Chieftain’s 1997 Caol Ila 14 Year Old Jamican Rum Cask Finish – Reveiw

*Thanks to the good folks at Impex Beverages for the sample. Perhaps let's start with a very brief, hopefully briefly accurate history of rum. Like whisky, hell, like all spirits, rum got its start when some genius, no doubt tired of drinking too many filling yet low-alcohol fermented beverages, decided to distill said same fermented … Continue reading Chieftain’s 1997 Caol Ila 14 Year Old Jamican Rum Cask Finish – Reveiw

Blackadder Raw Cask 1996 Caol Ila 14 year old – Review

*Thanks to the good folks at Impex Beverages for the sample. There is a tendency, and it may well be my own, to over-romanticize parts of the Scotch whisky world, especially the part called Islay. We've all seen those great pictures of the Laphroaig or Ardbeg distilleries, stark white against the inclement weather of the … Continue reading Blackadder Raw Cask 1996 Caol Ila 14 year old – Review

2010 SMWS Extravaganza San Francisco – Recap

Thank you very much to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America for the opportunity to attend the Extravaganza as press. The etymology of the word extravaganza reads (at least from several online sources) thusly: "from 1754, with reference to peculiar behavior; from 1794, of a fantastic type of performance or writing, from It. extravaganza, … Continue reading 2010 SMWS Extravaganza San Francisco – Recap

Caol Ila 10 Year Old “Unpeated Style” – Review

I don't think there's any doubt that Islay malts are the rock stars of the Scotch world at the moment. I mean, Auchentoshan's good stuff, but you don't see huge, frenzied leaps in web traffic when they put out a cleverly named NAS special release. Extremely over-sherried, or over-heathered bottlings are not exactly pouring out … Continue reading Caol Ila 10 Year Old “Unpeated Style” – Review

Big Peat Small Batch “Blended” Islay Malt

I like to think that I'm a steely rock, inscrutable and impenetrable to the grasping wiles of advertisers and their kerned and pantone-d ministrations, but really, I'm just as much of a sucker for good packaging and marketing as the next guy. Ardbeg, for example, does a masterful job mixing the tradition and mythos of … Continue reading Big Peat Small Batch “Blended” Islay Malt

Caol Ila 12 Year Old – Review

According to my handy, pocket-sized, 6" thick, 15lb., 1961 Websters New International Dictionary (2nd Edition, unabridged), "smoke" is defined thusly: smoke (smōk), n. [AS. smoca; akin to AS. smeocan to smoke, smēcan to smoke, smēc, smyc, smoke, LG. & D. smook smoke, G. schmauch, Gr. smychiein to smolder, Lith. smaugti suffocate, choke.] 1. the gaseous … Continue reading Caol Ila 12 Year Old – Review

Recap – Whiskies of the World Expo

After going to WhiskyFest last year, I thought, "holy crap, malt overload...I don't need to do that again for another 2 or 3 years."  Well, about 5 months later, where do I find myself?  Yep, another big whisky show, this time around it was the Whiskies of the World Expo (let's call it WoW, shall … Continue reading Recap – Whiskies of the World Expo