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  Edition # 102  
San Francisco, 07-14-2013

Figure [1]: One of the best Whiskeys on earth: Lagavulin 16.

Michael Whiskey, oder "whisky", as people from the UK say, is a distilled liquid, mostly made from malted grains. The basis for American Bourbon whiskeys is usually corn, whereas Scottish whiskeys ("Scotch") typically use malted barley. As you can find out by watching the unlisted Youtube video Whisky. The Islay Edition, it is first and foremost the small Scottish Island of Islay, which specializes in producing so-called "peat" whiskeys by malting barely over peat-fueled fire, which adds the typical marshy, smoky scent and flavor. Coincidentally, if you open up your desktop computer and hold your nose close to the motherboard, you'll likely pick up similar scents.

Figure [2]: Actor Brian Cox tastes various Scotch whiskeys and demonstrates their correct pronunciation.

I recently found out about a Scotch Whiskey named "Lagavulin". Strangely, it surfaced on several of my radar screens around the same time. First, someone sent me a link to a website featuring actor Brian Cox who pronounces Scotch Whiskey names. Which is not as easy as you might think, because if you apply the pronunciation rules of the English language on Scottish names, usually nothing sensible comes out of it, or did you wisenheimers know how to pronounce "Bruichladdich"?

In one of the short videos, Brian Cox calls Lagavulin the "cognac of whiskeys" and assures that the beverage works like a depth charge, used to get submarines into trouble.

Figure [3]: In the TV series "Parks and Recreation" Ron Swanson loves his Lagavulin.

And finally, Lagavulin appeared in one of the very few American TV series that I'm watching frequently: "Parks and Recreation". The head of the bureaucrats of the parks department in the series is an excentric individual named Ron Swanson, who only eats meat and washes it down with whiskey. Lagavulin whiskey, of course. Why anyone in his right mind would pair a steak with peaty whiskey instead of a California Cabernet Saugvignon, boldly developed in oak barrels, is a question that I suspect can only be answered by the "Parks and Rec" product placement sales goons.

Figure [4]: Lagavulin 16 at Costco is 13 Dollars off today, now it's only 54.99 Dollar per bottle.

Figure [5]: Lagavulin is on sale at the local supermarket.

Then, the mega supermarket chain Costco caused the next blip on my radar screen. It had Lagavulin on sale and lowered the price from $67.99 per bottle to "only" $54.99, which is why I bought two (Figure 4). The "Lagavulin 16" single malt ages for 16 years and has an extremely strong peat taste. It is to be consumed at room temperature, and I've heard stories of colleagues at work who showed American visitors the door after they had asked if they could get Lagavulin served on the rocks. Unbelievable!

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Latest update: 13-Jun-2014