What We’re Reading: Scotch that isn’t smoky, make your own Irish cream, drink like Hemingway and more

November 20th, 2012 — 12:06pm

Scotch That Isn’t Smoky – Esquire
Four bottles that prove “peaty” is the most overrated characteristic of scotch

The way Scotch drinkers light up when you say “peat” these days, you’d think it was some sort of tropical fruit of almost magical deliciousness rather than — as W. A. Kerr defined it in his 1905 magnum opus, Peat and its Products — “a spongy vegetable substance composed generally of mosses and aquatic plants in different states of decomposition.” For many Scotch drinkers, the smoky muskiness it gives a whisky has become the drink’s defining characteristic rather than the quality of distillation or how well it’s matured. Yet, ironically, the doughty Scots who first introduced peat to firewater did so only because they didn’t have any other choice. If not for peat, they wouldn’t have had any whisky at all.

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Wee bottles of gin from artisan distiller St. George Spirits – Los Angeles Times
It’s a great way to sample some of St. George’s unique gins without committing to a full bottle. Break open that wee 200-milliliter bottle of Terroir gin or Botanivore gin to share while listening to a new record or CD. My fave, though, is the pot-distilled dry rye gin infused with juniper (twice as much as usual), caraway and black pepper. I’m saving a bottle to take the edge off the misery of the cold that I know is coming sometime, somewhere.

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Make Your Own Irish Cream – Liquor.com
Some of the best holiday treats we’ve enjoyed were homemade. What could be better than that? Treats that are homemade and involve liquor. Sure, you could make spicy bourbon balls, whiskey butterscotch sauce or almond cognac cookie sandwiches, but we’ll actually be giving our friends and family something different this season: homemade Irish cream liqueur. We found a simple and delicious recipe for it in Dutch author Yvette van Boven’s Home Made Winter, which was recently released. Though the store-bought variety is a best-seller this time of year, producing Irish cream yourself isn’t really that hard—and it allows you to experiment with various types of whiskey from around the world.

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Eau de Malt A scotch lover’s tour through French whiskey country (yes, you read that right) – Wall Street Journal
Far from Scotland or Kentucky, French distilleries—such as Warenghem in Lannion, where distillery director David Roussier was conducting my tasting—are concocting batches of malt spirit. And why not? Sweden, Belgium and other European nations are making waves in the whiskey world, and the French have centuries of distilling experience.

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How to Drink Like Hemingway – New York Times
Each chapter of the book, due out in November, is dedicated to a libation that either Hemingway or one of his characters (or both) tipped back. There are more than 50 chapters, and the drinks are listed alphabetically; you reach Page 70 before you get past A, B and C.

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Jack Daniel’s White Whiskey To Hit Stores Early Next Year – Huffington Post
For the first time since Prohibition, Jack Daniel’s will offer a “white dog” whiskey — a colorless, un-aged rye whiskey — in U.S. stores next year.

Jack Daniels’ master distiller Jeff Arnett described the whiskey’s taste to The Spirits Business as spiced, natural and complex, adding that “as good as this new offering is -– it’s just a taste of what’s to come.” Arnett is likely hinting at Jack Daniels’ speculated intention to release an aged rye expression.

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