Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Of Distillery Show Bottles & Tast-able Collections

Those of who listen to Whiskycast, or follow single malt news appreciate the difference. For every Mr. Disposable Income, there are a thousand bars and distilleries ready to buy back a show piece.

For those who actually drink the show pieces, the results may prove just as good as the occasional brass ring. That is, the arguably affordable bottle under $100, but definitely $200 on an average day.

I have heard of the Laphroaig collections, among others, where a collector has a passion. This dedication should eventually take refuge in a distillery or museum, when the basement becomes full and uninhabitable. Perhaps, the bequest is appreciated when the last will and testament is read.

Whether in Denmark or Italy, Texas or Texarkana, those who horde have a goal. Sometimes, it is more for accomplishment or show, then the real desire to make a buck. I'd rather drink it with good acquaintances or friends who appreciate it.

Recent auctions of the recent Bowmore Whites and Blacks suggest that time has yet to reveal an appraisal even at face value. The bottles may have to sit on the top shelves of those special pubs with laser lights flashing for years. There may or may not be that one moment when the bells go off, the buttons get pressed, and the debit card goes snap!

There is also the possibility that the bottles will sit until the dust builds, the lights go out, and no one knows exactly what is in that cubby hole except for that crumugeon just trying to keep his or her cool until the bottle sells for $200 to someone who happens to just know better or finds out that they have just purchased a treasure later appraised on the antique roadshow.

Will Richard Patterson be the appraiser of the 50 year old Dalmore sold for a song to Jedidiah Jones of Timberforks, Tennessee? Call me Jed, not the Donald. I hope for the unknown Kate Hopkins types to get those tastes; the John Hansell's have enough of them. Those memories are not forgotten!

Thanks Jamie!

The Bowmore portion has increased to two 17 year olds, numerous single cask bottles, the Dusk, and a Provenance for at least six to ten in the collection. A little kindness is appreciated.

Now, if I can only get free tickets to The Whisky Show!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Single Malt Week in Chicago 10/5 - 10/8/09

This is a good week for trying out single malt. On Monday, the Midwest Malt Appreciation Society will host an Ardbeg Tasting with its Ambassador, Davinia Small, at Binny's South Loop at 7:00pm. Binny's is located at Roosevelt and South Jefferson. With the upcoming release of the new and improved Corryvrecken, expect some it to flow at this tasting. The cost for this event is $30 per person.

On Wednesday, October 7, 2009, Sam's Wine and Liquor will host a Dalmore tasting with its Distillery Master, Willie Tait. This will take place at its Clybourne store near Smith and Hawkens.

A number of new bottlings and perhaps a few unusual ones may flow, as well. Sam's Wine will charge $10 in advance, but $7.50 if you have a Sam's Card. This is a great opportunity to taste the range of Dalmore's without having to find a Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America Member for the next event (or join SMWSA for that matter). It is unclear if space is available, but you may want to call. If you ever get the chance to see Richard Patterson, Dalmore's blender and author of Goodness Nose, then go for it! I missed him, when he visited Chicago a few months ago.

Finally, the Annual Single Malt Extravaganza returns to Chicago this Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. Chicago will be the first city to kick off the Alan Shayne 2009-2010 Tasting Series on behalf of the Single Malt Whisky Society of America. These events are spectacular! With at least 100 different expressions (varieties/bottlings) from the distillers, you are likely to find a single malt whisky to become passionate over. A buffet dinner is also served, which you can feast on in the alternative. It is okay to spit and spill. You may want to take public transportation home or a designated driver.

The Extravaganza will once again take place at the Union League Club of Chicago near Dearborn and Jackson. Contact the SMSWA at the link for more information. There may be an after party at Delilahs, but this remains unclear.

Binny's will be finishing up its Sale. For those who were unaware, Binny's won the Icons of Whisky Award for the best U.S. Single Malt Retailer. It will complete its unbelievable sale soon unless it already did so on October 1, 2009. For more information contact Binny's. Most of Binny's Single Stock was in the South Loop Store, but there is quite a bit spread throughout this Chicago Spirits retail chain.