Oct 13, 2013

Most Righteous Bourbon...

Most Righteous Bourbon (42.5%): Got this half bottle when I was in Upstate New York last week attending Woodstock Film Festival. It drew my attention right away with its very elegant and hip looking packaging on Woodstock Wine and Liquors shelves and also it is a local product of the region... I think everything justified the purchase somehow even if I was out there just for the Festival and not for whiskey at all. Most Righteous Bourbon is distilled by Catskill Distilling Company located in Bethel, NY where the original Woodstock Festival took place in 1969. Catskill Distilling Co. has a wide product range of vodka, gin, grappa and buckwheat, rye and white whiskeys. The mash bill of their bourbon consists of 70% corn, 20% rye and 10% malted barley. Color: Dark amber, chestnut honey. Nose: Very young but sweet, not aggressive and yummy. Carrot cake, pumpkin spice and Christmas cake. Cinnamon dusting, cloves and roasted coconut. Green almonds, walnut shells, burnt lemon zest and candied pecans. Heavy old wool blanket you used to get lost under at your grandparents place. It's a sweet and candied nose with great honey aromas but also has a spicy side coming from its rye content. Palate: Unsalted butter melting on a warm pumpernickel bread slice, rye cookies, freshly scraped vanilla beans, roasted almonds, maple syrup. Doughy and chewy... Sweet middle eastern spices, walnut baklava, cardamom and ma'amoulFinish: Long, spicy but not overwhelming. Chocolate covered raisins, baklava syrup and mahlabOverall: This is a sweet, spicy and tasty bourbon. It carries all the characteristics of small barrel rushed bourbons we used to see at East Coast last years but it sure tastes good. I have to say it is damn hard to justify its price tag around $30 for a half bottle of a young bourbon like this but definitely worth to give a try if you see it somewhere on the shelf at any bar you walk in.

Oct 5, 2013

After Whisky Live Boston 2013...

So, that happened... Whisky Live made its second appearance in Boston last Wednesday night. A very memorable night with special people... I spent great time with fellow bloggers and friends including The Malt Impostors and Shane Helmick from How to Drink Whisky and made many new friends.

So, first things first: I have to say that it was a tremendous upgrade with the choice of the venue. The event took place at The Park Plaza Castle this year bringing the crowd into a much more open and spacious environment to enjoy their almost four and a half hours tasting marathon in a best possible way.

I have attended whisky events all over the world in recent years and the problems which might make your experience rather unpleasant are more or less the same. They were pretty much all taken care well at Whisky Live Boston:

- Usually they run out of food or the food gets cold in an hour after being placed on the serving stations and on top of that it is almost impossible to find a place to sit down, relax and eat your food in peace and you end up with your plate in one hand and your glass, notebook and bags in other trying to get a piece of your meal while you are trying to avoid the crowd. Didn't have any of these problems at Whisky Live Boston. I even had the chance to have two breaks throughout the night having great conversations at large tables with other whisky enthusiasts.

- For some reason there is always shortage of drinking water. They cannot keep up with the demand and/or there are only a few stations hidden in the far corners of the venue. Water didn't become an issue on Wednesday night as well. We had plenty stations and they were kept full all the time. Personally I appreciated this very much. I know it will sound silly but one little thing: It was kind of challenging that the taps of the water dispensers were not high enough to fit the Glencairn glasses under.

- Again in many events the tables are placed so close to each other and it leaves no space for whisky enthusiasts to slow down a little and take their time. If they do they end up clogging the aisles and stopping the whole traffic. Space wasn't an issue here at all. We had wide aisles and even the tables next to each other had a good amount of space to allow people going in and out easily.

- 99% of the time whisky events tend to damage your eardrums and test your patience to its limits with Scottish inspired bands and/or bagpipers for the entire length of the night. Well... I don't think science is advanced enough yet to find a solution for that. We will live with it.

Kudos go to David Sweet and the entire Whisky Live USA team to raise the bar way high up and executing a great organization. And of course very special thanks to Liza Weisstuch for her endless hospitality.

And one last thing: My top ten drams of the night... I tasted way more drams than I could keep track of with decent tasting notes but after spending a lot of time trying to transcribe my own scribbles in my notebook finally I managed to end up with a list. Definitely not in order... Ah maybe they are, kinda... Not really... Anyway:

- Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (46.0%)
- Benriach 1995 15yo Pedro Ximenez Cask (#7165) (52.3%) (from Federal Wine and Spirits)
- Sullivan's Cove French Oak Cask (47.5%)
- The English Whisky Company, Peated (46.0%)
Parker's Heritage Collection 2013: Promise of Hope (48.0%)
    - Gordon & Macphail Old Pulteney 21 (46.0%)
      - Roger Groult Calvados Pays d'Auge 8 years old (41.0%) (I know it is not a whisky but it was delicious...)
      - The English Whisky Company, Classic (46.0%)
      - Powers Signature Release (46.0%)
      - Armorik Double Maturation (46.0%)

      * So, I was dumb enough to forget to bring my camera to the event while I was rushing from work to The Park Plaza Castle that night but Stephen from The Malt Impostor was so awesome and let me use some of his shots. Thank you very much, you rock Stephen..!

      All photos are courtesy of The Malt Impostor.

      Oct 3, 2013

      20th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza...

      Oh, mighty fall.... Leaves are turning red, temperature is dropping steadily, the sun goes down earlier every evening. Soon we will be hearing fireplace cracklings, smelling the beef stews and seeing people on the streets carrying dozens of wrapped gifts... And whisk(e)y events..! There are whisk(e)y events all over in the fall and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America is bringing 20th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza to seven cities this year. The tour takes the start tonight in Chicago. I will be attending the one in Boston November 21st and you should definitely be checking the schedule from the poster below to find out the nearest stop to your location. I have to say these events are some of the best.

      It is a chic, not rushed and cozy event with rare and exceptional single malt, Scotch and world whisky bottlings. The evening will include a yummy dinner and a selection of premium cigars for later enjoyment. They say: "The Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza brings the discerning enthusiast the opportunity to sample the participating whiskies in a sophisticated and elegant environment with genuine camaraderie and knowledgeable representatives from each participating distillery." I say: "Sounds awesome..!"

      All events start at 7PM and goes till 9PM. Make sure you are at the registration table at 7PM folks... They do ask from their guests not to show up in denim or athletic gear, business casual it is (kilts are optional)...

      So, the tickets are $150.00 for each event. To purchase them directly visit SMWSA's website by clicking this link or call simply the number (800) 990 1991. They might be selling out as we speak... Let me know if anybody is planning to be in Boston for it, I would like to raise a glass together...