I'm invading the LA store today and I'm bringing the NorCal mojo with me. Hopefully the Giants will take game five while I'm landing at Burbank. That will give me the sufficient energy I need to beat this goddamn flu and sell some booze today! Come by and say hello! I should be there from 12:30 on.
Always one of the most anticpated bottles of the year, the Flaming Heart is now in stock! The Fourth Edition is no slouch, comparing very favorably to the Third (which I just sipped on last night to do a comparison). Anyone who likes Talisker 18, peated Brora, or any combination of oily, fruity, waxy flavors combined with peat and brine should jump in - fast! It's got all the sweetness, texture, and smoke in perfect balance. Glaser always delivers with this whisky and this edition is another notch in his belt. We've got a healthy supply between our NorCal and SoCal allocations, but this whisky will never make it to the big K&L email. We sold a bunch yesterday via the insider's email list and I expect this blog post to put it over the edge. I'm in for one - at least!
Compass Box Flaming Heart Fourth Edition Malt Scotch Whisky $89.99 - Here we go! The wildly popular Flaming Heart Series is back with one of the years most anticipated new blends. Coming from four of the official Scotch Malt regions, we all know that our dear friend Mr. Glaser tends to knock this out of the park. Serge Valentine writes, "Colour: dark straw. Nose: impeccable start, on a rather more refined peat than elsewhere (I mean in youngish single malts) and touches of agave and cane juice on top of an elegant Laphroaigness. Beeswax and seawater, antiseptic and overripe apples, bandages and damp clay, Japanese green tea and linseed oil. Then fresh mint, lime, oysters and just touches of diesel oil. Lovely lovely lovely. Mouth: the first thing I like here is the strength. Sounds odd, I know, but these 48.9% work extremely well, it’s nervous and big but approachable and, well, drinkable. Other than that, it’s a superb combination of pink grapefruits, shellfish, olive brine, marzipan, lemon, touches of fresh coriander, lemon balm, some kind of waxy citrons and plain green olives. Passion fruits, cough syrup, liquorice... It’s very smoky too. Finish: great as well because it remains elegant, zesty, even kind of ethereal despite all the oomph. Leaves your mouth a fresh as a baby’s! Comments: no, really, this is truly excellent. The bottle’s lovely too, it’ll be hard to throw it away once it’s empty (which will happen fast). Potential lamp stands? Nah, too narrow" 91 points whiskyfun.com.
I've seen this on TV about ten times now and every time I cringe. Yesterday's interview with Rachel Barrie, however, got me thinking about how we describe whisky. Rachel's descriptions are like dreams or memories, a bit too much for some perhaps, but they come from a real place. I experienced it first-hand while visiting Glen Garioch distillery. With the exception of her "grandmother's kitchen," I can vouch for the sights, sounds, and smells she describes. Personally, I try to tell an entertaining story when it comes to whisky, rather than sell you just tasting notes. While it's fun to wax poetic about booze, I sometimes find the enthusiasm expressed in our descriptions just a bit too over-the-top. I'm a pretty enthusiastic guy, so one might be surprised by my annoyance for this phenomenon (that's hypocritical, some might say!).
Enter Taco Bell – a restaurant I grew up on and have nothing against. There's nothing like a double-decker taco at 1 AM. Now they have this new "Cantina Bowl" menu, however, and they're trying to talk about their food like it's art. I don't know who Chef Lorena Garcia is, but this made me laugh, as did the above commercial. You'll see what I mean.
I hope I don't talk like this when you come ask me about whisky. I'd be really embarrassed if I did. Two fast-food ingredients are described as "beautiful" and the canned black beans are "amazing." This is where we're headed. Everything is "amazing." It's partially my fault. I'm a part of this growing trend and I feel terrible about it.
Since I knew I would be heading down to Los Angeles this week, celebrating the release of our first-ever, distillery-direct import from Morrison-Bowmore distillers, I thought now would be the perfect time to sit down with their head of whisky creation, Mrs. Rachel Barrie. In November of 2011, Rachel, who had been celebrated for her role in creating the Uideadail and Corryvreckan single malts, left Ardbeg Distillery and moved over to Morrison-Bowmore. Now in charge of Bowmore's whisky creation, as well as Glen Garioch and Auchentoshan, Rachel has an entirely different palate of colors from which to paint. Listen as she discusses the memories and moments that each whisky represents to her, how whisky is inevitably linked to a place and time, and how slowing down and enjoying each of these moments eventually helps us all become better tasters.
This podcast episode can be downloaded here (right click or hold down "control" if you have a Mac) or on our Apple iTunes page. Previous episodes can be found in our podcast archive located on the right hand margin of the page. You can also listen via our embedded Flash player above.