First up: Laphroaig. A scotch - I’ve had it before, but it’s been some time and I only considered it again after reading Barad the Gnome’s recent write up. So I had this at Izakaya Meiji Company a couple days ago, and as soon as it touched the table, I immediately remembered it as one of the most smoky, peaty scotches I've ever had. My wife recoiled from the table in horror, and I began to have second thoughts. I drank the first half neat and then added just a dash of water for the second half. That opened it up nicely, but caused my wife to reel backwards again. I briefly thought my eyes might start watering, but maintained composure in the lady's presence.
For the uninitiated or non-scotch drinker, I would say that this one might cause the weak-kneed to become faint or nauseous. Not to say it's bad - far from it. It's just got a lot going on and advertises it in its bouquet without shame. Definitely your grandfather's dad's scotch, briefly evoking the memory of dangerous chemicals in a run down shed, perhaps stored in a rusting, metal container and daring you to bravely (and deeply) inhale the spirit within. I should add, with much better consequences.
Incidentally fellow beer snobs, did you know that apparently people will pay (beer) money for your old beer bottlecaps? Yep. I've got a good 350+ different caps here from the last few years. Pacific Northwest and all... Seems almost a shame that the best ones don't bother to put anything distinctive on their caps. On a barely related note, please customize your new "Print Friendly" buttons! It's like someone went on a tagging spree and puked green gobs all over yer blogs. Eesh.
Next up: Sierra Nevada’s 2011 Bigfoot Ale (a barleywine). Two words: Blew it. Or, in one word: Burnt. I’ve been drinking these for some years now, and never really been too much of a fan, but I do partake of a single Bigfoot every year to see what’s what at the big SN. Sorry, this year, it’s a big “Don’t buy.” Maybe I just got a bad batch, but I doubt it.