Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Love bourbon but still enjoy an occasional foreign whisky pour as well? Discuss some of your favorites here.

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Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:44 pm

I have before me about 30 ml of MACALLAN Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky reduced from 117 proof to about 100 proof and about 30 ml of Ezra B Single Barrel 12 YO Bourbon Whiskey at 99 proof. The purpose of this post is to do a completely biased comparison of two excellent whiskies and leave you confused as to their merits.

Noses:

The Macallan has a wonderfully soft and subtle nose for a Scotch. It is quite evocative of malt and heather and the earthy tones found in the Speyside Scotchs. There is a bit of the peat and smoke to be sure, but they are shy. This nose is rich buttery sweetness, leather, citrus, and caramel. It organic roots are very enticing and memorable.

The Ezra B is sharper in its introduction with a more pronounced vanilla and woody aroma. It too has some caramel and even a bit of leather, but none of the heathery organic notes. The rye seems quite prominent when nosed after the scotch. A few moments in the glass do reveal more of the organic aromas, even in the Ezra..........marvelous as it gets deep into the belly of the bourbon.

The winner of the nose-off is Ezra B. They are themselves and stand on their own merits........and both are superb.........but the Ezra B is, to this old guy, a bit more robust and complex. Still, both lead the noser straight to the sip.

Taste:

The Mcallan is on the sweet side for a scotch and is very flavorful in its rich complexity. Again, the organic topnotes and chewy thick lightly smoked peatiness provides great interest to the palate. An excellent whisky that seems to take much from its used bourbon/sherry barrels while deemphasizing the smoke and peat. A marvelous dram of whisky by my lights.

The Ezra B is, as the nose promised, sharper in its attack, but it is moderated by the deep oak and corn viscous sweetness. The nutmeg and fruit spiciness lingers to carress the palate and perk up the tongue and rear of the mouth.

The winner of the taste off is all both.........it depends on what your taster calls for on that day

Finish:

The Mcallan makes it exit softly but with much flavor left behind. It lingers as an ember of its former self and dies slowly.........but with great class and subtlety.

The Ezra B struts out without much subtlety, but does not seek to overpower with its manliness. No need to puff out its chest and declare its American origin.......that is obvious.

The winner of the finish is Mcallan..........it walks out with great class and dignity...........even at its 117 proof.

Overall;

There can NEVER be a winner 'twixt Bourbon and Scotch because they are too different to really compare. No need to say which is better, an Apple or an Orange because they provide very different taste experiences.

Since this is a Bourbon site, I would encourage Bourbon drinkers to try several Scotch Whiskies, including The MACALLAN Single Malt Cask Strength (about $55) for a unique and wonderful sip.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:32 pm

Now, I know, you were wondering when I would get around to vatting a Scotch and a Bourbon. Go on, admit it, isn't that what you wanted?

So, in the interest of your interests, I did just that, 50/50.

Something of a surprise! A quite drinkable whisk(e)y. Since Bourbon is the more robust of the two (in my opinion) I expected it to take the lead. Not so! The thick malty sweetness of the Scotch steals the show! The rye of the Ezra B has its say but it is almost exclusively in the finish that it comes into its own. The Bourbon has its say in the nose with its rye working with the alcohol to decieve the sipper into believing he has a strange bourbon in his glass..........until the sip gives it away.

Folks, stone me not, I think this makes for a very interesting vatting! I will cogitate on mixing my two half bottles of Macallan Scotch and Ezra B Bourbon into a full bottle of vatting!!

I have no shame in this matter, and no dog in this fight!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:46 pm

Sometimes a great notion, Mike!

(Who was it that said that first? Ken Kesey wrote a fine novel of the title, but maybe he got it from Ledbelly because there is a song of his with a line like that, "sometimes I got a notion to...", I can't recall).

Gary
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:51 pm

gillmang wrote:Sometimes a great notion, Mike!

(Who was it that said that first? Ken Kesey wrote a fine novel of the title, but maybe he got it from Ledbelly because there is a song of his with a line like that, "sometimes I got a notion to...", I can't recall).

Gary


You teasing me, Gary..........'sometimes I take a great notion, to jump into the river and drown'............you knew that just as you know the sun gone rise in the east tomorrow!.............and you know full well what song it was in!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:30 pm

Okay, I did. Just having some fun on a cold Monday in Canady, Mike. :)

Gary
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:44 pm

gillmang wrote:Okay, I did. Just having some fun on a cold Monday in Canady, Mike. :)

Gary


'Twas a bit nippy here today too, Gary. Only got to 50 degrees F............shiver! Had to turn the heat up..........but then the fermenting beer in my kitchen needed a bit of a thermal kick!

Supposed to creep up to 65 degrees tomorrow.........only need a long sleeved shirt of a certain thickness to be OK. Winter!............will it never go away?
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:17 pm

50 F. is cold? Get out... (oot not owt). (But if you want ale not lager get that thermal thing going!).

Okay, time for Jimmie to talk. Jimmie Carter. Here's his recipe for beef and bibulosities called, "Jimmie Carter's 'Boilermaker' Roast Beef". It's from Ruth Vendley Neumann's, "Cooking With Spirits" (Castle Books, New York, 1961) whereof I spoke a spell back. This Mike guy has me talking in Conyerian idiom for goldarn sake.

I'll summarise the recipe rather than textually repeat it. You take a 5 lb. piece of rump roast. You'll need also some anchovy, 1/8th lb. butter, 1 big onion, some salt, a little brown sugar, 3 tablespoons whiskey, 2 cups beer "or more" (I like this one already), 2 tbsp. flour, 1 cup sour cream and the juice of half a lemon.

Butter the roast. Place in a baking dish uncovered. Brown at 450 F. Add anchovy, onion, salt, the sugar, the whiskey, and beer. Cover and bake for about 3 hours at 300 F. until tender. "If pan juices begin to dry up, add more beer". (Alright!). Add flour to sour cream and lemon juice. Add to pan drippings for gravy. (That's gravy, folks, not "jus" or a "reduction" or some such). Ms. Neumann advises: "Good with whipped potatoes or dumplings". (She's got that right. Mike's homebrewed ale and fawncy English stout won't hurt none either).

This is from way back in '61 and see people knew something then about "fusion", as in putting anchovies into a Germano-American-sounding dish. There is nothing new under the sun.

Gary
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Re: Scotch/Bourbon Throwdown

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:59 pm

Gary, the cold Toronto weather has you taking a bit too much 'stew' as a corrective. This post should go to the Recipes forum. Either way, the recipe sounds as if it would be more than worth a try.

Either I would love it, or I would think to myself (so as not to hurt your Canadian feelings), What the f___ is this? I do not have enough imagination to even speculate what this beef stew would taste like, but I would gladly give it a go!

Strangely enough though, I wondered what a bit of sour cream would do in my Bourbon Beef recipe.............but what I made was quite rich w/o any sour cream. But anchovies? Now there is a left field idea!!!!!!!!!!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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