One would think that being a 3L would give me more time to update this blog . . . While waiting for updates, please check out my twitter feed: https://twitter.com/tbufete
It’s been way too long! So this is exciting, my first blog post since early March. My 1L year is over and I’m back in downtown LA for my judicial externship which will last until the end of July. Speaking of summer, now that I don’t have to worry about homework for the next two or so months, I do hope to upload my notes more often. I’m opening up the Summer 2012 tasting series with a dram of Ancnoc 12. I stopped by Wing Hop Fung, a retailer in Downtown LA/Chinatown that sells all kinds of stuff – bird’s nests, teas, fine wine (Margaux and Lafite!), and of course, Scotch and other booze – before my commute home. And while browsing, I saw 50 mL bottles of this malt selling for $2.49 each. I’ll just tell you that it’s probably the best $2.49 I’ve spent in a little while. So here goes… I don’t usually pay attention to the color of the whisky unless the distiller/bottler states that the whisky inside is unadulterated with artificial coloring (Google “Scotch and caramel coloring” for more information). Although there’s no such statement on the label, the color was the first thing I noticed – light gold that looks natural (or that they’ve eased up on the coloring). The nose is promising on this one – honey with some citrus and just a hint of peat. There’s also a briny note that reminds me a little of the Old Pulteney 12. On the palate, the Scotch opens up with a real nice sweetness that gives way to some peat and smoke. You know how the blue agave flavors in a good tequila taste crisp and fresh, well the Ancnoc reminds me of that. This is a great summer malt and man, it’s complex and pretty good! It’s smooth and light on the palate and it goes down pretty easily. Consider me a fan of this malt and I look forward to tasting the 16 and the other bottlings if I can afford it. 43% abv. This one gets a solid A-.
Here’s a good entry-level Scotch for under $35. I bought this 50mL bottle at a local liquor store for $3 (not bad!) and I don’t know how long the bottle sat on the shelf. I tasted this three different times (three small pours) and here are my impressions: Sweet, sherried nose, candy, sugary start and short but pleasant finish. Really approachable and a good beginner scotch. Very slight hint of smoke on the finish (but I could not get the same hint on my second and third taste). Nothing to write home about, good for a beginner and not that expensive. But for around $35 for a standard 750mL bottle, you’re probably better off buying something else. B-
“When men drink, then they are rich and successful and win lawsuits and are happy and help their friends. Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.” -Aristophanes
I like to drink (in moderation). I enjoy a good IPA. I also like red wine. But I really like Scotch. I remember growing up in the Philippines and at every family party, my father and uncles drank Johnnie Walker Black Label. My aunts in the United States brought home “Black” with them as pasalubongs – gifts for relatives back home. My dad would always offer me a sip of whatever he was drinking at the time and this probably predisposed me into liking the stuff. My interest in Scotch started on the night of my college graduation. My father and I opened a bottle of Laphroaig 10 in a Fresno, California, hotel room. Neither of us have had it before. I remember how the peat and the smoke filled the room. My mom thought it smelled awful, my father thought the aroma was interesting and he liked it because “It wasn’t sweet” (probably referring to the sherried Highland whiskies that he did not prefer), and I thought it was wonderful. It was the best $32 I have spent all year. And ever since that night, I have always kept a bottle of Laphroaig 10 in the house.
The blog world could go without another Scotch whisky blog. There are great Scotch blogs out there and I plan to link them as soon as I figure out how to do it. So why another Scotch blog? There are people out there who like me are on a tight budget. I am a law student in Los Angeles. Consequently, I do not have money to spend on what I am sure is a wonderful $250 bottle of Scotch. So I plan to taste and document bottles that cost less than $100 (and even that price is pushing it). I am also a novice at this whole Scotch tasting thing, so as my palate evolves and as I revisit whiskies, I hope to discern the differences and maybe taste things I missed the first or second time around. So there you go. This blog is for research purposes and to help out people who like me, want to more about this thing people call Scotch.