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I've decided that I'm going to post about alcohol once in a while, since it's a topic that I babble often about.

So, I've turned into some sort of whiskey drinker in the last few years. I'll write about whisky eventually, but first I want to write about whisky liqueur.

My first contact with whisky liqueur came when we visited Scotland, when I wasn't much into whisky yet. We visited Edinburgh, and in the castle's shop, they were selling whisky, of course, but they were also selling whisky liqueur. Basically, it's whisky that is infused with herbs. The particular kind they were selling was Glen Fiddich whisky liqueur, which I bought. Once I got back home, I drank the stuff straight, which is fine, and was quite tasty. My problem came when I decided to get more. Horror! LCBO doesn't sell Glen Fiddich whisky liqueur. It's deleted from the catalogue. (Incidentally, if you know of any bar in Toronto that serves it anyway, I would be indebted to you.)

I have gone a on whisky liqueur quest, and I have met two contenders on my way:

First, Drambuie. When I bought this, I learned that it is used to make a Rusty Nail:
1 part liqueur
3 parts whisky
cherry on top

Giddy with my find, I bought the largest bottle available... I still regret it. The stuff is foul on its own, and even in tiny quantities (1 part in 10) totally overpowers any whisky. I'm not a big fan of licorice, and this liqueur has a strong streak of it. Before I fully developed my distaste for this liqueur, I brought my bottle to a party, and offered to share it. Someone took me up on the offer a little too seriously, which I begrudged silently at the time, but now I'm glad for it. I still have half the bottle to go through.

I kept looking for more whisky liqueurs, but Drambuie really dominates the market. Eventually, I spoke to a vintages expert at the LCBO, and she recommended that I try out Glayva. The problem is, almost no store carries it, so after a quick search, I realized that I had to make my way to Canada's largest wine and spirits store, the Summerhill LCBO, which occupies a former train station built in 1915.

Thus I found it, and tried it at once. It has a subtle anise flavour, not overpowering but still central to the taste. It's also flavoured with cloves, honey, citrus fruits and the always mysterious "herbs". It's good on its own, but you can stretch it for much longer by having it as a Rusty Nail (I skip the cherry) with cheaper whisky; the flavour still fills the mouth and rounds off any edge the whisky might have. I have found that I can use it to dilute the taste of Drambuie:

1 part Glayva
1 smaller part Drambuie
2 or more parts whisky

It blends well with the Drambuie and rounds off its edge as well.

Next whisky liqueurs I'll try (i.e., they're easily available here in Toronto): Irish Mist, Yukon Jack

Desperately looking for:

If you know where I can get these in Ontario or Québec, I would love to hear from you!


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April 2019

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