The Ridiculous Ardbeg Tasting

The Edmonton Scotch Club held an Ardbeg scotch tasting on Saturday, February 3. It was the first time I'd been to an official club event. The last tasting I went to with some of the club members was the Millstone tasting at the Keg 'n' Cork (which was great by the way). For this tasting, we started with the first four whiskies, took a brief intermission, and finished the last four. It was an incredible night and my hat's off to Travis and the rest of the club for putting on a hell of an event. Notes and a few pics from the night are below. Kildalton Age: NAS ABV: 43% Nose: Light and sweet, I get caramel and vanilla. Palate: Soft on your tongue, there's a subtle smoke amidst…
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Whisky Advent 2017

I've been waiting for months (11 to be precise) to dive into Secret Spirits' fourth edition of the Whisky Advent Calendar. This year is bound to be exciting as I'm off to explore 25 different expressions of whisky including those from 10 independent bottlers. Jonathan Bray publishes his tasting notes over at singlemalting.com so please head over there to see what he has to say about each one. Onto the whisky! (more…)
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Scotch Advent 2016

It's Scotch Advent time again! Oh my am I excited and this year Dana is joining me in some or all of the tastings (turns out she's discovered a taste for scotch, especially the peaty ones). Back to the box (mine is #606 for those who are curious), this year's edition comes with a NEAT glass which really lets you nose around. Over the next 25 days, I'm headed on a whisky tour courtesy of Secret Spirits' 3rd edition of their scotch advent calendar. Jonathan Bray's whisky tasting notes are over at Single Malting and, as you read mine, be sure to check out his discovery and insights. Onto the whisky!   #01 - Speyside 18yo Distillery: Bottled by Secret Spirits Cask Type: Refill Bourbon Cask #: 3299 Region: Speyside/Rothes…
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2015 Scotch Advent Calendar

Dana surprised me with the 2015 Scotch Advent Calendar this year and I'm pretty sure she's as excited as I am about it! Over 25 days I get to sample 25 (presumably) glorious whiskies. Each evening I'll update this post with a picture, my tasting notes, and thoughts on the whisky. #01 - 1999 Tomintoul 15 yo Distillery: Tomintoul Cask Type: Sherry Butt Cask #: 9289 Region: Speyside Age: 15 years ABV: 61% Nose: Creamy honey, light caramel. Palate: 61% is quite high and you can't taste much initially apart from the alcohol. With water you taste honey, pick up on the sweetness from the sherry, and get hints of oak. Finish: A medium length finish with a light spice, it becomes sharp and I got a burning alcohol sensation…
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Coffee Tasting on Apr 12, 2015

A few weeks back, John from Cooper's Cask Coffee got in touch and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their Whiskey Barrel Aged beans in light of my appreciation for scotch. Coffee beans aged in a whisky barrel, you say? Sold. A few emails back and forth and the beans were on their way. Staying true to the form of a scotch tasting, I decided this coffee tasting would feature the Whiskey Barrel Aged beans and my everyday go-to beans, Grizzly Claw, from Kicking Horse Coffee. I chose espresso as the method of brewing, used Glencairn glasses, and took note of the nose of the beans when freshly ground, the nose when fresh in the cup, the flavours, the palate, and the finish. Kicking Horse - Grizzly Claw Nose (freshly ground) - Dark and woody, it's pleasant and not overpowering. Nose (espresso) - The dark and woody smell continues from the grounds and you…
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Tomatin Scotch Tasting on Feb 28, 2015

Southside, Edmonton On Saturday, February 28, 2015, I sat down with ten gentlemen to taste six whiskies from the Tomatin distillery. This was the first time one of my tastings has featured a lineup from a single distillery and it gave the group a chance to explore the similarities - and, in some cases, stark contrasts - within a whisky family. The challenge I put in front of myself for this tasting was to choose a distillery that offered a variety of whiskies that differed in finish and not just age. Glendronach was where I was leaning until I discovered Tomatin had released the Cuatro series: four 12 year-old whiskies finished in different barrels. Having had the Legacy and 15 year-old previously, the Tomatin distillery became an easy choice. We…
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Scotch Tasting on April 13, 2013

Southside, Edmonton For this scotch tasting I pulled out all the stops: twelve men, six whiskies, two appetizers, and all in three hours. The whisky was selected from people's personal favourites (or ones they wanted to try) and I procured them from Vines in Riverbend, Sobeys Liquor Store, and Superstore Liquorstore. This was the first tasting I've ever done where I had to turn people away and there are folks who've already expressed interest in the next yet-to-be-scheduled tasting. No big deal. Let's begin We started with the Auchentoshan Three Wood, a 12 year-old spirit from the Lowlands bottled at 43% ABV, which is a great whisky to get someone started in the wonderful realm of scotch. The nose is sweet with scents of vanilla, honey, and butterscotch. The taste…
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