Great Scot! Thursday, Jan 26 2012 

At long last, the article is out!

Perhaps the most well researched drinking story I’ve ever written, this turned out quite nicely, in my humble opinion. More than anything, I hope it proves helpful to other curious drinkers, like myself, who’ve always wondered about scotch but didn’t know where to start. Folks, this is your cheat-sheet. Use it.

I’ve since been invited on a trip to Scotland, which I had to turn down (ugggggghhh)…because I’m already missing a week of teaching to travel on a gin trip to England (yaaaaay!). That’s not till April, but meanwhile I need to catch up on more recent travels, to the Bourbon capital of the world, and a little jaunt up to Canada to learn about ice wine. Both were incredible, too-short trips that will soon be documented here. Promise.


Scotch smack-talk Thursday, Jan 12 2012 

We are finally getting our first real snowfall of the year and it is absolutely beautiful. It makes me want to make & drink hot toddies all the live-long day, but as I am currently detoxing and otherwise have work to do, sipping mug after delicious mug of hot whiskey just to feel seasonal probably isn’t the best idea.

That said, I a have scotch update. After tasting approximately 50 different scotch whiskys (there were a few late-comers after the big tasting), there were several clear stand-outs. Thirteen, to be precise. Which goes against everything I know (superstition, namely), but so be it. That’s the number I came up with.

During the tasting, I had everyone take notes on a large sheet of packing paper like this:

…and there was some pretty great commentary — especially toward the end of our tasting, when the writing becomes less legible/more sassy. Among the highlights:

“Soccer-mom scotch, for the soccer mom who might get a yellow card from the sidelines.” (Auchentoshen 12-year)

“Wooden ships; viking.” (Lagavulin 12-year)

“Tastes like $; make it rain.” (Macallan 12-year)

“Tastes of rubies.” (Glenlivet 25-year)

“Golf tan.” (Oban 14-year)

“Like my grandfather’s after-shave.” (Balblair 1997)

The finished article (minus non-Tribune-appropriate commentary) will run in a few weeks in the Chicago Tribune, but meanwhile here’s a sneak-peek of the winning bottles:

…and now that there are 50 bottles of scotch in the house, it’s probably time to update the home bar inventory.