As we end the year, a little time for reflection

2009 was a pretty good year for the 3dc despite the down turn in the economy. (Not trying to make any money from something sure takes the pressure off…) We saw more members made and great times had by most. Tastings were thrown hither and thither including a collegiums private homes and wars. Well done all. We’ve been using a new tool to plan for the WoWE trip next year; Google Wave. It’s proving quite useful and helpful in organizing and planning things. I started my Elizabethan Irish Usquabetha personal project, which reminds me I got to pick that stick back up soon. The world of whiskies at large is still expanding. I just got word of another new Irish coming to market in the US; Dingle. We’ll have to wait and see what they come up with for us yanks. Many new Scotches have hit the shelves and a few have faded away as is the norm of the past decade so far.
Looking forward, we’ll have to see what this last year of the decade holds for us and with luck we’ll get a better idea of that at WoWE coming up in March. WoWE 2009 was a spectacle to be sure. We had very strong numbers and we all learned quite a bit on the boat and off despite the poor distiller turn out due to the economic down turn. Time spent with John Glasser is not to be missed. WoWE has been sold to new blood so we’ll have to give them a chance this time around and see what they have in plan for the future of the event. It is not on the boat this year and is again just a one day event. Our hotel of choice is the King George Hotel just a block or two from the event itself. Estrella is coming up just before the WoWE and I hope all that are going are going to remember the funny. I know our member out here in Caid are given some of the plans I’ve been hearing about. I haven’t been made privy to any plans for anEstrella tasting this year as I’m unable to attend. The year following however I’m already planning to attend. We simply must set something up for 2011 Estrella. Plans for GWW are in development. Adrian has some scheme or other I’m sure he’ll be making you all aware of the details down the road so keep tuned.
That’s if for me save to say “Thanks for all the funny this year.”

Need help buying a whisky lover a Christmas gift?

Yes, this is a re-run of content from 2007, but it still holds true today. It happens every year around this time, we are all asked about our suggestions for good whiskies as gifts. To that end, we’ve written up some suggestions at the links below.

Take a gander at our previous two posts on Christmas gifting for the whiskies aficionado:

Of course these are just suggestions…. we welcome you to register, login, and comment with your own suggestions as we move closer into the season of gifts and parties alike!

Whiskies of the World 2010 attendance planning is underway!

The 3DC are using GoogleWave to coordinate our planning for attending the 2010 Whiskies of the World event. If you want to attend and join in on this planning, please contact us for an invite. We will also be collaborating on extra curricular activities around the event, tickets, and travel, so don’t miss out!

Reservations are currently being made individually at the King George hotel, however we are also in discussions with the group sales coordinator to determine if we can condense our reservations into a more compact area and at a better pricing. Our recommendation presently, is to book your room on your own, but make sure you are in contact with Raz/Randy to ensure you are included in any group rate/coordination which may come about.

Additionally, now is a great time to not only make your reservations at reduced rates, but to buy your tickets to WotW at reduced rates as well! I expect to see ticket prices climb after the holidays, so why not make the tickets part of a Christmas present for that special someone, or treat yourself (you KNOW you deserve it)!

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Three Sheets investigates Kiwi whiskies

Zane goes to New Zealand and samples some locally distilled and bottled whiskies:

Some interesting tidbits include an historic recreation of a copper home still (Oh, if only the 3DC can setup our own!). It is a short 3 minute clip, but fun none-the-less.

The full 24 minute episode (original air date 7/20/09)can be found here:


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The 3 Drunken Celts Tasting Notebook!

OK… So we’ve made some rather lofty claims on our web site. Chief amongst these is “The 3 Drunken Celts are set to change all that you know about whiskies…” Well here’s the start of that:

The 3 Drunken Celts Whiskey Tasting Notebook!

sample page

You’ve seen us using them at Whiskies of the World in San Francisco, and other tasting events we attend, now get your own so you won’t forget what you’ve tasted and more importantly, what you thought of the taste! Simply said, these are essentially blank notebooks designed to guide tasters through their own note-taking while tasting various whiskies. The notebooks include free-text sections as well as basic rating scales to capture your own reactions to the whiskies you are tasting.

There is more information about this new offering below… I’ve a personal beef with tasting notes and ratings as are currently done by the whiskey world at large; eg: Would I like a given “98” rated whiskey? Would it be good on a hot summer afternoon? Is it thick and warm or thin and refreshing? Is it complex or curt in its story? The “98” really doesn’t mean anything to you unless you were the one who tasted the dram or at least know what scores in each of the individual categories the reviewer has used that then where added up to the 98. I’m pretty sure we, the 3DC, can do a damn site better than that. I find that some whiskies that rate highly I don’t like while others that do not rate so highly, by the experts at least, are rather enjoyable and visa versa on both these statements.On the most rudimentary level what I’d like to know about a bottle of whiskey I’ve never had is how thick the dram is, how strong the taste is, how long the story is. I find that I prefer a stronger, thicker dram in the winter and a lighter more complex one in the summer so knowing the viscosity, boldness and length of story goes a long way towards picking out a dram I’m not familiar with. Additionally, these are categories that can be reviewed with far less subjectively. We’ll use a 1-5 scale. For example, if it drinks like a 10W40 motor oil, as far as viscosity is concerned, you’d give it a 5 and if it was thin as water you’d give it a 1. The same scale will be used for Boldness and length of story.

From there, more traditional tasting notes regarding descriptive verbiage of the nose, flavor and finish can come into play when deciding between drams I already know to be appropriate to my mood’s general requirements at the time. I should be noted that the evaluations, 1-5, in the categories above are not indicative of quality or approval. A 1 is no better than a 5, just an empirical take on the dram’s properties. This is what makes our system drastically different from the status quo as well as makes the future database a much more useful tool.

The last category, and notably the least important, is an indication of how much we liked the dram based on own personal taste with an A-F scale. This is simply intended to be a reference or reminder of our overall impression of the dram as time passes and also a means for others to get to know our individual preferences while reviewing the database. For example, Seamus really likes the Balvenie 21, and so does Fergus, so Fergus looking over Seamus’ favorable review of the Edradour 10 cask strength would lend Fergus to think he may well want to try it too. Simple huh?

To this end we have introduced a 3DC tasting notepad on our Café Press shop page.

We are also, in time, going to be able to start logging these tasting notes onto our web site for others to reference. The idea here is that you can try things that others have tried and get to know each other’s tastes and preferences. Once you get to know the others preferences you may be inclined to try something you’d not normally have tried simply because someone with similar tastes as your own rated it favorably regardless of what the late M. Jackson or J. Murray has said about the dram. Not that they don’t know their business. As Fergus and Seamus will tell you, I’ve nothing but the highest admiration for Jim but his tastes have developed far beyond my own and his sophistication of pallet is also well out of my current personal reach. He has highly rated things I don’t care for and has panned some of my favorite drams as well so as much as I like the man, I can’t rely on his ratings to determine whether or not I’m going to like what’s in the bottle in front of me. I just know if Jim liked it.

I urge you to give our little experiment in changing the whiskey world a try. We’ve put a PDF copy of one of the pages up in the downloads page if you’d like to “try before you buy”.

Please let us know what you think and feel free to post a version of your tasting notes to the list for a while so we can see what you think of the drams you are trying.

Yis, Raz/Randy