21 January, 2011

This Week In Whisky

New Whisky in the News: According to the UK's Daily Mail, Panamanian-based Scotch Spirits has begun selling their whiskey in a 12 oz. aluminum can to their South American and Caribbean markets. The CEO stated, "The can is the perfect size to be shared between three people who can mix it with other things like cola." That was definitely the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought of a can of whisky. The dram may not be long for the grocery shelf, however, as the Scotch Whisky Association is looking into a ban of the product. Full story here.

Old Old Whisky in the News: In the early 1900s, Ernest Shackleton and his crew attempted to reach the South Pole. They didn't make it. So like any pioneers would, they left a few cases of spirits, including whisky, brandy and port, behind. And up until last year, the cases went unnoticed and stayed preserved in the Antarctic Ice. They were discovered and returned to Scotland and are set to be drunk for science's sake. Distillers are interested in learning about the whisky distillation process in the 19th century and are looking at possibly recreating it for mass consumption. Watch whisky blender Richard Paterson get his nose all up in a glass of the 100+ year old dram.

I spent last weekend with my friend Dennis in New York. He had a hankering for a flight of bourbon, so we looked around the interwebs for a suitable establishment. We settled on the Whiskey Ward, which by name alone seemed quite appropriate. Located in the Lower East Side, the bar lets you choose 3 spirits for 1 oz. tastings each. We chose 2 bourbons- Pappy Van Winkle 12 year and George T. Stagg- and a rye- High West. Both of the bourbons are distilled by Buffalo Trace, a fine maker of all things whiskey. The Pappy Van Winkle was a clear favorite for both of us. It had a deep red, amorous coloring and it had just the right amount of smoke in the finish. The George T. Stagg was heavier, both in look and in taste, and it lingered long in the palate. The High West Rye was a nice subtle complement to the more complex bourbons. I would recommend any of these spirits on a cold night, and I would readily return to The Whiskey Ward.

Finally, here is a video of a giant puppet walking stumbling around Dromore West, Co. Sligo, Ireland. I am almost positive whisky has something to do with this.

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