February 2013 Archives

And Now for Something Completely Different...


It has been over a month since our last guest tasting and reader meet-up, so the time has come to break this streak. On Thursday, March 7th we will be hosting another special evening of whisky and food frivolity, and this time we're going home. 

A week from today, we and our guests will have the privilege of getting to know Canada's premier independent distillery in much greater detail as the one and only John Hall takes us on a deep dive into all that is Forty Creek. Now many of you may be thinking: this is ScotchBlog and that's not Scotch whisky. You're right, and that's the point. Over the past few years this distillery has been one of the leaders of the resurgence of Canadian whisky at home and abroad, so we felt it was only fair that if we were going to see what all the hype was about, that we should share it with as many people as we can. 

So next Thursday 40 people will be treated to 7 whiskies including the raw components that John uses in creating his signature expressions. As always, each whisky will be paired with food selected to accentuate the flavours in the glass and the cost will include the whisky and the food. 

Just what is the cost? Merely $42. 

How do you secure your spot? Well, to your right you'll see how to "Contact Us" to let us know that you want to attend. 

If you end up on the waiting list, don't panic. There are always a few last minute shuffles as life often tends to throw a few plans askew, and for those of you that don't happen to make it, but want to be added to our "advance notice list" for future events, that would also be the way to get on that list. Our advance notice list always receives the first right of refusal for seats prior to these posts, and I promise you: we don't send spam emails. 

On behalf of everyone at ScotchBlog, we look forward to sharing a memorable night of Canadian whisky wonder with you. 

Berry's Own Caol Ila 10 Year Old


As one of the UK's oldest and most prestigious wine and spirit merchants, Berry Bros. & Rudd enjoy a century old whisky tradition anchored by the Glenrothes distillery. They also produce a highly regarded independent bottling line that can be hard to get your hands on outside the UK. You can deduce just why it's scarce by perusing the label details on their limited releases. In this case we whisky lovers find the words that make us spend our money, specifically, "cask strength", "unchillfiltered", "uncoloured" and even the two cask numbers (309796 & 309881) that this bottle was drawn from. So, before we even peel the cork seal off, we are bewitched by the prospect of uncompromised whisky. 

For the purpose of immortalizing this unique bottle, I am pouring a sizeable belt of this 58.5% ABV, pale straw coloured liquid into my wide-bowl glencairn glass.

The Benriach 12 Year Old - Sherry Matured

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BenRiach-12-Sherry.pngIt has been many years since we have sampled a Benriach expression, and after re-reading our original review of the Benriach 10 Peated Single Malt, we had hopes that their unpeated spirit would show some redeeming qualities. Aged in a combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, this bottling has won a few awards, including a silver medal for the "15 and under" category of the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition.

Nose: Christmas spices and artificial cherries mingle quite nicely with a scent of strong fresh ginger. Behind the dominant aromas, a subtle trace of cinnamon bark and stale bread is found.

On January 24th, 2013, ScotchBlog.ca along with Gordon & MacPhail hosted a tasting at Quinn's Steakhouse and Irish Bar.

Guests were treated to five single-malts casked and matured by Gordon & MacPhail, two made by the company's distillery, Benromach, and finally their whisky liqueur, Dunkeld Atholl Brose.

Single malts included Bladnoch '93 with a spicy chocolate, Allt-A-Bhainne '96 with an orange BBQ pulled pork slider, Craigellachie '93 with a Thai vegetable rice wrap and chili dipping sauce, Mortlach 15YO with oxtail truffled mash sheppard's pie, Benromach 30YO with a coconut shrimp and spicy dipping sauce, Aultmore '00 with a vanilla poached pear, and Benromach 10YO with a raisin and cashew butter tart.

The tasting was led by Gordon & MacPhail's managing director, Michael Urquhart, who provided some of the most in-depth distillery and expression discussion we've ever experienced. The evening could only be described as a master class.

Thanks very much to all who attended. Please enjoy this photo gallery of the evening.

Gordon and MacPhail Scapa 2000

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One of the most memorable scotch buying experiences I have had was at the world-famous Whisky Shop Dufftown on the last day of the Spirit of Speyside festival last May. The shop was bustling with huge numbers of festivalgoers who had come to participate in the hundreds of distillery tours, tastings, and gala dinners that marked the preceding weekend's celebration of Speyside whisky and culture. 

Innumerable selections line every inch of the store from floor to ceiling, as well as across the tops of the half-dozen empty casks which serve as shelf space and bartops for visitors to sample the spirits. Everyone who had come into the shop was hunting for the perfect souvenir bottles to take back from the festival, and I tasted more than a few before finally hitting on one that spoke to me immediately: a Gordon and MacPhail Scapa from 2000. It was bottled in 2011 from refill ex-Bourbon barrels at 43%.


Recent Comments

  • Isabelle Gurble commented on The Famous Jubilee, Special Edition Reserve:

    This looks amazing, something my husband would love. His birth is coming up soon as well.

  • Ryan commented on Forty Creek Heart of Gold:

    Hi Sherry, I think you might be outta luck on this one. Only 9000 bottles of this delicious whisky were produced and I'd wager most - if not all - purveyors have been sold out for quite some time now. If you're looking to sample it, I'd recommend visiting your local whisky bar and checking their list of Canadian whisky offerings. Your only other option would be to try and track down someone willing to give up their bottle? I've got one 2oz sample tucked away and, sorry, I'm keeping it all to myself! :) Good luck! Let us know if you find a bottle!

  • Sherry commented on Forty Creek Heart of Gold:

    Do you know where I can purchase this item?

    Sherry Boutilier

Whisky Wheel

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