dallas dhu is nowhere near dallas tx



Hey! I got my first “Fare” piece in November’s issue of SAVEUR Magazine, something that has ended up being quite a lovely surprise, here at the end of a very long season of writing in a completely different field. To read my article, either pick up a copy of the gorgeous magazine itself, or read a version here.

It’s an idea I’ve had for a while, and in fact, some of you were present for its inception: a taste test of different single-malt scotches from distilleries that no longer exist. There’s something awesome about “spirits from a ghost distillery” that turned me on, and in fact, there are collectors that specialize in scotch from silent stills.

Until the holidays, when (with the help of Steven Garrity) I plan to launch my Scotchtastic blog, I’ll put a few things here about whisky from ghost distilleries you should try if you ever have the chance:


Port Ellen – Hard to go wrong with this peaty, intense Islay malt, but the “official releases” – particularly the 27-year-old from 1978 – is a smoky, explosive treat.




Rosebank – Like many “lowland” whiskies, you have to be careful. It can be either a subtle, heathery masterpiece, or a spirity, grassy bore. Old Malt Cask’s bottling of a 22-year-old from 1980 is a high-wire act of sugary perfection.




Convalmore – This dark-hued Speysider can put some Macallans to shame. Try the Rare Malts 24-year-old; the nose, swear to God, is Starburst candy (particularly strawberry), but on the palate you’ve got wood esters, dark teas and even a hint of mint. It almost feels carbonated. Stunning.




Brora – Perhaps the most-mourned distillery, the 30-year-old official bottling is probably the best whisky in the world outside an auction. The nose, the palate, the finish… wafting peat, complicated sugars, a play with rising and falling action. Four seasons in one dram, and not to be missed.

Oh, and thanks Dana!

0 thoughts on “dallas dhu is nowhere near dallas tx

  1. jen

    ok – i visited the site. is it just on line. i can’t believe that one gourmet magazine went under. newspapers down 11 percent last month…i mean, can they drop any further and still exist?

  2. Anne

    Hmmm, I forgot to say in yesterday’s food comments that Scotch makes me want to barf. But I’m happy for the pleasure you take in these carefully crafted libations, Ian.

  3. herman

    Interesting idea, ghost malt. However I guess the fee for this piece was dwarfed by the opportunity to taste these rare whiskies?

  4. Sean

    I could read your articles on scotch all day. I love it when a good writer finds a subject that they can approach passionately, but still rationally. This is fantastic.

  5. Salem

    Jenn, subscribe online. Saveur and Cooks Illustrated are the best ever, year in and year out. Saveur is the food magazine for your library.
    Ian, you know I share your love of Scotch, but I envy your palette. I can have a goose bump, teary eyed, love affair moment with a new favorite Scotch, and be certain that I am getting a third of your experience from the same dram.

  6. tregen

    Hey! I actually subscribe to this magazine and read the article. Never thought to actually look to see who the author was. Congratulations and great article.
    I actually keep the old magazines on my bookshelf.

  7. CM

    Congrats! What talent you have to be able to write about your passions and infuse everyone with the same spirit (so to speak!)

  8. Nick

    Great article Ian – I still tell people about the scotch tasting at Zap that included the Rosebank above. You’ve made all of silverorange scotch fans (seriously, group get-togethers involve testing out different single malt scotches).


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