anyone has ever read Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (if you haven't you should; it is excellent!), but if you have and remember the angel Islington and his wine from Atlantis, that is what the whisky makes me think of. Drink from a fabled city being savored by a lesser divinity. After the first sip there is a surprising twist, in that the smell of the whisky has changed dramatically. The alcohol headiness is now gone (or perhaps gone to my head), and now I can smell rich warm flavors; a light butteriness, and something subtle that makes me think of proper home-made vanilla pudding. Continuing through the glass the scents and flavors remain rather steady after those first changes. It finishes with a soft warmth and clean freshness, something that is not too common in my experience, and is worth taking the time to enjoy!
    This is an interesting whisky, to be sure, but it is also definitely squarely in its place as a Speyside. It has the characteristic lightness (in color, scent, and taste) while still performing admirably! Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of information about this one, as this bottle was a gift and the labeling doesn't say how long it was aged or in what type of barrels it was casked. The only thing I can find is "three types of cask are expertly combined to create an exquisitely smooth and creamy malt", but what those casks are or how long it was in them... anybody's guess. However, even without the little details, this is one worth getting again! It is smooth and soft and subtle, and also puts one in mind of a certain purity that is interesting to hold onto, and that I find somewhat unique in a whisky.

    The last detail I have copy-pasted from the Balvenie review above, as it is equally relevant here: "Normally, I'd also like to give a price-to-quality ratio for the whisky being reviewed, but this bottle was a Christmas Birthday gift, so I have no idea. I am sure a price can be easily looked up online, but hey, I'm here to review, not provide market research If anyone else has thoughts on this whisky, feel free to share them below! If not, I hope the review is of interest and maybe use to someone!"

    EDIT: Regarding the age of this whisky, it is apparently a NAS, or "no age statement" whisky, so it is intentional that no age is listed. Many thanks to Derc for informing me about this, and providing some more thoughts on the the whole age-label and how it affects our expectations for whiskies in general. For his points see his post below, and don't forget to show him some love with a rep!
    Last edited by Kilo11; May 15, 2019 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Typo fix
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  2. #22

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Ewww, creamy.

    I checked it up. It costs around 60,-€. Sweet Jesus! Someone really seems to like you. Or has too much money in his pockets.
    It's a NAS Whisky - meaning it's kept a secret how old it is.

    So? What taste did you make out? I read something about toffee and pear. Love pear, hate toffee. Would be funny to find out how the mixture is.
    As you've stated that it is creamy, I guess it takes some time to wander through your throat. That is lovely.

    Moar info next time, Mr. Wood! Very interesting nonetheless.
    Can't rep you atm, sorry.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    Ewww, creamy.
    Well, I didn't find the whisky itself to be creamy. I think their descriptor of creaminess is really just about the malt itself, and from my (little) experience making beer, I can see how that is a good thing. You mix the grains with water and heat them up, and in that first stage it can indeed create a creamy cereal mixture, and I think if it is like that at the beginning, then things will often go well from there on out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    I checked it up. It costs around 60,-€. Sweet Jesus! Someone really seems to like you. Or has too much money in his pockets.
    It's a NAS Whisky - meaning it's kept a secret how old it is.
    What can I say Derc... a boy does get swag And my in-laws just give great presents. Plus, they're German, and everyone knows the Germans are loaded (pun intended ). But you should know that already, right?

    Can you expand on this point about it being a so-called "NAS whisky"? This sounds interesting to me, but I have never heard of the term before...

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    So? What taste did you make out? I read something about toffee and pear. Love pear, hate toffee. Would be funny to find out how the mixture is.
    As you've stated that it is creamy, I guess it takes some time to wander through your throat. That is lovely.
    I'm not sure. I have read a bunch of those descriptions by now, with all their mentions of sweets, fruits, and other subtle notes, but I rarely notice those things. Sometimes citrus will come through in a whisky, and smoke/peat are always clearly noticeable when they are present, but these other things are hard to pick up on. Toffee I wouldn't have picked out at all as a flavor. And not necessarily pear either, but there definitely was a bit more of a light fruit taste in there, something sort of along the lines of pear (though nowhere near as sweet in taste). I'd have a nip now and give you more thoughts, but the bottle is unfortunately now empty!

    At any rate, it was definitely good, and it did works its way down slow and smooth, things which I find to be very nice in a Scotch, and also marks of craftsmanship!

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    Moar info next time, Mr. Wood! Very interesting nonetheless.
    Can't rep you atm, sorry.
    I'll do my best! My shelf is now looking somewhat more bare, with three bottles that each have at most a finger or two left in them, and I need to get something new ASAP. I am thinking I'll get a Lagavulin It's been a good while since I last had that, and since it is my standard against which I grade other things, it would be good to have a fresh review of that up as well!
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  4. #24
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Yes, I've read (and watched) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, yes it's a brilliant fantasy story and I see what you mean about the 'drink from a fabled city'. The warmth and vanilla pudding flavours of this one sound appealing.

  5. #25
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    I was reading a bit about Bourbons (a type of American styled whiskey for you on the other side of the pond). Well it was derby time in Kentucky and...

    To make an off topic tale short, I noticed that Bourbon is aged in charred wooden casks (https://flaviar.com/blog/a-beginners...s-many-flavors) and I was wondering if the charring was common for the whiskies as well. I never paid much attention before, but your single malt reviews here have me pretty interested. Not that interest is going to transform me into a 'moonshiner'. I do indeed pay my taxes. That 18th century rebellion pretty much changed how we govern over here.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    I was reading a bit about Bourbons (a type of American styled whiskey for you on the other side of the pond). Well it was derby time in Kentucky and...

    To make an off topic tale short, I noticed that Bourbon is aged in charred wooden casks (https://flaviar.com/blog/a-beginners...s-many-flavors) and I was wondering if the charring was common for the whiskies as well. I never paid much attention before, but your single malt reviews here have me pretty interested. Not that interest is going to transform me into a 'moonshiner'. I do indeed pay my taxes. That 18th century rebellion pretty much changed how we govern over here.
    So, a caveat at the outset is that I am not a Bourbon man at all (so some of the evaluative presentation below might be biased). A good part of the reason for me not liking it is because of this aspect of the maturation of Bourbon whisky, which is that it is indeed aged in charred oak casks. As far as I remember that is actually a legal requirement for Bourbon sold in the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere as well, though I couldn't say for sure), that it must be aged in new oak casks that have been charred. Obviously, the "charred" aspect is pretty clear, and what it does to the taste is also easily imagined, but the other important point about these casks is that they are "new", meaning nothing else has been put in them before. The upshot of them being new is that there are lots of things in the wood that then get leached into the whisky, adding a lot of flavor, but also a pretty harsh and intense note as well. That is definitely not common for other whiskies though. Most whiskies are casked in barrels that were used for some type of wine maturation before. If it doesn't say what the casks used were, you can be bet it's just a standard red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bordeaux, etc. Slightly more "fancy" whiskies will be casked in sherry casks, as the sweetness of that will round off a lot of the whisky's sharper edges. And if one wants a really smoky, some acrid tasting whisky (without going full Bourbon), then they'll use Bourbon barrels. But basically nowhere but in Bourbon country is whisky aged in new charred barrels. The smoky flavored whiskies common to places like Islay (Scotland) get that flavor by using casks that were indeed charred, but also that were previously used (often as Bourbon barrels), or they will get that via added flavors (I assume that the flavoring of peat would also add a small smoky note as well, as peat sort of has that naturally).

    So, to make a long story short, new charred oak casks is basically just a Bourbon thing, and is not something other distilleries would do; at least not unless they are explicitly aiming to make a recreation of a Bourbon whisky. Thanks for the question and interest though NorseThing! A bit of back and forth and more lively discussion is something I have been hoping for in this thread, as this really is aimed more at being a sort of community roundtable on good drink, and so I very much like having questions or thoughts from other people on here!
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  7. #27
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Thanks for the great answer. I need to spread some reputation around so I hope others will reward you for this great advice.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    What can I say Derc... a boy does get swag And my in-laws just give great presents. Plus, they're German, and everyone knows the Germans are loaded (pun intended ). But you should know that already, right?
    Germans are either rich, able to throw money around, or darn poor. Very strange people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Can you expand on this point about it being a so-called "NAS whisky"? This sounds interesting to me, but I have never heard of the term before...
    It stands for Non Age Statement and is just that. As the producer is forced to define the age by the youngest ingredient, the age of a whisky that gets some additional ingredients a few years later is set back to zero.
    This may one of the reasons, but whatever it truly is, the producer just decided to not name the age.

    NAS would usually be a negative thing, but a lot of whiskys without statement are actually very good, and it can also help to make well aged ones to be cheaper. Can't elaborate more on that. Never had much to do with NAS Single Malts. Need to try one sooner or later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I'm not sure. I have read a bunch of those descriptions by now, with all their mentions of sweets, fruits, and other subtle notes, but I rarely notice those things. Sometimes citrus will come through in a whisky, and smoke/peat are always clearly noticeable when they are present, but these other things are hard to pick up on. Toffee I wouldn't have picked out at all as a flavor. And not necessarily pear either, but there definitely was a bit more of a light fruit taste in there, something sort of along the lines of pear (though nowhere near as sweet in taste).
    Very interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I'd have a nip now and give you more thoughts, but the bottle is unfortunately now empty!
    NOOOOOOO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I'll do my best! My shelf is now looking somewhat more bare, with three bottles that each have at most a finger or two left in them, and I need to get something new ASAP. I am thinking I'll get a Lagavulin It's been a good while since I last had that, and since it is my standard against which I grade other things, it would be good to have a fresh review of that up as well!
    Another darn expensive thing. Can you even enjoy this, knowing that there is pure money burning in your throat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    So, a caveat at the outset is that I am not a Bourbon man at all (so some of the evaluative presentation below might be biased). A good part of the reason for me not liking it is because of this aspect of the maturation of Bourbon whisky, which is that it is indeed aged in charred oak casks. As far as I remember that is actually a legal requirement for Bourbon sold in the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere as well, though I couldn't say for sure), that it must be aged in new oak casks that have been charred.
    I got the feeling it becomes more and more common to view Bourbons as the typical U.S. Whiskey (with "e") while Single Malts Whiskys (without "e") are mostly a Scot thing. Of course there are a lot of Scottish Bourbons and also some American Single Malts. Latter are, however, a niche product; also thanks to the cultural and economic monopoly of Jack and Jim.
    Last edited by Derc; May 12, 2019 at 07:24 AM.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    Germans are either rich, able to throw money around, or darn poor. Very strange people.
    I don't think they are super wealthy or anything, but they take gift giving seriously, and it shows! I'm just glad to be able to enjoy the fruits of their generosity

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    It stands for Non Age Statement and is just that. As the producer is forced to define the age by the youngest ingredient, the age of a whisky that gets some additional ingredients a few years later is set back to zero.
    This may one of the reasons, but whatever it truly is, the producer just decided to not name the age.

    NAS would usually be a negative thing, but a lot of whiskys without statement are actually very good, and it can also help to make well aged ones to be cheaper. Can't elaborate more on that. Never had much to do with NAS Single Malts. Need to try one sooner or later.
    Thanks for this info Derc! This is something interesting I never knew before, especially the point about how the age is calculated, and how that may probably discourage certain types of experimentation with adding flavors. It definitely makes me more interested in trying certain whiskies that don't list an age, as it may have nothing to do with quality, and rather be about removing the stigma of a "young" whisky (which may not even be true, if the last ingredient is just added really late). At any rate, I will keep this in mind when selecting new ones!

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11
    Lagavulin...
    Another darn expensive thing. Can you even enjoy this, knowing that there is pure money burning in your throat?
    So I didn't end up getting Lagavulin, as it was all sold out at the store, but I got a great alternative instead (review to come soon ). But I wanted to say something about prices anyway, and your comment here is a good segue to that.

    Whisky can indeed be expensive (at least, I think 50+ EUR for a bottle is expensive), but it is something that one should just accept if you like it and want to get into it. For myself, I am astoundingly thrifty, and buy basically no clothes, no new items of any kind, and rarely any entertainment stuff. Every couple of years I will get maybe one game for computer or Xbox (I get my money's worth with replays, trust me), and I buy lots of books off Amazon, but all used stuff that costs almost nothing. Part of this is because I am just thrifty as a baseline attitude (but not cheap; I'll take you out for drinks and dinner if you ever come visit ), but it is also because I am still paying off a lot of huge student loans from the U.S. After a few years of paying about 90% of my income to loan repayments I realized I was starting to get very angry about the whole situation and I decided to buy myself one new bottle of Scotch a month, in order to have at least some of my money going to my general life enjoyment. Now I don't drink enough to need a new bottle each month, but I still get a new one when I am low, and I don't bother about the price. I would never get one that is above 100 EUR because that just seems unnecessary, but between 50 and 100 seems reasonable to me, so long as the quality merits it. So yes, whisky is, or at least can be expensive, but it is something one should commit to (in my opinion). It will make you appreciate the drink itself more, and will lead you to get drinks that are easier to appreciate as well. And if you can't afford those bottles all the time, then just don't get a new one as often. Save for two or three months and then get the quality one that you really want. I mean, I treat my love of whisky as a vice, but one that I am happy to indulge, and part of my enjoyment comes from me putting the price out of my mind.

    For a small life lesson in the same vein, my parents had a financial planner friend who had literally millions of dollars penned up in his accounts, but he drove beater cars, wore 30 year old suits until they fell apart, and never paid full price if the same item was on sale somewhere else. It wasn't because he was cheap overall or a miser or anything. It was because he loved WWII history, and used his money to buy authentic guns, trucks, and even a tank! Seriously, I saw it. He has a Soviet light tank that drives and everything. He bought it from some Ukrainian salvage yard and had it shipped to the U.S. And his advice regarding money was always to use what you have, but only to use it on the things you love. I love enjoying whisky, so I dole out my spare funds on it generously! The thing for you is just to decide if you love it that much, and if so, to set aside some cash for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    I got the feeling it becomes more and more common to view Bourbons as the typical U.S. Whiskey (with "e") while Single Malts Whiskys (without "e") are mostly a Scot thing. Of course there are a lot of Scottish Bourbons and also some American Single Malts. Latter are, however, a niche product; also thanks to the cultural and economic monopoly of Jack and Jim.
    I think you're right about that, but there are indeed those distilleries that try to make the blends of their overseas counterparts, and I think those can also be exquisite. The one thing I like about whisky in general is that (in my experience) few distilleries try to lie in order to lure you into getting their product. Most give a pretty accurate (if somewhat ornate) description of the flavors in play, and it makes it very easy to make sure you aren't disappointed. Every once in a while there is one that is not the best (I have a terrible one on my shelf that still needs a review), but by and large the bottle will say what you are getting into, and then you can make good decisions. So those Bourbons that pride themselves on being solid Bourbon will say that, and then you can decide whether or not to buy it based on your (dis)like of Bourbon. Same for Single Malts, or blended varieties, or for the myriad of flavors that get put into whisky. At any rate, I should try Bourbon again sometime, as it has been ages since I had it. I remember hating it, but I should give it another go. If not, they might never let me back into the States
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  10. #30
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    50 Euros is not that expensive today, but the rest of your points are spot on. Although it is not so expensive, it is out of my modest budget range today. Fortunately I am still working off the stock of various mixed and single malts that I had purchased when my budget was better.

    And Derc's comment on NAS is spot on. Good information in this thread.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Good afternoon whisky lovers. I'm coming at you all with a problem and a wish to gather some thoughts.


    Where I live we are now into something like the third or fourth week of a serious heatwave. It has been regularly above 30°C (that's over 86°F for all of you stateside), with temperatures pretty often going up to 35°C (95°F) or even higher. For example, today it was already to 30°C by around 10 am, and by early afternoon we were scratching the underside of 40°C (104°F) on my balcony, with inside temperatures only a bit below that due to the evenings not providing much respite.

    Now, the reason why I am giving you all this wealth of meteorological information is because it has created a problem for my whisky enjoyment. I've been itching to put up another review, and also to make progress in my AAR (I much prefer to write with a glass of Scotch beside me, and its absence has left me less enthused about the creative process), but with such hot weather whisky is no longer that good to have. However, the problem is not so much that whisky itself is not good in hot weather, but rather that my whisky is getting kind of too warm to drink. As you all know (or soon will know), whisky is generally left in a cupboard or on a shelf, much like red wine, and is not ever refrigerated (unless you have horrific whisky you're using for mixed drinks). But because of this my bottles are now pretty warm to the touch, simply because inside temperatures are so high, and that makes the whisky (even good ones) rather hard to drink, much less enjoy. My question then is whether you guys think I should simply abstain from drinking any whisky until the heat-spell has blown over, or instead have it over ice...

    I put this forward as a question because I personally hate the idea of whisky on the rocks. If whisky needs ice to be drinkable, then I just think we should not be drinking it. That's my general stance (though I do not mean no one should have it over ice; this is merely my preference, and I try to make it clear that everyone should enjoy it the way they can best!). But without ice it really is simple too damn hot to drink. So, what do you all think? No whisky? Whisky on the rocks? Chilled glasses? Put the bottle in the fridge for an hour? I am all ears for suggestions or thoughts, because I really do miss my "water of life", but I am not sure if there is a good way to go about making it drinkable in a manner that fits my overall preferences and principles.
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  12. #32
    McScottish's Avatar The Scribbling Scotsman
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    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Asking the hard questions, as always, and it saddens me that I am indeed in the very same boat as yourself - not that I really write anything...yet.

    Anyway, to answer the question, I would personally either put it on the rocks or chill the glass - I know, I know! - the reason being that I honestly couldn't not drink it if I truly wished to, and sacrifices must be made.

  13. #33
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    Uff, I know what you're talking about - I'm originally from the hottest part of Germany, which is the extreme southwest. I visited my mother to build her garden house, was constantly outside working, and that weather really messed with me. It also rained/stormed/hailed at the worst possible moments, like when I'd just poured the concrete, but when a bit cooling would've been nice, then the gods all made sure I'd get roasted... Which I as a Dane do within minutes. I finished the roof of that damn thing yesterday about an hour before flying home, and I guarantee you that you could've boiled eggs on that newly made roof before my flight even took off.

    You should drink whatever you like. In this weather, I like a cold white wine such as a Gewürztraminer or Sylvaner.

    I'm not the expert on how the whisky should be consumed, but I often put my whisky in the fridge before consumption. Does that taint the taste?
    If so and if you don't want your whisky to be watered down by melting ice cubes, you can buy those metal/stone cubes that do the same thing.

    And oh, btw: I always close the windows and the window blinds on the sunside, and open the windows during the night. That way it stays pretty cool in the house no matter how hot it's outside. You probably know that already but if you don't, try it. Coincidence has it that we had Americans visit us during my stay who did not know that.
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  14. #34

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by McScottish View Post
    Asking the hard questions, as always, and it saddens me that I am indeed in the very same boat as yourself - not that I really write anything...yet.
    Well, I am hopeful you'll start soon

    Quote Originally Posted by McScottish View Post
    Anyway, to answer the question, I would personally either put it on the rocks or chill the glass - I know, I know! - the reason being that I honestly couldn't not drink it if I truly wished to, and sacrifices must be made.
    Thanks for the thoughts my Scottish friend. It's too late for a glass now tonight, but I think I will put two glasses in the fridge and try that tomorrow. Something needs to be done, but I really don't want ice in there. Then it becomes water, and then my whisky is diluted, and I feel I can't enjoy it as much when I'm wondering the whole time how it should really taste. More than that, I certainly can't write a review if I'm drinking it on the rocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Uff, I know what you're talking about - I'm originally from the hottest part of Germany, which is the extreme southwest. I visited my mother to build her garden house, was constantly outside working, and that weather really messed with me. It also rained/stormed/hailed at the worst possible moments, like when I'd just poured the concrete, but when a bit cooling would've been nice, then the gods all made sure I'd get roasted... Which I as a Dane do within minutes. I finished the roof of that damn thing yesterday about an hour before flying home, and I guarantee you that you could've boiled eggs on that newly made roof before my flight even took off.
    I can imagine that. The weather report this morning was showing red basically all across Germany, but that corner near Freiburg was a particularly nasty arterial color that I'd only seen before in weather reports from North Africa or the Arabian peninsula. I'm just waiting for the sky to break and flood the streets around me. I'm on the fourth floor, so a bit of flood can't hurt me, and it will finally cool down the pavement!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    You should drink whatever you like. In this weather, I like a cold white wine such as a Gewürztraminer or Sylvaner.
    Well, you know I'm going to do that anyway But I'll have beer before white wine any day. The main thing is that I genuinely do want a whisky, I just also want it to be below 25°C.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I'm not the expert on how the whisky should be consumed, but I often put my whisky in the fridge before consumption. Does that taint the taste?
    If so and if you don't want your whisky to be watered down by melting ice cubes, you can buy those metal/stone cubes that do the same thing.
    I don't think putting it in the fridge necessarily does anything to the taste (putting ice in does). However, there are often a lot of subtle notes that won't be present if the whisky is too cold. That is actually why people will often put lower quality things in the fridge/freezer, because if it's colder it softens a lot of edges, making an otherwise harsh drink somewhat smoother. But I got good whisky, and I want to experience it fully. I think I will try McScottish's suggestion first about putting a glass in the fridge and see how that works. A full report will come tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    And oh, btw: I always close the windows and the window blinds on the sunside, and open the windows during the night. That way it stays pretty cool in the house no matter how hot it's outside. You probably know that already but if you don't, try it. Coincidence has it that we had Americans visit us during my stay who did not know that.
    Done and done! I've been here long enough and learned how to cope without A/C at all buildings. Main thing for me is to always have beer in the fridge, along with a couple bottles of water and some iced tea!
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  15. #35

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    *Telling things too atrocious to show here*
    Typical Equator-Scandinavian. Can't handle neither the cold nor the heat properly. Doesn't even know how to handle whisky either.
    THIS is a real Scandinavian:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Germany's southwest is a very, very dark corner of a country that is already grim enough. Even the local population agrees, calling their own forests black.
    They also live next door to the French. Why anyone would want to live there is beyond me.
    0 Latins out of 10 would recommend it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I don't think putting it in the fridge necessarily does anything to the taste (putting ice in does). However, there are often a lot of subtle notes that won't be present if the whisky is too cold. That is actually why people will often put lower quality things in the fridge/freezer, because if it's colder it softens a lot of edges, making an otherwise harsh drink somewhat smoother. But I got good whisky, and I want to experience it fully. I think I will try McScottish's suggestion first about putting a glass in the fridge and see how that works. A full report will come tomorrow
    "Are you mad? You don't put whisky in a fridge! You put it into a cooling shelf. Desperate people can also place it in the cellar.
    Don't have any of it? Then you're too poor to make something out of a proper whisky anyway!"

    ...That's what an expert would tell you. They'd laugh at you, nay, turn away in disgust.
    Now I usually don't give a damn about these snobs. There is only one problem. They are right.

    The fridge will destroy your whisky. Not even a Bourbon belongs there. Even putting the fridge on some tropical settings will teint it. It's like putting caviar into a microwave.
    Speaking of it: A Bourbon, however, can be well enjoyed with ice. A Single Malt can't. If you want to piss off whisky lovers, just tell them you put ice into your Single Malt. Or placed it in a fridge...

    It's not too late. Don't do criminal things with your whisky! Abstain, ye olde drinker!

  16. #36

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    Typical Equator-Scandinavian. Can't handle neither the cold nor the heat properly. Doesn't even know how to handle whisky either.
    THIS is a real Scandinavian:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Germany's southwest is a very, very dark corner of a country that is already grim enough. Even the local population agrees, calling their own forests black.
    They also live next door to the French. Why anyone would want to live there is beyond me.
    0 Latins out of 10 would recommend it.
    First of all, I love the feud between you two. I honestly can't tell if you guys are bitter rivals, old friends, or possibly even just a geriatric married couple. But the best part is, I don't even care; you two are simply hilarious together!



    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    "Are you mad? You don't put whisky in a fridge! You put it into a cooling shelf. Desperate people can also place it in the cellar.
    Don't have any of it? Then you're too poor to make something out of a proper whisky anyway!"

    ...That's what an expert would tell you. They'd laugh at you, nay, turn away in disgust.
    Now I usually don't give a damn about these snobs. There is only one problem. They are right.

    The fridge will destroy your whisky. Not even a Bourbon belongs there. Even putting the fridge on some tropical settings will teint it. It's like putting caviar into a microwave.
    Speaking of it: A Bourbon, however, can be well enjoyed with ice. A Single Malt can't. If you want to piss off whisky lovers, just tell them you put ice into your Single Malt. Or placed it in a fridge...
    Don't worry Derc. I wasn't going to put it in the fridge. I put two glasses in the fridge and will try that method tonight. But I care for my whisky too much to leave it out in the cold!

    As for experts, I never could stand them. At least, that's how I feel about "experts" for things that are pure pleasures. An engineer can tell me about how one should build bridges or airplanes and a doctor can tell me how one should perform surgeries, but only I get to decide how I enjoy things. That being said, I do put weight in the craftsmanship put into things, and I would never do something to harm the works of a true craftsman, which includes whisky. Making it right is an art, and I refuse to undermine that art. So no fear; ice will never touch my Scotch, and I will at most try chilling a glass, but nothing beyond that. If I feel it affects the whisky negatively in any way, or if I am put off by the experience, I won't do it again. But I will be trying a glass of Scotch tonight, out of a chilled glass, and you will all get the verdict then!

    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    It's not too late. Don't do criminal things with your whisky! Abstain, ye olde drinker!
    Hah! My parents are Catholic; just see if you can get me to abstain from drinking! I learned from the best!
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  17. #37

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Connemara, Peated Single Malt
    Irish Whisky

    Quote Originally Posted by Review
    The scent of this is promising. It has hints of harshness, to be sure, like that tang in the air when you know lightning will come soon, but like that it is also a bit on the intriguing side. On top of that initial estimation, there is a clear note of smoke and peat that hangs over the straw-colored liquid below, and these things beckon in a way that I have longed for for a while now.

    With those thoughts in mind the first sip goes down astoundingly smoothly. It is soft and gentle, and the marks of fire and earth that I detected earlier are laid in the background, almost as a sort of mood music to set the piece itself. With the second and third sips the whisky starts to come into its own, filling out and betraying some subtle flavor of late summer. I cannot pick out what exactly it is, but it tastes like the smell of sunshine on wheat, a flavor of gold hiding the green below. Deeper into the glass and I start to notice small notes of coldness and freshness, tastes that remind me of Islay whiskies, or maybe the more rugged blends of Talisker from Skye. And with these the whisky then plateaus, holding onto the cold taste of coast up through to the finish.
    I have had this bottle laying around for ages now, slowly nipping at it when I want to spare my more fancy stuff and can't be bothered to stoop to the bottom shelf swill (I really do have one "bottom-shelf" bottle, and that review will come at some point!). It was not really a gift, but rather a bottle brought for a party that the proffering party couldn't be bothered to take with when he left. I, for one, am glad of that oversight!

    Connemara is actually a rather cheap whisky, coming in at only around 25 euro, but it is damn solid for all that. In fact, I would say that it is excellent given how exceedingly cheap it is. It smells like it might have a bite to it, but it really doesn't, and it conceals a rather impressive array of subtle notes for being what most would consider something of a "standard" whisky. Nothing stands tremendously out in it, but then again, nothing really has to. You haven't bought top-shelf whisky with this, you've bought the regular old stuff, like Jameson or Jack, but unlike Jameson and Jack, this is quality and has character! (My deepest apologies to lovers of those whiskies, but I am no longer 22, and I thus can no longer enjoy such things ) Honestly, I don't think there is much more to be said. It's not amazing, but it is definitely good, and for its price I think you could do far worse. I would definitely recommend this, especially to anyone on a budget or to anyone wanting to "just try something", as it is not so prominent with any flavor to make it something purely for connoisseurs.

    The final point I have to say (as I brought it up above) is that I had this whisky from a chilled glass. Luckily the heat-wave let off a bit today, making the prospect of whisky much better in general, and I had put two glasses in the fridge last night. I was glad to find that the glasses, while cold, were not excessively so (i.e. no condensation on the outside or anything when I put them on the counter), and on filling one all that happened was that my whisky rapidly went to normal whisky temperature (i.e. room temperature for a room that is not broiling inside). But I noticed no adverse effects, nor did I feel that my experience had been lessened or made worse by using a chilled glass. I would strongly advise against ever using ice in a whisky (that's not Bourbon), and I would say that even in spite of my numerous statements that I won't tell you how to drink. In addition, given Derc's passionate thoughts, I would also advise against ever putting whisky in the fridge. But I think chilling a glass works just fine as a way to make whisky a possibility on days when it would otherwise be too hot. So that's something to keep in mind!
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  18. #38
    Cookiegod's Avatar Vicarius
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    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    I think you can still put those steel/stone cubes into your glass from the fridge/freezer. Should have the same effect as the chilled glass. They don't melt like ice does.
    If you can't beat'em, join them

  19. #39

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I think you can still put those steel/stone cubes into your glass from the fridge/freezer. Should have the same effect as the chilled glass. They don't melt like ice does.
    I imagine that would probably work just as well, but I don't have such things. At any rate, no one should put ice in whisky (unless it's Bourbon, but Bourbon is not on my agenda), but it can be helpful to have some method of chilling it if the whisky is too warm. I stress the final point because I only chilled glasses because we are in a heat-spell here. In general, whisky is to be had at room temperature. If you need it to be cold, then whatever you're drinking is probably too strong for your tastes, and it would be worth trying a more mild blend. In that case, I'd recommend basically any Speyside whisky, but in particular I remember Glenfarclas to be really mild. In fact, I think I recall describing it as "a child's whisky"!

    In summary, cooling it a bit is definitely fine, so long as no actual ice cubes are used. And don't chill the whisky itself (i.e. don't put it in the fridge), chill your glass or steel cubes instead. If you find a whisky to be too harsh for your tastes it's possible you should just have a more mild whisky and gift that bottle you've got to a friend. It's also possible the whisky is , and only to be used for mixed drinks, but please ask someone with experience before making that judgment. If I hear of anyone deciding that Lagavulin is crap and then making Whisky Sours with it, I will
    Last edited by Kilo11; June 28, 2019 at 03:33 AM.
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  20. #40

    Default Re: Wood's Guide to Whiskies

    Oh, it's just an Irish one. Why haven't you told? That's something you can mix with water either way.
    Ok, joke aside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    As for experts, I never could stand them. At least, that's how I feel about "experts" for things that are pure pleasures.
    Î don't like such guys either.
    Everyone should do as he pleases. It's good that you experiment around and your review sounds promising. Never heard of Connemara. It'd definitely be something I would consider buying.

    Here's a +rep. It was supposed to be for the (M)AAR(C), but oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    In summary, cooling it a bit is definitely fine, so long as no actual ice cubes are used. And don't chill the whisky itself (i.e. don't put it in the fridge), chill your glass or steel cubes instead.
    I absolutely agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    If you find a whisky to be too harsh for your tastes it's possible you should just have a more mild whisky and gift that bottle you've got to a friend.
    Too harsh? Would be really curious to see you review a whisky you deem too harsh.
    I can't take Talisker and Jack Daniels very well. Don't like the taste of either of them and my liver is on fire when I drink them. Some whisky's can be drunk like lemonade and other ones are just a pita. It's because I can't handle nut and salt very well, in my example.
    Reviewing how your body handles a drink could be interesting too. Although that is very different from person to person. Just like taste, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Uh ... eh ... yeah. "Passionate". That's what you can call it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Hah! My parents are Catholic; just see if you can get me to abstain from drinking! I learned from the best!
    Christ is always watching.
    (My name starts with "Christ", so this one is ambiguous)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I honestly can't tell if you guys are bitter rivals, old friends, or possibly even just a geriatric married couple.
    It's complicated.

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