Call A Spade a Spade: SWA Response

David Williamson of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) got back to me with the SWA’s position on the Call A Spade A Spade story:

Many thanks for forwarding your proposals.  I have taken the
opportunity to pass them to our team which considered all the responses
to the industry consultation last year.

When the industry working group considered the range of possible
category descriptions, the system you propose was indeed examined.  It
is a logical approach, in line with that ultimately agreed by the
industry (i.e. approaching classification in terms of ‘Singles’ and
‘Blends’), and easily understandable.  In the end, however, it was
considered that the approach had certain disadvantages.

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Free Stuff – JW Black

Johnnie Walker Black

Here’s the question…

In what year was the famous "Striding Man" logo introduced?

UPDATE: 1909. Chris S. from right here in Richmond, Virginia gets the hat.

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Remember the rules:

  • Be the first person to email me the answer to the question.
  • You can only win if you have not won "Free Stuff" before.
  • Include your Postal/Zip Code.
  • I will notify the winner and let you know the shipping cost.
  • I will NOT notify you if you did not win.
  • The winner must respond with payment within 48 hours, or the offer goes to the next person who responded.
  • Payment is by PayPal only.
  • No hat substitutions.

The Collector – July

Announcing a new feature…The Collector.

I get a lot of questions about the value of collectible whiskies. Unfortunately, I’m not a collector, I’m a drinker, and I can’t answer these questions. Luckily for me, I know one of the word’s foremost collectors…Sukhinder Singh, proprietor of London-based The Whisky Exchange.

I end up farming out many of the questions to Sukhinder and get back to the reader who e-mailed the original question via email.

I figure, why not make this a regular feature?

Once a month (The last friday of each month) I’ll post the responses from Sukhinder for everyone to read. So if you have questions on a collectible bottle you’ve discovered, send them in, and we’ll get them answered. Use the “…Ask the Collector” link under “Stay in Touch…” over to the right.

If you want to read more about The Whisky Exchange, here is a story from May 2006.

And now, the first installment of “The Collector”.


Ground Rules

We are getting swamped with emails every
month! Believe me, we get a LOT of questions and only a small
percentage of them make it here – but we try to respond to everyone.

In order to help reduce the amount of work, I thought I’d establish some ground rules:

  1. Before emailing, please look through the
    old “Ask The Collector” stories, to see if a similar bottle has already
    been appraised. If we get another question about the value of a bottle
    of White Horse from 1990, I’m going to put my head through the screen.
  2. Some people have been leaving questions
    for Sukhinder in the comments. This is a no-no. I will assume any
    questions left in comments are for other readers to answer and NOT for
    Sukhinder – If you want Sukhinder’s expert opinion please use the “…Ask the Collector” email address in the link to the right.
  3. No questions will be considered without an included picture. I spend too much time asking people for pictures. Starting in 2007, I’m afraid we can’t respond to any questions which don’t include a picture of the bottle. In
    you don’t include a picture, you won’t get a response. Make sure your
    pictures include the fill level as well as the label and any
    distinguishing characteristics!
  4. If Sukhinder makes an offer to buy your bottle, please do him the courtesy of responding whether you accept his offer or not.
  5. Please visit The Whisky Exchange – either in person or via their website. Let’s support Sukhinder, as he is providing this valuation services for free!

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July Potpourri

Dominic has left the building

Well, not really, but Dominic Roskrow IS stepping down as editor of Whisky Magazine. Dominic will still be contributing to Whisky Magazine, but plans to focus on consulting as well as opening a retail outlet.


Go West, Young Whisky Fest

Malt Advocate’s Amy Westlake tells me that they’ve decided to set up a California-based Whisky Fest.

That’s right, West Coasters will soon have a choice between two whisky expos. In addition to the current spring-time Whiskies of the World, residents and visitors to San Francisco now get a Fall Whisky Fest expo. But you’ll have to wait a year, as the show doesn’t kick-off until 2007.

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Call A Spade a Spade: Industry Responses

I had a number of comments on my recent story Call A Spade A Spade.

Dominic Roskrow Editor, Whisky Magazine

I’m still very much of the belief that the word ‘blend’ should NEVER be used in a description of a product that contains only malt whisky. I therefore don’t think your definitions are any better. Sorry!

I have some affinity with the view that single malt whisky should be called just that. And anything with malt whiskies from more than one distillery COULD be just called ‘malt whisky’ or even ‘malt whiskies’.

But why not: mixed malts whisky, mingled malt whiskies or married malt whiskies?
Or to tie in with your suggestion:

  • A mix of malt whiskies
  • A marriage of malt whiskies
  • A combination of malt whiskies

Continue Reading >>

Free Stuff – Macallan (#3)

The Macallan (Hat #3)

Here’s the question…

There are currently two bottles of The Macallan Replicas available. Name the years…

UPDATE: The answer was indeed 1841 & 1876 as so many of you answered. Rob W. from Oregon gets the hat.

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Remember the rules:

  • Be the first person to email me the answer to the question.
  • You can only win if you have not won "Free Stuff" before.
  • Include your Postal/Zip Code.
  • I will notify the winner and let you know the shipping cost.
  • I will NOT notify you if you did not win.
  • The winner must respond with payment within 48 hours, or the offer goes to the next person who responded.
  • Payment is by PayPal only.
  • No hat substitutions.

Whiskybay

Joep Van Drunen writes to tell me that Whiskybay has reached 250 users.

What is Whiskybay? Whiskybay is a whisky-auction site – think "eBay" for whisky collectors.

Joep tells us about Whiskybay:

The intention of Whiskybay is to get whisky-enthusiasts together to sell and buy for reasonable prices. In Germany there is whiskyauction.com. A good, but expensive site – you also need a credit card to join.

Continue Reading >>

Call a Spade a Spade

Back in August of 2005 (in a story called A Rose By Any Other Name) I talked about the SWA-proposed nomenclature for the whisky industry.

In that story I went over the pros and cons for the existing and proposed nomenclature:

There are several terms in play. Let’s look at them objectively:

VATTED MALT

There are those purists who feel that the term “Vatted malt” should be used. 

Pros:

This is the term that has been used for years,
and those familiar with Scotch whisky know that “vatted malt” means a
blend of single malts.

Continue Reading >>

Free Stuff – Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain

Oh the little things we remember – I remember the first time I typed Bunnahabhain without having to look it up.

Here’s the question…

What landmark anniversary is Bunnahabhain celebrating this year?

UPDATE: Jeff S. of Austin, Texas gave the correct answer:

1881-2006 – 125 years (so far).

—————————————————
Remember the rules:

  • Be the first person to email me the answer to the question.
  • You can only win if you have not won "Free Stuff" before.
  • Include your Postal/Zip Code.
  • I will notify the winner and let you know the shipping cost.
  • I will NOT notify you if you did not win.
  • The winner must respond with payment within 48 hours, or the offer goes to the next person who responded.
  • Payment is by PayPal only.
  • No hat substitutions.

The Spice Tree Issue

Here’s a story I promised you back in March of this year. Where does the time go?
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In October of 2005 I wrote about a new release from Compass Box called The Spice Tree. The Spice Tree is a vatting of Clynelish, Glen Elgin, Teaninich and Dailuaine, all of which have been aged at least 10 years. I described it as:

A honey gold… I personally detect quite a bit of vanilla in the nose, mixed in nicely with the spiced fruit. Spice is an excellent word to describe the flavor of this whisky, but it doesn’t overwhelm the strong malt. And I concur that the finish is VERY long, very spicy, and very pleasant.

The method by which John Glaser evoked these spicy flavors from those four Highland malts is the very reason that the Spice Tree is currently not produced. I talked about this in "The Downfall of Civilization":

Many people wrongfully assume that The Spice Tree is finished in new Oak barrels. Actually, Compass Box uses an "inner-stave" method, in which flat staves of new, but seasoned, (ed. air-dried and toasted) sessile wood are secured inside the standard cask.

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