Jimmy talks scotch.

[Editor’s Note:  Being that we are inching towards the 3-year mark, and that the prospect of us going our separate ways seems more and more unlikely, we’ve decided it’s high-time Jimmy started speaking up here on Caviar and Codfish. I like to think of me as the Caviar and Jimmy as the Codfish. I urge you to do the same, and to leave him encouraging words because I’d love to have him stick around.]

“Honey, I don’t think your P.O. reads my blog.” This from Robin on numerous occasions when I complained that one of her posts mentioned me and alcohol in the same sentence. I was not allowed to drink, you see. And yet I did. Regularly. (We hid the liquor bottles behind a fake wall of Phyllo Dough in the freezer.) I did not want to go back to the clink.

I sometimes wondered what my P.O.—a teeny-tiny Hispanic woman who once told me she thought she’d found her “niche” in criminal justice (never a good sign)—would think if she stumbled across my girlfriend’s sunny domain and noticed a wine pairing, say, or even some mention of a night out drinking. Considering that my five years(!) of probation stemmed from my teenage years as a thug-druggie, you’d think that this blog (written by my lover/partner/best-friend/everything) devoted to seasonal cooking and humane carnivorism would, if anything, prove that I’d changed my ways. (I’ve never met a meth-addled locavore.) But of course I couldn’t take a chance: these were stupid, petty people I was dealing with—or at least that’s what I had to keep on telling myself for fear that they’d prove me right and crush me.

Anyway, that’s all over. October 24th was my last day of probation, Robin and my parents threw a party for me, and I’m guest-blogging today to tell you about two of my presents, both bottles of the scotch. The first, from Compass Box (my new favorite whisky makers), is the aptly named Eleuthera (Greek for “freedom”). A light-colored smoky blend of twelve- and fifteen-year-old malts, it goes down surprisingly smooth for something 92 proof(!), though “smooth” does not stand for “boring” here: there’s plenty of peat (more than Talisker,” less than “Lagavulin), plus, I think, the slightest hint of something sweet that keeps bringing you back to the glass. In short, it’s one of the best scotches I’ve ever had. And I was sad to read on the Compass Box website this morning that because one of the fifteen-year-old malts they were using became unavailable, Eleuthera has been “retired” since 2005. Apparently it’s still in some stores, though. If you see it, get it.

The other bottle is noteworthy for being good and cheap. At about thirty dollars a 750ml bottle, Jon, Mark and Robbo’s Malt Scotch Whisky is significantly cheaper than the Macallan or Dalmore 12 Years, and to my mind about as good (certainly better than the comparably priced JB Black). It’s marketed as accessible scotch (the three blends are called “The Smooth Sweeter One,” “The Rich Spicy One,” and “The Smokey Peaty One”), and that’s exactly what it is and exactly what it should be (I don’t want a “complex” bottle under forty dollars). If you already like scotch, you’ll like it; if you’re trying to like scotch, it’s perfect. I was given The Smokey Peaty One, of course (actually that’s the only one I’ve tried, so the others just might suck, though I doubt it), and I’ve taken to drinking one glass of the Eleuthera and then switching to Jon, Mark and Robbo’s—it really works.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guest-post as much as I enjoyed writing it (I really, really doubt it); depending on your comments, it might not be the last.