Archive | November, 2010

Ardbeg Rollercoaster!

22 Nov

Tim at Addy Bassin’s MacArthur Beverages has done it again. This is probably the craziest moment in my Scotch fanboyism. Here it is:

Ardbeg Rollercoaster!

Ardbeg Rollercoaster (read the review)! My friend and I have been having searching for this little elusive bottle of Ardbeg lore for quite some time now. I asked Tim if he had anything hidden in the stock room of interest. He disappeared for a good 5-10 minutes. Just as my friend and I were about to take off with a bottle of Talisker, Longrow CV, and a six pack of Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA, he pops out towards in an obvious hurry (he has a special customer that trumps the Scotch Finder he has to tend to ASAP). He says, “I couldn’t find anything but this bottle of….”

It took me about .05 seconds to recognize the Rollercoaster icon I have seen a buhgillion times online via Ebay and online English whisk(e)y buying sites that will not ship to the U.S. I snapped that bottle out of his hand with an accompanying high-pitched squeal. Tim was completely surprised at my excitement because he probably had several bottles on hand at one point, but also looked a little remorseful after the manner in which I apprehended it from him. You can see in the picture that Leone is covering up the “on sale” price tag… you don’t want to know what it says.
If you have ever wanted this bottle and cannot find one, rest assured. It tastes much like an Ardbeg. The Ardbeg Rollercoaster is very good but it is not as amazing as the Ardbeg Uigeadail.
I held the bottle for a solid 10 minutes before succumbing to my friend’s pouty eyes. You can now find it at his home bar (or hidden in a locked vault nearby).

Duty Free Only Scotches… WTF?

20 Nov

I’ll make this quick today. What in the world is up with Duty Free only scotches?

Lead in story: My poor buddy, Leone, is a freak for Laphroiag. He overpaid for a bottle of Laphroiag 18-year several months ago only to find the price reduced to almost half of what he paid in the market right now. Is he upset? Sure. Would he probably still have overpaid a little to get it earlier? My gut screams to the affirmative.

Which brings me to the Duty Free tease. He recently learned of a neat-o bottle of Laphroiag which only available in the the Duty Free retail. BEHOLD…

Laphroaig Triple Wood

Laphroaig Triple Wood (click this link to read a review that makes me want to punch someone). Sound interesting? You’re darn tootin’ it does! Laphroaig does not play much with its time-tested recipe and flavor profiles. But if you want to try it, you are going to have to travel internationally and cross your fingers that you run into it in your international airport’s Duty Free. Maybe that is no big deal for some wealthier Brits who are flying to Paris for the weekend, but for us Scotch freaks in the U.S., you have more chance of finding a bottle of Black Bowmore on the street unopened than stumbling across this one in a local retailer.

Highland Park 21-Year

Where do you think I got my uber-weird bottle of Highland Park 21-year? Leone accidentally picked one up for me on his way back from England a year back. It is actually the only Highland Park flavor profile that I would put a slight step up from Highland Park 18-year, which I consider their sweet spot on the spectrum (Highland Park 25 and 30 are rather dull to me).

I cherish my 21-year because I know damn well that the chances of me being able to replace it are slim to none. That’s why the bottle looks like someone opened it, scooped out a very large dram, and then never touched it again. *Single Tear*

So my message to the distillers is to knock it off. We know that you are playing with the market to dip your new flavor profiles’ toes into the market to see how they do without making an ass out of yourself when the critics pan it, but it is really frustrating to huge fans that just want to get their hands on a bottle without paying $1,200 for a ticket to England for a £40 bottle of hooch.

Will they knock it off? No way. I am just a sore loser.

If you want to read a little more about Duty Free, this article is a great start:

Kilchoman – I will find you, dammit!

19 Nov

Dear Kilchoman,

You have been hiding from me from the past 6 months. You are from Islay so I would like to taste you. I will be very upfront with you–I will be very disappointed if you do not make my taste buds happy.

Yours truly (maybe),

Scotch Finder

$60 Reward
Wanted for several infractions including: not being shipped
to the U.S., being coy when I haven’t met you yet, and
being an overall bugger by not be available.

UPDATE: Thanks goes out to JJenkins (see comments section below) for reporting that the mega-liquor-store, Binny’s, actually already has the aforementioned Kilchoman in stock and on sale on their website! Liquor laws may get in your way, but you can always roll the dice on trying to get it shipped!