The 20th year of Whiskymas (2008)

I will be hosting my traditional Whiskymas single malt tasting again on Dec 25th.


At the moment, I have no idea how many people are going to show up. It could be 4, or it could be 14. This makes planning pretty tough.

If you think you may make it, please send an email to
and tell me the probability that you'll show,
how many people you'll be bringing (including yourself),
and what food, or beverage, you'll be bringing.

Even if you've RSVP'd elsewhere, if you may make it please email me this info so that I have everything in one place.

Show up around 1PM. We'll start eating around 2.

If you think you may show up, please send me an email. I prefer email to phone calls, especially at the last minute because when I'm way behind in my cleaning and cooking, and having to stop to answer the phone interrupts what I'm doing. If you need an answer to a question right away, then go ahead and call.

If you think you know what you'll be bringing, please let me know, and I'll try to post it here so others will know what to bring that'll complement what we've already got planned.

In the past, I've made a big production of it, and we've tasted up to 50 whiskies. This year I'll probably deemphasize the whisky (unless we get a bunch of really enthused folks), and place even more emphasis on food and conversation.

Last year I cooked a prime rib, and I really liked the way it turned out. So, I'm planning on doing it again this year.

Rides If you can give someone a ride, or need a ride, let me know, and I'll try to pass the info on.


In December 1988 a friend and I decided that since neither of us were Christian, and therefore neither had anything to do on Christmas day, we would come up with something fun to do. We decided to hold a single malt (scotch) tasting.

Over the years the event has become a lot more about getting together and sharing good company, and less about being a serious scotch tasting. Sure, 40-50 single malts have been tasted at previous tastings, but many of the folks there have never tasted single malt before, and quite a few don't even drink any at the tasting.

What to bring:
Everybody is encouraged to bring wonderful, decadent food to taste between the flights. The party is held at my house in the Santa Cruz mountains, and people are welcome, even encouraged, to be prepared to spend the night. It happens over the course of the afternoon, and the pace of the drinking is such that hardly anyone actually achieves drunkeness, though the CHP may argue that point. The day is about comraderie, not getting drunk. \

Whisky notes:

Chris Kantarjiev sent this note about whiskies:

About favorite whiskies: My absolute favorite is Laphroaig 15 yo. The 10 yo is nowhere near as good - it has a solvent taste and nose that the extra 5 years seems to adsorb away.

Close second of easily attainable is Lagavulin 16. Used to be really cheap at Trader Joe's so I'd buy it instead, but I prefer the Laphroaig.

I have a special bottling of Laphroaig from Murray McDavid, received as a gift. It's called "Leapfrog" - the story is that they bought some barrels and got into a legal tussle about naming the bottle. Yummy. Really yummy. But I really can't justify $80/bottle.

Bowmore is an acceptable Islay when I'm feeling cheap.

I've grown fond of Dalwhinnie as a lighter sip...

... and for something completely different, the version of Bushmills that's been aged in Sherry casks.

Last modified 081217 0005