Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Man Who Walked Around the World

Just before setting off to Scotland, friend and colleague
Andrew Weir sent me a link to the new Johnnie Walker short film/ad "The Man Who Walked Around the World."

When I first viewed it, there had been 3000 views. There have now been 130,000, I believe the viral will continue to spread, and I feel no shame in sharing the contagion. Oh wait a sec, this one has subtitles. Ha. The one Andy sent me did not. Anyways... Will use this one for those of you who don't speak English, or those who do but cannae speak Scottish.

The video came up over conversation in the Highlander Inn, with a group of visitors to Glenfiddich Distillery, with members of The Edinburgh University Water of Life Society, and over several drops of Grant's 12yo with Robert Hill and David Stewart in the heart of Speyside. We all had different opinions and thoughts. Naturally. And thank god.

What are yours?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On Scottish Soil

In Scotland again and it feels great.

Landed to beautiful weather, good friends, and a killer curry at Kebab Mahal

Walked into an OddBins and a Tesco to take note of the increases of whisky prices across the board since leaving the UK a year and a half ago. Everything is about six pounds more than when I was last living here.

The pubs are still where I left them.

Tomorrow I hope to pop in on the lads at Royal Mile Whiskies in the AM before heading up to Dufftown to spend some quality time at Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries and hopefully include a visit with the good folks at Duncan Taylor. I am sure I will get up to some more nonsense before heading back to my home, kjaerste, and bed in Brooklyn on Friday. Unlikely it will include another Malt Mission, but I do plan to down a few while over here.

Have a great week, wherever you are.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #366

Straight Rocky Mountain Whiskey
batch 32, 11/22/06

47% abv


As promised, here come some more world whiskies, starting with this sweet drop from firefighter/booze-lover partners Jess Gerber and George Stranahan. Using Rocky Mountain water and Rocky mountain barley, 80% from within Colorado, Stranahan's holds fast to the belief that the quality of the sources of their natural ingredients separate them from the rest of the whiskey-making world.

First bottled in April 2006, Stranahan's remains a truly small-batch operation with about 60,000 bottles released per annum. And, so far as I can tell, Stranahan's is a single malt in that it is made from barley exclusively. Sku's Recent Eats confirms this with his complete list of American Whisky Distilleries and Brands, the only one of its kind online, I believe. Thanks for the resource, Sku.

Now let's taste.


Delicious butterscotch sweetness. Cedar, oak, banana chips and other dried fruit.

Big vanilla bearhug, woody, apple-y, and mildly spicy. Quick sweet finish encourages another sip. Or serving.


Simple and simply wonderful. Quaffable, sweet, and balanced whiskey, although nothing distinctly single malt about it. It shares features more with American-style whiskey. And that's no criticism.

Malt Mission #365
Malt Mission #367

Malt Mission #368
Malt Mission #369
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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #365

Armorik Whisky Breton
Single Malt Whisky

40% abv



It's taken me a heck of a long time to finish this "week" of world/non-Scotch whiskies here on this whisky/whiskey blog, or as a friend called it, Dr. Whisky's Casebook. And I think we are going to try another five world whiskies at the encouragement of a reader who challenged me to uphold my promise now that I live in the Etats Unis and taste more American spirit.

This drop is from France and is distilled at the Warenghem Distillery in Lannion, Brittany. Like
stinky cheese, pâté, cornichons, and the baguette, Scotch whisky is ubiquitous in the French pantry. Still the worlds leading importer of Scotch whisky, France chugs back nearly 13 million cases of the liquid gold per annum, and the Cognac producers shake their heads in defeat and say, "c'est dommage."

Released in 1999, Amorik is widely available in France and has limited availablilty in the rest Europe, although I have seen it popping up in new places, most recently at Binny's in Chicago/Chicago/Chicago.


Vanilla and wine. Greasy, tarry, shoe polish, a savoury saltiness, like bouillon, with a light floral perfumy character throughout.

Dry and dusty, mossy, too, with a caramel apple-laden lift. Perhaps some ginger powder. Simple and light.


For origin and flavour, this is truly unusual stuff with more than just novelty appeal, and although I cannot think of ever coming home and saying, "man, I could really go for a drop of that Breton malt," I would keep a bottle on the shelf. But I am a fricking nerd.

Malt Mission #361
Malt Mission #362
Malt Mission #363
Malt Mission #364

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