Leslieville Scotch Society

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An Average Night in Leslieville…

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
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A small, impromptu gathering at the Stoyles’s, and before you know it, the bottles come out:

Speyburn 10, Acnoc 12, Macallan Cask Strength, Old Pulteney 12, Glendronach Original 12, Blackadder Peat Reek 10, Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, Aberlour 10, Cragganmore 12, Scapa 14.

Much laughter and frivolity, a round of White Russians at 2am, another great night with great friends.

It’s a pretty good life.

Attention: The Whisky Threat Level has increased to Magenta

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
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As Rob mentioned, there were no new surprises at the Whisky Live 2009, but the Glen Fiddich 18 was a healthy reminder of how easily we forget the big obvious brands. This 18 was so yummy in fact, that I went out looking for a bottle the very next day, and that’s when I saw it: Scapa 16 official bottling at a whopping $120.00! It’s Longmorn all over again; a sexy new bottle with an embossed sailboat, new graphics, and two more years in the barrel takes us from “I can’t believe it’s not butter” awesome 14 year old at $55.95 to this new bottling at better than twice the cost.

It is the responsibility, nay, duty, of all members of the LSS to try and scoop up some bottles of the 14 at once, for when they are gone, they will be gone.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t buy the new 16, and that combined with Rod’s 2 new acquisitions, a gaelic blend (whose name escapes me) and a distillers edition Caol Ila, made for more new whisky’s tasted than at the entire Whisky Live 2009, on the very next evening. The Scapa 16 is very good, sort of ‘the more refined older brother who is in town for the weekend, and I suppose you can crash on my couch” but certainly not twice as good as the 14.

Whisky Live, but not so kicking

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
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Society members had all but resigned themselves to missing this year’s Whisky Live, until some last-minute passes were acquired by Rod, and a contingent was dispatched.  It has to be said, a somewhat disappointing experience compared with 2007’s event.  Not very many interesting or unusual whiskies to be had; although to be fair, we didn’t participate in any of the master classes.

The biggest thumbs-down went to the Tullibardine booth, or more specifically, the guy who was pouring at the Tullibardine booth.  Now, Tullibardine is one of our favourite new discoveries, and we have purchased many of their offerings through the LCBO. We were excited to see a couple of new expressions at the booth, and were dismayed when presented with what could not have been more than a half-ounce pour for our two-ticket payment.  I understand that there is an official “pour size” for the event, and that Tullibardine may have been new on the scene.  However, given that ALL the other booths were eschewing the official regulator caps in favour of normal human-sized pours, and that the particular cap this gent used was clearly fault, it left a bad taste in our mouths that he refused to play along with the rest of the distilleries at the show.

The best booth?  Hands down, Glenfiddich.  First of all, those guys knew how to pour drinks.  But more than that, the 15 and especially the 18 year old were both very, very good whiskies!    Runner-up would have to be Glenmorangie, largely because they were pouring healthily from their store of Ardbeg 10, which we haven’t been able to get here for some time.  Good news is, it’s coming back to the LCBO this month.

Via Allegro had their usual food-pairing setup, although the scotches on offer were somewhat more pedestrian than last time (Cragganmore 12 and Lagavulin 16 instead of Rosebank 22 and Talisker 25).  A”name that scotch” blind tasting was fun too, although I’m still waiting for them to call me with my prize.

All in all, it was worth going, at least just for the last portion.  But the best part of the evening was returning to Leslieville, where we were free to pour whatever size drinks we wanted, from a bar that had better bottles on offer than most at the show.

Why We Never Write New Posts:

Sunday, October 18th, 2009
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The LSS has been a full-on torrent of almost non-stop drinking since the Wood on Wood night, but there is no post which could possibly convey all that has gone on. The spring and summer were / are eternal witness to some truly outstanding blow outs. Cottages. Camping. Some Birthdays. A whole lot of really, really great whisky. And it was on one of these Matisse-smudged afternoons of laughing and breaking that we found ourselves drinking some nice cold Gritstone beer. Gritstone. Hmmm. That’s got some cool letters. And it began: Anagramming what we were drinking at the time.

Here is our list of anagrams thus far:

Gritstone = Strong Tie, Groin Test, and our fave, Tiger Snot.
Moosehead= Some hoe ad, or more reverentially, O Mead Hose…
Trailhead= Death Lair

And then we moved to Scotch..

Glenmorangie = Morning Eagle, Large Gino Men, and arriving eventually at Man Groin Glee.
Auchentoshan = Chase a Hot Nun
DunBheagan = Hun Bandage
Glenfarclas = Flag near Sac (thanks to Regan)
Connemara = Co-Ream Ann
Talisker = Ale Skirt
Ardbeg = Red Bag
Balvenie = Evil Bane
Tullibardine = Till Bad Urine
Rosebank = Ok, No Bears.
Cragganmore = Regan, Go Cram or less politely, Go Cram Regan!
Glen Garioch = Raging C-Hole
Dalwhinnie = We Nail Hind.
The Macallan = The Anal Clam.
BenRiach = In Her Cab.
Lagavulin = A Gal In Luv.
Bowmore = Rob Meow or Mow Robe.

And so it goes. Actually, seeing this list in print is kind of disturbing.

Wood on Wood, Head to Head. Wow, that sounds much worse than this great night was.

Thursday, February 12th, 2009
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The evening started out at Rod and Ginny’s for some pre-“Rob’s Belated Birthday Dinner” drinks. In attendance were Rob, Regan, Ginette, Nancy, Dave, Rod, Ginny, Deniese and Matthew. The gals drank bubbly while the boys had some Signatory Longmorn 16 CS. Everyone was dressed to the nines and ready for a night where the existence of children would be vehemently denied. At 8:00, to Rob’s surprise, a huge SUV Stretch Limo arrived to take us on a drunken drive about. There was shrimp cocktail, more bubbly, and flasks of Tullibardine, Glenfiddich, and Jameson’s Irish to be passed about in the VIP lounge on wheels. Next stop was the “Forget About It Supperclub” where, thanks to the long standing musical patience of Rob towards the restaurant’s owner, we had $800 in gift certificates to spend. After a little striptease to which only Rod was witness, we had some quite nice Amarone, before an Italian feast that we all enjoyed more than we thought we would. A few more bottles of Amarone and then it was back to Chez DeBoer/Daley for party time. At this point Andrew and Sandy joined the party, bringing some welcome energy with them. This is when the girls started to drink all of the things they really like to drink and the boys began the Scotch tasting: Wood to Wood, Head to Head. Essentially, it was a night of Tullibardines vs Glenmorangies…Sauternes cask finishes and Port Wood cask finishes. First up: Nectar D’Or Sauternes against the Tullibardine Sauternes. These were the closest whiskys I have ever had side by side. The nose and palate were just slightly better on the Tullibardine, though everyone would agree the Nectar has been worth the wait. Almost too close to call. Then it was time for the epic Port Wood battle (perhaps not so epic). This time the Quinta won by a nose. Next we drank some of the LSS’s Bday gift to Rob, a Dun Bhegan Rosebank 16. A lovely nice light dram after all that wood. Memories are a bit fuzzy at this junction, but I think we did a Port winner against Sauternes winner, with no clear decision coming out of that except to establish that there would no more clear anything on this night. Music played, all the ladies were sexy, and once again I’m so grateful to have such a great wife and such great friends.

Whisky’s of the 80’s

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
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C’est What hosted the entire Leslieville Scotch Society (and about 4 other people) to a Whisky Night dedicated to Whiskys older than 20 years ( read “of the eighties”) on Tuesday the 20th. In attendence were the original 4: Bryan, Rob, Rod, and me… the first time in a mofo long time too I might add, as well as Dave and Andrew, and even our satellite member Bob from far-away Parkdale. We drank  a couple of wholly forgettable Canadian Whiskys, and then nice things started to happen. The Auchentoshen  21 was really great with lots of Apple cider in the nose, pastry and cereal on the palate made this one of my favourites of the night. Next up was the Glenrothes 1987: Fruits , dates, mincemeat on the nose, a little bit oily, balanced finish. A really nice scotch. Would I buy one? Well…there were definitely a few more malts to try and they were starting to come a bit fast at this point: The Glenfiddich 21 was the next. I remember quite a few guys were surprised by the Glenfiddich. They just get such a bad rap because their 12 is so mediocre, and it’s frigging everywhere. This 21, on the other hand, was stellar. It had a really great toffee nose and quite a developing palate. It had this sort of a drying thing going on, like green grapes. The last was many folks’ favorite, for the Glenfarclas 21 really had some serious shit going on. It’s like $150 or something compared to the really pricey Auchentoshen ($189.95). It’s no surprise we have collectively purchased the Blairfindy/ Glenfarclas 31 year old, the 25 and the 15. The nose on this 21 was chocolaty and a bit musty if I remember, and the palate was like a male ballerina’s left shoe. Blah blah blah, whisky snob, blah blah blah, gay. The finish was entirely obtuse, much in the way this wasted writer might try to pull an ending off that is…

But seriously……….not, then we headed back to Chez Davies for some Tullibardines, Scapa, Glen Morangie Pineapple, Smokehead, Arran and some craziness…acoustic guitar jam, and some sort of potato system, Jeff Buckley, mexican treefrogs and ultimately, typing in the dark. Today was Obama’s day. I am curious what he will do with this new today that used to be tomorrow.

A Very Adams Christmas

Sunday, December 7th, 2008
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This year’s Christmas party at the Adams’ was one for the record books: the last cab was summoned at 6:45am, beating last year’s record by almost an hour!

The house was beautiful, thanks to Virginia’s amazing decorating touches, and Rod’s brand new, magazine-worthy custom kitchen was the envy of many guests.  As always, awesome food: tons of homemade bread, roast beef, smoked salmon, shrimp, cheese, hand-made potato chips, guacamole, three different tartes, squares, and my personal favourite: a phyllo pie made with, of all things, cream of wheat, and soaked with Grand Marnier.

Several bottles of Scotch were put to rest, including a Tormore, the MacTarnahan, a Laphroiag 10 and a Glenmorangie La Santa.  Many others were sampled, including the unbelievable Blair Athol 27 Rare Malt and the Glenfarclas 25.  Also enjoyed: Bruichladdich Yellow Submarine, Aberlour 16, Cragganmore 12, Penderyn, Bowmore 18, and assorted others.

A truly rockin’ party in true Leslieville tradition.  Coming soon: The Ladies of Leslieville 2009 Calendar!

Back to Stoyles’s for a birthday!

Thursday, December 4th, 2008
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Dave’s birthday was celebrated by an impromptu gathering of the society on a Thursday night.  In attendance were Dave, Matt, Rod and Rob, with strange background noises from Nancy. The birthday boy was presented with a Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban by his wife, and with a Macallan 10 Fine Oak from the society.  The other whiskeys which presented themselves for tasting were:

Glenrothes Select Reserve
Tullibardine 1993 (14yo)
Glen Breton
Glenmorangie La Santa
Glenmorangie Original
Edradour 10

There was one other which I can’t recall, and we ended the night with a Jim Beam Black, and 8yo bourbon that is quite nice.

Slumming with the Stoyles’s

Saturday, November 1st, 2008
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This year’s Halloween party was hosted by Dave and Nancy, and in honour of our neighbourhood’s roots, a “white trash” theme was adopted for the evening.  Costumes ranged from hideous/disturbing to definitely-low-rent-but-actually-kind-of-hot.  Culinary highlight of the night was Spam sandwiches with mayo and “French’s”, on Rod’s homemade bread.  Much Scotch was tasted/consumed, but no one was taking notes so details are sketchy.  Matthew’s Value Village parachute pants apparently unleashed his latent (or maybe not-so-latent)  breakdancing penchant, and we were all treated to a horrifying spectacle, backed by the strains of “Rapper’s Delight”.  Video evidence does exist, and can be viewed for the right price.

A great time was had by all, and by the time the party wound down, pretty much everyone had at least one black eye.

The Feathers. No, it’s not a nudie bar.

Sunday, September 14th, 2008
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As part of the annual “Twelve Days of Rod”  birthday celebrations, the entire membership of the Society, plus one additional scotch lover (whom we’ll call “Bob”), made their way to The Feathers pub on Kingston Road.  The Feathers has an impressive collection of over 400 single malts, and between the six of us, we sampled an impressive selection of those.

Here’s what we drank:

  • Dallas Dhu 21yo (Rare Malt)
  • Ardbeg 1991
  • Auchentoshen Three Wood
  • Littlemill 21yo
  • Knockando 1987
  • Dufftown 10yo Cask Strength
  • Convalmore 1983
  • Caol Ila 1990 Portwood
  • St. Magdalene 19yo (Rare Malt)
  • Pittyvaich 1976
  • Tomatin 12yo
  • Longmorn 15yo Cask Strength (Signatory)
  • Glenmorangie Sauterne Cask 1981
  • Highland Park 1977 Cask Strength
  • Ledaig 15yo
  • Inchgower 14yo
  • Teaninich 12yo
  • Glen Ord 11yo Cask Strength
  • Glen Scotia 1990
  • Aberfeldy 15yo
  • Laphroaig 1988

In addition, we sampled almost all of The Feathers’ house single malts, including Highland, Lowland, Campbeltown, Mull, Orkney, Islay and Islay Cask Strength.

Tasting notes were taken for some, but mostly we just enjoyed an evening of exceptional Scotches with good company in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.  Must do it again.