CLOSE
Original image

Five Whiskeys Dad Will Love

Original image

Tis the season, and if you're like a lot of gift-buyers out there, Dad is both the easiest and the hardest family member to shop for -- sure, you can always get him golf clubs or bottles of fancy booze, but which ones? I might not know a nine-iron from a putter, but I do know a few things about whiskey. Here are five tasty ideas for boozy gifts this season, with reviews from my whiskey club's excellent website (or you can skip right to our database of thousands of whiskey reviews).

Parker's Heritage 10 Year Wheated Bourbon

Price point: around $85
Region: Kentucky
About: Anything from the Parker's Heritage label -- from the Heaven Hill distillery, in conjunction with Parker Beam, of the nearly-royal Beams -- will be good, but this stuff is especially tasty. At more than 120 proof, the alcohol content is about 25% higher than your average bottle of bourbon, but along with all that undiluted alcohol comes undiluted flavor. A lot of people will cut a whiskey this strong with an ice cube or a thimble-full of spring water; I'm of the sip-it-straight persuasion, but that's just me.
Tasting notes: "Fantastic nose, like french toast in a glass with maple syrup. Pretty hot at ~ 64%, but I like that, brings out the big rich spicy wheat profile with lots of sweetness lingering in the finish."

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Price point: $45
Region: Island of Islay, Scotland
About: I think this is one of the best scotch values out there. I'm partial to the super-peaty stuff, which anything Laphroaig produces certainly is, but this has a great balance to it, due largely to the amount of contact this ten-year-old whisky has had with oak-wood. In the old days, when there were still a lot of whisky-makers in Scotland who tried to keep their activities secret in order to avoid British taxes, a great deal of whisky was aged in small casks, which were easier to hide and transport subtly. The unexpected advantage of this maturation method was that the ratio of wood-surface-area to whisky was upped significantly, giving the scotch a woodier taste. As far as I know, Laphroaig is the only distiller who matures anything in the old contraband-style quarter cask.
Tasting notes: "I find this to be more accessible and balanced than the Laphroaig 10. Great peat but the wood shows, enjoyable, and should be a staple in most collections." "Smokey, musty nose. Palate is very smokey and mildly sweet, with a whole bunch of peat/earth/that stuff and some medicine. A peat treat and a good buy."

Balvenie Doublewood

Price point: $40
Region: Speyside, Scotland
About: This is an extremely accessible and very tasty dram, one I'd be confident putting in the hands of someone who's never tasted scotch before. If they don't like this, they probably won't like scotch at all. On the other hand, snootier palates and more experienced scotch drinkers might turn their noses up at what some consider a "starter" scotch. But, IMHO, that's just silly.
Tasting notes: "Sweet, sherried flavor, moderate finish, and very enjoyable." "Maple nose, full oaky flavor with good mouth feel, some sugar. Finishes a bit hot, but quite good for the price."
Note: If you can find a bottle of the significantly-more-expensive-but-wonderful Balvenie Rum Cask, BUY IT! It's one of the best rum-cask-aged (or anything-other-than-oak-aged) scotches out there.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

Price point: $70
Region: Kentucky
About: One of the best ryes money can buy. A giant, high-test (126 proof) bottle of spice and cinnamon and leather and oak. Major yum. You may be tempted to make Sazerac cocktails or other mixed drinks with this but DO NOT waste it by diluting with mixers! One ice cube is permitted. Yes, I am very opinionated.
Tasting notes: "Christmassy-clove-allspice-cinnamon-nutmeg-minty-rich-freight-train-delight. A fascinating rye that just pleases the hell out of me. This is not one for novices, the ABV and massive rich spice mix will probably just put them off. However, the heat isn't near what would be expected from nearly 67% (and I drink it at full strength, yes, although it is great on the rocks as well). This has some nearly magical, mysterious aspects to it... and I don't believe any magical or mysterious mumbo-jumbo, so that's saying a lot! Completely delightful."

Ardmore 30

Price point: $400 and up
Region: Highland, Scotland
About: OK, we're getting really fancy here, but I include it because this pretty much the best thing I've ever tasted. I had it once -- a Laphroaig ambassador whipped a bottle out at a party and started pouring it, and when a man in a kilt tells you to drink scotch, you don't ask questions -- and it absolutely blew me away. It's difficult but not impossible to find.
Tasting notes: Nose has moderate cherry/berry scents, dijon mustard, tinge of smoke, chocolate. Palate -- ooh -- chocolate, toffee, and that mustard/spice/smoke thing. Medium-sweetness. Quite rich without being too much of anything. There's also something in the background that tastes like I'm chewing on carnations. Hey, I really like this! Finish is long, where the smoke emerges more and sticks around longest, with a little black pepper. Gets dryer in a way that's a nice contrast to the palate. Reveals different characteristics on every few sips.

For periodic updates on whiskies I love, Follow me on Twitter.

Original image
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
arrow
science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
Original image
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
Original image
iStock

After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios