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LASC: Tree Dramming 2015

In 2015, the LA Scotch Club returned to the Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest for Tree Dramming, an event that I have been waiting for for the past year and half.

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I had an incredible time in 2013, and was bummed to miss it last year; I forget the reason why I could not make it. In any case, I made up for my absence this year by doubling my camping trip to 4 days and 3 nights. Last time, we stayed at Moses Gulch, which was nice and peaceful.

This time, we took over a big portion of the Hidden Falls campground, and it far surpassed my already high expectations. We set up camp at sites 5, 6, and 7. I stayed at 6, and think I had the best spot, which overlooked the Tule River.

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The sweet sound of flowing water 24 hours a day. It was exactly what I needed to help decompress and get away from city living.

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On the way up the mountain, we encountered cows on the road.

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Day 1. KP, FP, and I showed up before everyone else to secure and get our pick of the 8 sites. After a 4 hour drive, we did not do much except for set up our tents and make some dinner.

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For this trip, I contributed a Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso, a Laphroaig 10 year old, and a couple bottles from independent bottler Berry’s – a 20 year old Bruichaladdich and a 14 year old Dailuaine.

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On Day 2, we played around with slingshots, relaxed around the campsite, and awaited the arrival of a few more LA Scotch club friends.

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When they arrived, they generously added to the group’s whisky collection.

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On Day 3, the last of our group arrived. After everyone unpacked and set up shelter, we set off on a 3 mile hike that turned into a 7-8 mile hike! (we got lost)…..Anyways, that was quite an adventure.

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In the evening, we ate some amazing tacos, made s’mores, and drank Laphroaig cider (secret recipe).

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Day 4, before heading home, we revisited a few sites around the area, including The Hercules tree. We checked out a few other neighboring sites for potential future events but the consensus was that Hidden Falls is the place to be.

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This time around I packed a sweet camping chair and a headlamp. Both, great investments. Next year, I plan to pick up a portable shower and tent set up, and additional big lanterns for the main tent. Can’t wait. I may have to revisit before the year is up.

LASC: Compass Box Tasting with Robin Robinson

June 18, 2015 LA Scotch Club No Comments

A handful of the LA Scotch Club membership were treated to a great evening with Compass Box’s charismatic US Ambassador, Robin Robinson, who entertained us with funny stories, educational material, and tasty whisky!

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Every bottle was good. However, the standout of the night, for me, was Hedonism, a Scotch grain whisky that was easy sipping. In fact, it was the first “dead soldier” (empty bottle) of the night. It was sweet and had notes of vanilla, custard, oak, citrus rind, and coconut. It was an elegant dram.

On the other side of the spectrum, I revisited Peat Monster which I spent a significant time just enjoying the bold nose – peaty, smoky, and savory. The mouth feel was definitely enchanting.

Our group was also treated to the Lost Blend, Compass Box’s attempt to recreate Eleuthera, a previous bottling. It was complex with its mixture of sweetness and spicy notes. It was nice to try.

There was a fun story that accompanied the Oak Cross and the Spice Tree. Both, solid drams.

The Great King Street blends, I must say, are great value for the money. They are just good. The regular version was one of the first bottles of whisky that I kept around when I was intially getting into Scotch whisky.

LASC: Drinking Chivas with the Master of Scotch Rick Edwards

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At the LA Scotch Club’s recent Scotch and Cigar night in Pasadena, we were pleased to showcase a few incredible Chivas bottles, and hanging out with us, was none other than 2015’s Scotch Whisky Ambassador of the year, Rick Edwards – nice guy; he truly knows his stuff.

In total, we had 6 bottles: Chivas Regal 12 year, Extra, 18 year, 25 year, 21 year Royal Salute Sapphire Flagon, and Oldest and Finest. Paired with cigars and good friends, it was a great evening with little to no tasting notes getting written down.

So here we are, with samples of the 25 year, 21 year Royal Salute, and the Oldest and Finest.

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Having poured and letting them open up, the sweet aromas of amazing have filled the room….

Starting with the Award-winning 25 year old, it is a yummy blend of malt and grain whiskies. It has one of my favorite notes on the nose, marzipan. There is a lot going on as I twirl the glass – citrus, almonds, sweetness. It’s not highly alcoholic which makes prolonged inhalation a joy. In the mouth, it is quite a rich experience. The finish is smooth, though a bit short, but it’s forgivable considering everything else.

Moving to the rarer 21 year old Royal Salute and the discontinued Oldest and Finest, the nose of these whiskies are even better! – lighter and sweeter. The body (rich and creamy) and finish (short) are similar. Skipping to the chase, the Royal Salute is without a doubt the favorite of the bunch. They are both really sweet, with little oak. These are very accessible whiskies, meaning that casual drinkers and newbies would very much appreciate them.

 

LASC: Old School Scotch – Rarities from History

April 20, 2015 LA Scotch Club No Comments

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The other day, the LA Scotch Club got together at a member’s beautiful house and demolished 10 really old bottles of whisky, including:

  • 1967 Tamnavulin-Glenlivent (one of my two favorites of the night) bottled in the 1980s
  • Aberlour VOHM (Very Old Highland Malt) in a frosted bottle also from the 1980s
  • Suntory Royal Japanese Whisky from the 1970s (my second favorite of the night)
  • Glenforres 12 year old
  • Glenlivet 12 year old from the 1980s
  • 1965 Glen Mohr 32 year old bottled by Gordon and Macphail
  • 1973 Ledaig by Connoisseur’s Choice
  • 1966 Glenury Royal 23 year old bottled by Cadenhead’s
  • 1962 Knockando Extra Old Reserve
  • the infamous Loch Dhu 10 year old Black Malt. (Paired with a cigar, it was not bad!)

We also ate tacos. mmMm.