The historic indenpendence vote for a free Scotland and the start of Fall has coincided with the once-a-year Signet Selectis, a complex whisky showing poise and incredible balance. In the words of The Select, it is “A fusion of unique and rare elements, clouded in secrecy," to which we add, in keeping with the times. Sláinte.
The Signet was first created in Dr Bill Lumsden's mind some years back whilst studying for his PHD in bio-chemistry. He and a friend were in love with coffee and its aromas. That lead to the idea that a single malt could possibly be made with roasted malt as opposed to the regular malted barley.
Fast forward many years and a few disasters later we have the extremely complex dram—Signet. Now made with a high temperature "chocolate" roasted malt. There is an amazing amount of different whiskies in this masterful creation ranging in age from 16 to 40 years of age. There are many different finishes including sherry, wine, virgin oak and some secret stuff that only Dr Bill (Lumsden) knows about.
As TD’s Whisky Editor Stephen Winch put it, “This is a seriously great scotch that works exceptionally well on a large "rock." The ...
By Scott Filip for ScotchBlog
An imposing figure on any shelf, this offering from Bruichladdich is a veritable titan of peat. In fact the Octomore product line currently stands as the world's heaviest peated, often north of 140 parts per million (ppm) phenols. For a frame of reference, Ardbeg and Laphroaig typically contain about 54 and 40ppm phenols respectively. Octomore is made in limited runs, and there is considerable batch variation, so the version number naming convention is for the sake of whisky enthusiasts as a quick reference to track the years aged and various ppm levels. There are rumours of an Octomore release in the pipeline for Summer 2014 that clocks in above an unthinkable 300 ppm.
The name pays homage to the Octomore distillery which was near to Bruichladdich and closed in the 19th century. Bruichladdich has been kind enough to elaborate further here. Aside from having a package design that seems based on the B2 Bomber, this particular whisky was aged 5 years in ex-bourbon casks, is offered at cask strength (59.5%) and its malt was measured at 169 ppm phenols.
When it comes to food, I like to think of wine as the in-between alcohol beverage: start with a Scotch Whisky or Manhattan before dinner, wine with dinner, then finish the evening off with a night cap. Of these three, wine has the biggest challenge. Unlike the other two, wine has to complement the food. A Chablis with a steak is not something you want to brag about or have on your first date. But it could be a Bordeaux, Burgundy, a Zinfandel or Rioja. The pairings are endless.
When it comes to wine critics, Eric Asimov, the wine critic for The New York Times, is among the best. He says: “In the most enlightened households and cultures, wine belongs on the table as part of a meal. It’s a staple, like bread, rice, potatoes or salt, and this is the basis of how I understand wine.
"Of course, wine can be so much more. Like food, wine has a social role to play. It brings people together. It can increase happiness, amplify a sense of well-being and even comfort sadness. By evoking these simple social and emotional responses, wine can be said to have a spiritual component.” We would add a transcendental component.
One of the things that distinguishes Eric from other ...
Milas Kunis is a 30 year-old, Ukrainian-born American actress, best known for making “most beautiful actresses” lists over recent years (GQ, FHM, AskMen, Esquire, Men’s Health). She has a Bud-Light acting career with one challenging role that she played to some acclaim—the role of Lily, a rival ballet dancer to Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Yet somehow she has managed to team up with Jim Beam as a “global partner” and spokesperson for their first ever global marketing campaign, “Making History.”
I don’t get it. When I think of bourbon, I don’t think of a sexy petite babe who is supposedly “down to earth.” Rather I think of bold, big, brave, a band of brothers. Jim Beam is aiming their new campaign at the 20-somethings, especially in Australia and Germany. It has to be a sex-appeal thing, since bourbon is mostly a guys’ drink. They must know something else that I can’t even fathom, something about how this petite face and frame matches up to the boldness of any bourbon, in this case Jim Beam.
Matching a bourbon with an actress is clever and good marketing. But I would have gone with ...
Laphroaig is the world’s No. 1 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This new, innovative expression brings the distinct styles of the Laphroaig portfolio together to create a new expression that stays true to the brand’s heritage with an added layer of complexity and depth brought about by marrying various maturation styles and different oaks. John Campbell, Laphroaig’s Master Distiller, says, “Laphroaig Select delivers a liquid with a unique marriage of our trademark ‘peat reek’ and a gentle sweetness, which we hope will both surprise and delight you.” That is exactly what happened when we first tasted it: transcendental, a great new taste, but distinctively a Laphroaig.
At 80 proof, Laphroaig Select is best enjoyed neat or with a splash of water to release the earthy aroma of blue peat smoke, sweet nuttiness of barley and the heathery perfume of Islay’s streams.
To learn more about this special whisky, TD interviewed John Campbell, ...
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