Christmas gifts [Woodmoor Reserve, Blue Label]

Khare (
Thu, 1 Jan 1998 19:27:54 +0530


premium spirits. In that vein, I'd like to reminisce and recommend Woodmoor
Reserve, a relatively-lesser known superpremium single-barrel Kentucky
bourbon. Jay and I were having an offline discussion about the best in
american whiskies.

Of course, the big four are being pushed by American Brands, a US
conglomerate that owns a hundred unrelated businesses from Jack Daniels to
Moet faucets. Knob Creek, Booker's, and , shoot, I forget two others I
haven't tried are getting a joint push -- I think the site is Knob Creek I first encountered in United's
International First Class, alongside the Blue. It was going for $8 a shot
in DC last week.

I went to pick up something special for a cypherpunks party at Declan
Mccullaugh's -- BAL was there too, later -- and the a very nice specialist
at Woodley Circle Liquors directed me a little off the beaten path. It's a
flat flask bottle, oak cork, very lush coppery hue, conveying the sweet
which goes with the vanilla notes.

WR was a great find: not at all the sharp-edged caricature of bourbon, but
a rich, almost dessert-bourbon. Only $29, a pretty good buy, too, given
equivalent 750mls of KC and Booker's were even more.

All dried out,

PS. ENP: do you remember Declan from the early days? He used to work at

[12/31/97, Dehli Duty Free]

Well, with usual Hindoostani efficiency, the Airports Authority of India
canceled the contract of the bookseller stall at Delhi International
Airport, but failed to replace it. Thus, there are NO BITS FOR SALE in the
entire damn place. And the only source of news is the gleaming oaken racks
of imported zines and foreign dailies in the Taj, Maharajah, and Executive
lounges... from which I am banished, a poor coach plebe this time (though I
still get to check in with First Class at United -- at least until my 1K
membership expires at the stroke of midnight, tonight (wait, where? I'll be
crossing 12 time zones during New Year's Eve -- it will already be 1998 in
Tokyo by the time I arrive in IAD...))

[Trivia: imported inflight mags from the various airlines that support the
lounges all have to pass customs -- which mainly takes pains to stamp all
international route maps with "Jammu and Kashmir are part of Indian

[Rumor: Red Carpet clubmembers get no entry to these lounges -- just biz
and first. However, along with tentative plans to upgrade UA 1 and 2's
DEL-HKG-LAX sector from a 767-300ER to a 747 and make it DEL-HKG-ORD, they
are discussing the first-ever "Star Lounge", where United, Lufthansa, SAS,
and Thai (I don't think Varig services DEL any more) will jointly fund a
private lounge.]

Anyway, I was ranting about the AAI's inanity, since a) I have several
hundred rupees burning a hole in my pocket to buy cheap Indian-edition
paperbacks and b) there is NO place to buy postcards. I'm stuck on a 5 hour
layover, and I can't even rectify my derelict duty to send out some
postcards. On the other hand, the India Tourism Development Corporation
runs the duty-free, and they're still on the ball.

India Duty Free has rock-bottom prices: remember, the entire country's
foreign reserves amount to about $26 billion. I'd rattle off some of the
bargains ($16 Red Label, $34 Glenkinchie), but the "Stop and Shop" circular
I snagged helpfully lists all the prices in Japanese...

The point is, Blue Label is $148. Yes, $148. I'm SO tempted. I have to sit
here for another three hours contemplating whether to blow my budget over
this Blue.



1:03 AM. The urge passed. I went in to investigate further, and the $52
Gold and the $148 Blue are ony 75cl. I believe I once saw what I thought to
be a liter of Blue for $188, a marginally better deal ( $4.80 a shot [20
cl] vs. $4.76 a shot (vs. the $30 in hotels!) which doesn't require hefting
it across 12,000 miles. And, I'd rather use my allotment at Whiskies of the
World in Terminal 2 at Heathrow -- after all, Green Label still isn't
available stateside (though I hear Green is basically a relabeled,
price-inflated Glen* (grep-ese for "One of the Glens", a tip o' the Kleene
hat to _Swingers_ ) ). I know United in-flight sells 1L Gold for $70, so
that's also evidence that the India prices are only a hairsbreadth from
Price Club's


[10:30AM Terminal 3,LHR

I see they've opened up a branch of Whiskies of the World at T3 (although
there's a Johnny Walker company store now in T2!). I gave in, finally,
although I'm not sure the rate was *all* that great at GBP99 for 1L. Now,
the only question is, will there ever be an event worth of uncorking
it?!?!? Aside from Adamo's wedding ceremonies this fall... ]