Scotch

Was talking to a friend about Scotch tonight which got me thinking about my old collection. I used to have a bookshelf dedicated to it and each night I would come home from a hard day and sample one of the bottles. It was nice being able to choose from so many different expressions, but it did get a little bit crazy after a while, drinking hard liquor every single night.

I first discovered single malts in 2008. It was a Glenfiddich 12 in a little neighborhood drinking spot in Hong Kong. On the same night I had a Macallan 12 as well. Later, when I returned to Oakland, I bought my first bottle of Macallan 12. Prior to that I would randomly pick bottles of spirits in the supermarket, wanting to sample them all. With single-malt Scotch, I finally found my go-to drink.

Over the years, my collection has grown and shrunk depending on my circumstances, and I am lucky to always have access to at least a bottle or two. When I lived in Hong Kong with my limited income, my “collection” was always a single bottle. Due to how single malts are perceived there, prices can be ridiculous which led me to sample blended whiskies as well as non-Scotch whiskies. That’s how I discovered Famous Grouse, the number-one selling Scotch whisky in Scotland. 🙂

The photo below was taken about 5 years ago. I never took the time to take a proper (i.e. staged) photo of my collection, but like whisky, I don’t think anything else matters as long as you enjoy it and it makes you happy. Cheers to you, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Scotch Shelf
So many choices, let your mood decide

(Disclaimer: No Lagavulins were actually stored sideways before or after the taking of this photo.)

Glenfiddich Distillery Tour Tasting Mat

At the end of our Glenfiddich Distillery tour we were treated to tastings of the 12, 15, and 18 year old expressions. It was quite a sight to see all the Glencairn glasses sitting on these mats. Each person got one, and there were at least a dozen people, so you can imagine how many glasses there were.

I’ve posted one side of the tasting mat before, but this is the full museum post. Enjoy!

Glenfiddich Distillery Tour Tasting Mat

Glenfiddich Distillery Tour Tasting Mat

Bowmore Islay Single Malt, Aged 12 Years

Bowmore was the last bottle of Scotch I bought in Hong Kong before returning to the United States. I remember I was having a particularly bad morning at work, and later some of the guys started talking about whisky so on my lunch break I took the MTR over to Central and bought it. Knowing that I was returning to the U.S., those last few weeks in HK I spent money much more freely. I probably scared my coworkers.

This is the first Scotch museum post featuring both the bottle and the box. Cheers!

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 Years Old

Talisker 10 – Box

Following in the vein of the Macallan box, next up is the box that housed this bottle. This is one of the nicer box and bottle designs I’ve seen, shaded in an attractive blue color no doubt meant to evoke images of the ocean which has played no small part in influencing the flavor of the whisky (well, maybe the photograph of crashing waves has something to do with it as well). Talisker made an imprint on my memory and I will be most definitely be procuring another bottle someday. For now, I’ll keep this particular bottle in the museum.

Talisker 10 - Box Front

Talisker 10 - Box Right (Isometric)

Talisker 10 - Box Left (Isometric)

Talisker 10 - Box Back

Talisker 10 - Label Front

Talisker 10 - Label Front

Talisker 10 - Label Back

Talisker 10 - Box Top

Talisker 10 - Box Bottom

Talisker 10 - Box Top Inlet

The Famous Grouse

I’ve had a bad habit of drinking all my whisky before photographing for the museum. The workaround? Photographing the box and the bottle label. I’ll try to do better next time, but for now here’s the first box and label museum post, of the Famous Grouse, in special limited-edition somethingfamous.com packaging.

The Famous Grouse
The Famous Grouse – the best selling whisky in Scotland
The Famous Grouse
Contains whiskies from Highland Park and the Macallan
The Famous Grouse
A closer look at the front label…
The Famous Grouse
… and the back
The Famous Grouse
The Famous Grouse
The Famous Grouse
Front label on the bottle is identical to the one on the box
The Famous Grouse
This bottle was produced for the HK market
The Famous Grouse
Established in 1800

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

I was looking through my Scotch photos and realized that I hadn’t posted a Macallan museum post, so here it is. This bottle was acquired on September 27, 2013.

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

From the label, it looks like this bottle was meant for the Asia-Pacific market.

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

A hologram, which sadly suggests that there are fakes out there.

The Macallan Twelve Years Old

More valuable to me than gold.

Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Aged 10 Years

Today’s museum post is of a bottle of Talisker that I bought back in November. Talisker is similar to Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and Laphroaig in that it is distilled, aged, and bottled by the sea, but unlike the other three (which are practically down the road from each other on Islay), Talisker is made further up north on the Isle of Skye. It is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye.

It is difficult to believe that it has been several months since I’ve enjoyed and finished this bottle. Due to budget constraints, I’ve cut back significantly on indulging, and at times I’ve even thought that maybe I’m done with Scotch just like I’m done with aquariums (Scotch is hard liquor, after all).

When I think back to the peatiness, seaweediness, and sweetness of this dram, I think that I must be mistaken. Enjoy this museum post.

The Glenlivet 15 Years Old

The Glenlivet 15

I got a chance to sample the Glenlivet 15 again when I bought a bottle of the Glenlivet 12 last weekend; inside was a little 50ml bottle of the older expression. A few years ago I bought a gift set (for under USD$100.00!) of the Glenlivet which included the 12, the 15, and the 18. As I recall, the 15 was my favorite and when I tasted it again today I was reminded of that.

Since it was such a tiny bottle, I took it with me on public transportation and snuck in a few sips (and then it was gone). I was definitely drinking this one for fun and not for tasting, but I do remember it was very smooth and fruity. The nose was very pleasant, sweet like honey and flowers. If I ever start a collection again, the Glenlivet 15 will be on my short list.

Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

Tonight’s museum post is of a bottle of Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch whisky that I procured in Hong Kong back in July. Surprisingly, Highland Park is priced similarly in Hong Kong as it is in San Francisco; most Scotches in Hong Kong that I’ve seen have some sort of premium, usually costing around twice that of SF. Well, lucky for me then, because Highland Park is one of the better drams out there. Enjoy!

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12-yo Scotch Whisky