November 2011 Archives

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Recently, the Balvenie held a unique tasting event showcasing the 21 year old Portwood expression which is due in LCBO stores this week. Joining forces with the Canadian Opera Company, the Balvenie invited guests to sample a range of their fine malts while learning about the craftsmanship, attention to detail, and authentic materials that go into the production of both a fine single malt, and a stunning opera production.

Within the COC space, various stations were arranged where guests were invited to see, feel and learn about the individual crafts that contribute to the creation of Balvenie's malts. Miniature malting floors, covered in raw, de-husked barley stood in for the traditional malting floors which the Belvenie still uses to malt their barley at the distillery--a time honored and increasingly rare practice which is the first step in transforming the golden farmed grain into Scotch whisky.

Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 yr old

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I received this bottle of Eagle Rare as a gift for helping a fellow ScotchBlogger move into his new apartment and I think I got the better end of the deal. Distilled by Buffalo Trace and bottled at 45% ABV, this Single Barrel Bourbon is approachable with good balance and layered with flavour. Enjoy it neat when you'd like a belt of the good stuff or with a drop of water for a more contemplative experience.

The Man Behind the Cask: Brian Kinsman

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He is one of the youngest master blenders in the industry and looks after a portfolio so large that you will be hard pressed to make it through the next year without indulging in something presided over by his palate. That goes for rum, gin, blended Scotch whisky, and everything to do with the world's most awarded single malt, Glenfiddich.

In 2009, Brian took over the William Grant & Sons portfolio. But how does a chemistry graduate from St. Andrew's University end up taking over for the David Stewart?  Well, apparently the path to inevitable renown begins by taking a job in product development at a manufacturing firm in the dental industry. 

Deciphering the label information on bottles of Scotch can be a little confusing; between the Gaelic, archaic finishing vs. maturation barrel volume sizes, the sometimes esoteric tasting notes, and the mystery related to the composition of the bottle's contents information it's no wonder the process of shopping for a new dram can be overwhelming. Today, five new legal definitions of Scotch whisky styles have come into effect based on the The Scotch Whisky Regulations, 2009 with the intended goal of clearing up some confusion in the market about the composition of the main types of Scotch Whisky currently in production.

Whisky Live Toronto 2011

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Whisky Live 2011 Crowd ShotWith all due respect to baseball fans for this analogy, Whisky Live is fast becoming the only "Fall Classic" on the Toronto whisky aficionado's mind. With a host of exhibitors, whiskies from around the world, and a sea of devotees to the dram, this year's edition and its new confines in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's North building certainly topped years past. Armed with a notebook, a press pass, and a Glencairn glass, Jeff and I had at it for your reading pleasure. 

So click on for news of whiskies yet to be released, the stars of the show, and a snapshot of the sights and smells of the cornerstone of the fall whisky calendar.

With fall weather, comes fall whisky

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As the weather grows cooler and we move towards the middle of the fall season, the LCBO is well under way with their seasonal "Whisky Rocks" campaign. Their shelves are filled with seasonal and limited-time offerings. A plethora of new Canadian whisky, American bourbon, and Scotch whisky products are now available. We recommend you head down to your nearest store, or even take a trip to one of the LCBO's feature locations, to peruse what will surely be an awe-inspiring catalogue of whisky.

To help us enjoy this wonderful season, our friends over at Gibson's Finest Canadian Whisky have provided ScotchBlog with some excellent local harvest fare, some recommended food pairings, and a wonderful cocktail recipe. After all, while we do love our whisky neat, there is something to be said about the warming effects of a delicious cocktail, especially when it's meant to be served hot!

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