Glengoyne 8yr Single Cask – bottled for the SMWSA – Cask number 123.5

Highland region – 58.5%ABV – Go here to gain access to bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Glengoyne.  Saying the name aloud and the Jew in me can’t help but think “Glengoyim” has a funny ring to it.

I don’t have much more to add today other than that tidbit of sophomoric hilariousness, except, looking at the color of this Glengoyne gives me the same lustful feelings this Yamazaki gave me.  Pure sexy!

On the noseHoisin sauce and Moo-Shu pancakes.

Sweet, spiced with cinnamon and something dusty smelling…

Laminated cardboard and glue.

A slight touch of nail polish and oat bread.

On the mouthJam & toast (raspberry without the tart).

Salt water taffies – think imitation chocolate and pistachio (again, imitation).

A bit of smoke in here (though, being a Glengoyne, I know this can’t be peated in any way – perhaps something from the barrel).

Grape lolly-pops.

FinishOrange zest with maple syrup.  Salted and ¡zingy!  Decent length.

In sumFun.  Not my cup of tea.  Interesting for sure and balanced fairly well but the over-all flavor profile is not up my alley.  Granted, reading back at my notes, it sounds quite nice and some would LOVE it.  I didn’t.

A big thanks to Aron Silverman for the generous sample!

Linkwood 13yr Single Cask – bottled for the SMWSA – Cask number 39.75

Speyside region – 58.5%ABV – Go here to gain access to bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

I am delving once more into the world of single cask, cask strength whiskies.  There are a few bottlers out there who offer single cask, cask strength whiskies; Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Duncan Taylor, Signatory… to name the big ones.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is an exclusive group and you need to be a member to gain access to their whiskies.  The SMWS is now probably the only source for Ardbeg & Glenmorangie single cask whiskies (seeing as Glenmorangie now owns both Ardbeg and the SMWS, that would make sense).

Sure, you can try to get a single cask bottling of an 11yo Ardbeg, bottled by Ardbeg but you’re going to pay hundreds of £|€|$ for it.  Or you can get a similar, kick-ass, 11yo single cask, cask strength Ardbeg from the SMWS for $95.  Your choice.

But I digress… Let’s talk about Linkwood!

On the noseDank whole leaf tobacco however very sweet smelling as well with hints of maple candies and raisins.

I’m even a getting a minor hint of strawberry – a note I seem to find from time to time but rarely see it in other peoples notes; could just be me.

Burnt wood and perhaps some lemon zest.

Quenepa fruit – very tart.

Really lovely smelling stuff.

On the mouthPowerful stuff with hints of gunpowder.

More tobacco notes.

More citrus notes and very peppery – really biting.

Burnt caramel and Wasa Crispbread.

FinishStill biting, almost fizzy.  Lime leaves and more Crispbread notes.

In sumA nicely balanced single cask whisky.  Yes, it’s first fill sherry but there are very few notes of what you’d commonly find in a sherried whisky (heavy on the dried fruit, and a sometimes cloying sweetness).  That being said, this is uncommonly delicious.  I can enjoy this on in any season however, it’s not an easy drinker – it’s powerful stuff and if you’re up for a challenge, this one is up your alley.  Another yummy Linkwood.

A big thanks to Aron Silverman for the generous sample!

Glen Scotia 17yr Single Cask – bottled for the SMWSA – Cask number 93.37

Campbeltown Region – 64.30% ABV – Go here to gain access to bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Glen Scotia is one of three distilleries located in Campbeltown, Scotland.  This was actually the first Glen Scotia I’ve ever had – Glen Scotia whiskies are hard to come by and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a non-independant bottling of Glen Scotia (with the exception of one 8yr old & a 14yr bottling).

As I write up this post I’m looking out the window at what will be the first big snow of the season here in Connecticut.  Staring out at the trees as their branches collect snow & watching the squirrels scurry across my lawn with acorns in their mouths… there’s something near perfect about it.  Even though it’s a bit of an odd duck (as you’ll see below), this particular whisky is perfectly suited for the cold weather and contemplative times such as this.

If only my four year old weren’t watching the original Benji movie while my two year old begs for Monsters Inc instead.  The arguing is really getting in the way of the mood I’m trying to stay in.  Maybe I should pour a wee dram of this SMWSA 93.37…

On the noseTough to tell what’s going on here – I’m up to the challenge though.

Initially some spiced vanilla and hot pepper honey.

Fresh soil and barely ripened bananas.

Some mango and a shit ton of pepper!

For some reason I’m reminded of an old friend & girlfriend.  She was actually my first friend (not first girlfriend) ever and I’m reminded of the way her hair would smell after she was working on one of her VW bugs.  Engine oil, perfume and cigarettes.

On the mouthWhat the?!  Nothing like the nose.

Carrot juice and splenda.

Firey, hot as hell!  Fried foods without the oil – thin mouth feel yet, enjoyable.

Parsnips and hot pepper/cayenne candy (if there were such a thing).

Dirty 70’s jeans with knee patches (and the glue that burns a bit when you’re ironing the patches on).

FinishOak on fire, slight bursts of coconut.

Long and increasingly hot.

Vanilla creeps up after a minute or so and leaves a bourbony flavor in your mouth.

In sumOne of the strangest whiskies I’ve had to date.  This one, like some others I’ve reviewed, is up there with weirdo drams.  Not for every day drinking but great to be used in a tasting of strange drams.

It’s also a damn good warmer-upper!

A big thanks to Aron Silverman for the generous sample!

Let your thoughts and prayers go out to Ralph Erenzo & Family!!

Ralph Erenzo, co-founder of Tuthilltown Distillery (makers of Hudson New York Whiskeys) was in a car accident on Dec 21st.  As of today, December 26th, he’s still in the hospital and remains in critical condition.

Please take a moment to send him and his family some words of support and healing at If you have a blog or Twitter account, please post this as well.

Ralph, hang in there!! Get well soon!!!

Below is the latest update (but be sure to keep checking for all updates!!

12:15 12/26

Status: Critical

Everything is pretty much the same as Gable’s last update. He is off the blood pressure meds, but back on the Ativan. He’s still very bloated but his color is good. Robert, the nurse who is on right now, has been super negative overall. He told me he is a pessimist by nature. But he seemed hopeful just now. He got him to open his eyes again. It was only for a second and I don’t think he’s conscious, but it was something. They seem confident that his brain is okay.

His heart rate is down to around 100, which is really good. Cathy and I stood and stroked his hand for a few minutes just now, and, during that time, we saw it momentarily dip into the nineties. We are great healers!

We’ve hung a photo of him and Tony next to his bed as well as a picture of the whole Tuthilltown staff.

At Tony’s request, I put on Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Time Out album for him when we left the room.

My mom hasn’t left the hospital since Thursday morning. I’m trying to get her to use this moment of relative stability to go to the hotel and wash up, get some air, etc.

Thanks for all the messages that people are leaving here. We have been reading them to each other and will read them to Ralph as well.

More soon,


9:30am 12/26

Status: Critical

Just out of a meeting with the doctor. Dad is now off of the blood pressure medication and is maintaining an acceptable NBP on his own. This is a first, so obviously a step in the right direction. Oxygen is down to 45%, which they tell us is status quo/stabilized for a patient with this type of chest injury. They took him off of the sedative (ativan) last night and today he was showing signs of response. I stood by as the nurse shouted at Dad “hey buddy, OPEN YOUR EYES!”. A slight eyelid movement was enough to make me laugh with excitement, amazing.

In spite of all the improvements, Dad is “septic” (sepsis). This is a result of the perforated esophagus and the stomach fluids released into the body, creating a systemic infection that is VERY dangerous, especially in his condition. Over the next 72 hours the sepsis is the biggest concern, barring any unexpected setbacks…which the doctor is perpetually preparing us for.

The Doctors are extremely guarded with their optimism, leaving us grasping for any sign of hope in their words. The chorus line repeats “he is still a very sick man, in VERY critical condition”, but today is a good day.