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Thread: Are you a Whisky snob?

  1. #1
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Are you a Whisky snob?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well after searching the forum, surprisingly there are no existing threads on this topic. Theres at least one on beer and mentions of the application of medicinal quantities of a single malt during emergencies (e.g. coffee maker broken) but none from an appreciation POV so here it is: the Whisky snob thread.

    I decided not to restrict it to Scotch whisky only. Some purists/uber-snobs might argue that if it isnt distilled in Scotland from a single malted grain, then it isnt whisky. But work with me on this...

    I cant drink cheap (Scotch) whisky. Ive tried some good blended ones (e.g. JW Green Label) but havent tried the Blue Label yet and the King George V drop - hah, I wish.

    Anyway, I saw something on the ABC about high quality whisky currently coming out of Tasmania. Lark distillery is one of the better known ones. I like the idea of good local product but wouldnt mind hearing from some who have tried some. Not cheap, it seems.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Quote Originally Posted by 404A5F4848475355260 link=1279252549/0#0 date=1279252549

    I decided not to restrict it to Scotch whisky only. Some purists/uber-snobs might argue that if it isnt distilled in Scotland from a single malted grain, then it isnt whisky. But work with me on this...
    Agreed.
    The definition seems too restrictive and would limit some nice drops.

    From wiki:
    "The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 define Scotch Whisky in UK law.

    Under the legislation, Scotch Whisky means whisky:

    (a) which has been produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added) all of which have been:

    (i) processed at that distillery into a mash; (ii) converted at that distillery to a fermentable substrate only by endogenous enzyme systems; and (iii) fermented at that distillery only by the addition of yeast;

    (b) which has been distilled at an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 94.8% so that the distillate has an aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production;

    (c) which has been wholly matured in an excise warehouse in Scotland in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres, the period of that maturation being not less than three years;

    (d) which retains the colour, aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production and maturation, and to which no substance other than water and plain caramel colouring may be added."


    I have tried the Blue Label. Still some sitting on my drink shelf. It is nice but 3 times the price it should be. The JBM of whisky.
    But I dont really like blends. I find them boring.

    Talisker and Lagavulin are probably my favourites. Glenlivet is probably my staple.

  3. #3
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Thanks for the info Bassway (you are hard-core ;) ) I found the JW Green Label was probably a little over-priced as well.

    Ive enjoyed a few bottles of Glenlivet but drinking 15-year old Glenfiddich at the moment (had a special on at the Duty Free at Singapore Airport in March). Not a bad drop.

    On the bourbon front, I bought a bottle of Booker Noe a while ago. At 60% alcohol, the term rocket fuel is appropriate. Sip v-e-r-y slowly.

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Absolutely a whisky snob!

    And, yes I would never spend that much money on the JW labels - you can get far better for far less $. Also prefer single malts too.

    My favourite is Springbank 15 year, but havent tried their 18 year yet - was tempted to buy a bottle the other day but the wallet ended up saying I had to wait.

    Oban is my staple, as the Springbank is more difficult to source around here.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Not a Whiskey snob really but reduced to Glen Morangie, Glen Fiddich (cask strength) and Dimple (for visitors ;D) at present.

    There is a few good local ones too from Tasy and the first batch from a little town Timboon (70 km drive from me) that I am yet yo try amd some of the Irish is good so maybe it should read yo include proper Scotch styled NOT bourbons ;)

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Definitely
    Glenlivet for me as a staple and the odd better one if $$ permit

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    As a daily drink, Jamesons (I know its Irish) I find it much more acceptable than the cheaper Scotch, i.e. Red label and the like.
    I enjoy Chivas (I know its a blend) and single malt Scotch as the pocket and wife allow. ;)

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    My favourite regular would have to be The Macallan 12 year old, but Im open to many.

    Greg

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Talisker anyone?
    Try it after a shot of Yemen.....

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Another Glenlivet fan here too and occasionally, an Irish (blended) Tullamore Dew goes down very well too. All time favourite though would be 25 y.o. "Laphroaig". Pure nectar, as they say.... 8-) :-*

    Mal.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    I have a few bottles

    Dimple 42 years old
    Glenfiddich single malt 2 x 1 lt bottles 40 years old (got these on my honeymoon) just in case I needed them for medicinal purposes

    KK

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    I love my whiskey. Glenfiddich is my prefered drop but I recently got a free bottle of Glenmorangie and I thought it was pretty good (especialy cause it was free). I recently went on holiday to japan and picked up a 21 year old Hibiki blended whiskey. I dont normally buy blended whiskey but this one came in a special ceramic bottle to comemorate the year of the tiger, so I basically bought it for the cool bottle.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Bit of a Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey snob myself.

    I grew out of blends in my 20s and love a single malt. Although heavy peat malts I cant handle.


    I recently got into the UK show QI and they mentioned that whisky was not invented in Scotland or Ireland but somewhere else although they didnt mention where. I havent found anything to support this but then again they are rarely wrong on QI.

    Just wish they explained where it was invented. I would assume Asia somewhere and maybe not necessarily whiskey but an early concotion that was similar?

    Anyone have any ideas? I could alos be extremely off I had a laugh.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Quote Originally Posted by 69666C7A6D697B6A080 link=1279252549/12#12 date=1280120290
    Anyone have any ideas?I could alos be extremely off I had a laugh.
    Snip from The AnswerBank

    Q. Who invented whisky - the Scots or the Irish


    A. The debate between the Scots and the Irish over the whisky title goes back to the Dark Ages. The first legal distillery in the British Isles was in Northern Ireland. Bushmills, on the northern coast of Ireland, has had a license to distil since 1608, the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, who also laid claim to Ireland.

    The identity of the first distiller will always be unclear, but it is known that when Henry II of England paid an uninvited visit to Ireland in 1174, he recorded the use of aquae vitae. In 1926, Sir Robert Savage, the lord of Bushmills, was using aquae vitae to allegedly numb the minds of his troops while they entered battle, while in The Annals of The Four Masters in 1405, Richard Magrenell, chieftain in Moyntyrolas, died of "a surfeit of aquae vitae".



    Q. Who began the first legal distillation

    A. In the 19th Century, Irish whiskey had established a reputation with major distilleries such as Dublins John Jameson and John Power forging powerful export markets. In those days, Highland malts were in short supply and were heavily peated, while the Lowland grains were virtually undrinkable. The Irish pot-still brands, made from a mix of malted and unmalted barley, held the high ground and were the worlds top selling whiskey. John Jameson established his distillery in Dublins Bow Street in 1780. A Scot by birth, he had married into the Haig family and was brother-in-law of the first distiller to install a patent still.



    Q. What did the Catholic community feel about the boom in whiskey

    A. Father Matthew founded a temperance movement and led a decade-long evangelical crusade (1838-48) against the evils of drink and he managed to not only halve the number of pubs in Ireland in seven years, but to close many distilleries as well. Then came the Great Famine of 1845-1849, and the failure of the potato crop reduced the amount of grain that was available for the distilleries. Production slumped. The falling combination and lack of raw material was a distaster for distilling. When Alfred Barnard visited Ireland in 1887 he found 28 distilleries. There had been 2,000 less than 100 years before. Today there are three: Midleton, Bushmills and Cooley.



    Q. How did whisky spread through Scotland

    A. After the dissolution of the monasteries, whisky-making became a peoples art. It was practised by ex-monks who became apothecaries, barbers and surgeons. It was taken to the crofts and great houses in the Highlands. By the 16th century, triple distillation was common practice in the Western Isles, and had spread to Ireland and France. By then uisge beatha (the Gaelic translation of aquae vitae, from which whisky today is derived), was a central part of Highland life.

    KK

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    i look at it the other way....

    not worried where it came from (Scots or Irish) as long as they keep making it :)


  16. #16
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?



    Quote Originally Posted by 2A262F22222B470 link=1279252549/14#14 date=1280121422
    not worried where it came from ......as long as they keep making it
    Hear, hear, maheel...and an opportunity for a segue back to my OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by 212B3E2929263234470 link=1279252549/0#0 date=1279252549
    Anyway, I saw something on the ABC about high quality whisky currently coming out of Tasmania. Lark distillery is one of the better known ones. I like the idea of good local product but wouldnt mind hearing from some who have tried some.
    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Quote Originally Posted by 23293C2B2B243036450 link=1279252549/15#15 date=1280122520
    flynn_aus wrote on 16. Jul 2010 at 13:55:
    Anyway, I saw something on the ABC about high quality whisky currently coming out of Tasmania. Lark distillery is one of the better known ones. I like the idea of good local product but wouldnt mind hearing from some who have tried some.
    I saw the same program
    It was on Landline (ABC)

    http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2008/s2749883.htm

    KK


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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Quote Originally Posted by 717B6E7979766264170 link=1279252549/15#15 date=1280122520
    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?
    http://www.twas.com.au/main/?cat=5

    http://www.singlemalt.com.au/store/index.php?cPath=29&osCsid=ic8nvm9jiv0q61pt0hfc8ip3 s5


    I have tried a few myself but unfortuantely it was one of those times where I neglected to recall what I had. I do remember one that stood out as being amazing.

    Will retrace my steps from that night I had a laugh. :D

  19. #19
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    KK..Yes you were right about Lark being on Landline. We have visited Lark distillery in Tassie. V good whisky.
    You also have an award winning distiller of whisky near you on Mt Tamborine. 72 flavours. Tastings available. Mind who is driving though. We visited last week and of course bought the coffee flavoured whisky. On the same mountain as Mt Tamborine Coffee plantation. We had a great day ;D.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Looks like a short trip to the mountain for the family
    Coffee & Whisky
    Then a visit to the Absinthe distillery
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/12/2844596.htm

    KK

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    I have had a few bottles of the Lark product over the years and it is a great drop.

    These guys are one of the most recent ones in Oz http://www.timboondistillery.com/ going for a pushbike ride there in a few weeks (excuse to try the product) so I will report back. :)

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Im with Bassway, I have an addiction to the Islay malt whiskys :-*. Lagavulin was my Grandfathers favorite and its damn hard to beat but my favorite is Laphraiog. Ill down a Bushmills Black Bush when Im after a smooth whisky ;)

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Our house always has Talsiker 10yo and Highland Park 18yo - and in terms of American whiskies you cant really go past Makers Mark in terms of bang for buck.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Cradle Mountain Malt Whisky is just brilliant, 7Yr old, check out tasmanian whisky on the net

  25. #25
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Talisker Distillers Edition, or Lagavulin for me. Find Laphroaig a touch in your face.
    BOSW

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    tullibardine 1993 vintage. one of the best single malts i have EVER had. so smooth and creamy you almost forget its whiskey


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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    like a decent drop of scotch myself

    so far have come to like dimple 12yo (blend I know), glenfiddich 12yo an aberlour (think its 8yo)

    aberlour is my pick of the bunch at the moment, not as smokey and bitey as the dimple and glenfid

    went off blends and mixed stuff ages ago

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    i wouldnt necessarily knock blends. for example abunadh is a very well regarded whiskey and its a blend, not that most folks would know it. blends dont state an age on their labels.

    follow your tastebuds rather than single malt and ages...
    as for mixes, like whiskey and cola...well, i wont say anything about that

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Cant believe i havent seen this thread before!!

    Just polished off 2nips of Ardbeg; cant believe no one has mentioned it yet!!! My favourite of all the Islay malts, although lagavulin and oban are also great (and laphroig). Jura superstition is another goody, and for everyday stuff Ill go glenmorangie or a Speyside of some type (glen moray at the moment).

    Not into blends at all (even got a bottle of royal salute free and was glad I hadnt paid for it). Think glenfiddich is highly over rated (just my opinion). Dont mind black bush to fuel the squabbles now and then.

    Havent tried the tassie drops as Ive found theyre either hard to get or ridiculously expensive; apparently some good ones from WA now, too.

    Whiskey and coffee; bloody awesome, although not always at the same time (would struggle with an Islay first thing in the morning).

    Slightly OT, but then we come to Mexican whiskey (aka tequila); if youve never tried herradura anejo its a true revelation!! :-)

  30. #30
    Bean Powered Member jaybee's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    I was interested to discover that bad farming practices in many lowland regions have destroyed the water quality to such an extent that the water used to make some whiskey is imported. Glencinchy for example uses Japaneese water (well it did when I was a student at Edinburgh Uni!). The definition below talks only about where the product is made, not where the ingredients were grown!

    For the record, Lagavulin for me (ok, Ardbeg over 40 years in the barrel at a very expensive push!)

    Quote Originally Posted by 6665777773657D040 link=1279252549/1#1 date=1279255026
    Quote Originally Posted by 404A5F4848475355260 link=1279252549/0#0 date=1279252549

    I decided not to restrict it to Scotch whisky only. Some purists/uber-snobs might argue that if it isnt distilled in Scotland from a single malted grain, then it isnt whisky. But work with me on this...
    Agreed.
    The definition seems too restrictive and would limit some nice drops.

    From wiki:
    "The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 define Scotch Whisky in UK law.

    Under the legislation, Scotch Whisky means whisky:

    (a) which has been produced at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added) all of which have been:

    (i) processed at that distillery into a mash; (ii) converted at that distillery to a fermentable substrate only by endogenous enzyme systems; and (iii) fermented at that distillery only by the addition of yeast;

    (b) which has been distilled at an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 94.8% so that the distillate has an aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production;

    (c) which has been wholly matured in an excise warehouse in Scotland in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres, the period of that maturation being not less than three years;

    (d) which retains the colour, aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in, and the method of, its production and maturation, and to which no substance other than water and plain caramel colouring may be added."


    I have tried the Blue Label. Still some sitting on my drink shelf. It is nice but 3 times the price it should be. The JBM of whisky.
    But I dont really like blends. I find them boring.

    Talisker and Lagavulin are probably my favourites. Glenlivet is probably my staple.

  31. #31
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Quote Originally Posted by 447A75757F76130 link=1279252549/28#28 date=1331723772
    Just polished off 2nips of Ardbeg; cant believe no one has mentioned it yet!!!
    I found it a bit subtle the only time Ive tried it ....but then again Id had about 8 pints of ale and a Lagavulin before shifting to it. Might give it another go at pub tomorrow (without the palate handicap).
    Cheers
    BOSW

  32. #32
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Tell me how this works? If a whiskey is barrelled for 10 years and the losses (angels share) are 12-15% per year, so they the distillery end up with 1/4 of the amount they started off with in the barrel. After 20 years it would 12.5% and so on. So my guess is that whiskey is barrel aged (3-5 years) and then removed from the wooden barrel when it is ready (flavour) and stored in a vessel that does not allow evaporation. Any ideas?

  33. #33
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Quote Originally Posted by 694B4041564A4D505D240 link=1279252549/31#31 date=1331962596
    Tell me how this works? If a whiskey is barrelled for 10 years and the losses (angels share) are 12-15% per year, so they the distillery end up with 1/4 of the amount they started off with in the barrel. After 20 years it would 12.5% and so on. So my guess is that whiskey is barrel aged (3-5 years) and then removed from the wooden barrel when it is ready (flavour) and stored in a vessel that does not allow evaporation. Any ideas?
    I thought the angels share was around 2% per year, so 20 years roughly equates to 40% loss (I presume the loss p.a. is proportional to exposed surface area rather than remaining volume but am just guessing...maybe the rate of loss changes with age).
    Cheers
    BOSW

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    yeah my understanding is similar to Barry.
    2% roughly.
    and id find it hard to believe that any distillery is aging their whiskeys in anything than a cask. thats the whole idea of aging whiskey - that it absorbs more from the cask based upon time spent sitting inside it. ive never heard of them removing 3,5 yr old whiskey and transferring to a different kind of vessel. the only thing they might do is to transfer to a different kind of cask, for example the balvenie doublewood, http://www.thebalvenie.com/en-us/ourRange_currentRange.php and plenty others do this too

  35. #35
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    For those interested in Lagavulin, one of the giant liquor depots is selling it at below $80 a bottle at the moment (online and in store) and I presume the others will price match. Ardbeg 10 YO similar price but I have no idea what value this is.
    BOSW.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    i just heard that too barry.
    good deal really on the lagavullin

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    Thanks for the heads-up. Lagavulin 16 is definitely my first choice, with Laphroig 10 being a close second.

    Cheers
    Steffen.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    I like the Highland and Speyside whiskies - the smoky peatyness found commonly in the Island Whiskies I just cant handle, brings feeling relating to not being able to breathe properly.

    Enjoying a Macallan at present. Dont often top the the collection, when my mum visited a while back she brought me back a sampler of the various regions, gave me a good idea of they styles/typicality that I go for, alas ye budget I knew thee well.

    I must say I did enjoy the JW Blue a mate bought back 6 years ago duty free, finished the last of it about 12 months ago. Not sure Id pay what is asked for it retail though. (Same could be said for [cognac I know] Hennesey XO which I found delicous as compared to the VSOP). Nice to have tried em once.

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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    I used to work as a bartender, but I never drank much whiskey.* Then a few years ago I got into bourbons and just in the last six months I tried a bottle of Jura scotch.* Im pretty happy with it so I think Im comfortable getting more scotches when I get through this one.* Id actually like to try something with more single malt characteristics.* Ive heard Laphroaig is the most distinctive so I thinking of giving it a go.*
    In terms of bourbons my favourite cheaper brand is Elijah Craig, although my all time favourite is old grand-dad 114.*
    This ones getting off topic but during my time as a bartender I came across a mezcal made by Del Maguey, cant remember which one, but it had a beautiful peaty characteristic and seemed closer to a scotch than a tequilla.

  40. #40
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Are you a Whisky snob?

    For those who like to watch their spirit being made webcams of the Bruichladdich distillery and surrounds: http://www.bruichladdich.com/webcams


    Java "Isnt the net a wonderful thing?!?" phile



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