Upcoming Scotch Whisky Night (March 2011)

Suntory YamazakiTonight, my friends and I are going to have one of our much anticipated “scotch nights,” where we each bring a bottle to share with the group. I’ve long had my eye on the Suntory Yamazaki (by the way, best age restriction check in the world), whisky produced by Suntory in Japan, and our scotch night is a great time to introduce it to the group. I’ve never had it and part of me wonders if my mind returned to it because of the recent earthquake but after hearing Richard Paterson’s warm words about it in his 40 Years, 40 Whiskies series, I wanted to give it a try.

I’m eager to find out which other whiskies will be in attendance but Japan will be well represented. Given the budget of the group, we’ll be going with the 12yo. I think it’ll be interesting to see how aging in three different types of oak barrels (American, Spanish, and Japanese oak) will affect the spirit.

Here are it’s official tasting notes: “This is a medium-bodied whisky with the aromas of dried fruits and honey. It has a delicate, mellow taste with a lingering, woody, dry finish.” It doesn’t sound much different than your classic Speyside or Highland, so we’ll see!

Here’s what Richard Paterson said of Suntory Yamazaki:

High praise from the Master Blender of Whyte & Mackay.

Morton’s Glenlivet Scotch Tasting Events

Morton's The SteakhouseSomeone on twitter recently told me about the Glenlivet Scotch Tasting events hosted by Morton’s Steakhouse and how I should check it out. At first glance, it looks like a pretty decent event where you get to learn about properly tasting scotch and sample four of Glenlivet’s bottles – the 12, 15 (they don’t say if it’s the French Oak or the regular version), 16 and the 18. With the scotch there are served Hors d’oeuvres – Smoked Salmon Pinwheels, Sliced Tenderloin on Crostini, Whipped Horseradish; Broiled Sea Scallops, Apricot Chutney; and Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches, Mustard Mayonnaise. Ticket price is $49, which includes tax and gratuity.

Without knowing how good the food is, the price is a bit high. The Celebrate the Macallan tasting event I went to in DC was free, though they overbooked and we didn’t get a chance to make it into the actual tasting. The food was OK and they gave us tickets to the next night’s Celebrate event (and glasses of the Macallan 18!), which was more than enough of a compensation.

I looked online and couldn’t find any reviews, just event listings for every Morton’s steakhouse location, but at first glance it seems like a lukewarm deal.

Celebrate the Macallan Event – Oct 6th, 2009

Last night, my wife, two friends, and I went to a Celebrate the Macallan event in Washington D.C. We drove down from Columbia, hopped on the D.C. Metro, and walked about ten minutes or so to the Andrew Mellon Auditorium on Connecticut Avenue. When got there at around 8:20ish for an 8:30 event and the line was pretty long, but we weren’t worried.

We weren’t worried until one of the staff walked to the group in front of us and warned that the building only held 200 and they were around 220. Yikes. We didn’t travel nearly an hour just to turn around and go back!

The Outer Room

The Outer Room

Fortunately, they decided to let everyone in but only take the first 200 into the actual presentation and event. We first went into the entryway of the building, where small tables were setup along with a bar. As you entered, you were given a gold Macallan token that you could trade in for a sample of their 10 Year Fine Oak. We immediately made our way to the bar to get our sample!

As we waited in the next line to get into the presentation, we discovered that we were the first group to be denied entry. 🙁 When we peeked inside, we saw that the other room they were in was packed to the gills. Even if we were let in, it wouldn’t have made for an all too pleasant experience.

We stayed in the outer room where very light h’orderves were served and were treated to samples of the Macallan 18, a treat we certainly accepted as a nice consolation prize. All in all, we still had a good time. They offered to put us on the VIP list for another event this week, which simply meant we were given priority to get in, but we didn’t think we’d make the trip a second time.

In the future, I hope Macallan fixes their RSVP system so that they don’t have this problem but they handled the circumstances quite well.

Celebrate The Macallan Whisky Tasting in Washington D.C.

My friend Mapgirl at Mapgirl’s Fiscal Challenge let me know about a Macallan whisky tasting going on in early October in Washington DC. Macallan lists its tasting events on Celebratethemacallan.com and a quick search of the area yielding a tasting going on at Mellon Auditorium at 1301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington DC on October 6th, 7th, and 8th. There are two sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and only one on Thursday. Each day has a 6:30 PM – 8:30PM tasting with Tuesday and Wednesday adding an 8:30 – 10:00 pm tasting.

Not sure which day I’ll be going, leaning towards Wednesday, but I wish there was more information online about what happens during these celebrations. I’m thinking it might be like the tasting I experienced at the Macallan distillery?

The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1964 – $2000

$2000 A Bottle!

$2000 A Bottle!

I just received an email from The Glenlivet Society about their newly released 1964 Cellar Collection, which will number fewer than three hundred bottles and priced at $2,000 a piece. While it pales in comparison to The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection, 1939 40-year, which was the world’s most expensive whisky at $10,125 a bottle… the $2,000 Glenlivet 1964 certainly is pricey!

The Glenlivet Cellar Collection is separate from their “Core Range” of the 12 Year, 15 Year French Oak, Nadurra 16, 18 Year, Archive 21, and XXV; and includes the 1959 Cask Strength, 1964 Cask Strength, 1967, French Oak Finish, American Oak Finish, and 1972 Cask Strength. It is the 1964 Cask Strength that gets the go ahead this year.

Is it worth it? The Glenlivet thinks so… here’s why:

BOTTLED at cask strength with no chill-filtration, the character of this spirit is uncompromised.

AGED for 40 years, each of the 14 casks in this batch was hand-selected by The Glenlivet’s legendary Master Distiller Emeritus Jim Cryle.

FEWER THAN 300 of these individually-numbered bottles remain in the United States.

AWARDED the Gold Medal in The International Spirits Challenge, the 1964 vintage makes an outstanding addition to every serious whisky collector’s cabinet.

So, who is going to get one of the three hundred bottles and when are you inviting me over? 🙂