You are here

Whiskey Wire

Whiskey news from around the world

Review - Laphroaig 32 years old

The best selling Islay single malt brand of Laphroaig has announced one of its oldest ever expressions.  The Laphroaig 32 years old rounds off a series of six special releases to celebrate the distillery's 200th anniversary year.  The whisky has been matured exclusively in first fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks, hand selected by Distillery Manager John Campbell, and is limited to just 6,000 bottles.  It has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 46.6% ABV.  These will be available globally shortly and a bottle will cost £750.  The whisky was launched at a lavish event at The Connaught Hotel in London last week (October 1st).

Laphroaig (pronounced la-froyg) is one of the most highly renowned whisky brands in the world and it is the biggest selling single malt in the smoky/peaty style. The name is derived from the Gaelic for 'beautiful hollow by the broad bay' and the distillery is located on the southern coast of the famous whisky island of Islay, about two miles east of the village of Port Ellen. The distillery was founded by two brothers, Alexander and Donald Johnson, and production started in 1815. Laphroaig is currently under the ownership of Beam Suntory and it has an annual production capacity of 2.9 million litres.

"This is a whisky that gets the whole of your tongue involved!"
John Campbell at the launch event.

Our tasting notes 
The colour is a deep golden yellow and the nose has a complex set of aromas. It smells thick and viscous, if that makes sense.  There is a lovely mix of sweet and savoury - ashy peat smoke, toffee, dried mango, red apple skins, crumbly brown sugar, dates, raisins and hints of cinnamon, eucalyptus and menthol.

On the palate the whisky feels rich and oily, coating the mouth with layers of flavour.  There is an immediate intense fruitiness and this centres around notes of dried fruit, especially the tropical mango and raisins from the nose.  Then comes a wave of toffee and caramel-like sweetness that adds to the viscous and syrupy feel in the mouth.  The peat smoke is always present but only once those initial notes begin to subside does it really come through to the forefront - the smoke is mild, ashy, savoury and earthy with a slightly salty edge.  The combination of characteristics is very warming and delicious.  Hints of apple, cinnamon, ginger, menthol and cocoa powder give further depth.

The finish is sweet, smoky and spicy.  The toffee-like sweetness and dried fruity elements both fade to leave the dry, ashy peat smoke and warming, earthy wood spices to fight for your attention before they slowly drift away.

What's the verdict?
The Laphroaig 32 years old is an exceptional whisky and one of the best tasted this year to date.  OK you will have to pay plenty for it but the depth, complexity and layers of flavour are worth it and show just how classy older smoky whiskies can be.  The fact that John Campbell revealed that some older whiskies were also included only adds to this feeling.  If you cannot afford a bottle, then it will be a selected whisky shows in the near future for sampling.  The release of this whisky seems like a fitting way to round off the distillery's momentous year.

WhiskyCast Episode 556: October 4, 2015

Earlier this year, Japan's Nikka Whisky announced plans to replace many of its age-statement single malts with new no-age-statement versions. The company's past projections of estimated demand couldn't have forecast the current boom in Japanese whisky sales, and Nikka didn't lay down enough whisky to meet today's demand. We'll discuss the situation with Nikka's chief blender, Tadashi Sakuma, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Brown-Forman has started construction of its new distillery at Ireland's Slane Castle, and the popularity of flavored whiskies may lead to a sale of its Southern Comfort whiskey liqueur. Heaven Hill's warehouses have yielded a treasure from the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery, and we now know what The Glenlivet's Alan Winchester had in mind when he hinted earlier this year that he'd been experimenting with peat.

The Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 21 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Orphan-Barrel-Rhetoric-21-Year-Old-Kentucky-Straight-BourbonTasting notes
It opens with rhinoceros tears stored in a hollowed out dried swamp reed stuck like a straw into a bowl of corn chowder strained through a titanium/electrum sieve. That is to say, although you might find some of the components available at your local bodega, others are more scarce in the urban jungle land. The strained chowder is being consumed by a famous cardiologist in her famed all-cedar operating theater, with the surrounding rows of the amphitheater conspicuously not filled by residents. She notes to the empty gallery that the potent blend is herbaceous, bodacious, salacious, and as mendacious as a snake-oil salesman rubbing linden leaves between his palms while caterwauling about his luck. An Oscar™-worthy performance.

The mouth is redemptive: Rich, astringent; the mouthfeel equivalent of the afterglow of fireworks on the retina. There’s a twang of rye, like a banjo case left on the back seat of a New York City Uber driver’s 2011 Honda Accord. (Stephen, we’re still getting paid by Honda for product placements, aren’t we? Make sure you take this parenthetical aside out of the published review, thanks.) It’s light, too, and piercing; if it were a toy, I’d say that it was a joy-filled 7-year old, pushing pegs through the thick black construction paper of Hasbro’s Lite-Brite®, making things with light. It stays herbaceous, like a sachet pulled by the TSA from the cavity of a cis-turkey. Although, older, it grows younger and greener, dancing and prancing in my mouth, a Bourbonesque Benjamin Button burlesque.

The finish is part and parcel of the mouth: Nothing abrupt, a smooth segue to Orphan Black.


On the scale of well-known tropes about Hegel–
The Orphan Cask Rhetoric 21 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis–The thesis is “Maximal aging for maximal smoothness and flavor.” The antithesis is “Woody Shaw woodenly playing the Woody Woodpecker theme on his wooden clarinet for John Wooden.” The synthesis is “correctly finding that sweet spot in which the whiskey gets aged, gets smooth, gets up against the wooden wall, but never quite crashes into it.” It’s like a phenol and an opposite chirality phenol meeting at the Big Bang and producing a universe of flavor. And phenols.


John: Does Bill even know what phenols are?Orphan-Barrel-Rhetoric-21-Year-Old-Kentucky-Straight-Bourbon-Whiskey
Stephen: Survey says: No.
John: Shouldn’t he know by now?
Stephen: Survey says: Absolutely.





–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!


Event Notice: WhistlePig Tasting with Dave Pickrell

Join us at Holeman and Finch Public House next month as WhistlePig Master Blender Dave Pickerell guides guests through a tasting of the newly released Old World Series, including the onetime release of the Sauternes Cask, Port Cask, Madeira Cask, and the final blend of all three: Old World Cask. Each of these fantastic rye whiskies will … Continue reading Event Notice: WhistlePig Tasting with Dave Pickrell →

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Spirit Hound Distillers

stephen beaumont

Here’s a feel-good Friday story for you; how a Colorado craft distillery bounced back from a potentially business-ending flood and stayed on track to release their first aged whiskey. For all our friends on the East Coast today, batten down the hatches and stay dry!

Craig Engelhorn will readily admit that it takes a special kind of crazy to open a whisky distillery, given that the act is committed with the certain knowledge that it will be years before your product is ready to sell. Even so, Engelhorn and his four partners had no idea what kind of chaos awaited Spirit Hound Distillers a mere nine months after they finally got their whisky distillery up and running. Like, over two feet of water sort of chaos.

Lyons, Colorado’s first distillery, Spirit Hound was first conceived by Engelhorn back in 1999, when he was working at the local Oskar Blues Brewery and imagining what might result were the company’s Old Chubb Scotch Ale to be run through a still. Over a decade later, while still toiling at Oskar Blues, he and his co-worker Wayne Anderson hatched a plan to open a business of their own together. Anderson favored a brewery; Engelhorn wanted to make whisky.

Whisky won and over the next two years the duo assembled their partners, secured a location and began building their still. It was ready at the end of 2012, and even though they then had to have their wash produced under contract at a Colorado craft brewery, by the start of 2013 the distillery was up and running.

Head distiller Engelhorn was able to get six barrels of whisky made in those early months of 2013, along with a coffee liqueur and a variety of clear spirits that allowed the company to stay afloat while the whisky matured. Then September arrived and with it the rains that wreaked destruction on much of northern and eastern Colorado.

Faced with a dead battery in his truck, Engelhorn had elected to spend the night on the second floor of distillery on September 11, aware of the rain but oblivious to the fact that its overnight intensity would cause the close-by St. Vrain River to swell to banks-bursting volume.

“The next morning I woke up to some gurgling sounds,” he says, “It put me right in a bad mood because I thought we had plumbing problems.”

The problems were decidedly larger than mere plumbing. The main floor of the distillery had been submerged in flood water, ruining inventory and supplies and causing major damage to the walls of the building. The bright spot? “The tanks were fine, just had to be cleaned out and made functional again,” Engelhorn says.

Another bright spot: By a quirk of fate, the company had recently invested in flood insurance after their mortgage holder had happened to notice that the property overlapped a flood plain. As a result, Spirit Hound was able to decline all offers of assistance and direct those funds towards other, harder hit members of the community. Their own reparations they financed themselves.

When the town was functionally restored two months later and water and sewage services returned, Spirit Hound Distillers was, in Engelhorn’s words, “ready to press the button and get started again.”

Spirit Hound’s Craig Engelhorn bottles the pre-flood whiskey

The next chapter of the distillery’s rebirth took place just a few weeks ago, when Spirit Hound threw a party to celebrate the release of their Straight Malt whisky, the bottling of five of those initial six pre-flood barrels. The other barrel, the very first, remains in the warehouse for an as yet undetermined time because, as Engelhorn says, “you’re only ever going to have one barrel no. 1.”

The whisky release was seen by the Spirit Hound partners as less a simple product launch and more an elaborate block party for the town, since to a great extent all of Lyons has been through the recovery together. As Engelhorn says, “We’re happy to just be here. The fact that the community is here and we are here and the whiskey is here – that’s cause for celebration!”

The post The Rise and Fall and Rise of Spirit Hound Distillers appeared first on Whisky Advocate.

That's Shallot...

Thank you. It's been Emotional.  
As posts go, this one will certainly go down as one of the most memorable ones that we have ever written on this humble website.  
As many readers know, we began back in January 2008. We were fresh faced, wide eyed, particularly thirsty and in possession of a drinks cabinet stocked mainly with ubiquitous Scotch brands. We took it upon ourselves to seek out the most interesting whiskies we could lay our hands on.

Once-upon-a-time we looked like this...Hard to believe really. Here we are in 2015 and we're just perusing the sidebar and a few of our old posts, over 650 of them, reviewing over 1,000 different whiskies and occasionally other spirits. To click back and look at how our tastes have changed in that time is as fascinating for us as it is to witness just how much the whisky business has changed in a little under a decade. 
When we started, there was barely a handful of online blogs or webpages dedicated to the spirit. Our influences came from inspirational spaces like and DrWhisky, who began to deliver a voice loudly proclaiming that whisky wasn't just the domain of the over serious, wizened, ageing bore, but an accessible, engaging and, as we have seen in the passing years, spirit that offers something that almost everyone can enjoy in one way or another.  
As evolved, it became something much greater than either of us had ever imagined. It has taken us to different continents and allowed us to try some truly mind blowing, once-in-a-lifetime liquids. In short, it has helped to give us a career in spirits.  
But more importantly, it has been the conduit enabling us to forge some incredible friendships with people all over the world, many of them stemming from kind words and support from our readership.
in 2014, hit just under 900,000 views, around 70,000 a month, which is a figure that makes this post all the more important.
We now find ourselves in a totally different arena. Today, there are literally 100's of 'whisky blogs' and the landscape of writing about the spirit has changed in our opinion.  To use a crude car analogy for a second, this once gleaming, perky sports car has now hit a very high mileage indeed and is starting to cough a little on cold mornings.  
We could take it for a tune up at the garage, but in our minds, that's not the answer. In essence, we need to trade in for something brand new, fresh and with a much better, bigger, more efficient engine, capable of delivering not only the malt mileages we intend to travel, but also encompassing our huge passion for every spirit, which we realised when writing our recent book, Distilled.

So here is it then. as you are seeing it now will, after this post, be no more. Gone to the great retirement home in the sky for hard working drinks blogs.

Its replacement is going to be very exciting indeed. Over the coming weeks, we'll be introducing a brand new website: 
It will be an informative curated drinks website, with news and views about everything from Absinthe to Whisky. As always, it will be packed with plenty of the original Caskstrength character, commentary and up to date news on gin, brandy, Tequila, rum, Armagnac, mezcal, vodka and as much else as we can possibly cram in. The notion of simply 'blogging'- and indeed the phrase 'blog' is, in our opinion, something that now feels tired and quite saturated- and we like energy, not tiredness. 
What's more, will grow from simply the two of us penning articles into a dedicated team of international contributors from all over the world -  more on them later.

Writing this blog has been a pleasure. Moving up a gear to curate, choose and deliver to you the World's Best Spirits with the same verve and vigour we have approached will be an absolute pleasure. Hopefully we'll end up looking as young again as we did the photo on page one of this journey, minus the obvious wide-eyed naivety.

To celebrate the full stop on this story, we have each chosen to link to a couple of our favourite posts from the last seven-and-a-half years, and to review one final dram with which to toast our goodbye...

Joel's Top Post:  Springbank Rundlets & Kilderkins
Neil's Top Post: The Glenlivet Alpha
And so, in rather timely fashion, we reach the end of our very last post.  
Our last review on Caskstrength...   
We thought long and hard about what would be the whisky to sign of with and there it was, sitting on our desk staring us in the face. It's arrival was remarkably timely in fact...

So for the Last Post, we bring you.... The Last Drop.

This bottling project has now become the stuff of legend:  Thee industry stalwarts, led by James Espey OBE decided that rather than retiring, they would locate and bottle some of the oldest and best whisky - and other spirits- that they could lay their hands on. The concept of The Last Drop was born in 2008 and the previous releases including a blend from 1960,  a 50 year old blend and now, a 48 year old blended whisky have all been released to critical acclaim. The company is now in the hands of a younger generation of the founders, but the ethos remains the same.

This 48 year old blend is limited to 592 bottles and is priced at an RRP of £2600. It even comes with a miniature of the whisky too and a leather bound box. But that doesn't really concern us.

Question is... will it be a truly fitting send off for Caskstrength?  No pressure.

The Last Drop -  48 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky -  48.6% - 592 Bottles
Nose: A hugely complex nose, the likes of which we've only recently found in a few old Armagnacs   and very old grain whiskies: Meaty, waxy foundations, lead into rich vanilla sponge cake, clean linen, raspberry jam, with polished wood surfaces and Manuka honey rounding out the top notes. It would be sad to lose such a complexity with water, but a small drop releases some more tannic notes, sweeter vanilla and creamy toffee.
Palate: Broad shouldered and oaky, with a backbone stave of tannic Orange Pekoe tea, leading into chopped Brazil nuts, hints of the sponge cake again and very old grain: that unusual bittersweet toasted note that tends to emerge with this type of aged blend. It certainly isn't a polite, unconfident blend: it's powerful and uncompromising on the palate, with some dark oaky notes, just tempered with enough sweetness to bring the whole thing together perfectly.  
Finish: Extremely warming, but with no overtones of spirit: just pure, rich dryness, the kind of tongue coating unctuousness that 'serious' whiskies bring. Put simply, this is as serious as Jeremy Paxman grilling a hopelessly out-of-their-depth, incompetent Cabinet Minister on Newsnight.
Overall: A remarkable whisky, that not only highlights the intricacies of blending at this age, but also the concept of longevity. Sometimes, new (old) whiskies pop up with a huge fanfare but are quickly revealed as being jaded, one-dimensional and just that little bit over-egged. One wonders the reasons why they weren't bottled sooner, but we'll put this down to simple economics. Here, we have a superb integration of old grain and malt. But alongside its experience, it brings a refreshing vibrancy to the party too.  
It's a whisky that we could probably all learn a lot from.  
And with that, there's nothing more for us to say than simply, adios, slante and see you all when the next phase in our plans is fully online. Thanks for making Caskstrength such a successful and fun place to work from and we very much hope you'll stick with us at

  So, charge your glasses and raise a toast: The Blog Is Dead! Long Live WorldsBestSpirits!
Neil & Joel - April 1st, 2015 x

Keep Following Us OnTwitter @WorldOfSpirits

Jim Murray, 2015 Whisky Bible and Why Scotch Whisky Sucks

There is always a good deal of chatter when Jim Murray releases his awards list ahead of the release of a new edition of his bible, surely the sometimes controversial choices he makes are no promotional accident...
Some of the best whiskies I was fortunate enough to taste in 2014 were from Japan, and I would agree that the Yamazaki Sherry Cask is a stunning whisky from one of the world’s greatest malt whisky-producing countries, but the Daily Mail’s (expected) sensational headline and Mr. Murray’s statements strike me as remarkably unfounded. That Scotch whisky has something to be “humiliated” about, that a perceived lack of innovation has hindered Scotch producers is near nonsense.
Scotch whisky is celebrated and esteemed as much for its diversity of flavour as for its adherence to traditional craftsmanship over its lengthy history but recent years have seen these traditions used in new ways, with innovation from barley to barrel to bottle across the industry, albeit within parameters. Interestingly, many of these innovations have been in turn praised and criticised by Mr. Murray over the past two decades, from 1994s praise of finishing to his 2008 critique of the practice.
Japanese whisky was founded on the traditions of Scotch whisky making over 90 years ago, and it could possibly be argued that Japan adheres even more to the traditional methods (wooden washbacks, direct firing stills, etc) than the average malt distillery in Scotland so I do question Murray’s implied praise of generalised Japanese “innovation” over just making really good whisky that he liked.
Since the mid-1980s, when the world saw its first Single Malt from Japan, Japanese whiskies have attracted acclaim. Since 2008, Japanese blends and malts have won major titles, most notably from the World Whisky Awards. This is not to say that Scotch has stoppedwinning these awards or top acclaim from writers, including Murray. Although Scotch has, until now, won his highest accolade in all but one edition of his bible, Murray has awarded more American whiskies in recent years than Japanese. It is no news that America and Japan make excellent whiskies. Not a great headline, though, and tough to sell newspapers or magazines with a headline like that, "Whiskies Being Made to High Standard Outside Scotland"
The assumption from Murray’s statements is that Japanese whisky has an edge on Scotch because of a stronger vision or wilder innovation; innovations like the highball campaign? No Age Statements? Local barley or local oak? There are precedents in Scotch in every case. So in what way is Japanese whisky’s success due to innovations that Scotch lacks? Zero. It is due to releasing top quality malt whiskies. To infer that this precludes the ongoing (and much longer-running) success of Scotch whisky is balderdash, but a great reminder that Jim Murray’s latest book is about to be released!
Finally, in case it has not been mentioned, Jim has a new book coming out next week. 

The Glenlivet Alpha Review


GlenlivetAlphaBig thanks to the folks at Deep Focus, a social media agency working with The Glenlivet, for sending me a free sample of the new Glenlivet Alpha expression that has only 3350 bottles shipping worldwide (not sure how many are coming to the U.S.). Especially since I’ve been flying under the whisky radar this past year (I’ll post more on that later). I haven’t checked out all of the marketing details, but apparently there is going to be a big “reveal” for Alpha in a few days, so I thought I’d go ahead and post some thoughts on the whisky while it is still something of a mystery (the box only states that it is a Single Malt bottled at 50% abv). The U.S. retail price is $120.

Tasting Notes

On the nose, my first impression is of cinnamon apples. Then vanilla custard, and finally some fresh wood shavings. Then back to the fruit, of the apples and pears variety. Looking online now at other reviews, I see people talking about lots of tropical fruits. Personally, that’s not the way I respond to this. It doesn’t strike me as tropical in the same way as something like Glenmorangie 18 year. But of course, this is all subjective.

On the palette, it starts out mouth-watering and juicy, sweet, then very slightly prickly on the tongue. There is a point where it becomes slightly nutty, and just as I start to expect a slight walnut bitterness, it pulls back. Very nice. It’s smooth as silk…almost buttery going down. It then becomes drying on the finish, before my mouth waters up again. A very enjoyable, if not particularly long, experience.


The Glenlivet Alpha is an extremely drinkable expression that would be great for sharing with all levels of whisky drinkers. It strikes me as a Special Edition release of their Nadurra expression. The overall flavor profile (especially on the nose) is quite similar. However, the Alpha has an extra silky smoothness to it relative to Nadurra, in the same way the 17 year finished Balvenie expressions relate to the 15 year single barrel. Though, I don’t detect anything resembling the typical “finishing” casks of sherry or wine in Alpha.

So what is it?

If this is a game, and we’re supposed to guess what the heck is in this black Alpha bottle, I’d have to guess a combination of first-fill and second-fill American White Oak bourbon barrels were used to mature the spirit. There is no sign of coloring or chill filtration (like Nadurra). Age? That’s a hard one. Is the extra buttery smoothness in the mouth over the Nadurra due to age, or is it related to the type of casks used? Not sure. I could believe a number of scenarios: 1) It’s a year or two older than the 16 year Nadurra. 2) They use a combination of refill casks and smaller quarter casks to give the impression of extra maturity, while keeping the oak in check, or 3) this is just the result of very carefully selected casks by the master distiller.


Did I really enjoy this whisky? Yes. Am I going to seek out a bottle? No. Do I think you’re an idiot if you do? No.

I really like this whisky, but for me, the 16 year Nadurra (at $50/bottle locally) is close enough in profile to keep me satisfied. On the other hand, I have no immediate issues with the price of Alpha. They are saying that it was “carefully crafted” by the master distiller, and it is a limited release of 3,350 bottles. It’s not going to be for everybody, but then, the limited run kind of takes care of that. :-)

I’ve seen much higher prices asked for “carefully selected” expressions…how about the Diageo Manager’s Choice a few years ago? Talk about crazy pricing. These things work themselves out, though. A bunch of those Manager’s Choice bottles can still be had at 40% discounts online. So far, The Glenlivet Alpha is selling out quickly. The UK allocation disappeared immediately. If, upon commencing with their “reveal” on Facebook later this week, people are outraged by what they hear, then I’d expect that feedback to influence future releases.

If they keep their main line whiskies priced reasonably, and of high quality, what’s the harm in experimenting with various boutique releases aimed at smaller segments of the market? I look forward to learning more about the story behind The Glenlivet Alpha.


Ch-Ch-Changes – Update Your RSS Feed!

Things are changing here at Whisky Party! We’re about to roll out a new design and switch to a new blog platform.

This is all happening on Monday February 20th!

If you’d like to continue reading Whisky Party in your RSS reader, you’ll have to update to the feed URL in your feed reader:

For a sneak peak at the new sight, you can check out our staging version here.

Studio A

The Ca Scotch Couple firmly believe in living below their means. They shop at consignment stores, sock away the max for retirement, and adhere to a strict 25% debt to equity ratio. Consequently, the CA Scotch Couple's move to paradise in 2004 couldn't have come at a worse time. It was at the height of the real estate boom; the only houses even remotely within the CA Scotch Couple's price range were shacks, and even those shacks had multiple bidders.
So, it is no surprise that the beloved Little Beach House was one such shack: a circa 1913, 700 square foot single wall construction edifice with outdated wiring, inadequate plumbing, precipitously sloping floors, and a hole in its roof. The CA Scotch Couple spent many (many many many) years making the Little Beach House habitable. Unfortunately, no matter what they did, there was no escaping the reality that even with its new wiring, plumbing, and roof, the Little Beach House was a shack.
So, when the real estate bust hit San Diego hard, the CA Scotch Couple decided to see if they could trade their shack for something a little more spacious. They took a financial bath on the Little Beach House, and set out on their house hunting adventures with three goals for the new home: it needed to have lost at least as much value as the Little Beach House had, it needed to be more spacious than the Little Beach House; and it couldn't be a project.
One of the first properties the CA Scotch Couple viewed was a lovely old mixed use loft conversion in a slightly dodgy area. This 1933 grand dame had started its life as an old fashioned car dealership/garage and had then become an artist's studio and residence. It had magnificent arching barrel ceilings, open architecture, exposed terra cotta masonry, and concrete floors. It also wasn't up to earthquake code, had a leaking roof, had been stripped of plumbing, appliances and countertops, and, worst of all, had birds nesting in it. It was a whopping 2700 square feet, but man, oh man, it was project. CA Scotch Chick dubbed it "the Bird Sanctuary," and the CA Scotch Couple swiftly walked the other way.
But the CA Scotch Couple kept their miserly eyes on the Bird Sanctuary, and within a few months, market forces had driven it down to the price that the CA Scotch Couple had paid for the Little Beach House in 2004. Project or not, the CA Scotch Couple simply couldn't resist. It was a remarkable space, and it was worth the pain to make it beautiful again. They made an offer.
For seven months, long before the accident and throughout the CA Scotch Couple's recovery, they fought their way through the tortuous short sale and then foreclosure process. They managed to buy the Bird Sanctuary from the bank on the final day of 2009, immediately moved in, and endured endless months of living under plastic sheets with construction chaos ringing around them.
On the day they finally closed on the Bird Sanctuary, CA Scotch Gent sat CA Scotch Chick down and asked for two favors. First, could they please, please, please, set a goal of having the renovations done by the end of summer? No more projects stretching for years. Secondly, could they please, please, please, stop calling it the Bird Sanctuary?
They set a goal of August 31st as the drop dead date for finishing the renovation, and they scheduled a party to make sure they met that goal. Then they cast around for a more suitable name — finally deciding on "Studio A" in honor of the sign over its door.
It was a long hard nine months, complicated by the CA Scotch Couple's recovery from their injuries and those all encompassing work schedules. However, on August 31st, a mere three hours before their party, the CA Scotch Couple finally removed the last of the plastic, pushed the furniture into place, and claimed Studio A as their own.
It was well worth the effort. Studio A is now up to code; the birds have been evicted; it has been scrubbed from top to bottom; and it is now equipped with new bathrooms, appliances, countertops, skylights, and roof. Gentle light filters into its spacious and gracious interior giving the CA Scotch Couple the impression that they are stepping into a magnificent cavern whenever they return at the end of the day — the perfect refuge for a pair of recluses. It has been an extremely long tough year, but the CA Scotch Couple are finally home.