Highlander Meeting

Posted on Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 08:54 PM

Connor MacLeod

It's been a while since we've had an exceptionally silly meeting. This solved that problem.

The "Highlander," based on the 1986 film/legend of the same name, had a simple premise: each of the top 6 website contributors had to secretly pick one whisky. At the meeting, the whiskies would fight till only one remained!

single malt scotch whisky bottle
- Region had to be Highland, including Speyside.
- The whisky couldn't already be on the LAWS website.
- LAWS funded each up to $200, out-of-pocket overages ok.
Combatants had 7 weeks to choose their entry. Some members took the challenge pretty seriously, while at least one selected his fate while stopping at a liquor store on the way to the meeting. 
For the contest, each competitor blinded his whisky into 1 of 6 identical opaque bottles. Tasting order was randomly chosen, and half the group tasted in reverse order.

You have the manners of a goat and you smell like a dung heap.
The champion and winner of The Prize (all whisky knowledge known to man) was... Fuji!! His 1981 Lochside narrowly beat out Adam's 1965 Glenfarclas. Coming in last was Dave, whose 1992 Ardmore gained slightly less traction than others.

The whiskies were blinded with the names of the 6 immortals in the original film. In tasting order, they were:

MacLeod: Ardmore 1992 19yo Single Malts of Scotland (Dave's bottle) 6th Place
Fasil: Glenallachie 1974 The Whisky Exchange (Andy's bottle) 5th Place
KurganGlendronach 1975 33yo "Three Generations" Duncan Taylor (Chris's bottle) 4th Place
VazilekLochside 1981 The Whisky Exchange (Fuji's bottle) 1st Place
RamirezBen Nevis 1990 La Maison du Whisky "Artist" Range (Sku's bottle) 3rd Place
The entire contest was extremely close, and only 1/3 letter grade separated first from last place. We had to use a numeric system to 2 decimal places to determine final results!

Bonhams Whisky Auction - Use Caution!

Posted on Thursday, Jun 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM

 auctioneer pointing and smiling at bidders


Bonhams' 2012 NY whisky auction listed an impressive Ardbeg 17, "circa 1900." But clear evidence indicated it was from almost 40 years later. After notifying Bonhams and receiving dissatisfying responses, we published a writeup. The bottle was removed after the information went viral.

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). 

Whiskey Master List
The Stores List
The Bars List
The Online List