Stranahan's Blue Peak
American Single Malt — Colorado, USATasted May 23, 2021Tap Fourteen - Rooftop Beer Garden
Balblair 15 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted March 5, 2021In high school, my best friend would put lemon pepper on everything he ate. He loved the stuff. Marc would love Balblair 15 for its citrus-spicey notes. On the nose, a sense of baking spices: allspice, cinnamon, cloves and... dare I say, cardamom? Yes, I dare. The first taste is overwhelming. Bold lemon, orange, and underripe kiwi linger with the warmth of a brick-lined fireplace. The warmth sticks around for a while without over-extending its welcome. The second sip... oh, that second sip... brings out rich lemon pie, fudge brownies, and a hint of walnut. And then, what's that?! The citrus fading! The black peppercorn returns and brings with it its friends leather, hickory wood, and Oregon pine. Then just sit back and wait as the tastes fade ever-so-slowly, leaving a delightful heat on the middle of the tongue. The food pairing for this one is critical. Wait for a brief but intense thunderstorm, then serve this with a a pan-seared red snapper, lightly sprinkled with lime and dried coriander seeds. Add a side of roasted potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil and a dusting of thyme and Maldon salt and a garnish of parsley freshly harvested from a northward-facing garden.
The Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted December 25, 2020This pour defines richness in scotch. If the average scotch were grilled chicken, this would be a Chateaubriand with grilled mushrooms. If most scotches are a Wall Street banker making $100k a week, this pour is Jeff Bezos. What I'm saying is that this scotch is so rich, it could take Oprah Winfrey out to dinner and she'd think it was a little ostentatious. This scotch is so rich, Bill Gates has to call and ask it for a loan.
The Macallan Double Cask 15 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted December 25, 2020Blond in the glass, sticky and thick in the glass, legs for miles. Sweet, cherries candies on the nose. First sip is briefer than expected, with a lingering warmth. Second sip is even better, third better still. A cold, winter Christmas. Indoors. A dinner of Brussel sprouts and ham balls with a bottle of pinot noir purchased at Target. Sitting in An Làthair Le Caraidean with a friend,the long weekend stretching out before you. Sip, drink, enjoy.
Mars Iwai 45 Japanese Whisky
Blended — Nagano, JapanTasted December 5, 2020Light, fruity, short. Honey. Sweet. Delicious.
Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted October 9, 2020This is a thick, creamy whiskey that is spicy on the nose and has legs in the glass like a blond '50s starlet. True to the name, it tastes of baked goods and rich spices. This would be a perfect dram on a late autumn evening with a thunderstorm blowing in from the east. Recommend tasting this with a large slice of carrot cake (no walnuts in the cake - we're not savages). The cake should have a vanilla-buttercream frosting generously applied with a wooden-handled spatula.
Grangestone 21 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted September 19, 2020A brisk, easy pour that brings a lot more flavor than one would expect. I get smells of oranges and deeper tones as well, vanilla and caramel. On the palate it doesn't linger, but is bright and sparkly and pleasant. This whiskey is sunshine in a glass. Drink when the weather is dreary and you need a fine Scottish friend to cheer you up. Best consumed with a grilled haddock with a side of mashed potatoes, leeks, and a small rye bread roll.
Ardbeg Wee Beastie
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted August 11, 2020Light, blond color in the glass. Licorice and pine on the nose. First sip is certainly pleated and gives a non-trivial burn, but it leads into a cloying, playful dance of currant seed, eucalyptus oil, and a whiff of Kingsford charcoal briquettes. Four seconds later, traces of matchstick. Not like those cheap matchsticks that Grampa used to light his cigars, but those big long ones that are used to light campfires. You know, CLASSY matchsticks. I recommend tasting this one after a meal of spaghetti carbonara made with venison meatballs and noodles al dente with a side salad of lettuce and fresh tomato with a light vinaigrette. The moon must be in its waxing crescent phase.
Port Charlotte MRC:01 2010
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted July 7, 2020This is a very special dram indeed. Expectations of bold peat give way to the reality of fruit and spice, accompanied by the friendliness of smoke - not overwhelming, but present nonetheless, and supportive. On the palate, the smoke gives it a toasty flavor. Adding two drops of water (no more!) brings out more of the fruit, with similarity to a pear flambè. For a young scotch, it is punching well above its weight. Again, this scotch is a celebration, not something to be served on a Tuesday night to your neighbor Todd who came by to drop off your weedeater and asked for a drink. This is one to be kept at the back of the cabinet, lying in wait for the day you receive a little-expected but long-awaited promotion, tasted with a good friend in a well-stocked and comfortable home bar. Best served after a meal of pork tenderloin cooked at 145 degrees in a sous vide and seared in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, with a side of broiled brussel sprouts.Be careful not to overcook the sprouts or the scotch will be ruined. I'm serious. Don't doubt me.
Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTasted July 3, 2020Peaty, but only lightly so, with a very smooth profile. Best tasted with a bowl of gnocchi served with a clam sauce and a reduction of mushroom cream with a side of fresh greens and arugula.