Saturday, December 15, 2012

Make mine a Ballantine's

I will never claim to be anything but highly suggestible. Recently, I went on a Mad Men binge, imbibing the entire existing corpus via Netflix. At one point, Roger Sterling refers to a bottle of Canadian Club as "the good stuff" which  got me to thinking about the relative merits of whiskeys.

For some time, I've been heartily tired of the whiskeys that must be reverently anointed with no more than a drop or two of water and then savored with furrowed brow and serious mien.

I wanted a whiskey that didn't cost the earth that just tasted nice. Something that I could splash over a couple of rocks into my father's old thick bottomed Rosenthal crystal tumblers

I started out by tasting the Canadian Club, but there was a pervasive bitterness to it that just didn't please me. I tried a great number of other blended whiskeys on the rocks, but for some time I couldn't find one that was just right.

Finally I hit upon Ballantine's Finest (ironically the lowest priced whiskey in their lineup). Ballantine's is a venerable brand of blended Scotch whiskey that tastes to me exactly like a whiskey should taste. Faintly sweet, smooth, a hint of bitterness and very little in the way of smoke, peat or iodine (why is it that some people crave those flavors in whiskeys? I think it's just a masomachismo thing). $28.50 for 1.75 liters at my local hoocheria.


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