Listen to Us Talk About Irish Whiskey on this Month’s WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings

Mark Gillespie

The great Mark Gillespie at The Barthenon!

Mark Gillespie is either a glutton for punishment, or perhaps he genuinely likes us, because this past Saturday he invited us to record yet another episode of WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings. Not only did he invite us, he even took his show on the road and recorded the March 2014 episode at the Barthenon, i.e. Limpd’s kitchen where we spend a lot of time conducting our extensive adult beverage research.

For this month’s episode, Mark went with an Irish theme and selected three very different Irish whiskies for us to nose, taste, and discuss. Mark brought two of the whiskies, i.e. the Paddy blended Irish whiskey and Redbreast 15 single pot still Irish whiskey, while Limpd raided his basement whisky bunker and selected a bottle of Tyrconnell 14 year old single malt Irish whiskey.

If you too are a glutton for punishment (or perhaps you actually like us and think we know what we’re talking about), click here to give a listen to the Booze Dancing crew and our good friend Miracle Max talk about the goodness that is Irish whiskey.

If you too would like to take part in a future episode of WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings, be sure to email Mark at (be sure to put “Tasting Panel” in the subject line of your email).


Once again, many thanks to Mark Gillespie for tolerating our booze infused banter. We had a glorious time!

Whisky Review – The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 2

David Stewart and The Balvenie Tun 1401

A while ago, Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast fame invited us over to partake in a Virtual Tasting. While the tasting alone would have been more than sufficient, he provided me with a lovely parting gift in the form of a sample of the second batch of Balvenie’s Tun 1401. This was a well-received gift as I really like Balvenie and have commented on more than one occasion that the DoubleWood is a gateway or table Scotch. The Tun 1401 is a limited edition series prepared by Master Distiller David Stewart and named after his favorite marrying tun.

  • Appearance: Light amber with good lacing.
  • Aroma: A little bit astringent with hints of rubber, pineapples and toffee.
  • Taste: Very heavy with the alcohol and a little bit of wood smoke. With water, the alcohol recedes and a balance of the fruit (now more of candied citrus – lemons, oranges) and spices from the wood takeover and lead into a nice, long finish
  • ABV: 50.6%

I found this to be a very complex whisky. And, given the ABV, I have to recommend adding water as the flavors really come alive once the alcohol has been pushed to the background. All I can add is that any time Mark needs an extra panelist, I hope he calls upon me!


Many thanks to Mark Gillespie for sharing this sample with us!

Whisky Review – The Glenlivet Alpha

The Glenlivet Alpha

When I woke up this past Fourth of July, whisky was the furthest thing from my mind. Scratch that. It was definitely a Top 5 on my list of early morning thoughts.

What I meant to say is that when I woke up this past Fourth of July, I never expected to return from my morning activity with a sample of The Glenlivet Alpha. Here is how it all went down…

At about 8:30AM, I took my eldest son along with Limpd’s eldest son to the “charming, but regrettably dry town of Haddonfield, NJ for their annual Fourth of July Parade (both boys attend the same Tae Kwon Do school and were going to march in the parade together). While waiting for the parade to start, I was goofing around on Twitter and wound up having a brief chat with Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast and Oliver Klimek of This Twitter chat eventually led to Mark sharing his Alpha sample with me and an invite for the Booze Dancing crew to do yet another WhiskyCast Virtual Tasting. As I have said many many times, the interwebz is a truly magical place!

Now that you know how I scored a sample of this whisky, let’s find out a bit more about it. Here is what The Glenlivet has to say about their Alpha expression via a very dramatic YouTube video:

Let’s get on with the review…

  • Appearance: Pale golden color with a slight amber tint.
  • Aroma: Very sweet and fruity on the nose. Getting tart peaches backed with creamy vanilla nougat and powdered sugar. Perhaps even a bit of ripe pears. Last but not least, there’s also a touch of peppermint and eucalyptus.
  • Taste: Light bodied with just a touch of oiliness. Quite a bit of heat concentrated on the front half of my tongue (poblano chile perhaps?). From mid-palate to the finish, vanilla and ripe fruits start to come through with just a hint of sweet tobacco at the very end. The finish is dry and mildly fruity with some of those herbal notes showing up in the aftertaste.
  • ABV: 50%

I liken my tasting of The Glenlivet Alpha to stumbling upon a movie that you know absolutely nothing about on HBO, only to find yourself completely sucked in and unable to change the channel. Another way of saying this is that since I had zero expectations (i.e. I read very little about this whisky before sitting down to review it), I just let this whisky reveal itself rather than having a set of preconceived notions about how it would smell or taste.

So did I like this whisky? Hell yes I did! What I enjoyed most about Alpha is how the aromas deceive you into thinking that it will be a soft and gentle dram. While it definitely leans towards the sweet and fruity side of the flavor spectrum, the 50% ABV and moderate spiciness that comes through in the palate remind you that you’re drinking a potent whisky and not some session cocktail. Definitely a dram to sip and savor!

But wait, there’s more…

Here are a few more reviews of this very unique expression from some of my favorite whisky bloggers:


Many thanks to Mark Gillespie for sharing his sample!

Booze News Flash: A WhiskyCast Virtual Tasting, a Bit of Beertography, and a Blogging Birthday!

This week’s news post is all about us…

The WhiskyLIVE NYC WhiskyCast Virtual Tasting Is Online!

Last Wednesday I posted my review of the 2013 WhiskyLIVE NYC. If you managed to make it to the end of my review, then you already know that I took part in a WhiskyCast Virtual Tasting along with our good friend Miracle Max, Susannah Skiver Barton of the What Tastes Good blog, Ian Chang of Taiwan’s King Car Distillery (makers of Kavalan whisky), Hana Choi of the Style Fare blog, and Hana’s husband Olaf Asprink. Five of us were incredibly eloquent, and one of us was a slurring and babbling mess. If you want to figure out which panelist had a bit too much to drink (hint: they suggested fruiting up a whisky), click here to listen to the podcast on the WhiskyCast website. Please let us know your findings in the comments below.


Beertographer of the Week

As some of you already know, I’m a bit of an Instagram addict, and two of my favorite things to photograph are Craft Beer and Whisky. Our buddy John Kleinchester runs the Beertography blog and has featured several of my Instagram photos on his website over the past year and a half.

Two weeks ago, John sent me an email and asked if I would like to be featured as his next “Beertographer of the Week”. Since I was incredibly flattered by his offer, I of course said yes! Click here to visit John’s blog, and to find out why I enjoy Beertography so much.


“It’s just the booze dancing…” Turns Three!

Much like year two of “It’s just the booze dancing…”, year three has been booze infused and action packed! In addition to the usual beer and whiskey reviews, here is a list of some of the other things that we’ve experienced and shared with you over the past twelve months…

As you can see, it’s been a very busy year, and the fact that our livers still function (as far as we know) is a complete miracle!

Thanks to all of you for tolerating yet another year of our booze infused nonsense, and for making this whole blogging adventure an incredibly good time. And please let us know in the comments below what you’d like to see more of over the next twelve months.We’d love to hear your ideas!


Whisk(e)y and Philly Food News For The Week Ending 7/27/2012

Mark Reynier of Bruichladdich Speaks Out About The Bruichladdich Buyout

On July 16 we asked for your opinion about the proposed Bruichladdich buyout by Remy Cointreau. As of this writing, 80% of you went with “It’s not personal. It’s just business.” . The people have spoken and they have decided that the Bruichladdich buyout was a good business decision!

Now it’s Bruichladdich Managing Director Mark Reynier’s turn to speak out about the Remy Cointreau buyout…

The Best Laid Plans (an excerpt from the Bruichladdich blog)

The deal has been signed for Rémy to buy Bruichladdich for £58m including debt.

I am conscious there has had to be a dearth of information surrounding this news. Here’s my explanation of the recent turn of events.

Bruichladdich was the first to be bought out of industry ownership and reopened as a private, operating, single malt distillery. It cost £6.5m in December 2000.

Banks were not accustomed to an individual wanting to buy a distillery. Distilleries were, after all, the reserve of conglomerates and cartels. This hare-brained idea was turned down, out of hand, by every bank except one. And it took eleven months to get them signed up.

To have a chance to develop Bruichladdich along the lines I had in mind, time was essential. Private equity would be needed – and lots of it.

Finding equity investors was not so difficult, and knowing that the stocks of maturing Bruichladdich could be borrowed against, I knew how much equity investment it would take. At least I thought so…

Click here to continue reading Mr. Reynier’s blog post on the Bruichladdich blog website.


The July Edition of WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings is Now Online

July’s episode of WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings marks the end of its first year, and several members of tasting panels from previous episodes returned to help mark the occasion. Shelly Brisbin, Scott Rogers, Tim Davis, and Sean Fousheé tasted Suntory’s Yamazaki 18-year-old single malt, the Bunnahabhain Toiteach from Islay, and a “Mystery Malt” revealed after the tasting.

To celebrate the anniversary and the start of Year #2, I’ll be giving away a special one-off 20″ X 24″ edition of one of the photos from the WhiskyCast Photo Gallery during August and September. To enter, you’ll need to listen to the August and September episodes for the secret word that appears in each episode. Once you’ve figured out the secret word, email it along with your name, address, and age to The July drawing will be held on August 15, and the August drawing will be held on September 15.

If you’d like to be a member of one of our tasting panels, just email and put “Tasting Panel” in the subject line. There are only a few requirements: you’ll need to have Skype on your computer and a headset or external microphone, and you can’t be employed in the whisky industry.

You can either listen to the podcast online, or download it via iTunes.


Meet The 2012 Philly Vendy Awards Emcee, Judges, and Finalists

Philadelphia, PA – July 23, 2012 – Nominees have been chosen and the emcee is on board. The battle will take place Saturday, July 28, 2012, 3:00-7:00 p.m. at The Lot @ 39th and Market. “The People” will designate a “People’s Choice’’, but winners of the coveted Vendy Cup and Best Dessert? That power is in the hands of five local food stars. In alphabetical order:

Collin Flatt – editor of Eater Philly, and the first and only editor of NBC’s now-defunct The Feast, and before that, He teaches classes at The Wine School of Philadelphia, is a beer consultant for bars, and an educator at The Beer School of Philadelphia.

Anna Goldfarb (Emcee) – A local author, humorist, and screenwriter, her first book, “Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through” is a humor memoir about how terrible she is at being an adult. She writes the popular blog, Shmitten Kitten, and is a contributing writer to The Frisky and Hello Giggles.

Tony Luke Jr. – Twice hailed by Gourmet Magazine for quality and innovation, and covered by GQ, The New York Times and scores of other media, Tony Luke’s redefined the Philly Sandwich experience with specialty favorites. Under his helm, the business has expanded into eight premier locations, making it one of the biggest success stories of the Philadelphia dining renaissance of the last two decades.

Joy Manning – Former restaurant critic for Philadelphia Magazine, Manning is a food writer specializing in restaurant coverage, recipe development, and culinary culture. Her work has appeared in Details, Food & Wine, Relish, Cooking Light, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Serious Eats. She is the co-author of “Almost Meatless” and most recently, worked at Prevention magazine as nutrition editor.

Lari Robling – Former food critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, and author of the internationally acclaimed cookbook “Endangered Recipes”, Robling produces sound-rich audio food segments for WHYY radio, and created a series of podcasts on the history of French cuisine for the American Philosophical Society Museum.

Marcie Turney – One of Philadelphia’s most prominent entrepreneurs, Chef Turney has worked for nearly a decade with partner Valerie Safran to transform the 13th Street neighborhood into Midtown Village. Their businesses include restaurants Barbuzzo, Lolita and Jamonera; gourmet prepared food market Grocery, and lifestyle boutiques Open House and Verde, which is home to Turney’s signature line of chocolates, Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates… 

Click the following link to read the complete press release:

Vendy 2012 Emcees Judges and Finalists

Follow the Vendy Awards on Twitter for the latest news and announcements at @vendysphilly and like them on Facebook at Vendy Awards.

Whisk(e)y News Flash: Hear Our Booze Infused Banter On This Month’s WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings!

A few of the whiskies that we sampled during our Podcast taping session.

The “Regrettably Dry Town” of Haddonfield, NJ – On Thursday, July 5th, The Wookie, Limpd, and I (unfortunately, The ROK was unable to make it) headed over to WhiskyCast Central, i.e. Mark Gillespie’s home in Haddonfield, NJ, to tape an episode of the WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings. This would be my second Virtual Tastings experience (I participated in the first episode last July), and the first for The Wookie and Limpd. During this recording session, we nosed, tasted, and discussed four very different whiskies: Dry Fly 100% Wheat Whiskey, Yellow Spot Irish Whisky, Kilchoman Machir Bay, and Talisker 30.

Rather than bore you with all of the details from our night at WhiskyCast Central, I will instead point you in the direction of the actual podcast. You can either listen to the podcast online, or download it via iTunes.

Do we know what we’re talking about, or are we a bunch of blithering idiots that wouldn’t know a whisk(e)y from a bottle of rubbing alcohol? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks again to Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast. We had a fabulous time!

Booze Video: Glenmorange Releases Their Latest Expression, Artein

Click the pic to learn more about this new Whisky. Photo courtesy of

In the latest edition of WhiskyCast HD, Mark Gillespie flies to Tuscany to meet with Dr. Bill Lumsden (Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg) for the Continue reading

Whisky News Flash: The WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings Podcast Is Now Online!

As I mentioned in my review of the Nikka Whisky From The Barrel, I recently had the opportunity to help Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast with a new project called WhiskyCast Virtual Tastings. In addition to his weekly WhiskyCast podcast, Mr. Gillespie plans to gather four listeners per month via Skype to taste and discuss Continue reading

Whisky Review – Nikka Whisky From The Barrel

About four weeks ago, I received an invitation from Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast to help him out with a new project that he is undertaking (more about this in a future post). At the end of my visit, Mark asked me if I’d like a whisky sample to take home. Since the Booze Dancers have had a growing fascination with Japanese whisky, I picked a sample of the Nikka Whisky From The Barrel as my “parting gift”.

Although WhiskyCast recently reported that Nikka has applied to the US government for permission to distribute their whiskies throughout the United States, this process could take a really long time (can you say red tape?). Since patience is not one of my strong suits, I jumped on this golden opportunity to get my hands on Continue reading

How About Some Knob Creek Bourbon Caramel Sauce For Dessert?

During a recent office lunch at Fogo de Chao in Philadelphia (we dubbed this meal MeatFest or Meat-A-Palooza!), I was thoroughly stuffed and found myself declining dessert (my colleagues were flabbergasted!).  Instead of ordering Fogo de Chao’s fiendishly delicious Papaya Cream (the gastronomic equivalent of Continue reading