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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!


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


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.


LASC: Old School Scotch – Rarities from History

April 20, 2015 LA Scotch Club No Comments


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.

LASC: Kavalan Blind Tasting

April 5, 2015 LA Scotch Club 1 Comment

Processed with Moldiv

Recently, the World Whiskies Awards called Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique Single Cask Strength the 2015 Best Single Malt. Some traditionalist, of course, balked at the mention of a non-Scottish single malt, not to mention that they did not even pick the best expression from Kavalan. In any case, it inspired us to do a blind tasting and pick, once and for all, the best Kavalan.

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The Club consensus is yet to be decided. Still, here are my notes:

10. Smells like Hawaiian fruit punch, the one that came in the blue can. It is odd. A little bit artificial, as in too much of this can’t be good for me. Asian pear. Rum raisin ice cream. Quite an interesting taste, it’s unlike other stuff that I have tasted recently. Not that Spicy. I like how it lingers on the finish. It’s good. B+. Rank 3. The reveal: Fino.
25: Best Nose. Reminds me of one of my favorite drams from SMWS, a 7 year old Dailuaine. Plums and apricots, pineapple jelly beans, white gummy bears. However, if you linger in the bowl, it starts to smell like glass cleaner. It’s a bit spicy on the tongue, but not overbearing. I like it with popcorn. It brings out the romantic side of me – Road Trips in a convertible. Spring time. Rolling hills. Picnic baskets filled with fancy cheese, figs, prosciutto, and crackers. Beautiful girl in a flowy, summer dress, and she is not wearing a bra. A-. I can drink this forever with no hangover. Rank 1. The reveal: ex-Bourbon.
18. Smells like high-end cognac – Louis XIII. It’s something that Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler would serve to me on a silver platter during Christmas time while I wait on Bruce, who is taking a phone call from Commissioner Gordon. In the mouth, I am reminded of Aberlour A’bunadh, one of my favorite Sherry bombs. Waffle cookies. Cherries covered in dark chocolate. It’s warming, like a blanket enveloping me from the cold, while the fireplace is on. B. Rank 4. The reveal: Sherry.
60. The nose reminds me of the entrance of a humid, long-forgotten cave, where treasures and curse lie hidden, and you half-expect a fairy to pop out of nowhere to lead you into a trap. Zesty citrus nose. Honey. Freshly made mochi black sesasme ice cream. Initial hit on the tongue is smooth, but quickly reveals to be a little spicy. The finish is spicy and it lingers. B+. Rank 2. The reveal: Vinho Barrique.