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Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

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Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby tuddy24 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:39 pm

Hi Everyone,

So I'm at my buddy's house last night sitting around and shooting the breeze about the best Linux distribution is and ended up getting out the Teacher's Highland Cream I brought him as a gift. We both liked it quite a bit, he made a snow cone out of it which made me cringe and I dropped a good size ice cube in it. It was peaty and big, very malty and warming at the end. I also saw that he had a 1.75L of JWRed and shivered when I remembered last tasting it. It was very dry, not sweet at all, and almost rough in texture like sandpaper. Black label was light years ahead of it. For the heck of it I tried it again last night and it was totally different. It was smoother, had more flavor, and better overall compared with Teacher's. There was caramel, vanilla, and a tiny amount of peat. I was confused. Did my palate change? The Whisky? Today while navigating Binny's I flipped through Jim Murray's 2009 bible and found something interesting. Jim Murray said the same thing! He had said that he tasted the Red in two locations and tasted two different whiskies, one smoother and sweeter and one the opposite. His conclusion was that he wasn't sure which striding man was intended to be "Red". I can think of 2 options. Either the blend has a lot of variation in it or they intentionally changed the taste profile to give Red a competitive edge at $20. I believe the latter. Almost everyone I know has unanimously agreed that Red is harsh and you can do way better at the same price. Funny part is I was quite enjoying it more than I do the Black. Any thoughts?

-Pete
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby borgom » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:44 am

I've had the same experience with JWR. A few years or more ago I remember it being harsh, spirity rubbish but recently the bottlings seem to be far more balanced. You can definately taste the Talisker/Caol Ila influence in it now, which is great. There might be some regional/batch variation but the general consensus seems to be that is has greatly improved of late. I'll have to do a retaste of JWB but from memory I also prefer Red over Black.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:23 am

I had it five years ago and it was rough poison, and then I had it in May of this year bracing myself for the worst and to my surprise I enjoyed it. I am unsure if it has improved or my appreciation of scotch has, which was the contributing factor for enjoying it. Certainly five years ago i was not a scotch fan whereas today I am. unsure what to think but I will say now that I would not turn down JWR if offered to me. It is fashionable to bash this blend, but if people gave it a chance or tasted it blind they might form a different opinion.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby tuddy24 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:33 am

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:I had it five years ago and it was rough poison, and then I had it in May of this year bracing myself for the worst and to my surprise I enjoyed it. I am unsure if it has improved or my appreciation of scotch has, which was the contributing factor for enjoying it. Certainly five years ago i was not a scotch fan whereas today I am. unsure what to think but I will say now that I would not turn down JWR if offered to me. It is fashionable to bash this blend, but if people gave it a chance or tasted it blind they might form a different opinion.


It's really easy to bash anything popular. I work with an individual who refers to the iPod as the "iSnob" and insinuates that I use and promote the device because it's cool. The truth is that I spent years dealing with crappy software bundled with crappy hardware. The reality is that the iPod is not that much more than anything else not factoring the cost associated with wasted time and frustration.

I have no problem appreciating JW because I've never met one I haven't liked, minus the initial Red tasting. The Black is a great deal in my opinion, I can get it at Binny's for $23 whenever it goes on sale. Many people will say to purchase a single malt before a blend if the blend is more than the SM. Of the 2 cheapest SM's I've had which were around $28, Glenlivet 12 and Glennfidich 12, I'd rather have JWBlack, Teacher's, or The Famous Grouse. Reason? Even though the SM's are weightier in the mouth they cannot come anywhere near the complexity and balance of the blends. Now when you start getting into HP12 territory we're playing a different ball game, but that's at double the price. After enjoying the great time with my friend it wasn't about sitting around analyzing aromas and flavors of the scotch but sipping and having a fun time while listening to the great Miles Davis live in Berlin with his new second quintet coming from my iPod nano. I'd rather discuss the complexity of this band with my friend any day, Cheers.

-Pete
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:58 am

tuddy24 wrote:It's really easy to bash anything popular.


I agree with you. I don't buy JW Red but would enjoy a glass of that - and the pleasant conversation that came with it - if it was offered to me. I think it is a good beginner's whisky and perhaps some of the posters here have forgotten that. First you crawl, then you walk, then you run, then you drive. I look back fondly on the whiskies that got me started on this journey, and sometimes I buy them again just for nostalgia's sake.

I used to be a whisky snob but I've mended my ways.

:D
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby lockejn » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:19 am

I've only ever had two mini bottles of the red, but my notes for both occasions indicate that it tastes like JW Black cut with more grain alcohol. The flavor is nice, but it's spirity, burns all the way down, and has a slightly bitter finish.

I'd still choose it over half the other blends on the shelf - and at least a few single malts - but to even suggest putting it in the same class as Teacher's seems absurd.

Perhaps I'll have to invest in a larger bottle for more careful examination.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby borgom » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:57 pm

lockejn wrote:but to even suggest putting it in the same class as Teacher's seems absurd.

Well it's a matter of taste really (and batch variation). My last bottle of JWR and Teachers were opened together. Now the JWR is long gone and the Teachers isn't even half gone. This bottle of Teachers is actually more spirity than the JWR was.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby talisker10 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:30 pm

I have never had a problem with the Red, and until I had the Black with Ice back in May (and finished the bottle) liked the Red better than the Black. I definitely like the Black better than the Red now, but still like the Red.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby lockejn » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:03 am

So I've just opened a fresh bottle of Red. My previous impressions are consistent with what's in my glass. Good flavor profile, but watered down and spirity. It's not bad, but mediocre would be a fair assessment I think. I certainly have no qualms about drinking it, but I'd rather have (pay for) something else.

Maybe we get a different blend around these parts.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby tuddy24 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:37 am

lockejn wrote:So I've just opened a fresh bottle of Red. My previous impressions are consistent with what's in my glass. Good flavor profile, but watered down and spirity. It's not bad, but mediocre would be a fair assessment I think. I certainly have no qualms about drinking it, but I'd rather have (pay for) something else.

Maybe we get a different blend around these parts.


lockejn,

I'll be purchasing a bottle of Red this weekend, Binny's has a 15% off sale, and I'll compare the "spiriti-ness" of Black, Red, and Famous Grouse. I left the Teacher's at my buddy's house for him to keep and personally I found it too peaty for me. I like when there is peat but there has to be smoke as well. The Teacher's didn't seem to have any smoke.

-Pete
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby tuddy24 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:39 am

borgom wrote:
lockejn wrote:but to even suggest putting it in the same class as Teacher's seems absurd.

Well it's a matter of taste really (and batch variation). My last bottle of JWR and Teachers were opened together. Now the JWR is long gone and the Teachers isn't even half gone. This bottle of Teachers is actually more spirity than the JWR was.


borgom,

This was my experience as well. The Teacher's was definitely bolder and more SM-like but I found the Red more balanced.

-Pete
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:14 am

borgom wrote:I've had the same experience with JWR. A few years or more ago I remember it being harsh, spirity rubbish but recently the bottlings seem to be far more balanced. You can definately taste the Talisker/Caol Ila influence in it now, which is great. There might be some regional/batch variation but the general consensus seems to be that is has greatly improved of late. I'll have to do a retaste of JWB but from memory I also prefer Red over Black.


I had this experience flying back to UK from Brisbane in October 2006. All they had on the plane was JW Red, so I figured I'd just have to make do...

To my surprise, all I could taste was Talisker! I had a few before we touched down in Singapore...
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:32 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:I had this experience flying back to UK from Brisbane in October 2006. All they had on the plane was JW Red, so I figured I'd just have to make do...To my surprise, all I could taste was Talisker!


Talisker? In JW Red? You mean I've been spending $60 a bottle on Talisker when I could get the same taste for $25?!

:headbang:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:47 pm

Yes, L, as you say, you "...COULD get the same taste", but the drift of this thread is that the profile seems to change. Read your Bible and you'll know the truth! The 2006 edition review is a world apart( and 4 points!) from the one in 2009, in which the author, like me, was travelling by air - in a British Airways lounge to be precise - when he was stunned by an onslaught of peat in a JW Red, which he described as "the earthiest version ever!"

Seems the airlines got the best of that batch! Chances are, you'll be wasting your money, and wished you'd gone the extra mile for the pukka Talisker. I've since had a dram of red which bore little resemblance to the one(s) I drank courtesy of Singapore Airlines in 2006.

Funnily enough, I was enjoying the last of my father's day JWGreen last night. A much more "austere" dram than either the Red or Black, but beautifully round and balanced, without the sweet spiritiness of the "grain". Not too much of anything, but a bit of everything, if you see what I mean...
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby talisker10 » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Obviously enough people are buying the Red as it is (maybe for mixing) to make JW happy, so I guess we can't really expect it to change. I would imagine that prior to the 80's, when single malts were pretty rare (at least from what I have read), it was a better whisky.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby TheTross » Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:45 pm

When I went snowboarding a few years ago, I bought a bottle of JW Red in Duty Free to be used as a hipflask dram. I thoroughly enjoyed it, to the extent that I bought another bottle on the way home. However, upon drinking it at home I found it to be incredibly insipid, leaving me wondering what on earth I'd seen in it whilst away.

Seeing as this particular holiday lasted only a week, in this case I highly doubt that batch variation played a role. That I liked it because I was cold and tired is feasible, as too is the fact that I was simply drinking it as opposed to examining it, but other than that I honestly have no idea as to why I have two wildly different experiences with the same whisky. Perhaps I need to try it again to settle the confusion...
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:05 am

Reggaeblues wrote:Yes, L, as you say, you "...COULD get the same taste", but the drift of this thread is that the profile seems to change. Read your Bible and you'll know the truth! The 2006 edition review is a world apart( and 4 points!) from the one in 2009, in which the author, like me, was travelling by air - in a British Airways lounge to be precise - when he was stunned by an onslaught of peat in a JW Red, which he described as "the earthiest version ever!"


Ah...so the trick is to drink JWR at altitude! I'm a pilot you know...maybe my passengers would like a more relaxed Captain...

:insane:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:21 pm

Maybe they would...but JM was not at altitude-he was in the BA lounge at the airport!

It occurs to me that in Jamaica "Red" means "stoned" as in "red-eye"...it may also mean "drunk", I'm not sure, but it puts a whole new spin on JWRed.

Kinda implies it's only good for innebriative purposes!

I'm sad to have finished my Green(I'm talking about whisky here!) A class dram, maybe not as "fun/casual" as the black, which, apart from that freak Talisker-tainted experience on a jet-plane, I would normally choose over the red.

I have an old friend called Rabbit who played keys with Johnny Nash, Free, and the Who. He wrote a song about "The Red and the Black", on this very subject!
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:54 am

Reggaeblues wrote:Maybe they would...but JM was not at altitude-he was in the BA lounge at the airport!


?!

This reminds me of the only time I flew - piloted, actually - inebriated. It was in the year 2000 and I was doing some training to upgrade my license. I had a safty pilot with me (an qualified instructor) and we took off after I had become...«happy.» In the air, I flew the plane normally and everything seemed alright. We even did some steep turns and power-on stalls and I was bang-on. I was feeling like flying intoxicated wasn't so bad after all!

I set the plane up for the approach to land and everything was perfect...or so I thought. At the flare (just as the plane raises its nose to land) the instructor grabbed the controls and did the landing. She - yes, she! - told me that I was about to crash into the runway.

And you would have been deprived of knowing me...

Reggaeblues wrote:It occurs to me that in Jamaica "Red" means "stoned" as in "red-eye"...it may also mean "drunk", I'm not sure, but it puts a whole new spin on JWRed.


There is a rum that Jamaicans like, Red Rum by Lamb's, bottled at 76% abv. Red Rum spelled backwards is...

:dead:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:06 am

Feget de Lamb's rum!

Mi sooner lick de Lambs Bread like Bob Marley! 'tis Murder also, but in a nice way!

I once knew a Jamaican taxi driver called Winston, a lovely bloke who told me of a Jamaican rum(might be the same!) known as Jankra Batty(spelling?) which literally means "it knocks you onto your bottom" :dead:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby tuddy24 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:04 am

So I picked up a bottle of Red and am nosing and sipping it as I type. The best way to describe red is a less complex and bold Black label. The smoke and peat are still there but the fiery spiritiness of Black along with the lime-iness is gone. It's like I remember it with my friend and compared to all the $20 blends definitely my favorite. If the Teacher's had more smoke to it that would be the bargain of the century.

-Pete



tuddy24 wrote:
lockejn wrote:So I've just opened a fresh bottle of Red. My previous impressions are consistent with what's in my glass. Good flavor profile, but watered down and spirity. It's not bad, but mediocre would be a fair assessment I think. I certainly have no qualms about drinking it, but I'd rather have (pay for) something else.

Maybe we get a different blend around these parts.


lockejn,

I'll be purchasing a bottle of Red this weekend, Binny's has a 15% off sale, and I'll compare the "spiriti-ness" of Black, Red, and Famous Grouse. I left the Teacher's at my buddy's house for him to keep and personally I found it too peaty for me. I like when there is peat but there has to be smoke as well. The Teacher's didn't seem to have any smoke.

-Pete
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:37 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:Mi sooner lick de Lambs Bread like Bob Marley! 'tis Murder also, but in a nice way!


Aye! I opnin' me a'bott o' dee Red Stripe beer, yeh? I lit me a big reefer too!

:smoke:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:36 pm

In England there is a very strong lager called "Special Brew" , I think it's a Carlsberg. I certainly avoid it. "Red Stripe" have an equivalent, favoured by Jamaicans, called "Crucial Brew" (pronounced "croo-shall!")

BTW Seems Tuddy has found him some of that Red with the peat and smoke. Lucky man!

Strange, though. I have no memory of a "fiery spiritiness " in the Black- more so in my memory of the Red(apart from THAT Talisker - heavy dram somewhere above the Indian Ocean)...not that I've had much of either, though I did once buy and enjoy a bottle of Black, which is , as I recall, a "smoother" experience than the Red.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:37 am

I had Johnnie Red this past weekend at a wedding and was pleased. It was quite peaty, some smoke, and definitely sweet on the finish. There was no burn upon swallowing, but rather what I would call "warmth." The finish disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, I think it is getting better. Diaego is a very agressive company in the spirits business that will spare no expense on marketing and product research and I think we are seeing or should I say tasting their successful efforts here.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:15 am

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:I had Johnnie Red this past weekend at a wedding and was pleased. It was quite peaty, some smoke, and definitely sweet on the finish. There was no burn upon swallowing, but rather what I would call "warmth." The finish disappeared in the blink of an eye.


Aye! I giss ah'll git me a'bott o' de Jannie Wokker Red, yeah! You MoFos mekkin' it see good, yeah! Jannie Wokker wit' dee Red Stripe an a big reefer, yeah!

:smoke:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby ClubSmed » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:30 am

Liechtenstein wrote:I think it is a good beginner's whisky and perhaps some of the posters here have forgotten that. First you crawl, then you walk, then you run, then you drive.


I find that when going to somewhere to enjoy whisky first I drive (to get there) then I run inside the place to get started, walk around and talk to people whilst enjoying the whisky then crawl out to go home
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:59 am

ClubSmed wrote:I find that when going to somewhere to enjoy whisky first I drive (to get there) then I run inside the place to get started, walk around and talk to people whilst enjoying the whisky then crawl out to go home
:lol: :lol: :lol:


:lol: :thumbsup:

PS...I am actually considering purchasing a bottle of JWR. You guys are making it sound so delectable!
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby lockejn » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:31 pm

I'm sure we'd all appreciate your take on the subject.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:13 pm

Liechtenstein wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:I find that when going to somewhere to enjoy whisky first I drive (to get there) then I run inside the place to get started, walk around and talk to people whilst enjoying the whisky then crawl out to go home
:lol: :lol: :lol:


:lol: :thumbsup:

PS...I am actually considering purchasing a bottle of JWR. You guys are making it sound so delectable!


Yah mon! Mi feel irie 'bout dat! Bot... 'ow mi know 'tis a GOOD bottle wid smoke an'all dat peaty business? Becar mi only find dat one time. Mi cyarn hafford fe buy a nex' bottle and den a nex', becar it no 'ave nuh smoke!

Mi bettah stickin' wid de GREEN! And the Talisker Rum.

Mi like Johnny "Too Bad" Walker Black too, fe true...bot de BIGGEST disappointment so far wuz the GOLD, star!

Yuh ever lick dat one?
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:43 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Liechtenstein » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:44 am

That was really, really good, Reggae! Are you Jamaican?

I used to work with a Jamaican man and he could speak just the way you did (he also could speak plainly.)

lockejn wrote:I'm sure we'd all appreciate your take on the subject.


I'm still thinking about buying a JWR. My heart says It's just $25! but my head says Are you out of your mind?!

:?
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:58 am

Liechtenstein wrote:I'm still thinking about buying a JWR. My heart says It's just $25! but my head says Are you out of your mind?!
:?


Don't be a snob. Try a bottle. Judge for yourself . . . and then post it here naturally.
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby tuddy24 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:02 am

Liechtenstein,

If you're used to single malts the JWR will most likely be too thin for you. It has such a smokey kick with some sweetness to back it up though and it's a lot of fun to drink. It's extremely smokey as a matter of fact and I love it, try finding a cheap blend that has this kind of smoke and you'll likely end up wasting your time. Hell, even the cheap Black Bottle can't touch it! I throw one ice cube in it and wait for it to melt and get slightly above room temperature and it's great. I'm really enjoying it as low brow as it is to most SM aficionados but I don't really care. In Chicago you can get a 1.75L for $30 and sometimes it goes on sale for $24! Let us know if you decide to try it.

-Pete


Liechtenstein wrote:That was really, really good, Reggae! Are you Jamaican?

I used to work with a Jamaican man and he could speak just the way you did (he also could speak plainly.)

lockejn wrote:I'm sure we'd all appreciate your take on the subject.


I'm still thinking about buying a JWR. My heart says It's just $25! but my head says Are you out of your mind?!

:?
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:24 am

Tuddy old chep, that is quite the seal of approval! good old bog standard JWRED smakier than Black Bottle? Why! One might just be tempted to procure a crate! But one has one's malt snobbery to maintain, so it's unlikely.

Don't tell Charlie, our good prince - one mustn't encourage the old boy to forsake his beloved Laphroaig!

And in response to that Lichtenstein chep, of course I'm not Jamamican! Born, bred and buttered at public school in Blighty!

But, as I once announced to a crowd of Jamaicans, onstage playing guitar for a visiting Reggae star: "Mi 2 per cent Jamaican, bot mi cyan't show yuh WHICH two percent...or mi get arrested!"

They fair whooped and hollered and blew their whistles! Oh my! Quite a commotion! Afterwards, the drummer, a Rastaman with locks all the way from here to Scotland, came over and admonished me for underselling myself:

"Yuh shoulda told dem "five per cent!" " :shock:

BTW what does anyone think of the Gold? I bought the all-singing all-dancing 18 year old in DF and was underwhelmed all the way to the bottom of the bottle...
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Re: Teacher's and a surprising JWRed observation

Postby borgom » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:55 am

Never tried Gold myself. For the same money I can buy a bottle of Laga 16 and a second cheap malt like Old Pultney or similar so I've been tempted but I can never justify the purchase of JW Gold.
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