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…

Barrell Cask Strength Bourbon (Batch 017)

So here we are, a day late and about ninety dollars short to talk about a bottle you can’t buy anymore. Batch 017 was released in early 2019 and is intended to be an homage to “classic” bourbon — the kind that is suddenly hard to find on shelves. It’s a blend of straight bourbon whiskies from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky. The three component whiskies were all rye-flavored bourbons (mash bill corn, rye, and malted barley) aged 10 years and 4 months, 14 years, and 15 years so this bottle is “officially” 10 years and 4 months old. It’s up to you if you want to mentally count the extra age…

Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr

I’m impressed that in a side-by-side comparison, it’s clear that this is Laphroaig “plus”. You get extra cinnamon, extra vanilla, and extra oaky sweetness from the European oak that’s just simply missing from the standard expression. It does not taste older, nor mellower. If you feel like your standard Laphroaig could use a little more flavor that isn’t peat, you’ll probably enjoy…

Woodinville Straight Bourbon

Woodinville Straight Bourbon is a Washington State straight bourbon that is pot distilled by Woodinville Whiskey Company in Woodinville, Washington state. The distillery, established in 2010, was acquired in 2017 by Moët Hennessy (LVMH), which might explain why it’s now popping up on store shelves. All of the grain for distillation comes locally, from…

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.

Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky

The original G&H was a large Toronto distiller established in 1832 and which merged with Canadian mega conglomerate Hiram Walker in 1926. It functioned as a Hiram Walker plant until it was closed for good in 1990. The eponymous brand was re-released by current Hiram Walker owner Pernod Ricard in 2015 and is now distilled by Corby Spirits (which is mostly owned by Pernod Ricard) in Windsor, Ontario. …

Alexander Murray Bon Accord

…agreement that an independent bottler sometimes has to make with a whisky producer to not disclose the distillery name. The bottle has no age statement, so all we really know is that it is a Highland single malt from an ex-bourbon barrel and that is bottled at the bare legal minimum of 40% ABV. The release is a vatting of different ages from that undisclosed distillery, so it’s not a single barrel.