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Keepers of the Quaich

Chicago Chapter

More generosity from Brother Bluff who brought his unopened Ardbeg 21 *retails for over $600 at Master of Malt* to an unofficial (homemade) sushi pairing tasting at the home of Brother Bop. Demonstrating his status as a model ambassador of single malts, Bluff shows the proper way to transport Ardbeg 21.

Ardbeg 21 buckled in for the ride home

I thought I’d share this article from one of our featured links, scotchwhisky.com, listing out the exciting list of distilleries set to open in 2017.

In June, 2016 Brother Bluff opened his spirit armoire to an unofficial tasting for all those able to attend. By no means representing the full extent of the wonder contained therein, his generosity for this tasting focused on his largesse of new and unusual expressions which, outside of perhaps Ardbeg Alligator, were completely new experiences for all in attendance. Bluff may very well be the premiere single malt purchaser and consumer in the Chicago area when perspective, experience, creativity, dedication, and personal means are all factored together.

Ardbeg Alligator

Ardbeg Dark Cove

Balblair 1999

Craigduff 32 Signatory Cask Strength Collection

Longrow 18

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival

Lavagulin 8

Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition

Finlaggan Old Reserve Islay Single Malt

Wolfburn Initial Release (3 yo)

The Duncan Taylor Octave Collection

Circled back to Delmonico in The Palazzo on my recent Vegas excursion. I wanted to have the seared ahi with the bone marrow Bearnaise (wasn’t on the menu, had Rambler’s bbq salmon over andouille hash; also amazing) and, of course, I wanted another crack at their “book of whisky”. It took me about 20 minutes, given the scope of their book, but I decided to try an expression from a distillery I hadn’t had before and one caught my eye: MacDuff. MacDuff is interesting to me because they sometimes release expressions under the brand “Glen Deveron”, which I find quite unique in the industry, yet here was a MacDuff branded expression:


MacDuff 14, Vintage 1998, Duncan Taylor “Octave”

The specific expression was an independent bottling from Duncan Taylor’s “Octave Collection”. An “octave” is a cask that is 1/8th the size of a standard cask and contains approximately 50 litres of whisky providing a higher wood to spirit contact ratio developing more character.

The 1998 Vintage is cask strength yet I didn’t even notice. What was remarkable to me was the light orange in the nose and the palate and, in short, that the nose, the palate, and the finish were all tremendous. Any one of those is a welcome experience. Getting two of three is the sign of something special. But, to get all three made this a truly memorable single malt. I enjoyed the dram pre-dinner along with my beef carpaccio which turned out to be an inspired pairing.

The GREAT news is this expression is widely available including at all Binny’s. To all of the upcoming Fear ‘an Tighs please, PLEASE consider putting this expression (and possibly other Octaves) in your tasting lineup!

KOTQ as Jazz Club

Mar 13
Posted by in Meeting

15Q3 Lineup L-R, Springbank 21, Ledaig 18, Talisker 18, Balblair 1983, Glenglassaugh 30, Macallan 18

15Q3 lineup L-R, Springbank 21, Ledaig 18, Talisker 18, Balblair 1983, Glenglassaugh 30, Macallan 18

Jazz at KOTQ 15Q3, Bop and Terry playing Vince Guaraldi's 'Cast Your Fate To The Wind' [Listen]

Jazz at KOTQ 15Q3, Bop and Terry playing Vince Guaraldi’s ‘Cast Your Fate To The Wind’ [Listen]