Skull Splitter

skullsplitterAs we enter Autumn, BWG always finds ourselves craving spirits that befit the feel and colors of the season – brisk temperatures and layered clothing calls for more robust, full bodied drinks. Summery flavors of citrus and bright fruits give way to spice and dark fruits. An excellent embodiment of these fall type flavors is the Scottish import brew, Skull Crusher. This Scottish style ale (or “wee heavy” style ale) comes from the Orkney Brewery in Scotland, who specialize in traditional cask ales. Skull Splitter pours a dark ruby color with little to no head. It has very pleasant aromas of figs, raisins, caramel and roasted malt. It’s texture is silky smooth with rich flavors of dark berries, more caramel and baking spices. It has a soft, easy finish that leaves you with the distinct urge to drink more of this deep, red, Scottish brew. Skull Splitter is bottled at 8.5% but there is virtually no evidence of alcohol on the nose, pallet or finish. This tasty beer is deliciously structured and very fun to drink — part of that is due to the epic labeling of an angry looking Viking who seems very willing to split your skull wide open for merely looking at him. Skull Splitter is an excellent way to start off the drinks of Autumn. Locally available for $12/4-pack of 11.2oz bottles. Rating: 93/100.

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Visual Recap: Summer 2014

BWG trusts our readers and followers had an epic summer as we did, full of good times and great drinks. If you follow BWG on Instagram, you’ve no doubt seen the plethora of whiskies and beers that have crossed our path. Here’s a little visual recap of some of our favorites from over that last few months…

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For BWG Summer was great, but we can’t lie, we can’t wait for cool, crisp weather, changing leaves and the spirits befitting the Fall season. Follow BWG on Instagram for what we’ll be drinking this Fall. Cheers!

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The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley

scottichbarleyBruichladdich, one of BWG’s favorite Scottish distillers recently discontinued their “Laddie 10″ flagship bottling and replaced it with The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley. We loved the Laddie 10 (you can read that review here), so we were not happy to learn of its departure – however, we were equally as excited to sample its replacement. This unpeated Bruichladdich pours a deep honey gold, a few shades darker than its predecessor. The nose is classic Bruichladdich, salty and floral with a caramel, banana sweetness. The palate is clean and balanced, with sea salt caramel taffy and a lavender bouquet. It has a nice oily mouth feel which leads into a thoroughly warming finish that lasts a good while. A touch of water broadens the palate with more floral notes, while maintaining its salty-sweet bite. There is no age statement on this Laddie bottling and the abv. has been punched up to 50%, but if you’re a fan of Bruichladdich’s unpeated line, the Scottish Barley will not disappoint. You can purchase this whisky online at Gates Circle Liquor for $55. Rating 90/100.

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Ardbeg Uigeadail

uigiRecently, we here at BWG have inadvertently relegated our Ardbeg consumption to their special annual releases (you can read all our Ardbeg reviews here) and seem to have overlooked some of their more regularly available stuff. That has been a mistake… Ardbeg Uigeadail’s nose is like an enchanted forest of flavors. It starts off with a beautifully complex blend of earth, oak, moss, wild blackberries and raspberries and Ardbeg’s typical, ever present, but not overpowering peat smoke. The palate is a fresh, hand-picked bouquet strewn over smoked wood chips. A few drops of water open up the fruity and floral notes, while adding a creamy texture to this smokey mountain of flavors. The finish is smooth and warm with some sharp cracked peppercorn and fading peat smoke. Uigeadail is beautifully complex and balanced. For BWG it’s by far Ardbeg’s best regular offering. Available in store and online at Gates Circle Liquor for $106. Rating: 94/100.

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Springbank

spring_bankSpringbank Distillery is the oldest family owned and operated distillery in Scotland. Founded in 1828, this Campbeltown whisky company is now in the hands of its founder’s great great great grand son. Springbank carries out the full production process of its single malt whisky on site. 100% of the floor malting, maturation and bottling is done all by hand at the distillery.

BWG has sampled several Springbank single malts and we’ve found them all to be exceptional. Their flavors have a unique style that blends various regional single malt flavor profiles together. They hover somewhere between sweet, floral and smokey. You can read our full review of Springbank 14 year old cask strength here.spgbank_14If one finds his, or herself in front of a bottle of Springbank, a consequent purchase is most certainly endorsed by BWG, cheers!

Springbank 10 is locally available at Gates Circle Liquor for $60.

Springbank 15 is locally available at Gates Circle Liquor for $100.

Springbank 18 is locally available at Gates Circle Liquor for $150.

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The Balvenie

balvenie_groupThe Balvenie is a Speyside distillery that creates a wide range of single malt whiskies. They span from a baseline 12 year old, to a high-end 50 year old mammoth of a whisky. The Balvenie has the ability to please both the whisky newbie, as well as the whisky vet. Their output is consistent in both availability and quality, and thusly can tend to be overlooked save for their special releases. When asked what a good entry level single malt looks like, BWG will often point someone towards The Balvenie DoubleWood. This affordable scotch has very pleasant, very discernible notes of oak and vanilla. It’s not overly complex, but does a good job of introducing a novice to the world of single malt scotch.IMG_1689One of our favorite summertime single malts continues to be The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 – A wonderfully affordable single malt with a excellent balance of bright vanilla-rum flavors.  Next time your scouring the shelves looking for a single malt to settle on, BWG recommends trying any one of the whiskies in The Balvenie’s range – cheers!IMG_3832

To read our official review of The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14, click here.

To read our review of The Balvenie Single Cask 15, click here.

Several products from The Balvenie are available locally at Gates Circle Liquor.

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#CrushItLikeQuint or The Cans of Summer 2014

BWG’s lifestyle and fashion brother-blog Buffalo Dandy recently featured the resurgence of the “retro beer can” by companies like Miller and more pointedly, the classically designed can of Narragansett Lager – read all about that here.

Now, as Buffalo Dandy pointed out, BWG does not exactly share his affinity for Miller Lite, even if it is housed in a sweet looking retro can. However, there are several locally distributed craft beers available in excellently designed cans that we’d love to “crush like Quint.”

Pictured below: Live Free or Die IPA (21st Amendment Brewery) Righteous Ale (Sixpoint) All Day IPA (Founders Brewing)crushedcans

In honor of the ever fleeting season of summer and one of our favorite films of all time, Jaws. BWG and Buffalo Dandy will randomly be posting pics and videos on our social media outlets of reenactments of the famous scene in Jaws where Robert Shaw (Quint) chugs a can of Narragansett Lager, then crushes it while staring Richard Dreyfuss dead in the eyes. Join BWG and Buffalo Dandy by doing the same with the hashtag #CrushItLikeQuint – or email us your pics and videos for a re-post. (info@buffalowhiskeyguild.com – buffalodandy@gmail.com)

Cheers to summer and cheers to crushing cans, just like Quint…

 

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