Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Boston Whisky Cruise is May 14! Get your discount code here!

We've attended the Whisky Guild's Boston Whisky Cruise multiple times now and always have a complete blast.  The Malt Impostors will be in full force at the Boston Whisky Cruise.  That's right: all three Impostors will be there.  Look for three guys in Groucho Marx glasses--and make sure you come up and say hey.

That said, rather than pitch it to you in our usual verbosity, we're going to cut to the chase:  

It's on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, and it's on a boat!  

And if you use our exclusive discount code, you can receive 15% off of your ticket purchase.  Just use the code impostor during checkout.

Beyond that, here are a few other relevant details:

May 14, 2014
Spirit of Boston Cruise Ship

200 Seaport Blvd., Boston, MA

VIP Hour - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Main Boarding - 7:00 - 7:30pm
Sail Time - 7:30 - 9:30pm

Get the rest of what you need to know here:   www.whiskyguild.com
or here:  877-3-WHISKY

Once again:  get 15% off by using the discount code impostor at checkout. 

And look for us on the Boston Cruise!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The anCnoc Peter Arkle Limited Edition: Warehouses (750 ml Arkletastic bottle and tube)

Tasting notes:
      The fourth in a series of anCnoc expressions with tubes and labels designed by Peter Arkle, this one is nicknamed "Warehouses" ...or maybe it should be "Werehouses"--but only if they turn into office buildings when the moon's full. Oh wait, maybe I have that backwards.  At any rate, feeling unsure about the given nickname, I've nicknamed my bottle and tube "Blocky."

     The nose on this one opens with salt-cherries brined for a short sail on the Lake of Lust. Then comes the farkleberry juice. Or maybe snarkleberry or Urkelberry (Did I do thaaat?!?).  There's also dust on the nose, alongside spicy apple cider, or maybe an apple seder (Happy Passover! L'chaim!), and a paprika Pop-Tart.
     The mouth oozes ooh-factor: it brings on early onset O-face. OMG.  It's like a liquor-soaked marshmallow wearing a naugahyde vest.  And you're thinking of proposing marriage five minutes in.  It's creamy, buttery, udderly unctuous.  But it's the heat on the mouth that tells you not to put this on popcorn.  Jalapeño poppers, but only if jalapeños were fiddleheads and popcorn were couscous.
     The finish has some heat that comes on quickly, but then dissipates.  The finish hits solidly in the middle register, with lemons fading into dried apricots, bay leaf cigarillos (low tar; 100s), and pencil drawings used to trace out a path for ants to escape through a puddle of corn syrup.


--On the scale of unexpectedly amazing things--
The anCnoc Peter Arkle Limited Edition: Warehouses is this site about jackalopes--The third one makes a great Valentine's Day gift.  It sure as hell does.

--Our thanks to Brian Johnson and InterBev for the sample!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve 2013 Limited Edition (50 ml good medicine bottle)

Tasting notes:
      One of these things is not like the other.  Or so I’ve heard it said.   And surely here we have the black sheep, the outlier, the red-headed step child.  Surely this is the Rudy of Diageo special releases. Undersized, shabby on the bench press, and no one’s idea of fleet of foot.  But all effort and heart.  Get him on the field, coach!  He’s ready to play. 

     But wait a minute.  This is one can really run with the big dogs.  It doesn’t suffer from comparison.  On the contrary, it is enhanced by it.  Has there ever been a no age statement whisky that holds up as well as this one does in such a pantheonic lineup?  Initial notes of sterno fuel under the minestrone served at your favorite uncle’s fourth wedding.  The mutton chops are exceptional—and I mean those on his face and those now on our plates.  It’s already the third course of the meal, and I note the irony that two more courses await.  Poor Emily, Emily the fourth, she is, she is.  Will she last to the slicing of the cake?
     The mouth is has hints of grapefruit creamsicles, more stick than sicle at this point.  Then chocolate cardamom shell, striated with caramel.  Jellyfish stuffed into the tailpipe of a Stutz Bearcat by the disaffected sons of privilege in Malibu, whose parents will claim “affluenza” and have the charges vacated.  However, before the arrest pictures were expunged from the police computer server, they were leaked in the application that Colin submitted for the casting call for “The Real Shitbirds of Malibu,” for which Colin thought—rightly, oh how very rightly—that he was the perfect fit.
     On the finish it’s medicinal, like good medicine.  Or better to say, it’s like physical therapy: A licorice tongue strigil works over me with the persistence of a desktop Zen garden gardener who takes the whole thing much too seriously.  Round and oily goodness.  An ample bosomed classical Madonna meets her modern day namesake after she steps out of a post-concert shower in Barcelona.  Peppery on the open, but super smooth—a black pepper compote.  Perhaps even a peppermint cayenne hybrid, which is to say, a wet meerkat.


--On the scale of scientific names for mammals that could be mistaken for ancient Persian insults--
The Caol Ila Stitchel Reserve is Suricata suricatta--Why don't the ever raise their arms?

--Our thanks to Hunter PR and Diageo for the sample!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Old St. Andrews Clubhouse Blended Scotch (50 ml golf ball)

Tasting notes:
      After extricating the bottle from the memorial glass—surprisingly tricky—and twisting the top of the golf ball off, the nose hits. And "hits" is a pretty good verb, because I don't like to be hit, and I don't like the nose. It's kinda like the restaurant mop bucket that Justin Bieber micturated into, then dumped into a vat of pulp product at a paper mill. (Note: If you've never been by a paper mill, your olfactory sense should thank you.) Beyond a pervasive sense of despair causing my face to involuntarily recoil, giving me whiplash, there's not much. Just dread, like a ghoul's hand reaching from the grave.

     I fear to drink it. And yet, I have a duty to fulfill. Who is braver, the one who recklessly plunges ahead, blind to all cues, both internal and external, a beserker gone berserk, or the one who stands up to to tradition, to community, to ferrets, and John and Stephen, who can tap the grit and sense of self to cry, "Hold! Enough! This cannot go on!" becoming a lone voice of reason on an island of insanity? Oh, the hell with nobility; thanks peer pressure. And a happy surprise: while the nose might be a cubist nightmare haunting Phidias of Athens, the mouth—though watery—has some smoke, some anise, some slow burn, a good deal of white pepper, some wax bananas…no John, not those kind of wax bananas…Kee-rist, I forget where I was. Oh yes, the mouth tastes rather delightful, kind of a Johnnie Walker Lite, or maybe a Johnnie Toddler or Johnnie Teeterer. Mercifully, much better than the caustic pit of infernal and eternal torment I was imagining. A largish lightly cloying boysenberry syrup at SHOP, the Scottish House of Porridge.
     The finish is smooth, a light rasping of charcoal, marigold nectar, raw snow peas, copper vibraphones: the finish is long and (shockingly) complex. I'm warming to this much like I imagine Anna Nicole Smith, who had to have married J. Howard Marshall for his money, perhaps warmed to his acquired Texan twang and (presumably) weak 89 year old *maltgonewildmaltgonewild* when they were *maltgonewildmaltgonewild*.


--On the scale of things that go one way and then another--
The Old St. Andrews Clubhouse Scotch Whisky is a roundabout in the middle of a golf course. I had to get golf in somehow, and I'm tickled to imagine golf carts driven round and round and round looking for the 16th hole, the 3rd hole, and most importantly, the 19th hole.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Singleton of Dufftown 28 Year 2013 Limited Edition (50 ml patron saint mini)

Tasting notes:
      Open your nostrils, and you'll find yourself at a pancake kitchen on a Sunday morning, with juvenile delinquents milling about as they prepare for the feast of Saint Dominic Savio (it'll start on time, but they've fenced all the utensils). One of the pancakes is burned, but it's skillfully covered up with a delicious caramel made out of ox tallow. Smell it again, and you realize that it's not made out of ox tallow (turns out that was fenced, too).  The under note there is dark, wild: it's wildebeest marrow, scraped from the rock hard bones with a seeping ruby. What in the world have these kids been up to?

      Open your mouth and taste a bright high note, like a first chair English horn leading a squadron into battle. It's slightly reedy, grassy, but fruity, like Gregor Mendel's little known mango-bermuda grass hybrid (they're very skinny). It's like a fruit from an alternate dimension that is to oranges as oranges are to pencil erasers. Then come the low notes, the start of the burn that will become the finish. High citrus notes and low notes of a completely different sort, like regret or burning spite or perhaps lack of consummation. The combo is oddly bucolic and vitriolic, but much more aggressive than hateful.
     Start to finish, and you find it fires off on your palate in a beautifully lazy way. There's also a faint fishy note mixed with a caramel-ly tannic one: it's a pork and baby piranha consummé (which does not actually satisfy the lack of consummation from before), ladled over a perfect wheat crouton. Object to eating baby piranhas? But there's pork in there, and the wheat crouton is perfect!


--On the scale of great feelings--
The Singleton of Dufftown 28 Year 2013 Limited Edition is the feeling of just having cut down a dying tree on your property--You're filthy with phloem and zany from xylem, but it's quite the feeling of accomplishment. And for a while afterwards, there will be a hole where it used to be.


--Our thanks to Hunter PR and Diageo for the samples!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Port Ellen 34 Year 2013 Limited Edition (50 ml sprinkle on John's grave mini)

Tasting notes:
      That this is one of the best five spirits I have ever drunk.   In the history of ever.  Accordingly, I hereby request that, upon my death, my soul be conveyed to the harbor in Port Ellen so that it might be anointed with this brilliant, brilliant whisky.  (“Stephen, where’s Janice from legal?  I want this to be binding!”). 

     For me the greatest whiskies have a certain note.  Whatever precisely the note is, the note of a great whisky has a clarity, persistence, and confidence that simply cuts through the nonsense, misfortune, sorrow, and petty grievances of ordinary life to deliver you to place of transcendent beauty and grace.  In the Port Ellen 34 that note is perfectly resplendent, offering spine-tingling, hair-raising chills, like the chime produced by tapping the Hope Diamond with the Gachala Emerald.  Though it goes unregistered by my merely mortal ears, it subtly recalibrates the harmony of the spheres.  It might be better, then, to compare it to the cascading notes of Louis Armstrong that open 1928’s recording of “West End Blues.”  Here is a stunning shower of sounds so modern and forward-looking they redefine the possibilities of music.  Gabriel’s trumpet never sounded this good.  It is the sound of angels poured from a pitcher into magical pool of everlasting life.  Yes, that is the note that this expression of Port Ellen achieves, which is to say that it is a note that contains a multitude of notes, their interconnection, and entire horizons of possibility for new notes and new interconnections.

--On the scale of --

[Bill: “Psst. John! Maybe a few words about the nose and mouth?”] 

[Stephen: “Yeah, or like anything, really.”]


>Heavy sigh<

     Okay, the nose is a dark pomegranate syrup, crushed in a walnut mortar with a crystal pestle, then reduced over low, low heat in a compounding pharmacy run by Wiccans.  Orange rinds used to make a football in toddler prison.  The nose is perfectly Parthenonic with a Goldie Locks-approved levels of peat (not too much, not too little, but just right).  The peat gathers itself up into a beautiful crescendo.  Think of peat compressed by the earth to the point that it turns into a jeweled anise seed, and is subsequently worshiped by druids.  As the mouth unfolds we have a non-creamy stout pulled with three swift jerks from a firkin: a dry, substantial, iron and flint pour.  Though there’s more peat now, it doesn’t dominate; the balance here is so exceptional it could resolve the crisis in Crimea, the tensions in the Middle East, and win a 93% approval for Obamacare all before being seated at the restaurant table.  And yet still the mouth unfolds!  A brilliant note of liquefied sapphires and sprayed with diamond gas served in Heaven’s juice bar.  The chains have fallen away, and you stand on your feet and turn to see see the peat fire behind you, and all of the other whiskies you drank were just shadows on the cave of your palate.  The finish reverberates so long that you wish the word “reverberate” had more syllables.  “Reverberverberverberverberate.”  Yes, that’s more like it.  The finish compresses the whole nature of the world and its story into jewel-like, countlessly faceted concision.  Imagine that you commissioned Terrence Malick to direct and film the moment your life passes before your eyes.  Farro pancakes, smoked apples in a cast iron pan, a gorp for a volcanologist exploring calderas.  Candied orange slices cut to look like wings on a smoked salmon.  The kind of sweets you’d find in the Halloween bag of a child in a Park Avenue hotel after you scared her with your Wookiee costume. This is truly spectacular and unique.  It rinses the soul of sins with more expedience than a sacrament. 


--On the scale of appreciations of Sachmo’s opening cadenza in “West End Blues”--
The Port Ellen 34 Year 2013 Limited Edition is fellow trumpeter, Max Kaminsky, saying: "I felt as if I had stared into the sun's eye."--He wasn't alone, and you won't be, either.  You'll be one with the universe.

--Our thanks to Hunter PR and Diageo for the sample!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Lost Distillery Gerston Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750 ml Series No. 3 bottle)

Tasting notes:
The nose of the Lost Distillery's Gerston 46% abv begins by singing Roberta Flack's (not the Fugee cover) Killing Me Softly With Your Peaty Hands (an ode to the Boston Strangler?). Or maybe Slapping Me Silly With Your Flippers Clutching Mermaid Purses and Seaweed? Well, Monty Hall, I'm going to ignore those two doors and instead go with Fermenting My Apples in a Winepress (Illegal in Canada Remix). It feels like being in Tuscany with cheap lithographs of Provence decorating the walls while cheese adorns the table; rich Asiago, (surreally) imported Vermont Sharp Cheddar, and Dull Gruyère: Salvador Dulli's piece "Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate (and Asiago and Sharp Cheddar) a Second Before Awakening (in Tuscany, Thinking Momentarily that You're in Provence)."

[Stephen: Bill! It's Salvador Dali!]

Hey, thank goodness for editors. Anyways, on the mouth, there's wonderful sculpted smoke, a sailor's pipe dream of smoke rings of smoke rings puffing out of whale blowholes. On the tongue, it's like a perfect 10 fireworks show ending with snatching long kisses in tall meadow grass. Sadly for you, the romantic picture turns out to be a fever dream, and in fact you've been burying your face in the mossy exigency of the north side of a banyan tree.

[John: Exigency? Exigency? I don't think that word means what Bill thinks it means.]

John, stop being so peat-ulant. Anyways, the finish is Gina Gershon wearing a wasp's nest bikini bottom made from tiny reeds. It's the hot appetizer at a prominent Asian (Con)Fusion restaurant. It's peat transmuted into a leather-banded torpeat-o cigar—and while some cigars are only cigars, this cigar (like Magritte's infamous pipe) is NOT a cigar. It is, in fact, not a cigarillo smoked by a dry iguana; it's peat formed from palm fronds from a green roof on a white adobe house in Arizona that collapsed under the weight of Sting's Dream of the Blue Turtles.


--On the scale of TV show exploitation flick art-house Oscar-bait mash-ups that we're begging for--
The Lost Distillery's Gerston is Spring Breaker's Lost Requiem for the Dream of Gerston Gone Wild--Sure, it runs long, the plot's confusing, and the script is R-rated, but the cinematography is smooth and elegant, and the Smoke Monster is peat-tastic.

--Our thanks to Jeffrey Karlovitz and the Lost Distillery for the sample!

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