Saturday, July 13, 2013

Singleton 12 Years Old


It is double matured in sherry and bourbon oaks as well. It was mind-blowing the first time I tried it. Very good scotch and a good price. I would never think this backstage scotch would be so good. 

Origin: Speyside
The nose is malty with barley sweetness and nutty.
The palate is full of toffee, oak, grassy and nuts.
The finish is rich and sweet. 
Rating: 8.5
Price: $44
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond.

If you like this, you may also like:
- Glenrothes Vintage
- Balvenie Double Cask 12 Years Old
- Dalwhinnie 15 Years Old

Laphroaig Quarter Cask


An Awesome Islay Scotch. Not as strong as Bowmore. But, still, you can taste the ashes. Well, after all, it is an Islay whisky. One of my favorites and the price is soooo right. 

Origin: Islay
The nose is smokey with creamy floral aroma.
The palate is smokey, sweet and rich.
The finish is long and drying.
Rating: 9.0
Price: $40-$45
Places to Find: Superstore, Wines and Beyond.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Lagavulin 16 Years Old
- Lapphroaig 10 Years Old
- Bowmore 12 Years Old
- Talisker 10 yr old

Glenrothes Vintage


Hmmmm. A very good after-dinner whisky. I enjoyed it immensely. Eric Paul (manager) at Wines and Beyond recommended it and I was not at all disappointed. This little guy is rich, full-bodied and full of complex flavors. It's double matured in two different casks: ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks.

Origin: Speyside
The nose is full of fruits, complex spices and vanilla.
The palate is again full of complexity with ripe fruits, juicy citrus, vanilla and various spices.
The finish is smooth and yet rich with a beautiful vanilla and fruity ending.
Rating: 8.5
Price: $45
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond and Superstore.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Balvenie Double Cask
- Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
- Dalmore 12 yr old
- Dalwhinnie 15 yr old

Tomatin 12 Years Old


I tried this at the Bothy's in the South of Edmonton. It's quite smooth and not as complex. Good for those who like smooth and light tasting liquors. Also, the price tags are higher than many others.

Origin: Highland
The nose is light.
The palate is medium bodied and sweet and again light.
The finish is short. 
Rating: 6.0
Price: +$50
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond

How to Drink Your Single Malt


Some of you might go "come on maaannn, who do you think we are!?". However, I would love to see an article about it a year ago when I didn't know much about the single malt culture.

Once on Facebook, I saw a friend on mine drinking a good 12-year old Macallan mixed with Coke. I almost cried. Mix it if you want. I am not gonna tell you what to do. But, if you wanna mix something with Coke, you don't have to spend bunch of money. Buy a good ol' Dewars or Ballentine's and do all the mixing you want.

Most of the single malts have been matured in the oak casks for more than 10 years. There is a lot of effort that was put into that. Some of the people who poured that mixture into that oak cask that we might currently be enjoying are no longer alive. So, you wanna get every bit of the taste. So, here are my recommendations:

Whisky Rocks:

I don't mix my single malt with anything; not even ice cubes. My wife got me those whisky rocks from Chapters on Christmas and I have been using them.

I put them in a Ziplock bag and am keeping them in the freezer. Since they are marbles, they keep the cold quite some time. I put about 4 of them into my single malt and enjoy my chilled single malt with those rocks. 

Water Jugs:

Since the single malt you are about to enjoy has been kept in a cask for 10 years or more, nothing has been added into it for 10 years or more. It means that it is very potent. In order to break the taste around, whisky drinkers recommend couple drops of distilled water into your whisky. That will break the flavors so we can enjoy them more and taste them better. 

Whisky Tasting Glasses:

I use good ol' Brandy cups for this. The glasses should be tight on top and wide on the bottom so when you nose your whisky, you can smell the wide range of flavors coming towards the tops. So, recommended whisky glasses are shown below:


Try nosing your whisky for about half a minute to two minutes. Try to smell as much aromas and other spices as you can. Play a guessing game with yourself, or partner or your spouse. then, check online or the label of the bottle if you got any. Then, start sipping your drink. Those rocks will keep your drink chilled while they keep your whisky pure. After your first sip, drop couple water drops into your whisky glas and taste it again. Repeat this 3-5 times every 15 minutes. And you will have start noticing the effects ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Side Dishes For Single Malts


First of all, a single malt is not really enjoyable with dinner. I prefer a nice Mendoze Malbec with dinner. Bit, it can be just me.

Single malts are most enjoyable with certain appetizers. Again, maybe it's just me. But I am gonna keep it direct to the point and cut the talking.


Smoked Gouda cheese is very light and very enjoyable with a good scotch. Costco in Edmonton sells a very delicious smoked gouda cheese. Since it is light, it does not overwhelm the taste of scotch and accompanies it in a perfect correlation. 


Almonds, again, are light and healthy appetizers that will go well with a single malt scotch whisky. Other nuts may include cashews or those energy mixer nuts (green ones) that Costco sells. You don't want to eat too much salty nuts with single malts since it may take away the taste.


Italian sausages are good with Gouda cheese and a single malt scotch whiskies. Also, good spicy pepperonis are the ones I enjoy with my whisky. 


The ones that Costco sells are very simple and good. A good appetizer again that will compliment the taste of your single malts.


Single Malts and dark chocolate are like penut butter and bread. They go well together. They go too well together that you might get into a sugar coma. So, try to enjoy this in moderation. In fact, try enjoying everything in moderation. So, you can anticipate and enjoy things more ;) 


I personally enjoy my single malts once a week with a good cigar. A full-bodied dark Don Thomas is my favorite. Single malts should be enjoyed with a civilized manner. It goes best with a good cigar and light appies while reading your book and enjoying some soft jazz. It is not a drink of "let's get smashed". You take your time and try to understand the complexity of flavors and various tastes. Try the appetizers I listed above. If you have more recommendations, I would live to see it in the comments below. 

Lagavulin 16 Years Old


I had heard about this before. I read the interview with the famous Scottish actor Brian Cox and he was mentioning that Lagavulin 16 was his most favorite. Watch his YouTube video where he pronounces "Lagavulin". Then, he goes "peow! the cognac of whiskies. Works like a depth of charge!".

Ever since then I started screaming "Lagavulin" in the house so that my wife would get tired and letnme spend $80 for a scotch. The anticipation went on for weeks. Finally, my 30th birthday arrived. My wife and our roommate bought me this beautiful bottle. When I take my first sip, the feeling was different. I have never drank such a beauty before. All those Jack Daniels and JW I used drink were forgotten. This was different.

This is also smokey, yet rich with various smells. I recommend buying it for a special occasion so that it will feel even more special. Anticipate it. Did you get a big-paying job? Did you turn into a milestone age? Did you get married? Did you have a newborn baby? Spend that $80 for this bottle and you will appreciate the occasion even more!

Origin: Islay
Nose: Full of flavors coming with the smell of peat. The mixture of every beauty. From vanilla to spices. From sherry to apple. From peat to sweetness.
Palate: Think, rich and full bodied. Beautiful combination of peat, oak and aromas such as vanilla, sherry, apple and some other fruits that I could not concentrate on thinking anymore.
Finish: Long. smoky, peaty, figs, dates, vanillas, apples, sherries, and the list goes on.
Rating (I believe you can already guess: 10!!!!!
Price: $79-$84
Places to Find: Superstore, Wines and Beyond, Costco, etc.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Macallan 12 yr old
- Dalmore 12 yr old
- Talisker 10 yr old
- Laphroaig Quarter Cask
- Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 Years


This was also an amazing experience. It is a mixture of port and single malt scotch. You can see the port in it after you pour it in the glass. The tasting is so rich and you can immedietly feel the sensation of the port and a little hint of dark chocolate.

Origin: Highland
Nose: Sweet; hints of berries and dark chocolate.  
Palate: Sweet, rich and thick. Hints of port and dark chocolate.
Finish: Long, rich, fruity and sweet. 
Rating: 9.5
Price: $54-$62
Places To Find: Wines and Beyond and Superstore.

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Dalmore 12 yr old
- Auchentoshan Three Woods
- Highland Park 18 yr old
- Glenrothes Vintage
- Macallan 12 yr old

Macallan 12 Years Old


I don't know if there is much to say about this brand. People know it, respect it and appreciate even looking at it. One of the best in the market. Nothing takes the stress of a busy work-week better than this beauty accompanied with a good cigar. Or chocolate. Or only by itself. 

Origin: Highland
The nose is rich and sweet with full of hints of apple, ginger and vanilla. Pay close attention and you will smell the sherry coming from its casks.
The palate has hints of vanilla, apple and barley with a wood smoke.
The finish is long, enjoyable and with a solid oak.
Rating is 10!
Price is $55
Places to buy: Popular scotch so pretty much every liquor store. 

Balvenie Double Cask 12 Years Old


This was gooodddd! I knew it was gonna be good. The first time I laid my eyes on its bottle, I knew it was going to be fancy and appreciated! There are some brands you can never go wrong with. Balvenie is one of them. A must-try! It is another Speyside masterpiece. 

Origin: Speyside
The nose is nutty and fruity. You can smell some grapes, vanilla and apples in that.
The palate has hints of vanilla and fruits (apples or/and grapes). 
The finish is dry and fruity. 
Rating: 9.0
Price: +/-$50
Places to Find: Wines and Beyond and Superstore. 

Strathisla 12 Years Old


I bought this to try and I did try it. Never bought it again. It is not bad, but there is so many good choices that I did not want to spend almost my $50 for this bottle again. Give it a shot. But, I would recommend many many more until we come to Strathisla. This is distilled by the Chivas Brothers.

Description: Highland
The nose is soft and creamy.
The palate is fruity and sweet with some spices.
The finish is long and fruity.
Rating is 7.5
Price: $45-$50
Places to Find: They recently changed the box. Now it is a while box with a pink stripe. Superstore and Wines and Beyond sell it. 

Aberlour 12 Years Old


You can't go wrong with this price. Another one that blew my mind. After paying $34 for this bottle, I was expecting something mediocre. It was above the mediocre. A must buy and a definitely a must keep-buying.

Origin: Highland
The nose is rich with full of aromas.
The palate is smooth, rich and fruity.
The finish is sweet and fairly long.
Rating: 8.5
Price: $34 to $38 
Places to Buy: Superstore, Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond. 

If you like this, you may also enjoy:
- Auchentoshan 12 yr old
- Glenrothes Vintage
- Glenlivet 12 yr old
- Singleton 12 yr old

Auchentoshan 12 Years Old


Another of my favorites for its price point. Superstore and Wines and Beyond sell it for only $38. It's very rich and leaves you wondering why the heck it is so cheap comparing to the other brands. 

Origin: Lowland
The nose is full of richness and fruits.
The palate is sweet with a hint of vanilla and fruits.
The finish is dry and long. You can taste the sweet barley after that sip.
My rating for this is 8.5
Price: $38 - $45
Places to Buy: Superstore, Liquor Depot, Wines and Beyond.

Highland Park 12 Years Old


Ahhh! This made me appreciate the life the first time I tasted this beauty. It is smoky, yet aromatic. Highland Park has a different spot in my heart. If you wanna spend a good $45, go with this one. 

Origin: Island
The nose is smoky and aromatic. It almost burns your nozzels. Also, you will smell the hints of citrus and honey in it. Take your time and enjoy smelling this blondie. 
The palate is full, rich and again aromatic. You can still taste a little bot of smokiness. But, nothing too overwhelming.
The finish is long and burning. It takes about 15 seconds to enjoy the taste.
My rating for this is 9.0
Price: $45 - $58
Places to Buy: Superstore sells it cheapest for $45. You can't go wrong with that price. 

Bowmore 12 Years Old


Ouch! The first time I tried this, I wanted to wash my mouth with 5 gallons of water. It felt like I ate a full ashtray. Well, again, I was a noob who didn't know what effects an Islay Scotch would leave in a human being's mouth. 

This is smoky, my friend. So, dear beginners. STAY AWAY from this until you get used to drinking single malts. 

Later on, I must say, it grew on me. After paying almost $45 for this bottle, I could not have dumped it in the sink. So, I kept drinking, The more I drank, the more I get used to. 

Highly recommended single malt for those who love to taste full of smoke in their mouths. After all, that's what makes good ol' Islay special!

Origin: Islay
The nose is very peaty but also floral. You will basically smell ash in that glass. Take it easy. Don't smell too much. It feels like being a second hand smoker.
The palate is also peaty. You can also feel some perfume, lemon and honey behind all the ashes.
The finish is (again) smoky and long.
My rating is 8.0
Price: $42 - $48
Places to Buy: Superstore, Wines and Beyond, Liquor Depot

If you enjoy this, you may also like:
- Bowmore 15 yr old
- Laphroaig Double Cask
- Talisker 10 yr old

Glenlivet 12 Years Old


Again, an awesome beginner single malt. It's an everyday relaxing scotch. But, it will definitely do the job. Nothing fancy and very down to earth. One day I almost cried when I saw none on the shelf at the Superstore Liquorstore when the price tag was $32 / bottle. This is one of the cheapest single malts. You will pay about $35 to $40. 

Origin: Speyside
Glenfiddich's little brother from Speyside as well. It's also smooth with hints of various fruits.
The nose is richer than Glenfiddich with some vanilla and fruity smells.
The palate is richer than Glenfiddich.
The finish is long and enjoyable.
Rating: 7.0
Price: $32 - $42
Places to Buy: Superstore, Wines and Beyond, Liquor Depot, Liquor Spot, pretty much everywhere but Costco.
If you like this, you may also enjoy: 
- Glenfiddich 12 yr old
- Glenrothes Vintage
- Singleton 12 yr old

Glenfiddich 12 Years Old


Probably the most popular name in the single malt industry. And highly recommended for the beginners. However, it is not as rich and dark as the other may be. For its price, though, you can't go wrong. It's an "enjoy every day" scotch. It's very smooth and light. Yet, it still leaves a little smokey taste.

Origin: Speyside
The nose is light and floral. You will smell little bit of honey in it.
The palate is light and fruity
The finish is sweet and again fruity.
Rating: 6.5 
Price: $34 - $38
Places to Buy: Any liquor store will carry them as it is very popular. Superstore, Costco and Wines and Beyond sell it for $34.

If you likw this, you may also enjoy:
- Glenfiddich 15 yr old
- Glenlivet 12 yr old
- Strathisla 12 yr old
- Macallan 10 yr old


Hello Fellow Edmontonians,

Not so long ago, my wife and I moved to Edmonton. Due to harsh winters and slow life, we have decided to entertain ourselves in our little townhouse, where we played board games, watched movies and enjoyed some beverages.

During these cold winter nights, I grew an appreciation on a certain beverage. It felt so good, warm and rich that I was never interested in any other beverages. Nothing was ever gonna be the same. Beer was too boring and Wine was too filling.

It all started with us being invited to a friend's house. While I was browsing the shelves at a liquor store, I grabbed a Glenfiddich. Later on, three of us enjoyed it immensely, killed the entire bottle and did not even feel tipsy. We were just happy. Then, I wanted to know more about this beautiful taste that was left in my mouth: Single Malt Whisky.

Again, I did not know much about it, but I enjoyed it more than the other drinks and I have decided to know about it more. In a year, I ended up trying about 25 different single malts (and more to come). And now, while tasting some Aberfeldy (12 year old), I have decided to share my single malt experiences with my fellow Edmontonians.

Not that I am an expert of scotch as well as Michael Jackson (not the singer!) or the famous actor Brian Cox, but I have decided to share my thoughts on this blog about the Single Malts I have tasted and show the audiences the places where to buy them and the price tag on them.

For each whisky, I will write my reviews and feelings and then describe the origin of this particular scotch, its tasting notes and finally the price tag on it and where to buy it in Edmonton. I will also do a little rating. The ratings will be out of 10 (P.S. The ratings are my own. Something I rated low might be rated high by someone else. You never know).

1) I am a new blogger and I want to keep it simple. If anything looks bad, please be understanding :)

2) I am hoping this blog would create a social network of Single Malt lovers and we can actually meet each other while enjoying some malted barley with a nice cigar :)