Posted in spirits

Whisky 101

whiskyglas_und_karaffeWhisky (or Whiskey if we’re talking about the US or Irish version), is one of the best ways I know to savour an incredibly interesting spirit and enter a beautiful state of relaxation. Whether it’s an evening by the fireplace or a social gathering with friends, this is one sure way to enhance your evening.

Here’s what you need to know about the different types and how to enjoy or mix it.

SCOTCH

Scotch is usually made from barley and then aged in oak barrels for at least 3 years in Scotland. Its flavours vary significantly from one part of Scotland to another. Island Scotch has more peat and smoke on your palate that Highland or Speyside scotch.

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH

These are Scotch whiskies that are distilled in one distillery from a single malted grain (malt) and are distilled in copper pot stills. This is where you can discover a wide range of individual personality and character. By comparison, blended whiskies are not subject to these limitations, and the blends wind up smoother and more approachable to the average palate, yet lacking in the personality, enthusiasts might argue.

IRISH WHISKEY

This fine beverage doesn’t have the distinctive peat or smoke. But it has a smoothness that is enticing. Irish whiskey is distilled three times, while Scotch is distilled only twice. You may also notice a sweeter character with notes of vanilla.

BOURBON

This American Whiskey will impart notes of vanilla and caramel within a fairly robust presentation compared to Irish Whiskey. It is made from a minimum of 51% corn, usually a lot more because corn is cheaper than other grains. There’s a rich Kentucky tradition to Bourbon.

RYE

Rye has spicy and edgy flavours. To qualify, it has to be distilled from a minimum of 51% rye.

OTHER TYPES OF WHISKY

Canadian, English, German, Austrian (as pictured above), and Indian whiskies also have storied histories.

ARE YOU IN ONTARIO?

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Then we’ve got a cool surprise for you. Now you can age whisky in a small barrel at home. Contact me for details.

Posted in spirits

Paul Stulac Cigar with Dillon’s Gin

The Cigar

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This is a large and beautiful looking cigar. It bears a classic refinement in appearance and when I smoke it. The wrapper is medium brown with an oily and rich looking vein structure.

The experience is smooth, complex and aristocratic with a cool edginess to it.

I sniff and detect sweet cedar and leather. There is cocoa, coffee, deep rubbed leather, baking spices, and black pepper.

I cut the cap and light it up.

Red pepper! Cocoa. Dark espresso. Smoke pours from the foot in such volume that I cannot see the laptop screen with the cigar in my mouth. A natural sweetness emerges. Sort of fruity, like me.

The Pairing

Neither of them overpower the other. It’s an excellent match.

The Gin

Dillon’s is very satisfying. A refined, well crafted taste that’s a cut above the rest. It causes me to re-define the upper end of gins, with its delicate and refined aromatics and notes of juniper, floral, and botanicals. This encounter was straight. The next couple of  experiences were as Dillon’s Gin & Tonic.