Single Malts

Next week I’m off to Europe. I had wanted to go to Islay to inspect my property but getting to Islay is a non-trivial exercise so I’m off to Skye and Aberdeen to visit the distilleries of some of my favourite Scotch whiskies. In the meantime Australia is doing well in the whiskey space with Tasmania producing some good whiskies.

Tasmanian distillery Sullivan’s Cove has been named the world’s best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Award held on Thursday night in London.
Sullivan’s Cove’s French Oak Cask variety was judged the global winner, as well as Australia’s best, from a high-quality pool of single malt entries. They included Scotland’s Bunnahabain, Aberfeldy, Glenkinchie and Glenlivet distilleries, as well as Japanese powerhouse Yamazaki.

The problem that I have is that I’m unwilling to to pay the exorbitant price for Tasmanian whiskey when I can get magnificent Scotch for a better price.

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154 Responses to Single Malts

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    Patriots drink whisky – barbarians put Coke in Whiskey.

  2. Infidel Tiger

    Glenmorangie and Diet Dr Pepper thanks barkeep.

  3. Vasily

    Ditto I.T., Sinclair; if it’s Scotch, it’s whisky…and I guess we’d be prepared to extend the same nomenclature rights to Tasmania given the family history. If it’s judged the world’s best whisky I’d be prepared to pay a premium for it, within reason, if it were available in my neck of the woods that is. My advice is don”t pass it over now; given the award next year it’s likely twice the price!
    На здоровье!

  4. Gab

    I recommend visiting the Cardhu distillery.

  5. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    God lives on the isle of Mull…..

  6. Rabz

    Peoples arguing about their favourite petrol.

    Sad.

  7. brc

    I found the tobermory in Dan Murphy’s locked cabinet. At $140 a bottle, that is where it stayed. Still a great drop.

  8. I recommend visiting the Cardhu distillery.

    Hehe, the old “tastes like” Cardhu. I’m not sure how that debacle ended up, but I still give the Bundaberg Rum rep lots of curry over it. Deservedly so.

  9. Leigh Lowe

    The problem that I have is that I’m unwilling to to pay the exorbitant price for Tasmanian whiskey when I can get magnificent Scotch for a better price.

    Visited Hobart with friends earlier in the year, one of whom wanted to buy a bottle of Whisky as a gift.
    $250 for something which was probably 500 ml.
    It stayed behind in the shop.

  10. Rabz

    Who gives the biggest discount per litre, BTW, Coles or Woolies?

    Or have the Perfesser’s favourite bureaucrats banned them*?

    *Discounts, not the petrol.

  11. Vasily

    Patriots drink whisky – barbarians put Coke in Whiskey.

    Really depends on the whisky doesn’t it?
    Some are best adulterated with coke, not water or neat.
    But even some whiskeys are worth drinking neat.

  12. Peewhit

    Patriots drink Coonawarra Cab Sav

  13. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    There’s a whisky shop on the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh, that sells THREE HUNDRED types of single malt. It’s run by a very tall gentleman who wears a turban, and has a Scots accent that makes Billy Connolly sound Cockney.

  14. Rabz

    vasily – as a russian, you are probably the least qualified person on this planet to talk about the ‘quality’ or otherwise, of alcohol.

    Give it a rest, semi-mobile potato still man.

  15. Peewhit

    Due to cellar door sales regulations Coonawarra wines are cheaper from any city cellar sales outlet than they can ever be from the Winery

  16. Sinclair Davidson

    Patriots drink Coonawarra Cab Sav

    No. They just don’t.

  17. Vasily

    Gratuitous ethnic based insult, Rabz.
    Life is short, my friend, don’t be an asshole for all of it.

  18. Sinclair Davidson

    There’s a whisky shop on the Royal Mile, in Edinburgh, that sells THREE HUNDRED types of single malt.

    If its the place I’m thinking of I had dinner there twice last year – fantastic.

  19. Rabz

    Why is it, that whenever I have the misfortune of hearing russians ‘speak’ they sound as if they’re utterly paralytic?

    Oh, that’s right – it’s because they are.

    nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

  20. Peewhit

    Alright Sinclair, People with good taste drink Coonawarra Cab Sav

  21. Vasily

    The problem is with the receptor, Rabz.
    I’m afraid it can’t be fixed short of a lobotomy.
    Good luck, as you say.

  22. Tel

    Patriots drink whisky – barbarians put Coke in Whiskey.

    I drink whisky (with and without ice) and coke (likewise) and whisky and coke (whatever) and even tequila (with and without salt) after personally demonstrating more than once why drinking tequila is a bad idea. I look forward to errr sampling some Tasmanian single malts because I’m errr patriotic and errr charitable towards our backwater cousins.

    BTW the American fascination for whisky only happened after prohibition — universally recognised as the dumbest thing they ever did.

  23. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    If its the place I’m thinking of

    Just down the road from the Carlton Hotel. Don’t know how to post photographs. Mrs Two Alpha made rude remarks about having my mail forwarded there.

  24. Mayan

    I wonder what bizarre regulations, fees, permits and taxes are imposed upon distillers in Australia?

    Segue: I know a surprising number of people with stills. It really is true that, if you tax things too much, people will go black market.

  25. Peewhit

    Rabz, you mean like most Oztralians

  26. incoherent rambler

    Whiskey is American. Whisky is Scot.

    My recommendations for your trip (having been to them).
    Glenkinchie, Glengoyne, Balblair, Macallan, Glen Morangie, Dalmore, Dalwhinnie, Highland Park (Scapa), Glen Moray, Glen Rothes, Glen Grant (for the garden) and Glenfarclas (I know have missed a few good ones).

  27. Vasily

    Drinking Tequila is not advisable under any circumtances unless one happens to be in Mexico, Tel, when one is trying to be polite.

  28. Rabz

    How many potatoes do you collect of a week, squire?

    Presumably not enough to keep you paralytic. You must be very pissed off that your satellite peasants are proving to be even more revolting than usual.

    Gulags, squire.

    You know they make sense, even if very few other people on the planet do.

  29. Tel

    Patriots drink Coonawarra Cab Sav

    No. They just don’t.

    Yup, I agree, certainly patriots drink a Hunter shiraz. Mind you since the New Zealanders started making white goods, what else are you going to buy from SA?

  30. Leigh Lowe

    Whiskey is American. Whisky is Scot.

    All these disputes over spelling.
    Where is our resident Pocket Oxford poster who goes by the name “you all want to be me” when you need him/her?

  31. incoherent rambler

    Peoples arguing about their favourite petrol.

    Nope. No arguments. All scotch pure malt is good. Get one that suits your taste.

  32. johanna

    On the O/T, it was pointed out that this award-winning Tasmanian drop costs $1265 a bottle. As I said there, it’s a bargain compared to expensive wine.

    If I was a booze investor, rather than just a consumer, I’d be snapping a few bottles up.

    And please Sic, fix up the typo, or people will think that you’re talking about Wild Turkey.

  33. johanna

    Sinc – the Rule of Corrections (sic) just kicked me up the rear.

  34. Vasily

    Rabz, I only drink on a Friday night, which I am presently looking forward to.
    A good whisky for aperitif and a nice beaujolais with dinner or perhaps a syrah if having steak and then cognac afterwards. Since none of those are beer I don’t expect you to appreciate.

  35. Rabz

    OK – enough.

    You petrol sniffers can argue it out among yourselves.

  36. incoherent rambler

    that sells THREE HUNDRED types of single malt.

    There is a pub somewhere in Speyside (too pissed to remember the name), that has over a 1000.

  37. Vasily

    Thank you Rabz. For that I forgive you and will drink to your health too.

  38. Tel

    Drinking Tequila is not advisable under any circumtances unless one happens to be in Mexico, Tel, when one is trying to be polite.

    Yeah, but go to any party with a bottle of whisky in hand, mingle for an hour and you find only Tequila is left at the bar for drinking. Not quite as good as your Russian vodka served in premium plastic sandwich bags, but anyhow the other choice is going sober.

    I wonder what bizarre regulations, fees, permits and taxes are imposed upon distillers in Australia?

    I dunno but Inner Circle rum (which I also drink) has, on the bottle, a note that they hold the distillation license issued by Commonwealth of Australia, serial No. 1. For quite a while the label said the rum came from Fiji and the bottling was done in New Zealand.

    Recent bottles say “Product of Australia” after the brand was pruchased by Vok Beverages (SA) and the rum comes from Beenleigh distillery in Queensland. How about that?

  39. incoherent rambler

    Excise is pure evil.

  40. john constantine

    the still got poked away in the shed when the doc suggested the health regime. [and the actual paperwork burden imposed on boutique distilleries in australia would make up a fair slab of the price for small run lots.open slather makes for an inebriostocracy,but over regulation makes for bootlegging.]

    lots of speciality home brewing shops now stock desk top stainless steel electic 20 liter stills.

  41. Rabz

    Excise is pure evil.

    Yes, theft is evil.

  42. Rabz

    Aaaarrrgghhhh – I’m inadvertently back!

    :x

  43. James of the Glen

    Only one on Skye, Talisker (must be pronounced as in ‘talisman’).
    There is a brewery at Uig (ferry terminal to the Outer Hebrides) which makes a magnificent ale called Hebridean Gold (using oats).

    Aberfeldy is a fine drop, particularly its older variants. The tasting area has been tarted up in the last few years but with some ‘sales’ types lurking around. Close to the west of Aberfeldy (at Weem, near Castle Menzies) is the Menzies tasting centre with some interesting singles.

    Great travelling.

  44. politichix

    (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤*´°*”˜˜”*°¸.•*¨) ´✫¸)
    ..✫¸.•°*”˜Rabz + Vasily˜”*°•.✫..
    (¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤*´°*”˜˜”*°¸.•*¨) ´✫¸)

  45. Megan

    I second Gelnkinchie as worth a visit.

  46. Megan

    Bah! Glenkinchie…and it’s goodnight from me.

  47. Nic

    Talisker is the pick of the bunch

  48. Vasily

    Thank you politichix, very touching.
    I must also ask Rabz for forgiveness for insulting him.
    For Russian Orthodox it is Great Lent and I’m afraid I have not been very good Christian.
    Of course that means tonight I also am not having steak but I will dare to let the beaujolais pass my lips and drink Rabz’s health as I do so. Now I must go.

  49. lotocoti

    The 21yo Bushmills is supposed to be worth the ferry ride from Stranraer.

  50. Vasily

    Politichix,

    One more thing. If I can recommend Russian movie to you: ‘Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears’.
    I don’t know how you will find it in Australia but if you do well worth watching. I am sentimental guy ;0)

  51. Vasily

    loto,

    Bushmills is a favourite in Russia :0)

  52. politichix

    artwork by Gab from another thread where there were a lot of sparkles left littering up the joint

  53. Vasily

    Sparkles are good. Remember the movie.

  54. Tel

    Talisker is the pick of the bunch

    If you love drinking seaweed.

  55. JC

    Vas, they’re talking about Scotch on this thread, not vodka.

  56. Nic

    Bush mills is very drinkable indeed

  57. I dunno but Inner Circle rum (which I also drink) has, on the bottle, a note that they hold the distillation license issued by Commonwealth of Australia, serial No. 1. For quite a while the label said the rum came from Fiji and the bottling was done in New Zealand.

    Inner Circle was the produce of CSR. It was first class rum. Every employee (or executive employee, which used to include every stock & station agent in Australian Estates) would received two bottles each year, one of Inner Circle Light, and one of Inner Circle Dark. Those were very nice drops, but unavailable commercially.

    Then CSR stopped making it, probably a decision of some boardroom wanker when CSR was subject to a stock-exchange sanctioned assault on our cultural heritage. The brand effectively died that day.

    Some years later a businessman picked up the name (but nothing else) and started making it in Fiji. The only resemblance to the formerly revered brand was the name. He didn’t even try to copy the label format.

    Then he bought the Beenleight Rum distillery when it went out of business. He talked big of moving distillation (& another total change of bottle contents) from Fiji (sovereign risk nation) to Beenleigh.
    Somewhere there he hit financial strife, bank jerked their support or something, and it was picked up by the conglomerate that now owns the ‘name’ of inner circle.

    Tortured history. And I have an original bottle of Inner Circle Director’s Dark, on the shelf, awaiting the special occassion when I’ll open it!

  58. Glenmorangie is the pick of the general run of single malts.
    To get into better stuff, sooo many choices. Tobermorey, Laphroaig, Bruichladdie, Armore, Lagavulin, Talisker, & lots of others come in many interesting variants.

    I get stuck into ‘em all. Though for reasons of political prejudice I usually steer clear of the Bundaberg owned varieties.

  59. Craig Mc

    I bought a bottle of Sullivan’s Cove years ago when it was just starting out after a free tasting at (the much missed) Daimaru. Quite a nice drop, but mainly blended from imported stock as their local stuff hadn’t come through yet. I’ll have to try the new stuff next time I get around to Nick’s in Doncaster.

  60. Talleyrand

    Ah Sinc, Next you’ll be telling me that absinthe isn’t just a breakfast beverage.

  61. nerblnob

    I suspect you are turning west from Aberdeen airport, but if you come into town, The Grill (no stupid age restriction on website) definitely has the best whisky selection, including a lot of special editions.

    In fact, since the worldwide explosion in whisky consumption in the last twenty years, there is an almost infinite number of variations available as distillers and merchants started putting down a lot more special editions in fancy woods etc in the 1990s so there has never been a better time to be a whisky connoisseur.

    Personally, I reckon once you’ve seen one distillery, you’ve seen ‘em all, but some people like to visit several.

    Glenfiddich still has the best visitor setup IMO but nearby Glenfarclas and Glenlivet also welcome visitors. It’s great just driving and walking round the area between Dufftown and Craigellachie anyway.

    The first distillery you come to going west out of Aberdeen is Glen Garioch (“Glen geary”) – used to be a fairly average dram but they have really lifted their game in recent decades.

    Then you need to stop in Elgin at Gordon & McPhail the legendary whisky merchant that will probably even have some of your Tassie whisky.

    For my money the best Speyside, certainly best value anyway, is Glenfarclas 105, an overproof 60% ABV singel malt, very drinkable even when neat and excellent value when cut back a bit with water.

    For a peaty west coast/island whisky, you can’t beat Springbank 18yo from Campbelltown near Mull of Kintyre, pure lightly smoky nectar. Talisker for a more fiery nip.

    As for Laphroaig, Ardbeg etc, I will leave you with my better half’s tasting notes:

    “Like drinking Listerine from an ashtray”

  62. Galeoturpis

    You’ve got to go to islay. Great party island. Go to a caleigh. I tried to out drink the local drunk ( he had a beer and a single malt to my single malt and I got hammered!) meet a guy in a deer stalker hat. Wonderful place.

  63. nerblnob

    Go to a caleigh

    Is that anything like a ceilidh?

    Skye is much more accessible and Islay whiskies can be found in any pub in Scotland.

    If you must take a boat, then go to Mull. Or go to the real party islands, Shetland or Orkney.

  64. johanna

    Doubt that Sinc would be able to wear the mankini in Scotland. Apart from the hoots of laughter, he would freeze to death in seconds. Cardigans are a good accessory, though.

    Since we have some experts here, can anyone recommend a single malt that is not sugary? I find that they are (unlike a good blend) very sweet – which I don’t like.

  65. Abu Chowdah

    My favourites are Oban, MacCallan’s Elegancia, Talsiker, Bowmore (18) and Laphraoig (18).

  66. nerblnob

    johanna, my expertise is mainly in scanning the prices at duty free, converting back from a litre to a 70cl price and seeing if it’s any cheaper than I could get in the supermarket.

    Not sure what you mean by sweetness in a single malt – could you give an example? – but I’d guess you should avoid the ones matured or “finished” in sherry or port wood which tends to impart a sweet flavour. Perhaps Scapa from Orkney would suit – unpeated, so to me lacks a dimension.

  67. nerblnob

    For a blend I like Chivas Regal. I think it matches or exceeds a lot of malts in complexity, but then what you’re generally looking for in a malt is character rather than complexity, which is a bonus.

  68. johanna

    See, nerblnob, I find Chivas too sugary. I love Drambuie, but when it comes to whisky (as opposed to a liqueur), I’m happier with Ballantine’s.

    Guess I’m just a pleb.

  69. GeorgeL

    From a quick scan of the comments, I have not found any Cat who has actually tried a good Tasmanian single malt.

    I have and strongly recommend that, if you like whisky and if you think you have drunk some of the best, you give it a go.

    My current tipple is a 63% Nant (Google it) single barrel single malt. Just take a shot, cut it with a tiny bit of water at room temperature, and sip slowly – fantastic.

    If you are too stingy and not prepared to indulge yourself by shelling out a couple of hundred bucks for half a litre of heaven, visit one of the Nant whisky bars in Hobart, Brisbane and Melbourne.

  70. johanna

    Should add that Dimple Haig is pretty good in the premium line of blends.

  71. Abu Chowdah

    Not sure what you mean by sweetness in a single malt – could you give an example? – but I’d guess you should avoid the ones matured or “finished” in sherry or port wood which tends to impart a sweet flavour. Perhaps Scapa from Orkney would suit – unpeated, so to me lacks a dimension.

    Bowmore 18 is sweet, to my palate. Try the Bowmore 12, then the 18, to see the difference.

  72. Sweet is right. I spent a pleasant hour or so being instructed in the art of selecting the tipple for the time. The sweet malts, like Bowmore , were for after dinner. The sharp ones like Laphraoig ( which to my mind is a combination of Fisherman’s Friend and Bonnington’s Irish Moss) were pre dinner.
    Speaking of Excise pushing up the cost – When the bottles are laid down to age, some of the spirit evaporates, and, like wine, it is the job of the blender to rotate the bottles from top to bottom of the stack to balance the ageing process. While doing this he tops up the losses. Over 8 years this could be as much as 25%. But the Brits still insist on Excise being paid on the input, not the output. This has to results – happy tax collectors and happy malthouse pigeons.

  73. boy on a bike

    I don’t care what it costs – I am just glad there is still some semblance of private enterprise going in Tasmania.

  74. Harold

    I developed an appreciation of single malts after walking the West Highland Way one Scottish summer – sloshing through cold, horizontal rain for a week.

  75. The Pugilist

    Glenmorangie and Diet Dr Pepper thanks barkeep

    IT I swear I’d axe your leg off and watch you bleed out while forcing you to watch the ABC in your last moments if you did that.
    Glenmorangie must never be tainted by anything except perhaps a dash of soda water and/or ice.

  76. nerblnob

    If you are too stingy and not prepared to indulge yourself by shelling out a couple of hundred bucks for half a litre of heaven, visit one of the Nant whisky bars in Hobart, Brisbane and Melbourne.

    Too stingy, too sensible, whatever.
    I will not be wasting money buying whisky in Australia. The prices are beyond ridiculous.

    It’s a pity because as I get older I have less tolerance for beer and even wine, and enjoy whisky more. But you have a nanny state culture in Australia that treats an old guy wanting a dram instead of a bucket of beer as a potential purveyor of “alcohol fuelled violence” and then there’s the indefensible practice of banning the purchase of doubles at last orders, even if you’ve just walked into the bar after working in your room all evening. But …. you can buy two singles!

  77. feelthebern

    A rich Russian once told me that Russians now drink Scotch whenever they can.
    Vodka is seen to be “too common”.

    From the other thread some sun stroke riddled Queenslanders were talking about Bundy rum as a pleasurable form of alcohol.
    My wife’s a Queenslander and when I went up there to meet the parents, I spent most of the weekend trying to avoid the fumes from the gallons of the stuff they were guzzling.
    Crazy thing was, they didn’t appear to get drunk.
    I have one sip of the stuff, and I go bat shit crazy.

  78. yackman

    Tel: I dunno but Inner Circle rum (which I also drink) has, on the bottle, a note that they hold the distillation license issued by Commonwealth of Australia, serial No. 1. For quite a while the label said the rum came from Fiji and the bottling was done in New Zealand.

    I worked at CSR Pyrmont 72-75 and the Distillery and Bond Store were just across Bowman? St.
    A great number of rum labels in Australia had CSR ethanol as the base. Large tankers carted industrial alcohol from the Bond Store. The smell could be quite strong at times from the distillery, the “dunder”? from the remnants of the stills I believe. Inner Circle was very potent stuff in the Directors Special range.

  79. duncanm

    back to the economics..

    I presume the successful Tassie distillers have identified their market (OTT consumers) and don’t want to compete with the well-established / somewhat saturated boutique market lower down.

    The problem that I have is that I’m unwilling to to pay the exorbitant price for Tasmanian whiskey when I can get magnificent Scotch for a better price

    Ah yes.. .but if they have found enough consumers for their volume…

    Good on em.

  80. Pete D

    Thanks Fessor. My world is shattered. Obviously LAPHROAIG did not have an entry. If I could afford it, that is all I would drink (in moderation naturally). If you are on Islay and have a sample at Laphroaig, have one for me. Am I a barbarian with ice and a splash of soda in my whiskey? Did you know that Laphroaig is like sex? Once a year on your birthday, weather you need it or not.

  81. nerblnob

    I went on a whisky tasting with a bunch of visiting Russian oilmen at Glendronach once. After they gave their vote of thanks, they were asked when the Russians would host a vodka tasting?

    There’s no point, they said. You can’t tell the difference till the next morning.

  82. JohnA

    boy on a bike #1234500, posted on March 22, 2014 at 6:59 am

    I don’t care what it costs – I am just glad there is still some semblance of private enterprise going in Tasmania.

    Yes, but the prices make for a rather selective market, n’est pas?

  83. nerblnob

    If I could afford it, that is all I would drink (in moderation naturally).

    If Australian taxes and duties on spirits weren’t so stupid, you could afford it.

  84. Sinclair Davidson

    Johanna – which typo? I’m deliberately referring to Scotch as whisky and non-Scotch as whiskey.

  85. incoherent rambler

    This cat has tasted Tas whiskey, once. Think I will leave it at that.

  86. Megan

    Going to make sure this post goes into the Remembery. So much good advice in one place. Well, that applies to all the Cat, really. Trolls and dunderheads excepted.

  87. duncanm

    JohnA
    #1234593, posted on March 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Yes, but the prices make for a rather selective market, n’est pas?

    yes… but again.. why does that matter? A market is a market

  88. Tim

    As someone who has given up buying alcohol, based on my unwillingness to pay more tax then I have to, I can only recommend home distilling. You can’t make $1,000 a bottle whisky, but a home produced product can compete very nicely with the lower end of the market. And with a lot less undesirable hangover producing byproducts.

  89. Robert Blair

    My family has been in Australia a long time, but we are overwhelmingly Scots.

    Of my 8 great-grandparents (and I am assured that I did have eight, which is good from a genetic hygiene point of view), seven of them were born in Scotland.
    The eighth was a Norwegian sailor who fell from grace with the sea in Brisbane in 1893.

    For daily drinking you cannot go past Glenmorangie 10 year old. And for people like IT, no, you don’t add anything to your single malt.
    If you need to add something to it to make it drinkable, then you shouldn’t be drinking it.

    On special occasions I will usually drink something “exotic”, like a nice Hunter Valley red or a cognac.

    I remember once asking my grandfather Blair: “Why is Irish Whiskey triple-distilled?”. To which Grandfather Blair replied: “Because they canna get it right the first time laddie!”.

  90. nerblnob

    Market quote>.yes… but again.. why does that matter? A market is a market
    Indeed, and the price asked for a bottle of the prize winning malt appears to be acceptable to its limited market, due to quality and rarity mainly I suppose.

    In general though, the market price of whisky in Australia is distorted by taxes, duties and nanny state regulations.

  91. Tassie boy

    GeorgeL is onto it. He’s let the secret out.
    There are only three Tasmanian whiskies worth drinking: Nant, Nant and Nant.
    Worth it at any price – I just drink fewer nips so my annual cost is the same as if I drank cheap rubbish.

  92. Ellen of Tasmania

    Have a lovely time in Scotland, Sinc. Springtime is beautiful there.

  93. rebel with cause

    Nobody has mentioned Jura 10 Y.O. yet? Tastes like liquid honey. A great introduction to whisky drinking, and so good you won’t want to move on to anything else.

  94. rebel with cause

    Oddly enough, Tasmanian’s have Australia’s sherry drinkers to thank for their fine whiskies. Old sherry casks are best for ageing, but are hard to come by in most parts of the world due to the diminished popularity of sherry as a drink so they use old bourbon casks instead. But Australia still has a healthy number of sherry drinkers, presumably little old nanas who enjoy a tipple with desert, and as such a pretty decent supply of sherry casks.

  95. Louis Hissink

    Monkey Shoulder is a nice dram……too.

  96. mizaris

    I too will be visiting Scotland in October, hopefully staying in Fortrose – perforce to track down ancestors, but also to sip and sup in their great traditions. I will take the time to thoroughly peruse this thread and glean travel, drink and dining recommendations. With sincere thanks.

  97. johanna

    rebel with a cause – thanks for that insight. Good on the Tasmanians who saw an opportunity to make an excellent new product out of old barrels, and went to the top because of it.

  98. Helen

    perforce to track down ancestors

    Haha, reminds me … I was instructed by my mother to do the same. On enquiries to my hosts, got some perplexing looks when the name was mentioned. OK phone book, sez I, and rings a couple of the names, to unenthusiastic responses. Turns out they were petty criminals in the main. Mum was very disappointed.

    All the ones with any go in them must have sailed.

    And whiskey is Irish. As in Jameson.

    And due to the ‘Listerine from a used ashtray’ drinking notes, I shall not be Sinclair s neighbour in Scotland.

  99. nerblnob

    Nobody has mentioned Jura 10 Y.O. yet?

    Jura is frequently on special in supermarkets here, sometimes for as little as £10 a bottle. What does it sell for in Australia?

    . Old sherry casks are best for ageing, but are hard to come by in most parts of the world due to the diminished popularity of sherry as a drink so they use old bourbon casks instead

    Bourbon casks have been the default in Scotland, since Kentucky bourbon rules state that they should only use the hickory barrels once.. You could call it Appalachian control, eh? If you like bad puns.
    Whiskies that finished in sherry casks, like Macallan, were the exception until recently. However sherry casks are no harder for Scottish distilleries to come by than anywhere else. There are also local coopers making new barrels – there’s a cooperage you can visit near Craigellachie.

  100. Oh come on

    Humpf. The Irish invented modern whiskey and that’s how they spell it. Scotch = omit the e.

    That horrible stuff they make in the US that tastes like an ethanol mixed with the woodchipped remains of saunas that were ripped down in 1993 is ‘Bourbon whiskey’ (I’m informed their top shelf stuff is a lot better, but frankly I have enough duty free single-malts and cognacs to need not expand my repertoire at this point.)

    And of course Tennessee whisky – Jack Daniels being the most notable example, and is pretty much as foul to my tastes as its Kentucky brethren – they spell it without the ‘e’. And lo and behold you describe Tennessee whisky as Bourbon or vice versa…

  101. Jack Daniels being the most notable example, and is pretty much as foul to my tastes as its Kentucky brethren – they spell it without the ‘e’.

    Really? See http://www.jackdaniels.com/whiskey.

  102. Jim Beam, too, spells it “whiskey”:

    When you take a sip of Jim Beam® Original, you’re savo[u]ring a Kentucky bourbon whiskey[.]

  103. Oh come on

    Really? See http://www.jackdaniels.com/whiskey.

    I stand corrected. I seemed to recall that one of the ways JD distinguished itself from Kentucky bourbon whiskey was to use the Scotch spelling.

    Whatever, bourbon and Tennessee whiskies are execrable as far as I’m concerned. They have no redeeming features whatsoever.

  104. Oh come on

    Ah, I was sure there was some truth in what I was saying – George Dickel that label their product ‘Tennessee whisky’, not Jacks.

  105. nerblnob

    As I said somewhere else, the spelling is a somewhat arbitrary thing that had become set in stone over time. It had become the convention in Scottish English to spell such words with y or ie and in Irish English with ey. For example you’ll see the name Dorsey in Ireland but Dorsie is more common in Scotland.

    Makers Mark is a Kentucky bourbon that spells it “whisky” in its label, so there are exceptions but pedants and bores will never tire of informing you otherwise.

    Jim Beam and Jack Daniel are perfectly acceptable spirits that open up a little with a splash of water.

    We’re all snobs about what we choose to eat and drink to some degree but modern trademark protection means that it’s almost impossible to legally get bad whisky, whiskey or whiskies in the developed world, so drink what you want and can afford and as Brendan Behan said, fuck the begrudgers.

  106. Abu Chowdah

    Whatever, bourbon and Tennessee whiskies are execrable as far as I’m concerned. They have no redeeming features whatsoever.

    I’m somewhat of a single malt connoisseur, but you are wrong. There are some superb whiskies in the US, though unknown over here. If all you know about are the big names, then you are not schooled. Nothing better than a big BBQ meal accompanied by various beers, followed by some liquor at a place like the Smoke Barrel

    http://smokeandbarreldc.com/Menus/SmokeBarrel-Cocktails-Whisky.pdf

    And that place is a classic “free pour”. First time there I asked for a triple and they looked at me funny. They just fill the damn glass to the brim, unlike in Australia where they dole out tiny fucking nips paid for by the measure. How civilised! The other place that free pours like that is Beirut, in some of the smaller bars.

  107. nerblnob

    By the way, who here remembers Corio? “Every drop sold is five years old”

    Cobb and Co?
    Ned Kelly?

  108. nerblnob

    . They just fill the damn glass to the brim, unlike in Australia where they dole out tiny fucking nips paid for by the measure. How civilised! The other place that free pours like that is Beirut, in some of the smaller bars

    Most of southern Europe is free pour. UK is controlled by the weights and measures people. I’ve found that the “free pour” bartenders in the States are remarkably consistent though. They know what they’re doing.

  109. Oh come on

    I’m somewhat of a single malt connoisseur, but you are wrong. There are some superb whiskies in the US, though unknown over here. If all you know about are the big names, then you are not schooled.

    I suspect I’ve forgotten more about booze than you’ve ever known, but anyway…I did actually mention in an above comment that the small batch bourbons are apparently excellent, but frankly why would I waste my duty free quota taking a chance on one of those when there’s a beloved bottle of Lagavulin or Talisker to tempt me?

    If I wanted to get experimental, I’d start with Japanese whiskies, anyway.

  110. nerblnob

    Why should you be limited to duty free? If prices in Australia were not so distorted by regulation you could make better choices.

    The story of how whisky distilling was legalised in Scotland is probably an interesting one for the economists here. How so many whiskies tried to appropriate the name of Glenlivet when it was known to be the king’s favourite that “The” Glenlivet had to find some way of guaranteeing its provenance.

  111. Oh come on

    Why should you be limited to duty free?

    Because I drink spirits to savour, not to get drunk. So I don’t consume a whole lot (vino on the other hand….), and my international travel often serendipitously coincides with a need to replace an almost-empty bottle. And generally, my preferred single malts and acceptable cognacs are available at most duty free outlets. Who wouldn’t pay less than half the price for one of their favourite tipples?

    If prices in Australia were not so distorted by regulation you could make better choices.

    As could you. And…er…thanks for that snippet of wisdom, Captain Obvious. Problem is the prices here are grossly distorted.

  112. Abu Chowdah

    I suspect I’ve forgotten more about booze than you’ve ever known, but anyway…

    Probably, I’m just an ex diplomat who had access to single malts at prices you can only dream of.

    Cheers!

  113. Abu Chowdah

    As it happens I had some overpaid dippo colleagues over for a barbie a few nights ago and we polished off a bottle of Bowmore 18 and a Laphroaig 18, as well as a Bruichladdich from 1994.

    Partagas limited edition cigars to match.

    Not making a point, just bragging.

  114. nerblnob

    thanks for that snippet of wisdom, Captain Obvious

    You’re most welcome. I meant it in the spirit of a rant rather than friendly advice.

    Of course I understand why you only buy whisky at duty free (where, incoming Australia, it’s often still more expensive than in Europe, even with EU 20-25% GST/VAT/IVA etc).

    How long before the wowser brigade do to duty-free whisky what they did to duty-free fags?

    You know they’re itching to. There’s a whole raft of taxpayer-funded academics churning out policy papers in which the only outcome of drinking is a series of “harms” – check out this guy and all his linked papers and references.

  115. Nanuestalker

    Brain fart translation:

    Oh the jolly good old days at the club with my buddies in the diplomatic corp.

  116. Abu Chowdah

    Indeed, young Anusstalker!

  117. johanna

    Wow, pistols at dawn about who knows more about single malts!

    Very civilised. At least it is a topic worth staking one’s honour on.

  118. Jeff T

    nerblnob
    Ah yes, Corio.
    Often mistaken for COR10, a current brand of petrol.

  119. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    From a quick scan of the comments, I have not found any Cat who has actually tried a good Tasmanian single malt.

    I have and strongly recommend that, if you like whisky and if you think you have drunk some of the best, you give it a go.

    Well, now you’ve found me. Da Hairy Irish Ape and I have done R & R in Tasmania on a brisk and independent whiskey tour. Distilleries make you welcome; some have a restaurant, one uses an Irish peat that brings the Irish Ape to tears. You can’t beat a good Tassie single malt at 11.00 am in the place where they make it. Sets up the day.

    Uisce beatha: The Water of Life.

  120. John Williams

    Did an Islay distillery tour around two years back.
    It included a tasting at the end of the tour in a tastefully furnished bar upstairs.
    Fronting the bar I stood in turn behind a bloke being poured 5 double whiskies in good quality shot glasses and guessed he was “doing the honours” for a group.
    When my turn came 5 shot glasses were quickly filled each with a different whiskey.
    “No, No…there is only me…and my wife will only have a sip”
    “Oh, sorry…” says the bargirl, and quickly started filling another 5 shot glasses, whilst delivering a spiel about their history.
    The whiskies included one that was priced north of 100 pounds a bottle I might add.
    I recalled a Hunter Valley wine tasting where the amount offered was at risk of evaporating before it passed your front teeth.
    I also recalled a couple of earth tremors in Islay at the time of leaving the distillery.
    Must have been …the distillery was definitely moving as we staggered to safety.
    If you do one of the Islay tours, for God’s sakes…and your own…get a taxi.

  121. Oh come on

    Probably, I’m just an ex diplomat who had access to single malts at prices you can only dream of.

    Well, as the manager of a liquor store located in salubrious part of town in a previous life, I attended more trade shows, wholesaler shmooze events, private tastings and panel tastings where I sampled wine which ranged from $10-$500+ a unit and pretty much any spirit, fortified wine or beer you care to name. Based on these events, I would manage the shop’s stock – and getting this right was critical due to the discerning nature of our clientele.

    But no, I defer to your greater knowledge because you’ve swilled down a few bottles of taxpayer-funded single malts, all of which I’ve no doubt tried and assessed at some point as part of my job. Many of them I would have passed over for a superior label.

  122. Oh come on

    John Williams: in Margaret River, many (most?) wineries will now charge for a sample of a $50+ wine. This is in spite of the fact they make an absolute killing at the cellar door – they charge standard retail price for their wine, meaning they pocket the wholesale markup (10-15%) and the retail markup (30-35%)!

    I won’t buy more than that night’s requirements from a cellar door on principle.

  123. johanna

    Don’t worry, Abu – OCO is the world expert on everything, and he has a story or anecdote to match each example.

  124. Oh come on

    Still smarting from the WA thread, Johanna? Lick your wounds quietly lest you make a tit of yourself….again.

  125. Abu Chowdah

    Well, as the manager of a liquor store located in salubrious part of town in a previous life, I attended more trade shows, wholesaler shmooze events, private tastings and panel tastings where I sampled wine which ranged from $10-$500+ a unit and pretty much any spirit, fortified wine or beer you care to name. Based on these events, I would manage the shop’s stock – and getting this right was critical due to the discerning nature of our clientele.

    But no, I defer to your greater knowledge because you’ve swilled down a few bottles of taxpayer-funded single malts, all of which I’ve no doubt tried and assessed at some point as part of my job. Many of them I would have passed over for a superior label.

    Well, I defer to your career experience! A franchise bottle shop drone!

    They mustn’t have stocked the good yank whiskies where you toiled, I imagine.

  126. Abu Chowdah

    Don’t worry, Abu – OCO is the world expert on everything, and he has a story or anecdote to match each example.

    I’ve been bested by a bloke from the Coles bottle-o.

    I’ll have to console myself by cracking the last bottle of Laphraoig 18…

  127. johanna

    It’s a tough job, Abu, but someone has to do it. :)

  128. Oh come on

    You seem confused, Abu. Did I work at a franchise or a Coles-owned outlet?

    Actually, I worked for an independent that operated within a buying group, so as the manager I had a lot more autonomy to make decisions regarding stock than my equivalent at Liquorland. To answer your query, we stocked the Beam Small Batch labels, JD Single Barrel and Wild Turkey Rare Breed, but I never held more than two bottles of each in inventory – very little demand for it.

    Thank you for your concession. Enjoy your drink.

  129. Oh come on

    It’s a tough job, Abu, but someone has to do it. :)

    Do what, Johanna, be bested by me? Well, if nobody else, you would know. After all, it’s something you’ve experienced several times.

  130. Abu Chowdah

    You win the innernets today, little fella.

    Cheers, matey!

  131. johanna

    What a sad little plonker you are.

    I will light a candle for you, when I get time.

  132. Abu Chowdah

    It’s a tough job, Abu, but someone has to do it. :)

    Num, num, num, num, num.

  133. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I’ll have to console myself by cracking the last bottle of Laphraoig 18…

    Any of that left now, Abu? This close to midnight it would be a nice little nightcap.
    I don’t mind drinking alone when something xtra special is on offer. If you’re asleep, that is.

  134. Abu Chowdah

    Plenty to go round!

  135. Oh come on

    What a sad little plonker you are.

    I will light a candle for you, when I get time.

    It’s ok, Johanna. I understand you’re frustrated so you have to resort to this sort of temper tantrum. Perhaps one of your barbs will hit home one day. Broken clock and all.

  136. Oh come on

    Well, I defer to your career experience!

    Well, you’d be stupid not to, really.

  137. Abu Chowdah

    A six pack of Coopers, please, and chuck in a bag of those Nobby’s Nuts. Thanks matey.

  138. Abu Chowdah

    #1236221, posted on March 24, 2014 at 2:56 am
    #1236241, posted on March 24, 2014 at 4:51 am

    I just noted the long delays. What were you up to? Poring over this thread and drafting a witty reply?

    Let it go, son. It doesn’t actually matter. None of this matters. And no one could give a shit whether you were a Coles bottle-o or a franchise. Either way, you were the drone who rings up my purchases and puts them in a paper bag, m’kay?

  139. nerblnob

    Any thread on any forum about beer or whisky seems to end up in this kind of pissing contest.

    Of course, with 60 malt whisky distilleries within 90 minutes’ drive of where I sit , I’ve tasted more of tyem than any of you ever will. *polishes fingernails on lapels, examines them* .

  140. Tel

    Any thread on any forum about beer or whisky seems to end up in this kind of pissing contest.

    Beer does that to me more than whisky does, but I think it’s a natural conclusion so don’t worry about it.

  141. Oh come on

    And no one could give a shit whether you were a Coles bottle-o or a franchise.

    I managed neither. If you’re going to be a smart-arse, at least be correct.

    Either way, you were the drone who rings up my purchases and puts them in a paper bag, m’kay?

    Also, I was probably checking your ID and throwing your underage butt out sans your bottles of Passion Pop. I was, and not at all ashamed of it. So how many staff were you responsible for while you were working your way through uni, son? Or did Mummy and Daddy/the CES pay your way?

  142. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    60 malt whisky distilleries within 90 minutes’ drive of where I sit

    If you are talking Scottish malts, can I come and stay in your spare room? I promise to pay the rent on time.

  143. Louis Hissink

    Here’s something totally trivial :-)

    Just came back from Canberra after seeing the cardiologist (I am 100% but with AF), and stopped off in Bega to purchase some medicine from Dan Murphy. Purchased some pricey Tasmanian single malt in celebration that I missed out on a pace maker.

    Conversing with the manager at the checkout, he mentioned that he brought in a carton of the prize-winning medicine this past saturday, and it was sold out by the same saturday afternoon. ‘Locals’ ? I asked? No. One lady from Queenbeyan, and another lady from Merimbula – between the two of them they bought the lot.

    Amaaazing.

    And Yummy as I sup it (not the prize winning one but an also ran, I suppose).

    (Reason for this anecdote was I mentioned that the reason Tasmania was an economic basket case was because they must not be selling enough Sullivan Cove medicine).

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