Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Glenrothes Select Reserve (100ml baby grenade)

Tasting notes: 
A blend of malts with no age statement, like a meeting of randomly selected customers of Chuck E. Cheese and the Rainforest CafĂ© but without the aggression and runny noses.  The first impression is of the wonderful scotchy offness, by that I mean something more like Eugenol than the expected Guaiacol, or perhaps something embodied by the likes of Deacon William Brodie, William McGonagall, or Groundskeeper Willie.  Balanced but not deep, it is pleasant in the mouth like a well-turned insult.  Hard candy stuck in a cloisonnĂ© dish, habanero-infused honey, chlorinated feet walking on motel shag carpet.

--On the scale of songs about Tuesdays and loss--
ahead of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone" but just behind the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday.  Glenrothes Select Reserve, who can hang an age on you?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Glenrothes 1985-2005 (100 ml baby grenade)

Tasting notes:
This is, in many ways, a typical twenty year-old:  fresh-faced, reeking with potential, very much in the here and now, unable to formulate--much less follow through on--future plans, and still toting that freshman fifteen.  But what distinguishes this twenty year-old is the fact that its big nose is complex and, as it turns out, nicer than its round, full-bodied mouth--and certainly more compelling than its nearly non-existent finish.  Oddly enough, one could have said the same of me at twenty, thanks in no small part to a chance meeting of my face and a pair of handlebars.  But unlike me at twenty, this malt is smooth and rather dry, and its imperfections are not so obvious as to render it hopelessly 'awkward' or 'unfortunate'.  And instead of being marked by the taste of foam bar wrap, chrome, and blood draining from the sinuses, this twenty year-old offers a subtle profile of flavors, ranging from earthy and mature to old and smelly:  polished patent leather shoes stored for years in a tattered cardboard box, a rubber ball detached from its paddle and left to dry out on an oak window sill, a hobo camp on the edge of a cranberry bog--or maybe a craisin bog.
--On the scale of female international film stars--
Penelope Cruz--she won the Oscar, but it was for Best Supporting Actress, and it was in Vicky Christina Barcelona.  Oh yeah, and the nose/mouth thing from above.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Glenrothes 1991-2007 (100 ml baby grenade)

Tasting notes:
Full, rich nose, akin to dunking my head in a mossy oaken bucket of honey harvested from the waxen hives of killer bees that migrated across the Mediterranean to angrily collect nectar from the blossoming lemon groves of the Sorrento plains
. (All the while, seconded by friends helpfully pouring muted warm sage tea down the nape of my neck with an eye toward facilitating the removal of my head from said bucket. Thank you, John and Stephen.) At 16 years, this expression is barely the age of consent in every state of the Union; indeed, attentive listening to my glass reveals more than an affirmative: it begs to be drunk. Balanced, with a longer finish than The Return of the King--including the same deceptive multiple happy and sad endings, although this time, they take place in my throat and gullet, rather than Middle Earth. Dancing millipedes, birch bark canoes in Maine, warm spring mornings ambling amid running sap-sugar pine forests dappled by the sunlight.

 --On the scale of Keanu Reeves roles--
The millenium-crossing Glenrothes 1991-2007 is Neo in The Matrix--It is The One.     


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Glenfiddich 15 (50 ml airline bottle)

Tasting notes:
Mitch McConnell, Tomas de Torquemada, and Zac Ephron walk into a bar... This expression from the venerable distiller allows us to imagine the conversation of malts aged in three casks finished in a Solera vat. The nose and inviting color give little indication of what is to follow. It's bracing heat! It’s a blow to the face that tears the eyes and bloodies the mouth! In my puzzlement, I, I--have I somehow given offense? Then the voices begin. Lychee tea stirred by a sandalwood spoon. Punctured inner tube dipped in a weak soapy solution. Blade meat crumbles dried on a Boos butcher block. Marzipan rabbits on polystyrene trays. There are too many voices! Make it stop!


--On the scale of war poems-- 
The Glenfiddich 15 is "The Second Coming" by W. B. Yeats--for "things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."


Friday, August 7, 2009

The Glenfiddich 12 (50 ml airline bottle)

Tasting notes:
Much like the invitation of a sexy, peg-legged paramour, the nose of this malt is full of uncommon possibility and oaky intrigue. As is so often the case with such promising beginnings, however, the experience ultimately disappoints--but in an unexpected way--as when that same lover turns out to be rather selfish in bed. The finish recalls unripe pear sliced and served in a bactine-soaked stump sock (but hey, that's better than no finish at all, right?). Most confounding, however, is the oddly fluffy after-texture, a dry Sham-Wow laid delicately across the tongue. After everything else, it's like waking up alone the next morning to find your wallet's been replaced with a pocket Book of Mormon.


--On the scale of ubiquitous, multi-national, brand-name products-- 
The Glenfiddich 12 is Starbucks--it offers an aura of sophistication and a tantalizing variety of products, but the coffee kinda sucks.  


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Much Appreciated Positive Review

A few days ago, Kevin Erskine at The Scotch Blog was kind enough to recommend this blog to his readers. We're honored to receive mention on such an influential blog. Please check out The Scotch Blog and Kevin's post regarding the Impostor:

The Scotch Blog was the first whisky blog John ever read. It may have been the first Stephen ever read as well, but he's not certain: it was either that or the seldom viewed and now defunct Drachmas and Drams: The Blog of Scotch Whisky and Artifacts from Antiquity--"You haven't lived until you've drunk the Bruichladdich 15 from a 3,000 year-old strigil. It's interesting to note, however, that using the same method, the Bunnahabhain 18 was a real dud."

Cheers and thanks again, Kevin!

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