From Beer to Whisky

In the words of Haruki Murakami, “Whisky, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then its time to drink.” I’ve been a beer man for a long time. In the past, I’ve tried every brand that I could get my hands on, becoming intimately familiar with the different types of hops and barley. Hell, only thing I’ve yet to do is create my own brew.  I was confident that beer was the holy grail for a man’s palate, until I meet whisky. I’ll be honest, it’s a big jump from 5 to 40+% alcohol, the distillation process, the regions and the production methods. The more you learn, the more you start to notice the similarities between the two. Both products primarily use the same ingredients – barley, water, yeast (the exception being hops)-and the tasting skills largely carry over. If you can appreciate the taste of a great beer, you can definitely transition into what has been deemed “The gentleman’s drink”. From perfected single malts, to blended, there’s a wide array to choose from.  Just as in a tailored suit, or a vintage car, it takes time to learn the ins and out of a brand and what works for you. Take the time to figure out what’s the best whisky for you . Taste, smell, then taste some more.  The best things after all come with time.


Dewar’s  Special Reserve, 12 year old, 43% Price:32

This 12 year old scotch has a gold-amber color, toffee, fruit and a wisp of smoke underpin floral aromas. On the palate, flavors are nicely  balanced and interwoven together. The sweet toffee taste notes upfront gradually become dryer towards the end, with soft fruit flavors throughout.

The Black Grouse, 40%, Price:29

One may assume this to be just a smokey version of the standard Famous Grouse, (with its honeyed malt, bright fruit, and floral demeanor). But in addition to  to the smoke there seems to be more malt body and oak spice in the mix, which takes the Black Grouse to a higher level than famous Grouse. This is a great introduction to smokey whiskies.


The Glenlivet French Oak, 12 year old, 40% Price:36

With an antique amber color, this whisky maintains the elegance  cherished by Glenlivet enthusiasts. The finishing of the whisky in limousin oak produces a whiskey which has a deeper wood note, particularly wood spices like vanilla, sandalwood  and floral notes. Its rich complex and dry especially on the finish.


Macallan Sherry Oak, 18 year old, 43% Price:118

Macallan’s 18 year old  expression, in its deep amber color is  probably the highlight of its regular sherried range. The nose is rich and heavily fruited : fruit cake, mulberry, a little ginger, and molasses. The smoothness and easygoing nature of this finely aged whisky will leave you more.



Corey Knight

Founder of A&H Group.