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theScotchlife

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

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The Balvenie 17 year Doublewood

Oh yes! Stopped into the Virginia ABC store today and while trolling through the scotch aisle I came upon the new release from Balvenie. Balvenie experienced great success with their 17 year line that has been released over the past few years and now they have complimented it by taking their usual Doublewood whisky and brought it to a mature level of 17 years. The entry or as i like to call it “gateway” to The Balvenie line of scotch is the Doublewood and it is a fabulous scotch. The regular Doublewood can be had for around $50 U.S. and the 17 year comes in north of $120. I wasn’t planning on finding this and was very happy and thought this would make a great dram to review since I have basically been on hiatus for several months now.

It is fall in the D.C. area and the beautiful colors of fall are starting to emerge. This 17 year’s color is right on time! It’s appearance is a beautiful amber that matches the hardwoods in my backyard. It looks like it has some beautiful coloring in it that can only come from time in the right casks.

The nose is candy like and leads me to think this is going to be a very warm and smooth whisky. The ABV count is 43% and there is no alcohol kick as I stick my nose firmly into the Glencairn glass.

It tastes like butter. I love butter! And it tastes just like it smells. It is warm, not hot. It coats the tongue evenly and and is very well rounded. It does not burn. You can leave it in your mouth for many seconds and just enjoy the dram.
The finish is polite, and it is simply a home run! It is a very easy drinking scotch, almost too easy. Some may be wishing for a higher ABV but this is simply a civilized scotch that would feel at home in a ballroom or your living room. What you get is a much deeper and mature experience that you would not get from the regular Doublewood offering. Be warned, this drinks really easy. I did not add any water to this, as I do not to any Balvenie product.

It is a bit pricy, especially in these times so if you can find a friend who enjoys whisky team up and go find this offering.

Thanks again Balvenie!

Cheers!

 

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Tomatin Single Malt Scotch 12 tasting notes

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I recently discovered a new Highland Scotch that is evidently quite well known in Scotland. According to Michael Jackson’s Single Malt Scotch guide, Tomatin is as big as Glenfiddich and in 1950-1970 period was one of the largest distillery outfits in the world. After that it was well used in making other blends but wasn’t recognized as a stand alone scotch. After picking up a bottle on special for around $25 dollars I think this may be one of the biggest finds in the USA in affordable scotch.

It has an unmistakable Highland quality to it. It reminds me a bit of an unpolished Macallan. It is finished in sherry casks which give it color and great sherry wood taste. I figured for the money, it was worth a shot! I was pleasantly rewarded with a bottle that I would consider a good mid-line scotch that could compete in the mid-range price level. It was only after a few drams that I actually decided to add a wee bit of water to see what happened. The result is I will always add a wee bit of water to this whisky! With water this turns into a very sweet, mellow malty whisky. I find it quite refreshing actually. It is also a good candidate for a medium to full cigar. I am going to smoke a Carlos Torano 1916 with it tonight and expect good things.

If you are new to scotch or want to get into single malts, this would be a good place to start. This is a much better scotch, to me, than a Glenlivet 12 or Johnny Walker Black. This is a true single malt, and they are hard to beat by a low level blend. For the record, MJ’s guide scores the Glenlivet ten points higher than the The Glenlivet is a single malt, but I think its commonplace makes it less interesting than the Tomatin 12.

If you happen to come across this whisky and the price is south of $40 U.S. I would give it a try!

Cheers!

Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky – The Original tasting notes

So two reasons why I’ve picked out the ever present Glenmorangie “The Original” to write about today. First, it is in most bars in America that offer a Scotch above JW Black Label and two, the ABC of VA has it on sale this month. The whole line up of Glenmorangie to me is a very pleasant and approachable Scotch whisky line. This may be the whisky you choose to drink and its a great one to try out on your non-scotch drinking buddies.

The Original is ten years old and is a very mature one at that acting much like a twelve. The only thing I think that is truly ten-year about it is its considerable alcohol “burn-off” when nosing it. That being said, I do love the nose, it really jumps up and says here I am, I’m a good whisky. What I also enjoy about it is the mouth-feel. I really love an oily and viscous scotch and this one really delivers. I’d love to pare this one with some seafood…. (damn, I just remembered I have some seafood I need to cook!). Oh well.

The distiller notes/marketing content states that the Original has perfect balance and an alluring complexity. I won’t argue with that. It has an alcohol by volume rate of 43% and like I said earlier, it certainly lets you know on the nose and the first couple of sips. Then it seems more agreeable, and by the way, I do drink scotch neat, meaning without water or ice.

I really like this scotch and will most likely keep a bottle on hand at all times. You can find more info at http://www.glenmorangie.com

Cheers!

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