Distilled Crazy After All These Years - Whisky/Whiskey Tasting Redux
posted January 28, 2014 9:18 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat March 1 at 5:00 PM, Greg_Ace's house
4414 Southeast Center Street, Portland, OR, USA (Map & Directions)
Three years after our last (very successful) whisky-centric meetup/potluck, we're doing another one at my house! Bring a bottle of something you either like, or haven't tried but are curious about; we take little tastes of each, we compare and contrast, we all go home a little happier, wiser, and tipsier. Obviously, good liquor can be pricy, so if you can't afford an expensive (or even mid-priced) bottle that doesn't mean you aren't welcome! Booze is appreciated, and bringing a bit of food is encouraged, but come one come all. See below for food-pairing suggestions, also please be sure to update the spreadsheet with what food and drink you plan to bring.
Rejected titles:
Part II - The Dram-ening
Han's Second Shot
Distilled Life With Woodcask

Previously we opened up the range of liquors to include bourbon, rye, etc.; we can decide if we want to do the same again, or restrict it to scotch and Irish entries only this time around. If you aren't sure what to bring, here's a few websites that list some well-regarded "budget" single malts, with helpful descriptions of each:




scotchnoob.com again

And for further reference, a scotch flavor chart of where some example brands fall on a rich/light/smoky/delicate x/y plot.

Food pairing seemed to work well last time (and helps absorb some of the alcohol, which is good since the objective is "tasting" rather than "getting utterly sloshed"). Basic suggestions: Coffee, dark chocolate, shortbread/non-flavored crackers (as palate-cleansers between rounds), strongly-flavored desserts, savory/smoked meats, seafood, various sharp or hard cheeses, olives, tapenades on crackers or dense dark breads, baked/roasted veggies, mushrooms, or pumpkin seeds, smoked almonds, mixed nuts. In other words, foods that will stand up to the strong flavors of most scotches. Easy on the garlic, though, apparently it tends to clash with scotch. Google "scotch food pairing" for more ideas, or see this site.

Last time I printed out tasting sheets to use in formal comparisons (color, smell, flavor, aftertaste, etc.), but the idea never ended up getting much traction. We can not bother with that, or aim at being more organized for this meetup. It was so much fun last time anyway that I don't care which avenue we choose, but it is a choice.
posted by Greg_Ace to Meetup (84 comments total)

I got as far as "whiskey tasting" and I hit yes.

Assuming the date works for me, I'd be happy to bring food and booze. I'd like to try rye, but scotch is always interesting, too.
posted by Renegade Duck at 10:39 PM on January 28, 2014

I like whiskey and scotch and rye and bourbon! I can cook! I will be there if at all possible!
posted by Kpele at 7:57 AM on January 29, 2014

Depending on the when, I'm a maybe. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are usually good for me. Other days, not so much.
posted by dersins at 8:07 AM on January 29, 2014

Yeah, I was thinking a Friday or Saturday night. We just need to decide which one...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:13 AM on January 29, 2014

yes i said yes i will yes
posted by cortex at 8:29 AM on January 29, 2014

Maybe someone can find a pre-recipe-change bottle of Ardbeg and we can compare how drastically less peaty it is now.
posted by mimo at 8:51 AM on January 29, 2014

Rereading the thread for the previous meetup, I see that I had only tried Scotch one before then. My, how times have changed! Perhaps I will reprise bacon-wrapped dates for the next occasion.
posted by mimo at 8:58 AM on January 29, 2014

I am in and will try to be mysteriously in a macintosh.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:39 AM on January 29, 2014

Saturday February 22 and Saturday March 8 are definitely out for me.

Other Fridays and Saturdays in February & early March should be okay though!
posted by Kpele at 9:41 AM on January 29, 2014

Definitely interested, if the date works out for me.

I'd appreciate suggestions on what whiskey I could bring. Pendleton's my fav, but that's probably too boring? I'm sure other people have whiskey wishlists. :)
posted by homodachi at 10:18 AM on January 29, 2014

I might be in, if I can bring my relatively well-behaved 3-year-old and spouse. We can bring (new) Ardbeg and Lagavulin. (This is primarily of interest to the spouse, as I think all scotch smells and tastes like jet fuel. But I'd love to hang with y'all for a little while.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:53 AM on January 29, 2014

rabbitrabbit - My house isn't technically kid-proof (been a while since I've had to worry about that), but it should be ok as long as at least a few of us can agree to keep half an eye out for potential trouble. I think we're all pretty kid-tolerant, these meetups don't tend to get very crazy, and I'm fine with it...if someone isn't fine with it, speak up.

homodachi - Bring that if you like, and you can explain why it's your favorite! We aren't terrible snobs about this, just enthusiastic amateurs, so have no fears about "boring" us.

Possible dates at this point: Feb. 8th or 15th, Mar. 1st or 15th. Of those, my first choice would be March 1st, second choice February 15th (both Saturdays).
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2014

Game day is happening Feb. 16th. Not absolutely opposed to two meetups in two days (especially because there will not be 100% attendance overlap), but I would vote for March 1st of those two days.
posted by mimo at 3:32 PM on January 29, 2014


Presidents day weekend is out for me.
posted by vespabelle at 4:02 PM on January 29, 2014

I too vote against Feb 15th! Any other date will work for me, though.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:22 PM on January 29, 2014

OK, so the weekend of Feb. 15th is out. Feb. 8 is just over a week away, which might be too soon? I assume. So we're back to Mar. 1st or 15th. Does anyone have a problem with March 1st?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:46 PM on January 29, 2014

If it's Scotch, I would bring Talisker. I would be interested in trying some non-peety Scotches, though.

OR, if others are up for it, I could get some Laphroaig 'cause the last time I tried it I was 21 and COULDN'T TASTE THE SMOKE.

Any of those dates would probably work for me, I think.
posted by Renegade Duck at 10:11 PM on January 29, 2014

I'm going to bring Fireball.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:07 AM on January 30, 2014

I don't think a macintosh (mysterious or otherwise) is going to protect you from that stuff.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:43 AM on January 30, 2014

The littlest rabbitrabbit did fine (it seemed?) at vespabelle's thing, I'm sure he'd be fine at this. Similar situation, maybe less people/ less coming and going.
posted by Secretariat at 3:43 PM on January 30, 2014

Would it be a bad pairing if I brought doughnuts?
posted by Secretariat at 3:45 PM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not if they're chocolate. Chocolate can do no wrong.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:52 PM on January 30, 2014

I was just talking in the SOTU thread how we need to have Biden for president so we can have a whiskey and doughnut society.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:09 PM on January 30, 2014

Very hopeful I can make it; the March dates Greg_Ace mentions work for me. Oh single malt scotch, I love you so, and I nurse my one gift bottle of Glenmorangie from Christmas to Christmas, but it would be glorious to be able to taste other varieties without, like, dipping into my 401(k) to buy several bottles.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:22 PM on January 31, 2014

That is indeed the most glorious and magical idea!

March 1st, yea or nay? Going once...
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:57 PM on January 31, 2014

P.S. - Pourin' one for the homies...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:49 PM on January 31, 2014

posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:50 PM on January 31, 2014

The first of March is go?
posted by fiercekitten at 9:33 AM on February 2, 2014

It's looking like it, but I'll wait one more day before formalizing it. If anyone has an objection to Saturday March 1 (say, around 5pm?), let your voice be heard now!
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:31 PM on February 2, 2014

Now formalized. Choices remaining to be hammered out:

- Strictly scotch and Irish whiskeys this time, or do we want to include bourbons and so on again?

- Should we do a "what food/liquor everyone's bringing" spreadsheet?

- Does anyone care about the tasting sheets (see the "more inside" text)?
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:25 PM on February 3, 2014


#1: No strong opinion, except that I'd be fine with excluding white dog.

#2: I love spreadsheets! And I think it's extra useful for shopping for this type of meetup, so that we can try to maximize the number of whiskeys available for tasting.

#3: I thought I would find tasting sheets useful at the previous meetup, but I forgot to fill any of them out. So... I guess my thought is that I'm in if others are in, it could be a good way to remember favorites. But don't print them on my account, cause if the meetup isn't heading towards that format (which is totally fine!), I'll probably forget to use them.
posted by Secretariat at 4:07 PM on February 3, 2014

I'm slightly but not strongly in favor of limiting the choices to scotch/Irish whiskey, just to maintain a bit of focus; but I don't want to exclude anyone who prefers bourbon. In other words, bring whatever you want to, feel free to spit on the mat and call the cat a bastard.

A food and beverage spreadsheet has been started. Edit early and often!

I'm pretty sure I still have the "tasting sheet" document saved somewhere and can print one or more out on a whim, so I guess if people are interested they can just let me know ad hoc and I won't fret about it beforehand.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:16 PM on February 3, 2014

P. S. I don't actually have a cat
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:21 PM on February 3, 2014

I can't seem to edit the spreadsheet. But I think I'll bring something salmon-y as a snack and will be singing Pete Seeger's Rye Whiskey all night long while wearing a tartan skirt.
posted by vespabelle at 1:16 PM on February 4, 2014

Whoops! Thanks for the heads-up, spreadsheet settings changed to allow edits.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:32 PM on February 4, 2014

I promise not to bring white dog this time. I'm cool with limiting it to Isle whiskeys, even if that is going to prevent me from bringing Fireball or Log Cabin.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:24 PM on February 4, 2014

I'm searching this list and cross referencing with the OLCC website. I got excited when I saw the highly rated Yamazaki was available close by. But then I looked at the $840 price tag! sadly, for good times, we will not be having Suntory times.
posted by vespabelle at 9:44 AM on February 5, 2014

That's a good point. For those who aren't sure what to bring, here's a few websites that list some well-regarded "budget" single malts, with helpful descriptions of each:




posted by Greg_Ace at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2014

So, is somebody bringing Drambuie? That might be a nice accompaniment.
posted by Renegade Duck at 11:53 AM on February 5, 2014

Also, here's a scotch flavor chart that shows where quite a few brands fall on a smoky/delicate/rich/light x/y plot.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm quite intrigued by the term 'Peat Monsters' in the lower left corner. I wonder what a bottle of Bruichladdich Octomore goes for. Considered to be 'the most heavily peated single malt whisky in the world'
posted by mimo at 4:44 PM on February 5, 2014

Assuming you could find it, it's a bit spendy.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:45 PM on February 5, 2014

We may buck the trend yet again and bring bourbon and/or wine.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:46 AM on February 6, 2014

it's a bit spendy

I suspected as much. Maybe someday I'll find a place to buy a pour for a special occasion.

"Long, smoky finish—like licking the walls of a peat-infused kiln." That's quite a review.

Now also on the lookout for Ardbeg Supernova.

I'm surprised I can get to that site from work. They are usually blocked.
posted by mimo at 8:35 AM on February 6, 2014

fiercekitten, you could bring port again.

I keep meaning to start exploring port. Now would be an especially good time to do that.
posted by mimo at 8:37 AM on February 6, 2014

Now? Are you kidding?? The water must be freezing!

Oh...not that kind of port...
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:12 AM on February 6, 2014

Now also on the lookout for Ardbeg Supernova

I'm actually curious about Ardbeg Uigeadail, from the upper left corner of the chart I linked to.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:20 AM on February 6, 2014

I may bring a tawny port, since that's brownish like whisky. Any recommendations?
posted by fiercekitten at 8:01 PM on February 9, 2014

Check out the section "Types of Tawny Port to Include on a Wine List" on this web page for some general guidelines.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:46 PM on February 10, 2014

So, is somebody bringing Drambuie? That might be a nice accompaniment.

I really like Rusty Nails, a lot, so long as the scotch isn't too nice that you feel like you're wasting it in a cocktail. So I for one would welcome drambuie, though I know it isn't everyone's thing.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:17 PM on February 10, 2014

yes i said yes i will yes

I guess quoting Joyce is appropriate for a whiskey meetup...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:07 PM on February 14, 2014

I guess quoting Joyce is appropriate for a whiskey meetup...

See, I was trying to run with the Ulysses reference thing with the whole mysteriously in a macintosh bit, but maybe I should have gone with "I will be there and ready to fart on someone's face, sexually."
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:13 AM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Aw shoot, sorry I missed your reference, Lutoslawski. I've never read any Joyce, I just happened to be familiar with the "yes I said" reference, and thought displaying my teensy slice of knowledge would make me look erudite...but you have caught me out and exposed my ignorance.

Damn - now I need a whiskey to get over my shame.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:01 PM on February 19, 2014

Also, I don't think sexual farting would make for a kid-friendly meetup.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:01 PM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

But all other types of farting would!
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:33 PM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Fair point.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:09 PM on February 19, 2014

Damn - now I need a whiskey to get over my shame.

Story of my life Greg.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:38 PM on February 19, 2014

Yeah, me too. We should do a whiskey meetup someda-- ...oh, right.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:21 PM on February 19, 2014

In case folks are not aware of it, OLCC has a pretty decent online search here-- you can search for specific products and see who (if anyone) has what you're looking for. Pearl Specialty supplies a lot of downtown bars, and has a very good selection of booze, but 11th Avenue Liquor (SE 11th & Hawthorne) and Uptown Liquor (NW 23rd) also have better-than-average choices available.
posted by Kpele at 3:44 PM on February 20, 2014

And Tenth Avenue Liquor claims to have the "best selection of fine scotch, bourbon, and handcrafted whiskey in the entire state of Oregon".
posted by Kpele at 3:46 PM on February 20, 2014

I don't know if many people live in or near Sellwood, but I just visited Westmoreland Liquor (Yelp page) and can confirm that it has a decent selection of really interesting scotches, including a few peat-monster-ish ones.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:55 PM on February 22, 2014

Coming down to the last week...don't forget to review and update the spreadsheet with any food/whisk(e)y you're planning to bring!
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:25 PM on February 23, 2014

So I've actually got to go to Iowa this week and won't be back in time for this meet-up, which gives me many sads.

Everyone must do shots in my honor.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:27 PM on February 24, 2014

Sorry to hear it. Well then, we'll just have to have a third one some day, right?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:12 PM on February 24, 2014

posted by cortex at 5:01 PM on February 24, 2014

posted by nickthetourist at 8:16 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Any doughnut requests? I'm planning on getting Voodoo- should I pick up some of their vegan donuts too? I can try to skew the doughnut box contents towards chocolate, if that's preferable.
posted by Secretariat at 12:57 PM on February 27, 2014

Vegan doughnuts would be good.
posted by nickthetourist at 10:45 PM on February 27, 2014

My salmon plan isn't going to work, so I'll be bringing burgundy mushrooms.
posted by vespabelle at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2014

I know this is a bit last-minute, but I just realized that if all 14 "yes" people plus some of the "maybe" people show up, I might be short a few chairs. If someone can easily bring a few folding chairs that would be nice.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:14 PM on February 28, 2014

Sure, we can bring some extra chairs. How many would you like?
posted by Sibrax at 8:31 AM on March 1, 2014

Maybe, six? I think that would cover it. Thanks!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:25 AM on March 1, 2014

Roger that.
posted by Sibrax at 11:08 AM on March 1, 2014

Oh man, I talked myself out of buying Caol Ila yesterday because I thought someone else was for reasons that I think exist entirely inside my head. We're bringing Macallan 10 instead, which is a perfectly nice whisky too.
posted by cortex at 11:29 AM on March 1, 2014

I did have Caol Ila listed at first, since I'd gotten a bottle a few weeks ago. But now there's not a lot left - maybe a quarter of the bottle - so I got Bunnahabhain as well and changed the spreadsheet. I'll go ahead and set both out. It's all good!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:50 AM on March 1, 2014

Ah, then I'm not crazy! I'm excited about the Bunnahabhain in any case, never had it.
posted by cortex at 1:20 PM on March 1, 2014

I bought caol ila yesterday!! Freaky.
posted by vespabelle at 3:21 PM on March 1, 2014

It's good stuff - you won't regret it!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:46 PM on March 1, 2014

Well, drat, the cake took longer than expected. I'll probably be there a bit after 6.
posted by Renegade Duck at 4:57 PM on March 1, 2014

Big donut line! We'll be a bit yet.
posted by cortex at 5:08 PM on March 1, 2014

Ok, we might have too many doughnuts. I hope you're hungry!
posted by Secretariat at 5:35 PM on March 1, 2014

Double drat. Due to my bad planning, I'm not going to make it. Sorry! Hopefully there are plenty of doughnuts!
posted by Renegade Duck at 6:43 PM on March 1, 2014

Doughnuts to spare!
posted by Secretariat at 9:49 PM on March 1, 2014

Sorry we missed you, Renegade Duck, but there will be other meetups...better luck next time!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:53 PM on March 1, 2014

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