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Peaty and Proud of it

Tasting Notes: Laphroaig 18

Laphroaig’s 18 year old is divisive for more than its bold flavor profile — it replaced the beloved 15 year in 2009. We give it a try.

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A Dram of Tam

Tasting Notes: Cutty Sark Whiskies

Founded in 1923, Cutty Sark originally made a name for itself by offering an accessibly priced blended cocktail Scotch. By the 1960s, Cutty Sark produced the best-selling Scotch whisky in the United States; then it disappeared. In 2010, The Edrington Group bought Cutty with hopes of reviving the dying brand. The brand’s new line now consists of six whiskies, three of which are available in the United States.

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Peat With A Side of Whisky

Tasting Notes: Laphroaig Triple Wood

We happily endorse the lobbyists from the Friends of Laphroaig group who convinced the distillery to bring back their limited edition Laphroaig Triple Wood. In case you didn’t guess from the name, the Triple Wood matures in three different types of cask: American Oak, ex-Bourbon Barrels, 19th Century style Quarter Casks, and European Oak Butts, previously used to hold Oloroso Sherry. All three casks play different but equally important roles in the whisky’s development, and the final result is an incredible flavorful whisky with notes of oak, smoke and peat on the nose, a peaty, charred taste and well-known Islay brine after the finish.

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Oldies but Goodies

Tasting Notes: Comparing Bowmore’s 12 Years Old and 15 Years Old Darkest

There’s something to be said for a little maturation. Age yields refinement, which more than compensates for lost youth. Poetic, eh? We think so. Anyways, one only has to look at Bowmore’s 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky and their 15 Years Old Single Malt Darkest to see the effects of age in action. We tasted both side by side.

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Strange Brew

Tasting Notes: The Glenlivet Alpha

A bottle of The Glenlivet Alpha is, well, a strange prospect. We got our hands on a bottle of this limited release Scotch — a spirit with no details as to age, cask conditioning or tasting notes, mind you. Our gimmickry alarms bells were ringing, but fortunately, it came through in the taste department, big time. Read on for our full tasting notes.

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Bee open minded

Tasting Notes: Dewar’s Highlander Honey

Putting honey into alcoholic things has a bad rap. It’s effeminate, it’s weak, it’s a cop-out. The parallels to shitty, girly strawberry-kiwi-whipped-cream-lip-gloss vodka are overwhelming. But everyone’s doing it. Now Dewar’s (a Scotch!) has joined in. We’re here to tell you: their take isn’t wrong. It’s just… different.

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For your best friend, meaning you

The Balvenie 50 Year Old

In celebration of the 50-year career of malt master David Stewart, who is the longest tenured master in all of Scotland, The Balvenie Distillery has released an extremely limited run of their half-century old single malt, aptly named The Balvenie 50 Year Old. Stewart, who started the long journey of becoming a malt master back in 1962, himself marvels at the uniqueness of Cask 5576.

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Briefings: Bond Theme, Speaking Scotch, Advice for Advisers, the Boss’s Promise and Louie Takes a Break

The coffee-laden mist rising out of our morning mugs is music to our noses. The cool autumn breeze is music to our jacketed skin. The taste of beef — broiled, fried, chopped or otherwise — is music to our tongues. We’re so happy with melodies of all kinds this week (can you tell?) that we…

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Occasion enough

The Glenfiddich Rare Collection: 1974 Vintage Reserve

We like a wee dram (or two) of quality Scotch during special occasions with good friends or our better halves. While plenty of quality bottles in the $100-$200 range will do the trick for most, getting a chance to sip the Glenfiddich Rare Collection: 1974 Vintage Reserve (~$800) is a reason for celebration all on…

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Hipster

Innate Trad Flask

Scotch must have been invented for autumn. Whether you’re warding off the chill on a Saturday afternoon in the bleachers, recounting adventures around a campfire or rewarding yourself for an afternoon of splitting wood, nothing warms the soul (and the belly) like a good single malt. And there’s no better way to drink it than…

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On July 27th, Celebrate Accordingly

Tasting Notes: National Scotch Day and The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

It’s not that we ever need a reason to drink, but when one presents itself – especially one of such distinction as National Scotch Day – we’re obliged to raise our glass. The origin of this boozy holiday, like most, is shrouded in mystery and probably found life on the cocktail napkin of some marketing…

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Two casks, one great whiskey

Tasting Notes: Bowmore Islay Darkest 15-Year Single Malt Scotch

Bowmore produces a full range of Scotch whiskeys, from the entry-level 12 year old bottle to the 25-year, plus some really rare drams that sell for thousands at auction. One of the most interesting in the whole lineup though is Bowmore Darkest ($70), aged 15 years. Bowmore Darkest is an apt name for this whiskey….

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Handle Sticky Situations

Scotch Tough Duct Tape

Just as Zeus produced Ares, Hercules, and Hermes, so hath the original Duct Tape spawned Scotch’s new Tough Duct Tape line. The new branding is about as redundant as it gets, but Scotch clearly wanted to reassure loyalists that the latest heirs in the Duct Tape family were every bit as useful as their take-on-all-projects…

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For the long winter ahead

Tasting Notes: The Dalmore Scotch Quartet

Fall is the time to put away the summer drinks and open a bottle of single malt Scotch. The old stuff warms the soul, whether you’re sitting by a crackling fire with a tumbler or nipping from a flask in the backcountry. While we condone a well-rounded collection of malts, before you reach for the…

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Scotch, Of A Higher Plane

Auchentoshan Three Wood Scotch

No, it’s not a German highway but rather a Scotch you may not be familiar with, but should be. Distilled in the Scotland, Auchentoshan Distillery is one of the three active distilleries that remain in the Lowlands. Auchentoshan’s Three Wood is, as you might imagine, a triple-distilled Scotch whisky. Each batch is matured in American…

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Turning Tradition on its Nose

Compass Box Orangerie Scotch Whisky Infusion

Scotch drinkers are a finicky bunch. We know this because Gear Patrol has its share of whisky aficionados on its staff. Drinking Scotch is an activity not to be taken lightly, and is done with a great deal of reverence. So, it’s no small feat to win over the die-hard Scotch crowd with an infused…

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Glenlivet Single Malt Archive

Aged 21 years, the Glenlivet Archive is a deep, multi-layered single malt with a mellow taste. The distilling process is unique producing a limited run of exceptional casks that have matured providing you with an unparalleled flavor. It has an almost creamy texture that can only be attained with the minimum 21 years of aging…

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Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition Whisky

Here at Gear Patrol we enjoy a good scotch/whisky and among those one of our favorites is the acclaimed Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Well the ante on scotch has risen as Johnnie Walker has introduced the Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition. From the Press Release: Renowned distillers John Walker & Sons have…