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Old 11-22-2010, 09:51 AM   #276
WeeFatShug
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Re: Whisky

Some of these bottles of Scotch whisky pictured may well adorn some of the labels produced by me.

From around 1984-96 I was employed as a lithographic printer mainly producing whisky labels at Gilmour & Dean and then Holmes McDougall on 4,5 & 6 colour Heidelberg and Roland presses. The latter company has now become the former and is located in Glasgow (formerly in Hamilton). Back then whisky companies made a point of only using Scottish printers to produce their labels. Alas, this doesn`t seem to be the case now especially with the mass produced blends.

There was one label I recall intended for the Japanese market and obviously the very rich. It was a very limited edition and only a few hundred labels and bottles were made. The label was printed on foil (not metallised) paper and required 12 colours to complete, 3 passes through the 4-colour Roland Favorit press before the sealing and embossing processes. The complexity of the job had all the management flapping around all day, virtually shutting down the rest of the factory to concentrate on this task alone. The job was successful and it was rumoured that each label cost around 90 ($130?). In contrast, Cutty Sark labels, which we produced in huge numbers, probably cost a fraction of a penny each.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:57 PM   #277
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Re: Whisky

WeeFatShug,

Interesting. Do you have any examples of your work? What goes into the design of the labels? Are there important elements they laydrinker might miss?
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:25 AM   #278
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Re: Whisky

Sazerac 18 is like candy......the ron zacapa of whiskey? nom nom nom
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:43 AM   #279
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Re: Whisky

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WeeFatShug,

Interesting. Do you have any examples of your work? What goes into the design of the labels? Are there important elements they laydrinker might miss?
Most labels were conceived by design agencies although a few were the creations of the actual distillery.

When the labels are being printed for the first time the actual directors of the company would turn up and crowd round the press console and make last minute alterations. On the odd occasion they would actually scrap the entire label if they didn`t feel it matched the product. A great deal of effort goes into the pre-press and on-press production to get the design and colours absolutely spot-on. Obviously the mass produced whisky labels get less love although the standard of printing, even with these, had to be extremely consistent.

Not being a big drinker, I`m not sure of where Teachers highland cream fits in on the quality scale but the labels were fairly difficult to produce. Gilmour & Dean at that time were the only company that were able to produce them affordably and scooped a massive contract. Think I`m still living off all the overtime money I made back then!

Unfortunately I don`t have any samples of the work I done back then. After being caught out years before for taking "spoils/seconds" of a job, I learned a hard lesson.

We lithographed a limited edition piece of artwork portraying a world champion surfer which were being auctioned for charity in the US and signed by the surfer himself. I helped myself to a few waste sheets from the job and passed one on to my Mums friend. She put it in the frame shop and it was duly displayed in the front window until she collected it. Unluckily for me the artist saw it in the window and was rightly livid. Written warning for me there!

I actually do have a few full B1 (1020 X 720) sheets of a one-off beer that was produced called "Bull**it Ale".

Spending so much time at the press with these company directors was eye opening. You wouldn`t believe the lengths they go to in order to distibute their product. Not sure if I can recount those stories here though!
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:22 PM   #280
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Re: Whisky

Has anyone done a series of distillery tours in Scotland?

I'm considering hitting up Edinburgh for a New Years Eve party (flying over from the USA) and figured if I go that route, I definitely should just come in early and spend some time visiting these places.

Never done such a trip and would be quite open to any suggestions/tips/information.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:28 PM   #281
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Re: Whisky

Gents,

I tried this at the http://www.singlemaltextravaganza.com/schedule.html event and loved it. So I decided to get myself a Thanksgiving present:



http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1060217

"In 2001, a heavily peated batch of barley was bought from a local supplier and distilled at The Balvenie Distillery. The distilled liquid was allowed to mature until David decided it was time to rejuvenate the maturation process and so the whisky was transferred to newly prepared traditional casks. The casks that had originally held the peated liquid had taken on much of its character but were without purpose, until David decided to experiment by filling them with 17 year old Balvenie for a short period. The result was an intensely peaty whisky. Marrying this liquid with 17 year old Balvenie finished in new American oak casks produced a hugely complex single malt, rich and spicy with layers of smokiness. This one is like a bacon maple bar in a glass!"

The main taste of this is classic Balvenie, smooth and sweet. But it has a hint of smoke and peat, making it much more complex and even more balanced than most Balvenies. If you love Balvenie, I highly recommend this.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:48 PM   #282
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Re: Whisky

Pic of my tiny assortment. I'm a homebrewer and drink a ton of beer but like a good snort every now and then.


Doesn't everybody keep their kazoo with their whisky?
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:52 PM   #283
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Re: Whisky

DC,

That's a very nice range. For your next bottle I would suggest a Caol Ila, Talisker, or Oban.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:09 PM   #284
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Re: Whisky

Thanks. I just finished a bottle of Caol Ila and it was a bit too...'camphor-y' for lack of a better word...for me. I've tried the other two in restaurants and liked them both. That Balvenie you posted sounds nice, I'm about due for a new bottle.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:08 AM   #285
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Re: Whisky

DC,

That Balvenie is slightly on the pricey side at ~$120, but I really like it. Talisker and Oban at $50-60 are great buys imo that are sort of in the middle of what you have up there.

If there's something specific or different you'd like to add to the shelf, post what you're looking for and I'm sure we can give you some great recs.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:47 AM   #286
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Re: Whisky

All,

It's been a while since I did a "what's on the shelf" update, so just for fun, here's the current state of things:



I generally have things sort of grouped together by style. By column left to right:

George T Stagg
Willett 16
Booker's

Willett 6
Noah's Mill
Black Maple Hill 16

Maker's 46
Sazerac
Eagle Rare 10

Balvenie 17 Peated Cask
Balvenie 15 Single Barrel
Balvenie 21 Portwood

Highland Park 18
1991 Aberlour 18, A.D. Rattray
1993 Mortlach 11 Port, Murray McDavid

Glenrothes 1994
Talisker 10
Glenlivet Nadurra

Bruichladdich 3D3 Norrie Campbell
Bruichladdich Peat

Laphroaig Quarter Cask
1999 Laphroaig 10 Chateau Margaux, Murray McDavid

Lagavulin 16
Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:21 AM   #287
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Re: Whisky

Great thread.

Really tempted to find myself a decent bottle or two. Anyone got a good suggestion as a starting point?

Surprised to see a Glenrothes 1994. I actually live in Glenrothes and knew nothing of this!
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:56 AM   #288
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Re: Whisky

Wee,

I just had some Glenrothes 1998 which is starting to hit the shelves now and thought it was great. Looking forward to picking up a bottle.

Read the thread for tons of advice on getting started w/ whiskey.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:55 PM   #289
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Re: Whisky

Tried the Eagle Rare 10 yr last night. Really nice. Pleasant, oaky smell and taste. Reasonably priced, too at ~32 for 750ml.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:16 PM   #290
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Re: Whisky

Thanks El Diablo. Just searched thewhiskybarrel.com and they have a great selection. Will order a 1998 and a couple more to boot.

Looking forward to this.............
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:32 AM   #291
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Re: Whisky

Diablo,

I recently had some Macallan 18 that I really enjoyed. I'm not really interested in ponying up the $ for a bottle myself though. Other than the 12 is there something else you can recommend only knowing I liked The Macallan 18? I'm willing to spend up to $60 for 750ml.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:03 AM   #292
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Re: Whisky

i was quite tempted by that balvenie peated cask mr. diablo, thanks for the review... think i will definitely give myself a little christmas present

speaking of which, does anyone know of a whisky-of-the-month type mailing club, sort of like those wine or cheese clubs that some people get? was thinking that might make a great gift.
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:04 AM   #293
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Re: Whisky

K&L has Macallan "Fine Oak" 15 Year Old Single Malt 750ml for $59.99 right now but can't ship to Washington State .
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:08 AM   #294
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Re: Whisky

Quote:
Originally Posted by stabn View Post
Diablo,

I recently had some Macallan 18 that I really enjoyed. I'm not really interested in ponying up the $ for a bottle myself though. Other than the 12 is there something else you can recommend only knowing I liked The Macallan 18? I'm willing to spend up to $60 for 750ml.
Both the Macallan 18 and the 12 are matured in a Sherry Oak cask, which gives it a more sweet finish than some other lines. There's a reasonable difference between those and their Fine Oak lines, although both have some merit. Their 18 is very good, although some argue on the value for what you get.

If you are looking outside the 18/12 Sherry Oak line of Macallan, I might suggest a Glenlivet Nadurra Triumph or Balvenie Doublewood. The Nadurra is more refined and very smooth. The Doublewood is cheaper and only finished in a sherry oak cask, but good value IMO.

Others will probably have some good suggestions.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:38 AM   #295
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Re: Whisky

stabn,

Tons of great options at the $60 level. As for the Fine Oak you mentioned, I'm not too much of a fan.

Here are some great choices for you:

Balvenie 12 Doublewood (~$40)
Highland Park 15 (~$50)
Glenrothes 1998 (~$55)

Balvenie 15 Single Barrel (~$55)
Highland Park 12 (~$40)

I love all those bottles. The top 3 will have a little more of the sweetness that the Macallan has (the balvenie doublewood most of all). If I had to pick one bottle out of the group based simply on you liking the Macallan 18, I'd probably go with the Highland Park 15.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:01 AM   #296
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Re: Whisky

Thanks Diablo. I will take your recommendation and try the Highland Park first!

Last edited by stabn; 11-27-2010 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Thanks for your reply as well Berge.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:01 AM   #297
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Re: Whisky

Good additions by El D.

Can't speak to the Highland Park, but the Balvenie 15 Single and the Glenrothes are very solid and would also work fabulously. Clearly I must go purchase a Highland Park in the morning to confirm.

Also thanks to the Nevada Boise State game for "forcing" me to say up late and have a few extra scotches.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:37 AM   #298
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Re: Whisky

I got a Highland Park 12yo a few weeks ago, meant to do a proper review in here but never got round to it. It's very much like Oban, slightly richer but a touch harsher (maybe due to it being slightly younger?). Due to a lot of real-life expense (and seemingly forgetting how to play profitable poker) I've had to content myself with just drinking what I already own rather than treating myself to anything new for a while. Can't wait to get buying again.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:52 PM   #299
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Re: Whisky

Just added Balvenie Peat cask to the ol' christmas wishlist
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:59 PM   #300
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Re: Whisky

Got Glenrothes 1985, Glenrothes 1998 and Aberfeldy 12yr old winging it`s way to me now. Lived in Aberfeldy for a few years as well so slightly sentimental choice.

Should be an interesting experience as I`m starting from scratch so to speak. The only whisky I`ve had previously was of the pure gash varieties I seem to recall.

A friend has a pure water spring on his land and the intention is to try mixing with that after I`ve sampled it neat.

Ah canny wait!!
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