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...)

LAWS Vegas 2010 - Single Malts on the Strip

Posted on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 06:44 PM

I've received some harassment from the guys for not posting a writeup on our annual Las Vegas trip earlier this month.  Okay, here's the short version:

Accommodations: Excellent.
Ardbeg Provenance: Destroyed and destroyer.
Glenlivet 1964: Fantastic for breakfast.
Karuizawa 1967: Excellent but overshadowed.
Bowmore 1971: Whoopsie.
Reserves: Cherry-picked and decimated.
SW Steakhouse: Good time, excellent service, food subpar. 
Tomala Papa: TOMALA PAPA!!

There, that oughta clear things up.
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