Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

And now for something completely different: Indian whisky

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

A representative of the Amrut distillery in India contacted me about a month ago. He told me that they want to start importing their whisky into the United States beginning in 2009. I have never tried their whisky before, but always wanted to. Jim Murray rates most of their expressions in the 90s, so they must be doing something right.

They sent me samples of three different expressions: their standard single malt, a limited edition cask-strength single malt, and a limited edition peated cask-strength single malt. I got them last week and am looking forward to trying them. Unfortunately, it will have to wait a few more days until I get over a nasty cold I picked up last week and am still trying to shake.

I’ll let you know what I think of the whiskies in the near future. If all goes well, they’ll be pouring their whiskies at WhiskyFest in 2009.

Irish whiskey article blunders continue

Monday, March 17th, 2008

As all the Irish whiskey companies clock in the overtime hours leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, so do the writers for newspapers and magazines around the country. Writers end up writing stories about Irish whiskey and know very little about the subject, which leads to errors in the articles that are published.

Most of the times, the mistakes are minor and I ignore them. If the author is smart, he or she will quote an expert who knows whiskey.

So it was with the author in Wisconcin’s Capital Times newspaper today, in an article titled, “Here’s what sets Irish whiskeys apart.” The expert the author quotes is David Drake, Bar Manager of Madison’s Brocach Irish Pub & Restaurant and “resident Irish whiskey expert.” I guess the author was using the “Irish whiskey expert” phrase loosely.  I will include only one paragraph of the article:

“Scotch whiskys are fermented over peat fires in open-top casks, which enables the peat smoke to permeate the liquid,” says Drake. “Irish whiskeys, most of which are blends, are always distilled in closed containers. This keeps out the flavor of smoke, and a triple-distillation process adds greater smoothness and refinement to Irish whiskeys.”

This kind of writing only alienates the consumer. When that happens, nobody wins. If you would like to be entertained by the whole story, here’s the link:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

Chieftain’s Choice whisky finally coming to the U.S.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

For the first time, Chieftain’s Choice whisky is heading to the U.S. This is from the importer, Steve Lipp, who used to import Duncan Taylor whiskies:

“I will be introducing to the US Market for the first time, Cheiftain’s Choice Range of Single Malts. The first consignment which includes Bottling’s from the following 11 Distilleries, will be arriving February 2008. Any interested Wholesalers or Retailers can contact me on at:

Longmorn 1994 – 13 Year Old
Linkwood 1991 – 16 Year Old
chieftans.jpgCaol Ila 1990 – 17 Year Old
Glen Moray 1989 – 18 Year Old
Glencadam 1985 – 22 Year Old
Port Ellen 1982 – 25 Year Old
Allt A Bhainne 1977 – 30 Year Old
Springbank 1968 – 39 Year Old
Benrinnes – 10 Year Old – Tokay wood finish.
Dalmore – 11 Year Old – Madeira wood finish.
Glenrothes – 12 Year Old Burgundy wood finish.”

For those of you not familiar with the brand, here’s some background (from their press release):

A collection of exceptional single malt Scotch Whiskies bottled for the connoisseur by Ian Macleod Distillers who, since 1936, have amassed unrivalled cask stocks from Scotland’s many distilleries

From our enviable stocks we only select a limited number of single malts to bottle under the Chieftain’s label
Bottled at 43% Vol for a smoother and fuller traditional taste

Rare malts, some from closed or mothballed distilleries

Some are further “finished” in the best quality sherry, port or rum casks, and some are bottled at natural strength all adding extra character, body, flavour and complexity

Bottled at up to 50 years old

The collection’s hallmark is that each bottling meets the exacting criteria of our selection panel. It must be fit for a King, a Leader: in the Celtic world, A CHIEFTAIN.

At least some companies think it’s worth bottling at 75cl and importing to the U.S.

So, how am I doing?

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Since I’ve been doing this blog for about a month now, I thought it would be a good time to get your feedback on how I’m doing so far.

So, if you get a moment, email me and tell me:

1) what you like

2) what I can do to improve

You can send your thoughts to:


What does John Know? enhancements

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I have received some excellent feedback from you on my new blog, and I have responded accordingly by making the following enhancements to the site. They are:

  • Added RSS capability
  • Added search capability
  • Moved my recent postings to the right-hand column for easier viewing
  • Created a search capability by category (e.g., New Releases)
  • Created a search capability by month (e.g., September)

(Yes, we have been very busy the past few days working on this.) All this is designed to make your navigating quicker and more convenient. Thank you for your excellent suggestions!