Maybe there's just not much happening in the Scotch world at the moment?
Mind you, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of PC6 - PC5 was stonking and I'm
keen to see how it's matured over the course of a year.
Yes, buttt .... we used to do a fair share of exchanging info,
availability, etc here. Now it's nothing happening. Don't need
no "much happening in the Scotch world" so much as a constant
flow of ideas.
As I asked ... where did they go? I looked at some Yahoo
SMA groups but not much going on there either.
Are there web sites for exchanging SMS info??
SMS is probably the greatest over looked alcoholic beverage and
amounts to an open secret, given its cost per bottle and the longevity
of the bottle. Unlike a bottle of wine, it is not necessary to finish
a SMS quickly, as in a week, if not a few hours. And contrary to the
usual line, a whisky may change drastically in the bottle as it is
consumed over some period of time. Still, like any type of beverage
it comes down to personal taste and if someone doesn't like something
that I do, that's OK; or vice versa.
As to a flow of ideas, consider the glass that you are using. All
glasses, whether from the distiller or not, are not created equally.
To cut to the chase, what is the best glass to savor a SMS? The
obvious thing to do is to have a taste off in which different glasses
are compared with the same whisky in each glass. In my own
evaluations, I have lots of different types of wine glasses around and
the overall winner was the Riedel Sommelier Burgundy glass. This
costs about $80 on Amazon. Not too many whisky drinkers are going to
be willing to spring for this glass. At one time, Costco had their
own brand of 24% lead crystal glass that worked out to about $4 each.
Now is the Riedel Sommelier glass 20X better? Hell, no!!
Then there is the gospel espoused by Malt Maniacs that says that
almost any non SMS is dramatically inferior and score them
accordingly. Well, one of the best bangs for the buck are the blended
Scotches which actually appear in the US in one liter bottles. No,
these do not have the intensity of SMS, but are a fraction of the cost
with heavy components of chocolate in various manifestations.
What about the temperature that the SMS or whiskies are consumed.
After some experimentation, for my palate, I prefer to refrigerate my
whiskies: bourbons, SMS, blended scotches. The temperature of the
frig will be around 40 F or lower. Is it best at 40 F? No, as it
warms up, the optimal temperature may be in the high 50's, but this is
a matter of taste and if someone disagrees, that's fine.
The whisky writer, Jim Murray, has his own opinions, but they are at
least a good starting point to choose unknown bottles. You may or may
not agree with him. I have the feeling that his ratings are not on an
absolute scale, because there is no way that some of his highly scored
bourbons in the 90's are better than Aberlour Abunadh or Laphroaig 10
yo cask strength which rate in the high 80's. I can only say that
because I have tried them. Relatively speaking, some bourbons are
great bargains and along with the blended Scotches make excellent
affordable everyday whiskies.
How valid is it to rate a whisky based upon a miniature bottle, as in
50 ml? Yet, this is what Malt Maniacs does in their yearly annual
competition. This is probably more a matter of practicality because
there is no way that a panel of judges would be able to go through
entire 750 ml bottles and compare them over time. Still the ratings
are highly anticipated and make for great reading even if some of
those SMS are completely unavailable on the US market.
My guess is that a lot of posters got tired of certain other guests who
dominated the conversation with repeatedly irrelevant personal comments
about cheap booze instead of discussing the merits of various bottles of SMS
or comparing the latest releases. Hopefully, this has resolved itself with
time and boredom, but I suspect it has cost the list a fair number of