Gordon Graham’s Black Bottle from Burn Stewart is a relatively recent addition to the liquor stores of British Columbia. When I first noticed it my curiosity was piqued, but having no prior knowledge of it, and no knowledge of the brand in general, I viewed it with a blank slate of opinion. That is, until a Scotch loving young friend of mine recommended it as a good bargain buy.
So I finally followed through on my promise to review Ballantine’s Finest, and I did so on the same day one year later: Ian’s birthday! Not only was it his birthday, but it is now just over one year since I posted my first blog post, so happy birthday to Stories From The Pub and a big thank you to all my readers!
Part 1 can be found here.
Around the fire were two couples, and they were drinking beers while listening to Led Zeppelin. Lots of Led Zeppelin; all night long. I was impressed. The wives did not talk much, but their husbands sure made up for it. Their names were Bobby and Jim, and they were both Vietnam War veterans. As a Canadian, this was a demographic that I was unlikely to ever encounter back home, so despite how much overlap there truly is in the Canadian and the American experience, this would certainly be a treat for me. They quickly got me involved in their game of blow darts, which involved shooting foot long darts out of a long pipe towards a target which was about twenty feet away. When I reasoned that my beer intake was starting to affect my aim, I bowed out of the competition. Jim would not be reigned in so easily though, and he began to flip throwing knives up into the air in an attempt to have them land point down in a target near his feet. Bobby admonished him that one day he might stab his own foot, and that got us onto the lovely topic of healthcare.
One of my readers has recently pointed out to me that Té Bheag is now available in BC Liquor stores for the price of $47, which seems suspiciously similar to the price that I paid “duty free” in Calgary all those years ago. At any rate, even if my memory is a bit faulty, or if I didn’t really receive a deal, this price is still probably right if you’re looking to try this whisky and you happen to live in British Columbia!
One other thing I would like to add is that I tried the Crookeder Tooth pumpkin ale again, and this time I noticed a nice pineapple taste in the head and the nose. I’m not sure how I missed that flavour the first time around, but there you go!
Happy Guy Fawkes Night everyone; may your bonfires be warm and bright!
Spoon it on,
After 15 beer reviews, I realize that I am overdue for my first proper Scotch review. Before I get to the review though, I should mention a couple of things. When reviewing Scotch, and whisk(e)y in general, I find it is often more difficult to remove price from the equation than when reviewing beer. For example, the “world’s best beer,” Westvleteren 12, though admittedly hard to find, and pricey for a beer, will still only cost you about $20 for a bottle; perhaps ridiculous to some, but not out of anyone’s reach. By comparison, the world’s best Scotch is likely to be something that only a handful of people have ever tried, and that no one would ever be able to put a sane price on. There’s just too much diversity and complexity within Scotch to reach a consensus on the best, and too many great Scotches are exceedingly rare and pricey. Thus to anyone who drinks Scotch, the price generally influences opinion far more than it does to a beer drinker. Two comparable and tasty beers that cost $5 and $8 respectively are far more likely to be enjoyed by the same person multiple times, than two comparable Scotches that cost $50 and $80 respectively. If money was no object, then this wouldn’t matter, but sadly it does. Therefore, the average Scotch drinker is constantly seeking out the tasty Scotch that tastes like it should cost more, rather than the tasty Scotch that tastes like it should cost less. Objectively they may be equally good, but it is often hard to keep the price from swaying opinion at least slightly. With that out of the way, I can begin my first review; from Sir Iain Noble’s Gaelic Whiskies range, Té Bheag, a blended Scotch.
The first blog post is always the hardest, or so I’ve been experiencing for the past year and a half, ever since I decided to start blogging about beer. In that span I have drank a lot of beer, and I have had my fair share of adventures, but somehow I have never been able to convert to this social media thing to tell my stories. Instead I have enthusiastically told all manner of hilarious personal stories to anyone who would listen in the many pubs, bars, living rooms and bonfires that I frequent. But that is all changing right now, for this is truly a blog post, and it is about Tuesday afternoon, when I drank some beer, and then some whisky. Continue Reading