Driscoll’s Back!

My long-time readers will know that I owe a lot of my passion for spirits (as well as the bulk of my knowledge) to former K&L Wine Merchants blogger and Spirits Buyer, David Driscoll. Driscoll dropped out of the booze scene a few years ago to pursue some other projects, much to basically everybody’s chagrin. Luckily, he’s back! https://boozeblog.missionliquor.com/ Woohoo, now I don’t have to come up with original ideas for blog posts anymore, I can go back to riffing off of his!

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  • HA! After two+ years out of the game, I’m definitely going to be ripping off all your posts! Thanks for the kind words, dude.

  • The core of my single malt knowledge comes from you, first, and Driscoll, second, thanks to your recommendation of his blog on K&L’s spirits journal. In his post, “Back to Basics: Malt,” he recommended six bottles of whisky that offered “a basic single malt education,” focused not only on classic Scotch whisky flavor, but also on uniqueness and, perhaps most importantly, bang-for-the-buck. His recommendations, in 2014, were as follows: Nikka 12 Taketsuru Pure Malt, Glendronach 12, BenRiach 12, Glenmorangie 10, Ardbeg Uigeadail, and Springbank 10. If you were to put together your own single malt education course, along those same parameters, composed of, say, 6-12 bottles, which would you choose? Thanks!

    • I’m not the n00b, but I’ll throw my hat in here.
      – Aultmore 12 (unpeated malt aged in 100% ex-bourbon casks)
      – Benromach 10 (very lightly peated, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks)
      – Glendronach 12 (100% sherry maturation)
      – Highland Park 12 (lightly peated, partially sherried malt)
      – Springbank 10 (get down with the Campbeltown funk)
      – Laphroaig 10 (heavily peated malt aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks)
      – Lagavulin 16 (heavily peated malt with a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks)

    • Good question, Jared, thanks. I would choose something along the lines of: GlenDronach 12 (for Sherry), The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 (for best all-rounder), Laphroaig 10 (most intense peat), Oban 14 or Clynelish 14 (best exclusively ex-bourbon), Redbreast 12 (not malt, but best Irish), Lot 40 (not malt, but best Canadian), Westland anything (best American single malt). For extra credit on peat, I’d go with either Talisker 10 or Lagavulin 16. To add in a basic bourbon, Eagle Rare 10. To add in a basic rye, Rittenhouse 100. A good blended scotch, Great King Street: Artist’s Blend. Best inexpensive scotch: Bank Note 5 year. I left out Japan because I just don’t have enough experience with them, although I was a big fan of the discontinued Hibiki 12 (also not malt). Cheers!

      • Thanks for the reply! The only ones i haven’t tried are Lot 40 (adding to my list) and Bank Note (not available in my area). I Couldn’t agree with you more on Westland: i picked up the American Oak, based on your recommendation, and was BLOWN away, in a way that i haven’t really been with other whiskies lately. I hesitated, initially, to purchase a bottle based on all the biases in my ostensible whisky “knowledge”–that a three year old malt could never be as good as an age stated malt for a similar price; that a relatively new American distillery could offer something comparable to the centuries-old, perfected products of Scotland; that if you purchase an American spirit, you’re better off with Bourbon, which offers more bang-for-the-buck than an experimental, Craft malt from Seattle. I was wrong, of course. Thanks for always pointing your readers toward quality booze. Cheers!