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Bourbon and Spirits

A Rich Pour 27: Oban – An Ancient Place

ARP 27.1Join Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) as he profiles one of Scotland’s quaintest malt whisky sites – the Oban Distillery.

Monday January 19, 2015

Oban (which is Gaelic for “little bay of caves”) is an attractive western Scotland community boasting a degree of frenzied activity, and a number of places of interest, that belie its relatively modest population. The town, known as the Gateway to the Isles, also plays a prominent role as a ferry terminus owing to its central coastal location and naturally sheltered bay.

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Nostalgia - Gramps' Bar

I was born on Long Island, but my family moved to the Syracuse area in 1977 when I was seven years old. Because most of our relatives still lived on Long Island, my family would make several return trips a year, and we always stayed at Grams' and Gramps' house.

Bar-1Grams and Gramps, my father's parents, owned a small Cape Cod that was worth way more than it should have been. Although the house was small, everything was always kept in immaculate condition - especially the landscaping.

There wasn’t a lot for us kids to do there, except to watch movies on Gramps' new Beta machine, which was followed by a VHS player. Gramps loved movies, a trait that certainly rubbed off on me.

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A Rich Pour 25: Tumblers & Tasting Glasses

So many whiskies… So many types of glasses… Is there a secret to matching one with the other to best effect? Join Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) as he investigates how a glass can influence appreciation of the whisky poured into it.

ARP 25 - Intro

Monday September 29, 2014

When I was a youngster, many of the adults I knew drank hard liquor simply because that was the sociable thing to do. Those who were into whisky (or whiskey – I’ll stick to the term ‘whisky’ for the sake of simplicity) tended to pour generously, adding ice, soda water or whatever else struck their fancy – probably to mellow out that ‘hard’ aspect. ‘Neat’ was a concept still in its infancy, and cut-crystal highball and rocks glasses were de rigueur.

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Holiday Spirit Whiskies

Holiday Spirits 1Monday December 8, 2014

Whiskies provide tasty treats at any time of the year. But when the Holiday Season arrives, the temptation is always there to sample some of the ‘really good stuff’. And while such libations can cost an arm and a leg, they don’t necessarily have to. Here’s a personal selection of delectable whiskies, most of them fairly widely available, ranging from the admittedly expensive to the – thankfully – more affordable. The selection covers a broad range of styles. Of course, you’re not restricted to enjoying these whiskies only during the Holiday Season!

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A Rich Pour 23: The Power of Peat

ARP 23.1

What on earth does this clump
of soil have to do with whisky?

What lies behind the smoky quality of certain whiskies? Join Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) as he reveals the essential role peat plays in contributing such distinctive aromas and flavours to these spirits.

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A Rich Pour 26: Water & Whisky – An Uneasy Alliance

ARP 26.1Is it worthwhile to add water to your whisky? Join Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) as he delves into the pros and cons of whisky dilution.

Monday October 27, 2014

Water and whisky can make for difficult partners – never mind the fact that the word whisky derives from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha, meaning ‘water of life’.

You’d think the two would be inseparable. After all, how many times are the virtues of a distillery’s water supply extolled by enterprising marketing agents? Be it Loch Luminous, Bright’s Burn or Waydown’s Well, some whisky industry spokesperson is sure to exclaim, “Ah yes, there’s a magical quality to our water.” Who knows? The distillery probably even hired a man with a divining rod to search out the source. All of this hyperbole hails from the B.S. (before sales) era, of course.

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A Rich Pour 22: Golden Oldies

ARP 22.1
Why is it that many aficionados of Scotch whisky seem so drawn to older spirits? The prestige factor? The allure of the rare? Or could it actually be the taste of the liquor lying inside those expensive bottles? Join Cigar Weekly Managing Editor Doug Kuebler (jazznut) as he looks behind the cachet and cost of these venerable spirits.
Whiskies are, to an extent, like people. Some age quite gracefully and some, well… We’ll leave that less than attractive scenario to the darker side of your imagination for the moment. All of which begs the question, “How is the consumer to know whether an older whisky is really worth its asking price?” The answer isn’t a simple one.
Scotch whisky does ‘breathe’ as it matures in oak casks. And while that ‘breathing’ mellows and beneficially transforms the spirit, it can just as easily strip the liquor of its liveliness. Year by year, alcohol and water vapours escape from the barrels as outside air penetrates into the head spaces of the casks, rendering the resting whisky less potent.

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