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Tuesday
Jul192011

Hipster Whisk(e)y Rules

What? You still like Radiohead? Dude, I don't listen to anything that more than ten people are into.  If it isn't ironic then I'm not interested.

Yes, people - just like our beloved Bay Area hipster community, there are rules to this whisk(e)y thing.  We can act like there aren't, but the truth is that more and more of us are following a preset of rules that have been established for us!  No one wants to be caught dead drinking the wrong malt just like no one wants to be the guy on Mission St. with gears on his bike.  We should just be happy that we like whisk(e)y and that it's available to us, but there are so many other factors to consider - what this whisk(e)y says about me as a person, how hard is this whisk(e)y to get, how long has the distillery been closed, etc.  If you wouldn't take a picture of it for your social media page, then it probably isn't worth drinking.  Here now for your enjoyment are the Hipster Rules for Drinking Whisk(e)y.

- Islay whiskies are still cool, unless it's chill-filtered and at 43% which of course makes it watered-down slop.  Everyone knows that.

- Blends are so not cool.  Unless it's like a handcrafted blend by someone super cool like John Glaser or Bill Lumsden, or a super old bottle of something from the sixties because that's the only time blended whisky was actually good.  Today it's totally lame and not made with the same standards. 

- It's OK to put a bit of water in your malt, but ice cubes are for rookies.  In reality, adding anything to the whisky just shows that you really don't appreciate it, man.  You're totally missing out on the natural flavors, brah.

- Glenlivet, Macallan, Balvenie and Glenfiddich are like so boring.  Speyside is so overrated, unless it's super old, like from the sixties or seventies because that's like when they totally knew how to make whisky in the Highlands.  No, I wasn't alive then.  What?  I just know is all.  I read it somewhere like in a Michael Jackson book or something.  Jeez, get off my case.

- Buffalo Trace is to whiskey fans what Stephen Malkmus is to hipsters - CAN DO NO WRONG!

- Dude, you're drinking Laphroaig 10?  Like why not get the Cairdeas or at least the 10 year Cask Strength?  What?  You couldn't find the Cairdeas?  No, you can't get it at BevMo!  You totally have to know someone.  I know this guy who totally hooks me up and he got me two.  I probably won't open either of them, but.....you know.

-If it hasn't been closed for at least ten years, I'm not interested.  What? Port Ellen?  That's so obvious.  Brora?  That's like so 2010.  Banff?  Meh.  I'm more into, like, Caperdonich.

- Pappy 20 is cool, but the 15 is really where the purity is at.  I mean, the 15 is like the best expression of bourbon around, except for the 12 Lot B which is, like, even cooler because everyone overlooks it. 

- Craft whiskey is cool as long as it's made from 100% rye because those corn whiskies are just boring.  Rye is just a totally more interesting grain.  It's like peppery and stuff and it totally makes a better cocktail.  No, I've never had a bourbon Manhattan, why?

Any other zingers?  Email me and we can make another list.  This is fun.  I'm totally guilty of most of these.

-David Driscoll - daviddriscoll@klwines.com

UPDATE - 7:42 PM - Steve from LA has sent me these wonderful additions:

-Ratings are so not cool, but I never drink anything that gets less than a 92 from Serge

-I'm not sure what chill filtering is but I know it totally ruins whiskey.

-It's not peated if it's under 110 ppm!

-Comments on whisky blogs are so lame; like I care what other people think. (that's aimed right at me!)