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JVS Wednesday! And a Christmas Wishlist...

I absolutely love the boys over at JVS distributing and, as well as being the nicest guys in the business, they've also done a fantastic job of bringing in exciting new single malts from Scotland.  They represent Chieftains and, since I was so blown away by our new Mannochmore barrel, I was eager to taste some new barrel samples.  Val brought me some great specimen that had the magic combination of name recognition, quality, and unique flavor.  I was really taken with the 1997 Ledaig that, at 13 years old, should be right in the sweet spot for an affordable new barrel purchase.  After bringing the pain with the $150 Mannochmore, I need a $60-$70 malt for everyday drinkers.  The Ledaig has great peat flavors, but it isn't that Islay salty peat.  When I first sipped it I felt like I was taking a bite of smoky chipotle salsa on a tortilla chip.  Very tasty and the aroma has fruit and nuts as well.  I think this is a contender for a K&L exclusive!

Next on the list was the Black Adder series, which is a new indy bottler (at least new to me) that is being imported by the guys who bring in Amrut.  While I thought the packaging was a bit odd, the malts were quite tasty.  Of these four, I thought the Auchroisk 18 and Lochranza 11 were the keepers.  The Auchroisk 18 is perfect Speyside without heavy sherry.  It reminds me of a high end Macallan, but with more character.  Rich malty goodness, nothing more, but sometimes that's all you want.  Lochranza?  Where the hell is that distillery?  Turns out, Lochranza is the name of the Isle of Arran distillery, and this indy bottle is called "raw cask," which not only means cask strength, but also zero filtration - there is sediment floating around in the bottle.  This whisky has big time flavor - dark, dense fruits with earthy notes and fat, dripping, oily textures.  Very good.

So if I could have my druthers concerning what my family members should buy me for Christmas, and price was no problem, these are what I would want (from our available in stock items).  First off, the 1951 Marie & Fils 58 Year Old Single Barrel Cask Strength Cognac from my buddy Palazzi.  If you've heard me talk about this a lot lately, there's a reason why!  This stuff is off the CHAIN!  I can't even go into my tasting notes because it changes every time.  There's so much going on in this bottle - fruits, leather, spice, intensity, grace, rusticity.  The whole chabang for $600.

Glenmorangie Manager's Choice from 1981.  This bottle has fascinated me since we first picked it up.  An old and rare option that is really peaking my curiosity.  I really want to open it!

The Black Tot Rum!  Fresh from Buckingham Palace.  Untouched since the wedding of Diana and Charles, I believe.  $1000 for the most precious source of rum in the history of the world - the Royal Navy supply!  Maybe they'll bust it out for next April's Royal Wedding.

So after yesterday's post about Brora, I got a barrage of email from customers about different bottlings.  Turns out many people feel the Brora 25 Distillery Bottling is the favorite whisky of all time for many of you out there!  Crazy.  Turns out David OG still had a couple bottles lingering down in LA that he had deactivated for some reason, so I am pulling the trigger on one.  It's my 31st birthday tomorrow, so I figured I'm worth it! 

Stay thirty everyone!

-David Driscoll



Reader Comments (16)

Sounds like lots of good stuff to come! Auchroisk is one of the great unsung distilleries of Scotland. I don't know that I've ever had one I've not liked.

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersku

Happy birthday, David!

Recently I saw a friend who told me about this great Mad Men cocktail party she had been to. "You would have loved it, this guy was making cocktails with [something] and [something else] and Godiva vodka..." Somehow (har har), I figured out it was you! Small world!

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa W.

Happy Birthday, David. Enjoy the Brora.

And many thanks for picking out the St. George Single Barrel - quite a fine dram.

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

I didn't deactivate those my good man!!! I just bought em a couple of weeks ago?!?

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid OG

How did you re-buy those DOG? Those were released in February 2009?

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Melissa! Who was your friend? There were only about 8 people there, but I kept running back next door to get more booze!

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Oh and Happy Birthday! I'm loving our spirits progam. We're bringing this to the next level. Couldn't imagine a better partner in crime. I think were coming up on the D&D Spirits Program anniversary. We'll have to share a drink together virtually or maybe I'll head up to SF again in february to celebrate! We can have a party...

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid OG

Distributor found four bottles during inventory...somehow I nabbed him. It's all about the timing...

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid OG

Nora and Toby... she mentioned you kept running back for more!

December 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa W.

Happy Birthday DD! Big fan of that Brora.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdamH

Happy Birthday! And, um, "shebang" and "pique."

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteryay area

Oh, and happy birthday!

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersku

Nice pick on the Brora and happy birthday! Ledaig makes some great, interesting whisky that not a lot of people are familiar with. Would love the opportunity to buy a bottle of single cask from them.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchris

The Blackadder label has been around for at least 11 years, though I think they haven't distributed in the US for quite some time. The sediment in the Raw Cask bottles is cool, but it's just marketing - they add it at bottling to emphasize there's no standard filtration. Many of their bottlings are very good, but they do a lot of single casks that aren't as good as others from the same batch - I wish they would vat more than they do.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEthan Prater

Happy Birthday David! It was a pleasure getting to meet you on my trip back home to the bay area. And thank you for the bottle of Flaming Heart, to say it was a hit would've been an understatement.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMK

Slightly belated HBD!

December 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoover Chan

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