Went to the Whisky Live tasting at the weekend. Was quieter than last year, so a bit easier to get to the front of the popular stands. Usual thing: just spent a few hours there, starting at 11:30 AM. Whisky tasting doesn't involve any wimpy spitting-out business, so after that we went to the pub for a couple of beers to sober up, and get a bite to eat. Mostly concentrated on the Scotches this year, since had quite a few international whiskies last time. Notes transcripted below, as far as was possible.
- Tullibardine '93. Raw, sweet, powerful. Took my breath away with the first gulp. New independent distillery, first of the new batch
- Tullibardine '88. One of the remaining whiskies from when this was owned by Whyte and Mackay. Much smoother, still pretty sweet.
- Highland Park 18yo. Absolutely gorgeous: rich, full, balanced, powerful. Might stretch to some but £60 per bottle
- Highland Park 15yo. Inferior to the standard 12yo I thought. Spends a lot of time in bourbon casks instead of sherry, but that just made it bland and insipid.
- Ben Riach 16yo. Been an independent since 2002 so no new whiskies yet, though the new people have been bottling the older casks to their own standard. Light, woody.
- Aberfeldy 21yo. Soft, balanced, pleasant, but at £75 not really worth the extra £50 over the normal 12yo.
- Mackmyra 1yo peated oak. Tried some of this mad Swedish stuff (under the name Mackmyra Smoke) last year too. It's very young, but put in very small, raw oak casks so it gets a lot of flavour very quickly Their cask stuff (Smoke or Elegant) is nearly 60% has a hell of kick: it's like being smacked around the head with a blazing tree branch, but in a good way. You can only buy it by the cask though. I think it's also illegal to sell it in the UK as whisky, since it's under 3 years.
- Mackmyra non-peated 3yo. Smoother than the peated variety, but still powerful stuff. Poteen-y according to one of the people who know.
- Mackmyra Preludium:01 (3yo). Their first whisky that they're selling by the bottle. Available in Royal Mile Whiskies apparently. Milder than the others, powerful by most standards; they seem to have judged this ready for civilian use. Might seek out a bottle.
- Balvenie Doublewood 12yo. Should have skipped this one really: had it before and it's not really better than the 10yo, which I've been through a couple of bottles of. Not unpleasant, but it doesn't really seem to work: tastes kind of unnaturally sweet to me.
- Balvenie 21yo. Notes say "very nice": remember enjoying it an awful lot but can't quite remember exactly what it was like.
- Ben Riach 21 year old. Bit of an oddity: a Speyside malt but heavily peated like an Islay. Works extremely well actually: strong-tasting but softer and subtler than most Islays. Might just be the age though: Islays seem to get a lot better when they're a couple of decades old.
- Talisker 18yo. Very good
- Caol Isla 18yo. Another very good old peaty whisky. In this case the younger stuff is good too, but again this is richer and smoother.
- Bunnahabhain? (I think) 16yo. Smooth, very good.
- Bunnahabhain 18yo. p?w?w?ly?n smooth. Pronounced "banna hav in".
- (?) Illegible name 12 yo . Fine. Notes fading by this time
- (? same as above) 20yo. Best.
- (?) Different to the above. "All right"
- Jura 12. "Smooth good smooth."
- Vin Winkle's 12yo. "Good"
- Vin Winkle's 15yo. "Very good"
- (?) "Good"
- S? Something possibly beginning with S. Age and notes unclear
Saw The Dukes of Hazzard: Unseen on DVD. Pretty awful: not quite sure how they managed to make a car-chase-and-hot-chicks movie that was so bad. For some reason they seemed to be trying to position it as a sub-Farelly brothers teen comedy; with lots of uncreative swearing, innuendo and the odd bit of gratuitous nudity. Can't see how that could be a good move commercially: teenagers presumably don't have much nostalgia for the series, and it would have alienated the thirty-somethings and excluded the kids.
Also doesn't really seem to fit the genre template. Teen comedies usually have fairly hapless protagonists to get more laughs and plot out of their quest for sex: confident good-looking jocks like Bo and Luke are more usually the bad guys. The movie seemed to struggle that contradiction, even hitting one of the characters on the head to apparently turn him into a dork.
A complete lack of good comic acting and comic timing didn't help either. At least the original series' team of bad guys have a pretty competent schtick going between Boss Hogg, Sheriff Roscoe and Deputy Enos. In the movie no-one seems able to turn on the funny.
Stunts are more impressive in the out-takes than in the movie. It doesn't stay consistent between realistic stunt-work and effects, which makes it hard to care or appreciate. There's an impressive jump where the car drives off from the freeway, but the riding-the-safe scene as pretty silly
Gratuitous nudity: not sure how much was inserted into the "Unseen" edition and how much was in the original. Again suffers from being a bit samey: lots of perfectly spherical and utterly unyielding plastic boobies.
Recommendation: avoid. On my R=entertainment,G=originality,B=intelligence scale I give it a #281008
Forgot to give Bubba Ho-Tep an RGB rating at the time. Call it #B0C098
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