I've fallen a bit behind on the news recently, but I couldn't let this one pass by without comment. I can't wait to taste this one. It looks poised to fit well with the peat heavy monsters that have been coming out of Islay recently. It also took gold in its debut. More details below
NEW WHISKY BRAND LAUNCHES IN USA
December 2009; Ian Macleod Distillers is officially launching a brand new Scotch whisky into the USA aimed at the modern consumer.
SMOKEHEAD is a contemporary, individual and exciting whisky, already available in premium bars and retailers across the UK and worldwide.
Not so long ago a friend of mine picked up a bottle at the whisky shop in heathrow airport. Litle did I know that it would become my absolute favorite whisky and cement Caol Ila as my favorite distillery. Talisker and Caol Ila are responsible for my appreciation of peated Scotch.
2009 looks to be a great year for Scotch in America. Diageo has announced their line of 2009 Rare Edtions to be released world wide and there are some beauties in there (which we will talk about as soon as we get some).
Here is what the official releases say about this wonderful whisky:
With its abundant fresh sea air and robust, yet easy going disposition, Islay is birthplace to a unique malt Scotch whisky named Caol Ila (pronounced “Cul-Ela”).
The Caol Ila Distillers Edition finished in Moscatel casks creates an extraordinarily stylish and complex expression of Caol Ila; the Moscatel cask wood not over-evident; richly flavoured yet also drying and finely balanced.
UPDATE: "sources in Scotland" have confirmed that the list below is accurate, but no concrete details on which malts will make it to us here in the states. Also Caol Ila DE is coming to the states in October. Here's hoping we get to sample some of these newsmakers at WhiskyFest SF 2009!
A couple of days ago John Hansel clued us all into something special coming from Diageo regarding their malt whiskys on the 4th of September. This always leads to rampant specuation and more than a few google searches. I don't know exactly what is coming, but at least it has a name now;
The Manager's Choice Single Cask Selection.
The focus is squarely on our favorite brown spirit and the products represented are predominantly whiskies. Brandy, Vodka, liquers and Rum make appearances but are in the extreme minority.
For us, it's a whisky wonderland.
Every one of these shows has its own personality and character. Some of that comes from the format, some from the attendees and a health chunk comes from the sponsors. People like John Hansel and Riannon Walsh work very hard to keep these three forces in alignment and aimed in the right direction.
WhiskyFest is very much an industy showcase. The major players and minor importers are on the same footing here. Everyone has the same space to work with, but that doesn't imply that the presentations are at all equal.
Mark and I trace the genesis of our whiskey adventures back to a science fiction convention in March of last year, but perhaps the biggest watershed for us was attending WhiskeyFest San Francisco in 2007. WhiskeyFest is an annual event hosted by Malt Advocate Magazine in
Father's Day is apon us again and what better time to get that special dad a bottle of something special. As a father of four myself, this guide for is a projection of what *I* want since there are no guidelines from a congressionally sponsored Government Institute Managing Mandatory Inferred Expression (GIMMIE?).
My first son was born in October of 1994 so this marks my 13th Father's Day. I thought that the perfect gift would be a bottle of whisk(e)y that is the same age as my fatherhood. The more I thought about this, the better I liked the idea. It has serious flaws for getting something affordable for my dad at 35 years but he doesn't like Scotch so I get off easy.
Ah blessed science.
To develop and select the Whiskey Bros. approved Rob Roy we need research. We pulled up the eight blended whiskys that we happen to have on hand: Buchannan 12, Chivas Regal 12 Chivas Regal 18, Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker Black, Johnnie Walker Green, Johnnie Walker Red, And Suntory Hibiki for evaluation. We promptly put the Hibiki back away where it belongs, before my wife beat me.
The Rob Roy was First served at the Dorchester Hotel London, 1909 and Johnnie Walker was the Scotch of choice. Hence our inclusion of the three most common varieties of Johnnie Walker in this test.
We've decided to persue the "Perfect" Rob Roy, also known as Beal's Cocktail which is made with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth, a couple of dashes of bitters and Blended Scotch Whisky.
The Box has a new king waiting coronation. I just purchased a bottle of Jameson's Middleton Very Rare, a superb spirit I had the pleasure of tasting at this year's Whiskeyfest. Once I get his majesty down to HQ and his rightful throne, tasting notes will be prolific.