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Caol Ila 18-year SOLD OUT

4 Aug

I regret to inform anyone who caught my earlier posting about the elusive Caol Ila 18-year that it is currently sold out at the VABC that I mentioned. (See original posting here) A guest at our first scotch tasting told me that he had traveled all the way to that specific Virginia ABC and bought the last bottle!

If I spot it somewhere else, I’ll be sure to post where! It is too good to miss for that price.

My Current Stock 7/29/2009 & The Rusty Nail

29 Jul

You can never have too many single-malts in your bar (says the person who writes for a blog called “Scotch Finder)!” Here is a picture of my current stash:

Ardbeg – 10-year
Ardbeg – Uigeadail
Balvenie – Single Barrel – 15-year
Bowmore – Legend
Caol Ila – 18-year
Dalwhinnie – 15-year
Glenkinchie – 12-year
Glenmorangie – Extra Rare – 18-year
Highland Park – 18-year
Isle of Jura – Superstition
Lagavulin – 16-year
Springbank – 15-year
Talisker – 10-year

Yum! Yum! Yum!

I have a few blended scotches (not pictured) that I keep on hand for mixed drinks right beside my trusty bottle of Drambuie. My favorite scotch mixed drink is a Rusty Nail:

1 1/2 oz Scotch
3/4 oz Drambuie
Garnish with citrus wedge or twist

The flavor is extremely sweet and tastes quite similar to a scotch/Yeager/triple sec mix. Make sure you put it on lots of ice.

Rusty Nails are a very classic drink and not for the faint of heart–you will notice by the recipe that the drink is basically straight liquor. More than once I have been accused of drinking an “old man” drink when I make it. I recommend using a low-end blend (Dewars or Black/Red Johnnie Walker) and not damaging the integrity of a fine single-malt. I compare putting a fine single-malt in a cocktail like putting rare tequila into a margarita…

…what’s the point?

Caol Ila – 18 year!

27 Jul

UPDATE: As of 8/4/2009, I have been notified by a colleague that the Caol Ila 18-year is now sold out.

So today, I went on a little trip around the DC metropolitan area and made a couple of stops. I made an interesting find in an unlikely spot!

First stop was at Pearson’s Wine and Spirits on Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC. Pearson’s has a very nice selection of every day scotches: Ardbeg, Glenmorangie, Talisker, Lagavulin, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glenkinchie, Cragganmore, and Laphroiag to name a few (view website listing here). The Lagavulin 16-year is probably the best price I have seen it anywhere ($69.99). However, I was unmoved by anything “special” there in the store so I walked away without a new purchase.

I must start this next stop with a little back story. I have been searching for a bottle of Caol Ila 18-year (pronounced “cull eel”) for several months now. After reading about it in Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, I felt that I would really enjoy a bottle. I soon found out by several proprietors of liquor stores that finding it was described to me as “impossible. You might as well forget about that one.”

Very long story short, if you are interested in this “rare” finding here in the states, you can find it in the Virginia ABC store at the intersection of Lee Highway and Old Dominion here in Arlington, Virginia! As of today, July 26, 2009, they have five bottles left at $66. They also have their 25-year Caol Ila on sale for $159 or so.

Caol Ila reminds me of Laphroiag with a little less smokey Islay flavor and a little more sweet. Don’t get me wrong–the Islay smoke is there, it is just not upfront like Laphroiag or a Lagavulin. Also, the 18-year trumps the 12-year Caol Ila (which is a lot more common) by a large leap, though they share many of the same characteristics. The body is medium-rich and the finish is very long and delightful. The potency of the alcohol is very nice and not overwhelming at 43%. Many authors describe this whisky as an aperitif, but I would actually prefer it as a great nightcap.

If this strikes your fancy, check them out or give them a call! (703)875-0129

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