Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Life's too short for bad booze

So, holiday party season is upon us; and as many people do, we're having a party for friends pre-thanksgiving.

Since we don't have any family up here, it'll be our chance to get together with people we care about around thanksgiving; before we go to visit the kids in Canada for visitation (actually probably just Mel, since my passport hasn't come back yet... no I'm not happy about that).

Since we're geeks, and most of our friends are geeks, but are of VASTLY different backgrounds, ages etc... Varying social conventions are in force. Do I bring something, do I not bring something, if I bring something what should it be etc...

What I tell people is this "If don't ask you to bring anything, except some folding chairs, and if you want to drink something other than soft drinks, please bring it with you".

Because, let's face it, booze is expensive. We've got some of our own stock of course, but we drink the good stuff... which is also the expensive stuff. Not only that, but fine spirits tend to be a bit... strongly flavored shall we say, for those who aren't accustomed to them.

So why waste a bottle of 25 year old whisk(e)y on partygoers who think "the good stuff" means jack and coke.

I mean, yeah they're my friends, and if they appreciate good liquor, I'm more than happy to share; but most don't.

Hell, I only have a drink a week or so myself (plus maybe two or three beer a week); so a good bottle of whisk(e)y might last me a couple years. On that basis, an $80-$120 bottle doesn't seem so bad.

At any rate, in the invite emails I sent out to everyone (remember, we're all geeks), I mentioned that we drink the good stuff so don't bring US a bottle (because I don't want to put anyone out expense wide); that it wasn't to everyone's taste, and to bring what they wanted to drink.

Though, the last party we threw, before Halloween; one of the guest who knew my preferences brought a bottle of Redbreast with him. I was impressed with his good taste.

So, I got an email earlier from one of our guests (not the one who brought the Redbreast), saying he wanted to give us a gift of a nice bottle of somethingorother, and what did we like.

Alrighty then, you asked for it:

I'm a fan of aged Irish whiskey (single and blends), single malt Scots whisky, and fine blended Scots whisky.

In particular, I like...

  1. Bushmills 16 year old, 21 year old, or 1608
  2. Jamesons 12 year, 18 year old, and gold reserve
  3. Middletons very rare, reserve 25 or 30 year
  4. Tullamore dew single malt, 10 year, or 12 year old
  5. Redbreast 12 or 15 year old
Scots single malt:
  1. Balvenie 15 year old or better
  2. Dalmore 18 year or better
  3. Glenfiddich 18 year or better
  4. The Glenlivet 18 year or better
  5. The Glenmorangie 18 year or better
  6. The Glenrothes vintage
  7. The Lagavulin 21 year old or better
  8. The Laphroaig 18yr or better
  9. The Macallan 18yr old or better or 15yr fine oak or better (25yr Macallan is probably my favorite common bottling)
  10. The Talisker 18yr or better.
For blended, I also like:
  1. The Famous Grouse (especially the 12yr reserve)
  2. Haig and Haig (pinch or dimple)
  3. Johnny Black, Green, Gold, and Blue
Other than Whisk(e)y, I like:
  1. Hendricks gin, and Mel likes Magellan. Bombay Sapphire, Boodles and Aviation are also acceptable. I really dislike Tanqueray
  2. Ketel One, Chopin, and Belvedere vodka (or Grey Goose, Skyy, Absolut 100, or Stoli 100 for mixing)
  3. Mount Gay white, eclipse gold, and extra old dark rum, plus Bacardi 151 for cocktails
  4. Herradura, Patron, Don Julio, and Sauza Hornitos better bottlings of tequila, plus Cabo Wabo (I like Sammy, what can I say. Mostly I prefer Plata, but I won't turn down a good Anejo or Reposado)
  5. Some fine bourbons and American rye whiskeys (Woodford reserve, Knob Creek, Makers Mark, Buffalo Traces higher end bottlings, Bookers, Jim Beams better bottlings, Sazerac)
This is why I generally don't ask anyone to bring liquor; because the liquors I buy usually start at $40 a liter and go up from there. Same thing for Champagne and wine, except you drink those faster.

So, unless someone is a fellow aficionado of fine liquor who I can return the favor to at some point, I usually just ask them to bring a nice micro-brew; where $15 gets you all the quality you might want.