Scotch on the Rock – Round 5

Scotch on the Rock is our irregularly recurring column from Scotch, music and life enthusiast JD Short.  Mr. Short has spent time in the rock and roll outfits Root and The Cardinal Number, as well as being a jack of all trades for Rickenbacker.  He currently records under the name BassDbler.

Scotch on the Rock 5 – Bruichladdich Rocks and Grinderman 2.


This is the first scotch I purchased with the intent to review. Admittedly, the big “ROCKS” across the packaging caught my eye… it has “Rocks” in the name. I was instantly curious about an un-peated Islay malt (Islay is known for major peat). The price was decent and I do like Bruichladdich’s (pronounced bru – ikh – khlad – ikh) whiskies in general. So, I took the punt.

To produce this multi-vintage, single malt whisky, Master distiller Jim McEwan selects casks of varying ages and allows the whisky to mature for an additional period in casks which previously held French red wine.

Bruichladdich’s tasting notes have:

* The nose- fresh, slightly floral and spicy, with pineapple and coconut

* The mouth- fruity with sweet, eating apples, vanilla and mulled wine notes

* The finish- long and toffee-like, with mild oak.

To moi, these are slightly misleading as we should remember this is Scotch. Don’t expect the nose to mimic a tasty malibooya, but there are coconut notes deep within. The mouth is more on the vanilla and mulling spices, less fruity and apple… I do agree whole-heartily with the finish notes. The finish is very rich. Overall, I am very impressed and this might be my new go to whisky for introducing friends to the splendor scotch. Bruichladdich Rocks is very easy to drink, has loads of depth and a touch of peat. Kudos.

Obviously, the album pairing had to rock, right? I thought about pairing this Bruichladdich with either Jesus Lizard’s Goat or even Shot. Since the ROCKS might be my new go to, introductory whisky, maybe I should dial back the manic and go with something a bit more classic… I was going to go with The Birthday Party’s Mutiny, but then I was reminded of this video I watched endlessly at an exhibition (link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5C6nkk4Wvc) at The Arts Centre in Melbourne a couple years ago…

…as absolutely amazing as that is, decided I wanted something a bit more seasoned, still cutting edge, yet timeless, raw and rocking.

Pairing this tremendous (fucking) scotch with Grinderman’s Grinderman 2, seems perfect. Grinderman 2 is instantly recognizable and classic… cheeky and brilliant… as rawkus as Swampland and as refined as a seasoned professor. Looser and noisier than The Bad Seeds, Grinderman feels more band-oriented, yet also allows for Nick Cave’s over-the-top swagger to dominate… You never know if that swagger is 100% real and honest or if it’s just a character… or maybe it’s neither. Cave has the distinction of being one of the few who can say things in song form and make me love lyrics… It’s no secret that I’m not huge fan of lyrics, but Cave transcends my short comings (zing).

Plus, this video is just about the best thing I’ve seen

Aside from video shenanigans… the live performance is every bit as impressive.

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