& The Mac Owner

I’m all Mac, all the time – which is apparently a problem, as it seems isn’t a fan of the Mac.

Any other Mac owners out there having problems with

Between the audio-visual sync issues and the dropped audio…I can’t watch any episodes enjoyably.

It isn’t my Internet connection as that is a fast broadband connection. Is it better on a PC?

UPDATE: I got a chance to view on a PC. Looks great and no issues (aside from the program bumpers being quite a bit louder than the programs- easily fixed). But wait, did I just see the Speyside Cooperage spelled "Cooperidge"???

Ask The Collector – September

And now another installment of our very popular “Ask The Collector” column in which Sukhinder Singh of The Whisky Exchange answers questions about the value of collectible whisky.

The Collector is published on the last Friday of each month, though we generally respond to questions within a day or so (completely dependant upon Sukhinder’s schedule).

Remember, when you are in London, you can visit The Whisky Exchange in Hanwell or at their satellite at Vinopolis near the Borough Market. And of course, The Whisky Exchange takes mail orders.

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!

Dear Collector

A friend of mine gave me 10 sealed bottles of 1968 Dewar’s White Label.  Is it worth anything and do you have any tasting notes from similar Dewar’s vintages?

Mike W.

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More Classic books on the way…

With the (re)release of Whisky by Aeneas MacDonald just around the corner, Ian Buxton is already hard at work finding and reissuing long lost whisky tomes…

Now Ian has teamed with author/publisher Neil Wilson to announce the launch of new publishing marque "Classic Expressions" which aims, in the words of their website  “to bring rare and exorbitantly
expensive classics of whisky literature back to life”.

Classic Expressions will publish rare and out-of-print classic whisky
titles in attractive facsimile editions, with an authoritative new

(By the way I’ve picked up a stack of books on this trip including Neil’s The Island Whisky Trail – review forthcoming).

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Malt Whisky Yearbook 2007

Ingvar Ronde, editor of the Malt Whisky Yearbook let me know that the 2007 version will be back from the printer on October 3rd, and will be available soon after.

Mwy2007The Malt Whisky Yearbook, introduced just last year, has been a fantastic resource for me  – part book, part magazine it fills a niche by providing the most up to date information on distilleries from around the world.

By their very nature, books written about a dynamic subject like the Scotch whisky industry or those attempting to chronicle the status of individual distilleries are out of date as soon as they are published. The Malt Whisky Yearbook however, fills the gap by providing up-to-date information in an attractive and easily navigable format.

The MWYB is an invaluable resource and is highly recommended. For my purposes, the page which details the parent company of each distillery is worth the price of the book alone ;)

Read more about the upcoming edition…

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Regions Redux

Make sure to read the comments for This great, potent, and princely drink where Peter Currie of Springbank (along with Jim Andrew) and I discuss the "regions". Good stuff.

You can also read more about Ian Buxton’s latest endeavor – Classic Expressions.

Breakfast in Glasgow

Note to self:
When in the Glasgow airport, looking for breakfast, DO NOT get a bagel from O’Brien’s. Though they mimic a bagel in both form and color – the similarities end there.

They are by far, the most inedible thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.

This great, potent, and princely drink

A couple of months ago, I told you that Canongate Books had sent me an advance copy of the soon to be released Whisky by Aeneas MacDonald.

Of the history, geography, literature, philosophy, morals, use
and abuse, praise and scorn of whisky, volumes might be written. They
will not be written by me.

So begins this awesome little book.


It turns out that Aeneas MacDonald was a
pseudonym – and Ian Buxton’s introduction tells the tale of how he discovered who
MacDonald was. I’ll let Ian, via his introduction, reveal the secret to you and shall not dwell on that here. While an interesting bit of research it was not, for me, the focal point of the story – I found Whisky to be a fantastic read – and would have, even had I been ignorant of the true identity of the author.

The book is oddly relevant to the whisky industry of today – while also granting us a rare peek at the whisky world of 1930. Despite a slightly verbose, post-Victorian writing style, you will be pulled into the book quite easily.

MacDonald is quite an entertaining and opinionated chap…

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Best of The Scotch Blog – Words on Wood

Today I should be leaving Islay and heading to Glasgow for a night. My plans include hitting the famous Glaswegian pub The Pot Still. Then I’ll be headed home tomorrow.
The following was a well-received story that discusses the wonderous effects that wood has on whisky. A shorter, more simplified version of this was turned into a chapter for the second edition of my book The Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch.

I hear that this article is still being circulated (read that: copied without permission – haven’t you people heard of copyright law?)

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Keys to hosting your tasting

I get a lot of requests for tips on hosting a tasting.

The thing to keep in mind is that a tasting should be fun. Tastings can and should each have their own personalities. Enjoy the differences. Different attendees, different whiskies, different moods.
But the keys to hosting a good tasting are quite simple:

  1. Know your audience. Are they novices? Experts? If novices, then make sure you have a variety of whiskies that have different taste profiles – If everything tastes the same, they’ll think Scotch is boring. If they are experts, then make sure you are tasting some interesting things.
  2. Know your limits. Do not try to taste too many whiskies. 4 – 6 is a good range. Closer to 4 for novices.
  3. Know your stuff. Or Don’t. If you are the knowledgable one in the group – be prepared to answer questions. If you are all a bunch of friends getting together to try some new things, (highly recommended) then it’s
    OK not to know all about the whisky. Go to the distillery’s site and
    download the official tasting notes. Use them as a rough guide. Learn
  4. Have fun.

And now…a classic story on hosting a tasting…

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Macallan Tastings with Caspar MacRae

Caspar MacRae, the Macallan Global Ambassador, will be hosting a series of Scotch dinners along with a tutored tasting of various Macallan expressions at The Palm restaurants around the U.S.








October 11, 2006
    The Palm – Miami
9650 E. Bay Harbor Drive
    Bay Harbor Island, FL 33154
November 15, 2006
    The Palm – Dallas
701 Ross Ave.
    Dallas, TX 75202
November 7, 2006
    The Palm – Los Angeles Downtown
1100 South Flower Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90015
December 5, 2006
    The Palm One
837 Second Avenue
    New York, NY 10017

The 5-course dinner is paired with the following expressions of The Macallan:

  • The Macallan Fine Oak 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • The Macallan Fine Oak 15 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • The Macallan Fine Oak 17 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • The Macallan Sherry Oak Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Tickets for the events are $95.00 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Make your reservations by contacting the hosting Palm Restaurant at the number listed above.

I know Caspar, and I can tell you first hand that he does fantastic job leading you through each expression. Educational and entertaining, he’ll also regale you with tales of his time as a Scots Guard – one of those guys standing motionless outside Buckingham palace.