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Whiskey River, Take My Mind

 

Sampling some of the world's best whiskey and scotch is a tough job, but we were up to the task. After a couple hours of sipping the good stuff, here's what we had to say about them.

 

Glendullan Singleton 12

Blending the best tastes of European Sherry Oak (lush fruit) and American Bourbon Oak (subtle hints of vanilla) casks, the Singleton 12 of Glendullan is a single-malt sock-it-to-ya that goes best with air-cured hams. For all that's holy, make sure they're air-cured...

Say This to Sound Smart: Creamy smooth and slightly drying, the finish caps off the experience with a long, peppery fade.

Say This to Sound Stupid: Why wasn't Dennis Quaid's performance in G.I. Joe recognized by the Academy?

Price: $30

 

Highland Park 18

Eighteen years in a cask located in the Orkney archipelago (we're not gonna tell you what that word means) translates to a richness and spiciness that'll put a fire in your belly, some hair on your chest and plenty of chatter on the tip of your tongue.

Say This to Sound Smart: Highland Park hits all of the Orcadian high notes: peat, smokiness and heather-honey.

Say This to Sound Stupid: I've been thinking about converting my car to run on biodiesel.

Price:$90

 

Macallan 18 Sherry Oak Cask

You might do a double-take once you see the price tag attached to this slim bottle, but rest assured, you are in for one smooth ride. The lingering finish is full of dried fruits, toffee and ginger, and the hint of smokiness makes this worthy investment come tax-refund time.

Say This to Sound Smart: This sets the standard for sherried Speysides to aspire to.

Say This to Sound Stupid: Women think it's cute when you wear clown shoes on a first date.

Price: $140

 

Cragganmore 12

With a name that sounds like a Highlander villain, one might expect a harsh malt that'll burn your throat all the way down. But with one sip of this complex, sweet whiskey, it's easy to see why the presence of Scotland's fastest flowing river makes this a standout distillery.

Say This to Sound Smart: With its complex taste style, expect the floral aroma and discreet sandalwood taste to be gently unlocked.

Say This to Sound Stupid: Where can I find the Ernest DVDs?

Price: $50

 

 

Johnnie Walker Gold

The Gold label was first blended in 1920 to celebrate the House of Walker. Of course, this deliciously smoooo- (wait for it) -ooooth and sweet concoction of toffee, fresh malt, honeyed spices and light cream has only been available outside the company since 1990. Now if you'll excuse us, we have 70 years of catching up to do.

Say This to Sound Smart: Gold Label is crafted using whiskeys such as Clynelis for a honeyed flavor and creamy texture yet still retaining the signature Johnnie Walker smokiness.

Say This to Sound Stupid: Hey, when's Michael Jackson putting out a new album?
Price: $70

 

Oban 14

If you're looking to warm the cockles of your scotch-loving heart, Oban is just the whiskey. Aged in oak casks for 14 years, its smooth taste is light on the peat with a hint of sweet fruity flavor. Let the cockle-warming begin!

Say This to Sound Smart: Oban is simply lovely with chicken satay or even crystallized ginger.

Say This to Sound Stupid: I once shot a man for snoring too loud. Wait, that wasn't me.
Price: $65

 

Lagavulin 16

This single-malt beauty is from the island of Islay (wherever the hell that is) and packs a powerful peaty punch with an intense, smoky-sweet taste to kick you in the bean bag and flavor buds.

Say This to Sound Smart: You know, Lagavulin’s rich peaty water runs down the brown burn to the distillery from the Solan Lochs in the hills above the distillery.

Say This to Sound Stupid: I'm concerned Canada might just invade.
Price: $69

 

Glenlivet Nadurra Triumph 1991

For those looking to put a little lead in their pencil, crack open a bottle of this limited-edition scotch. Selected from stocks that were distilled in 1991 using Triumph Barley that's no longer used by Glenlivet, this rich and bold single malt is filled with complex flavor. Perfect for guy who likes to use a lot of adjectives while describing their whiskey.

Say This to Sound Smart: Nadurra is the Gaelic word for natural.

Say This to Sound Stupid: Quick, someone pull my finger.
Price: $70

 

Ardmore Traditional Cask

One of the best whiskeys for the buck, the Ardmore is a must-have for your home bar. A Speyside single malt that has rich notes of leather and dried fruit, it also has a light peatiness that isn't very overpowering. Pick this up if you ever come across it.

Say This to Sound Smart: This expression is similar to sister distillery Laphroaig's Quarter Cask bottling, in that the malt is matured in traditional barrels before a second maturation in smaller casks to accelerate the development of the whiskey due increased increased contact with the wood.

Say This to Sound Stupid: I forgot to wipe.
Price: $30

 

Laphroaig 18-Year-Old

This big, classic single malt scotch is the grandaddy of peat and smoke. With its big, powerful flavors and intense depth, you don't just drink a dram of Laphroaig, you experience it. And the 18-year-old (which is replacing the 15-year-old in the Laphroaig catalog) is even richer and more complex than the 12-year-old you normally see on shelves.

Say This to Sound Smart: A faint hint of the sea can be detected, testimony to its time maturing on the remote island of Islay.

Say This to Sound Stupid: I'm afraid of breasts.
Price: $80