London Whisky: The Whisky Exchange

Last summer I visited a few prominent whisky stores in London (and wrote them up). Thanks to stupidity I did not make it to the Whisky Exchange. For some reason—probably the fault of Florin, Prince of Persia—I came to believe their store was closed on Sundays when it is not, and so I didn’t stop in even though I was right in Covent Garden for lunch on a Sunday. That omission is now being set right with a dedicated photo collage of their Covent Garden store. Located right off the Strand on Bedford St., this store is dangerously within walking distance of our flat and I’ve already contrived to walk by it twice and stop in. On both occasions I have purchased a bottle (Glenfarclas 15 on the first occasion and a bottle of their own Elements of Islay Lg6 on the second) and on both occasions I have confused the staffers by taking many pictures of the store: they either think I’m mad or casing the joint or both. Thus do I sacrifice my dignity for you, my ungrateful readers.  Continue reading

London Whisky

Milroy's of Soho
I’ve been in London for little over a week. By the time most of you will read this—Wordpress stats tells me that most of my readership is in the US—I will be in a plane flying back to Minnesota. Instead of putting up another London restaurant review—believe me, there’ll be quite a few more in the coming weeks—I thought I’d put up a gallery of images of and in some of London’s major whisky stores. If you’re like me before this trip you may have wondered what these stores whose names we know actually look like. If so, here’s a peek at Cadenhead’s, Milroy’s, Berry Bros. & Rudd, and Hedonism Wines. Continue reading

Scenes from Some Whisky Tastings, 3rd Ed. (Sketches by Stephanie Cox)

I am very pleased to be able to once again feature some sketches by my talented friend, Stephanie Cox. Stephanie is a core member of our local whisky tasting group and while the rest of us chatter idly between sips she usually sketches us on her iPad, or when battery runs out, on paper. These are very informally made sketches but they capture the atmosphere of our tastings quite well, I think, if not my inner beauty. (If you haven’t seen her other sketches click here and here–the first link also has a detailed description of how our tastings work.)  Continue reading

Scenes from a Whisky Tasting

And now for something completely different. When my blog was very new I posted a gallery of sketches made by my talented friend, Stephanie Cox at our local group’s whisky tastings. These sketches were all made on Stephanie’s iPad and do a wonderful job, I think, of capturing the atmosphere at our tastings–though I think they fail to capture my inner beauty or the soothing effect I have on others. Here is another set of sketches. These were all made at our most recent tasting a couple of weeks ago. In case you’re interested, these are the whiskies we drank that night (1 oz of each, blind for everyone but me): Hibiki 12, A.D. Rattray Glen Ord 12, Signatory UCF Glenlivet 15 and Laphroaig Cairdeas 2013, Port Wood. The Glen Ord was the consensus favourite on the night.

Here is what we looked like while drinking them. Continue reading

Of Weddings, Birthdays and Whisky

The road of excess, I quipped the other day to my old friend William Blake, leads to the palace of wisdom. He looked at me resentfully and jotted something down in his little notebook. I assume he was being a dick because he didn’t have an invitation to a gathering in St. Paul on Friday that featured a lineup of whiskies that would have cleansed anyone’s doors of perception and made everything appear to Man as it is, Infinite (that’s a reference to another little gem I tossed off a few weeks ago). Where was I? Right, the road of excess leading to a gathering in St. Paul this past Friday.

But let’s back up a little first.  Continue reading

Scenes from Some Whisky Tastings

In lieu of a fresh tasting note today (I have a long day and then a long evening ahead) here are some sketches by my friend Stephanie Cox of our local whisky tasting group. All sketches are used with permission of the artist and of those represented in the sketches. Use of these images without permission of the artist is forbidden and will lead to the disintegration of the corks in your most prized bottles.  Continue reading