January 16, 2007

Oak Cross Scotch Whisky Review

Oak Cross Scotch WhiskyCompass Box Oak Cross
Malt Scotch Whisky
Imported from Scotland by WyattZier
86 Proof (43% ABV)
Typical Price: About $50 for 750ml

We really and truly have dug all of the Compass Box whiskies we've tried, from the Asyla right down to the Peat Monster. We typically find them to be extremely tasty, and the company doesn't fall into the hoity toity view a lot of people have about Scotch. They seem down to earth, they make a good product, and they like to experiment - how can you go wrong?

Their latest creation we've had a chance to try is Oak Cross, so named because the barrels it's aged in are a cross between American and French oaks. Was the effort of marrying American and French worth it? We think so. Read on to find out why.

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November 8, 2006

Highland Park Lunar Whisky

Highland Park Lunar WhiskySo we just found out that the good folks over at Highland Park whisky have released a lunar whisky. At first we hoped that meant it was distilled on the moon, but then we realized that would make for a pretty high price tag - plus it's probably kind of tough to find peat and barley up there. Then we realized the lunar thing referred to the the cycles of the moon, waxing and waning and whatnot, we suppose. All we can tell you is if we drink enough whisky we've been known to howl at that big bright bastard floating in the sky. Pick up a bottle for around $132 if that's your thing, man.

(The) Lunar Bottling was done in honor of the first Lunar Nutation of the 21st century. The moon has two cycles, the monthly was and wane and this larger cycle. The moon will not return to this point again until 2025. The whisky was matured in 40% first fill sherry oak casks and bottled at 45.1% abv. The tasting profile describes it as having a toffee sweetness and a smoky finish.
Highland Park Whisky via Luxist

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July 10, 2006

Compass Box Peat Monster Scotch Review

Peat Monster by Compass Box
Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky
92 Proof (46% ABV)
Typical Price: In the neighborhood of $60 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Compass Box Website

Peat Monster!It's been a while since we were really and truly excited about Scotch. After all, we consider ourselves good old fashioned bourbon drinkers at heart. But after our experience with Asyla and Eleuthera, we've been chomping at the bit to get our lips around the newest Compass Box expression to arrive at our offices - Peat Monster.

With a name like that, we expect it to stomp through our tastebuds like Gojira (that's Japanese for Godzilla) through Tokyo. Will it live up to the high expectations set by its predecessors? Read on to find out.

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June 29, 2006

Compass Box Eleuthera Scotch Review

Eleuthera by Compass Box
Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky
92 Proof (46% ABV)
Typical Price: About $50 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Compass Box

Eleuthera by Compass BoxHow far would you go to get your hands on two 12 year olds and an 18 year old? Now hold on a second, we're not talking about anything that would earn you a room in the R. Kelly wing of your local prison - we're talking about Scotch here. Specifically, we're talking about Compass Box Eleuthera, a combination of three whiskies aged 12 and 18 years. It will come as no surprise that we like Compass Box Scotch, especially after the fondling we gave our bottle of Asyla. Read on to find out the difference between a blend and a "vatted malt," and see what we thought about this whisky in particular.

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June 26, 2006

Two More Bottles of Compass Box Arrive

Compass...BoxA week or so ago, we got our hands on a bottle of Compass Box whisky, and proceeded to verbally fellate it. We just got our hands on two more bottles and we're getting our chapstick out just in case. So what are the bottles in question? Eleuthra, a bottle that's reputed to be smokey and peaty, and the Peat Monster, which sounds like it's smokey and peaty squared.

We'll be smacking some down later this week, and you can drink in some knowledge at the Compass Box site.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 15, 2006

Compass Box Asyla Scotch Review

Compass Box Asyla
Blended Grain and Malt Scotch Whisky
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: About $40 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Compass Box Website

Asyla WhiskyThere are a lot of Scotch drinkers out there who scoff at blended scotches. We're not sure why - just like anything else, there are good blends and bad blends out there. We've tried our share of both, and our latest acquisition is called "Asyla" by Compass Box.

We were initially surprised by the packaging, which had a much hipper look to it than the stodginess you can expect from many scotches - in fact, it reminded us more of a wine label. Not that it matters that most scotch bottles look like they were designed to appeal to your grandpa, but it still caught us off guard. It's not the bottle, it's the contents, right? Well, we can say we know our way around a scotch bottle, and Asyla is probably the best blend we've ever tasted.

[Editor's Note: The following review is full of more drooling and fawning than we generally allow ourselves in our reviews - bear with us...we like the stuff.]

The Color: This is the lightest whisky we can recall seeing - it's a light amber that reminds us of gold and honey.

The Nose: It was a case of love at first whiff for us - the softness of vanilla, the sweetness of fruit, a waft of oak. The smell was light and rich at the same time, complex but not overpowering. We were salivating before we even got it in the glass.

The Taste: It's moments like this that make us happy to be liquor reviewers. Delicate and dry, Asyla was sweet without overdoing it. We detected vanilla and honey and fruit on our tongue when we sipped, and the finish was spicy and quick. We also realized we didn't grimace when we swallowed, which is kind of our habit when we drink scotch.

We took another sip and realized this was scotch we could drink in gulps if necessary, a purely drinkable and agreeably tasty spirit. Most people think scotch is something to put up on a pedestal, to overthink, to appreciate and covet - this particular scotch is one to drink and enjoy. Nothing wrong with that.

The Verdict:This is a great scotch for people who don't think they like scotch. It's not whisky with training wheels, because it can definitely be enjoyed by scotch lovers as well. It's competely accessible and enviably tasty, from sweet start to classy finish, we plan to keep a bottle of Asyla on the premises at all times. If you're going to introduce someone to scotch via Asyla, keep in mind this interesting note we found on their site, which we never thought of. Of course, that's why they're the experts...

And please, don’t try to get new people into whisky by giving them a glass of neat whisky. Let’s face it, 40% spirit HURTS the tongue! (And spirit that is more than 40% alcohol hurts even more!) Some of us grow accustomed to this "pain", but it can be tough going on the uninitiated. People accustomed to drinking just beer and wine don’t ever encounter pain when they drink their drinks because the alcohol levels of those drinks are below the pain threshold of the tongue. So offer whisky to these people cut with water-I recommend about half and half, whisky to water, to start them out. Good whiskies will maintain their core flavour characteristics at this strength, and it doesn’t hurt your mouth!
Just remember not to use your chlorinated tap water - get your hands on some filtered or bottled water to add to your drinks, which is a good idea for any drink you add water to.

Head on over to CompassBoxWhisky.com to learn more about our new favorite whisky, and find out where you can pick up a bottle for yourself.

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

May 25, 2006

Stink Like Scotch with Whisky Perfume

mmmm...stinkyWhat would you say if we told you there's a new perfume in the works, designed to make you smell similar to a glass of Lagavulin? Thats the rumor we're hearing about the Spirit of Scotland, a new scent from the Highlands. We have to say we're intrigued, but we generally prefer to stink of booze the old fashioned way, by drinking it. Guess it takes all kinds.

Apparently, it has smoky, peaty notes with floral overtones. Honestly, it seems like you wouldn't want to walk around smelling like whisky all day, so it's probably just as well that the perfume is not an exact match for the spirit. Of course, if you already walk around smelling like whisky and are looking for a way to hide that, this could be the perfect product.
Slashfood - Get into the spirit with whisky perfume

Thanks for the tip, Super Weiss

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February 28, 2006

Distiller To Release 184 Proof Whisky

That's Some Strong Whisky!A Scottish distillery has announced that it will release an incredibly strong whisky (we're talking 184 proof, or 92 percent alcohol) and everyone in the world is all excited about it. Or it seems that way anyway - we've gotten tons of notes about this stuff, and there are stories about it all over the Internets. We can understand your excitement, but we were more than a bit nervous when we read that drinking more than two spoonfuls could end your life. We mean, who can stop after only a couple swallows?

Sounds like this is going to be another one of those crazy expensive Scotches we keep reading about - and don't expect a review from us any too soon unless you'd like to see us in a coma.

A distillery in Scotland is planning to produce the world's strongest whisky. The single-malt whisky will be distilled four times, while whisky is ordinarily distilled only twice. At 92 percent alcohol, the malt will have more than double the alcohol content of ordinary whiskies. The distillery is engaging in the project in an attempt to replicate the Scottish drink described in a 1695 travel book, The Western Isles of Scotland, which contains what is considered to be the world's oldest whisky-tasting note.

The book also includes a warning that the drink takes effect immediately, so by imbibing any more than two spoonfuls, "it would presently stop his breath and endanger his life". Despite the warning, the distillery manager believes that the whisky will have a floral note to it. They expect to produce approximately 5000 bottles.

via Slashfood: World's Strongest Whisky

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February 4, 2006

Crazy Cocktail Recipe: Scotch and Milk, Baby!

Scotch and Milk PunchAs we were trolling the Web today looking for all things bright and boozy, we came across a cryptic mention of someone making a cocktail out of Scotch and milk. Yes, we're serious.

Not only that, we suddenly were hit with a memory from the liquor-filled crevices in the back of our brains of some poet or another we were forced to read in college mentioning the drink. It sounded like an abomination to us, but we were curious - what would Scotch and milk taste like, and why the hell would someone drink it?

According to our research, the drink is usually taken by people who have ulcers but don't want to cut down on their daily dram. While we find the idea of just depth-charging some milk into our precious Scotch to be a bit revolting, we did find a passable recipe for you ulcer-sufferers (or grown up babies) out there. It's called Scotch Milk Punch, and though we don't have an ulcer, we're preparing ourselves for the day our stomach gives out.

Scotch Milk Punch

2 oz. Scotch
6 oz. Milk
1 tsp. Powdered Sugar
Shake with ice and strain into a collins glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

We used White Horse Scotch and substituted our home-made simple syrup for the powdered sugar. The drink got quite frothy, and all in all it tastes like a poor man's eggnog or a milk shake for drunks. Also, keep in mind that you don't have to do it only with Scotch; try it with other whiskeys, or you can give it a go with brandy or some other liquor.

Recipe via BarNoneDrinks: Scotch Milk Punch

Update - FYI, we've been feeling more than a little nauseous since we drank this bad boy. And we're not talking "post roller coaster after too many hot dogs" nauseous, either. It's more like the "hey Kane, what's that coming out of your chest?" kind of nausea. We're hoping it's not attributable to the drink, but we thought we should warn you.

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January 24, 2006

Scotch, With A Kiss Of...Strawberries?

Glass O' StrawberriesIt's pink. It smells like strawberries. It's...scotch? Yes, apparently they're infusing strawberries into the water of life now...a single malt, no less...and it's called Strawberry Kiss. And like you, when we first read that, we were pretty sure Johnnie Walker was doing the rotisserie in his grave.

We read on and saw that that the creators of this stuff were crazy enough to have some of the luminaries of the Scotch world give it a try. Haha, we thought with glee, that'll see those crazy Scotch-infusers getting their comeuppance. In fact, we pictured some half-crazed Scotsman chasing them around Edinburgh with a golf club. But as we read on, apparently these heavy hitters, including the master distiller at Glenmorangie...liked it?

The drink has been concocted by a pair of Edinburgh businessmen, who spent eight months in a home kitchen perfecting the whisky drink to a secret recipe.

Glenmorangie's Master Distiller and bosses from the Whisky Shop are among more than 40 experts who have tasted the whisky and proclaimed it excellent.

Norman Brown and his colleague John Smith, who formed Leith Liqueur Company last year and made the drink in Mr Brown's laboratory kitchen, said the drink would only be sold at exclusive stores.

"We decided we wanted something aimed at the younger, female drinker - we thought there was a real gap in the market," said Mr Brown. "We chose a 14-year-old Speyside single malt whisky after trying a lot of different ones and then worked at adding ingredients to make it into a liqueur.

via Scotsman.com

We suppose we should reserve judgment on the taste until we actually try it, if we ever do, but man...pink whisky? We never thought we'd see the day. What's next? Bourbon with marsmallows floating in it?

Jake Jamieson at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

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