So let me set the scene. It was the happy hour portion of AMD’s holiday gathering last week. We were at a downtown establishment enjoying various spirits when our writer, Aaron Bragg, was given a manly test. Choosing from among twenty-one offerings on the menu, I ordered him a Scotch—neat. As a whisky aficionado (as well as bourbon), his challenge was to identify which Scotch he was about to imbibe.
He quickly determined it was a blend (certainly not a single malt!), thus narrowing his choices down to four brands. Sensing the quality of the product, he casually eliminated two groups—Dewars and Cutty Sark (a little too easy)—leaving only Chivas Regal’s 12- and 18-year-old blends and Johnnie Walker’s red, black, and blue labels.
Apparently, it wasn’t sweet enough to be a Chivas. (At this point, we’re all beginning to wonder just how much Scotch this man drinks.) So it’s now down to Johnnie Walker. But which one?
More swirls and sips followed, confirming it had been aged at least ten years (Red is way too young, you see), and narrowing it down to the Black (aged at least 12 years) and Blue (age not given, but generally understood to be more than 20 years, apparently). He stroked his goatee, took the final delightful sips, and, declaring it was “smooth as a baby’s butt,” gave us his answer: Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
Amazing! Now at $29 a glass, I don’t think this is his usual pour. But keeping your manly writer happy is a good thing. And on this evening, the best Scotch on the menu made him as happy as he could be.