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Dj Connell
* Discworld Area Head, Sasquan / WorldCon 2015
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* Current Project: The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan
* Founder, Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America, Established 2003
* Co-Founder, North American Discworld Dark Clerks.
Established 2011
* Board Chair: North American Discworld Connection

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This image of Death is by artist Paul Kidby. Mr Kidby's images are used with his permission. Copyright: Paul Kidby.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky Talk At NADWCon

Have I mentioned that I love Discworld fans

Thanks to a cunning fan, we are introducing yet another new tradition at NADWCon with the first ever, semiannual Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky * talk:
The Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky Talk:
Wherein we consider the definitions for Whisky, Bourbon, and Scotch and, within Scotch, Blended, "Vatted",  Single-Malt and single-barrel types.  We will also discuss the specifics of wood/barrels, aging in general and age statements.  

We will then look at a map of Scotland and cover the styles and flavors by recognized regions and some specific distilleries across Scotland. There are Irish and Japanese (and maybe other) Single Malt Whiskeys which are "like" Scotch, but can't officially be called "Scotch" if they're not produced in Scotland.

If we have time, we can talk about "beer" and the difference between grain and malt and how a Maltster converts one into the other.

Later on, we can test what we’ve learned. Madison's best brew pub is 3 blocks away.
The con budget extends to making bail, so play nice. 


Photo:  The 21st Floor blog 

* from the Discworld & Pratchett Wiki 

Jimkin Bearhugger dominates the Ankh-Morpork whiskey market. His local state-of-the-art distillery produces enormous quantities of spirits, sometimes aging them for several minutes. For the more demanding palate, Bearhugger's also bottles fine whiskies from distilleries in the mountains. The city distillery is also notable as the site of Fred Colon's one-in-a-million bowshot at the dragon in Guards! Guards!
The phrase "A drop before ye go" (to which Colon observes "I had a drop once, I couldn't stop going") is a nod to the tag line of Roundworld's Bell's Scotch, as is the claim 'Aged 8 minutes' (though Bell's do actually allow 8 years).
The Bearhugger line of beverages includes (in rough order of increasing quality):
  • Bearhugger's Old Selected Dragon's Blood
  • Old Persnickety
  • Bearhugger's Very Fine
  • The MacAbre
Bearhugger has since branched out into liqueurs to serve the expanding cocktail market:

1 comment:

  1. 16 people attended a successful talk ... notes and tasting list follow:

    Scotch Whisky

    Uisce beatha ==> Irish/Gallic for “Water of Life” ==>anglicized to “Whisky”


    Fermentation Yeast ==> beer and Wine
    Distillation Boiling and condensing alcohol to produce “spirit”
    [similarly “Freeze Distillation” removes water]
    Whiskey (American, Canadian, spelling) Any aged grain spirit.
    Bourbon 51-100% corn (0-49% rye), aged (generally 2 years) in new charred oak
    Whisky Scotch, Irish, etc.
    Malt [food] Any germinated grain. [beer/scotch] Malted Barley
    Malting time; Roasting (color/flavor)

    Making Scotch

    [beer] Barley ==> Malt … originally fire dried (source of peat and smoke)
    Grind to “grist” … add water and cook (brew) the “mash”; drain (or “sparge”) to leave “wort”
    Pitch yeast or Naturally Ferment to beer.
    Run thru Wash Still then Spirit Still [2, 2.5 or 3x distillation]

    Aging: not new Oak barrels [burton, sherry, many others] … Oaky tannins, vanilla
    “Dunage” warehouses open bottom walls and 3-high barrels for environmental influence
    Modern storage ==> closed and racks to store very high
    “Angels share” ==> 5% per year.

    Scotch labels

    Blended Grain and Malt [Johnny Walker, etc.]
    Vatted (All Malt) Mix of Malt from different distilleries
    Single Malt From one distillery, not necessarily one batch or year.
    Cask Strength (not diluted) Single Barrel (from one barrel)
    Age Refers to the youngest component

    Maps / styles

    Campbeltown [historically many, now basically Springbank]
    Speyside [river “Spey”]
    Islay [Jura]
    Island [Orkney, Skye, Arran]
    Irish, Japanese, etc.
    Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch 6th edition (2010)
    Charles MacLean's Whiskypedia (2010)

    Springbank 100 proof Campbeltown 10 year old

    Michel Couvreur All Malt Scotch sherry aged in France. 12 years old. 43% abv

    Auchentoshan Three Wood Lowland (triple distilled; no age) [43% avb]
    (Bourbon, Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez [spanish sherries])

    Glenmorangie “Nectar D'or” [Sauternes] North Highland 12 years old; 46% abv

    Glenmorangie “Lasanta” [Sherry] North Highland 12 years old; 46% abv

    Glenmorangie “Quinta Ruban” [Port] North Highland 12 years old; 46% abv

    Glenburgie Speyside, 1999 (10 y.o.) Single barrel, Cask Stregth 59.5% abv

    Caol Ila Islay, 13 years old; 40% abv

    Peated Irish Single Malt 8 years old; 40% abv

    Scotch & Water

    An elderly lady on a cruise ship wanders up to the bar and asks for a scotch with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says, "I'm on the cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday, and it's today."

    The bartender says "Well, since it's your birthday, this one is on me."

    As the woman finishes her drink, the lady to her right says, "I would like to buy you a drink too."

    The elderly matron says, "Why, thank you. Bartender, I would like a scotch with two drops of water."

    "Coming up," says the bartender.

    As she finishes her drink, the man to her left says, "I would like to buy you one as well."

    The lady says, "Thank you. Bartender, I would like another scotch with two drops of water."

    "Comin' right up." As he puts the drink down in front of her, he says, "Ma'am, I'm dying of curiosity. Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?"

    The 80 year-old replies, "Sonny, when you're my age, you learn how to hold your liquor. Water, however, is a whole other issue."