Aug 252016
 

Kavalan Solist Sherry S100209017AIMG_2374

57.8% abv

Score:  90/100

 

I am a huge fan of the Solist brand from Kavalan.  In fact, one of the single greatest malts I’ve ever tried in my life was an earlier edition of this very same expression.  That bottle is inextricably tied to some very special memories now, but I can’t help but mourn it nevertheless.  More than that, though, I wish I could step back in time and kick myself for not buying more than one bottle of it when I had the opportunity.

If you’ve not tried these cask strength sherry bombs you’ll likely have no idea as to just how over-the-top rich and expressive they can be.  Thick and gargantuan, in fact.  Unquestionably some of the biggest drams I’ve drunk.  I compare my contemporary Solist Sherry experiences with first meeting Aberour a’bunadh all those years ago.

If you’re looking for some sort of metrics or comparables in the Scotch whisky world the closest approximation I can give you to a dram like this would be a 40 year old sherry-matured Longmorn or GlenDronach or something akin.  And even then, the flavours won’t align with expectations.  Kavalan matures very rapidly in the subtropical climes of Taiwan, making time less a factor in the spirit’s evolution than ambient temperature and cask breathability.  It makes for an instantly identifiable profile, but sometimes forgoes nuance and complexity in favour of bombast, uniqueness of character and a juicy, spicy profile.  Either way…I love it.  But then again, I wasn’t looking for ‘Scotch redux’.  I’d much rather a drink that carves its own path.

This particular bottling is actually a less than spectacular batch, but even so it scores this high.  Neat stuff, and utterly singular.

*One final note: I did try one batch (read: single cask) of this whisky that was a right mess.  Sulphuric offnotes and a lot of bitter unpleasantness.  Such is the nature of single cask releases.  However…it also serves to illustrate that it’s always worth going back and double checking a brand from time to time.  Fortunately that one bad experience was an anomaly.

Nose:  Rich syrupy dark fruits.  Oily dried fruit.  Coffee and dark chocolate.  Orange zest.  A touch of licorice.  Black cherry.  Fudge.  Molasses.  Strong exotic spices.  A hint of hoisin.  Moist fruitcake.  Dark soil.  Prunes.  Very ‘jammy’, as we like to say.

Palate:  Chocolate.  Jammy, stewed fruits.  More of that licorice note.  Big, wet woody notes.  Cold espresso.  A hint of Sen-sens and maybe Fisherman’s Friend cough sweets.  Coffee grounds.  Again…thick jam notes and more on that fruitcake, or Christmas cake, or whatever you want to call it.  Long, long, finish with some neat fruits at the back end.

Thoughts:  Give it time to breathe.  Oxygenation – both in the bottle and the glass – brings this one new dimensions.  Worth giving it some time.

 

 – Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 5:51 pm

  49 Responses to “Kavalan Solist Sherry S100209017A Review”

  1. I’d love to try this, but not at $230, the price in BC. Maybe I’ll luck out sometime in my travels and find it somewhere at a sane price. Calgary perhaps?

  2. I tried some Kavalan at Spirit of Toronto in 2014. Most were quite tasty.

    The biggest problem I have with the brand is its price. It is far more expensive than its quality justifies. Notice I don’t say age (or lack of it). I simply won’t pay that much for any bottle of whisky. If I were to win the lottery, maybe (not definitely), but not in my current tax bracket.

    I understand the price is likely a function of small volumes and production costs, but I’ll stick wi my 4 YO Amrut single cask thanks.

  3. Hi there,

    I think that some really good sherry laden Solists single casks were just hyped and now they can ask the prices and get them. Many bottlings will still be exceptional but not worth their prices.
    The Kavalan phenomenon is part of the whisky folly we are living in and too many of us are part of.
    I am with you David, good whisky most of the time but just too expensive all the time.

    Greetings
    kallaskander

  4. Interesting review, but the “Kavalan matures very rapidly in the subtropical climes of Taiwan, making time less a factor in the spirit’s evolution than ambient temperature and cask breathability” doesn’t quite scan for me. If the selling point on a jacked-up microwave is that it can give you crispy bacon in 10 seconds, but it has a warning that nothing edible will survive one minute, then the timer is the most important feature on the machine. By the same token, if one can talk about roughly the equivalent of 40 y.o. results in one quarter the time or less then the product is, pound for pound, year for year, four times more time sensitive during maturation – albeit because of environment and other factors – than other whiskies. When the difference between a very mature whisky and an all but empty cask is a matter of a couple of years, rather than a couple of decades, then folks in Taiwan are watching those stencil numbers closely (even if they’re quite intentionally not being passed on to the consumer), but the points about crash maturation vs. slow maturation and boldness vs. nuance were well made.

    • And that didn’t take long…

      • 🙂 But so relevant this time! And I love the microwave analogy.

        You know, all the whisky forum discussion people out there, no matter how prolific—and most bloggers for that matter—are pretty much interchangeable nobodies to me, with three exceptions:

        •Jeff, who always turns a given subject to NAS;

        •Mr Tattie Heid, who always makes a lame joke that I nonetheless find funny on WWW;

        •And kallaskander, who always starts his posts with “Hi there,”

        Congratulations, you anonymous whoever-you-are’s! You made an impression on this one guy, at least.

        • Good to know I’m a nobody. I’ll have to correct my kids who think I’m not only a somebody, but the best daddy in the world.

          • About time, David… everyone knows I AM the best daddy in the world…. even if Ol’Jas thinks I’m a nobody!

          • What are you talking about? My kids would swear in court that I am the best daddy! David and Bob are just fakers!

      • And not that I’m wrong or anything, or anybody is willing to deal with the substance of what I’m saying…; certainly not you.

        • Jeff, is that “certainly not you” directed to me?

          If you continue to make the same arguments, you can expect me to continue to agree with you, but I’m probably not going to say “I agree” every time.

          • No, I was actually referring to Skeptic, but the principle’s the same – somebody can say that hothouse whiskies are less time sensitive, which is diametrically inaccurate, and nothing is said, but the problem is somehow with the person who points out that it’s inaccurate.

          • Maybe it’s just that you say it so often that it’s simply white noise now, and nobody notices. Hard to deal with something if you don’t notice it..

          • Oh, you notice it for sure; it’s a large part of your shtick. Maybe it’s hard to deal with simply because it’s true and, having no answer for it anyway (and I’ve seen none), and yet having no intention to call into question the pervasive and self-contradictory silliness that the industry puts out about age, folks just grasp at what straws they can in terms of “criticism”. If we were talking about whether ABV matters, or whether Glenlivet is in Speyside, there’d be no tolerance for it, but the age stuff gets a pass, largely because people have been conditioned to give it one.

          • I don’t think the age stuff gets a pass, it’s just that we don’t need to taste age issues with every sip of scotch.

            By the way, I’m of the firm belief that ABV in and of itself does not matter. What I take issue with is the adulteration of spirits with water. I have no problem if an old cask ages its way down to an ABV of 40 or (heaven forbid!) 39%. But if you water a cask strength of 60% down to 40% you’re diluting the flavour.

            I was in China in August and visited a winery where I tried a Cognac-style (same method, created by a Frenchman, but not in France) brandy drawn straight from the cask. It was a surreal experience. I’ve read reports of people at distilleries pulling drams from the cask and this was exactly the same (only grape based spirit).

            Yes, ABV is less of an issue. Dilution is the problem. Cask strength is the solution!

          • Oh, I think the age stuff gets a big pass, both in general and from my critics. I know, I’m a terrible person for saying these things the way I do – instead of doing the nice thing, and not say them at all, which is what my critics do (and which has never really made an impression on me). In the end, though, safe, sanitized commentary – and the pronounced appetite for it – has brought whisky to the silly, intellectually regressive, state it’s in and that doesn’t help me as a consumer. If whisky is really just about self interest, everybody should now know mine.

            Folks who, in one breath, want to tell me about the wonders of fast maturation and multivintaging and, in the next, want to tell me about how age matters LESS to these sorts of products should take a far closer look at what they’re saying. I don’t know the real value of whisky commentary, EXCEPT to marketing, if it just becomes a matter of persistently repeating things that simply aren’t so. There’s a non-intellectual take on whisky matters that, where marketing and dollars become involved, can trend toward an anti-intellectual take on them.

            It’s not even a case of “agreeing to disagree” with my critics on these issues because, at the heart of matters, what bugs people most about what I write is that they can’t refute it (no brag, just fact – what I’m saying about age isn’t true because I argue it so, it’s true because it’s physics and always was – also see “rocks don’t fall up”) and it essentially leaves them in a position of either actively or passively endorsing demonstrable nonsense, and that can’t change until they do. If someone really doesn’t know that age matters to whisky, they don’t know much about whisky – it’s no crime, but it’s a fact, and they have a lot of multivintaging, fast maturation and dunnage warehouses that they can’t explain. I sometimes wish my writing could reflect some better (and alternate) reality of whisky and whisky commentary, but there’s already too much of that, and I think I’m primarily here for contrast.

            I don’t know about any whisky that that has been allowed to age its ABV down from cask strength to anything like 40% or 43% ABV, because I doubt I’ve ever tried one, but that’s not how the vast majority of marketed whiskies attain their labeled strength in any case – it’s through dilution. Like age, adjusted ABV is a key part of a whisky’s presentation; change it and you change the whisky. This is why many people buy cask strengths in the first place, so they can be diluted to personal taste because dilution makes a difference in how they taste, so ABV matters and the dilution of flavour isn’t necessarily the enemy of flavour. In fact, most whiskies are diluted either before casking to aid in maturation or before bottling, or both, so if dilution is the problem, even most cask strengths aren’t exactly the solution either.

            ABV isn’t less of an issue to whisky than age, it’s just that the information itself is protected in law so, unlike age, people can’t mess with it without consumer notice. Given current the denial and delusional thinking about age, it’s something that I thank the stars for every day.

          • Yeah, but without knowing how much water was added ABV helps you as much as the “Rare Old” statement on Mortlach.

            Just like age is a direct result of 2 factors (when it went into the cask and when it came out), bottle ABV is also the result of 2 factors: what the ABV was when you pulled it out of the cask (natural / barrel strength) and how much water was added to it.

            Using examples that occur in the whisky world, If you take a Bruichladdich at 50%, and an Amrut at 50%, you can be sure (well, you can surmise) there was more water added to the Amrut.

            I’ve seen cask strength whiskies bottled in the 40s and the 70s (for bourbons). I would probably enjoy both neat or with a drop or two of water. You can’t tell me a Macallan Ruby diluted to 43% will be as rich as an old scotch aged down to 43%. And while that may not be physics, it certainly is CHEMISTRY.

            No, knowing how much water was added is JUST AS important as knowing how much time it spent in the cask. And just like your raison d’être, that is not mandated by law.

            So I will suggest to you: It’s not that “age is important”, it’s that (knowing the) age is important to YOU, and knowing the dilution is NOT. And to others, it may be the opposite.

            And to some, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying the moment. When a friend says “I have something you’ll like”, I don’t ask how old it is or how much water is in the bottle. I enjoy the dram that has been given me. Or not. But usually I do.

            And on this site, I would bet you dollars to donuts (an old supervisor liked that term, I don’t really understand it) that there are some people who want to read about the whisky and don’t ALWAYS want to hear about how the industry is evil.

          • Bob,

            you missed an important point of Jeff’s. He’s right that some whiskies (specifically I’ve read about bourbon) come out of the still at a higher ABV than the law allows to go into the cask, for reasons I don’t really understand. And I don’t know if more EtOH in the barrel or less pulls the best flavours out of the wood.

            However, once in the cask is filled, the flavours go into the liquid, and the most concentrated flavour (the highest concentration of flavour molecules) is in what comes out of the cask. Any addition of water at that time dilutes it.

            I would likely treat a diluted whisky differently than a CS whisky in terms of adding water myself.

            So you’re right. It’s extremely important to know how much water was added to your whisky before bottling.

            Cheers.

          • What old scotches, much less mass-marketed scotches, are aged down to 43%? Would the age somehow “not matter’ on these scotches, given that the age must have a dramatic effect, not only on cask influence, but on ABV as well if they’re to be taken as being undiluted? Where’s your chemistry on age and the obvious effects of a time-sensitive chemical process on that?

            I take the unpopularity of what I write as a given but, for many, it’s just about their talking nonsense when the truth disturbs their “expertise” or just doesn’t help to sell bottles. Your not asking old it is or how much water is in the bottle just reflects what you choose or don’t choose to know (you might even skip knowing the distillery too, but that’s another matter), but your choices don’t reflect that which does or doesn’t affect the whisky. Change the age, the ABV or the casking and you change the whisky – it’s physics, and it doesn’t vary with labeling or opinion.

          • It seems to me that the higher the ABV and the older the whisky, the higher the price. Obviously these whiskies mean more money for the producer, no matter how they try to tart up their NAS offerings. I just realized my theory dies on the vine when it comes to Ardbeg, whose goofily named NAS special releases get a pass and command big money. The thing is, they are all pretty damned good. I can’t remember where I was going with this now. Oh, well, time for a dram of Corryvrekan, a whisky of indeterminate age, but really bloody good.

            It’s not easy to be a hardliner, Jeff.

          • it’s not just about being a hardliner – anyone can be dogmatic. But he’s a one pony show. Everything comes down to the industry is screwing us by not showing age statements.

            Review an NAS whisky – why isn’t the age on it

            Review a 12 YO whisky – why can’t everyone put the age on it?

            Enough already – we get it – you’re obsessed with the NAS issue.

            But the thing is, other people, whether they agree or not, or just don’t care, are not obsessed with the NAS issue. Sometimes we’d like to discuss something other than the NAS issue.

            Sometimes we don’t want every conversation to become about the NAS issue.

            It’s not hiding in the sand, it’s not refusing to accept that age is important, it’s just – well, simply….GET A LIFE!

          • AMEN to that!

          • As opposed to you, Skeptic, who can only find something to say by criticizing me. What, exactly, am I saying that’s keeping you from writing your whisky masterpiece? Yet they are good points:

            Review an NAS whisky – why isn’t the age on it? (Age doesn’t matter to this one?)

            Review a 12 YO whisky – why can’t everyone put the age on it? (What is the law against it? Even Glaser doesn’t know).

            Again, if someone really doesn’t know that age matters to whisky, they don’t know much about whisky – it’s no crime, but it’s a fact, and they have a lot of multivintaging, fast maturation and dunnage warehouses that they can’t explain. It’s not that I’m obsessed; it’s that many people are simply in denial about reality and I won’t let the bullshit pass without comment. Start saying that Glenfiddich is on Islay and we can start another conversation.

          • The whole point, and why Skeptic WON’T be writing a whisky masterpiece, is because he’s got better things to do.

            Again, no one disagrees with you on scientific grounds that time matters (i.e.: the aging of whisky), and no one (well, no one on this site) disagrees with you that it should be on the label.

            The issue is that some of us are tired of it being the only thing that you seem to be able to bring to this site.

            I wish there were a plausible way to argue that Islay included ‘fiddich. If it were, it might make it drinkable. But the best benefit would be to see you talk about something else…

          • I’m not sure that Skeptic has the option of writing a whisky masterpiece, whether he’s got better things to do or not, but what I’m doing isn’t preventing it.

            But, in the end, people know I’m neither crazy, nor stupid, nor wrong – which is really what puts their entire industry-acquired/friendly “whisky is just whatever I believe it to be” worldview in a tailspin. What, simply saying or believing something about whisky doesn’t just magically make it so? Shit! What, it’s what goes into a whisky that makes it the whisky it is whether I choose to ignore these various factors or not? Shit again! How dare someone say something that I (d/w)on’t believe, yet can’t refute and won’t argue in favour of myself! Fuck him!

            As for not disagreeing with me, in this thread alone, I’ve been told

            Time is less a factor to quick-matured whiskies…
            ABV doesn’t matter to whisky…
            Age AND ABV doesn’t matter to whisky if you don’t ask/care about them… (not sure if Bob can fly to work by not asking/caring about gravity or not)

            Yeah, all wrong, but the problem’s with me for not staying quiet about how it’s wrong. People are still in denial about some very basic stuff (that yet stuff somehow they “know”), which is really what makes it all good fun – although maybe some don’t have as much fun as I do. It’s true: I bring many of the same truths time and again to this site – what people should question is whether or not what they bring to it habitually tends to be misinformation.

            Given how delusional whisky commentary is becoming, and steadfastly so, it’s really an honour to be its “guy they love to hate”. I’d like to thank the Academy…

            And, no, it’s not easy to be a hardliner. You have to know that quality delivered to you on bullshit pretenses doesn’t justify the bullshit pretenses – and you have to know that you have no right to complain about the duplicity of the industry while you aid and abet it.

          • Well, you’re not stupid, that’s pretty evident…

  5. Hi there,

    gentlepersons it is probably annoying that the NAS subject does spring up in whatever thread or whatever whisky is being reviewed.

    Coming from the 1990s and a complete different whisky time I would say that great changes have occured in the whole whisky business and the the weak link in the whisky chain is the customer. That is me and you.
    The way that whisky is made – and whiskey as well – has greatly changed and what has changed dramatically is that whisky is no longer sold but marketed.
    You know marketing departement sounds so much nicer than obfuscation departement.

    In a bigger picture it is almost inevitable that you have to speak about the age of the booze you buy.
    Staying in the US alone you see age statements dropping all around and you see proof going down and what not and all these meassures are not for your consumer benefit. That surely not.

    Back to Scotch…. here in Germany there are 7 expressions of Laphroaig you can buy. Just two of them have an age statement anymore 10yo and 25yo… guess which one is affordable.

    With much too few exceptions all Scotch single malts and then some blends have gone that way that there are more NAS offerings than AS offerings in the portfolio of all whisky distilleries or companies. Somewhere it was claimed that 85% of all whisky worldwide is now sold as NAS. That leaves me dissatisfied and angry and has lead to a very reduced whisky consumption – in the way of buying – on my side.

    NAS still means buying the pig in a poke. And for too much money in 99% of all cases. Now people have different levels of free spendable incomes at their disposal. Some spend it on whiskies of which they do know next to nothing except the abv level and the pricepoint.

    For me that is not enough information.

    The NAS question is on of the poi on which the whole state of the whisky business pivots, a pars pro toto which stands for the sorry state marketing driven whisky and whiskey as a category is in.

    There are many more lamentable things going on like bourbonisation of Scotch by the overextensive use of virgin oak to make too young stuff palatable. It is sad that the list is so much longer.

    In my point of view Jeff’s turning to that subject at every occasion is a remainder that we are being lead on and that all the things that are common now in the world of whisky are not for the benefit of us the customers.

    Greetings
    kallaskander

    • Kallaskander,

      You make reasonable points. But there is a school of thought that believes that you can make a better argument with decisively placed arguments than with the shotgun approach of shooting off every opportunity.

      For instance, you’re more likely to notice a car engine turning on by the lake than downtown.

      You will taste the flavour of a grape so much better if you’re not stuffing yourself full of chocolates.

      Jeff has clearly misrepresented the others in the above conversation ( the ABV example is reminiscent of Conservative party trolls on twitter during the last election, selectively picking out words spoken by debaters to suggest their message was the opposite of what was actually said), and his rants have risen to the level of fanaticism.

      Sure, the NAS issue is a drag on the whisky industry. But:

      1. It’s not the only issue in whisky ( I agree that ABV information is inadequate as well, for example).

      2. It’s not the only issue in the world.

      3. It doesn’t have to be in every conversation.

      Sometimes people just want to enjoy a dram. Sometimes it can be just about the enjoyment.

      Whisky is a recreational experience. It’s not a world war, persecution, poverty, etc… It’s not something where we should have to be reminded of some marketing issues to dull the enjoyment.

      So Jeff, while you are free to spew whatever vitriol you wish, thanks to Curt’s policy of free expression, just know that your actions as a wet blanket are:

      1. Not helping your cause, in fact making more people dismiss you.

      2. Impinging on the enjoyment of others.

      If you don’t care about the above, or if your goal is to sap the enjoyment of whisky from others, and possibly turn people away from Curt’s site, please, please carry on.

      Athena, Goddess of Wisdom

    • Well put Kallaskander, but I think we need to put it in context (with respect to your last paragraph).

      I am currently treating a patient who is suffering on many levels despite his physical symptoms being controlled. He will likely have medical assistance in dying (MAID) in the next week. I have spent hours involved in his case, which is a heart-wrenching one.

      However, when I’ve finished my charting and advocating and phone calls, I do something else, and I think about something else. One of these days I might even pour myself a dram (if I could only stay awake in the evening – jet lag).

      The point is, while I acknowledge his suffering is ongoing, I also accept that I have done as much as I can to help him and I don’t dwell on his situation 24 hours a day. If I did I wouldn’t be able to work (or live).

      Similarly, it isn’t necessary to remind people every time about a (relative to real life) insignificant issue, to the point where the drum beats so often no one even hears it anymore.

      Regards.

  6. Excuse my posting this twice but I mis-spelled my email address and I felt my comment was too time-related to wait for moderation:

    Kallaskander,

    You make reasonable points. But there is a school of thought that believes that you can make a better argument with decisively placed arguments than with the shotgun approach of shooting off every opportunity.

    For instance, you’re more likely to notice a car engine turning on by the lake than downtown.

    You will taste the flavour of a grape so much better if you’re not stuffing yourself full of chocolates.

    Jeff has clearly misrepresented the others in the above conversation ( the ABV example is reminiscent of Conservative party trolls on twitter during the last election, selectively picking out words spoken by debaters to suggest their message was the opposite of what was actually said), and his rants have risen to the level of fanaticism.

    Sure, the NAS issue is a drag on the whisky industry. But:

    1. It’s not the only issue in whisky ( I agree that ABV information is inadequate as well, for example).

    2. It’s not the only issue in the world.

    3. It doesn’t have to be in every conversation.

    Sometimes people just want to enjoy a dram. Sometimes it can be just about the enjoyment.

    Whisky is a recreational experience. It’s not a world war, persecution, poverty, etc… It’s not something where we should have to be reminded of some marketing issues to dull the enjoyment.

    So Jeff, while you are free to spew whatever vitriol you wish, thanks to Curt’s policy of free expression, just know that your actions as a wet blanket are:

    1. Not helping your cause, in fact making more people dismiss you.

    2. Impinging on the enjoyment of others.

    If you don’t care about the above, or if your goal is to sap the enjoyment of whisky from others, and possibly turn people away from Curt’s site, please, please carry on.

    Athena, Goddess of Wisdom

    • If anyone feels their enjoyment of whisky is being “impinged” upon by Jeff’s “vitriol” then you are as free to disregard his opinions as he is to express them. If Jeff’s comments are enough to taint your enjoyment of whisky, your commitment to whisky is on pretty shaky ground. He is only saying (albeit over and over again) what we all know to be true: we are being quite blatantly fleeced by an industry that sees us as a docile flock of sheep with wallets open ready to shell out whatever they ask for their next great offering.

      I love good single malt whisky, but I’m getting sick and tired of being taken for granted. The producers refuse to give us the information we need to make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase their product. Currently, there is a bit of an inductive leap required: e.g. I have had many great single malts; this is an expensive single malt; therefore I must assume that it is great. At current prices, that just doesn’t work for me anymore.

      I say again: the higher the ABV and the older the whisky, the higher the price. Age and strength obviously matter and command a premium. Anyone trying to tell me otherwise, I must assume, is trying to fool me and is full of shit.

      Freedom of speech is a wonderful and much taken for granted luxury as is the freedom to disagree.

      Cheers.

    • I have to keep saying the same things over and over again, if only to contrast the people who repeatedly insist on telling me stuff about whisky that’s simply demonstrably untrue (see above). The things I’m writing about whisky aren’t true because I argue them so; I can argue them so because they’re true. People should try this, if only to elevate the conversation.

      If any of this is about the “wisdom of when to speak”, when is that going to include people waiting until they know what they are talking about or can defend what they’re saying about their new, exciting (and undiscovered) models of whisky physics? I’m not in favour of censorship but, if others are and that’s the standard for it, that standard needs to be uniformly applied. Maybe that’s what’s already happened with Nick Morgan, because he’s been pretty quiet of late. In that vein, I do wish “Athena” would stop besmirching that name with her(?) fluff, and I challenge her to refute anything about any of the substance of what I’ve said. As mentioned above, a non-intellectual approach to whisky can become an anti-intellectual one, and I’ve found that the latter can occur when those subscribing to the former are irritated. If she’s “the goddess of wisdom”.. well, I’ve already mentioned how delusional whisky commentary is becoming.

      I do appreciate the words of Chris1 and kallaskander. I don’t mind people reading around me, but I won’t have them mislead others about whisky by either stating or alluding to the idea that somehow age (and now ABV!) doesn’t matter to what’s in the glass. What is next? Casking and distilleries don’t matter? I don’t think I’m contributing to the death or destruction of whisky commentary, but some of what I write could well be selected for its eulogy: it once was a fine thing, while alive but usually ailing, but has now largely become a matter of who bought what at what price – and often because that’s just about as much truth about whisky as many know or, very importantly, are now willing to admit to. Like it or not, the thinking behind NAS marketing is so obviously false and self-contradictory that it proves that those who either passively or actively subscribe to it either don’t know whisky or are clearly full of shit. NAS is pervasive, others’ defenses of it in various forms are pervasive, and I will be pervasive in my criticism.

      Anyway, I don’t see this as a freedom of speech thing, first and foremost, because I can defend the substance of what I say on a rational basis – if others could do the same, they probably would instead of complaining to me about how what I write habitually ruins their largely unthinking approach to whisky. By the same token, I simply won’t wait for their unthinking approach to whisky to somehow result in raising the points of criticism that I do, if only because these people are usually too busy rowing in the other direction, both in substance (when you can find it) and in philosophy.

      Cheers!

      • Jeff,

        I think you’re kind-of missing the point, or pretending to. Because as Skeptic already identified you’re smart. But so was Stephen Harper. And look where he ended up in 2015.

        So you must know that this discussion is not about whether you’re right or wrong. This discussion is in some ways an INTERVENTION.

        You’re hearing from a number of people that your behaviour is a problem.

        We don’t want to read about the NAS issue in every thread of this site. That’s the message.

        Don’t try to turn this into a martyr’s defence that you’re the only one who cares about what is happening to whisky. We all care. We just don’t want the issue to invade every thought we have.

        You have a choice. You can accept the message and change your behaviour.

        Or, you can ignore the fact that your behaviour is inappropriate and carry on.

        At this point, I am pessimistic that you’ll get the hint.

      • I agree with David. It’s not about agreeing with you or refuting what you say.

        Sure, you’re not completely right, but some of what you say makes sense.

        So thanks for saying it, and now can you please let others enjoy this site?

        Athena, Goddess of wisdom

      • I know – I have only such options available to me as outlined by David in his latest ultimatum. David’s pretensions of staging an “intervention” are matched only by Athena’s pretensions of divinity and wisdom (and which is the greater exaggeration is a close call).

        I’m more than aware that this discussion isn’t about what’s right or wrong; my critics are even more acutely aware of it, because staying away from such matters is the only thing that gives them something to say. Those who don’t like what I write can read around me, but those who don’t want to be called on their bullshit should discontinue it, particularly if they care so much about whisky.

        At this point, however, I’m pessimistic that the reality of whisky has any weight vs. people just trying to make it up as they go along, which is probably something they’ve contracted from exposure to the industry. On that note, as expected, nothing of substance from “Athena”. I’m not “completely right”, but she can’t tell me where I’m wrong. So much for “wisdom”.

        • Yup, as predicted by David…

        • I have an idea.

          Why don’t we do what he suggests? Sort of.

          He is advocating boycotting NAS products, the underlying theme being that he finds them objectionable.

          Well, if we find his rants tiresome (and therefore objectionable), why not just ignore his comments. Just comment as if they weren’t there. He even suggests it above.

          In fact I would advocate taking the time to make a comment about whatever topic that he’s subverting, specifically ignoring his input.

          건배 !

  7. I have an idea. Let’s all play nice. Way too many smart, educated and opinionated people here for us all not to at least offer mutual respect.

    I have another idea. Let’s have a Solist to celebrate.

    • Great idea…if I had some. I’ll make do with Wiser’s Last Barrels. Fantastic!

      • I know Jeff might have beaten the shit out of the NAS issue, and I understand people are sick of hearing about it, but he is right and he is a knowledgeable and valuable contributor to this discussion forum. But I agree, he is not doing his cause a lot of good with his current strategy, and in order to get his points across, he may have to back off a bit and choose his moments to air his views a little more judiciously. .

        No Solist in my cabinet either, but in the spirit of playing nicely I am currently enjoying a dram of Laphroaig 18; lovely stuff. Jeff, I hope you are enjoying a good AS dram, too. Peace!

        • People keep telling me things about whisky that simply, and demonstrably, aren’t true (see above); as much as others might want to talk around it, all else follows from that. If the truth about whisky does not matter, commentary about whisky cannot matter – except as marketing fluff and propaganda. I think that message, as loudly and in as many forms as I have tried to render it, has largely fallen on deaf ears.

        • The Wiser’s was quite pleasant… I’ll have to try a Laphroaig 18 once before I die.

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