Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things


May 2011

Talisker 10 year scotch is stalking me in #fb! And I drank it in retaliation. A Review?

Tonight I finally made it to the Talisker 10 year scotch. It was the last in a sampler I bought and every time I look at Facebook these days I see an advertisement for Talisker, are they stalking me? Anyhow, tonight I popped open the small (airplane) bottle and poured out half for a taste after my deliciously prepared and eaten pasta with turkey sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and three cheese red sauce. MMMMMMMMM. I followed it up with some Tiramisu. A good dinner indeed.

I don’t usually spend a lot of time looking at the color or legs of a scotch unless they are really interesting, the Talisker’s presentation is normal so I went directly for the nose. I really love to nose this scotch. I can stick my nose down in the tasting glass and go wild. There isn’t hardly a noticeable alcohol burn off at all but you can smell that something exciting is in this glass. I really enjoyed the nose so I let it have an abnormal amount of time sans tongue.

Michael Jackson’s single malt guide talks about a bursting of taste from this fine liquid and I would totally agree. Such a warm and peppery sensation rushes up the palate but as opposed to just being hot or spicy it is very pleasing. I feel like the Talisker has a buttery sweet and salty expression that does not turn bitter on the palate. The finish is very pleasing and long and I had much of the sensation left that a fruit may leave, like grapefruit. So from nose to finish, I really like the Talisker 10 year! Along with just being very tasty this scotch did a wonderful job as a digestive.

I believe you would love this expression along with some seafood, it would fit right in and compliment any shrimp or crab dish. Since I had eaten, I’m not sure how it would do just as a sipping whisky but I would encourage you, and myself, to try it as such.

As far as with a cigar, I will try it tonight, I’m thinking about pulling out a Cain F which is full of flavor as this Talisker is. They will either compliment or fight. Hopefully they will make good company.


The Dalmore 12 year and Alec Bradley Harvest Habano


The other night I grabbed a healthy dram of Dalmore 12yr as opposed to the Gran Reserva (Cigar Malt) that I usually drink and headed downstairs with a Cohiba Puro Dominicana to spend some time talking to a neighbor. I have spent so much of my Dalmore focus on the Gran Reserva that I have not thought about the 12 year as much. While having a great conversation I started to realize how very polished and good the 12 year is and how well it was pairing with this Cohiba.

Tonight I poured another dram or two of the 12yr and headed downstairs with an Alec Bradley Harvest Habano to enjoy. The Dalmore 12 yr offering is so refined and a bit more elegant than the Gran Reserva in color and palate. The jammy fruit of the Gran Reserva is a bit more reserved in the 12 year and doesn’t linger or demand as much of your attention. The 12yr is a really good sipping whisky and I truly do consider it on equal footing as the Gran Reserva and probably a bit more crowd pleasing. Again, I do drink whisky neat unless it is overly high in ABV and then cut it with pure water.

The cigar, AB’s Harvest Habano really scored with me tonight. This cigar impressed me unlike others have in awhile. Its like a fine peace of leather that you want more of. It has a balanced and pleasant smell and the smoke is not offensive. The flavors are subtle but pleasing and it is definitely a cigar that I smoked down to the nub. This is a cigar I will smoke again, because I do have another one, and would jump at a box if given a good deal. You won’t be disappointed.

Nica Libre Potencia cigar accompanied by the Famous Grouse

Tonight I smoked one of the two Potencia’s that I got in from
It was shipped with my monthly “double-decker” order along with some other top shelf cigars. Although I have smoked quite a few cigars, and have probably smoked one of these, I cannot recall them and had no expectation of it. Per usual, if I read the marketing write up, which I did not, I tend to discount the marketing because it was offered with someone else’s palate that is probably far more advanced than mine. Having smoked the Cohiba Puro Dominicana last night, which was very smooth, I have to say that this one comes up short. The Potencia is a nice smoke, but it did not leave any lasting impression on me at all. It was like having a good wine yet you can’t really recall why or anything about it. I can’t really say anything bad about it but I probably will not buy it even if it comes out in a “deal” from CI. The presentation however was very nice, it does have a unique reddish coloring to it that is not normal and this one showed little veins.

I can say that it does go well with scotch. At least it went well with Famous Grouse which is a splendid everyday blended whisky that I wrote about previously. I do have one more and will gladly smoke it and would place it in a good conversation cigar category. That being, you can smoke this in company of others and not really have to get wrapped up into it much but just enjoy the moment.Double Toro

Gurkha Assassin smoke note


Tried out an Assassin today while doing yard work and was really not surprised at how well I liked it. I’m guessing this is a competitor to the NUB series yet in true Gurkha fashion it seems more rounded and of course more expensive.  It has a large ring gauge and smokes like a wind tunnel. Large smoke, they should call it the smoke bomb. I have to say the CainF 464 delivered more flavor though. I will probably buy this again though.

Jura Origin 10 year whisky notes

Around the world there are small islands and areas where tourists love to go. Most of these areas are simply visited for their beaches or isolation, Jura is most visited for its whisky. In the packaging of the Jura you start to get the picture of a small (200 people) town that is isolated and as a result shrouded in myth and mystery,which of course carries into the whisky. Words like nestled, slumbering, and bewitching attempt to describe the island and the Jura whisky. It’s very well done and paints a picture very strongly, strongly enough that the whisky has a lot to live up to.

I, like a lot of people, think that most whisky is good somewhere around the 12 year mark and gets better with time, so a 10 year offering interested me. In short, it did not disappoint. The nose and the taste are complex and vivid. There is a certain excitement in the whisky which I think may owe to its youth. Whatever it is, it works quite well and is a very solid, well-built whisky. There are lots of interesting tastes and tinges in this whisky, the mouth never gets dulled with it and you will find yourself pouring a few drams of this one. The last whisky I remembering having this sort of mouth feel and warmth was The Glenrothes Select Reserve.

I have paired this with a couple of cigars that are medium to medium-full and it was very complimentary. This is an agreeable whisky that does not have a lot of peat in it that makes smoking a cigar somewhat challenging if it is not a full bodies cigar.

So do give this one a try, It may be the best 10 year whisky you have ever tried.

WARLOCK Cigar and Fighting Cock Bourbon – More about good craftsmanship than angst.

Tonight, on the day the world celebrated the demise of the world’s most hated man since Hitler, I tried out a cigar and a bourbon with very masculine and brash names. The Cigar was a sample that I had received months ago at the Cigar Africinado smoke event in New York, Warlock. The bourbon was a miniature of Heaven Hill’s Fighting Cock.

I do admire good marketing, to me this is a bit over the top but it defintitely gets your attention. Now tasting a whiskey that refers to an angry rooster is reason enough for me to think that this product may be a bit rough. I was surprised. Not only is this a pretty nice bourbon but I think its more dignified than the name. It delivers a classic bourbon palate that almost, especially with a bit of water added, becomes creamy. I have to admit, this may find a place in my cabinet one day and would not hesitate to recommend it. Bottom line, if you find the marketing a bit silly, I understand, but it is a good bourbon.

I kind of wonder if Charlie smokes Warlock cigars? He obviously is a cigarette smoker but I think he would be much more dignified smoking a Warlock cigar. And like the fighting cock, the bourbon not Charlie, this also was a silly named cigar that turned out to be very nice. I was surprised at how smooth and tasty this cigar was. It was very smooth to me and delivered a consistent taste and burn. The blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican leafs to me are a winning combination and the Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper is a perfect wrap. The draw was a bit restrictive but not annoying. I recently had a cigar, memory blank right now, that was lauded as a great cigar but its overly restrictive draw turned me completely off.

So I don’t know what’s up with the overly machismo marketing but don’t let it turn you off of these two products, I think I’d classify them both as smooth and more docile than angry.

La Flor Dominicana Ligero L500 notes #cigars


Smoked a LFD L500 last night and was left begging for more. It is a ligero leaf series cigar and is in the Cabinet collection.  The L500 is a large oily cigar that has a wonderfully complex and rounded taste. I seriously enjoyed this cigar with some Famous Grouse whisky and thought that if I could make a cigar this is very close to what I would strive for! I am very surprised to find many who do not think this cigar is exceptional. It will become a permanent resident of my humidor and join favorite status which has been extended to the Cain F and the  Cortez of late.

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