The Practical Still

The Practical Still

Whiskey hunting and collecting has gotten crazy but there are still wonderful bottles of bourbon, rye, and single malt whiskeys waiting for you on store shelves if you just know a little bit about what to shop for. The Practical Still is about finding value in whisky to drink and share. Whiskey was never meant to sit on a shelf. Open the Bottle and enjoy it. We don't do detailed reviews, we just help you understand and enjoy the whiskey you can drink today.

Episodes

April 30, 2022 47 min

Stacey Moses joins me again and we talk about options for her longtime go-to whiskey, Jameson Irish Whiskey. 

Other Irish whiskey such as Redbreast 12 is certainly an option but there are Scotch, Japanese, and American whiskeys that would make nice choices too.

We also debunk Stacey's belief that all Scotch is peaty in an effort to help her broaden her whiskey horizons.

Cheers!  

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My friend Stacey Moses has some whiskey questions. Until just a few months ago, we'd worked together in various capacities for many years, and during that time, we also became friends. On balance, I feel as if I've learned far more from Stacey in our professional relationship than she ever learned from me so I always relish an opportunity to share any knowledge I have with her. In the before COVID times, Stacey would visit ...

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We were working on some other productions for Dan's Slow Guy on the Fast Ride cycling content and we decided to take a few minutes and sip some whiskey.

I brought two sample bottles with some Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond 8 year old and an Old Forester Barrel Proof store pick for Dan to blind taste.

Can $85 bottles really be practical? We think so, at least relative to their secondary prices when we paid retail for them but sti...

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November 4, 2021 58 min

There are so many delicious whiskies to drink from around the world that no one person will probably ever come close to tasting them all but we should try to expand our palates, shouldn't we? Not that we stretch all that far but we have gotten hung up on bourbon and rye whiskey lately so back to Scotland we go in this episode. Specifically, we're drinking whisky from Islay, the small island known for producing heavily peate...

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We started The Practical Still podcast about 18 months ago with the premise that there are wonderful bottles of bourbon, rye, and single malt whiskeys waiting for us on shelves any day of the week. We don't need to chase unicorn bottles, camp out in parking lots, or pay inflated secondary market prices to enjoy drinking whiskey.

We say that's all still true, even if the prices for common bottles are rising faster than ever. ...

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Dan and I always say that we don't have whiskey collections. We just have bottles of whiskey we haven't opened yet. The reality is that we do have quite a few bottles of bourbon lying around regardless of what we call it. So, do we really need so many if we aren't planning to keep them all forever without opening them? The answer is no, we do not. There isn't any practical reason to have a pile of Elijah Craig Small...

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Shopping for whiskey can be very different depending on where you are. The biggest difference you'll see is when states where the government controls retail sales, known as 'control states'. ABC stores in those states are the primary retail outlet and while they can still be package stores in some of those states that are privately owned, they aren't typically - or at least not in Alabama where Mark lived until just...

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Maybe it's just splitting hairs but there is a difference between a whiskey finished in a barrel that previously held wine, sherry, port, rum, or some other product versus a whiskey that was matured in a sherry or port or whatever barrel. 

It gets a little complicated when talking about rum or scotch when our typical orientation is toward American whiskeys such as bourbon, rye, and American single malt but understanding some ver...

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Owner, co-founder, and head distiller of Deerhammer Distillery in Buena Vista, CO, Lenny Eckstein invited us up to visit after hearing the podcast episode where we talked about young whiskey. Lenny felt that he could offer some valuable experience to us that would improve our understanding of distillation and maturation particularly as it relates to how craft distillers approach creating single malt, bourbon, and rye whiskies when ...

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After we recorded an introductory podcast (if you haven't listed to it yet, it's a good idea to pause this episode and give it a listen here)  in the rack house at Deerhammer Distillery, owner Lenny Eckstein took us through a few tastings of his smoked corn whiskey, bourbon, rye, and American single malt whiskies. To say it was enlightening is quite an understatement. Additionally, we sampled directly from a great many barr...

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I've decided something important. At least it is important to my whiskey drinking enjoyment. I'm going to pledge from this moment forward to only judge a whiskey by the actual whiskey and how much I like said whiskey. Not by the hype. Not by the story. Not by the appropriated history. Not by the pretty label. Not by ... you get the idea.

Obviously, you say. Not so fast. I think we are all suckered in by stories of grandfathe...

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Dan and Mark talk about resource considerations for whiskey consuming enthusiasts beyond just the money. Space on the shelf, what to do with the bottle of bourbon, rye, and scotch that you just don't care for, and more.

They also sip on some Blanton's, Eagle Rare, and Wild Turkey Master's Keep Cornerstone Rye whiskey, none of which are likely to be poured down the drain. But what do you do when your evening pour doesn...

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Why is it that some very young whiskeys can be surprisingly tasty while other are about what we'd expect, bad? Could it be that skilled distillers know how to aim at two or three year target better than others? Is it all about fermentation? Is it luck? Maybe it's just our tastes.

And when it's bad, and it can be soooo bad, do the distillers and brands know it? Or do they really think their sixteen month old rye whiskey i...

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Every hobby faces the same dilemma - how do we welcome new people into our world without scaring them off before they even have a chance to figure it all out? That's what we tackle today. We were all new to whiskey at one point so how did we make it past all the jargon and nonsense? What are some 'dos and don'ts' if we want folks to feel welcome dipping their toes into the whiskey world? 

Well, it isn't about bot...

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April 5, 2021 2 min

It has been a while since Dan and I published a podcast episode. Why? Who knows. We've been busy with other projects but probably, the truth is closer to it just isn't as fun to produce these things remotely as it is passing bottles back and forth and sipping whiskey together. It just wasn't safe to do that for a long time but, with vaccines at full speed here in Colorado, we're getting there. We've still been p...

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The pandemic is changing how we relate to all sorts of life events, hobbies, and other things we perhaps took for granted before. Has the isolation changed how you enjoy your whiskey? It sure has changed our relationship with the spirits we love to drink. The most beautiful part of whiskey is sharing it with friends and that, for sure, is not the same today as it was a year ago. Bourbon, even modest bourbon, tastes better and adds ...
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It sure seems as if bourbon and rye whiskey prices are continuing to accelerate. Bottles that one day are gathering dust are gone from the shelf the next and doubling price the very next time you see them again. It's more important than ever to know what you're drinking and what it's worth to you. There are still great bottles we can buy most any day at reasonable prices even if they are getting more and more rare. Don&...
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Dan and Mark talk about starting The Practical Still in 2020 and what's coming up in 2021. There will be guests on the podcast and new topics for the YouTube channel too. There will still be lots of whiskeys but maybe some rum and tequila too. Any spirits are fair game ... that's why it's called The Practical Still rather than the whiskey this or that. How about some brandy? Sure.
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If you could only drink one brand of whiskey for the rest of your life, which one would you choose? You still have to pay for it and you're still subject to marketing conditions such as pricing and availability so if you choose poorly you may never again sip bourbon or rye or single malt whiskey again.
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What, if anything, can be learned simply from the color of whiskey? We all talk about the color when we find new whiskey and color is evaluated along with the nose and taste but what should whiskey shoppers know about whiskey color and what can it dependably tell us? For some, myself included, we just like the color of old bourbon and it's as much a part of the experience as glassware - it's just beautiful.
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