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BattleScotch! Compass Box Edition with Dan

Not every one has the time or budget to buy selections of tiny whiskies and write down their subjective impressions – no, as a busy working non-layabout mortal on the giggity-go, you need to know where the best bang for your whisky dollar is to be had! And that’s the sheer genius of the BattleScotch!

Compass Box Spice Tree with Dan

How many of these things are there? It’s like I’ve forgotten we ever reviewed anything else. NUMBER 5 – Compass Box Spice Tree, a veritable uh tree of I guess spices. Spice Tree apparently broke some rules when it first came out, using a system of inner staves of a different wood to achieve (or

Round 2! Compass Box Peat Monster with Dan

Very quick review today because I’m late but that’s okay, we’ve had Compass Box’s Peat Monster before! Here’s our previous go-round with this boggy bugger, so we can jump right into what we thought this time – there’s a bit of drift between then and now: is it us? Is it the whisky? Did we

Compass Box Oak Cross with Dan

Compass Box Oak Cross – named for the American and French oaks used to re-age whiskies from three distilleries. I could go into more detail but sometimes too many things is too many things.   nose Dan – oak, lime, pickling spice, sour cream? Simon – oak, tequila, mustard neat Dan – rough umami, weird

Highland Park Magnus with Dan, Bowick & Matt M

Highland Park Magnus. Big dark bottle, cool.. uh.. dragon.. wolfy sort of logo. Classic Highland Park. And by “classic” Highland Park I mean this truism: the less you pay for Highland Park the better it is. And not just in that classic market economics sense. We’ve had a few Highland Parks at iScotch and we’ve

2018-09-01 Lagavulin 8y with Dan & Goran

Aw yiss. A classic of the form. One of the pantheon. A real… thing of the… stuff. Lagavulin 8y. We’ve had exactly one Lagavulin before because they are prized, rare and expensive. But if you want a true Islay and have had enough Bowmore, you should try Lagavulin at some point. It’s like an off-white

Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve with Dan & Goran

More ghosts of Christmases past! Woo hoo Christmas references in August! Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve. Another wonky Scottish name, Garioch is now pronounced somewhere between Geery and Garyich, like a chubbier Gareth. Traditionally, it is pronounced GRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA with a nasal umlaut in the middle, and is screamed into the genitals of one’s defeated enemies. Glen

Round 2! Dalwhinnie 15y with Dan

Just a quick Round 2! for this glorious August weekend. Scotch doesn’t always feel like a summer drink, but on those cooler evenings in front of the grill or out in nature, it can be the right compliment. And when it’s as good as Dalwhinnie, all the better. Here’s what we thought: nose Dan –

The Deveron 12y with Dan

A Highland single malt from Bacardi by way of Dewar’s, from the Macduff Distillery: The Deveron 12y. This is one of three expressions launched in 2015, a new line from a newerish distillery that used to produce mostly for blends. Here’s what we thought: nose Dan – strawberry creamsicle, salt water, candied apple Simon –

King Robert II Blend with Dan

A lovely Christmas present reviewed in the spring and finally published on one of the hottest days of the year. It’s hot. It’s real hot. You’d be excused by saying “Damn, dude, surely this is the kind of weather best suited for a refreshing gin review or some such” and I would agree with you,

The Ardmore Legacy with Dan

Once again, it’s been a while since we had a single malt scotch, the whisky after which the site is named. This happens, of course, because other whiskies, spirits & beers tend to be cheaper. Scotch still carries the whisky banner and therefore the price standard, even if Americans like to pay a lot for

BattleScotch! Tomintoul Glenlivet Edition with Dan & Goran

BattleScotch o’clock, Tomintoul time! You knew it was coming – we can’t do a whole month from one distiller without pitting them against each other in petty subjective combat. Cutting to the chase, here’s what we thought: nose Dan – 16y Simon – 25y Goran – 25y neat Dan – 16y Simon – 25y Goran

Tomintoul Glenlivet 25y with Dan & Goran

We’ve come to the last new bottle out of the Tomintoul pack, the 25y. As near as I can tell this is the oldest expression of any whisk(e)y anything we’ve reviewed to date. That’s kind of cool, congrats Tomintoul. Next week we’ll wrap up Tomintoul April with the mandatory BattleScotch! But for now, here’s what

Tomintoul Glenlivet 16y with Dan & Goran

The second entry in our month of Tomintoul, we have the 16y. There’s… not too much to say that we didn’t cover last time, it’s the same whisky, just from longer ago. Iteration is the highest form of… something. Probably. Here’s what we thought: nose Dan – savory mash, sherry, cranberry Simon – fuller, slightly

Tomintoul Glenlivet 10y with Dan & Goran

Tomintoul Glenlivet 10y. So.. which is it? It appears to be a Tomintoul, as Tomintoul’s website calls all their whiskies Glenlivet Speyside. The Distillery is the Tomintoul-Glenlivet distillery, but it’s owned by Angus Dundee, while Glenlivet is owned by Pernod. Glenlivet is a place, tho. Tomintoul & the River Livet (and one would assume its

BattleScotch! Bruichladdich Edition with Dan & Ryan

….And the last Bruichladdich article for a while, I promise, but we had to do it – BattleScotch! Bruichladdich Edition! These were three pretty great scotches in their own right, but which of the three to buy? Here’s what we got: nose Dan – Heavily Peated Simon – Heavily Peated Ryan – Classic neat Dan

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Heavily Peated Scottish Barley with Dan & Ryan

The last from the big blue box, Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Heavily Peated Scottish Barley Single Malt Scotch, because why not take 20 syllables and 10 words to name your thing.  Isn’t there some notable quote about how being concise is… like, good? Port Charlotte isn’t just a figment of marketing magic, it’s an actual place.

Bruichladdich Unpeated Islay Barley with Dan & Ryan

Second out of the box, we have Bruichladdich’s Unpeated Islay Barley. It’s.. uh.. … it’s what the name says it is, I guess. I’ve tried to find this expression on the website, but i don’t have a conclusive link. The small bottles listed point to extremely specific (expensive sounding) terroir-y unpeated expressions. This is upeated,

Saskatoon Sessions: Ardbeg Uigeadail

  Ardbeg Uigeadail – It’s pronounced oog-a-dal, because that’s what you say when you drink it. This is a Proper Islay – full bore smoke and fire, good for a cold wet night on the sea or just some random evening on the Prairies. Here’s what I thought: nose – beef jerky & smoked fish

Strathisla 12y Single Malt Scotch with Dan

Here’s one we’d been missing for a while, one that had escaped the LCBO before we had a chance to try it. Good old Cloud 9 in Alberta comes through again with Strathisla 12y single malt Scotch. The oldest continuously operating distillery in Scotland, this Speyside scotch is the backbone and principle whisky of the

Glen Grant 5y Single Malt Scotch with Dan & Goran

Goran found this bottle on a recent trip to The Continent (not this one, a different one) – Glen Grant 5y Single Malt Scotch! Scotch whisky from Italy! Glen Grant is a long standing Speyside distillery with the standard modern tale of merger and resale.  Originally started by bootlegging brothers, it passed to a nephew

Innis & Gunn Fired Oak Scotch Ale with Davey & Steve

This summer’s limited edition from Innis & Gunn: the Fired Oak Scotch Ale, named for the charred American oak barrels used in aging. Scotch ale sits in that end of beer towards strong ales & barley wines, sometimes called a wee heavy. This new offering tasted close to the original, which was nice; we’ve had a

Lombard Old Masters G Blend with Matt & Steve

Lombard’s Old Masters G Blended Scotch Whisky. This one is a little odd. Lombard’s website, and the postal code, tell us the company hails from the Isle of Man, which is not part of Scotland. It’s its own sort of thing, part of Britain but not the United Kingdom sort of weird geo-political… well, pedantry,

BattleScotch! Tomatin Spanish Sherry 12y v 15y v Oloroso 18y with Dan

BattleScotch! Tomatin Stillmen’s Choice Edition! Aw yeah aw yeah! It wouldn’t be a reasonably priced selection of delicious single malt scotches without us wringing one more post out of it. In the review of the 18y article, I went into some detail about why older scotch may not necessarily tasting “better”. If you’d like to read more

Tomatin Oloroso 18y with Dan

Tomatin Oloroso 18y, the last of the Tomatin Stillmen’s Choice sampler. Next week, we close Tomatin month with the obligatory BattleScotch! At 18y, this is in the old end of things we’ve tried at iScotch – this is only the 5th 18y in almost 300 posts, and none older than that. Maybe it’s because of

Tomatin Spanish Sherry 12y with Dan

Welcome to Tomatin Month at iScotch. What? you say. Is this some kind of sponsorship jam? Nope! Just found this sampler at the liquor store in the Calgary airport and Dan & I rattled off three reviews and a BattleScotch in an evening. So here we go! Up first we have the Tomatin Spanish Sherry

Gordon Graham’s Black Bottle with Dan, Goran, Steve, Brian & Matt

Steve’s first submission – actually, that’s not true. Steve provided the tiny bottles for the Glengoyne and Old Fettercairn reviews, but he wasn’t around to review… not that there would have been enough, them being tiny bottles and all, Gordon Graham’s Black Bottle was a good pick. It’s not often these days that I haven’t

Innis & Gunn Scotch Whisky Porter with Davey

We have reviewed a lot of Innis & Gunn beers and products up here at iScotch, and we only disliked two: Original in a can and the Bourbon Stout. The Scotch Whisky Porter makes post 16 in three years for this particular brand, which is kind of crazy. Should probably keep that in mind when I bitch about the gap between releases.

Teacher’s Highland Cream with Davey & Alex

It’s been a while since we did an actual scotch here at iScotch. Like, two months. We’ve really burned through a lot of what’s available nearby, going to have to start going further afield soon. But, in the meantime, here’s a cheap twisty blend from the bottom shelf at the LCBO – Teacher’s Highland Cream.

iScotch Scotch Slurry with Dan, Ryan & Julia

And now for something different. Not completely different, because 1) it’s still whisky and 2) I’m not quoting Monty Python. This is… relatively different while remaining on-topic for a website about booze. HOW relatively different, you ask? And why does it say ‘slurry’ in the title, you continue to ask? And do you really think

Whyte & Mackay Special Blended Scotch with Dan & Goran

A classic twisty blend, Whyte & Mackay is available in large quantities from most LCBOs. Launched in 1844 in Glasgow, the company has changed hands many times, coming to be partly owned by Diageo and is currently involved in an anti-trust investigation against Diageo’s massive scotch holdings. They are also associated with epic scotch brands

Cutty Sark Blended Scotch with Dan, Goran & Ryan

Given the nautical theme of this particular bottle we are legally required to do this entire review in Pirate – specifically a ruckas 1700s band ‘o pirates wit’ cutlass ‘n not 2000s scary band ‘o pirates wit’ RPGs ‘n AK47s. Ahoy!, did ye be knowin’ that t’ guy who invented t’ AK47 lived t’ be

Dewar’s White Label Blended Scotch with Dan, Ryan, Goran & Davey

Still deep in budget territory, we find the Dewar’s White Label. Wait, you say. Or… the you in my head anyway. Or, yous – there’s at least a million of you and you all wait with baited breath to read the next disrespectful, distrustful, pseudo-anti-corporate-but-still-buying-their-product-ful missive from iScotch’s secret base in the Andes mountains, where

Islay Mist 8y Blended Scotch with Dan, Goran, Ryan & Davey

Interesting. A cheap, twist-off blend… that also happens to be aged and specifically from Islay. Islay Mist 8y is produced by MacDuff International, the same people who gave us Grand MacNish – which has been referred to as “scrotch”. Less interesting, more worrisome. And a look at the back of the bottle points to its

The Black Grouse Blended Scotch with Dan, Goran & Ryan

A Christmas blend – thanks, Bengt! We’ve had a Grouse before, but I didn’t do much of a write-up because we had destroyed ourselves at the ScotchParty and I was still hungover. The Famous Grouse website details the growth of the Gloag family’s local grocery into a supplier of wine to the royal family to

Deanston Single Malt Scotch with Dan, Ryan, Goran & Bowick

Deanston. Haven’t heard or seen much of this brand since starting this blog, so I decided to grab it when it showed up at the LCBO. We do it so you don’t have to, and in this case you really shouldn’t. Deanston is owned by Burn Stewart Distillers, who also own Tobermory and Bunnahabhain, neither

Poit Dhubh 8y Blended Scotch with Dan, Goran, Ryan & Bowick

Poit Dhubh! Knowing Gaelic it’s probably pronounced ‘Greg’. This is the 8y old bro to the  Té Bheag so there’s not too much more to add from that article.  There are two other expressions at 12 and 21 years. Hopefully that’s a good sign that Gaelic Whisky will be around for a while. We did,

Té Bheag Nan Eilean Blended Scotch with Dan, Ryan & Goran

Two things upfront: 1) I think Goran may have let the cat out of the bag early on this one, calling it One of our favourite finds of 2013. Possibly the best taste-for-value around. — iscotch.ca (@iscotchdotca) November 22, 2013 on Twitter. So he’ll get burned with cigarettes for Ed Snowdon’ing our content. 2) It’s

ScotchParty Review #7 – The Famous Grouse with Dan, Jared & Bowick

So… yeah.. late at night. Not our best work. We had a few bail-outs and quitters. But to be fair they may have already been asleep. Shameful to say that we are going to have to revisit The Famous Grouse (warning, Flash splash page ahead, because it’s 2004) because the notes are incomplete. I will

Robert Burns Blended Scotch Whisky with Dan

Another visitor from New Brunswick, second to last of east coast interlopers. Nothing quite like attaching a national poet‘s name to your product to drag in the ex-pat dollars and drunk patriots’ pounds… Pretty fucking morose when you realize he drank himself to death.  It’s like Columbine Brand Bullets. Or Michael Hutchinson Glad Kitchen Catchers. 

Chivas Regal 12y Blended Scotch Whisky with Dan & Ryan

A fine blend. Chivas Regal 12y is the bottom of the line entry from Chivas, a blender that also offers 18y and 21y blended expressions. They appear to be based out of the Strathisla Distillery, which makes me think there’s a good reason for that, likely making up a significant portion of the blend. But

BattleScotch! McClelland’s Speyside v McClelland’s Islay with Dan, Ryan & Bowick

Our 100th post, so it’s time to do something new. In BattleScotch! we pit two or more bottles related by either obvious elements or esoteric justifications against each other in a rigorous taste-off. Not really, this is just an attempt at a straight forward answer to “Which would you buy?”  We’ll provide the raw data

McClelland’s Speyside Single Malt Scotch with Steph

Here we have McClelland’s Speyside, brother from another region to their Islay bottling. McClelland’s range is pretty reasonably priced, so it’s not too much of a hardship to give it a go. It’s not amazing spirits, but they tend to be decent examples of the region they’re taken from, this one obviously meant to showcase

Radical Road Canny Man Scotch Cask Aged Beer with Dan, Ryan & Goran

Picked up these two bottles of Radical Road Canny Man scotch whisky cask aged beers.  Radical Road’s web presence seems to be limited to a Twitter account, so I can’t give you much more info than that they’re from Toronto.  What scotch barrels they’ve aged their beer in would be good to know. As beer

Great King St Blended Scotch with Dan & Ryan

Great King St is another Compass Box whisky, like the Peat Monster we reviewed earlier in which I complain about being unable to order liquor to Ontario because our bureaucracy is too much of a pain in the ass for anyone to want to deal with. sigh… Compass Box call themselves a boutique whiskymaker and

Grant’s Family Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky with Dan, Ryan & Goran

Yeah… Grant’s.  To be fair, this is their entry scotch.  But it does set off a few specific warning bells: blend, twist off, website mentions mixing, etc.  Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with a blend, we just haven’t had a good one here yet.  Still haven’t. smell Dan – sulfur, peat, burnt sugar Simon