Book Review: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2022

The Malt Whisky Yearbook is an annual “field guide” to the world of malt whisky and the malt whisky industry. Author/Editor and Keeper of the Quaich Ingvar Ronde started in 2005 – and every year thereafter – compiling 12 months of news, facts, and figures from the industry while also managing to capture the overall trend and feel of the marketplace. In a way, it’s like a whole year of whisky magazine issues compressed into one compact and concise guidebook.

Musings on Why I Bother

So why do I continue to pan every whisky that I either dislike or think is overpriced for its intrinsic value? Why not take the easy road and say everything tastes like Heather in Springtime and be done with it? Why do I continue to expose my sensitive ego to every Keyboard White Knight who just can’t handle a negative review of their house dram?

Flaviar Membership: One Year Later

So what’s my opinion of the service, one year in? Despite their slightly spammy marketing practices, they’ve matured a lot as a company. They fulfill orders via local US retailers, now, so shipments arrive quickly and they ship to a much longer list of states (see below). They’re good at reminding me via email when one of my included membership perks is ready (time to choose some free whisky? Yes please!) and they aren’t too pushy about their other optional offerings, which are plentiful.

Book Review: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2021

The Malt Whisky Yearbook is an annual “field guide” to the world of malt whisky and the malt whisky industry. Author/Editor and Keeper of the Quaich Ingvar Ronde started in 2005 – and every year thereafter – compiling 12 months of news, facts, and figures from the industry while also managing to capture the overall trend and feel of the marketplace. In a way, it’s like a whole year of whisky magazine issues compressed into one compact and concise guidebook.

Compass Box: Affinity

In a bit of a departure from my usual “whisky-only” reviews on this blog, I’d like to say a few words about Compass Box’s Affinity. If you haven’t been following the flurry of Compass Box releases lately (and why should you? Every g-ddamn one of them has been north of $150), you might not know that Affinity is actually a “spirit drink”, which is the only legal way to label a blend of Scottish whisky and French calvados (apple and/or pear brandy).

Anchoring

Today I bring you a public service announcement about your brain. … Anchoring is a cognitive bias that causes our brains to “depend too heavily on an initial piece of information offered (considered to be the ‘anchor’) to make subsequent judgments during decision making. In practical terms, this means if I tell you that the brand-new GlenBracken 15 is an excellent whisky and easily worth $80 a bottle, and assuming that you already have some positive perception of my ability to discern value in whisky, then those two pieces of information are the anchors that your brain uses to form a mental model…

Whisky Cocktails: Paper Plane

Instead, I wanted to share with you the latest cocktail that has been single-handedly (do cocktails have hands in this analogy?) getting me through the lockdown lately. It’s called the Paper Plane, and it’s technically a whisky cocktail. Like another of my staples, the Negroni, it’s easy to make because it’s easy to remember. A note on ingredients, though. While you can use any bourbon (or rye) that you like, the Amaro Nonino is kind of mandatory.

Now is the Special Occasion

If you’re anything like me, you find a certain level of satisfaction from stocking up. You have 3 extra bottles of your favorite vermouth for that imaginary dinner party where just everyone wants a third Manhattan. You have that esoteric bottle of peated Swiss single malt for that “someday” when you need to impress a malt-savvy visitor. You have sixteen hundred or so bottles of weird mixers that you’ve used for exactly one oddball cocktail. …