Monday, 30 March 2015

April bargains.

These are just a few of the offers in the shops just now but are my picks



Tesco

1. Ardmore Legacy now only £20
2. Wild Turkey now £15
3. Black Grouse £15


Sainsbury's

1.Whyte and Mackay 1 litre mixing heaven at £15
2. Gentleman Jack £25


Waitrose

1.Canadian Club £15.50
2. JW Black Label £24
3. Drambuie £20


So there you have it folks, surely enough whisky to keep you busy for the first fortnight of April?

The Captain.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Collecting dust.

Some people might think I have a collection, I don't, I have a couple of bottles I'm keeping for later and a dozen or so bottles I'm slowly drinking my way through some more expensive than others.

For me a collection is a cabinet or store or bunker or whatever full of whisky some of which will never be opened and that for me is a tragedy.

I've tasted Port Ellen and once owned a bottle of Rosebank but I'll never own a bottle of either again but those bottles which do exist still on collectors shelves never to be opened and I just don't see the point.

Whisky is not art, you can look at it for hours pouring over the fine detail of the work, you can't stare into the mind of the artist who created it, it's a bottle of liquid to be opened and poured and shared not gather dust forever on a shelf to show how awesome the owner is.

Dalmore, Highland Park, whoever else take your pick, might as well put tea or pee in their lovely ornate crystal bottles because no one will ever open them and of course the longer the bottles remain sealed the less likely they are to ever be drank, why waste all that time and expertise making beautiful whisky for nothing?

I once, when drunk, paid an obscene amount of money for a double of one of these rare old whiskies, I paid for it, got it to the table and then realised what I'd done and took it home, I covered the glass in clingfilm I begged from the kitchen, stole the glass, after paying what I paid for a drink they didn't seem to mind, and took it home. When I got home I decanted it into a wee bottle I had and a week later I devoured it. It was amazing, it was as close to a religious experience as I'll ever get, it was perfect apart from the fact it cost me half a weeks wages and a bottle of the stuff would stiff me out of a months pay, and I earn alright by the way, and it dawned on me that really when all said and done it really wasn't worth what I'd paid and never could be unless you believe that anything is worth what someone is willing to pay then fair enough.

Whisky is a beautiful thing but I would love to see the day that whisky is not used as a commodity or stuck on a shelve forever, maybe then I'll be able to finally taste Odin.

The Captain.


Glengoyne 14 Year Old Special Edition for Marks and Spencer

I only have a quarter of this bottle left and after I tweeted a couple of comments on the taste and nose I realised I had never done a review of this belter of a whisky despite this being my second bottle of the stuff.

Glengoyne is one of my favourite distilleries, over the years I've sampled the 10, 15, 18 and this over many years and I've never had a bad experience and although a little harder to get hold of generally speaking and certainly not cheap I think the constancy of the bottles are worth the extra money.

The 14 year old is a special release for Marks and Spencer and if you've got one nearby you'd be surprised at their range, I mean this, Compass Box and Glenfarclas to name but three top companies.

On the nose we have a wonderful rich sweet sherry note, there's a little bit of marmalade and lemoncurd with some nice wood notes and toast.

Taste wise the whisky is full of complex flavours but a whisky that both experienced drinkers and newbies to whisky could get a lot from. I get fresh ginger, dried fruit, a little bitter something, buttered toast (adding a drop of water really brings out the buttery flavour but only a drop), orange marmalade again and finally a little cinnamon. 

This a lovely whisky, along with Glenfarclas my two favourite single malt whiskies which are both reasonably affordable and available to everyone.

Oh and watch out for this on offer, I'm as tight as two coats of paint and I'm sure this was on offer when I picked it up last year.

The Captain.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

White Horse Video Review

A short review of White Horse Whisky

I hope you enjoy, please feel to subscribe to the channel if you like.

The Captain.

Eating with your whisky.

Just been on Twitter chatting away about decent burger joints in Glasgow and as I'm sitting here sipping a whisky it got me thinking about what I like to eat with my whisky, because let's be honest whisky is far more important than food.

The best food whisky combo I ever had was in Stonehaven years ago, picture the scene, a hard day of graft helping a friend paint his new shop tired and a bit sweaty we grab a bottle of Spingbank 15 a couple of bottles of beer and we headed out bought some fish suppers and headed down to the beach where we sat eating fish and chips and downing half a bottle of Springbank, it was bliss, the salty sea air the sun on our backs and whisky and salt and vinegar laced fish and chips, nothing will ever top that, ever.

But what else? Well I like a few squares, a whole bar, of 70% plus chocolate a dash of a cheap but nice blend in coffee or hot chocolate is wonderful.

I like either tablet or fudge in the evening with a small glass of whisky, not a lot of tablet just one or two bites that really compliment a nice well rounded sherry cask dram.

Blue cheese, the more revolting the better, goes well with either a nice smoky number if you're wanting to really torture your taste buds or if you're relaxing then Parmesan with a little white truffle oil works well.

I am partial to a little cold cured meat with a whisky, something easy drinking with a touch of water added to counter balance the fatty cold meat.

Is there a better accompaniment to a fish platter than a glass or three of Talisker 10? I think not.

I'll drink whisky with pretty much anything but what I've written about I actually think works well rather than just some booze hound looking for an excuse to drink more, I hope you try some of these out, especially the Stonehaven one, it was as close to Nirvana as I've ever come.

The Captain.


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

The month's bargain buys.

I, like most people, buy the majority of my whisky when on offer and from Supermarkets so I thought I would do a monthly round up of all the best supermarket deals, so you don't have too.

These are in no particular order.

Tesco 

Highland Park 12 Year Old £6 off down to £27
Cardhu Gold Reserve £10 off down to £32
Jura Origin 10 Year Old £6 off down to £25


Sainsbury's

Glenlivet 12 Year Old £6 off down to £26
Ardbeg 10 Year Old £6 off down to £40
Glenrothes Select Reserve £7 off down to £30


Asda

Jameson's Irish £5 off down to £16




Morrisons

Johnnie Walker Black Label £4 off down to £24


So there you go, Morrisons offering Johnnie Walker for £24 a bottle is decent and anything off Ardbeg is rare but my top tip for beginners would be the Highland Park because it's brilliant.





Monday, 9 March 2015

Spice Tree, a takeaway treat or last nights kebab?

Spice Tree, the name reminds me of the Indian Takeaway near where I grew up, mainly because it was called the Spice Tree or I think it was, it's long ago and I'm talking about nearly thirty years ago and my mind isn't what it was, I think.

Spice Tree is another heady blended whisky this time using Toasted, what a wonderful word that is, French oak barrels during a second maturation giving us yet more complexity.

It's 46% and non chilled filtered and like Hedonism I found so many smells and flavours I know I'll need a full bottle, a bottle which is currently on offer at Marks and Spencer so I may well have to indulge.

On the nose I get some nice wood notes with a hint of butter, all spice and cinnamon rolls I also get a little pipe tobacco and a touch of rum soaked raisins.

Taste wise the whisky needs left a while, tasting after a couple of minutes and I get a little lost in it all, too much going on and the 46% hits a little too hard, leave it for twenty minutes and it's a totally different beast. Honey and almonds, orange zest and a little chew gave me sweet pastry. I found after another ten minutes and a drop of water I found a little bit of nutmeg and a tiny bit of pepper or chilli.

Again another belter from Compass Box, I was given the sampler from them and I'm sure a few reading this will think I'm being paid to write this but Compass Box are a superb indie bottler and it's only fair that I big them up when they deserve it.

The whisky industry is turning more and more big business than craft skill and Compass Box are doing their best to give us consumers something different but something powerful, something worth talking about and something worth remembering.

Yes Compass Box is expensive and I'll say it again I don't think Compass Box are a beginners whisky, too complex and too expensive but once you've got your whisky stabilizers off you really do need to look them up.

The Captain,

Oh and I looked it up and there is a Spice Tree Indian, it's in Leicester.