40% ABV whiskies – friend or foe?

I recently read an online review of a whisky that was written by a blogger.   There were a number of comments and references in the review where it was evident the writer was criticising the whisky for being 40% ABV.  And it’s a slippery slope – reviewers & commentators need to be careful to distinguish between “I would have preferred to have seen this whisky bottled at a higher strength; I believe it would benefit from being at a higher proof” and criticising or faulting the whisky merely for being 40%, as though it were a flaw or fault in production.

It raised a few interesting points, and I subsequently had a great dialogue with the reviewer as we discussed the issue further. There is no doubt that many of us prefer whiskies at higher strengths.   Cask-strength whiskies – which only as recently as 10-15 years ago were still scarce and hard to come by – are now as common as nude shots of Miley Cyrus, and once you become accustomed to the higher ABV whiskies, I certainly acknowledge and agree that 40% malts have to work a little harder to keep our tastebuds entertained.

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The three stages of your attitude to Glenfiddich: Like – Hate – Love

Catchy article title, eh? Not sure my former editor would approve of it – it’s hardly a flowing headline.  But there’s not really a  more succinct way to say it.  I’ll elaborate:  In my opinion, I reckon whisky drinkers all go through three very distinct stages in their appreciation of Glenfiddich.   And, depending on what stage you’re up to, this tremendously impacts your attitude to Glenfiddich.   Curious?  Let’s look into this…

Depending on how old you are and when you tried a single malt for the first time, there’s a good chance that your maiden dram was a Glenfiddich. The familiar green, triangular bottle was synonymous with single malt whisky through the 1970’s and 1980’s, before other brands finally found their way onto the shelves of our bottleshops. Certainly, when you speak to most whisky drinkers in their late 40’s and older, Glenfiddich was the whisky they lost their malt virginity to.  Even if you took up malt whisky more recently, a dram of Glenfiddich was still a textbook malt to turn to as you made the transition out of blends or simply dived head first into the category via a single malt.

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The highs and lows of Macallan

Malt whisky drinkers around the world tend to fall into one of two camps:  Those that like Macallan and those that remember what it used to be like.

Now before you leap to conclusions and dismiss this piece as a Macallan-bashing article, I can give you my golden promise that it’s not.   Stay with me…

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Whisky & Wisdom’s “Whisky Quiz”

The mere fact you subscribe to or read a whisky blog means you either know a bit about whisky, or you want to know more!   So how good is your whisky wisdom?

Here’s a fun little quiz that will test the whisky facts and trivia you’ve picked up over your malt journey.  There are 25 questions that will sort out the newbies from the experts.  Yes, you could consult Google and find the answer to each question, but that would be cheating, right?  So, be honest with yourself and others, and see how many questions you can answer correctly off the top of your head.

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