Whiskey hunting and collecting has gotten crazy but there are still wonderful bottles of bourbon, rye, and single malt whiskeys waiting for you on store shelves if you just know a little bit about what to shop for. The Practical Still is about finding value in whisky to drink and share. Whiskey was never meant to sit on a shelf. Open the Bottle and enjoy it. We don't do detailed reviews, we just help you understand and enjoy the whiskey you can drink today.
Other whiskey options if you like Jameson Irish whiskey
Stacey Moses joins me again and we talk about options for her longtime go-to whiskey, Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Other Irish whiskey such as Redbreast 12 is certainly an option but there are Scotch, Japanese, and American whiskeys that would make nice choices too.
We also debunk Stacey's belief that all Scotch is peaty in an effort to help her broaden her whiskey horizons.
My friend Stacey has some whiskey questions.
My friend Stacey Moses has some whiskey questions. Until just a few months ago, we'd worked together in various capacities for many years, and during that time, we also became friends. On balance, I feel as if I've learned far more from Stacey in our professional relationship than she ever learned from me so I always relish an opportunity to share any knowledge I have with her. In the before COVID times, Stacey would visit town to work in our offices (she lives outside of Washington DC while our offices were in Boulder, CO) and she would often stay at me and Melissa's house rather than in a hotel. We got used to those visits and we all miss them. So, Stacey's whiskey questions were a perfect opportunity to spend some time together, sip some whiskey, and have some fun.
What's the proper way to drink whiskey? Is it ever ok to add water or ice to whiskey? Why is it sometimes spelled 'whiskey' and sometimes spelled 'whisky'? What if someone wants to pour nice whiskey into a glass with diet cola?
I don't know if have the right answers but I have some thoughts and that's enough to have a good time with a dear friend. Well, that and a little bit of bourbon. Cheers!
How practical can $85 bottles of whiskey be?
We were working on some other productions for Dan's Slow Guy on the Fast Ride cycling content and we decided to take a few minutes and sip some whiskey.
I brought two sample bottles with some Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond 8 year old and an Old Forester Barrel Proof store pick for Dan to blind taste.
Can $85 bottles really be practical? We think so, at least relative to their secondary prices when we paid retail for them but still, $85 is not nothing. Practical or not, both of these are delicious.
We did record this episode as a video so take a look at our YouTube channel if you'd like to see all the funny faces we make while sipping 134.3 proof bourbon.
Drinking Some Islay Scotch Whisky
There are so many delicious whiskies to drink from around the world that no one person will probably ever come close to tasting them all but we should try to expand our palates, shouldn't we? Not that we stretch all that far but we have gotten hung up on bourbon and rye whiskey lately so back to Scotland we go in this episode. Specifically, we're drinking whisky from Islay, the small island known for producing heavily peated Scotch whisky from some of the most famous distilleries in the world. Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and the newest distillery of the bunch, Kilchoman make up our selection and we have a grand time drinking in the smoky wonder that is Islay whisky.
If you've ever wondered what people mean when they talk about truly smoky whisky, well Islay is what they are often referring to. The peat used in the malting process imparts a unique and sometimes funky flavor (I'm looking at you Laphroaig) that many folks just don't understand or enjoy but for those of us who like it, there's nothing better.
This whisky tastes like salmon smoked over a fire of burning rubber and creosote, bathed in the souls of a thousand mermaids. Sound good? Yeah, it does.
#whisky #Islay #Scotch #peated #Laphroaig #Lagavulin #Ardbeg #Kilchoman
Are practical whiskeys waiting for us even in this crazy bourbon market?
We started The Practical Still podcast about 18 months ago with the premise that there are wonderful bottles of bourbon, rye, and single malt whiskeys waiting for us on shelves any day of the week. We don't need to chase unicorn bottles, camp out in parking lots, or pay inflated secondary market prices to enjoy drinking whiskey.
We say that's all still true, even if the prices for common bottles are rising faster than ever. See what we're drinking on YouTube and keep listening to these podcast episodes for tips and direction on sipping tasty bourbon without breaking the bank. Cheers!
Do we really need so many bottles to be happy whiskey drinkers?
Dan and I always say that we don't have whiskey collections. We just have bottles of whiskey we haven't opened yet. The reality is that we do have quite a few bottles of bourbon lying around regardless of what we call it. So, do we really need so many if we aren't planning to keep them all forever without opening them? The answer is no, we do not. There isn't any practical reason to have a pile of Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon stashed away. It isn't going anywhere and the price has been stable for a few years. Same with other favorite daily drinkers such as Wild Turkey 101 or Larceny.
What about bottles that are difficult to find today that were plentiful only a few years ago? What about Weller Old Antique or Booker's? Isn't that a reason to stockpile our favorites? If we could see the future, of course, we'd load the wagon with everything that will be scarce in the coming years but we can't see the future, and market timing is no more likely to be a valid strategy in whiskey than it is in the stock market. Investing in spirits and wine is certainly a thing but it is not happening at average consumer income levels or volumes. Flipping bottles isn't investing especially if you're the one paying $650 for Old Rip Van Winkle this year.
We started this podcast with the premise that there are wonderful bottles of bourbon, rye, Irish, and Scotch whiskies sitting on shelves that you can buy today at reasonable prices. There is no logical reason to chase unicorns or pay absurd secondary whiskey market prices to enjoy whiskey. That may be truer today than ever. The market has exploded with new craft distilleries that are bottling delicious whisky and expanding our minds to what is possible without spending 8 years in barrels tucked away in Kentucky rickhouses. Heritage brands have produced so much bourbon that age statements are coming back and prices are stabilizing. It truly seems that there will be great whiskey to drink for us all and we don't really need to have 10 or 20 times the number of commonly available bourbons stashed in our own houses than we'll ever drink. Could I be sitting on a bottle I paid $20 for last week that's worth $100 in a few years? Sure, it's possible but so very unlikely and it's the longest of shots. It's more likely that we have 50 bottles squirreled away that we can still buy in the coming years for about the same price.
It seems a more enjoyable and better use of our disposable income to focus on the whiskey we truly enjoy drinking rather than collecting bottles with little chance they have collectible value in the future. Invest in the experience and try new whiskey from around the world. Let liquor stores carry the inventory burden and keep your powder dry for when the opportunities come around to snag special bottles and when that happens, open the bottle and share it with friends.
Of course, it's your money and if you have plenty of it, buy all the bottles if that makes you happy. I could be way off on all this but it's how I enjoy the hobby. Maybe there will be much regret years down the road when I could have had cases of whiskey that dusty hunters are questing for in 2030. I'm sure that's what baseball card collectors have thought for generations but for every Honus Wagner, there are thousands of folks who collected my buddy Tommy's rookie card just before he blew out his elbow and never pitched again. Cheers!
#bookers #oldwellerantique #buffalotracedistillery #whiskeycollecting #markettiming #bourbon #ryewhiskey #scotchwhisky #irishwhiskey #openthebottle
When Mark can’t physically bring over bottles to your house to taste, this is a great alternative!
Two of my favorite guys have fun sharing tips for regular folx about what to drink and how to drink it. They’re super knowledgeable hobbyists- definitely worth a listen if you’re interested in moving beyond Jack and Bulleit but are overwhelmed by all the options out there and on a budget.