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Tex
04-02-2010, 01:28 PM
Thought I'd start a thread for fellow whisky and whiskey lovers. Having recently moved to the UK from Canada, I've been kind of in a wonderland of booze, as scotch is so much more affordable here than back home. As a result of this, I've picked up some indie bottlings of Laphroaig and Jura, both of which are excellent.

I recently had a friend make a trip to Calgary for an art exhibition she was taking part in. Knowing that I missed Canada, she bought me a bottle of 100 Proof (!) "Export Strength" CC. It's made for some interesting evenings.

Ethan
04-02-2010, 01:41 PM
We've had a few threads about spirits, but I guess those are dead by now.

I'm a Scotch fan myself. The idea of drastically reduced Scotch prices in the UK does sound very nice, but I'm not sure it's worth the tradeoff of having to live with far inferior food and beer. (Take that, Queenie!)

I currently have a couple cask-strength specialty bottlings in my cabinet. There's a 9-year, Sherry-casked Caol Ila that I honestly don't like that much, and an 18-year Laphroaig that is just killer. My next bottle will be something from Cragganmore; I tried some at a friend's place and was very impressed, even though it's not an especially peaty Scotch like the ones I usually enjoy.

My brother and most of my friends prefer bourbon, so I've had the chance to try several. Unfortunately, I've found that I'm not really a bourbon guy in general. I've tasted a couple high-end unfiltered ones that are so good that it was kind of impossible not to like them, but I'd probably always prefer Scotch.

Irish whiskey is dead to me.

Tex
04-02-2010, 01:58 PM
We've had a few threads about spirits, but I guess those dead by now.

Whoops, I'll be sure to be more diligent in checking past threads next time. Actually on that note I'd love to talk general spirits anyhow, shall I open a new thread.

I'm a Scotch fan myself. The idea of drastically reduced Scotch prices in the UK does sound very nice, but I'm not sure it's worth the tradeoff of having to live with far inferior food and beer. (Take that, Queenie!)

I moved from Toronto to London, having lived in a number of other cities as well and it's been a bit of a shock. As far as the scotch prices are concerned, with exchange being what it is these days, I find that they're $10-$20 less per bottle than back home, which is nothing to sneeze at.

As for the food, well.... I have the benefit of an Australian childhood and thus a case of culinary Stockholm syndrome when it comes to English food. The East Asian food here (perhaps excluding Thai) is bad enough that it's worth mentioning. Actually, cheap food in general here isn't that great, I think there's a cultural difference between North Americans and Brits where going out to eat just seems like a bigger deal here and thus quality is more expensive. I could never eat out 5 or 6 days a week here like I do back home without getting some form of parasite or going broke.

I currently have a couple cask-strength specialty bottlings in my cabinet. There's a 9-year, Sherry-casked Caol Ila that I honestly don't like that much, and an 18-year Laphroaig that is just killer. My next bottle will be something from Cragganmore; I tried some at a friend's place and was very impressed, even though it's not an especially peaty Scotch like the ones I usually enjoy.

I only recently developed a taste for peat, I quite like Laphroaig and Lagavulin. Any other recs on that front?

Tex
04-02-2010, 02:00 PM
I quite like Bourbon myself, and Rye at that. Canadian whisky has a great kick to it.

As for Irish, one of my first whiskies was Redbreast so I can't really be that hard on it. Though I don't drink nearly as much Irish anymore...

Red Hedgehog
04-03-2010, 03:38 PM
Whoops, I'll be sure to be more diligent in checking past threads next time. Actually on that note I'd love to talk general spirits anyhow, shall I open a new thread.

Here is the general spirits page. (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=9398)


I know nothing about whisk(e)y. Other than that I enjoy a good scotch.

Pombar
04-03-2010, 04:40 PM
As for the food, well.... I have the benefit of an Australian childhood and thus a case of culinary Stockholm syndrome when it comes to English food. The East Asian food here (perhaps excluding Thai) is bad enough that it's worth mentioning. Actually, cheap food in general here isn't that great, I think there's a cultural difference between North Americans and Brits where going out to eat just seems like a bigger deal here and thus quality is more expensive. I could never eat out 5 or 6 days a week here like I do back home without getting some form of parasite or going broke.Italian and Indian are true British cuisine, and generally you won't find it better outside their country of origin*. Well, that and Pub Lunch I guess. Anything else is awful and rightfully so.
*except maybe Indian, which doesn't really even resemble actual Indian food I'm told, and so can probably be relabelled as Indo-British, thus giving a genuine point towards British food instead of just "We like Italian food enough that we have good restaurants here".

...As for Scotch, despite being a Londoner myself, I have pitifully little to say on the subject.
EDIT:far inferior food and beer. (Take that, Queenie!)Pffft. We have easy enough access to good German/Dutch Lager and Stout, in addition to our own good range of Bitter (and Ale in general, I guess). I suppose we only get the bad stuff imported, but American beer is something of a joke over here.

Sir Sly Ry
04-03-2010, 11:31 PM
I love whisk(e)y, to death. Scotch was what got me into it. I bought a sample of Glenlivet and was like, damn, this is really good. I went Scotch crazy for a while, I tried all the cheap shit I could find.

But once I discovered bourbon, everything else went out the door. Jesus christ, bourbon is the shit. I can't drink cheap scotch now, it's like paint thinner. The cheapest I can go with scotch is Glenlivet/Glendfiddich. I've had a Glenmorangie once, a lower end version, but that was amazing. But yeah, anything cheaper than $35 in the states is usually godawful. Bourbon solves that problem, because it is both delicious, and affordable. And usually higher proof. Wild Turkey 101 is my workhorse. I just bought the Wild Turkey Rye today (and drank more than half of it) and that is pretty damn good too. It's also 101 which is nice.

Hail bourbon. Sorry Canada. Crown Royal just doesn't cut it any more.

Ethan
04-03-2010, 11:55 PM
Yeah, cheapish bourbons can be drinkable, while the low-end Scotches are horrible. But I find Scotch to be much more rewarding when you climb up into the $50+ range, and I tend to go through a bottle of spirits slowly enough that blowing that kind of money on a bottle isn't really that bad.

NevznachaY
04-04-2010, 04:24 AM
The idea of drastically reduced Scotch prices in the UK does sound very nice, but I'm not sure it's worth the tradeoff of having to live with far inferior food and beer. (Take that, Queenie!)


Are you being serious about this? Modern British cuisine is at least as influential as Californian cuisine or New York-based developments (on the global scale). If not more so.

Anyway! I guess I've said this before, but I don't think bourbons and whiskeys are in the same league. I tend to think of them as different types of alcoholic beverages that share the same ancestry (also: brandy and cognac, champagne and prosecco).

Sir Sly Ry
04-04-2010, 08:39 AM
But I find Scotch to be much more rewarding when you climb up into the $50+ range
That may be true but I almost never go up that high. There is a nice bourbon I tried recently, but I haven't bought a bottle yet. It's called Blanton's and it's $50. It was amazing though when I sampled it. Unlike you though, I currently go through whiskey like it's water.

Tex
04-05-2010, 04:23 AM
Are you being serious about this? Modern British cuisine is at least as influential as Californian cuisine or New York-based developments (on the global scale). If not more so.

I'm going to have to eat a steaming plate of crow and agree here. I went to St. John's (www.stjohnrestaurant.co.uk) a couple of nights back as a belated birthday gift from a visiting parent and was floored by how good it was. Considering in particular that this restaurant bills its cuisine as British, well let's just say I feel dumb.

On that same note, I should issue a due apology to Pombar, he was right about the Italian food here, it's also fantastic. As for the beer here, I'm mainly surprised I don't see more English Ales in pubs. They're favorites of mine back home, and yet I almost feel that they're more common in Canada.

Tex
04-05-2010, 04:24 AM
Back on topic to whiskies, I read a great article in the New York Times recently about the new popularity of "white bourbon," which is basically a gussied up term for moonshine or unaged whiskey. Any of you Bourbon lovers gotten your hands on some?

Paul le Fou
04-05-2010, 05:03 AM
I find cheap bourbon to be the worst cheap whiskey in general (I have a biggish bottle I got for cooking languishing in my cabinet), with Irish and Scotch being the most drinkable even at lower levels. Not a fan of canadian! I just don't like Crown Royal.

Also, I have a deep abiding love for Seagram's 7. I know, I know. But I could mix that stuff with just about anything and be the happiest boy.

Tex
04-05-2010, 05:16 AM
Canadian Whiskey doubters should get a bottle of Alberta Premium if they can get their hands on one. It will run you roughly $20, and is one of the few remaining 100% Rye whiskies. It's REALLY feisty, but if you like Islay malts or just strong tasting whiskies in general, it is worth a shot.

Pombar
04-05-2010, 05:30 AM
As for the beer here, I'm mainly surprised I don't see more English Ales in pubs. They're favorites of mine back home, and yet I almost feel that they're more common in Canada.This is more a London thing than a Britain thing - I'm at uni at Leeds, a pretty northern city, at the moment, and ales are more common than lager in many pubs. I guess that's also a northern thing, but London especially doesn't seem to care for ales unless it's specifically a pub that is known to serve it.

Speaking of Canadian things, have you been to the Maple Leaf in Covent Garden at all? I guess it's more of a gastropub these days, but my sometimes-living-in-Canada Ice Hockey playing forester mate assures me it's a great place to eat/drink. Mind, if it isn't all that, the Porterhouse is nearby for all the businessmen-just-off-work vibe your stomach can handle. That, and thanks to boasting Round The Worlds, it has a pretty great selection of beer no matter what your preferences may be.

Ethan
04-05-2010, 07:02 AM
Yeah, I'm aware that Britain has had a food renaissance in recent years, but the old jokes about British food are so ingrained in me that I probably won't be able to stop making wisecracks about it until I actually visit again.

When I say that bourbon is drinkable at the cheaper rungs, I pretty much mean $20 and up. Jim Beam and its competitors are disgusting. If that kind of price point is all you can afford, you shouldn't be looking at whisky of any sort.

Sir Sly Ry
04-05-2010, 03:09 PM
Beam is not bad. Not the best, but not bad. For a less than 20 dollar bottle of bourbon, you can't go bad. But what I prefer is Wild Turkey 101 (the rye works too), Maker's Mark, and Eagle Rare. If you've never tried Eagle Rare I suggest you do so. Looks classy too.

Calorie Mate
04-05-2010, 03:56 PM
I found out in New Orleans that the best drink to mix with Diet Coke (when you want to mix something with Diet Coke) is Southern Comfort. It's a weird sweet taste that was quite nice.

Sir Sly Ry
04-05-2010, 04:17 PM
ewwwwwwwww So Co isn't even whiskey, also, it's ick.

Calorie Mate
04-05-2010, 04:36 PM
Agreed!


...until you put it in Diet Coke. Mmmm.

Sir Sly Ry
04-05-2010, 04:41 PM
Well, I don't do mixed drinks. It's either whisk(e)y neat, or beer. No caffeine either, so Diet Coke is out of the question.

Pombar
04-05-2010, 05:48 PM
I found out in New Orleans that the best drink to mix with Diet Coke (when you want to mix something with Diet Coke) is Southern Comfort. It's a weird sweet taste that was quite nice.I'll have to try this! It's more my brother who's the big Whiskey drinker of the family, but this does mean he'll suggest things to me once or twice a blue moon.
Couldn't drink Whiskey for a while after having some unspeakably horrible stuff in China and my mind linking it with whatever else I tried afterwards. Glad I'm over that.

taidan
04-05-2010, 06:01 PM
I've never seen a bottle of Glenlivet for $35....

But I digress. Good peat flavored Scotch is wonderful. Personally, I dig all kinds of whiskies, at different price points. I can find uses for them all, and it's the only spirit I can really drink straight with consistency.

Jim Beam's Choice, AKA Green Label Jim, is a rare find, but it's so much better than regular Jim at a buck or two more.

Red Hedgehog
04-05-2010, 08:28 PM
I had a Glen-something or other tonight and it was quite good.

I'm less of a man for preferring it on the rocks...

Sir Sly Ry
04-05-2010, 08:32 PM
Yeah I've seen Glenlivet for around $35 before. Maybe even a buck or two less, on a military base. Things are more expensive in civilian stores. the 'livet is good, but I don't know if it's approaching $40 good. Hence I will sip on a delicious bourbon for $20-$25.

Patrick
04-05-2010, 09:09 PM
Jim Beam's Choice, AKA Green Label Jim, is a rare find, but it's so much better than regular Jim at a buck or two more.

Agreed!

I don't drink much whisky, and I tend to stick to Maker's Mark or Jameson. Honestly, If I'm drinking hard stuff, I'm usually already drunk enough that I don't notice the taste, and half the time I'm doing a shot anyway. I'm just a lot more accustomed to beer.

Tex
04-07-2010, 11:22 PM
You guys are so lucky in the US that bourbon is reasonably priced for you all, back home aside from Jack (technically Tennessee whiskey, I know) and Jim, everything else is $40. Which is a ton of cash.

Hey Pombar, thanks for the Maple Leaf rec, I'll check it out. Would love to watch a hockey game here, though my friends are beginning to get me into the Premier League. I'll swing by the Porterhouse too (guess I'll have to bring my tie and my ironwalled stomach and tolerance for douche baggery, though the beer sounds worth it!)

ajr82
04-10-2010, 03:17 PM
Canadian Whiskey doubters should get a bottle of Alberta Premium if they can get their hands on one. It will run you roughly $20, and is one of the few remaining 100% Rye whiskies. It's REALLY feisty, but if you like Islay malts or just strong tasting whiskies in general, it is worth a shot.

Alberta Premium is fun, but I prefer the some company's Alberta Springs. It's aged 10 years rather than 5, and it's a lot smoother than the Premium while retaining a lot of the same qualities.

Also, anyone who doubts Canadian whiskey should make an effort to try Forty Creek Barrel Select, which is just plain excellent.

Sir Sly Ry
04-10-2010, 05:24 PM
The thing is, I've never head of these before or even seen them in a store. I'd try them out if they were available.

widdershins
04-10-2010, 07:11 PM
Oh man, the only permanent injury of any significance that I have was caused by Johnny Walker Black Label, and Japan's general willingness to give me a lot of it.

That said, I've stayed away from whiskey for a while, but have recently rediscovered it. I've been mostly drinking shots of cheap Canadian whiskey (or mixing it with Ginger Ale), but I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for the next time I'm looking for a good sipping whiskey.

Gwrrrk
04-18-2010, 10:07 AM
Alberta Premium is fun, but I prefer the some company's Alberta Springs. It's aged 10 years rather than 5, and it's a lot smoother than the Premium while retaining a lot of the same qualities.

Also, anyone who doubts Canadian whiskey should make an effort to try Forty Creek Barrel Select, which is just plain excellent.

Forty Creek is delicious.

I prefer it over crown royal.

Sir Sly Ry
04-18-2010, 04:06 PM
I need to find some of this.
Crown isn't bad, but doesn't hold a candle to a respectable bourbon.

Odin
04-18-2010, 10:01 PM
I need to find that as well.

Crown is a good standard, and can be found at a standard price everywhere. When I can find them on sale, I'm fond of Buffalo Trace (whisky) and Bulleit (bourbon) - depending on where I shop they can cost less than Crown or as much as $7 more per fifth.

For truly special occasions I will splurge on some Glenfidditch 12 year or Glenlivet 12 year. Once I went in with some friends and got the Glenlivet French Oak 12 year and it was a marvelous experience. I hope to some day have a good enough job that I can justify that sort of fun again.

Sir Sly Ry
04-28-2010, 05:37 PM
My brother and I were looking for Buffalo Trace over the weekend but couldn't find it. Buffalo Trace is a bourbon by the way. Not sure if it's a good one as I've never had it. Also, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet are both nice 12 year Scotches, I dig them, but they're about as low as I'll go in quality for Scotch. Pretty much anything below that is paint thinner. I realllllllllllllllllyyyy recommend you try a Glenmorangie at some point. I had their lowest end once, and my god, that was some delicious stuff. Go for it.

And now a post I just made on a different forum:

Well I had a whiskey bonanza over the weekend. Got to my bro's house on Friday. Immediately sampled some Early Times (a Kentucky whiskey). (not a bourbon). But I didn't like that. He had lots some cheap stuff, so I had some Old Crow Reserve (a bourbon). Not very good but not as bad as tequila that's for certain. Another cheap one we had is Virginia Gentleman which is a bourbon from Virginia obviously (yes, things outside of bourbon county can be bourbon, so long as it is made according to the standards of what a bourbon is [aged in new oak barrels for so long, barrel proof is higher than a certain amount, etc. etc.]) and it is only passable. Not anything I'd drink regularly.

For the good stuff that weekend, there were two more bourbons and another whiskey. The bourbons were Kentucky Vintage (quite nice. very mellow at least) and Black Maple Hill which was aweeeesome. Smooth, but with tons of flavor all over the place. Apparently an exceedingly rare bourbon, but well worth the taste. Recommended. Another whiskey we had was Bernheim original, which is another Kentucky whiskey, but this one is made from wheat. I liked it more than my bro did. It's a tad bit sweeter than your standard whiskey, but it was really quite nice I though. Pretty smooth, a different taste. Was worth trying out.

taosterman
04-28-2010, 05:40 PM
My brother and I were looking for Buffalo Trace over the weekend but couldn't find it.

It's solid and cheap, and great for mixing. I don't have that refined of a palate for bourbon though. All I know is that mixing it with ginger ale is the best thing EVAR.

Sir Sly Ry
04-28-2010, 05:44 PM
I'm wary of mixing bourbon with anything, regardless of how cheap it is. I grudgingly accept that this may be somewhat acceptable in society, but I'm such a purist it's hard for me. But I tell you what, if it's good for mixing, it might not be that good then, because a bourbon should be delicious enough that you don't want to let it touch anything except your mouth. In my opinion.

Dizzy
05-16-2010, 08:25 PM
I am staying the living fuck away from Jack Daniels. My fucking god...

Stephen
05-17-2010, 11:03 PM
A liquor shop in the city had a sale this weekend, so I picked up a bottle of Buffalo Trace for $18 and a 10-year Eagle Rare for $27. They were supposed to be a gift for a friend of mine who's into whiskey, but I cracked open the Eagle Rare for tonight's podcast, 'cause that same friend tells me I'd be better with few drinks in me. I can't speak to the truth of that, but the Rare is fucking excellent and easily drinkable even for a light weight like me. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, 'cause I don't usually drink bourbon, but for a mid-priced whiskey it's more than worth the cost.