Buckle in for this week’s Whisk(e)y Wednesday post because we are in for a doozy. First off, I would like to thank everyone that bought tickets and came out to our Buffalo Trace 6 Millionth Barrel Event last Friday. We raised a lotl of money for a great group, and had a blast in the process. It was awesome to see so many familiar faces, and even some new ones, and I really appreciated getting an opportunity to talk about nothing but whisk(e)y for a few hours.
Second, we received a new single barrel from Knob Creek that we picked on our trip back in March. It took an unbelievably long time for this pick to arrive, and we’re still waiting not so patiently for our first ever single barrel rye pick to arrive. The newest Knob Creek Bourbon pick will be replacing our Old Forester Single Barrel as the base for our 3.Old Fashioned, and we anticipate that you will enjoy this one just as much. Buying these bottles will also be the quickest way to boost your spot on our allocation list. We will be receiving this year’s allocated bourbons the first week of December, so you don’t have much time left to climb your way up the list for such items as George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, and of course, Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year. Rounding out the remainder of our new whiskies this week includes the return of Blood Oath Pact #5, Kentucky Owl Confiscated Bourbon, and Jack Daniel’s Gold No. 27. We also received some RC6 from Maker’s Mark, and we have that available by the pour in the 3.0 Cocktail Bar. We will continue to keep you in the loop as more of the rare and tough to find whiskies begin to grace our shelves. For those of you looking for Weller Special Reserve and Blanton’s, continue to stop in on Friday mornings as anything that we receive will go out for sale to the general public beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Fridays. This week is the one exception as the holiday has pushed our load schedule up a few days.
Expanding on our Home Bar Building Series, this week emphasizes lightly peated Single Malt Scotches that everyone should consider having around. Much like the blends, these whiskies have enough smoky flavor for you to know that it is Scotch, but they don’t taste like you are drinking liquid campfire. Usually a bit higher in price, single malts must be distilled by a single distillery and be made purely from malted barley. To fully understand single malts, we must first understand the malting process which is quite simple. Barley grain is soaked in water for a period of time, usually about two days, and then is spread out flat in a kiln so that it can dry. To assist in this drying process, peat moss is burned and the heat/smoke from this burning dries the barley and stops the germination process so that the grain doesn’t completely consume itself. What has happened in this situation is that the starches in the barley have been converted to sugars, allowing for alcohol to be produced once the mashing process begins. When the peat moss is burned, a layer of smoke coats the outside of the grain and this layer is retained into the mashing process. As the white dog is created, this smoky characteristic stays with the clear distillate and ultimately finds its way into the finished product.The amount of peat used plays a big factor in how smoky the single malt tastes. Because single malts are made in a pot still instead of a column still, the finer impurities and nuances of that smoke are retained more, thus why blended Scotches, which are column distilled, don’t contain as much smoky flavor. With the whiskies we will discuss this week, you will notice some smoky flavor, but you will also pick up on plenty of citrus sweetness and even a creamy, buttery texture and flavor.
Leading our whiskies of emphasis off will be Glenlivet 12 Year. One of the most recognizable and popular single malts in the world, Glenlivet 12 Year spends time in both new oak, and used American oak barrels to give it smooth flavor with plenty of fruit notes. A beautiful golden hue, this is a whisky sippers dream as it is smooth and creamy with a long lingering finish with hints of pineapple, orange peel, and a touch of smokiness. Priced at $45.99, this whisky isn’t much more expensive than many blends, but it carries the distinction of being a single malt while providing more robust flavors and smoothness than most blends.
Our second whisky is Glenfiddich Project XX. The second in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series line, 20 different Master Distillers all worked together to create a unique single malt, and this whisky is truly one of a kind. Plenty of wood characteristics shine through in this expression, but hidden within are layers of toffee, dark chocolate, and espresso. A fantastic option to have in a home bar to show off the intricacies possible with single malt whiskies, and priced very affordably at $47.99.
Next comes a new release from Aberlour in the form of Aberlour Casg Annamh. Aged in three unique casks including ex sherry casks, and two variations of American oak casks, this whisky carries notes of burnt raisins, golden grahams and cinnamon. Perfect for a colder night in front of a fire, this will impress your house guests and only lead you to look forward to future releases in this new line of Aberlour products. With no true age statement, it carries a price tag of $65.99 placing it price point wise in between their 12 year and 16 year expressions.
Fairly new to the Sioux Falls market is Mortlach 16 Year Single Malt. The great thing about Mortlach is that every whisky in their line has been aged in ex sherry casks, providing you with rich dark fruit sweetness, and a lingering finish that is loaded with ginger and raisin. Priced very competitively for a 16 year expression at only $89.99, this is a great pick up for special occasions or as a gift for the single malt lover in your life.
Our final whisky of emphasis this week will be Glenmorangie’s Nectar d’Or. I tell this story every time I introduce someone to this whisky because I think stories are what make things special. About 6 months into me working at JJ’s I found myself at a bar in Omaha with my now fiancée, Kenadi. I had been drinking bourbon for my first two pours and got to chatting with the bartender about what her favorite whiskies were. She told me that while she enjoyed American stuff, nothing quenched her thirst like a good Scotch. When I asked her what her go to was, she offered me a light golden pour that almost didn’t look like whisky. When I took a drink I couldn’t help but be wowed. I inquired about what it was in my glass and she presented me with a bottle of Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or and quickly filled me in on why I enjoyed it so much. It hit me with sweet notes of lemon and orange, and although it was served neat, it was cool on the tongue and perfect for the 85 degree day that we were experiencing. She shared that it had been aged in French Sauternes barrels, a sweet white French dessert wine that was a delicacy few got to ever enjoy. Since that day, this has been my go to any time I find myself craving a Scotch pour. Priced at $87.99, it comes in a beautiful box that looks great on the top shelf of your home bar and will certainly draw the attention of anyone that gets to peak at your personal stash.
That’s it for this week. Try these whiskies or any of the other 300+ whiskies on our back bar in a flight of four for half price, and if you like one, pick up a bottle for yourself or the whisk(e)y lover in your life on the retail side. As always, all tips made during Whisk(e)y Wednesday with Zac will be donated to charity. This months charity is Combat Veterans Motorcycle Associations which provides support for veterans of our Armed Forces in the Sioux Empire.