Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The joke that went too far

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  • Russell Brown,

    @Islander:

    Peter - Lagavulin?
    When I get a royalty cheque, I buy Lagavulins I havent yet tried...my extreme indulgence...
    Mark Harris - you can get cask-strength Laphroaig from Whisky Galore in Christchurch & Meehams in Dunedin-

    If you ever run out of Lagavullins to sample, can I recommend two Talisker private bottlings?

    The Adelphi Breath of the Isles is a beautiful pale, astringent dram that's like inhaling sea air, and the Old Malt Cask Director's Tactical Selection is spicy and complex. Neither is cheap, but both are brilliant. Whisky Galore will know the score for you.

    (There's also a Hart Brothers bottling that I found a bit underwhelming, but not unpleasant, and a 16 yo that I got duty-free in Singapore last year, which is smooth but shows the way some of these whiskies can lose their zest with age.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Also: Still don't have it quite right with the new grinder. It's not just finding the new grind, it's developing a muscle-memory for the right tamp. There's something unquantifiable about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Thanks for those suggestions Russell - I've tried Talisker in a couple of different year-bottlings (and certainly enjoyed those) but those 2 sound exponentially better...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    with your current setup you will never be able to get espresso as good as what a cafe can make.

    I had realised that. Home coffee is restricted to "working from home need caffeine hit urgently" time. My niece is more than happy wiht the quality of the fluffies though.

    At the moment I am finding my $3.50 - $4 a day gets me space to work on my laptop, read the paper, meet people, generally be productive, and enjoy a good cup of coffee. It might be better to put the money in Kiwisaver, but a little bit of luxury in your life goes a long way.

    Right, off to Metro for today's hit!

    Cultivating connoisseurship beyond what you already like is making a rod for your own back.

    There's one for the quotation section in the Saturday Press. Time they had some new stuff rather than recycling Billy Connolly.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I notice there seems to be a lot more BDO ads around year this year - someone was wondering last night if it's because they're worried that people in the south have cottoned on that the same headliners are playing BDO in Sydney and it's often cheaper to fly there than Auckland

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    For a cheapish (80 bucks) slightly idiosyncratic Islay, I can highly recommend the Bruichladdich "Rocks". Very very lightly peated, ridiculously easy to drink, and the cheapest one in their range. I indulged in a trip to Islay last month and tried a few of their new lines at the distillery (by far the most welcoming, easy going distillery tour), but I liked that the most.

    Now I just need to wait for their two sherry finishes (10 y/o, distilled when they randomly opened for 3 weeks in 1998) to get to NZ... nom nom nom.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Mark you have to be willing to go online for good whisky if you live in Dunedin. Is Meenan's still there? they used to be willing to order bottles for you.

    @ Islander As for Lagavulin, yes, yes, yes. It is my 2nd favourite after the inimitable Talisker but the price is a problem. When your standard offering is a 16yo you need good stock control and a working clairvoyant on staff, unfortunately they got it wrong and 4 or so years ago stocks of the 16yo pretty much disappeared everywhere but here in Scotland, where the price went stratospheric. I am getting by on the 12yo cask strength they rushed out to fill the void. It's nice but lacks the punch of the 16yo.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @ Russell re Talisker

    16 yo that I got duty-free in Singapore last year, which is smooth but shows the way some of these whiskies can lose their zest with age.

    Hmm I have the distillery bottling of the 18yo Talisker and I don't recognise that comment. Sure the fire in the tail has been banked a bit, but it's still there. However the rest of the taste is if anything more interesting with more depth at the start (not just quick SWEET, but gradations and different flavours) but also in the peat and smoke of the middle. The Hart bros must have got a seriously inferior cask.

    The big powerful whiskies like Talisker, Lagavulin, the other Islays can stand up to both wood and what the wood contained. I have two sherried Taliskers that you wouldn't know were anywhere near a sherry butt, they are just different. However I have tasted some sherried Speysiders and lighter Highlanders that just taste of sherry, no thanks. I'd rather just drink the sherry.

    There is also no hint of the wood in an 18yo Talisker, you can't say the same for a similar age Glenfiddich.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @ Eddie Clark
    Keep your eyes peeled for the unpeated Caol Isla and Ardbegs then. I have the Caol Isla and my tasting notes simply say 'Honeyed green melon', it is delicious. As a peat/smoke/seaweed freak who tends to drink them as digestives I used to use Scapa as a winter apperitif whisky, but it is boring compared to the unpeated Caol. Seek it out, it's cask strength and worth every penny.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    The winners are Paul Rose

    You mean Paul doesn't get a ticket by rights? After his bloody contribution to NZ music over the years....a wee bit shocking that is.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @rachel

    At the moment I am finding my $3.50 - $4 a day gets me space to work on my laptop, read the paper, meet people, generally be productive, and enjoy a good cup of coffee. It might be better to put the money in Kiwisaver, but a little bit of luxury in your life goes a long way.

    damn right! kiwisaver? pah!

    many a time i've grabbed all my reading and heading over the road to a local coffee shop. i sit up at the bar and drink my expresso and read with coffee machine going, people talking loudly everywhere, the bar staff chuckling, and the kitchen roaring.

    but at the office? in the artificial quiet and the air conditioning? almost possible to concentrate.

    the $3.50 is money well-spend.

    (i think there might be a blog-post in there somewhere)

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Rachel: as your investment adviser, I must point out that $3.50 per weekday, invested at a net 5% return (not unreasonable for KiwiSaver) would return almost $12,000 over 10 years.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    @ Peter Ashby:

    "Keep your eyes peeled for the unpeated Caol Isla and Ardbegs then."

    Yes, there's this amazing whisky pub in Bowmore on islay with a huge range of islay whiskies by the dram. I had a (rather expensive) dram of a Cadenhead 13 y/o sherry finish Caol Isla, and it was so, so good. Tis a pity they pour so much of their malt into blends.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    @ Che

    but at the office? in the artificial quiet and the air conditioning? almost possible to concentrate.
    the $3.50 is money well-spend.

    You got it! I do my best writing by far surrounded by people. Also the fact that I cannot procrastinate easily - no "polishing the goldfish" is possible if I'm at my table. Or reading comments on public address...


    @Stephen

    Rachel: as your investment adviser, I must point out that $3.50 per weekday, invested at a net 5% return (not unreasonable for KiwiSaver) would return almost $12,000 over 10 years.

    Thanks Stephen. You will no doubt approve of my Lotto strategy. I "win" approximately $300 a year on Lotto, by not buying a ticket 50 weeks of the year. No tell what compounding will do to that (can't remember how to do the NPV calculation on Excel!)

    That said, I think on an input/output basis the investment in coffee is worth it. My chargeable hours (and other income-producing outputs) are much higher if I'm based in a cafe than at home. And pesky admin goes faster too.

    I am cheered though, that netting $35.00 a day after tax and investing it would return $120,000 over 10 years. Now all I have to do is use my cafe time rightly, up my billable time, and voila!

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    @Eddie Clark

    Tis a pity they pour so much of their malt into blends.

    The notes with the unpeated Caol says they have been making it for decades and selling it for blending. So perhaps their attitude has changed. Anyway it is a different wrinkle, we have un or lightly peated whiskies with peated stablemates (often under different names Springbank/Longrow or Tobermoray/Ledaig) so for heavy peated ones to bring out unpeated versions is certainly interesting. You wouldn't pick the unpeated Caol for a Caol on a blind. Closest to Scapa as i said.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I'd say the argument over espresso equipment vs. daily spend on coffee is pretty much a textbook proof of the Vimes' Boots argument.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    whatever the transgressions of his comments brigade, David [Farrar] is a decent guy.

    Still retain this perspective, Russell? ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

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