Friday, May 30, 2014

The End: Safe Drinking & Driving

Apart from drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, you also need to be a responsible drinker. Many of them out in the world feel that drinking is a hobby and is a way to enjoy and relax. Yes, we all agree that we have freedom to enjoy and we have the rights to do it. But as with rights, we also do possess some duties being a citizen and should respect others around us. Surely sometimes there are celebrations and you want to have the best, and in the best comes the Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve, so here are a few tips:
Some Tips:- 
  • Do ensure that your body has enough water before you start your drinking session.Hence, it stops you from getting headache and stops dehydration.
  • The food that you eat should take longer time to digest as it will help your body to take in the alcohol.
  • If you are not sure about it, do not experiment with different types of alcohols.
  • Allow your body to take only one type of it at a time.
  • Keep a limit when you are drinking. Minimize the intake, make sure you know the limit.
  • Do not make others drink forcibly specially if the person hasn't had Alcohol before.
  • Pace your drinks and enjoy the sip. This way, you can enjoy your drink and allows body to tolerate the overdose.

Travel plans:-
If you are returning home from a party or a pub, make sure that at least one of the person driving is not under the influence of alcohol. This will ensure that all of you reach your destination safely and also ensures that others on the road will also be safe. If there is nobody along with you, please hire a cab.
The above are just some tips which will also make you enjoy your lovely evenings and help you relax too.
Just remember that somebody is waiting for you at home with lots of Love.
Disclaimer: The content featured above is only for people aged above 25 years. Underage drinking is illegal and against the law. Drink sensibly and carefully and please never drive under the influence of alcohol

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The End: Safe Drinking

It sounds like a mixed message: Drinking alcohol may offer some health benefits, especially for your heart. On the other hand, alcohol may increase your risk of health problems and damage your heart.
So which is it? When it comes to drinking alcohol, the key is doing so only in moderation. Certainly, you don't have to drink any alcohol, and if you currently don't drink, don't start drinking for the possible health benefits. In some cases, it's safest to avoid alcohol entirely — the possible benefits don't outweigh the risks.
Here's a closer look at the connection between alcohol and your health.

Health benefits of moderate alcohol use

Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits. It may:
  • Reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease
  • Possibly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)
  • Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes
Even so, the evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol isn't certain, and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks.

Guidelines for moderate alcohol use

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
Examples of one drink include:
  • Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
  • Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
  • Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
Moderate alcohol use may be of most benefit if you're an older adult or if you have existing risk factors for heart disease. If you're a middle-aged or younger adult, some evidence shows that even moderate alcohol use may cause more harm than good. You can take other steps to benefit your cardiovascular health besides drinking — eating a healthy diet and exercising, for example.

So no matter what you do, drink responsibly and savour your Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve in a moderate level because you don't want  to end up with a health hazard.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Episode 2: Pairing Cigars with Scotch

In my previous post or Episode 1 like I call it, you read about how cheese and scotch go really well together. Today, however I am going to tell you about how well Cigars go with your finely made Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve!

Whether it’s cigar and scotch pairing, even the most seasoned cigar smokers and spirit connoisseurs can sometimes find themselves at a loss when pairing drinks with cigars.  
In fact, the very ability to pair cigars and spirits strikes many as a mystery.  But like most mysteries, it can be solved, for there is a clue, and it is literally right on the tip of your tongue.  It is simply a matter of learning how to taste.
You already use your natural tasting abilities when you select the dressing to put on a salad, or decide which Scotch to drink with dinner.  Your palate tells you what is right for you.  And the more you use your sense of taste, the more refined it becomes.  That’s how professional cigar makers and whiskey distillers develop their expertise.
 For example, a cigar master can pick out a single tobacco leaf and by smelling it and smoking it, can identify the type of tobacco, tell you where it was grown, and how far along it is in the fermentation or aging process.  Likewise, a master distiller can “nose” a sample of whiskey taken from a barrel and separate the aromas into a multitude of flavors. He can even tell you its proof!  Cigar masters and master distillers are called “masters” for a reason; they spend years developing their skills - and tasting is definitely a skill.  Luckily, like most skills, such as learning how to smoke a cigar like a pro, it can be learned.
Few things are more satisfying, from a palate pleasing point of view, than pairing your favorite cigar with a suitable libation. Some classic pairings with cigars are Black Dog’s Triple Gold Reserve with the exception of white spirits – such as vodka and gin - do not work as well because the cigar will overpower the drink.
I like to tell people who are pairing drinks with cigars to simply match the body of the beverage to the body of the cigar. For example, a light-bodied cigar will go well with some white wines, young reds or blended scotches. Medium-bodied smokes are great with Black Dog Full-bodied smokes are a perfect match with the Triple Gold Reserve.

Pairing cigars with scotch is just one part of the equation. Craft beer and even some cocktails can make for great pairings, too. But in the end, your taste is the final judge as to what will work and what won't when it comes to pairing cigars and spirits. Have fun testing out different smoke and drink combinations and develop your own perfect pairings.
Disclaimer: The content featured above is only for people aged above 25 years. Underage drinking is illegal and against the law. Drink sensibly and carefully and please never drive under the influence of alcohol

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Episode 1: Scotch and Cheese

I have been trying my favorite Scotch, the Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve with different combinations. Today I am bringing out to you another food that pairs’ best with Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve blended Scotch Whisky. "Cheese" Everyone loves cheese, well most of us do.

And if you are reading this, then definitely you are a Scotch admirer. We know, by now the different ways to savor scotch and let us look at how best these two can be enjoyed, as these seem to be mutually exclusive. There's a little unwritten tip, be careful that any one of them is not too powerful to overpower the taste of the other.

Peaty scotch goes well with blue cheese, as it is normal and not so strong to overpower the cheese. However, a very strong blue cheese will completely hide the flavors of the TGR. There's a unique way to enjoy the scotch and cheese pair and you would love it after you try it. 

First, keep a little amount of Scotch in your mouth to prepare your palate and your taste buds will be prepared to the spirits strength. Now, take a small piece of cheese and after eating it have a little bit of Scotch. This mouth coating reveals the harmony that happens between Cheese and Black Dog TGR. You can also, try the same steps with water instead of cheese but first you need to make sure the water is at room temperature and never cold while trying this.
We were able to detect nuances in the cheeses by taking small sips with each of the whiskeys. Adding just a little water to each Scotch helped open up the flavors. It seemed that everyone in the class was in agreement about the relative successes, more so than in most wine or beer classes.
The first time you try pairing Scotch with cheese you may miss some of the finer points of the exercise, especially if you guzzle the whisky. Having more than one Scotch helps to distinguish the cheeses one from another, just as having more than one cheese helps distinguish the whiskeys.

I would suggest you to limit this pairing consumption at maximum 6 rounds at one go. One, your taste buds 
would have experienced the tastes well and would not give you all the taste sense after certain rounds. Two, both of these are high and will satisfy your palate very quickly. Keep bread and water handy to soothe any nerves. I hope you would definitely want to try this and much more experiments.

Disclaimer: The content featured above is only for people aged above 25 years. Underage drinking is illegal and against the law. Drink sensibly and carefully and please never drive under the influence of alcohol.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Scotch Whisky Appreciation

“The proper drinking of Scotch whisky is more than indulgence: it is a toast to civilization, a tribute to the continuity of culture, a manifesto of man’s determination to use the resources of nature to refresh mind and body and enjoy to the full the senses with which he has been endowed.” -David Daiches
No other spirit has been associated with manhood like Scotch whisky. Whether it’s the hooking punch in the mouth or just the raw and earthy process by which it is brought forth from barley and water, Scotch has held a prominent place in the lives of men from kings to authors to titans of industry. What separates scotch from its alcoholic counterparts is not just its unique background (to be labeled Scotch, a whisky must be distilled and initially matured in Scotland), but the commonalities shared by the men who partake in its liquid mysteries.
The man who drinks Scotch is one who lives life to the hilt, savoring new challenges and discoveries on a daily basis. He doesn’t settle and he doesn’t drink something just because it’s there. Few men drink Scotch to get drunk. First off, it’s too expensive, the cheapest bottles of single malt costing around $40. But secondly, and much more importantly, each bottle of scotch contains so much history, tradition, and attention to detail that the men who drink it are not just downing a beverage, but participating in a celebration of artisanship and the deep pleasures of life.
Becoming a Scotch drinker takes a little work and a bit of tongue maturity. The young man that saddles up for his first bout with the historic elixir is often taken back by its overt potency. But upon returning a second and third time, he slowly begins to get a sense of what makes Scotch so alluring and enjoyable. In developing a taste for Scotch, a man is embarking on a lifelong journey that will take him along the clear waters of the River Spey, the rugged Highlands, the Isle of Jura (which George Orwell described as “an extremely unget-at-able place”), and various other parts of Scotland where distillers like to say, “It’s as good as life used to be.”
Therefore, to truly appreciate a good Scotch, a man must have an understanding of its rich history and the process that transforms ordinary barley into an extraordinary drink.
With this idea in mind the Art of Manliness ventures into the world of scotch, not because we believe you must drink alcohol in order to be a man, but because if you choose to do so, it should be in the tradition of gentlemen, with a clear conscious and a full heart.

Watch the master blender Richard Patterson talk about how to drink your favourite scotch in the right way:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scotch Toffee

Toffee lovers will swoon when they taste our spirited version of this classic confection.  Replacing the normal vanilla flavoring with your favorite scotch to give this classic a suprising richness and depth of flavor. 

1 cup of roasted nuts (cashews, pecans, hazelnuts or combine your favorites) 
1/4 cup of Black Dog Scotch Whisky
1 cup brown or white granulated sugar
1 cup quality unsalted butter
1 bar of quality chocolate (2.5 - 3.2 oz.) for topping
Additional chopped nuts for topping


1.  Brown the nuts in a 400 degree F oven until lightly toasted and set aside to cool. (I used cashews and pecans.) 

2.  Line a baking sheet with foil making sure it lays up over the side for easy removal.  Lightly spray the foil with a non-stick baking spray.

3.  Have your whisky and sugar measured out and ready to go.  Cut the butter into small chunks to aid melting. Spread your nuts onto the prepared baking sheet.

4.  In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and completely combine whisky and sugar. Increase heat and bring mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly.  Mixture must reach the hard crack stage (300-310 degrees F).  If you do not have a candy thermometer, drop some syrup into water and see if it forms brittle threads.  This should occur within 5 to 6 minutes of boiling.

5.  Remove from heat and carefull pour
syrup over the nuts, starting at one end.  You may have to fold some of the nuts back into the mixture where they have been pushed aside.  Do not touch the syrup, as it is very hot. If it does not fill the entire pan, just square it off where it naturally ends.

6. Put aside and let toffee cool completely before topping with the chocolate.

7.  When ready, break up the chocolate bar to facilitate melting.  Melt over a double broiler or in the microwave and spread evenly over the toffee. Immediately sprinkle the additional chopped nuts and press them down lightly with a spatual.

8.  Cool chocolate completely before breaking into smaller pieces and serve in decorative container.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Scotch Whisky Cake with Spiked Buttercream Frosting

Coffee, chocolate and chai latte flavors make for an unforgettable combination.  But be sure to check ID's before serving.  Both the lucious buttercream frosting and the fudgey brownie like cake are enhanced with the flavor of your scotch.  Not at all boozy tasting, just rich and delicious.

Best to make it one day ahead to let the flavors blend and age just a bit.

For Cake:

1 bar Chuao Chocolatier Coffee Anise bar
or substitute 3 oz. coffee flavored chocolate
3 oz fine quality bitterweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups strongly brewed coffee
2 TBL Kahlua liquor
1/2 cup BD Triple Gold Reserve
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt

For Frosting:

1 Stick unsalted butter (may need extra)
1 cup instant Spicy Chai Latte powder - may substitute other instant chocolate mix
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
3 tbl scotch whisky


Small amount of light and dark chocolate bars for shavings

Heat oven to 275 degrees. 

Brew coffee and set aside.

Prepare 9 " spring form pan by cutting round of wax paper for bottom.  Grease pan.  Slip in round and grease paper.  Dust whole pan with flour and knock-off excess.  May want to wrap outside bottom of pan with aluminum foil to prevent any batter leaks.

Sift flour, sugar and baking soda into a bowl.  Add the pinch of salt and set aside.

Soften butter slightly in microwave then cut into pieces.  Break up chocolate into small pieces to ease melting.  Combine coffee, butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat slowly, stirring constanly until all contents are melted and combined.  Remove immediately and cool for about 10 minutes.

Slightly beat eggs then combine with Kahlua, Scotch, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.

Put chocolate contents in large bowl.  Stir in egg mixture until thoroughly combined.  Sift in flour mixture until batter is completely mixed.

Pour batter into springform pan and bake at 275 degree oven for about 1 -1 hour 10 minutues.  Start checking at 1 hour as ovens may vary.  Cool in pan before removing.  Cake will be dense and brownie like.

Make the frosting and garnishes while cake is baking:  Soften unsalted butter to room temperature.  Whip butter with the Chai Latte mix, sugar and scotch until thoroughly combined.  If frosting is too thick add just a bit more butter.

If you don't have the Chai mix, just double the sugar or use other hot chocolate powder.  But be forewarned, it is the Chai Latte flavor that puts this dessert over the top. Frosting will be slightly grainy but this doesn't matter because it is fabulously delicious.  Note: I buy the Trader Joes' Spicy Chai Latte mix.

To prepare the garnish, use both milk and dark chocolate.  The two tone looks beautiful and dark chocolate gives a different shaped shaving then the milk chocolate. 

To make shavings - get three shallow bowls. With a vegetable peeler, shave the sides of each small bar of chocolate into a bowl. You will only need 1/3 to 1/2 of a small bar.  A little goes a long way.  Using a grater, finely grate either chocolate into the third bowl.

To decorate cake - lay a thick and smooth layer of frosting on the top of the cake.  Dust cake from center out with the finest dust.  Then pile dark shavings in a ring around the outside and in a pile in the middle.  Add the lighter larger shavings in the middle.

Cover and store for one day to let the flavors blend.  Best served at room temperature.

Friday, May 23, 2014

How to make Scotch Caramel Sauce with your TGR

--> Nothing better for a winter dessert than baked apples.  We added our special Sip Smoke Savor touch by drenching them with a scrumptious scotch caramel sauce containing The Macallan 12 year old.  This sauce is so rich and dreamy you'll find it a quick and easy way to dress up just about any dessert.  Try it on warm apple or pumpkin pie, baked pears or ice cream.

3 tbls. Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tbls. unsated butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1/4 tsp. sea salt 

Break butter up into small pieces (for faster melting).  Add to pan over low heat and while melting add in brown sugar. Stir occasionally and cook until well combined with butter (3 to 4 minutes)

Once sugar is dissolved, increase heat and bring mixture to a full boil.

Remove pan from heat and carefull add the cream and vanilla extract.  Add 3 tablespoons of the Macallan and combine.  Add sea salt and carefully taste the molten liquid to add more salt if desired.

Texture will be rather silky...not thick and sticky.

Use immediately or store in refrigerater for up to 2 weeks.  Reheat gently over double broiler.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

All that you would want to know about the Black Dog Reserve(18 years old)

Today we go on to know the other aged scotch from the Black Dog stable. The Black Dog reserve(18 year old). The attractive packaging is sure to attract you, but the attractive Scotch cannot be missed.

Black Dog 18 years old Scotch Whisky is known as Black Dog Reserve Scotch. It is matured for a minimum of 18 years in oak casks. Master blends carefully put together a fine blend of Grain Whisky and Aged Malt Whisky to make this one of the best and perfect Scotch. No wonder it gives a fine pleasure which cannot be rushed! Black Dog Reserve Scotch has won Gold award at the MUNDUS Vini International Spirit Awards held at Germany in 2011. This is the third Gold award won by the 18 year old Whisky. It truly is the world’s best tasting 18 year old Scotch.
International Spirits Award was launched in 2004 and customers are always provided there with valuable orientation support. It gives not just new momentum but also strengthens the position of spirits in the market. On winning the award for Black Dog Reserve Scotch, Mr. Anant Iyer, Business Head (Luxury Brands), United Spirits Limited, said “It’s an honor to receive this award from MUNDUS Vini ISW and it means a great deal to us. ISW is a very prestigious competition and winning a Gold award from them is a matter of great pride. United Spirits Limited is extremely proud of its luxury label – Black Dog 18 Year Old, a vintage and smooth luxury scotch which is bottled in India by USL. This exceptional and exquisite brand promises to be a rare blend for those who have developed a taste for the finer things in life. They take pride in knowing the difference between the fine and the penultimate. And, more importantly, take time to savor their choicest indulgences, leisurely.”
The spirits are tested strictly in line with a prescribed system on the basis of their appearance, i.e. by colour and clarity, the smell of the product by its purity and typicality and the taste – the palate has to confirm what eyes and nose have registered. Finally, jurors make an assessment of the overall impression, considering the harmony of aromas and alcohol. Each spirits entry is tasted and assessed by a commission consisting of 5-6 jurors. Black Dog Reserve Scotch beat some fierce competition from all over the world and established itself as a market leader and critic’s choice in this segment. As the award is given by jurors who are retailers and restaurateurs among other people who handle spirits daily, I would think it’s the best possible recommendation you get from the people who know their Scotch well!
Tasting Notes:
Color of scotch: Deep, golden, glossy and mahogany.
Sensation to the Nose: A truly noble bouquet of luscious malty tones and rich velvety textures with a hint of Oloroso sherry in the background.
Sensation of Taste: Round and mellow complex quixotic flavors with an impeccable balance of individual malt and grain whiskies and silky soft tones that dance on the tongue.
Finish: Luxuriously smooth and long, a testament to the malt & grain whiskies which have spent years in oak casks & vats.

Music and your TGR

Music and Scotch! Ah what a combo. Sweet! Think of it, your favourite scotch, and your favourite kind of music. Both of them titiliating two of your most important senses.
I had one of those weekends where I just want to stay up until the wee hours, sipping whisky and writing. Alas, I cannot do that but one of the songs I would probably stick on, if I were to stay up until 4AM is Be My Downfall.
And so I thought I’d post my top five 4AM Whisky Songs:
5. Be My Downfall – Del Amitri (For the bad ones you know were no good but miss anyway.)
4. The Town that I loved – The Dubliners (Hey, they were banned once. For the morose, the-past-was-drizzled-in-honey-and-grease-and-I-liked-it stage.)
3. Need Your Love So Bad – Fleetwood Mac – original line up (To truly enjoy this you need a whisky in one hand and someone close on your arm dancing round a nearly empty bar, slow.)
2. God is in the House – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (For the I-think-it’s-whisky-but-I’m-not-sure, I-finished-the-other-bottle-and-this-was-at-the-back. As-long-as-I-have-both-ears-in-the-morning-I’m-good.)
1. Je n’en connais pas la fin – Jeff Buckley (Some would go for Hallelujah but you can practically taste the cigarette smoke on this one and of course that’s what it’s for. Sitting at a piano you can’t play, smoking cigarettes when you don’t actually smoke and nursing that last whisky that will send you to Dream.)
Actually, this could also easily be a top five songs to slit your wrists to. 4AM whisky music is a bit like that, fine lines. By way of lifting the mood of the list, I’ll point out that I Google You (written by Neil Gaiman for Peri Lyons – because she asked for a song not, as Neil points out, because he was googling her late at night – and recently covered by Amanda Palmer) narrowly missed out on making the list.
Moving on. What’s your 4AM whisky music?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Re-hash on the essentials in your Mini Bar

To construct the perfect home bar, what we all need is perfect blend of Scotch whisky like BlackDog a Scotch with a history of 130years and also the set of accessories.
The best and the most basic bar accessories contains all the things we need to get a mini bar up and running, these include
  • One pack of beverage napkins.  
  • One box cocktail straws. 
  • Twelve plastic liquor pours. 
  • A double jigger. 
  • A cocktail shaker with built-in strainer, 
  • One black bar mat.
  • One Stainless steel condiment tray. 
  • Ice scoops.
  • 12 margarita glasses
  • Zip zester 
  • Bottle openers 
  • Knuckle bottle opener. 
  • Flair bottles. 
  • Corkscrew 
  • Stainless steel shakers. 
  • Spill stop 
  • Toasting set 
  • Ice bucket
  • Drinking straws.
  • Bar spoon 
  • Knives and cutting board (Cutting Lime and Cherries) 
  • Muddler.
  • The bartender manual book. (I’m serious every bar must have this for Sure).
After the accessories, let us move on to liquor now. Considering it is your house and you will consume most of the liquor, so most of the times you should your personal favorites. And then worry about the rest!  I am a straight-up scotch man, but what if I have a friend who loves margarita, comes home on weekend? In order to avoid such situations always have the things to make the basics.
So, here are the few things you can store just in case there is some guest who doesn’t like drinking scotch.
  • Vodka A bar is incomplete if there is no vodka; this is a vital ingredient to make a screwdriver being almost tasteless it mixes with everything.
  • Tequila This is ultimate shooter, which requires unless you decide to do a Training wheels. Training wheel for a shot means some salt and lime wedges. 
  • Scotch: - Here is my favorite part, Just stuff your place allocated for scotch with Black Dog “One of the world’s finest Scotch Whisky”
  • The Mixers and Garnishes: - Even if we spend lots of money on liquors, we need to have perfect mixers to make a drink taste great.
  • Juice The basic one would need is juice, maybe Orange, Cranberry. If you are creative maybe some Pineapple, Mango or even tomato should do.
  • Soda: - If you prefer don’t prefer soft drinks then, Soda and Tonic water are a must for many classics.
  • Lime: - Lots of drinks should be served with a twist of Lime wedges on the rim of the glasses.
  • Kosher salt This is the coarse-grained salt that the rim of the glass is dipped into.
  • Sugar: - Even strong drinks sometimes need a small helping of it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Right way to taste your TGR

A lot of people have their own way of savouring the favourite Scotch Whisky, the Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve (TGR). There are many different ways that people follow for tasting the spirit. However there is a way defined and practised by the master blender from generations for tasting scotch which gives out the hidden flavours and aroma.

I was fortunate to meet Andrew Skene, who has a certificate of expertise in sales and service of Scotch whisky at the Scotch appreciation session. He guided us with the proper way of tasting the newly launched Triple Gold Reserve by Black Dog. Most of us generally prefer ice/cold or water/soda while having Scotch whisky, however there is a sensible and mellowed approach to give you the best enchanting taste of the "Water of Life" a.k.a "Usquebaugh". It starts from noticing the aroma till the spirit passes through your throat. Let me explain in detail.

Whichever Scotch you are enjoying, there's a way to taste it which will unlock the flavours of the spirit in your mouth. Every scotch has to be observed for four things to get the complete picture, these are colour, nose, palate and finish. First of all, after you have just poured the scotch in your glass add a little bit of quality bottled water, not more than 5-6 drops. This is a trick that really helps the spirit breathe after its long spent time in the bottle and casks. Thanks to Andrew for teaching this. Hold your glass containing the TGR against sunlight or a white light. Observe the deep colours in the liquid and rotate the glass carefully. Next, sniff the liquid holding the glass a little under your nostrils and take a pull. TGR is strong and you will definitely not miss it. You are now ready to taste, take a sip into your mouth. Let the liquid settle down on top and bottom of your tongue. Hold it for a little over half a minute and slowly swallow it. The finish is the feeling you get after the Scotch passes through your throat. It is certainly strong and the sensation lasts for quite a few minutes.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Factopedia of your favourite Scotch

You might have observed the fact that the work "Whisky" is spelt without and 'e' whenever it is written with word Scotch, while you were browsing thru my blog. There are a bit of disputes as to why the Scot call it that way, but I would refrain from writing to a Scot "Whiskey". Did you know, Whisky was first found to be referred in Ireland, an not Scotland. It is believed monks in the region of Ireland started distilling Whisky around 5th century and in 1494 the first record was found in Scotland. It is derived from the Gaelic words uisage beatha, which in turn came from the Latin Acqua Vitae or “water of life.”

Usque baugh - The Water Of Life
At the most rudimentary step, Scotch Whisky is a distilled beer. Made using malted barley, but unlike beer as hops are not added and hence the wash is different. Scotch is distilled twice to get a strong and smooth spirit and then aged in oak barrels. A spirit to be termed as Whisky must be matured at least for 3 years and it can be called as Scotch, only if distilled and matured in Scotland. Some of the main classifications of Scotch Whisky are :

• Blended Whisky: This is a mix of grain whisky and malt whisky, and makes up the majority of Scotch that is consumed around the world.

• Single Grain Whisky: This is relatively rare and is made from non malted grains such as corn.

• Blended Malt Whisky: This is also sometimes known as “Vatted Malts” or “Pure Malts” and is some of my favourite whisky. It is made from blends of a number of single malt whiskies from across Scotland.

• Single Malt Whisky: This is made, as the name suggests, from malted barley grains from a single distillery. They’re often sold with age statements (10/12/18 years, etc.), which means that they are a blend of single malts from the same distillery where the youngest whisky used is the age stated on the bottle, unless it is a single cask bottle where the whisky must all be from the same making.

Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve Scotch Whisky
The Black Dog TGR is a blended Scotch Whisky, which is triple matured blended from single malt and grain whisky. The final maturation process takes place in Sherry casks. The TGR is accepeted a parallel to any 12 YO Scotch.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Selecting a whisky glass

Last week we gave you some simple tips on how to improve your whisky tasting experience. One of the points we made was about using the correct glassware. Let's have a look at the basic whisky glass types, their pros, cons and recommended uses.

1. Tumbler. A classic tumbler is perhaps the most popular type of glass for drinking whisky. When you order a dram at a bar, that's the glass which is most likely to be put in front of you. What's more, many whisky drinkers chose to use tumblers at home. A heavy-based crystal tumbler looks great and sits comfortably in the hand. Unfortunately, it isn't any good for nosing. Tumbler's wide rim and straight walls mean most of the aroma escapes the glass and your nose can only pick up a faint whiff of what your whisky actually smells like. While tumblers are great for relaxing after a long day or for entertaining, if you want to fully appreciate Black Dog, we'd recommend something a bit different.

2. Snifter. A tulip-shaped snifter on a short stem is another classic whisky glass. You may not have seen them behind bars but no distillery or blending lab is complete without them. They are professionals' choice and if you want to take your whisky very seriously, perhaps you should consider investing in a set. These days crystal glassware manufacturers such as Willeroy&Boch or Spiegelau have their own whisky snifter shapes on offer so even the most demanding nose will find the right glass. But while a snifter is the best tool for nosing, it's notoriously difficult to drink from and takes a bit of practice to master. If you don't like to spill your whisky down the front of your shirt, you may want to consider something different still...

3. Glencairn. Glencairn Crystal is a Scottish company producing what is now widely considered to be the official single malt whisky glass. It combines the tulip-like shape of a snifter with straighter walls towards the top of the glass and a rim wide enough to comfortably drink from. This is a great choice, no matter how experienced you are.

4. Quaich. If you've ever tried drinking whisky from a quaich, you know it's purely for ceremonial purposes. They look great but are about as practical as chocolate teacups.

We hope this helps you decide which glass to use next time you fancy a dram of Black Dog
. But please don't take it too seriously, we certainly don't. If your favourite bar doesn't have your preferred fancy German snifter, or indeed any good whisky glass at all, you can simply ask them to serve your dram in a small brandy balloon or a port glass.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Whisky - Traditional Hot Toddy

Whether a hot toddy actually helps you shake off a cold is debatable but it does one job better than any other drink out there – it instantly lifts the morale and makes the rain and wind battering against your window sound somewhat less ominous. For that reason alone we believe it's well worth treating yourself to one every now and then.

Today we give you the first of two recipes. The first one is a classic 'perfect' hot toddy with honey, lemon and just a touch of spice.

Wick Harbour Hot Toddy

A perfect hot toddy calls for simplicity and balance. This recipe is easy to follow and the result will pick you up in no time when you get home after a cold and wed day out.

50ml your favourite Black Dog TGR
100ml hot water
25ml lemon juice
2tsp heather honey
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Ground nutmeg to garnish
Lemon twist to garnish

Put the cloves and the cinnamon stick in the glass and pour in boiling water, allow to infuse for 2-3 minutes. Dissolve the honey then add the lemon juice and whisky. Garnish with a lemon twist and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 16, 2014

BLUMERQ announces trendy Spring-Summer’14 collection

Blumerq, a trendy clothesline for men with over 300 fashion stores nationwide, announced its spring and summer ’14 collection offering a wide range of exclusivecasual’s apparel, from tees to polos, shirts, bottoms and denims.

Blumerq Spring/Summer 2014 collection – This season’s collection expresses digital aesthetics & sensuous nature with interplay of colors & splashes of bright shades in tandem with Brand’s inspiration - Music.
The colour palette boasts of lime green, yellows and sea blues accompanied by gray tones in hazy print effects.SS14 collection is offered using various wash techniques giving a vintage summer feel.

Whisky: Influence of distillery location

Since its humble origins in Ireland and Scotland whisky has come a long way to be probably one of the best known and most appreciated spirits in the world. What once was a strictly Celtic affair is now a global industry with countries such as USA, Canada or Japan having well established whisky industries and many others, such as Sweden, Taiwan, South Africa or France, gradually joining what could be called a whisky making revolution.

But it really doesn't feel like it in Wick. We craft our single malt scotch the same way it has been done here for generations and rarely get a glimpse of this global phenomenon. Milling, mashing, fermentation, distillation, filling, waiting here. And then waiting some more. Life if pretty simple and we wouldn't have it any other way. So how is it possible that out of all the great brands out there Black Dog is appreciated so much? What makes this golden spirit from the remote Caithness coast special?

The answer is in the question. Part of our success can certainly be attributed to the magic of our location itself. And we don't mean the ruggedness of the coast, the drama of the stormy seas or the haunting beauty of the starry night skies. Well, maybe a little. But mainly it's about the temperature, the altitude, the humidity and the air itself. All these factors make the maturation conditions here at  Distillery unique and impossible to replicate. Our summers are cool and wet but our winters are relatively mild. The air is always humid, brimming with the fresh aroma of the sea breeze.

The dunnage warehouses we have here at our distillery also play a part. The earthen floors and thick stone walls make the maturation condition as constant as possible. Low average temperature, small temperature amplitudes throughout the year and high humidity with a touch of that signature sea salt is our whisky ageing mantra. And that's why every drop of Black Dog Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured from start to finish right here at the BD Distillery in Wick, about as far north on the Scottish mainland as you can go.

Look for the tell tale signs of these maturation conditions next time you're enjoying a dram of BD 12 Years Old. Notice that it's not overly estery, very well balanced with layers of butterscotch, vanilla and soft tannins. The maritime character is easiest to spot on the finish, the 12 Years Old makes the sides of your tongue tingle like a fine sparkling wine, a hint of saltiness some call it.

SPL-Contest to win iPads and hampers

After the last year’s Skore Patao League, where fans were asked to compete against each other in 5 exciting (but tough) challenges in a bid to ‘patao’ the ultimate woman. Last year’s contest had more than 10,000 participants in the Skore Patao League. Skore has come up with a new campaign this time. This time the focus is on pleasure – Skore Pleasure League. 

In this, Skore requires its fan to master the art of pleasuring a woman, all while they represent their cities in the bid to come up top. Fans can enter the Skore Pleasure League by logging in through their Facebook account or register with their email ids. After that they must complete twenty tasks to make it to the end. They can improve their score and move up the Skoreboard by entering the unique code on Skore’s T20 pack, sharing the SPL on their timeline, and inviting their Facebook friends to join them. And, when all twenty tasks are complete, fans can participate in the SPL Super Over – a chance to add even more points with six of their favourite tasks!

So join the Skore Pleasure League today and leave the run chasing to the others. Here’s where you play your own game.

You need to ofcourse be a part of  team and help your team win!

Chooose from these awesome games and try "Skoring" some points to up your skore here.

A few examples of what the games are like. I wont spoil the fun. Go play it and try winning your Ipad and other exciting gifts!! 

About the Contest:
  1. Name of the contest is “Skore Pleasure League”
  2. Minimum Age for participating in the contest is 18.
  3. Anybody above 18 will be able to participate in the contest. They just need to log on to to kick start
  4. During Registration, they would also have to select a particular team out of the 10 teams available. ( 9 teams from previous season’s SPL) – Please note that these teams have no bearing on the contest and all prizes will be decided only on Individual performance. The teams are only for creating excitement during the contest.
  5. Once registered, they will get to perform 20 exciting & thrilling tasks
  6. Based on their performance and other measurement standards they will be awarded runs for each task – criteria for awarding runs and how many runs to be awarded will be decided
  7. Score that the user gets will get added up to his/her account
  8. There will be Daily & weekly prizes for the participants who are top scores in the leader boards on the respective day and week. ( Ideally Top 3 daily & top 5 Weekly)
  9. At the end of the contest, the top 5 participants will be win the Grand prize. However, to be eligible to win a Grand Prize, the participant needs to buy a Special Edition T20 pack.
  10. Everytime a Special Edition T20 pack is got, the participant needs to open the pack and find an unique code inside the top flap of the pack.
  11. Each code will give you extra runs and increase the chance of winning the Grand Prize – Extra Runs will be high and this will act as a motivator for them to buy more packs
  12. Entering the unique code will give him/her 50 runs
  13. Share SPL on Facebook timeline – 4 runs
  14. Inviting Facebook friends to SPL 6 runs

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Single Malt Whisky from a Hipflask

Some serious single malt whisky enthusiasts are likely to say that drinking whisky from a hipflask is a sacrilege. Admittedly it's not the perfect way to appreciate the full spectrum of aromas and flavours of your favourite single malt. But the weather isn't showing any signs of getting warmer in Europe and most of the Northern Hemisphere and if you have to take a dog for a walk on a particularly blisteringly cold and windy night or if you simply fancy a long walk on a Sunday afternoon, a hipflask with appropriate malt whisky content may just make the experience a little bit more pleasant.

There is time and place for proper tastings with the use of snifters and pipettes but in our opinion you don't have to be precious about your whisky every time. Here's a handful of tips on how to enjoy a bit of Black Dog on the go this winter.

1. Which hipflask?

There is no reason why any good stainless steel hipflask shouldn't last you a lifetime if you look after it so invest in quality. Remember that while novelty designs may seem appealing on the store shelf, the timeless classics are more likely to suit you and the occasion in a year or ten. When choosing the size, remember that it has to fit comfortably in the inside pocket of your jacket or coat and ideally not give you a spine injury from the extra weight. 20cl should be plenty for sharing between four or five. Don't forget the funnel.

2. Which whisky?

The beauty of drinking whisky from a hipflask is that any good quality dram should work. We'd recommend . Both pack enough flavour to keep you and your friends happy but they won't break the bank.

3. Where and when?

All the usual rules apply of course, please be responsible for yourself and those around you. Apart from that any afternoon and evening outdoors occasion is good. A wee dram won't go amiss when you're walking the dog or walking back home late from visiting a friend. If you want to take a hipflask to an organised event though you should always check with the organisers that it's welcome.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Know the history age etc of your Scotch- Part 2

You don't need to know it all to be able to appreciate a well aged single malt. It's very unlikely that your friends will ever want to discuss the thickness of oak's cellular wall or the exact chemical composition of tannins (unless they are dendrologists or organic chemists of course). For most part a few key facts about maturation will suffice so here's our 'instant expert' guide for you.

1. All Scotch whisky must be matured in oak casks on Scottish soil for a minimum of three years. The Black Dog Scotch Whisky is always matured significantly longer, our best selling product for example is the BD 12 Years Old

2. The age of the whisky, as stated on the bottle, signifies the minimum amount of time the whisky spent in the cask, the time in the bottle doesn't count as no further chemical or organic processes should be occurring in whisky once it's been taken out of the cask . That means there's no point holding on to your whisky, crack it open and share it with friends!

3. During the maturation the spirit acquires flavour, aroma and colour from the wood but also further develops its own natural character – the pores in oak ensure constant supply of oxygen to help the chemical processes along. But older doesn't always mean better, it's all down to personal taste

4. While the whisky becomes more flavoursome over time, it also gets 'smoother' as some of the harsh-tasting compounds are naturally transformed or removed . That's why old whiskies are often described as 'silky'

5. The pores in oak allow the air to enter the casks but they also let a proportion of the spirit to evaporate over time. This is called the angel's share by the distillers and can't exceed 2% of the total volume per year. In Scottish climate alcohol evaporates quicker than water and therefore the distillate becomes weaker over time

6. Almost all Scotch whisky is matured in seasoned casks which previously held something else. Vast majority of casks used to age Black Dog are from America and were previously used to make bourbon. They also fill a small amount of Spanish ex-sherry casks each year. Every now and again we're told that they used to fill casks previously used for salting herring... it's an interesting notion but most definitely a myth!