Johnny Scotch is going to Scotland!

Yes! May of 2018 will be a very special trip across the ocean to visit the UK. What is better than a trip to the UK? Spending 3-4 days visiting Scotland and checking out the as many scotch distilleries as my liver can handle.

I definitely have a list of places that I want to visit and hopefully have some discussions about partnering with my brand for future books, but I also want to know what others think.

Where should a writer of pulpy, Jazz-noir go to find fresh inspiration in the silky spirits of Scotland?

Are you a distillery that is looking for a marketing opportunity with an author and musician from the states? (Say a special book signing or musical performance at your location?)

Chime in world. I want to get some discussion going to help make this trip truly memorable.

 

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Johnny Scotch: Top Shelf Reviews…

Johnny Scotch Top Shelf Review 2 – Oak Cross blended malt scotch whiskey from Compass Box

I like my scotch like I like my women. Straight, single, and complex. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my dalliances outside of my comfort zone on occasion. When it came to my first experience with Oak Cross, it was an experience worth traveling outside of my general taste of single malt, well aged scotch to take in the varied flavors afforded to me with each sip.

Like any good tasting experience, my first time with Oak Cross comes was enhanced by the secret passages and dark recesses of a speakeasy. I was in Vegas, a town where the underworld is part of the daily grind and people shill themselves like they sell their goods. After taking in an evening of piano bar shenanigans in the old downtown, it was time to have a serious drink. I turned to Joey. He knew these streets and establishments like no other. It turned out, the only place he wanted to go was the only place that I would have asked for.

The bar had no name for visitors to find, but only because to the general public it did not exist. Joey took me down the street to a hipster driven bar that I would not be caught dead in. I was hesitant but he assured me he knew what he was doing. He checked his phone for a returned message and within a few minutes of standing outside he told me to follow him. We walked up to the wall of a man that stood guard at the door. Joey looked at him with a grin and spoke two words that I couldn’t make out over the din of thumping bass lines that hammered away from inside. The bouncer gave a grunt and Joey held up two fingers. He gave a slow nod, turned and led us into the disco-nouveau tainted surroundings.

I was expecting to be led to a loud, strobe light infused booth for table service. But we were led past the roar, to the far wall, just out of sight of the rest of the rooms gyrating patrons. Our muscled escort slid away a small bit of wall to reveal a keypad. He punched in a series of numbers and the wall slid away to reveal an exposed brick stairway down into the basement of the building. My wariness melted away with each step down into the darkened passage along with the ruckus noise from the club above. The narrow, winding stairwell opened up into a small dim lit room filled with vintage furniture and a bar with a single bar tender providing each patron with a customized experience for a flat rate per drink.

The bouncer showed us to the only two seats left and we settled into the comfortable stools at the bar. The smoke tinged husky voice, bright green eyes, and red-haired bar matron welcomed us as she asked us what our pleasure was. I asked for a scotch, neat. She inquired as to my tastes and I gave her a tour of my list of favorites. She noted my flavor palette and I fully expected to be poured a Lagavulin or Oban, or something on my list. She waved off all of those and procured a clear bottle with a cornflower label adorned with gold lettering and decorations. What she poured was a generous two fingers of Oak Cross. It’s blonde coloring danced in my tumbler, inviting me to dip my toe in it’s waters.

One whiff and I was transported. The spice laden notes lit up my senses. Clove and cinnamon and burnt sugars laced the smells that wafted up to me. I anticipated a spiced cider experience but was rewarded with something completely different. I brought the glass to my lips and the buttery texture coated my taste buds with a soft caramel flavor that was overshadowed by the taste of leather and earth and the gentle hint of wood. A soft warmth chased the alcohol down as I swallowed and the smooth finish hung with me in just the right way.

It was partly due to the environment and partly due to the fact that Compass Box, the company that distills Oak Cross, really knows what they are doing when they craft the flavor of their liquors. Since that day, when given a choice, I tend to lean towards a bottle of Oak Cross whenever I have it in my sights. It always brings me back to that speakeasy and never disappoints my palette with its buttery delivery of complex but not overpowering flavors.

This review was provided without solicitation for Oak Cross Blended Malt Whiskey, by Compass Box Scotch Whiskey Maker. John Dover is the writer of Johnny Scotch and professional musician based out of Portland OR. For more writing from John Dover, visit www.mythmachine.net, and http://johnnyscotchjustice.com

 

 

Website updates for Johnny Scotch…

Spent some time today updating my site with some fresh images and with new links. Images to promote Johnny Scotch #3 are there and there will be more to come for sure. I also collected links for some of the reviews and interviews for Johnny Scotch over the past couple of years. Great links from my friends at Hold 322, The Art of Business, scifimonkeys.com, and Written Sins.

I hope you will take some time to take a tour of the site and see what is going on in the Johnny Scotch universe.

http://johnnyscotchjustice.com

 

A taste of Scotch…

@ardbeg_com is known for it’s hearty peat infused flavor. If you are not a fan of this earthy, smokey, character then my entry today might not be up your alley.

The gift of scotch is a beautiful thing. It is through these gifts and generosities over the years that I have been able to sample some truly interesting flavors in the scotch world. Today’s offering comes from one of my favorite supporters and is a truly unexpected delight.52877467072__C24DA98D-F55F-4549-9239-160507AC2DF6.jpeg

From the moment the cork was pulled on this I knew I was in for something special. Not only did the peat aura waft up to greet my nose as I took my first sniff and taste, but there were other flavors and notes that I was not expecting. As I am used to the Ardbeg 10 yr old, I was expecting the almost medicinal smokiness that accompanies this companies palette. With the Kelpie, the aging process takes place in select casks from the Black Sea region, allowing for the seaside notes that generally accent the Islay scotches to come through in a wonderful buttery way.

A few more sips in and I am standing on the rickety boards of a mossy pier with the evening bonfire wafting off the shore behind me and the soft, salty wind tickling my nose. This is not a boisterous scotch. This is a walk along an evening beach with a long time lover, hand in hand with the anticipation of the twilight activities lighting up your senses. The foaming waves of the sea rolling in, playing with your toes in the sand as you stroll along to infinity.

Sure I am a bit verbose. I never claimed not to be. I was just so pleased with the tastes and smells that wrapped around me. The experience of this scotch grew with every sip. I adored how it challenged me to explore its depths in search of every aroma and taste I could disentangle from the myriad of flavors bouncing off my tongue.

If you are offered a chance to sample or hopefully deeply imbibe (responsibly) this offering from Ardbeg, I implore you to give it a try. Even if peaty scotch tends to scare you a bit, give it a shot. you might be surprised at what you find too.