Here are the drinks that I consider to be my favorites after a few months of experimentation and rediscovery. Of course, many are whisky-centric, but not all. Also, my cocktail philosophy.
If you’re intimidated by the world of whisky appreciation and want a whimsical crash-course, or if you’re trying to think of a fun gift (Last-minute Christmas gift? Yes!) for a whisky lover who doesn’t take it all too seriously, this is an excellent purchase. If you think this will teach you about whisky via scent, you may be disappointed.
Flaviar is a spirits company based in the UK, but they ship to the United States as well. While they do sell whole bottles (sometimes with hefty discounts), their primary business is “tasting boxes”, which are nicely-presented boxes of five 45ml vials containing curated selections of spirits.
I got a batch of samples from Exclusive Malts’ new 2015 releases… These bottlings tend to go quickly and aren’t widely distributed to begin with, so if you’re interested in any of these… well, it may already be too late. Oops.
Flaviar is a spirits company based in the UK, but they ship to the United States as well. While they do sell whole bottles (sometimes with hefty discounts), their primary business is “tasting packs”, which are nicely-presented boxes of five 45ml vials containing curated selections of spirits.
The maker of Beyond Barrels Aging Masts contacted me with an interesting twist on the sticks-in-bottles concept: Minimize the amount of end grain while maintaining a liquid-to-wood-surface-area ratio identical to that of a 53-gallon oak barrel, heat-treat the wood without charring it (charred wood makes spirits taste like char), and then focus on adding interesting flavors through the use of French Oak, Cherry, and even Peach wood.
WhiskyAnalysis.com is a meta-analysis of online whisky reviews and ratings, to “provide an extensive comparative assessment of whiskies, based on a proper scientific meta-analysis of descriptions and scores given by whisky reviewers with extensive experience” so that you can “make sense of whisky flavors and quality, as an aid in selecting ones you might like to try next – based on your own personal preferences.”
The aging-at-home industry appears to be picking up speed lately, with products such as Whisky Elements, Beyond Barrel Aging Masts, and even wooden bottles! They all promise more-or-less the same thing: Take under-matured or middling-quality whisky and quickly infuse them with a little extra oak flavor while also filtering out impurities and mellowing the spirit. As I discovered with my testing, the results are not so cut-and-dry.
Giving your Dad whisky for father’s day is a time-honored tradition. Getting him to share it with you is even more time-honored! Unless you already know what he likes (in which case, why are you reading this?), you have to determine what kind of drinker he is, and what is likely to be appreciated.
Enter the Whisky Library, a history of your whisky journey – an array of mementos for the purpose of comparing against future brand changes or as a way to revisit lost loves without breaking the bank or building an addition on your house to shelter your hoard of bottles.