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Keepers of the Quaich

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Category: Chapter Chatter

Just a heads up to KOTQ. I don’t have a good source yet, but it is heavily rumoured that Bruichladdich is discontinuing the entire “Laddie” line. The 10, 16, and 22 year may all be replaced. I just saw this on a tweet, but it seems authentic. In any case, if you enjoyed the Laddie (I did) at the last meeting that I hosted, now would be a good time to stock up.



Update 9/13/13 :  Saw this on /r/scotch today.  I’m attaching it as an image. Notice that they do not say that they are discontinuing the line, they simply say that they are not doing it because of pressure from the new owners.

While B – Funk, Hoopie and I anxiously awaited the arrival of our brethren at last night’s fantastic tasting, I perused the impressive whisky menu at Delilah’s.  To my shock and awe, there it was on the page, Springbank 21.  I immediately thought of my bachelor party back in 2002 when we last had Springbank 21 due to a major production gap.

Springbank 21

Springbank 21

Despite the $30.00 per dram price point, I didn’t hesitate and dialed one up while B-Funk and Hoopie respectably ordered the new Ardbog from Ardbeg.

My dram of Springbank 21 was worth every bit of the $30.00, albeit I was a bit nostalgic as I dialed it up.  The night only got better from there as the lineup was terrific and our new initiates brought strong presentations to the group.

There was a good debate later in the night though between me and one of our esteemed guests on the relative price to value ratio of some of these spirits.  This is one of those classic discussions we’ve had as a group over the last 13 years, and to which I believe led Brother Bop to come up with Bop’s Select list.  Last night’s debate was Springbank 21 @ $30 per dram vs. Highland Park 18 @ $18 per dram.  Is Springbank 21 really 66% better than HP 18?  Of course this all assumes that price is a measure of quality when it comes to scotch…..


Mrs. Hoopie thought out of the box for fathers day this year and bought me a product from the Copper Fox Distillery provides a 100% barley single malt spirit and a charred barrel to allow you to age at home.  The product sheet and faq are below.  It recommends the first fill be aged 4-7 months.  I put it in in June, and was planning to crack it around Christmas time to see what comes out.  Being a habitual tinkerer, the best part will be the subsequent fills where I can experiment with how the output changes after the barrel has been used a few times.

When I saw this come across my email, I had to see more…. the following is from their website –

“Thor is the first release in the Highland Park Valhalla Collection and like its namesake, shares many of the legendary Norse god’s larger-than-life characteristics.

The most renowned of all the Norse gods, Thor was the protector of Asgard and was feared by his enemies and other gods alike. His powerful hammer, Mjolnir, which we have depicted on the bottle, was said to create a thunderous and terrifying sound when used in battle; legend has it that Thor’s handiwork can be witnessed first hand on Orkney.

Distilled where sea turns to ocean, Highland Park Thor is a meeting point of nature’s forces, resulting in a perfect marriage of classic fragrant Highland Park smoke, balanced with a beguiling inner complexity and natural strength. Aged for 16 years and bottled at 52.1% abv, Thor is limited to 23,000 bottles worldwide.”

Bop and I wondered if they were trying to capitalize on The Avengers but I think Orkney’s proximity to the Norwegian countries and its heritage may actually be what has led the distillers to honor it.  Thoughts?  Regardless, I cannot wait to try it….  Gold Eagle Liquors in Libertyville may have one bottle left…. $200 on sale this month for $175…
APPEARANCE:Rich amber, with an iron ore glow.

NOSE:Concentrated and forceful, with an explosion of aromatic smoke, pungent fresh ginger, antique copper, stewed plums, and golden syrup. With water, earthy notes emerge, like a garden after a heavy rain shower.

PALATE:Thor’s high strength grabs the palate and refuses to let go. Initially dry, with fiery gingerbread then vanilla, blackberries, fresh mango, peach and hints of cinnamon. As its big flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth.

FINISH:The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.

Interesting reddit forum thread here. Some good insight here I think and something we should all be considering at our tastings – particularly new members and guests I’d say. –Bop

[–]ambiguo42Campfire Aficionado
I also tend to get a longer finish and better flavor if I hold the whisky on my tongue for a few seconds before swallowing.

I’ll try that right now, thanks!

A guy who was running a whisky tasting one said that we should honor the craftsmanship of scotch by holding it on the tongue for 1 second for every year. 🙂 Have fun. I usually do this now for my second sip.

I’ll say this, it really allows you to pick up a lot more of what’s going on. So much more depth and complexity from just a few extra seconds. Learning something new every day.

[–]texpeareModeration in moderation
I usually have to hold the Scotch on my tongue for at least a few seconds before I feel like I can taste everything that’s going on. Older whiskies take longer to “open up” for me & sherry cask usually takes longer than Bourbon cask. If you hold it for a while, the finish will probably last longer too.