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Hibiki Japanese Harmony

February 5, 2016 Blended Scotch, Drinking No Comments

My buddy picked this up for me at the Duty Free store and I really enjoyed it. It’s floral and has a relatively low ABV, making it perfect to drink neat. I imagine this would go well with butter cookies.


I like what Dave Broom had to say about this: “It is approachable, gentle, complex, and long, with typical Hibiki fruitiness: strawberry, pineapple, peach, cherry blossom, balanced by delicate oak, and a palate which has a gentle roundness. It’s a master class in blending. It’s also a master class in how great NAS should be.”

LASC: Balvenie Tun Deconstruction

The LA Scotch Club was treated to a special tasting with Balvenie’s Ambassador, Lorne Cousin. It was a lot of fun.


That Cask 15916 (1970, 40.9% ABV) was my favorite dram of the night.

LASC: Drinking Chivas with the Master of Scotch Rick Edwards


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.


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.


Hot Toddy Shots by Gabriella Mlynarczyk of Ink

December 17, 2013 Islay, Single Malt Scotch No Comments

Copy + Paste:

Hot Toddy Shots by Gabriella Mlynarczyk of Ink

4 packets (28 grams) of Knox unflavored gelatin
1 cup Lagavulin Islay scotch
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup of honey syrup (1:1 ratio honey to hot water that has been infused with cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger overnight then strained)
1/2 cup ginger syrup (1:1 ratio ginger juice to cane sugar)
1/2 cup St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram liqueur or Drambuie
1/2 teaspoon cracked fresh black pepper

1. Pour the Lagavulin in a bowl and add the four packets of gelatin, allow to sit for 1 minute to bloom the gelatin powder.

2. In the meantime bring the rest of your ingredients to a simmer,  but not boil, in a pot. Add the hot honey-lemon mixture to the gelatin and whiskey and stir gently until the gelatin dissolves.

Let sit for 3-4 minutes

3. Whilst waiting prepare a silicone ice cube tray by spraying it with vegetable oil and wiping out the excess with a paper towel. The silicone and oil will make it easier to take the stock cubes out without them sticking or breaking. The mold we use is 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ from Bed Bath and Beyond or Cocktail Kingdom sells 1″ ice cube molds

4. Place the ice cube tray on a sheet pan or wooden board. Pour your Hot Toddy mix carefully into each ice cube mold, use a small pitcher or even a small funnel.

5. Place the mold in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 12 hours, making sure the surface its placed on is even.

To prepare the Toddy:

1. Take a knife that has been dipped in hot water and run it around the edges of one of the cubes, gently pull the sides of the mold away and pull the stock cube out.

2. Slice into quarters then into eighths to make dissolving them easier. Place in your drinking vessel of choice.

3. Pour over 1 cup of either hot tea like ginger or chamomile or just plain hot water–Mlynarczyk infused hers with rosemary and lemon peel–stir for about 30 seconds, add lemon peel and cloves or anise.

Source: LA MAG

The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky 12 year old

The Yamazaki 12 year old is one of my favorite daily, sipping drams…


It’s not peaty at all, and is in fact, one of the first few drams I give my friends who want to learn more about whisky. The standard 43% ABV and its lovely bouquet – floral and fruity – make it an approachable drink, served neat or on the rocks during summer. And the taste is magnificent – apricots, honey, wood, and vanilla. The medium, dry finish is decent, as well. The Yamazaki makes for a great dessert drink. I always keep it in stock.

I give this a solid B.

Link: Yamazaki