For the whiskey lovers in the room

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We watched a movie a while ago, about a group of friends that pulled off a whisky heist in Scotland. I cannot recall the name of it, but it was interesting. We honeymooned in Scotland, and had the opportunity to taste some relatively rare whiskys-one, because we were on our honeymoon, and, two, on the Whisky Experience tour in Edinburgh I chatted up our tour guide, who had actually visited the US the year before-and was 2 towns away from us, so, we had some in common. He gave us the secret "after tour", which was pretty cool. To include tasting several different whiskys. Of course, none were THAT rare. I DID have my pic taken with the oldest, the most expensive, the rarest bottle, and the largest bottle, so, theres that :)
 
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Most people that really "know a lot about whiskey" would agree that the best whiskey in the world is made in Scotland. But don't tell that to people from Canada, Ireland, Tennessee, Kentucky or Colorado for that matter. Not to mention Japan and lots of other places. I really like small batch bourbon, quality Canadian, and once in awhile single malt Scotch. It is possible to reach diminishing returns pretty fast, like a lot of things. It takes a lot of practice in order to tell the difference between a $30 bottle of Scotch and ones that costs $100 or even $800.

Whiskey drinking is all about context. It is hard to beat a $20 bottle of Old Yellowstone around a campfire on the inside bend of a river somewhere, especially with people that I care enough about to invite on such a trip. It is one of the things that makes life worth living.
 
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I disagree about your differentiating quality whiskies. Not all expensive whiskey I like, but I can tell the crap. That includes Canadian and Irish whiskey. Never really tried too much good American whiskey, any I have tried have been swill, but that I know is not an indication of the entire market. My current choice is Forty Creek Copper Pot whiskey. Smooth and tasty. No need to mix with anything.
 
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This is a terrible confession for a Scotsman named McCrea, but I hate scotch whiskeys. Maybe I’m allergic to peat, but just the smell of scotch makes me want to hurl. I have repeatedly tried to find a scotch that agreed with me, you know, to honor my forefathers, to no avail.

But single barrel bourbon, that’s a different story. I am enduringly fond of Blantons, but since retiring I no longer receive a year’s supply every Christmas from my various clients.

I participated in a couple of blind single barrel taste offs, the scoring of which mostly revealed a variance in test tasters palettes and preferences. The one single barrel that rose to the top overall had the unlikely name “Hirsch”, which sounds like a NY deli or type of pickle.

There is some peculiar back story with the 28YO Hirsch; it was barreled and the company was sold, and then sold again, and when it was finally bottled it was extraordinary.

http://www.anchordistilling.com/spir...ll-batch-28-yo

Not likely I’ll be buying a bottle of that soon either.
 
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Most people would agree that cheap whiskey can be harsh, simple and uninspiring. It is what some people can afford. There is no sense in buying anything decent and mixing it with coke.

My great uncle was in the logging business. He drank Black Velvet mixed with milk and called it "Moose Milk" when I knew him. It was later in his life and he had some issues with his stomach. I have learned never to make disparaging comments about what anyone else likes to drink. It is a free country.
 
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As a young adult I tried Rye (Canadian Whiskey) & Coke (a Cola), a standard mixed drink in it's day. I was sick, and swore off mixing anything sweet with hard stuff. Actually I swore off hard stuff too. I stuck to beer (and sometimes too much of it). My brother tried to refine my tastes by introducing me to Scotch. I tried it, but thought it tasted what gasoline smells like. Back to the beer. Only years later did I ever try hard stuff again. I was hanging out with a store owner and fellow tradesman, waiting to close up shop for the day. I was given a Bushmills Irish Whiskey, cut with water. Expecting the worst I sipped and...wow. It was nice. I've enjoyed Bushmills ever since. Years ago an Irish friend of mine gave me some Jamieson's, his "dear ol' da's favourite". Another wow. I've added that label to my whiskey shelf. A couple years ago my son-in-law returned from an overseas job with a duty free bottle of Balvenie in hand. "Here. I picked this up for you." I thought "Oh no. Scottish-gasoline." WOW. It was very nice. I'm not sure if my tastes are getting more refined or not. Perhaps, perhaps not. But I know what I like and I know my spending limit.
I agree about the context. I only have a glass in the right moments. With a piece of homemade fruitcake at Christmas, on a quiet evening watching the snow drift down. Sitting on a lakeshore listening to the crazy loons and gazing at the stars. Sitting around the kitchen table with my eldest (Canadian Whiskey loving) son late at night, filling in the gaps of our family memories with laughter and happy tears.
 
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I recently received something called the "Impressive Flask Award" from the "Adventure Flask Society" (look them up). It was an impressive flask for sure...this puppy can contain an entire fifth of liquor. Despite regulations that may have dictated to the contrary, it arrived via the U.S. Postal Service pre-filled with (I am told) Canadian Club whiskey. I'm not a whiskey person, but to me, it tastes a little weak. Definitely smooth, I have to say, not a harsh not in a single mouthful. But when I finally get around to emptying this thing and sending it on to whomever the next recipient may be, I will be filling it with a generous portion of Sailor Jerry rum.
 
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Strider,
Canadian whiskey is almost always blended from several different batches, giving it smoothness. They tend to use more rye than Americans, and less corn. Some of the best inexpensive whiskeys are Canadian.

Americans are starting to pay a lot of attention to rum. Sailor Jerry is pretty good for a spiced rum. I really like the dark and lively ones like "Black Seal."
 
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Last summer just before I got married, a very nice fellow from Tennessee came up to Geraldton to go canoeing up at Marshall lake. He left me a bottle of this


I don't know much about whiskey or bourbon, but I figured it was pretty good, because it had a cork and was sealed with wax. It was also 50 percent booze. Anyway, the Presbyterian Minister who married us was a great guy, but forbade anyone in the wedding party from having a drink until the ceremony was over. So a few minutes after the wedding and pictures were finished, I came in with my buddy and we did a shot. I have to admit that it had a certain strange effect of burning all the way down, and then back up, and then suffusing though out my entire upper body. Fortunately, I had lots of bud light to wash it down with. This is a pic someone took immediately after we swallowed the liquid fire.


Think I'll stick to the beer and occasional glass of wine, that good stuff is wasted on me.
 
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A good craft beer IS the good stuff.
Oh oh. A craft beer fight may be brewing. (sorry for the bad pun) A couple weekends ago, I was sitting in a low budget restaurant with family, when my beer snob son asked "What's on tap?" I'd already glanced across the bar and saw the few choices. Besides, I was driving, so I was drinking tap water. I could hardly hide my chuckles as the waitress read off "Canadian, Export, Blue, Coors Lite...oh, and I forgot..." I watched a glimmer of desperate hope flit across the young mans's face just before she finished her list..."Labatt 50." He withered and mumbled "Umm. Maybe I'll just a refill of water." She shrugged her shoulders and fetched the water. Ha! I felt his disappointment.
That shot of courage sure looked painful memaquay. Kinda good in a kinda bad way. That was a generous gift from Tennessee.
 
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It’s funny that this thread has hit upon two of the favorite, or at least traditional, paddling trip imbibements amongst my usual and unusual companions.

Knob Creek has been on many trips, and is colloquially known as “Bonk”, or getting bonked (Knob spelled backwards). Knob Creek has a harsh and lasting afterbite, which seems to befit a sensory kick more in a wilderness setting sip than in the den back home.

Sailor Jerry was a stalwart companion on every trip with friend Topher, who could be counted on to have a bottle stashed somewhere. Jerry was always uncorked for a celebratory sip or three when finishing a race in the 8-person war canoe. We really should have put Jerry’s name down on the race entry form, since he participated in every race.

There are some truly awful inexpensive whiskies out there. My father in his drinking days was a sour mash man. And cheap sour mash man as well, Cabin Still. I’m still not a fan of most sour mash, which may in part be due to youthful indiscretions with his bourbon supply.

Or not. I got into his homebrew beer more than a time or two, back in the day that it was illegal to homebrew, and quickly learned to avoid the rotation of cases that were still green.

His homebrew was quite tasty, quite potent and consumed by an odd clientele. A local roadhouse bar kept a stash reserved for the Maryland State Troopers who hung out there. My father kept them supplied with homebrew, built their K-9 kennels and….hmmmm…..never received a single moving violation. Including one memorable occasion when they (multiple Troopers) escorted him home after catching him riding his dirt bike on the local byways. Clad in nothing but a rabbit skin loincloth. It was his birthday party after all, and it was very potent homebrew.

Later in life he worked that same magic in Georgia, supplying the State Patrol and becoming deputized in a half dozen counties.

I blather. The ironic denouement is that his father was a tee-totaling customs agent on the Rouses Point crossing during prohibition.
 
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It is not written anywhere that "hard stuff" has to be drunk out of a shot glass. I like to drink whiskey mixed with ice and water. The same with rum, tequila and lots of other things. Mixers are your friend. The alcohol in a mixed drink made properly is the same as a beer and sometimes less than a glass of wine depending on the size. The drunkest people I know are mostly wine drinkers. Nearly every kind of alcohol is appropriate on a canoe trip for those that imbibe.
 
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The good stuff would be sipped and savoured and the harsh stuff is better suited for shooting, thus leaving less time for the flavour to roll around in your mouth.
 
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I'll add to the bourbon menu, Elijah Craig . This old boy is almost dead and probably will be after tonight

Sorry for the sideways photo. Maybe it's the bourbon:D
 

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