Scotch Tasting on April 13, 2013

Southside, Edmonton For this scotch tasting I pulled out all the stops: twelve men, six whiskies, two appetizers, and all in three hours. The whisky was selected from people's personal favourites (or ones they wanted to try) and I procured them from Vines in Riverbend, Sobeys Liquor Store, and Superstore Liquorstore. This was the first tasting I've ever done where I had to turn people away and there are folks who've already expressed interest in the next yet-to-be-scheduled tasting. No big deal. Let's begin We started with the Auchentoshan Three Wood, a 12 year-old spirit from the Lowlands bottled at 43% ABV, which is a great whisky to get someone started in the wonderful realm of scotch. The nose is sweet with scents of vanilla, honey, and butterscotch. The taste…
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Late Nights and “Ugh, Why?” Days

I play on a rec league ice hockey team with 15 other dudes and have been with the team for almost 5 years. Some of our guys played growing up, others (like myself) started playing later in life, but all of us enjoy playing the game. We've played in almost all of the leagues here in Edmonton and have found the NCHL to be the best one by far. The one thing that's consistent across the leagues is that the game times are usually later in the evening. This wasn't a big deal a few years ago since a 9pm or 9:30pm start meant we'd be off the ice and home around 11pm. Plenty of time to unwind and get a decent night's sleep before work the next day. Unfortunately that's changed…
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Instructions for Having a Baby

If you follow me on Twitter you know my wife and I attended two days of pre-natal classes this weekend. The other option was to attend one night a week for five weeks. Was the one-and-done weekend the better option? I'll never know. However, I do know that scheduling two days to cover the material was extremely generous. By a full day. On a side note, I also now know that there are people who are actually looking for instructions on how to live their own life. Seriously, two of the questions were, "How long before I'm allowed to leave the house?" and "How long before the baby is allowed to leave the house?" ... Wow. Even the instructor was taken aback. I'm all for seeking guidance but this was…
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Where’s Your Gym?

Health, fitness, and wellness - and, of course, the dreaded "gym" - are all topics that come up regularly at work and in my life these days. First and foremost, we should change the definition of the word "gym." Your gym is wherever you enjoy doing activity - at home, at a fitness facility, along a bike path in the river valley, or out in the mountain wilderness. With that definition in mind, when you do go to the gym, go for the good feeling and not for the guilt. I often hear people say how much they dislike lifting weights or spending time on a treadmill or having to share a room with a bunch of sweaty strangers. And yet they force themselves to go and they feel terrible. Or, if…
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Scotch From Space: Ardbeg Galileo

The bottle of 12 year-old Ardbeg Galileo I bought this past weekend didn't go to space. But the Ardbeg distillery did send molecules into space to study the effects of micro-gravity on the interaction between these molecules and charred oak. Why? Because it's SCIENCE, bitches. Anyway, the bottle I bought is inspired by this two-year maturation experiment. Uncorking the bottle, your nose is greeted by a pleasant peat smell. The peat gives way to sweet and spicy notes once you've poured the golden-coloured whisky into a glass and let it breathe a bit. The initial taste is a bit sharp - likely due to the 49% ABV - but rich and full on your palate. Adding a bit of water removes some of that sharpness and lets you experience the warmth of…
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Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year Limited

A few weeks ago, my father-in-law was nice enough to let me sample his newest scotch, the Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year Limited. At 54.5%, she's near to being a big girl. The scotch has that deep amber colour that comes from spending time in a sherry cask and - sure enough - the smell is sherry with a hint of sweetness. The whisky isn't heavy on your palate and I found it lightly coated my tongue. Its taste follows naturally from its smell - sherry with figs or raisins and a slightly smoky quality. The tasting notes speak to hints of chocolate but I couldn't pick that up. Given its higher alcohol content, it needs a bit of water to open it up which made the long, warm finish that…
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The 3pm Friday Rant

According to some folks at work, I have a 3pm Friday rant. This has only happened for the past two weeks so I wouldn't exactly call it a well-established pattern of behaviour. But it does seem like Friday at 3pm is when the activities of the week have more or less settled down and I have a few minutes to share my thoughts about what I think are ridiculous processes, behaviours, and situations at work. Should this 3pm Friday Rant happen again next week, I'm going to try to pre-text it with, "Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but..." (Dennis Miller, I'll send you a dollar). At least people will either know what they're about to get into or can flee the scene.
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