Jut picked this up last week. It was actually quite tasty.
Sacred Gin is another really good one. It’s about the same 40 USD price range in the States, so not cheap, but sipping gin lasts forever and there’s no point using good sipping gin in cocktails anyway. Amazingly, Sacred is made by a guy in his living room…
If you want something a little cheaper that’s great both as a sipper and a cocktail mixer, there’s an American gin called Aviation Gin that can be found for about 25 to 30 USD.
I met the distiller David Perkins at Whiskeys of the World Austin a couple years ago when he taught a class. Really nice smart guy, used to be a biochemist.
We decided to pick a bottle for the holiday weekend. Very drinkable for a 12 year scotch. Thanks for the recommendation.
I generally have been drinking bourbon recently, got a couple of bottles of Four Roses Single Barrel in a row.
But then read an article about blended Scotch whiskeys, which actually gave Johnny Black a good review. So I got a bottle, and wouldn’t you know, I liked it (it had been a while since I’ve tried it, and my tastes have changed since then).
I just bought a bottle of Double Black – we’ll see how that goes. Part of why I like Black is that it’s so, I dunno, kind of mellow. If the double is too smokey, I might not like it as much. [Edit: just tried it, pretty dang similar to the black…]
Oh, I had a bottle of Kavalan Classic relatively recently that a friend got me for my birthday. That was pretty nice.
It may not be whiskey, but I want to give a shout-out to Teeling’s Spirit of Dublin Poitín. It’s basically whiskey fresh from the still, Irish moonshine. And interestingly tasty.
There’s a whisky shop (actually an independent bottler) on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh that makes its own blends and sells them straight from the cask. IIRC, they have five: a highland, an island, a Speyside, a Campletown and a rum.
Last year, the island was seven-year Lagavulin (for bite) blended with 30-year-old Caol Isla (for finish). It was bloody good.
I love Lagavulin 16. Caol Ila was good when I tried it, but I haven’t felt compelled to get any more. My experience with scotch with over 20 years of age is limited but ambivalent. I’d be interested in trying that, but I’ve no idea what I’d expect.
I basically got Storm because it was affordably priced and I was already getting some other bottles. You get what you pay for, an affable dram with little to distinguish it.
I’d had Lagavulin before, and liked it, but a few years ago I was at a friends’ house for a dinner party and they said “hey, nungesser, help yourself to the liquor cabinet, I’m trying to slim it down a bit.” One flask was unlabeled and he said “Oh, that’s some Lagavulin” but it didn’t taste like the stuff I knew-- it was amazing. Like a Lagavulin cordial. Entranced, we drank a good amount of it before asking him about it. “Oh… that’s the last of the Lagavulin 21 I got as a wedding gift.” Probably the only time in my life I was drinking a $700+ whiskey like it was Jack Daniels, and I had no idea.
The bottle I usually keep on hand is a Glenfiddich, either the 18 year, or the 15 year solara. I had a fantastic Redbreast last year that I think was a 21 or 25 year. Despite it being a blend, a personal favorite is the 30 year Royal Salute.
I drink whiskey very rarely. Like, once a year or so- So I splurge and get the good stuff. I try to stick with a scotch which would be able to go into a bar and order itself a drink. At minimum, something old enough that I wouldn’t go to jail for dating it.
It was a little more when I had a buddy with a very liberal expense account, or a job that got me into the high roller’s lounge on a few occasions.
Does your friend need another, uh, drinking buddy?
It was very unexpected; everything else was stuff like Aftershock, Goldschlager, or peach schnapps. He’s the last guy I’d expect to have a bottle like that nestled in between the plastic jugs of Old Grand-Dad.
The only other time I’ve gotten to try The Good Stuff was when I worked with Procter & Gamble. They had a client party with lots of beer and liquor tastings, and one of the vendors was Old Rip Van Winkle Distilleries, who was handing out samples of Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20, and 23. The impossible-to-obtain 23-year tasted like I’d just walked into an old barn (in the best possible way).
I worked one summer in Edinburgh and lived on the Royal Mile across from a whiskey shop. I wonder if it was the same one (this was 20 years ago.). They had frequent tastings, it was very nice.
You used to be able to buy both cask-strength and well-aged Lagavulin for a very attractive price at the Heathrow duty-free shops.
The Compass Box blended Scotches (and specialties like Orangerie, as @nungesser mentioned early in the thread), are also well worth a try.
Unfortunately, my budget is such that anything in the premium category that I drink is something that I bought long ago. For Scotch, that means Ardbeg 10, found in an out-of-the-way liquor store years ago at $30/bottle shortly after Scotch prices started spiking. I’d buy a bottle whenever I was in the area, until I cleared out their inventory, and still have 3-1/2 bottles remaining.
Back to the inxpensive-but-good bourbons, Evan Williams bonded is a nice deal. Whether it stays that way is always open to question (the old supply and demand problem coupled with the potential of corporate “because f*ck you, that’s why”).
Ok, in tried it.
I really wasn’t expecting this. Oh my, that’s a hell of a phenolic compounds. If you like a strong Assam mixed with Lapsang sochuong, and a hint of brown rock sugar, try this.
I seriously hope you didn’t do it like they did in the commercials in the 90s. The idea of drinking this from a tumbler, and on ice, gives me a very uncomfortable feeling. Like I must scratch myself in places I can’t reach.
Oh god no. I knew it was Lagavulin, which meant using his nosing glasses with a little water. (The dude was not a collector of fine liquors but he had some decent glassware). I just didn’t know how old a Lagavulin it was!
I will be seeking this out!
Were you on the Canongate (the bit of the Mile downhill of the World’s End)?
American brandy is good for flambes or mixing in coffee but little else.
Here is an article which may prove us both wrong