Monday, February 27, 2012

Drink Whisky....Skin That Cat

This past weekend I made a short flight from Dulles International to Logan Airport in Boston to attend Julio's Liquor Go Whiskey Weekend. This is an annual event that spans a couple of days. This year, Ryan Maloney, event host and Julio's owner added a kick off dinner on Friday evening.

I arrived a little early with a buddy of mine and we were dressed business casual (well, business casual light) sporting dockers and a golf shirt. Other male attendees....Kilts, bow ties and knee high socks. To be honest, they looked rather sporting.

Within a couple minutes of arriving, bagpipes flared up and dominated the space. Fun fact, bagpipes have to be warmed up before formally playing which is probably why Ryan Maloney yells out within a couple of minutes "isn't that cat skinned yet?"

Let's talk about whiskey. Scotch whisky. The featured guest was Fred Laing from Douglas Laing and Co. Ltd. Featured that evening were a string of selections from their line of Douglas and Old Malt Casks. The lineup was as follows:

The Arran 13 year Old Malt Cask - cask strength with understated peat, summer fruit, honeysuckle and mild spice on the finish. Very nice.

Bowmore 11 year 100 pf - Very pale in color, peat and smoke in moderation (maybe a wee more than I like), oak presence on the back of the palate. Not bad.

Mortlach 18 year - A Speyside that exhibited fruity nose, a touch fungal, earthy with very mild peat. Sweet on the palate. (note: Speyside is the backbone of Johnny Walker Black).

Rosebank 20 year cask 111.2 pf - pale golden color, sweet fruit notes on the nose that pops on entry with a creamy compliment. Well balanced, long finish. A real nice offering. I picked up a bottle of this.

Macallan 33 year 92 pf - unlike most Macallan's, this whisky was aged in bourbon hogshead giving this selection a very bourbon like quality. Honey, vanilla, mild oak dominated this lush and silky smooth pour. Simply delicious with a long lingering finish. Out of my price range....too bad.

Glen Grant 36 year Cognac finish 100 pf- this Speyside selection was finished in Spanish Brandy casks. Dark fruits, sweet entry with brandy undertones throughout made this a very enjoyable pour. Very smooth with a long finish.

Clan Denny 50 year single grain 103 pf - This particular Scotch at 50 years old had to be re-barreled three times over the course of it's maturation. When I asked what grain, the answer was "corn or wheat". Profile exhibited lush qualities of toffee, vanilla, brown sugar. Back in 1961, these single grain mashbills were used as blending agents. This particular whisky was very light in color considering its age, had a deep long finish with bourbon like qualities. Very well balanced considering its age. Not for sale and even if it was, I'd have to sell a kidney to afford.

The evening ended with a retreat to the cigar lounge for a stogie and conversation. A good start to a great weekend. More to come.


  1. I happened upon this blog after attending the Go Whiskey on Sunday to see other people's opinions of it. I'm looking forward to reading your next posts. I have my post about Sunday going up soon, too.

  2. Glad you dropped in Justin. I dropped in for a quick view of your blog and I'll have to come back and spend some time reading up on your beer reviews. On Sunday I was strolling through the beer aisle at Julio's and ended up with a couple selections: He'brew Jewbelation 15, Alesmith Wee Heavy and Allagash Musette. While I'm not prone to hoppy beers, I enjoyed a Heady Topper last Friday during lunch but those, as yet, are not sold in retail.

  3. As a native of just north of Boston, I'm ashamed I never knew about this event. Guess I'll be scheduling my trips north better next year!

  4. That's a shame Steve. Put it on your Calendar now before you forget. I've already got plans to attend next year.

  5. I love the comment for Macallan 33yr "Out of my price range....too bad." I can't even begin to imagine the aggressive price tag for a bottle of that. The Macallan 25yr sells for 899 in my neck of the woods. It's almost to the point where you could pay for goods with whisky. "I'll trade you my 64yr Dalmore for your house?"

  6. Bmac - I'm really digging the various Scotch selections but the prices.....silly expensive. Julio's does have some nice pricing when sales happen. I picked up their Rosebank Cask Strength 20 year for $125 which I thought was a bargain. If you look around some deals can be found. I recently picked up two bottles of Glenlivet Nadurra for $50 each and that's a 16 year cask strength; I'd buy that all day long at that price. I like Scotch (and of course other whiskies) but won't pay sky high prices to get it. There's too many selections out there for reasonable dollars that are very good.