After Slim Cessna and Dan were done talking about the friggin awesomeness of the band’s upcoming poutine challenge, where a few of the band members will eat poutine every day of the Canadian leg of their 2015 tour, Slim mentioned his fondness of Scotch. Any chance I get to talk about Scotch, and show my pure love for the motherland’s nectar of the hills, I grab it.
Slim knows that a fine bottle of Scotch doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, as he said, much of the Johnny Walker labels are reasonably priced. Well Slim, let me take you one step further. Over the past few years, after my trip to Scotland, I have been trying to find a quality Scotch that feels like being back in Scotland, but doesn’t cost like it. The peaty, smoke flavor of some Scotch does nothing for me. I steer right away from these kinds of whisky. It’s the round, warm, smooth flavor of Scotch that has me dancing in the streets. Yes, some of these dandies will cost you a fortune, but after much trial and error, I have found the best Scotch for the best price.
For me, it starts with the color of the Scotch. The more maroon the whisky, the better. The dark color denotes less water added to the mix, and this only leads to a better flavor and better buzz. Any whisky that can be 60% alcohol and still have a hint of maple syrup and chocolate is fucking okay with me. Aberlour is a distillery of Speyside single malt Scotch whisky, in Aberlour, Strathspey, Scotland, at the confluence of the rivers Lour and Spey near Ben Rinnes. These folks make one of the finest Scotch whisky’s, and as if it’s some hidden secret, the price comes in at a reasonable mid-level range. I mean, there are cheaper whisky’s out there, but the quality easily matches a Macallan or better, and comes nowhere near the price. Don’t bother with the 10-year-old, either move straight to the 20-year-old, which comes in at about $45 CDN a bottle, or do yourself a favor and move to the Cask Strength a’Bunadh batch at $60 CDN.
With Cask Strength Scotch, the water is omitted in the second step of the cask process, leaving a robust deep maroon color, and a fucking face numbing awesomeness. This is the stuff that is 60% alcohol, but tastes like the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth. In fact, any time you can find a Cask Strength Scotch, this is what you want; 2 or 3 fingers of that stuff and you will be happily taken out of the game. What makes the Aberlour version of Cask Strength whisky the best bet is, again, the price, and more importantly, the availability of it in North America. There are some great Cask Strength Scotch’s available in Scotland, but to get them here is next to impossible, and when you do find them this side of the pond, you will need a bank loan to drink any.
I have learned that you needn’t bother skimping on the good stuff. Spend the few extra bucks and make the experience worth it. The good thing about the Cask Strength stuff is that you can put that bottle away, bring it out for a two-finger giddy-up, hide it from everyone, and drink the Johnny Walker the rest of the night. Trust me. Take it from my everlasting love for the motherland of Scotland, Aberlour Scotch is the best whisky for the price on the market today. If you happen to be at a Slim Cessna’s Auto Club show, bring Slim a Scotch to the stage. Make it an Aberlour if you can. – FATS