Bowmore: Delectable Delights and Decay

Posted on Saturday, Nov 13, 2010 at 09:27 PM

A bottle of Bowmore 30-year-old Seadragon and LA Whiskey Society glassware. 
This November, Chris and I (Adam) needed an excuse to open two great Bowmores that had been collecting dust on our shelves -- a 1970 Signatory 35yo and 1968 Celtic Heartlands. We'd drank and loved both in the past, but never featured them in a LAWS meeting.

So, we threw them in an all-Bowmore lineup, adding the semi-historic Seadragon, an extinct 21yo from the mid 1990s, the always-controversial discontinued 17-year, a random 1984 Cadenhead's bottling, plus a nip of some old Claret and a recent 16yo from The Perfect Dram.

The 1968, Seadragon, and 1970 were the hits of the meeting, with the 1968 being the most-drained at the end of the night. On the other hand, there was the 21. Its God-awful stench seemed to scream, "This bottle is tainted!" Yet our best investigative efforts indicated it wasn't. It just stank like… uh… the most common descriptors were "corpse" and "farts."

Yep. Another good night on the books.
If anyone can help verify that this 21-year-old is indeed as intended by the distillers, shoot us an email. I'll send you a sample… I'm pretty sure none of us will miss it.

Is there such a thing as too much whisky?

Posted on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 02:06 PM

No. There is not. But there were so many whisky events in California this October -- WhiskyFest and Whisky Live in particular -- that I (Adam) couldn't schedule a meeting this month. Ah, what a "problem."

Kudos especially to John Hansell for pulling off another spectacular evening in San Francisco. And special thanks to lohssanami and mikeymad for the great hospitality afterwards.

Battle of the Collectors: 2

Posted on Saturday, Sep 18, 2010 at 08:12 PM

photoshopped rendering of Jean Claude Van Damme fighting in the movie  

This September, LAWS tasting meetings officially resumed with a rematch: Chris and I (Adam) stepped into the ring and again duked it out to see who could choose the best bottles from their collections for a blind tasting meeting.

I won the first Battle of the Collectors (last year), and I again defended my title. Whatever that title is, I don't know, but it probably has "Super Awesome Person" somewhere in it. At least, that's what the certificate I'm going to make for myself will say. Let me know if you want a copy.

Leading the charge was a 27-year-old Port Ellen, bottled for the Japanese market.

The rules were: we each had to contribute 3 single malts that were not one of the 1,189 whiskies currently listed on the LAWS website, with a total cost of about $600. One sherried, one traditionally bourbon-casked, and one peated Islay style. Importantly, we couldn't have tried the whiskies before ourselves.

The group tasted all six whiskies blind, and each member assigned a personal rating to each bottle. I got the highest average score, but it was pretty close.  

[Editorial Note by Chris - We were tied based on the first 4 whiskies, and his peated entry beat mine by 1/3 a letter grade.  This is statistically insignificant, and therefore I am also making myself a Super Awesome Person certificate.]

Credit goes to the Duke for having all his bottles actually being long-gone collectibles. My approach was solely for flavor while ignoring release dates. If we do this again, I think the new rule should be that bottles must have been off shelves for a minimum number of years.

 Adam  Chris

 Port Ellen 1982 The Taster    Ardbeg 1974 CC

 Glenury Royal 1968 Tullibardine 1973 Signatory

"Speyside's Finest Distillery" OMC Cardhu 1975 Signatory 


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

Give Me My Ardbeg!

Posted on Monday, Jun 28, 2010 at 08:48 PM

God Gives Whisky, as envisioned by Michelangelo

Ardbeg. What else is there to say? Folks seem to love it or hate it. For those of us who fall into the "love" category, we pulled a handful of distillery bottlings from our personal stashes and stuck them in a meeting. But since they were somewhat random choices, we were in a quandary as to how to structure the tasting.

Solution? Pass the buck! Tim Puett, the mastermind behind The Ardbeg Project -- and newest member of the Malt Maniacs -- came into L.A. to join the fun. And he courteously brought a sampling of his own collection to quaff as well! (Thanks Tim, HLH!) Not that we came up with any better way to structure the meeting because of this, but Tim's being there added enough legitimacy that we felt we did justice to this grand distillery.

The lineup was as follows, ratings/notes will appear as members enter them:

LAWS is now on summer hiatus, the next tasting meeting will be in September. 
(Members: For those who weren't here, we did the "lotto" drawing for the Reserves Spring Cleaning bottles, a list of who got what will be on the Message Board. Also note that when we regroup in September I expect the Duke to come up with some sort of make-up activity that truly provides "suspense and excitement," as this one was more like a LAWS near-death-experience.)

The Whisky Exchange 10th Anniversary

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010 at 07:50 AM

In celebration of our favorite online whisky retailer, The Whisky Exchange, we put together a lineup of TWE's recent 10th Anniversary bottlings. We had a feeling these were gonna be "don't miss" whiskies, and we were right! (Wow, we must be smart). The semi-blind tasting included:


Linkwood 1973 TWE 10th Anniversary
Suntory Hakushu 1989 TWE 10th Anniversary

Karuizawa 1982 TWE 10th Anniversary

Clynelish 37 Year TWE 10th Anniversary

Longmorn 1969 TWE 10th Anniversary
Islay Whisky TWE 10th Anniversary

Glenglassaugh 1978 TWE 10th Anniversary


(Ratings and notes will appear as members enter them...)

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