View Full Version : Anybody know anything about good Scotch?

11-17-2002, 06:24 PM
I have a bottle of a decent, middle of the road scotch. Johnnie Walker Red Label. The seal has not been broken and it is at least 15 years old. My question is, does a scotch like Glenlivit (sp) age in the bottle or in the barrell?

Cecil Nickerson
11-17-2002, 06:53 PM
Barrel. Drink Lagavulin.

11-17-2002, 07:13 PM
What Cecil said. Both times.

11-17-2002, 07:25 PM
I believe good scotch is an oxymoron.Tastes like mothballs.Now if you're talking rum,that's the true ambrosia.Ages well anywhere from the barrel to the gut.

Joe (SoCal)
11-17-2002, 07:28 PM
Barrel. Drink bourbon - Also ages in the barrel not in the bottle.

11-17-2002, 07:59 PM
The very best scotch is not quite as good as the very worst bourbon... This coming from a MacArthur... So I know a wee bit of something about that which I am speaking about...

11-17-2002, 08:05 PM
Reddog, enlighten me. Is there a variety of rum that is favored further to the north of you, in Newfoundland, called "Newfoundland Screech"?

11-17-2002, 08:10 PM
Scotch is the trrue Nectarrr while Bourbon is fine for sterilising wounds on cats, rrunning the lawn mower or getting rrid of unwanted guests... not that I'm trrying to stirr the pot herrre ;)

11-17-2002, 08:14 PM
How everyone can be so terse when speaking of the nectar of the gods, I do not know.

Scotch ages, as they say, only in the cask, not in the bottle, so it matters not that your Johnny Walker Red is 15 years old. Sorry, not like wine.

Scotch comes in two varieties, there is "blended," scotch made of different batches of whisky from different years, all mixed together; some might be 8 years old, and some, last years. Then there are "single malts," in which the whisky is the result of one single brewing-distilling batch, these are usually aged in barrel a minimum of 8 years. If you like the Johnny Walker Red, you would love a nice single malt.

Bourbon, well now, I do enjoy a good bourbon as well. But somehow, even the best bourbon rasps the throat, I don't know why. Sour mash, like Jack Daniels, I can't stand, its the second brewing from the same mash, kinda like brewing coffee a second time from the same grounds, which explains a lot. I do love Makers Mark, and Bookers, which is a small batch, the bourbon equivalent of a single malt.

11-17-2002, 08:21 PM
I'm gettin all warm inside just thinkin about a good glass of scotch.

Scott Rosen
11-17-2002, 08:33 PM
Boubon's only fault is that it's not scotch.

11-17-2002, 09:34 PM
MMmmmm scotch! Nothing else that hard worth drinking, although Geneva Wine with tonic and a twist will do in the summer smile.gif

I don't think any hard liquor ages in the bottle does it? Most wines now don't either since they have ?sodium bisulphate? added to "stabilize" them.

Single malt of course. Glen Fidditch ain't bad smile.gif

11-17-2002, 10:09 PM
Laphroighe (sp?) I remember as being a little like there was a gym sock filled with rye, and something burning in the garage.

Mr. Know It All
11-17-2002, 10:59 PM
The only thing I like about Scotch is the picture of the wooden boat on Cutty Sark bottles. :D The morning after drinking most Scotch I wake up feeling like the Chinese Army walked through my mouth......in their socks. :D

11-17-2002, 11:33 PM
Reddog, mind if I field this one?


Yiss, b'yes. Ya wants ta talk aboot Newfoundland rum, does ya?

Screech is an interesting rum. The stuff that you buy in the liquor stores now isn't really screech, but it's been labelled that for so long that everybody thinks it is. It is actually five year old dark rum from Demarrara, Guyana and labelled there with a map of Newfoundland. When I was a young 'un one of my first jobs as a professional seaman was aboard a small freighter that carried the stuff from South America to Canada. I remember being mightily amused at the map while toiling in the hold stowing thousands of crates of the stuff in the tropical heat. We brought it back in 45-gallon barrels, 66-ouncers, 40-ouncers, quarts, pints, half-pints, and the little bottles that they give you on the airplanes. All 80-proof and harsh as gasoline.

The popular story of screech is as follows:

Long before any liquor board was created to take alcohol under its benevolent wing, Demerara rum was a mainstay of the Newfoundland diet, with salt fish traded to the West Indies in exchange for rum. When the Government took control of the traditional liquor business in the early 20th century, it began selling the rum in an unlabelled bottle.

The product might have remained permanently nameless except for the influx of American servicemen to the Island during World War II.

As the story goes, the commanding officer of the original detachment was having his first taste of Newfoundland hospitality and, imitating the custom of his host, downed his drink in one gulp. The Americanís blood-curdling howl, when he regained his breath, brought the sympathetic and curious from miles around rushing to the house to find out what was going on. The first to arrive was a garrulous old American sergeant who pounded on the door and demanded, "What the cripes was that ungodly screech?"

The taciturn Newfoundlander who had answered the door replied simply, "The Screech? ĎTis the rum, me son." Thus was born a legend. As word of the incident spread, the soldiers, determined to try this mysterious "Screech" and finding its effects as devastating as the name implies, adopted it as their favorite.

The opportunistic liquor board pounced on the name and reputation and began labeling Newfoundland Screech, the most popular brand on the Island, even today (nowadays they use Jamaican rum).

The story of screech that I got from my great uncle, a rum-runner and schooner fisherman with family ties to Newfoundland, was that real screech was the raw rum brought back in barrels from the winter run to the Caribbean with salt fish from the Grand Banks. This was truly firewater, having been aged less that three years and usually around 150 to 160 proof. In his words, "T'was enough t' make da hair stand up on yer neck an yer eyeballs to pop outta dere sockits!"

Screech is probably the most popular rum in Newfoundland, but not the best by far. Cabot Tower, Old Sam, and London Dock* are pretty good. As I have mentioned in another post, my favourite rum is 15 year old El Dorado Special Reserve Demerrara rum. Smooth, flavourful, superb rum. A shame to spoil with soda pop.

* London Dock, available in 80 proof and 100 proof (my 2nd favourite), is also Demerara rum that is distilled and casked in Guyana, but shipped to temperate climes - formerly the London Dockyards, hence the name, but now to Newfoundland - for aging. They had some problems at the distillery a couple of years ago and the brew was "off", making the rum not very palatable. The distiller pulled the offending batches off the market - unfortunately not before many people had their palates assaulted - and is apparently just now beginning to get the quality stuff back on the market. I haven't tried any recently (I buy by the case lot, so I don't get to the liquor store very often) so I can't confirm if it's back to it's former glory. I hope so, because the 100-proof was fine rum: strong, bold, and mildly spicy. It made wonderful hot toddies.

[ 11-18-2002, 01:19 AM: Message edited by: mmd ]

11-17-2002, 11:49 PM
Neither Cutty Sark or Johnny Walker are worthy of the name "scotch". I'd drink water before I'd drink either of those!

Frank Hagan
11-18-2002, 12:19 AM
I love the single malts, like Glenlivit. I will drink nearly any scotch, though ... even what they serve as a "well drink" that comes out of that little hose-nozzle thing.

If I were a real man, I would drink it neat, but I must have it cold. That usually means ice when I'm out, but it dilutes it too quickly, so I have tried various means of keeping scotch cold without watering it down. My experiment with freezing Chivas Regal failed, forcing me to drink some really cold scotch out of ice cube trays ... which ended up being quite a bit more than I usually drink at one time. No more power tools that night.

Ah, scotch. I have been forced to give it up, mostly, due to the medicines I'm on every now and then for an ailment only old people get (I maintain I'm the one exception to the "old people rule"). When my tummy feels a little bit better, I think I'll break out that bottle above the fridge.

G. Schollmeier
11-18-2002, 12:39 AM
If itís a hot day and you want to have a cold drink, a blended scotch like Johnny Walker or J&B is just fine over lots of ice. If you want to sip and enjoy a good single malt, no ice, no water, get an eighteen year old (in the barrel) highland like McCallan. I donít drink it a lot, but I likes it. :D

[ 11-18-2002, 01:40 AM: Message edited by: G. Schollmeier ]

Ian G Wright
11-18-2002, 05:22 AM
Bourbon was invented by a whisky enthusiast so people would have something that didn't matter to mix with Coke.
Now Rum,,,, if you can't get the real stuff, Quartermasters rum from the Army, or Pussers rum from the Navy, and you can't, then try Wood's 100.
A good start to a cold day is Gunfire,,,,, a mix of hot,sweet, milky tea laced with rum, it'll keep you going 'til breakfast.
During the day a glass or two of pinkers made with Plymouth Gin is acceptable.


[ 11-18-2002, 06:24 AM: Message edited by: Ian G Wright ]

11-18-2002, 05:59 AM
I'm with Frank, a Glenlivet fan since the mid 60's, but my father, 94 and still going, swears by a tot of rum a day, and good Jamaica as well! A popular drink in the outback in the past was 'rum'n rasberry', in reality sarspirella, and I reckon a good strong sars. can get you drunk all by itself! If I could afford it I'd drink 50 year old McCallan.

11-18-2002, 06:21 AM
Thanks mmd,I'm slow on the uptake today.
You have a wealth of knowledge.Great story.
I keep the bottle in the freezer.Learned that from a friend in The Coast Guard.

[ 11-18-2002, 07:28 AM: Message edited by: reddog ]

11-18-2002, 07:25 AM
Don't care too much for Scotch. Much prefer a good bourbon anyday, but I stay away from the hard stuff now that I've become "responsible". Now its just a beer (or two) every now and than. In fact I found a new beer (actually a lager) that is pretty good. Its called Honey Brown.

With all this talk about aging liqour I'm assuming you are talking about an un-opened bottle. Doesn't your liqours revert to a sugar form if opened?


11-18-2002, 02:07 PM
"...We never eat cookies, 'cause they're made with yeast,
One little bite turns a man to a beast!
Can you imagine a sadder disgrace,
Than a man in the gutter, with crumbs on his face!..."

(From The Song of the Salvation Army)

Ian G Wright
11-18-2002, 02:37 PM
" Some people are born two scotches behind other more normal folks."

[ 11-18-2002, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: Ian G Wright ]

11-18-2002, 03:03 PM
Appreciatin' thet Ah don' drink no hard likkur no mo' since gettin' thet nick in mah nose sippin' outta Mason jars...
How com' noboddy mentionin' Irish Whisky?

"On judgment day you will be hung head-down in a bucket filled with all of the Irish whiskey you may have wasted... If you drown... tahellwithyah!"
(Old Irish saying)

Alan D. Hyde
11-18-2002, 03:12 PM
It's well worth mentioning, Shang.

I particularly like Jameson's 12-year-old.

The present-day Scots are descendants of the Irish who immigrated there and drove out the Picts. The Scot's whiskey, and their bagpipes, are derivatives of the Irish originals. Here's a good link to some of the history:

www.ireland.org/irl_hist/hist14.htm (http://www.ireland.org/irl_hist/hist14.htm)


[ 11-18-2002, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

John of Phoenix
11-18-2002, 03:38 PM
Scotch must be like liver - you either love it or you hate it. I've tried lots of scotch from rot gut to single malt to Johnny Walker Blue. (At $60 a shot you'd think that JW Blue WOULD be the nectar of the gods.) I don't like liver either. Ah well, so much more for the rest of you fellows.

Shang, on a similar note. "Viking Rule #3 - Don't waste mead."

11-18-2002, 03:59 PM
A few observations.

Amongst Scotsmen of my acquaintance, the most popular blended whisky is Bell's. (This might be because it is one of the cheaper ones, of course!)

Lagavulin and Laphroaig are both Islay malts, with a very pronounced peat smoke flavour. Some like them, some don't. There seems to have been a shift in taste away from the soft malts typical of Glenlivet (said to be "the longest glen in Scotland", from the number of distilleries which claim to be located in it!) towards the more highly flavoured island types, like the aforementioned Lagavulin and Laphroaig.

Macallan has quite a following.

11-18-2002, 04:11 PM
"...Shang, on a similar note. "Viking Rule #3 - Don't waste mead."..."

I've got 10 gallons of blueberry/plum mead, and about 5 gallons of cyser (apple mead) aging in oak right now!
...Come to think of it, it might be time to taste a little this evening...

Scott Rosen
11-18-2002, 05:32 PM
This may be heresy, but my favorite scotch is a blended one: Chivas Regal. I like many of the others (not Dewars, or Cutty Sark), but I still have a lot of experimenting to do on the many single malts.

Trouble is, I just don't drink enough to justify buying all of those bottles of scotch.

Tar Devil
11-18-2002, 06:24 PM
A good blend is better than a cheap single malt most of the time, but the very best is...

Drink Lagavulin You da man, Cecil!



Roger Stouff
11-18-2002, 06:32 PM
Scott, we DO have something in common! :D

Chivas is my fav "usual drink". I like Pinch, too, and Glenlivet is the only single malt I have liked. Many of the brands you guys mention aren't on the shelves 'round here.

Phil Young
11-18-2002, 08:11 PM
Glenfiddich is the go. Johnny Walker, be it red, blue or black is just too harsh for my taste. Glenfiddich, straight off the shelf, no water, no ice, is pretty nice.

Ed Harrow
11-18-2002, 08:35 PM
Nope. Nothin. But I'm willin to learn if ya send me some of that single-malt stuff with the unpronouncable name. :D

Now, not to hijack this or anything, but I've heard that port is only to be passed in one direction. Logic would say, with a name like port, that the direction would be to port. Any body know the answer to this? God knows I don't want to make a mistake of the magnitude suggested by simply passing the bottle in the wrong direction.

Ian G Wright
11-19-2002, 04:46 AM
And for those who prefer Whiskey to Whisky only Bushmills will do.


Joe (SoCal)
11-19-2002, 05:10 AM
Ill put any small batch single bourbon agents any Peat Bog Scottish Bilge water anytime. I have come to find that most scotch drinkers have not tasted a fine bourbon and when they do they find that the Bourbon is the Smokey smooth "Scotch" they have always been looking for in there single malts.

As for true Irish whiskey's I choose Jamisons but that's ideological reasons not flavor based. Even though Jameson is now owned by the Frogs as part of Pernod Richard. But if you want a real kick in the pants get some Potcheen Irish moonshine from a local farmer or family member like I do smile.gif

As for beer a B&T with Guinness & Harp is always a good winter brew

[ 11-19-2002, 06:11 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

11-19-2002, 06:57 AM
I make sure to Scotchguard my body every evening.

Old Bob on the beach

11-19-2002, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by Ed Harrow:
Now, not to hijack this or anything, but I've heard that port is only to be passed in one direction. Logic would say, with a name like port, that the direction would be to port. Any body know the answer to this? Correct; the decanter is indeed passed to port, though this is pure coincidence.

11-20-2002, 05:59 PM
We never eat fruitcake because it has rum,
And one little bite turns a man to a bum.
Can you imagine a sorrier sight
Than a man eating fruitcake until he gets tight!

Away, away with rum, by gum
Rum, by gum, rum, by gum,
Away, away with rum, by gum,
It's the song of the Temperance Union.

Ed Harrow
11-22-2002, 04:31 PM
Good article on Scotch in latest UAL in-flight magazine.

Peter Kalshoven
11-23-2002, 08:56 AM
Best blend: The Famous Grouse.

Best woodenboat lovers Single Malt: Balvenie Double Wood.

Best Irish: Old Bushmill's.

Best Bourbon: Who cares?

Best beer: FCP. ("Free, Cold, and Plentiful")

Pete :D

11-23-2002, 11:21 AM
Oh, water is the best of drinks,
The Temperance band all sing;
But who am I, that I should have
The best of everything?

Let Statesmen revel at the pump,
Peers with the pond make free;
Whisky, beer, or even wine
Is good enough for me!

11-23-2002, 11:52 AM
I'm fond of an Irish whiskey called Tullamore Dew...-"Give Everyman his Dew".

Quote <snip>
Ian G Wright
Member # 4581

Now Rum,,,, if you can't get the real stuff, Quartermasters...<snip>

I'm reminded of a day in Georgetown Harbor, Bermuda, after accepting an offer to tour a Cunard vessel, My wife and I ended up in the Captains cabin discussing the fate of the universe over a bottle (the whole bottle!)of very nice Demarrara Rum. The crew was barbequing a goat on the wing bridge(!), which was a nice accompaniment to our improved state....We then proceed to...oh, never mind. Demarrara Rum is wondrous stuff. I wish I knew where to get some more. smile.gif smile.gif

B. Darrah Thomas
11-23-2002, 11:59 AM
Just bought a $50 fifth of Oban single malt. I truly enjoy a good single malt. Leave anything less than Glenlevit / Glenfiddich on the shelf. I did have one good blended... Dimple Pinch, many years ago. I shudder at the notion that people "regularly" purchase Chivas. Bourbon does sterilze wounds! :D