I've made it known to you all (and to the vendors as well) that we are in need of some barrels. Not empty barrels, by the way. Casks full of brown water that will be bottled exclusively for our wonderfully loyal customers, then offered at a discount for the seventy or so people in the Whisk(e)y Club. It's not that no one answered the call, it's that no one stepped up with anything worth buying! Until today. Even though I was at work before 6 AM, counting bottles in the dark winter (albeit more like summer now) morning, I still met up with a few appointments.
Dennis Tobin from Sazerac came by today to taste me on some Buffalo Trace barrels (yes, Sazerac and I are getting along fine now, thank you) and he brought the goods. David OG and I like to confer with one another before going all the way, but we have no problem defering to one another if one of us needs to go deep with a sweet opportunity. I pulled the trigger on what was obviously a fantastic barrel of bourbon. I'm in a "less is more" phase right now, prefering elegance to power, so I went with the most gentle, beautiful, soft, and gentle selection they had. This is such a creamy and seductive barrel of Buffalo Trace so I look forward to offering some $20 deals in the near future. Watch out for this one, it's a real keeper.
More bourbon coming, yet still no single malt. My brow was beading down a mean sweat as I looked over my February whisk(e)y club member options. I've been swimming in great bourbon as of late, but the Scottish selection has been light (hence, the trip to Scotland coming this March). Duncan Taylor, whose octave program seemed like such a fantastic thing last year, has come under new distribution and they have been dedicated to working with us on better pricing, the main reason we weren't interested previously. Today I went through the incredible samples they sent me and I was specifically looking for deals. Far and away, the best whisky was a 1998 12 Year Old Imperial, a Highland distillery owned by Pernod that never sees the single malt scene here in the U.S. The intense maturation in the octave has this malt brimming with vanilla bean on the entry with a kiss of sweet grains over the palate before giving way to a delicate finish. The best part is that the cask strength is down to 48% which means you can enjoy a robust, unadulterated flavor without having to add water. This should be in stock mid-February.
What a day! I'm on the couch now with a Hibiki and soda watching Food Network, confident in the fact that we just got two fantastic barrels everyone is going to love.