Old Springbanks

Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 08:49 PM

Wanna open up some dusty Springbanks? Yeah, we wanted to also. We pulled six bottles from our collections -- all bottled in the 90s -- cracked 'em open, and drank 'em. That's all there was to our latest meeting. Sometimes we get pretty complicated, other times we keep it simple. Drink Whisky!

Glenfiddich - Straight from the Vats

Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 05:10 PM

distillery logo and bottle

Most everyone is familiar with Glenfiddich's 12, 15, and 18 year old expressions. After all, Glenfiddich is the biggest single malt in the world, so you better be!
But have you ever tried the cask strength versions? No, because they don't exist. But at our last meeting, we tasted samples pulled directly from the vats at Glenfiddich, prior to dilution down to bottling strength.
That's because we had the pleasure of being joined by Glenfiddich brand ambassador Mitch Bechard, who brought along some outstanding goodies.

We tasted those samples in side-by-side comparison with their 40% and 43% brethren. We all preferred the 12yo vat strength (56.9%) to the standard 12 year old, and it was remarkable just how different it was. But with the 18, many of us preferred the standard bottling compared to vatting strength (57.5%). As far as all six of these malts went, a majority of the group seemed to prefer the 15yo vatting (56.9%).

We're not going to formally list the vat samples, since they're not really available whiskies in any sense.

We also tasted some 'Fiddich new make. Y'know what? It was pretty good stuff! That was quite a surprise for many of us, as on the whole we're rather averse to new make in general.
We also tasted the recent Cask of Dreams, a special and rare 1976 Vintage, and a 1982 vintage bottled exclusively for the Craigellachie Hotel in 2003. Finally, we finished up with a rare independent bottling, a 26yo bottled by Cadenhead circa 1990.
What a great night! This exactly the sort of thing we love to do. Thanks again Mitch, we're still talking about it!

Six from the Vault

Posted on Saturday, Mar 31, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Parody of Grateful Dead CD cover art

After a string of highly thematic meetings, it was time for us to just kick back, relax, and open some interesting single malts. So that's what we did for this month's tasting meeting.


The lineup was:


Dallas Dhu 1975 Signatory, Cask no. 1899, 33 Years Old


Strathisla 1963 Gordon & MacPhail, "Book of Kells" for Limburg, 48 Years Old


Glenrothes 1970 The Whisky Agency, 39 Years Old


Highland Park 1978 The Bottlers, 21 Years Old


Glendronach 1972 Cask no. 711, for Kensington Wine Market, 39 Years Old


Port Ellen 1977 Old Malt Cask, 23 Years Old


Yep, it was that simple. Well, actually it wasn't, because the usual debating and obsessing ensued. But for a LAWS meeting it was pretty laid back and relaxing. Along that line, that's about all that'll be written here. Drink Whisky!


(As usual, whisky ratings and reviews will appear as members motivate). 

Glen Elgin Meeting

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012 at 09:37 PM

Glen Elgin distillery and bottling

In 2006, ten friends gathered in a private bar to discuss the formation of "A gentlemen's club/society/group dedicated to the drinking of fine whiskies." From that dignified (cough) evening, LAWS was born -- and we also found our first A-range whisky, a 16-year Glen Elgin by The Bottlers that AS had picked up in London.
Heavily sherried whisky from independent bottlers The BottlersEver since that first meeting, we've wanted to explore Glen Elgin in greater depth. It's just one of those distilleries that you don't come across much, mainly because most of their whisky goes into the White Horse blend. 

We tasted through nine different Glen Elgins, specifically choosing some unusual expressions. The lineup was:

Then, we compared three 19-year-olds, each bottled exactly a decade apart.
Glen Elgin Centenary

Followed by three 16-year-olds:

And finally, we sampled the 2009 official release "The Manager's Choice," from the Diageo series that was met with ridicule upon release for its sky-high pricing and low age statements. Well, this was quite well enjoyed, but nobody seemed to think it should cost remotely close to $300+.

How Not To Email The LA Whiskey Society

Posted on Saturday, Jan 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Computer and whisky glass

We're not having an official meeting this month due to other whisky activities taking precedence. So I (Adam) thought I'd post something that's been on my mind. It is simply, this:

Who are you people that don't know how to send a proper email?

We receive a lot of nice emails at LAWS -- most are seeking whisky advice of some sort, many seek membership, a few just give us a nice pat on the back, and some are… uh… well, what would you do if you received the following?

From: [withheld]
Subject: funeral whiskey
I am looking for the absolute cheapest per ml./oz. whiskey, be it straight, blended, etc. Regardless of quality. I am an apprentice mortician in [locale withheld] and would like to offer complementary drinks in my business to family members of the deceased.

I'm not kidding. That was a real email. No, he wasn't joking.

From: [withheld]
Subject: Membership---
I am acquiring regarding your membership, please let me know how I can be part of the Team. Thank you

Okay, so that's just your basic, poorly-written email. But it's a terrible attempt at a first impression (and last). We get way too many emails like that. Is it because half of our readers are drunk? I don't think so. Even if I'm sipping a malt at my computer, I can still compose a coherent sentence (example: this one). Plus, there's a ton of info on our site about us, including hints on how to join. Nothing indicates that the following will be impressive:

From: [withheld]
Subject: "Member"-ship
Gentlemen, I would like to join your club.  Seriously.  As I sit here in my underwear, sipping (chugging) Taiwanese beer at 11:30 in the am --

That's as far as I read, but it went on for three paragraphs. Conversely, here's the entire email of another memberhsip-seeker:

From: [withheld]
Subject: Membership
I want to feel more important than I am...holding a tulip glass with my favorite single malt makes me powerful. 

I'd hate to see that guy's job application.

So from now on, when you send a stupid email, you will get an appropriate answer. First up, we have Mr. Cohen! He writes:

From: [withheld]
Subject: Hello
Interested in more info please. Thank you.
From: Adam at LAWS
Subject: Re: Hello 
Greetings Mr. Cohen, here is more info. Wombats are Australian marsupials; they are short-legged, muscular quadrupeds, approximately 1 metre (39 in) in length with a short, stubby tail.
Keep the good emails coming. As for the rest, I don't think I can do anything to deter them anyway.
Whiskey Master List
The Stores List
The Bars List
The Online List