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Holiday Season the Scotch Way

Holiday Season the Scotch Way 1As the Holiday Season nears, Scotch lovers are faced with something of a challenge – how to offer their guests with more sensitive palates quality malt Scotch whiskies that won’t offend, but that will also satisfy the demands of more experienced imbibers who might be gathered.

Yes… There are people who appreciate a good malt but just can’t get their taste buds around drams of Lagavulin or Laphroaig!

Fortunately, when it comes to meeting this challenge, there’s true ‘gold’ to be had. Let me guide you to a small number of distilleries, provide you with a few (hopefully) interesting facts about them, and profile some of their whiskies. These Scotches are sure to please. And, with one exception, they won't bust the bank.

Time to read on, and taste!

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A Rich Pour 31: Heavy Hitters

Monday November 2, 2015

A Rich Pour 31.1Join Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) as he showcases a personal selection of high-proof malt whiskies from seven renowned distilleries in Scotland.

This time around, I’m passing right by the mass of many excellent standard-strength malt Scotch whiskies available in the marketplace, and heading directly for a few exceptional, straight-from-the-cask (or as close to it as makes no difference) ‘beasties’.

It’s perhaps not surprising that six of the malts profiled here emanate from the Isle of Islay, which is not exactly known for holding back when it comes to the intense style of its whiskies. Add one more from the Isle of Skye and another from the Highlands, and we’re ready to dive into eight truly exciting drams.

Be forewarned, however. While these Scotches will fill every corner of your palate and bring considerable warmth in the process, some may also lighten your finances a tad. But never mind that. Bite the bullet and sip the nectar!

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A Rich Pour 30: The Irish Are Coming!

ARP 30.1Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) takes a look at the re-emergence of Irish whiskies in the world spirits marketplace.

June 8, 2015

There was a time, during the 20th Century, when it seemed as if Ireland’s whiskey was ‘down for the ten count’. The Irish spirit’s major competitor, the Scotch whisky industry, had not only better managed to weather two World Wars, American Prohibition, distillery closures and brutal rationalization. It had also been bold enough to purchase and then shut down (through the huge Distillers Company Limited) a number of Irish grain distilling sites. Gone were the ‘glory days’ of the 1800s, when Irish whiskey had maintained a reputation for high quality and large-scale production.

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A Rich Pour 29: Getting into Whisky (or Whiskey)

ARP 29.1Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) opens the ‘whisky door’ for those new to the delights of this wonderful spirit.

May 4, 2015

The road to and through whisky (or whiskey, which is how most Irish and American distillers prefer to spell the word) is a voyage of discovery. For many, the journey never ends. Still, that first encounter with the ‘water of life’ can easily turn into an intimidating one – especially if prior experiences with alcoholic beverages have been limited to shooters, coolers and cocktails. As the late Michael Jackson, perhaps the preeminent beer and whisky writer of his time, once stated, “Some spirits are timorous, others feel the need for disguise, but whisky is bold and proud… It is not suitable for people who are afraid of their own shadow.” If you’re about to hit the whisky road, let me help you make that initial encounter the first of many pleasurable ones.

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From The CW Vault – Bourbon & Canadian Whisky Come of Age

CW Vault - ARP 16 Revised 1A Rich Pour 16: Measuring Up – Bourbon & Canadian Whisky Come of Age

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This article was originally published January 26, 2009 in the Cigar Weekly Magazine. It has been revised and updated.

One of the positive legacies of the period from Prohibition to the present day has to be the fascination of Americans and Canadians with each other’s whiskies. Canadian Club and Crown Royal owe much of their success to an incredibly receptive drinking clientele in the United States, its desires rooted in an era of efficacious smuggling channels and speakeasies. And although the Canadian market for Bourbon may not match its more southerly counterpart, countless measures of the American spirit have still been served in homes and watering holes from Vancouver to Saint John’s to White Horse, never mind occasionally incorporated into domestic liquors. The cachet of a beverage made elsewhere seems destined to please eager palates and blenders alike.

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