AC Duty Free for Scotch lovers

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by Canadi>n, Apr 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Last year I came across a new Johnnie Walker blend called Double Black which was being test marketed at a limited number of airport Duty Free shops around the world. I came across a bottle at SYD Duty Free and found it quite pleasant for a blended whisky. With more peat than the regular JW Black, this really was a drinkable blend for those of us who enjoy Islay single malts. At the time, bottles were going for about A$60, though I later found a "2 for NZ$99" deal at AKL Duty Free a few months later (about $33 a bottle).

    Yesterday I was on AC to PVG and saw that JW DB is now included in the inflight Duty Free catalog for C$40 a litre bottle, about C$6 more than the regular JW. If you like peaty Islay whiskys and find blends a bit sweet or harsh, then pick up a bottle and give it a try. (No age is given on the label, but the base is JW Black in which the youngest component malt in the blend is 12-years old. The Islay single malts in the DB might be in the 10-year range -- pretty standard for bottlings from this region given the heavy peat flavour -- which likely explains the lack of an age signifier.)

    Also noticed that the Macallan on offer doesn't have a aging date though seems to correspond with the description for the 12 rather than the 18 year old.
     
    East_Yorker, Exit Row and ACMM like this.
  2. ACMM
    Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

    Messages:
    25,788
    Likes Received:
    113,113
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Never have been a JW fan - I prefer Jameson to be honest.

    Regardless - thanks for the update and the information - good to see some additions to the duty free options.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  3. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    Flew on OZ in March and their IFE was pushing JW Blue (they served it in F). The first class lounge had a sign about it if I remember correctly. Went to the Lotte duty free and found a reasonably priced 30 year old single malt so I asked to buy it. The staff insisted that I take the Blue instead....The Charming +1 became less than charming and insisted that said staff oblige my original request. Not sure what the big JW push was for.....maybe I'll crack that 30 year old this weekend and have a ripper...
     
    East_Yorker, milchap and ACMM like this.
  4. milchap
    Original Member

    milchap Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,636
    Likes Received:
    148,038
    Status Points:
    20,020
    [quote="igloocoder, post: 358992.....maybe I'll crack that 30 year old this weekend and have a ripper...[/quote]
    Let us know your opinion of this elixir !
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  5. The Lev
    Original Member

    The Lev Silver Member

    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    375
    Status Points:
    545
    So is this Lagavulin/Laphroaig in disguise or more like JW Black with a bit of peatiness?
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  6. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    Ends up that I'm not going to crack that bottle this weekend. A cold has finally caught up to me and has wiped me out. I'll report back in a few weeks when I do get it out.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  7. ACMM
    Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

    Messages:
    25,788
    Likes Received:
    113,113
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Lousy weekend to have a cold - get over it quickly so you can enjoy!
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  8. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Status Points:
    1,120
    It's not a substitute for either. This is definitely a blended whisky for those times you don't want the depth or weight of a single malt Islay, but one that has the same body and character as those malts.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  9. Asia is all about 'labels' regardless whether the product is actually any good.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  10. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    I really should have sat down and drank the whole bottle. The hangover would have been better than this cold turned flu.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  11. ACMM
    Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

    Messages:
    25,788
    Likes Received:
    113,113
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Is is too late to try that remedy?

     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  12. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    I'm supposed to be flying tonight. Still undecided if I'm going to head out or cancel this weeks work. If I do go I doubt they'd like me showing up to the airport a bottle of scotch into the night.
     
    East_Yorker and ACMM like this.
  13. tomh009
    Original Member

    tomh009 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,258
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Status Points:
    1,220
    So where would you place it on the single-malt spectrum, in terms of body/flavour/character? The price is nice, but I'm hesitant about buying a blended whisky that might disappoint my search for flavour! :D
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  14. 2MM_Guy
    Original Member

    2MM_Guy Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Likes Received:
    10,312
    Status Points:
    10,595
    Maybe we should have a scotch tasting event.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  15. ACMM
    Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

    Messages:
    25,788
    Likes Received:
    113,113
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I would be in for that.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  16. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Just a caution, once opened, these bottles with their unique valve cap/closure do not seal tightly in the way a normal screw top bottle does. This means some of the precious amber liquid will leak if the bottle is inverted in any way. Discovered this the hard way as the angels and gremlins enjoyed an once or two from the bottle I bought last week. Fortunately, I had wrapped the bottle in a plastic bag before placing it back into the box it came in when I flew on from MEL to PVG. But upon unpacking at PVG I discovered the magnitude of the leaking. The remedy, short of pouring the remains into empty plastic water bottles, is to wrap the top part of the bottle with one of those socks we get in our amenity kits (hold in place with a rubber band or tape), then place the bottle into a plastic bag (like the ones used in hotel room waste cans, or ice buckets) and put this entire sealed bottled into another sock. Finally, pack this into the heavier plastic bag you got from the duty free. The socks should soak up any leaking whisky and bags will keep the liquid from leaking into your valuables. (The bottle itself is extra thick so is in no danger of breaking if properly secured in your suitcase.)

    A whisky tasting would be nice, though rather expensive unless held at someone's place and we each brought a bottle. Alternately, we could all book LH F ex-FRA on the same day and just gather very early in the FCT where there is a rather superb single malt list!
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  17. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    This was my first thought as well. When I was there in March the barkeep setup a nice tasting of their more intriguing Islay offerings. Now that is the kind of service I like at 10am!
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  18. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Just spotted the DB at YYZ T1 transborder Duty Free at 2 for $99.
     
    East_Yorker and milchap like this.
  19. tomh009
    Original Member

    tomh009 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,258
    Likes Received:
    1,819
    Status Points:
    1,220
    This would be the best way to do it. With single malts, multiple bottles are easy as the whisky does not spoil quickly. I'm trying to organize a local port tasting but vintage ports don't keep very long so we need a bigger group ...
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  20. East_Yorker
    Original Member

    East_Yorker Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    4,589
    Status Points:
    2,470
    I bought a bottle of JW Blue on AC last year coming back from FRA. I wanted to buy a bottle of gin for my wife, but they didn't load any. The scotch was on sale ($198, I think) and came with a lovely heart-shaped red Venetian glass necklace. My wife got the necklace...I got the scotch. Win-Win!
     
  21. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Status Points:
    1,120
    IAH Duty Free has it at 2 for U$85.
     
  22. igloocoder
    Original Member

    igloocoder Silver Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    390
    Status Points:
    520
    Well I finally got home and healthy so I decided to celebrate drown my sorrows over the Canucks loss. I broke open the bottle of 30 year old Glenfiddich for a first taste. Since tastings can be called flights, I assume that this is the appropriate location to do my trip report.

    Overall, I'm not that impressed. That said, it's far from a bad scotch. Instead, it's just a case of the quality of the scotch isn't so much better than other bottles as to justify the price. Probably the biggest surprise to me is the lack of complexity in the flavours and smells. I'm used to drinking Islays most of the time, so perhaps the subtlety of a Speyside is now eluding me. I honestly can't discern a single aroma that stands out. It is pleasant to the nose, but that is all. The flavour follows the same trend. It has a nice taste during the start and the middle, but I'm left without being able to pick out anything specific. I was, however, quite surprised by the strong acidic taste that it finished with. Somewhat more aggressive than other Speysides I remember and perhaps even on par with the in-your-face finish of some lesser Islays.

    Would I buy a bottle again? Probably not.
    Will I throw this one out? Definitely not.
    Will I reserve it for when I only want the best? Likely not, but it won't be pushed to the back of the cupboard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    tomh009 and East_Yorker like this.
  23. milchap
    Original Member

    milchap Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,636
    Likes Received:
    148,038
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Thanks for the taste report. :)
     
  24. $158 in Chicago duty free. For JW Blue last week.
     
    East_Yorker likes this.
  25. East_Yorker
    Original Member

    East_Yorker Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,450
    Likes Received:
    4,589
    Status Points:
    2,470
    JW Blue?
     

Share This Page