I’ve posted some of my more favorite recipes on here before, including some that I got from Tanker over at Mostly Cajun, as well as some that I learned from Mom and made up myself over the years.
What I haven’t done is given any good whiskey recommendations in a while, which is kind of sad since I’ve discovered some really good ones recently.
As I’ve admitted before, I’m really a sucker for good Canadian blended whiskeys. They are just so smooth and easy to drink, as well as having a quality that I’ve found that I like over the years – a touch of sweetness. They also lack the peaty, smoky qualities of Scotch, that, while attractive to some, are a huge turn-off to some palettes.
The standard, off-the-shelf Pendleton Whiskey is just absolutely outstanding. That being said, I stepped away from the blends the other day, and bought a 5th of Pendleton 1910, which is the Pendleton recipe, but using only rye, as opposed to blended grains.
This is, by a fair margin, the best whiskey I’ve ever had.
I highly recommend Pendleton 1910 to anyone who wants to try a very solid rye whiskey that is so smooth that you have to do a double-take on the alcohol content to make sure it isn’t diluted. If you’re trying to bring a new drinker into the whiskey fold, then by golly, you could do a lot worse than starting them out on 1910. You could make a convert out of a fuzzy navel drinker in one afternoon. Goes for about $35 a 5th in the local stores.
On to Scotch. As I mentioned before, I tried a new Scotch over at McMineman’s in Hillsboro, Oregon the weekend before last. It was Laphroaig Quarter Cask. It is aged in a smaller cask (called a quarter cask), which means that it draws more of the sugars out of the wood during the aging process. It is smoky and sweet, with a lot less peaty flavor than most scotch whiskeys, which I have to admit is my least favorite aromatic in the scotch panoply. It smelled so strongly of vanilla that I had a hard time believing that it hadn’t had vanilla extract added to it. It goes for about $60 a 5th in the local stores.
As I always recommend when we’re talking about a good Scotch, I paired it with a nice cigar. The smoking shed at McMinimans is grandfathered in prior to the indoor smoking ban, so we were able to sit inside the shed on a wrap-around couch while we enjoyed our drinks and smokes. I had a Punch something-or-other. I honestly don’t remember what it was, but it was really excellent. The combination of the Laphroaig and cigar was over $30, so this isn’t the sort of habit that you have if you want to die rich. That being said, I consider the opportunity to enjoy these treats while sitting about catching up with my best high school buddies that I don’t hardly see but two or three times a year if I’m lucky, and it was worth it.