Category:  scotch

AM drinking

By , September 30, 2011 in Beer, scotch

In one of The Doors’s songs, it sounds like Jim Morrison sings, “Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer.” I’ve heard that’s wrong; what he really says is “got myself a beard” but I’ve been mishearing it for so long that the first way is what I hear. And, from time to time, it’s what I do. Now, this is something that I’m supposed to say with a bit of shame. Drinking in the morning is wrong. In fact, having a beer or three with lunch is poo-pooed in some circles. But, I submit that there are some pretty good reasons for drinking in the morning. Here’s my list: Holidays Holidays are stressful. We have to put up with family: all those noisy-ass kids, that uncle with his insane politics, the cousin who just joined the Mormon church and “just wants to tell you about a friend… Read More »

After the whisky comes…electricity

By , February 28, 2011 in scotch, whiskey, whisky

At first blush it seems unlikely that waste material from making whisky could be used to make electricity. Once the liquor is created, it leaves behind dirty water and spent grain and not much else. As has been done for centuries by brewers and distillers alike, the grain is generally given or sold to local farmers to feed their livestock. The dirty water is just dumped. One distillery, has found a use for that water. Bruichladdich Distillery has spent the last three years working on a project with a company called Biowayste to use that waste water to produce biogas. This can then be used by a generator to produce electricity which will be pumped back into the distillery. It’s kind of cool to think that heretofore useless by-product will now actually go to power the distillery. But, it’s not the first such circular arrangement of benefits for Bruichladdich. Those… Read More »

How to sell Punjabi rocket fuel

By , February 7, 2011 in booze, scotch, whiskey, whisky

The quick answer is to not call it that. In practice, that answer led to £60,000 in monthly profits for some Indian entrepreneurs and, eventually, to a half dozen arrests. Here’s what happened. The criminal masterminds in our little morality play were blending a couple of locally produced whiskeys, Signature and Bagpiper, aka Punjabi rocket fuel. They would then pour their product in discarded Chivas, Glennfiddich and Johnny Walker Black bottles that had been recovered from the trash of upscale hotels that were serving the real thing. With new, fake labels from a local printer, they were able to pass their booze off to a wholesaler and walk away with a nice little profit. Unnamed “whisky experts” mentioned in the story above have taken this opportunity to crow about the “triumph of brand snobbery over taste and knowledge.” Really? The whiskey industry in India has exploded over the last year… Read More »

Protecting Scotch whisky one country at a time

By , December 29, 2010 in Alcohol Law, scotch, whiskey, whisky

As you know, the term whisky is generally reserved for Scotch. Whiskey is the word used for the same sort of stuff made outside of Scotland although this distinction isn’t recognized in all cases. Some regions and countries choose to respect this distinction by writing it into law. Add China, Panama and Vietnam to the list of countries that have decided to formally protect Scotch whisky. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) announced last week that, after securing protection in China and Panama, the Vietnamese National Office for Intellectual Property agreed to recognize the term as a “geographical indication of origin.” I admit that I’m a bit of a word geek which is why this sort of thing fascinates me. Written English has always been fluid. It’s only been in the last century or so that people have made a serious effort to freeze the written form of this living language… Read More »

Scotch and Water?

Frankly, I know nothing about Joe E. Lewis. But, I can’t argue with his position on water. It just takes up space in the glass that you could fill with more whisky! Whenever someone asks me if I want water with my Scotch, I say I’m thirsty, not dirty. -Joe E. Lewis Part of the November 2010 series of Beer and booze quips, quotes and one-liners

A Case for Scotch

By , November 4, 2010 in alcohol quotes, scotch, whisky

If you want a good quote about pretty much anything but especially alcohol, check in with W.C. Fields. The man knew his one-liners and he definitely knew his booze! Set up another case bartender! The best thing for a case of nerves is a case of Scotch. -W. C. Fields By the way, while we’re talking about Scotch, if you want to taste some good single malt, check out Celebrate the Macallan. The whisky maker is holding tastings at various locations across the US. Just go to the site, give them your address and see if there’s a tasting being held near you. Part of the November 2010 series of Beer and booze quips, quotes and one-liners

Cold Weather Booze – Whisky and Whiskey

I’m not going to get into the whiskey v. whisky thing again, I think I already stepped deeply enough into that one. But when thinking of cold weather booze I have to mention this beloved brown liquor. When it comes to whiskey, it’s all good – Irish, Scotch or Bourbon. Each one has it’s own tradition and the difference in flavors is remarkable, as much among the three distinct styles as among the various distilleries that make them. I like to keep it simple with whisky. I typically drink it over ice but when I’ve just had enough with the cold, I just add water at about 50/50 proportions. Simple, tasty and warming.bourbon cold weather booze irish scotch whiskey whisky

Recovering Lost Whisky

By , November 20, 2009 in scotch, whisky

Do you know who Ernest Shackleton was? After Columbus, he might be the most famous explorer who didn’t find what he was looking for. In 1909 he and his team attempted to go to the South Pole. When supplies ran out they had to turn back before making it. Now we know that they left a few things down there as well, specifically, two cases of whisky. The “Rare Old” brand was made by McKinlay and Co. McKinlay, now owned by Whyte & Mackay, doesn’t make Rare Old anymore but these two cases have survived, frozen in the ice in Antarctica. Whyte & Mackay has asked a team to go down and recover the lost whisky. It was first discovered in 2006 but was too embedded in the ice to be taken. Now it is hoped that it can be retrieved with special drills.scotch shackleton whisky

Nudie Whisky Label Separating the Idiots From the Morons

By , February 24, 2009 in scotch, whisky

I think it was George Carlin who neatly divided all other drivers on the road between idiots and morons. The idiots are anyone who is driving faster than you as in “Would you look at that idiot go?” Morons are anyone who is driving slower than you, especially if they are in your way as in, “Would this moron drive or get out of the way already?” Of course he said it better and funnier but if you’re looking for well crafted comedy you’ve come to the wrong blog. I’m just borrowing his point. The same principle is carried out in the drinks world, especially on the high end where people pay thousands for a bottle of undrinkable wine simply because it’s old and from a famous winery. In this case we’re talking about a bottle of Scotch. The label features a nude model – don’t get excited, nothing’s actually… Read More »

Scotch Bottle Art

By , October 30, 2008 in scotch, whiskey, whisky

For most Scotch lovers the art of the thing is what’s inside the bottle. Since Scotch is on the pricier end of the booze spectrum I haven’t had the chance to taste a lot of really fine bottles. But the few that I have tried left indelible sense memories that are as strong as the first Monet original that I saw or my first experience hearing Mozart from a live orchestra. But here’s a bottle with as much art on the outsidel as on the inside. It’s a limited edition Macallan 21 with an eagle etched in the glass of the bottle. With only 21 of these issued it truly is a limited edition. The etchings are done by hand; hands belonging to the artists at Inner Light Crystal Studios. With only 21 of these bottles they’re not cheap – $2,500 – but a bottle would be quite a “get”… Read More »