Douglas Laing’s Scallywag: Tasting Note

scallywag

We’re honored to have Douglas Laing offerings being poured for the first time at this year’s Whisky Jewbilee NYC. Douglas Laing is a very highly regarded Scottish independent bottler established in 1948. Known for their excellent cask selection they also have vatted malts among their offerings. Today we’re tasting Scallywag, a vatted Speyside malt.

Introduced Fall of 2013, Scallywag is a vatting of, among other malts, Mortlach, Macallan, and Glenrothes. Their use of both European oak (ex-sherry casks) and American oak (ex-bourbon casks) should provide a sweet and spicy dram. Bottled at 46% alc. and non-chill filtered this Non Age Statement offering can be found for between $60 and $70.

Color – Reflective gold

On the nose – Bright and grassy with sweet vanilla, powdered sugar, and fresh ginger

Flavors on the mouth – Silky and sweet with more powdered sugar, warming spice, and melted milk chocolate

Finish – Short to moderate with milk chocolate covered raisins and a drying spiciness

Overall – From an inviting bright nose through a luscious texture in the mouth there are plenty of flavors to enjoy along the way with this excellent vatted malt.

Be sure to look for Douglas Laing’s Scallywag on the main floor at Studio450.

Laphroaig Lore: Tasting Note

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We’re long time fans and supporters of Laphroaig. Bottles of Quarter Cask and Ten Year Old, Cask Strength are staples in our personal collections. Laphroaig Lore is a new release from the Islay distillery. Comprised of a range of ages (the oldest spirit in the bottle was distilled in 1993) and a range of casks (first fill and refill bourbon, first fill sherry, virgin European oak, and first fill and refill quarter casks) this Non Age Statement release is bottled at 48% alc. Distillery manager, John Campbell, describes it as “the richest of the rich.” Suggested retail price is $125.

Let’s press on:

Color – Bright gold

On the nose – Fresh and coastal with sea shells and new Chuck Taylor high tops (a bit of warm rubber and a bit of warm canvas), pleasantly herbal with a discernible mintiness.

Flavors on the mouth – Oily and mouthcoating with diesel rags and sage to begin then becoming ashy and dry before it releases a fruitiness through the middle.

Finish – Long, ashy, and drying with oak, salt, and peat lingering for a good long while

Overall – What a journey! A quick fly by with a 1/4 oz pour won’t be enough for this whisky to really dazzle at the Jewbilee. Despite having more tables to visit and more whiskies to taste I recommend finding a quiet corner and really taking some time to explore everything this beautiful Laphroaig has to offer.

Be sure to look for Laphroaig Lore on the penthouse floor at Studio450.

Whisky Jewbilee New York City Festival Bottling: Tasting Note

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Our fourth Whisky Jewbilee NYC festival bottling marks our return to single barrel bourbon. After enjoying great success in selling out our inaugural Heaven Hill 15 Year Old back in 2013 we’ve bottled an exceptional single barrel from Wild Turkey to celebrate our fifth annual Whisky Jewbilee NYC. Matured on the fifth floor of rick house zero for nine years, cask 2931 was bottled last month (May) at a natural cask strength of 60.7% alc./121.4 Proof. We have 168 bottles available for attendees of this year’s Whisky Jewbilee NYC. Each one is available for $101.

Stop by the Jewish Whisky Company/Single Cask Nation or Wild Turkey tables on the night for a taste and be sure to reserve your bottle before they all sell out.

Color – Dark maple syrup

On the nose – A laundry list of scents are present starting with fresh sugar cane, burnt popping corn, cinnamon topped espresso, and fresh coconut. Notes from the rye follow with pine sap on a forest floor and toasted marble rye bread with browning butter.

Flavors on the mouth – Such a wonderfully viscous mouthfeel but still incredibly vibrant with crushed maraschino cherries, RC Cola and generous spice along the side of the tongue. Freshly polished mahogany and cocobolo wood cuts. Notes of maple candies and buckwheat honey lead into a growing, spicy finish.

Finish – It’s not only long but it reverberates with peppery spice and cooked sweet corn, and most impressively, melting vanilla ice cream with warm raspberry syrup.

Be sure to sign up for a bottle at this year’s Whisky Jewbilee NYC.

Our last few tickets can be purchased here.

Announcing Our 2016 Charitable Partnership with the Anti-Defamation League

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It is with great pride that we announce our year long charitable partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). A portion of all our 2016 ticket sales will benefit Anti-Defamation League efforts in the Pacific Northwest, New York Region, and Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest. Under the leadership of new National Director and CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL remains committed to fostering an inclusive society for all while defending the rights of Jews. We’re honored to support the cause and help raise awareness of their efforts.

Before New York and Chicago Whisky Jewbilee events we’ll post a message from those local offices. Ahead of our March 8 inaugural Whisky Jewbilee Seattle, where you’ll have a chance to visit the ADL table and speak with your local representatives, here are a few words from the Pacific Northwest Regional Office:

“The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Pacific Northwest Regional Office provides services and resources to the five states of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. The office is located in Seattle, Washington.

Created over seventy years ago, the Pacific Northwest office is dedicated to combatting anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and bigotry. Our efforts include investigating and exposing extremism, educating law enforcement regarding nuances of hate crimes, and handling victim complaints of anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.

ADL promotes diversity and respect in area schools by providing programs and resources to help students, teachers, and administrators create positive learning environments where all students feel valued and appreciated. We lobby local and national legislators to protect civil rights and advocate for religious freedom for all individuals.”

Follow the ADL on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Whisky Jewbilee Seattle Festival Bottling Announced

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We’re very excited to bring the Whisky Jewbilee to Seattle on March 8 and now we can reveal our festival bottling for our inaugural foray into Seattle’s whisky scene. We’re honored to once again partner with Matt Hofmann and Westland Distillery to present a much sought after Whisky Jewbilee festival bottling.

Last June, for our 4th annual Whisky Jewbilee NYC, we released 150 bottles of a vatting of four Westland single malt single casks (100% Washington barley, 100% peated barley, and Westland’s proprietary five barley mash bill). At the time of bottling Matt put an additional 100 liters of the vatting into a first fill bourbon barrel. That juice has now been barrel marrying on the edge of the Olympic rainforest for approximately nine months.

We’ve been tasting it along the way and are very happy with the results. We think attendees of the inaugural Whisky Jewbilee Seattle will be, too. Bottled at a natural cask strength of 58.1% ABV and available exclusively to attendees of the Jewbilee you’ll be able to taste this release and reserve your bottle at the Single Cask Nation table on the night of the Jewbilee. Bottles are $85 each and will ship from our San Francisco warehouse.

As an added bonus, Westland Distillery are having a Jewbilee Open Day on March 8 between noon and 5pm. Jewbilee ticket holders will be given a guided tour of the distillery and have the chance to taste a couple Westland releases plus get a sneak peak tasting of the Jewbilee bottling.

Be sure to secure a Whisky Jewbilee Seattle ticket HERE if you haven’t already done so.

Whisky Jewbilee in 2016

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Believe it or not, 2016 marks the 5th year for Whisky Jewbilee and boy have we grown! We’ll be in 3 major markets in 2016: Seattle, New York City, and Chicago.

In 2012 we had four and half weeks to coordinate our inaugural Whisky Jewbilee NYC. In those four and a half weeks, we had 35 brands partner with us, and we brought in 150 attendees.

In 2013 we moved venue to a larger synagogue, increased the number of brands from 35 to 70, and doubled the number of attendees to 300!

In 2014 we moved the event to Studio450 which has been our NYC venue for the past two years and will be our venue in 2016. We now cap the number of NYC attendees to 450 people.

In 2015 we expanded Whisky Jewbilee to the Chicago market and brought in 80 brands and 200 attendees (25% more attendees to our inaugural Chicago event when compared to our inaugural NYC event way back in 2012!).

2016 finds us expanding Whisky Jewbilee even further to the Seattle market, growing the Chicago market, and celebrating our 5th anniversary in NYC!

We couldn’t have done any of this without your continued support and attendance! Thank you! We look forward to pouring for you in one of these major cities this year and beyond.

For Seattle: Tickets are now on sale

For New York City: Tickets are now on sale

For Chicago: Tickets go on sale Spring 2016

Whisky Jewbilee Chicago Festival Bottling: Tasting Note

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We’ve had such success with our first three Whisky Jewbilee New York City festival bottlings that we figured we have to celebrate the inaugural Whisky Jewbilee Chicago with a festival bottling of its own, with its own unique storyline.

This is an 8yo American Light Whiskey distilled and matured at LDI/MGP (aka the old Seagram’s distillery). It was further matured in a rye cask that was used to mature beer from the Shmaltz Brewing Company.

Even more information: This light whiskey was extra matured in a cask that previously held the 6yo LDI/MGP rye whiskey (which was part of the 2nd Whisky Jewbilee NYC festival bottling) which was used to mature Shmaltz Hop Manna IPA for the first collaboration beer bottled in celebration of Whisky Jewbilee NYC 2015. It’s like a paradox wrapped in a conundrum.

This unique celebration of Whisky Jewbilee’s journey from New York City to Chicago is bottled at 65.1% ABV. Each one of the 225 available bottles is $85.

Color – Deep honey

On the nose – Toasted waffles dripping with heavy orange syrup, light citrus hop note and pine sap with fresh rye bread and caraway seeds framed by soft oaky tones

Flavors on the mouth – Oily entry with a chewy rye bread note, a hint of fresh citra hops, orange creamsicle, cracked black pepper, nutmeg, and a citrus pixie stick sweetness

Finish – A lasting umami-like saltiness as toasted caraway seeds and notes of orange cake transition to soft oak

Be sure to stop by for a taste and sign up for a bottle at the Single Cask Nation table while you’re at the inaugural Whisky Jewbilee Chicago on October 27.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Kilchoman Original Cask Strength: Tasting Note

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We’re squeezing in one more highlighted pour ahead of tomorrow’s SOLD OUT Whisky Jewbilee NYC because a) it’s from Islay and b) it’s cask strength!

Kilchoman Original Cask Strength was released in late 2014 but is only now starting to appear in the New York marketplace. Although released without an age statement the whisky is about five years old and was 100% matured in first fill Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Look for it in New York for between $110 and $120.

Color: Reflective straw

On the nose: Unusually briny and coastal for a Kilchoman release, notes of fresh apple, grape nuts, and honey with a subtle hint of cinnamon stick

In the mouth: Such a wonderfully oily texture with abundant coal dust, then a warm, fruity sweetness builds before white pepper transitions into the finish

Finish: A long finish with more coal dust, malty sweetness, and salted caramels

We look forward to seeing you at tomorrow night’s 4th Annual Whisky Jewbilee NYC and if you were one of the many unable to get a ticket we hope to see you at the 5th Annual WJ NYC next June.

Tamdhu Batch Batch Strength #1: Tasting Note

Just like last year we’re going to focus on a few select pours leading up to our SOLD OUT Whisky Jewbilee!

We were very pleased to welcome Tamdhu to their first Whisky Jewbilee last year. So pleased that we posted a tasting note for their very good Tamdhu 10 Year Old (which will be poured again this year). Well, this year they’re back and they’re bringing their new Tamdhu Batch Strength Batch #1.

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Like the 10 Year Old we’re dealing with full sherry maturation with a predominance of first-fill sherry in the mix. “Batch Strength” refers to each batch having its own particular cask strength. And “cask strength” is something that makes us smile. A lot! A recent Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Expect it to cost you $85-$90 in and around New York.

Color: Deep copper

On the nose: Like sitting in a library on a late Spring day (warm mahogany panels, leather chairs, and warm books) eating a bowl of succulent dark cherries

Flavors in the mouth: More of the warm wood but with rich spice and luxurious dark chocolate

Finish: Long and comforting with ginger and dark chocolate

Wow! How delightfully decadent! This is built to accompany a cigar. Please accommodate responsibly.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the SOLD OUT Whisky Jewbilee NYC on Tuesday evening.

Spots Available For Afternoon Masterclass

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While we’re busy celebrating our fourth consecutive sell out of the Whisky Jewbilee NYC (thanks very much for all your support!) we want to remind you that a few tickets remain for our afternoon masterclass with Westland’s wonderful Master Distillery, Matt Hofmann.

Matt will lead us through a deconstructed tasting of this year’s festival bottling, allowing us to fully explore the four casks that were vatted together to make this American single malt. We’ll then pour the festival bottling, itself, and draw the event to a close with a tasting of one of Westland’s signature single malts.

Finger foods will also be served.

Tickets are $40 and available here.