Friday, 25 December 2009

So this is Christmas...

Been an interesting year for Tbone.  Lots of driving.  Lots of anguish.  Lots of fishing.  Finally got my wish and got a new job back in Southern Ontario.  Had reservations when I accepted this job and those have been proven valid unfortunately.  But I'm in a better place and I'll put up with it for a long long time.  Doesn't mean I wasn't looking forward to Christmas like never before.

And it's been a great day.  Got to play with my niece and watch her open her presents.  Got some quality media for the big screen back home and a nice bottle of Macallan's 12 (to be reviewed later).  But overall it's just been a nice day to unplug, relax with family, and put the brain in neutral.  The religious aspects of Christmas are lost on me but I still treasure this holiday above all others.

Hope everybody else had an equally enjoyable day.  Looking forward to 2010.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Aberlour 16

aberlour_16jrlargeI continue on with my Aberlour obsession.  This was the second of my "quitting" scotches.  Being in a generally good mood and getting caught up in unpacking and Christmas shopping, I haven't really been zipping through the scotch like I was up in Haileybury.  But a couple trips through Toronto this weekend has definitely got me in the mood.

This elder Aberlour has a familiar sherry base to its aroma but with a strong caramel cover.  A marked improvement over its younger siblings.  Very welcoming.  The taste is smooth and a little heavy.  The bloom starts early but seems to stay around the sinuses.   There is very little burn and the caramel flavour carries through the whole tasting.

A very enjoyable scotch.  The extra years seem to have dulled some of the sharpness of the younger malts to good effect.  So much so that this is worth the $90 price tag?  No.  But a good selection if available and you have some cash to burn.

A thoughtful tasty. 4 shots!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The best of times, the blurst of times...

Been a busy couple of weeks and it's not going to let up until Christmas.  But I have to take a couple minutes to run down the past weekend.  First off, congratulations to my friend Kevin and his new wife Joanna.  Traveled up to North Bay for their wedding on Saturday.  Kev's been a good friend of mine since I pooched the bios on my workstation at John Deere by getting all geeky and trying to install some system tools that weren't compatible with the motherboard.  Ended up working in the same department a while after that and he showed me what it means to be a true IT geek.

A great guy and worthy of all the happiness in the world.  Joanna's from Northern Ontario so she's good peeps to start with.  All the best to them and their new life together.

There was some initial drama getting to the party though.  A major storm closed down the two main highways that connect the North to the South.  Many people got stranded in Gravenhurst Friday night.  I layed low Friday night and took the scenic route early Saturday morning to get to North Bay with time to spare for the wedding.

The majority of the gang made it up one way or another to the ceremony to witness our little Kev gettin hitched.  As with most religious ceremonies I waver between a sense of awe and a near paralytic panic that someone's going to notice that I'm not singing or bowing my head or sharing the peace and then ask me to leave.  But once again, I escaped religious persecution and everything went well.

And then came the reception.  Well, actually, before the reception there were a couple drinks at the hotel and THEN came the reception.  It started out as good times.  Friends hanging out, having some drinks, telling stories, laughing, toasting our bud and the new Mrs. Yarosh.  And don't really know what happened after the good times.  At a certain point I'm guessing the open bar took it's toll on my teeny little brain and it gave up on taking any notes I could refer to later.

The next time my brain started registering things again it was Sunday morning.  And THEN came the bad times.  Oh the bad times.  After slowly surveying my surroundings, I determined I was, in fact, in my hotel room and it appeared to be nine in the morning.  It also appeared that my brain was doing its best to take leave of my skull by tunneling directly through my forehead.  I buried my head in the pillow to try and prevent its escape but the little bugger was being persistent.  Maybe I could drown the fucker.  I staggered to the bathroom to get a glass of water.  Big mistake.  Apparently my stomach was pissed at me too and wasn't interested in accepting any visitors.  I'll spare the reader any further details of a morning where I was coming to the realization that I had very likely permanently damaged my stupid self this time.

Like any wounded animal, my primary instinct was to return home where I could either nurse myself back to health or pass away in comfortable surroundings.  Around noon, I'd mustered enough will and self-respect that I could drag my pickled carcass out to my car.  Thank god for automatic check out.  I don't think I could have handled any form of conversation with a clerk.

Clerk: "And how was your stay sir?"

Me: *yak*

I did run in to some friends in the parking lot.  They seemed to greet me with good humour and then concern as they grasped my current physical condition.  They filled me in on some details of the previous night.  The mention of "dancing" and "Madonna" and "caught on camera" did nothing to improve my mood.  There was no mention of damage to other people or property though and that made me feel a little better.  My friends were kind enough to get me some ginger ale and water before wishing me luck on what was obviously going to be a difficult journey.

And a difficult journey it was.  I tried some ginger ale once I got out of North Bay.  And then spent the next hour trying to keep that one little sip from coming back up.  Another hour after that and things were starting to look up again.  I managed half a bottle of water and was now sitting upright instead of using the steering wheel to keep my face pointing forwards.  By the time I got home I had stabilized at a "normal" hungover state.  Managed to have some dinner AND keep it down and then some sleep to make it all better.

Sleep helped but didn't fix things near enough.  Four days later and I'm still a little woozy.  One for the books to be sure.

But, again,  this weekend wasn't about me and my record breaking hangover.  Cheers to Kevin and Joanna.  Thank you for inviting me and hopefully I didn't do anything to spoil the day.  Thanks also to James and Elisa for getting me back to the hotel and for the rehydration attempt on Sunday.  Special thanks to Jen too who apparently did most of the tbone babysitting and made sure I didn't fall asleep in a snowbank or the hotel stairwell.  Jen, please destroy the photos.

I won't say anything as silly as "I'll never drink again" but, man, did that one make me think about it long and hard.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Clynelish Distiller's Edition

clynelish_de1991Yah, I moved within a click of a decent LCBO and my scotch embargo crumbled.  I really wanted to get a special scotch to celebrate my self-induced departure from Boart.  While the selection at my new LCBO was impressive, it didn't have that 100-200 buck range I was really hoping for.  I settled for a couple $80 bottles and one of those was a bottle I hadn't heard of before.  The Clynelish Distiller's Edition!

The container was pretty high on the fact that this was a highland malt WITH coastal influences.  This scared me.  Highland malts are usually pretty dependable for my palate but comparisons to island scotches really shrink my testes.  But I was intrigued and dove right in.

The smell only fuelled the intrigue.  No peat, no salt.  A solid butterscotch but absent any sweetness.  Very promising.  The taste is a slow bloom but worth the wait.  A smooth delivery that grows into a greater representation of that butterscotch smell.  While the taste is blooming the slug of scotch flows smoothly down to the belly and sets off a small fire bomb of heat.  It all combines into a perfect scotch tasting experience.  It may be too pricey for a daily drinker but it's still one of the greatest scotches I've had in recent memory.  For that I forgive the price.

A perfect drink! 5 shots!