Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Two more weeks, and we're back on the ball. Drinks to be had, stories to be told, trouble to be made...mark March 3rd on your calender, kids, and tighten your seat belt.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Did it work?

Just testing out the new notice feature. Don't mind me.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Wow, look at the cobwebs around here. I guess we're a little overdue.

Since we've been beer-exclusive so far at Jonesydog, we felt it was high time to broaden our usefulness and review something else. My friend Robb got some Scotch for Christmas, adding to a pretty diverse collection. It seemed silly not to sit down and try a bunch of them. So we did. The following report (and a weekend-long bout with Scotch-mouth) resulted.

Before we get to that, though, you should know that we are definitely not professional Scotch tasters. We just like to drink it. Whenever possible. You are fairly warned that we don’t have the same vocabulary or perspective you’re used to when reading Scotch reviews. (If you want to know more about serious Scotch tasting, click here). This review is for all of you out there that don’t care if there’s a fragrant floral finish or whether you can detect esters in the nose. We simply smelled, tasted, and recorded. Then tasted some more. And then stopped tasting and started drinking. I would say it was a long night, but I couldn’t do so from any personal recollection.

Anyway, on the with the Scotch Report:

First up was Bowmore, an Islay whisky that is matured in a sherry cask. No indication of age (meaning that it is probably 3 years old, the minimum required to be sold as Scotch, as I understand the industry--anyone want to correct me on that?), but simply named, “Legend”.
  • Color: rich, dark amber hue
  • Smell: very smoky/peaty, a little hint of dark chocolate, full but not too heavy
  • Taste: very smoky/peaty, spicy, black licorice, black cracked pepper, lasting power, burns a little.
  • Notes: Robb didn’t like this one much—way too smoky. But it would go well with a cigar. In fact, it tastes a little like a cigar. I thought it was okay: complex, though I wouldn’t want more than on in any given month.

Next we sampled the Mannochmore. This was easily the oldest in Robb’s collection, from 1977, bottled at 28 years. It is Mannochmore’s signatory vintage and a very powerful 59.7% ABV. An interesting note about Mannochmore is that it was extremely short-lived as far as Scotch producers go: founded in (the very recent) 1971, closed and reopened a couple times, then, depending on what website you believe, either shut down for good or run part time.
  • Smell: kind of an alcoholly, turpentine smell, but lighter and sweeter than Bowmore. We also noticed a hint of the ocean, like salt spray or something.
  • Color: light, almost lemon/lime
  • Taste: mouth is on fire, good slow burn due to the high ABV. Big full taste, smooth fire, robust. Really ignites your mouth.
  • Notes: This stuff really tastes like Scotland, makes you want to go fight the English.

The Macallan 12 Year was the one Robb got from my parents for Christmas and probably one of the main catalysts for this entire episode. The Macallan is a Speyside whisky and is distilled inland a bit, on the northern end of the island, about half way between Aberdeen and Inverness (I know this mostly because I stopped there once on my way from Aberdeen to Inverness).
  • Color: rich gold
  • Description from bottle: Nose: vanilla, hint of ginger, dried fruit, sherry, wood smoke. Smooth, rich dried fruit, wood smoke/spice. I guess this was right, though not in a million years would be able to distinguish wood smoke from any other sort of smoke. Unless it was burnt hair smoke. That has the worst smell. And forever reminds me of Michael Jackson. I know, weird.
  • Smell: sweet caramel, dried fruit, light smoke.
  • Color: amber, lighter than Bowmore. Looks like it absorbed a little color from the sherry cask it sat in.
  • Taste: Distinct Scotch whisky flavor, some heat. After I added a couple drops of water it became so very smooth, with a little spice and fire on the back end. Drinking it was kind of like running a race, then bending over, panting, your muscles slowly relaxing, and then suddenly getting a good spank. Very smooth and drinkable.

Johnnie Walker – Green Label (15 yrs.) Our only whisky that wasn’t strictly a single malt (but also not a “blend,” which is a mix of single malt and grain, like JW Black. The Green Label is “vatted,” meaning it is made up of single malts from more than one distillery), but instead comprised of malts from Talisker, Linkwood, Cragganmore, and Caol Ila.
  • Smell: faint smell, sweetest yet. Warm, light smoke.
  • Color: light amber
  • Taste: pretty smooth and, I thought, less bite than Macallan. Robb thought maybe a little more bite than Macallan. We had to re-taste both several times to verify our conclusions. Definitely the most subtle so far, and the least complex. Very easy to drink.

The grand winner was . . . us, of course, since we spent all night drinking Scotch. But we both agreed that Macallan was the best whisky of the bunch. It's been one of my long-time favorites, I will admit. Our comparative sampling reminded me why: it's just freakin' ungodly good.

If you have a favorite Scotch that I should try, or just want to be generally disagreeable and argue with me, please fell free to post a comment. If you are Romanian and haven't logged on to this site in the last 6 weeks, please note that our advertisers feel you have a lot of catching up to do.