We’re in the final countdown for the 2017 solar eclipse, which takes place on Monday, August 21st. The path of totality crosses Oregon smack dab in the middle, which means we’re gearing up for a massive influx of visitors, epic traffic, and crazy crowding by stocking up on essentials like gasoline, food, and (duh) whiskey.
Most people don’t get many chances in life to experience a total solar eclipse, so we’ve put some thought into selecting a sufficiently special whiskey to toast the occasion. Here are three ideas, each linked somehow—some way—to the unexpected darkness that will race across the nation next week.
Marketed as “the darkest Ardbeg ever,” this committee release from 2016 is described as having notes of “treacle toffee, coal tar, squid ink, noodles, and toasted coffee grounds.” What better way to celebrate the darkening of the sky than with a shadowy pour of the only whisky I’ve ever heard being described as tasting like “squid ink?”
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Ardbeg Dark Cove . (46.5%, mix of ex-bourbon and "dark sherry" casks, 2016 release) . Nose: Ash, rubber, seaweed, lime, licorice, roasted coffee, bbq pork . Taste: Charred wood, salted chocolate, rubber, leather, licorice, apples, pepper . Finish: Hickory smoke, rubber, dark chocolate, red chilies . The nose starts off on the heavier side, thick with scents of ash and a rubbery seaweed mix. Lightens up nicely with a bit with time, bright citrus and licorice notes emerge before developing a more savoury side later on. Sweet and salty in taste before turning slightly bitter, the texture is a little on the watery side. The rubber is lessened but the charred (ashy) notes get a little more woody now. Picks up a bit of heat too. The charred wood + salt combo lead into the finish, drawing reminders of hickory sticks, though it’s the rubbery ashiness lasts the longest . Wish to try the cask strength committee release, sadly not available in Canada . @ardbeg @ardbeg_usa #ardbeg #ardbegdarkcove #darkcove
There’s something fitting about drinking moonshine while the moon takes the shine out of the sun. Technically, moonshine needs to be made illicitly to warrant the name, but we’re willing to overlook that quibble for Buffalo Trace’s unaged White Dog, which we suspect is just as above-board as all the other whiskeys made at the Sazerac-owned distillery.
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There are three different White Dog expressions to choose from: Wheated mash, rye mash, and something called Mash #1, which Buffalo Trace describes as having “a sweet aroma.”
There’s no link to moons, darkness, or outer space here – just a damn delicious whisky, and one that—like eclipses—can be infrequently available and cause crowds when it does surface.
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The 18-year-old Yamazaki single malt has been recognized with many awards, including double gold at San Francisco and Gold at the International Spirits Challenge, and fans love its resinous, fruity flavor. There’s no getting around the fact that it’s also quite expensive—but hey, you don’t get many chances at this.
This article originally appeared on The Whiskey Wash.