Saturday, July 13, 2013

Singleton 12 Years Old


It is double matured in sherry and bourbon oaks as well. It was mind-blowing the first time I tried it. Very good scotch and a good price. I would never think this backstage scotch would be so good. 

Origin: Speyside
The nose is malty with barley sweetness and nutty.
The palate is full of toffee, oak, grassy and nuts.
The finish is rich and sweet. 
Rating: 8.5
Price: $44
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond.

If you like this, you may also like:
- Glenrothes Vintage
- Balvenie Double Cask 12 Years Old
- Dalwhinnie 15 Years Old

Laphroaig Quarter Cask


An Awesome Islay Scotch. Not as strong as Bowmore. But, still, you can taste the ashes. Well, after all, it is an Islay whisky. One of my favorites and the price is soooo right. 

Origin: Islay
The nose is smokey with creamy floral aroma.
The palate is smokey, sweet and rich.
The finish is long and drying.
Rating: 9.0
Price: $40-$45
Places to Find: Superstore, Wines and Beyond.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Lagavulin 16 Years Old
- Lapphroaig 10 Years Old
- Bowmore 12 Years Old
- Talisker 10 yr old

Glenrothes Vintage


Hmmmm. A very good after-dinner whisky. I enjoyed it immensely. Eric Paul (manager) at Wines and Beyond recommended it and I was not at all disappointed. This little guy is rich, full-bodied and full of complex flavors. It's double matured in two different casks: ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks.

Origin: Speyside
The nose is full of fruits, complex spices and vanilla.
The palate is again full of complexity with ripe fruits, juicy citrus, vanilla and various spices.
The finish is smooth and yet rich with a beautiful vanilla and fruity ending.
Rating: 8.5
Price: $45
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond and Superstore.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Balvenie Double Cask
- Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
- Dalmore 12 yr old
- Dalwhinnie 15 yr old

Tomatin 12 Years Old


I tried this at the Bothy's in the South of Edmonton. It's quite smooth and not as complex. Good for those who like smooth and light tasting liquors. Also, the price tags are higher than many others.

Origin: Highland
The nose is light.
The palate is medium bodied and sweet and again light.
The finish is short. 
Rating: 6.0
Price: +$50
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond

How to Drink Your Single Malt


Some of you might go "come on maaannn, who do you think we are!?". However, I would love to see an article about it a year ago when I didn't know much about the single malt culture.

Once on Facebook, I saw a friend on mine drinking a good 12-year old Macallan mixed with Coke. I almost cried. Mix it if you want. I am not gonna tell you what to do. But, if you wanna mix something with Coke, you don't have to spend bunch of money. Buy a good ol' Dewars or Ballentine's and do all the mixing you want.

Most of the single malts have been matured in the oak casks for more than 10 years. There is a lot of effort that was put into that. Some of the people who poured that mixture into that oak cask that we might currently be enjoying are no longer alive. So, you wanna get every bit of the taste. So, here are my recommendations:

Whisky Rocks:

I don't mix my single malt with anything; not even ice cubes. My wife got me those whisky rocks from Chapters on Christmas and I have been using them.

I put them in a Ziplock bag and am keeping them in the freezer. Since they are marbles, they keep the cold quite some time. I put about 4 of them into my single malt and enjoy my chilled single malt with those rocks. 

Water Jugs:

Since the single malt you are about to enjoy has been kept in a cask for 10 years or more, nothing has been added into it for 10 years or more. It means that it is very potent. In order to break the taste around, whisky drinkers recommend couple drops of distilled water into your whisky. That will break the flavors so we can enjoy them more and taste them better. 

Whisky Tasting Glasses:

I use good ol' Brandy cups for this. The glasses should be tight on top and wide on the bottom so when you nose your whisky, you can smell the wide range of flavors coming towards the tops. So, recommended whisky glasses are shown below:


Try nosing your whisky for about half a minute to two minutes. Try to smell as much aromas and other spices as you can. Play a guessing game with yourself, or partner or your spouse. then, check online or the label of the bottle if you got any. Then, start sipping your drink. Those rocks will keep your drink chilled while they keep your whisky pure. After your first sip, drop couple water drops into your whisky glas and taste it again. Repeat this 3-5 times every 15 minutes. And you will have start noticing the effects ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Side Dishes For Single Malts


First of all, a single malt is not really enjoyable with dinner. I prefer a nice Mendoze Malbec with dinner. Bit, it can be just me.

Single malts are most enjoyable with certain appetizers. Again, maybe it's just me. But I am gonna keep it direct to the point and cut the talking.


Smoked Gouda cheese is very light and very enjoyable with a good scotch. Costco in Edmonton sells a very delicious smoked gouda cheese. Since it is light, it does not overwhelm the taste of scotch and accompanies it in a perfect correlation. 


Almonds, again, are light and healthy appetizers that will go well with a single malt scotch whisky. Other nuts may include cashews or those energy mixer nuts (green ones) that Costco sells. You don't want to eat too much salty nuts with single malts since it may take away the taste.


Italian sausages are good with Gouda cheese and a single malt scotch whiskies. Also, good spicy pepperonis are the ones I enjoy with my whisky. 


The ones that Costco sells are very simple and good. A good appetizer again that will compliment the taste of your single malts.


Single Malts and dark chocolate are like penut butter and bread. They go well together. They go too well together that you might get into a sugar coma. So, try to enjoy this in moderation. In fact, try enjoying everything in moderation. So, you can anticipate and enjoy things more ;) 


I personally enjoy my single malts once a week with a good cigar. A full-bodied dark Don Thomas is my favorite. Single malts should be enjoyed with a civilized manner. It goes best with a good cigar and light appies while reading your book and enjoying some soft jazz. It is not a drink of "let's get smashed". You take your time and try to understand the complexity of flavors and various tastes. Try the appetizers I listed above. If you have more recommendations, I would live to see it in the comments below. 

Lagavulin 16 Years Old


I had heard about this before. I read the interview with the famous Scottish actor Brian Cox and he was mentioning that Lagavulin 16 was his most favorite. Watch his YouTube video where he pronounces "Lagavulin". Then, he goes "peow! the cognac of whiskies. Works like a depth of charge!".

Ever since then I started screaming "Lagavulin" in the house so that my wife would get tired and letnme spend $80 for a scotch. The anticipation went on for weeks. Finally, my 30th birthday arrived. My wife and our roommate bought me this beautiful bottle. When I take my first sip, the feeling was different. I have never drank such a beauty before. All those Jack Daniels and JW I used drink were forgotten. This was different.

This is also smokey, yet rich with various smells. I recommend buying it for a special occasion so that it will feel even more special. Anticipate it. Did you get a big-paying job? Did you turn into a milestone age? Did you get married? Did you have a newborn baby? Spend that $80 for this bottle and you will appreciate the occasion even more!

Origin: Islay
Nose: Full of flavors coming with the smell of peat. The mixture of every beauty. From vanilla to spices. From sherry to apple. From peat to sweetness.
Palate: Think, rich and full bodied. Beautiful combination of peat, oak and aromas such as vanilla, sherry, apple and some other fruits that I could not concentrate on thinking anymore.
Finish: Long. smoky, peaty, figs, dates, vanillas, apples, sherries, and the list goes on.
Rating (I believe you can already guess: 10!!!!!
Price: $79-$84
Places to Find: Superstore, Wines and Beyond, Costco, etc.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Macallan 12 yr old
- Dalmore 12 yr old
- Talisker 10 yr old
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask
- Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban