Anyone who is obsessive and geeky by nature will begin compiling lists at one point or another in his or her life. Since my early teenage years I’ve made lists of favourite basketball players, video games, movies (often broken down by genre or decade), superheroes, bands, wrestlers… you name it and I’ve agonizingly and meticulously considered it. Whisky list making is the obvious and natural progression of this tendency (and indeed I’ve already given you lists of my favourite Beginner Whiskies and Canadian Whiskies), so today I present you, dear readers, with a list of My 10 Favourite Scotch Whisky Distilleries. This list is by no means set in stone, and is instead a living, breathing, organic, and ever-fluctuating compilation of some of the whisky distilleries that have touched me the most at this point in my life. Also bear in mind that the distilleries presented here are merely my personal favourites, and your tastes will invariably vary from mine (“Just an opinion, not a fact!” as our malt mate Ralfy would say).
Lowland, Highland, Speyside, Campbeltown, Islay & (sometimes) Islands. For better or worse, these are the regions that comprise the present landscape that is Scotch whisky. There has been some measure of debate over the years as to the merits of this somewhat loose codification of the whisky regions in Scotland, and I’m here today to throw my two Canadian cents in. Continue reading “Do Scotch Whisky Regions Still Matter?”
Hello friends! As some of you who know me in real life may be aware, I’ve decided to take a break from drinking whisky (and other boozy things) for the month of November. I will not by any means stop writing about whisky during this time, and today I’d like to present some brief tasting notes recorded before the start of my self-imposed alcohol hiatus. Continue reading “KWM 25yr Glenfarclas – Tasting Notes”
July 1, 2017 marked the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation as a nation, a fact that if you’re not Canadian may well have escaped you (and if you are Canadian, it’s been hammered into each of our minds relentlessly since at least January of this year). As a proud son of Canada, I think now is perhaps the perfect time to highlight my affection for one of our great and lasting contributions to the world at large, Canadian whisky. Continue reading “10 Canadian Whiskies For Canada 150!”
As I concluded in my post documenting the happy experience I had while attending the Ypenburg Whisky Festival, one of the true joys of convening with other whisky people is the immediate sense of community the environment creates. One of the many connections I was able to make through this event was to a gentleman who has a small sideline in purveying 30ml sample bottles of the whiskies in his collection for a nominal fee (mostly to cover costs so he can then procure more whiskies). This is not at all uncommon practice in the whisky world, and national shipping laws permitting, many enthusiasts have taken to trading samples in order to spread the love and knowledge of whisky with friends and strangers alike (there’s even a /r/scotchswap subreddit for such transactions). Continue reading “Dram Good Netherlands – Scotch Whisky Samples!”
A few months back I wrote a post entitled “How Do You Drink Whisky?” in which I dove in to some of the fundamental nuts and bolts of whisky appreciation. In an effort to put some of that theory into practice, I’ve decided to put together some tasting notes on one of the purchases I’ve made recently here in the Netherlands. Keen eyed observers may well recall this release was one of the sample bottles I picked up at Van der Boog in Rijswijk. Continue reading “Whisky Tasting Notes – Sansibar Islay 8yr”
Rotterdam – Whiskybase
The next leg of our Low Countries journey (catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them) took us to the sprawling, modern metropolis of Rotterdam. Ostensibly a hardscrabble port city dolled up with some futuristic architecture and a healthy dose of modern art installations, the place was admittedly lacking in some of the Old World Dutch charm to which my wife and I have grown so accustomed (blame it on Ze Germans I suppose). The crown jewel in the city for my money however, has got to be Whiskybase, located not far from Rotterdam Centraal station. Continue reading “Dram Good Whisky – Netherlands Pt. 3”
My plan for The Whisky Mafia going forward over the next several weeks is to navigate away (for now) from the Whisky 101 series I’ve been presenting so far, and delve a little more into some personal stories, tasting notes, & in-depth whisky discussions. Before I shift gears however, I wanted to leave you fine readers with a generous handful of some truly useful additional resources to further your whisky education. I’ve by no means come across the information I’ve presented so far via divine intervention, so let’s take a look at some of the resources that I use on a daily basis to keep my brain soaked with whisky knowledge.
Welcome back! Last time we jumped into the question of What Is Scotch Whisky? and this week I’m following it up with some practical tips and suggestions for drinking and enjoying whisky. The question of how one should best enjoy their whisky is far more a matter of personal opinion than of science, but I aim to at least nudge you in the direction of conventional whisky wisdom when it comes to getting the best possible experience out of your dram. Just remember the golden rule while reading through this post: these are merely suggestions. How, when and why you enjoy your whisky is entirely your business, don’t let anyone dictate to you or try to tell you you’re wrong for getting satisfaction out drinking whisky any way you like it.
Now that I’ve broken down some old myths about Scotch whisky and given you some practical recommendations for starting points, let’s take a step back and get down to brass tacks for a minute here. Crowing about what whisky isn’t without telling you more explicitly what it is, and then giving you buying recommendations without any sort of guidepost about what exactly you’re supposed to do with these mysterious bottles once you get your hands on them, seems counterintuitive at best, potentially negligent at worst. Rest assured, as in all cases there is at least some method to my madness. Today I’ll be covering the first question What Is Whisky? In my next post, I’ll dive into the second, How Do You Drink It?