Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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Whiskey in the mail

For years now I've been meaning ot join the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society. They are an organization that bottles the contents of malt whisky casks and makes them available to their members. While blended scotches are the most widely consumed spirit in the world, they are better likened to vodka with various scotches added for flavor. (That is, the main content is plain grain alcohol from a column still.) The single malt scotch is made from a single batch of barley that is fermented and then distilled in a pot still, the shape of the still and the inefficiency of the process adding some character to the product. In addition, the whiskey is aged for several years, typically in casks of oak previously used for sherry or bourbon where it develops even more subtle and surprising flavors. What you get when you buy a regular single malt scotch is the blend of all the casks used to age a particular malting. The Society takes only one of those casks and bottles its product. The result is a singularly distinctive whiskey drawn from a cask chosen for its character.

I received my membership packet in the mail today and tore into it like a kid on Christmas day. After perusing it quickly I found that the bottle of whiskey that comes with the membership would be arriving seperately, typically in four to eight weeks. Before I could get deflated, however, Ericka pointed to a box on the floor and said that it had arrived for me today. Looking over, I saw that it was, indeed, about the right size for shipping a well-padded bottle of whiskey. Tearing into that one as well, I discovered, under the flurry of styrofoam bits, that such was the case.

I am now the proud, and quite happy, owner of a bottle from Socity Cask No. 39.25. Aged in oak for 14 years, it was distilled in April, 1985, shortly before I graduated from high school. It was bottled in May of 1999 and is 57.7% alcohol by volume. (The Society bottles at what is known as "cask strength." That is, the strength of the whisky direct from the cask. Most commercial bottlings have water added to bring it to a consistant 40% alcohol by volume or 80 proof.)

Now I'm going to have to have some friends over to drink!

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