All Things Whisky was founded as an offshoot from our sister site, Liquorature. In Liquorature we speak to books, whiskies, rum and all things related to the arts. As interest in the site’s whisky content grew, the decision was made to launch All Things Whisky.
Who we are…
The Collective is an amorphous l’il crew of sippers and swillers who gather to share, taste and revel in all things whisky. Membership is fluid and any given gathering or event could contain a different configuration. These are the lads (and once or twice, the lasses) who help keep me honest, drain my bottles, share theirs and contribute tasting notes and the amazing conversations that are the real reason we do this.
To all who have been, or will be, part of The Collective…slainte!
Blame me. I’m the one who started this little venture. On second thought…blame the drink. Or better yet…all of the fine industry folks who produce said drink and help to get it into our hands.
No Oscar speech, but I do have to say a big ‘thank you’ to my beautiful bride (as should all of you gents out there) who is infinitely patient with my obsession and often shares her nose when I just need someone to appreciate a fine dram.
I’m the guy who writes the scored reviews here, and excepting Maltmonster’s brilliant pieces and occasional news blurbs…nearly all other content as well.
Apologies for occasional lapses or periods of quiet. Balancing ATW with a day job and family life ain’t always easy. Rest assured though…I’ll always be back.
My anonymous mate, colleague and counterpart. More importantly…a good friend with a wicked sense of humor and a great mind, who never ceases to boggle me with stunning insight and the ability to draw tenuous connections between the most abstract of situations and concepts. This beast prefers to lurk in relative obscurity, all the while feeding the conspiracy theorists juicy tidbits and red herrings.
All kidding aside…a down-home kinda guy who knows his whisky and does his best at warehousing as much as he can slip by his wife. His personal collection is one I envy. The Monster provides some glorious insight into spectacular whiskies not often reviewed out there. His contribution to ATW is invaluable.
Maltmonster’s tasting notes, features and conclusions are my personal favorite aspect of the ATW site. As all great artists should sign their work and let the masses offer thanks and praise, I cling to hope that one day the Maltmonster will reveal his true identity to the public.
While we do this for fun, we also do it for you. The goal is simply to provide a resource to find some insight and experience. You may not always agree, but that’s where the fun begins. Much appreciation from ATW to the folks who lurk and drop a line or two either via email or in the comments on the site. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Until we meet in person…glasses high.
For the curious among you…this is who we are.
hello, How do I go about getting a sample to you guys for a review?
Curt has enough samples to review! Spread the wealth….send some to me!
Hi, Chris. You can drop me an email at email@example.com if so inclined. I don’t often accept samples of anything, but feel free to get in touch and we can chat.
Don’t leave me out! I’d like to introduce you to some Bladnoch. Rather than a sample I’d even be willing to sit down and drink some with you next time I’m in town.
Now THAT sounds much more to my liking. I love settling in with good people over a curious new malt. Idyllic.
Hi, I’ll be visiting Calgary next week and I’m wondering where would have the best selection when it comes to scotch. (ie. special releases and lesser known brands I can’t find in MB) Thanks.
I would try the following:
CSN wines and spirits
Kensington wine market
Also Willow Park Wines & Spirits has a good selection http://willowpark.net/experts/individual/david-michiels
All good selections so far. Don’t skip the Co-ops. Great values and huge selection in some of them. All seem to have something different too.
I love your site! The photography is excellent and the tasting notes wonderful. I taught English for nearly 40 years and I would have to give your composition skills an A++. Your style is fantastic and interesting, not dry as one finds with many commentators. Well done!
Are you from Canada? Is it possible whenever you know a certain whiskey is available at the LCBO, that you includethat information as well as the price in your notes.
Once again, excellent stuff.You now have another avid fan.
Give the guy a break!
He lives in Calgary. You can be sure of one of 2 things for everything he reviews:
1. It’s not available in Ontario
2. It’s way overpriced.
Except 4 roses single barrel. It’s actually cheaper than in Calgary….if it’s available.
…..which it’s not.
Not necessarily true, Skeptic…while many of the whiskies ATW reviews are not available at the LCBO (d&#n you, LCBO), the pricing structure between the two provinces isn’t that much different; there are things here that are cheaper, surprisingly (like Jura…)…
Depending on which Jura, d&#n you, LCBO again.
It’s pretty hard to do, even for someone from Ontario. The stock at the LCBO changes all the time, not to mention the variance in stock across the province. Also, Curt’s posts are pretty much timeless, but the prices are not… so old posts would become out-of-date really fast. You’ll probably have to be content with checking the LCBO site yourself (as I am) when new posts come out. Anything outside the core ranges, though, are rather unlikely to show up in Ontario.
Interesting point Maestro. I hadn’t considered that carefully until now.
There is a large “variety” at the LCBO but indeed it’s mostly stuff that you can get elsewhere. They don’t do exclusive single cask bottlings like Crowfoot or Co-Op. The only Bladnoch they got was a G&M but it wasn’t exclusive (and was cheaper in Alberta).
Of course it makes sense. It’s a large buyer and has to distribute across the province. I guess it can’t buy a product that doesn’t have enough bottles to disperse…
Sadly, I fear that’s true. They can bring cases of obscure things in for you, but at what cost, I don’t know.
Therein lies the pluses and minuses with such a big retailer. They don’t bring in enough odd-balls at affordable price, but when they bring something good in, they bring it in vast quantities, at prices sometimes cheaper than the specialty shops in calgary (even after all the taxes!). Laphroaig’s Cairdeas Origin comes to mind. It was about $20-25 cheaper here after you added taxes to KWM’s price. That, and we got a few hundred bottles of it to boot, so I didn’t feel terrible snagging 3 (2 for me, and one for my bachelor party next August).
Maybe so with Cairdas, which I did not buy, but why are Ardbeg core bottles 30-40% higher here? Why is A’Bunadh higher?
An audit of LCBO last year confirmed that the store does not effectively use its buying power to bring good deals to us…
David is absolutely right about the LCBO’s use of buying power. While I had previously watched the continual hand-over-hand climb of LCBO’s pricing with concern, I really knew the serious trouble was about to begin with the introduction of Talisker 57 North at $174.95 this summer – far beyond what others pay, and complete with a ringing Jim Murray endorsement of 95/100 (far beyond what others rate it) to match. I contacted LCBO about this pricing and was told to contact the Diageo agent, as Diageo sets the price! After pointing out that, as the retailer, LCBO was responsible for the prices it posts, I was told Ontario’s allotment was really a favour from Diageo as Ontario isn’t “a very big market for them” – forget about all that JW that packs every shelf – so we were “lucky to get it at all”, all while it was selling at Ontario Duty Free for $65 (now $90!) per litre. I was told I’d also be put in contact with a rep from Diageo for further information, but that never materialized.
The above is anecdotal but, having been through it, I’m certainly of the opinion that there’s no one in LCBO negotiating prices on the behalf of consumers and I have my doubts about how many there actually have the product knowledge to do so – I was once told by the central office that an expression was now one year older because a year had passed since it had been bottled; I guess to try Glenfiddich 30, all I have to do is buy a 12 and wait.
Now that the colour-coded Macallans are in (the Sienna, ironically, also $174.95), Macallan 18 is now $300.05.
Wow. Some hefty words of praise, Leo. Many thanks. Definitely made my day.
I am indeed in Calgary, as was mentioned above, so the additional legwork in managing LCBO availability and pricing is not really an option for me, but I can say that many of the fine gents who have weighed in above have been extremely helpful in sharing an Eastern Canadian perspective.
I would suggest that any time you’re curious about these aspects, simply drop a comment beneath the review and ask for any others’ input.
This sharing of info is why we’re here.
Best regards, and once again…sincere thanks.
…and regarding some of the above dialogue:
If it is something that would help at all (or simply sate curiosity), please let me know if there are certain whiskies you’d like to see written up. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get ’em all, but I’ll try to put out something for you.
How about Evan Williams Single Barrel? The 2003/2013 is quite good and inexpensive.
Springbank 12 CS, Rundlets and kilderkins?
Also JW Double Black and Swing. Better than Black and Gold (and cheaper). AND James Buchanan 18YO Special Reserve! A real “leather armchair and oak panel” whisky. One for the old gentlemen’s club. Try them. You will like!
When did you add the “dram o’ the day” feature?
Just added a week or so back. A little bit of fun now and again. Will be updating it within the hour.
Great whisky site. Kindred souls here. I shall frequent the establishment! Slainte!
Congratulations out there in Alberta for fanning the winds of change….
How do you feel the Orange Chinook will affect the relative bargain prices and variety you enjoy in Alberta?
Great question. Would love to know myself. Will be watching closely (and likely playing the ant more than the grasshopper for a while).
As someone that has lived under NDP provincial rule for about 16 years, get ready to pay more. It’s just the nature of the beast.
I’m currently taking bets on the over/under for a provincial sales tax to roll out, I suspect you’ll see 5% whenever the 2016 budget is announced. Not to mention you may see all sorts of fees and levies put in place. Call me cynical, but I’ve lived through it.
All I know is I’ll be in Calgary next week and I’m happy to beat the rush to the price increase. Stocking up. 🙂
You lucky devil. I’ve only had the pleasure of an NDP government for about 5 years. All I can say it was much better than what came after for the next 20 years…
I think this site was more lively when Skeptic and Jeff were at each other’s throats… Where is the controversy?
I think some people liked that because, aside from the train wreck aspects, it did deal with some of the specifics of the increasing bullshit that some folks can clearly sense in whisky today – and that many simply won’t talk about, or don’t see the point of talking about (yet bloggers will still write reams about whisky, and every new release is front-page news). Others were probably sometimes put off by the venom, and I can understand that as well. For myself, I simply won’t buy into stuff that doesn’t make sense and, beyond its role as a cash grab, NAS falls into that category – there’s just no internal logic, which is why NAS’ smartest defenders say nothing beyond “move along, nothing to see here”.
Serge’s latest criticism of the industry – “Celebrating Thirteen Years of Whiskyfun” (July 28, 2015) – is well worth reading as well, and I’d be interested in people’s thoughts on it.
Hmmm….nothing in almost 2 weeks? I’m getting withdrawal symptoms…
Soooo busy lately. Just coming up for air. Taking a week off in a few days. Hopefully you’ll hear more from me then.
In the meantime, Glenfarclas 25 just posted.
Saw the Dram of the Day….did you have Green Eggs and Ham for dinner too? And how was the dram, mysteriously smoky? Was the finish a bit of a letdown?
Great arrival…slow build…some highs and lows, but ultimately mostly great notes…completely satisfying finish. 😉 And yes…billowy, aggressive smoke.
Byt the way, what’s up with whisky prices in Alberta? I found a lot of expressions that were as expensive as Ontario and some (like A’Bunadh – I was “just looking” and not buying) more expensive in some stores.
Also, while this trip wasn’t about buying per say, I was on the lookout for some Springbanks and happened to notice very few Amrut expressions (again, after picking up 6-8 age-stated single casks bottlings earlier this year I wasn’t out to buy).
Is there a dark age dawning in Alberta?
Yep. We’re getting hammered here too. I was initially rather skeptical of the stories I was getting from the folks behind the counters, but seeing how consistent the price increases are I can only accept that it is a combination of increased pricing starting at the source and the abysmal state of the Canadian dollar.
Sucks. The reality is that while we still have better access here in Alberta we are definitely now paying for it. Our deal with the devil seems to have come due. Time to start paying up.
I see I forgot to mention not only was I looking out for Springbanks but I found them much fewer in number and much more expensive.
Is that it? Have we run out of things to talk about?
Hardly. Have you ever known me to keep my mouth shut?
Just a crazy little period right now. Been catching up a huge backlog on my other site, lots of work, family stuff, planning Islay trip for later this year and more.
Be back at it ASAP. Some more Port Ellen reviews coming soon. Then some Bowmore. Then…?
I think we need a new controversy to energize us and gang up against Jeff over…
Agreed. If it wasn’t for Jeff we’d have bugger all to rant about. Kicking the shit out of Jeff is this site’s favourite sport. But he knows we all love him. Mostly because he is absolutely consistent and uncompromising in his point of view. I’m also very fond of Skeptic and David. These guys are why I come back day after day. This site has the best comment section bar none. Thank you, Curt for the forum.
I wish there was another whisky controversy too – NAS, because it’s indefensible, isn’t defended anymore, and the real dynamic of it was never rocket science to begin with; the industry wanted to premiumize a lot of young whisky while not discussing its age, and most whisky “experts” decided not to burn any bridges to the industry and instead let the producers away with the obvious contradictions and made-up marketing bullshit. And, although I don’t agree with their choice, the experts were right in thinking that there would be repercussions in saying that NAS is full of shit – as Curt says he’s found out firsthand – but one of the unexpected repercussions of not saying it is the resulting discovery that most experts are full of shit, or not to be trusted to a somewhat surprising degree. Instead of dealing with that, the experts ignore it and we’re now in the era of the “microscandal” – these hucksters are running a fly-by-night cask ownership scheme or those guys are selling some labels. The situation hasn’t improved, but the lines are becoming clearer. NAS isn’t the only thing going on with whisky, but it is the elephant in the room in terms of veracity and consumer trust.
I think the next shoe to drop will come with the talks between Compass Box and the SWA – the SWA wanting to explain face-to-face the problems in reforming labeling law, and Compass Box wanting to make hay out of who does and doesn’t want to see the law reformed so that one group can look like they’re on consumers’ side at the expense of the other, particularly if little or nothing actually gets changed and all it amounts to is a new round of finger pointing.
One wrinkle that could change things a bit is the UK’s upcoming June 23 referendum on leaving the EU. If the UK votes to leave, it could all be a whole new ballgame and, even if it stays, Cameron’s government has secured a new deal for the UK from the EU that, according to the BBC, calls for reforms on competitiveness, with all EU institutions and member states to “make all efforts to fully implement and strengthen the internal market” and to take “concrete steps towards better regulation”, including by cutting red tape. The same impending referendum could, of course, completely shortcircuit any progress between CB and the SWA in the short term on the basis of “wait and see”, but it won’t keep anyone from issuing press releases in any event.
Happy Passover everyone!
I always enjoy this time of the year, with the exception that to keep my collection Kosher the rest of the year I have to make a couple of sacrifices:
1. It actually doesn’t technically belong to me, but to my wife. Any grain spirit(other than quinoa) owned by a Jew during Passover is non-kosher forever more. So a few years back I gave it all to my wife, and when I buy it, it is always “for her”. She won’t touch the stuff… This way I don’t have to sell it and biuy it back each year.
2. I can access it during Passover, so the cabimet gets “sealed”.
So it’s rum or nothing till May 1. Please enjoy a dram on my behalf, preferable with a nice thick piece of bread… sigh
As the gastroenterologist said to his patients complaining of the usual Matzah-symptoms:
“This too shall pass (over)”
Tipping back a BenRiach PX finish 15 year old for ya.
Well thanks for the wishes.
I neglected to mention that the reason I keep it Kosher is not for my own consumption but for the small possibility that I may be in a situation to serve it to someone else for whom it matters.
So if anyone wants to have me over for a dram this week…I’m in!
L’chaim, Doc. I would gladly have you over for a dram. Unfortunately over is a couple of thousand miles from you. I’ll just have a dram from my new bottle of CB Flaming Heart on your behalf.
BTW. I like your use of the Duffy defence. “It’s not mine, your honour, this massive collection of expensive single malt belongs to my wife.”
You don’t know how it pains me to be associated that way…
You’re right, Mate. It was a low blow, but all Canadians are somehow tainted by that slimy fat shit and his trough licking cohorts.
6:00 PM here and I’m just about to crack the Flaming Heart for you. Cheers.
Seems this site was a lot more active (and fun?) when we were fighting.
When does the holiday truce end?
Maybe we’re maturing? Not that the time to maturation matters, just the quality of the maturation….
I’m seeing the same thing, but I don’t know how to remedy it; my take on these issues hasn’t changed, but I’ve never fought just for the sake of fighting. People have “the right” to give the industry a pass on these issues, but I think that it’s the wrong thing to do in the long term. It’s true that the industry can only do the best it can with what it has (or has left), but the concealment of product info hasn’t resulted in “more freedom”, or better products, just softer thinking and more subterfuge.
On the other hand, the damage done BY giving such passes is only proportional to the degree that what the industry is doing IS harmful from the outset – so I can only be right to the degree that I AM right about my read on it. I’m still convinced that consumers will only get the product market, and the respect for their intelligence, that they demand from the industry by using their wallets – and, by extension, that they’ll only get the market and respect that they therefore deserve to get through their own action. Act like a mushroom and you’ll be treated like one.
That reams can be written weekly/monthly on the topic of whisky with so little truth said about whisky is always discouraging, but we don’t have a level whisky press in the first place – or even knowledge of who is beholden to who for what or to what degree. I would ask whisky writers to be more critical overall in the future, not just about what they’re drinking, but about the thinking and assumptions that delivered what they’re drinking to the market and to their glass – but I won’t hold my breath in the meantime and neither should anyone else.
Consumers have to be on their own side – and recognize that their interests often differ from that of the industry – because their only help will come from each other.
Anyway, that last line was really, really good.
Skeptic, I think it must be because David and I are not drinking for the month of January. We have nothing much to say. But rest assured, we’ll be back.
Few things at play, I think.
One…a few people are drying out.
Two…there’s a sense of malaise and disillusionment overall. It starts to feel like Groundhog Day. We tread the same water over and over again. I don’t mean only here, in terms of conversation, but the entire cycle. Another new shitty overpriced NAS…another review…another debate…move on.
Three…Prices disproportionate from not only quality (in many cases) but reality (in all cases). Unemployment has taken its toll on me, and I’m one of them. Hard to be buy whisky when worrying about buying groceries.
Four…I’ve been writing other stuff. Self-published my first short story last week. Working on a much bigger project as we speak. Will try to get to a couple posts here today or tomorrow.
Five…It’s really damn hard to get excited about an industry that seems hell bent on keeping us out. Us being the average-salaried, the critical thinkers, the true whisky lovers. They want sheep, as Nick Morgan has made abundantly clear already this year. The more we call them out, the more we’re the squeaky wheel. The more we squeak, the more isolated we’re made by the ‘say nothing negative’ crowd. The more isolated we’re made, the more readership drops. Etc
Sigh. I love whisky. I’m sort of out of love with the industry that drives it.
Hope the New Year is starting off well, my friends.
Yeah, I think you nailed down a lot of it for me, particularly point five – the industry’s only ways to deal with the points that people are making are, apparently, either to ignore the substance of the points and/or dismiss those that make them. It’s also a good point that many of the people making whisky aren’t, in that process, necessarily doing what’s best FOR whisky. This “we make the whisky, so only we know whisky” thing, along with the all the doctorates that go with it, has gone so far that now even otherwise reasonable people think that the redefinition of physics is just a matter of talking/typing.
But, on the other hand, once people DO see through this bullshit, they can’t ever again NOT see through it, so the industry loses one “true believer” with every set of eyes wide opened – and the industry knows that too, which is one reason, I think, Compass Box decided to jump ship on product info rather than go down with the illogical Titanic.
I read the first part of your story and I honestly haven’t read a better lead-in since the first chapter of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Keep at it.
Where can we read Curt’s short fiction?
I followed the Amazon link on his Twitter page to check out the sample there.
Wow. Kind words, mate. Now THAT is the kind of comment/review I need on Amazon. Hahaha. Thank you.
Yes…it is available here (for Canada): https://www.amazon.ca/Sadie-Curt-Robinson-ebook/dp/B01N32AC35/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1484757121&sr=1-1&keywords=Sadie
And here for US: https://www.amazon.com/Sadie-Curt-Robinson-ebook/dp/B01N32AC35/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1484757150&sr=1-1&keywords=Sadie
Thanks, Jeff. I went to Amazon.ca and searched Curt Robinson and it came up right away.
Got me hooked, Curt. I have to buy it now to see where it goes. Good work, mate, keep doing it.
You’re most welcome, Curt – you’ve got some kind of weird Faulkner/King mojo going on with that first bit and the authenticity of the narrator is established very quickly; it’s a good piece.
Congratulate me. I bought my first Kindle book from Amazon!
I even figured out how to install the app on my very old ipad and load the story.
Sadly, I have some e-books out from the library and there is competition for this series so I have to focus on reading them before I have to return them but given the hype I look forward to this.
Keep it up. I don’t know if this will make up for your job, but if a 100 people buy each story and if you can put out a few a month….
Good luck with this and everything!
Congrats! – I haven’t got that far myself yet.
sorry to hear that Curt. I hope it won’t be long.
In the meantime something to cheer you up…. if in a probably twisted way
Jim Murray on NAS – which will surely ring a bell with Jeff.
And Jim Murray on whisky writers and/or experts…..
And of course Jim Murray and the way he sees his world in general.
Yeah, Mr. Murray’s an interesting guy –
– age can be “a red herring”, yet the first NAS tasted like “a slightly underripe gooseberry” and, when an age-statement product came along, Murray could tell that it had been “brought up” to 12 years old. I can understand why NAS is happening too, and it has nothing to do with creative freedom. That age is not synonymous with quality isn’t the same thing as saying that age doesn’t have a big influence on whisky character, OR that individuals, inside the industry or out, can somehow “decide” to “suspend” the effects of age by personal (or profit) preference.
If criticism of other writers is to be based, not on who they are or aren’t beholden to, but what they know about whisky (see below), I again have to wonder why we’re surrounded by so much “expert” whisky “knowledge” but are told so little whisky truth, particularly on fundamentals.
– Michael Jackson was, once again, “a beer guy” and it’s “sparkly eyes” – those silly book covers explained at last! – not whisky acumen, that matters. The repeated dismissal of his “dear friend” Jackson’s skills and contributions to make Murray the “colossus of whisky” is the single most sickening aspect of Jim’s self promotion. In that context, the criticism of other writers not being able to get around their egos takes on an aspect of irony that even Murray should see.
– the denial of payola is quite expected (and probably quite honest), but real criticism of Murray’s book is founded on his scoring. Having tried, in “ascending” order of quality, HP12 (78), JW Red Label (87.5), JW Blue Label (88) and Black Grouse (94), I, like some others, have little idea of where these scores come from comparatively speaking – in sheer pecking order, let alone in terms of spacing/magnitude. Taken as just a bunch of numbers on a page, it seems pretty benign, but compared to real experiences with real whiskies, the book is useless to me as a guide.
– Roskrow has said that Murray is the “Hendrix of whisky”, so it’s little wonder that Murray says he’s the most honest critic. On the other hand, Roskrow has also said the professional whisky writers are really just marketers so, in that respect, I might be forced to agree with Murray about Roskrow – so long as the criteria only remains “most” honest.
“Q: And the most overrated [distillery]?
Yeah, I wondered about the Fettercairn pick myself – looking at the numbers on Whiskybase and the Malt Monitor, if it’s true, that place is in sad shape.
I hope things are moving in a positive direction for you. I (likely all of us) appreciate the need to focus on other aspects of your life and support you. I haven’t yet read your story but I have it on Kindle and look forward to supporting you in any other publishing endeavours.
In the meantime, I had my first dram in a month (self imposed 31 days off) and I have to say the whisky withdrawal was nothing compared to review withdrawal.
So, I was wondering whether you might be willing to entertain posting external reviews. I have a few I would love to do, such as Bladnoch 10 I opened in November, a couple of bourbons, etc…, and I’d be happy to send one your way if you’re interested. I’ m sure there are others who would be happy to contribute..
You’re a good man. Appreciate the kind words and support.
Things are ok. Been fighting colds for almost two weeks now. One after another. Ugh. None so bad I’ve been laid out, but my senses are probably not to be trusted. I do have a couple old tasting notes in the pipeline I’ll be putting up soon.
As for guest reviews…I’ve debated this before. Not sure. Hard for people to know if you and I have the same palate. Your 85 could be my 91 or vice versa. Let me think about it. At the very least, I sincerely appreciate the offer.
Hi Curt, good to see you back and feisty as ever.
This is just a thought re: David’s comments.
What if 3 or 4 of your regular commenters had an opportunity to contribute to some of your reviews with a few short comments and a score. It could only apply to readily available bottlings to which we all have access and would provide a good cross section of opinions on any given dram. Not necessarily the same 3 or 4 contributors every time. Your choice.
Just a not very thoroughly thought out idea that might be already happening in the comments section.
I seem to recall that you are a dad… so Happy Father’s Day Curt!
Is it just me or does this site feel like it’s ebbing away?
I think Curt has been dealing with some significant and challenging life changes. He may not be prepared to give as much of his heart and soul to this blog, particularly given the current whisky zeitgeist. It’s a pity, because many of us consider this one of the most honest and uncompromised review and discussion forums in the blogosphere.
It could also be that it’s summer and people are doing other things while the sun shines.
I still check in here regularly for good information and good discussion with Curt and the regular commenters.
Sorry, all. Things are…challenging lately.
Surgery coming up on Tuesday. Collecting pay again, but for doing manual labour now. Preparing for Scotland in a month and a half. Dealing with some personal issues through extended family. Etc. Not a lot of fun lately.
We’ll get our groove back. Hang tight.
I will Curt. All the best.
Good luck on Tuesday and with the other things. Stay strong.
We’ll still be here when you are ready to come back, Curt. A trip to the mother land will do you good. I’ll be over there in September for a roots reconnection: Speyside, Islay, Orkney, Shetland and whatever else we can fit in in five weeks. Be great if we crossed paths. I’ll know you if I see you, brother.
Good luck tomorrow. Hope it’s minor, hope it’s quick (as is the recovery)… The best motto I ever heard was from an orthopaedic surgeon who said “stay away from doctors…”
I’m currently sick, but if by chance I improve enough to have a dram tomorrow, it will be something from Islay in your honour.
Yup…still not ready for alcohol. So I will raise an imaginary glass of G&M 10 you CS Caol Ila.
I had a dram of Ardbeg 10 before dinner for both of you.
May wellness be with you both.
Is there a specific dram to watch the eclipse with? Perhaps Ardbeg Galileo?
I guess the song of the day could only be “Total eclipse of the heart” if you were watching from the US
re: the song….in more than one way
Eclipse, Pink Floyd.
Dark Side of the Moon. Just do the whole album.
Any reviews coming down the pipeline?
This is where the differences between a site like this and a site like Connosr.com become very clear. It’s not possible to know when the brothers who run connosr are occupied with other things because the site is driven by its participants. On this site, nothing new can be introduced and when Curt is MIA it really slows down.
Which is sad because I miss the reviews and the comments but I am kindof tired of the rehashing of old threads.
Wow, I go away for a couple of months and…. not much happens.
it’s a blog not a forum.
I know you knew.
On the other hand if it were I’d point you to another shenanigan feature at
and would answer the question in question like this.
Yes, as interested circles within the whisky industry of Scotch on purpose make bottlings for a small group of people with more money than brains and deliberately price less fortunate groups out of the market for interesting offerings.
No, geekdom is not nearly spread far and wide enough as some people can be impressed with fancy storytelling into overspending for mediocre bottlings which just wouldn’t work if they were schooled enough in whisky geekdom.
I think it’s a very fair point that the industry’s concept of an ideally educated customer might be someone who can be appealed to as an elite, “in the know”, consumer but who is not smart enough to see through the rapidly changeable nonsense.
HAS SCOTCH WHISKY BECOME TOO GEEKY?
Well, yes, if its current geek level is somehow discouraging sales and reducing revenues.
Well, no, if an increase in geek level would also reach a currently untapped audience and corresponding increased revenues.
Something else I’ve been thinking about recently –
Dave Broom’s ideas that whiskies of the past aren’t really better so much as just different (https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/from-the-editors/18088/stop-fetishising-whisky-of-the-past/ ), and that people pay too much attention to scoring (https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/from-the-editors/18313/scores-the-sat-nav-of-whisky-appreciation/) make me wonder upon what basis
– a whisky can awarded for anything (a cornerstone of current whisky promotion)
– anyone can rate a whisky (a cornerstone of current whisky “expert” production and book sales)
If there “should” be no reason to say one whisky is worse than another, just different, then what basis is there to say one whisky is better than another? Do the many saving graces of Red Label render the virtues of Blue Label commonplace and pretty much wreck the possibility of a premium market at a single stroke… or is everything premium by default? Is Red worse than Blue or just different? Maybe Jim Murray had Red (87.5) and Blue (88) scored right after all.
Is it a coincidence that all of this non-judgment comes out right around the time the industry seems to be backsliding in terms of the quality of its new releases?
nothing is coincidence. They ruined it now they try to save the spoils… or to create new trends with doubtfull “innovations”. One such innovation is obfuscating all and everything around common whisky sense.
Here geeks are a hinderance so there are just to many geeks. Or Scotch has become too geeky to sell every rubbish we have up our sleeve.
Yeah, it’s just kind of funny that context seems to be one of the major potential enemies of modern production – in a “who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past” sort of way. Whisky geeks can be a problem in this area because they don’t just read, they remember, what the industry folk said last month or last year… and they sometimes want to know what they’re buying.
Somehow we can award whiskies today, tomorrow or next year, but they aren’t really better, they’re just different, than other whiskies. Even the old sales pitch of “there’s no such thing as bad whisky, only good whisky and better whisky” doesn’t really apply – it’s more like “there’s no such thing as bad whisky, only good whisky and different whisky”.
But it does fit in with a model that says the definition of quality is whatever the industry is producing today.
Wow… 3 months without a review.
I fear the excitement has drained now that you’re working in the industry.
That was scary.
Good to see you back Curt!
The site is done for a few days then pops up and not a comment… no reassurance, nothing.
Happy New Year everyone!
Happy New Year!