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The Best Whisky Bar in Glasgow

Bon-Accord-Glasgow-frontWe do not do the Buzzfeed-style top 19 things lists to attract readership (not the kind of readers we want), and we tend to eschew serious ways of rating things altogether. As a result, we also do not declare something the Best very often, but in this case, I’m making an exception and taking a stand. For my money, the Best Whisky Bar in Glasgow is The Bon Accord. Paul McDonagh and family run a great establishment, and it’s tough to beat the whisky selection–or the Yorkie bigger than your head. Among the hardcore whisky fans out there, it’s already known as the best whisky bar in Glasgow, but since I have now been there and experienced its greatness firsthand, I feel the need to spread the word.

MaBon-Accord-indoorsny of Glasgow’s whisky clubs hold their meetings there, several of which Paul McDonagh helped create. And while that certainly weighs in The Bon Accord’s favor, the selection of whiskies, including, improbably enough, several expressions from our friends at Single Cask Nation, is really impressive. But the overriding reason I am declaring it the Best in Glasgow is its utter lack of pretense. (But perhaps that fact should come as no surprise, considering this site that got its start making fun of overly pretentious tasting notes.) For example, the whisky list is extensive, and it’s kept on an iPad clearly for the sake of convenience: it was handed to me as one would hand a customer a well-worn laminated menu at a classic American diner. As the example indicates, the staff are wonderfully down to earth and easy going, but also efficient and on top of everything going on around them.

And today The Bon Accord’s Whisky Shop goes live online (www.bonaccordwhiskyshop.com). Appropriately enough, it will use the Mackintosh font liberally.

If you’re a whisky geek, then you’ll be tempted by the 70 year old Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach or one of the many Port Ellen expressions on offer, but you can find plenty of expressions you’ve never had for a reasonable price (see the drams I tried below). And consistent with the lack of pretense and Paul McDonagh’s philosophy, none of the staff will push you toward anything expensive at all. In fact, they’ll double check with you to make sure the price is one you want to pay–even if it’s a £4 dram. But they also have a wide variety of high quality beers on tap, which come in handy for clearing your palate after a super peaty dram.

If you’re in Glasgow, it’s a must. And if you go, say hello to Paul McDonagh. You’ll be glad you did.

                                                                 –Stephen
   

Bon-Accord-Round-One

Bon-Accord-Round-Two

Bon-Accord-Round-Three

 

 

Shaker33 – The Kickstarter Cocktail Shaker

Occasionally we here at Whisk(e)y Apostle are invited to try out new drink related toys as well as new drinks. Recently, we were asked to check out a new cocktail shaker called Shaker33 that will be part of a new Kickstarter campaign for launch funding. So who are we to turn down new drink toys! … Continue reading Shaker33 – The Kickstarter Cocktail Shaker →

Review - The Loch Fyne range

The new Loch Fyne range has been launched with three whiskies included - the revamped award-winning Loch Fyne Blend, plus the new Living Cask Batch 1 and Living Cask 1745.  The new products will be joined by further bottlings in time and they coincide with a series of significant improvements to the Loch Fyne Whiskies shop, a new logo (pictured, above) and the launch of the brand new website for the brand.  All have been packaged in a stylish 50cl bottle that aims to bring the brand right up to date and introduce new consumers to it.

The shop is located in the small town of Inverary, which lies on the west coast of Scotland, roughly about half way between Glasgow and Oban, on the shores of the Loch Fyne - one of Scotland's best known sea lochs.  The three products will be available in the Loch Fyne Whiskies shop and www.lochfynewhiskies.com, plus in the 22 stores of The Whisky Shop, the UK's largest high street whisky specialist retailer, and via www.whiskyshop.com.

The Living Casks are blended malts that use a solera system, similar to that used in the sherry industry. This will see specially selected single malts added over time to a constant base and the Living Cask liquid evolving in different stylistic directions. Therefore each batch will show different characteristics but also a link back to the previous batches.  The original concept was created by Richard Joynson in the Loch Fyne Whiskies shop. Approximately three or four batches of the Living Cask are planned for each year.


The Loch Fyne Blend
The liquid of this remains as before but it is now presented in the new modern packaging.  It is a traditional blend of single malt and single grain whiskies and is bottled at 40% ABV.  It costs £24 per bottle.

The colour is golden amber and the nose has immediate aromas of toffee,  caramel, sultanas and malty cereals.  Underneath is some green apple and earthy cinnamon.  On the palate this feels soft and gentle.  There is an initial hit of crumbly brown sugar and the sultanas from the nose.  These are backed up by plenty of bittersweet malted cereals, dried apple, honey and candied orange .  Late hints of warming and earthy spices, especially cinnamon and ginger, add length to the finish.  This begins with the sweetness and fruitiness most prominent before becoming more bittersweet and grainy.


The Loch Fyne Living Cask Batch 1
Batch 1 of the Living Cask is a blend of Speyside and Islay malts and there are approximately 3,000 bottles available.  It is bottled at 43.6% ABV and a bottle will cost £42.

The colour is pale gold and the nose has a good mix of sweet and earthy aromas.  There are honey and vanilla, which is paired with soft and savoury peat smoke, and backed up by further aromas of green apple and ginger.  On the palate, this feels mouth coating and the soft peat smoke hits first.  This has an earthy and slightly medicinal quality.  The honey-like sweetness, then the green apples and some dried fruit (especially sultanas) then come through.  A late hint of toffee/butterscotch, a pinch of ginger and a distinct note of orange oil round things off and add length to the finish.  This turns drier as the smokiness comes back to the fore.


The Loch Fyne Living Cask 1745
The 1745 is made up of 100% Islay malts, some of which are of a significant age (20+ years), and mirrors the original recipe of the Living Cask at the shop.  1745 was the date that Inverary was founded by the 3rd Duke of Argyll, whose descendants still reside in Inverary Castle.  It is bottled at 43.6% ABV and will cost £75 a bottle.

The colour is golden yellow and the nose instantly transports you to Islay - it is packed with pungent earthy, ashy and medicinal smoky aromas that combine to give a distinct savoury feel.  Underneath are aromas of oat cakes, honey and stewed apple.  On the palate it is the smoke that hits first - it is acrid, bitter and medicinal with some warm ash-like notes in the background.  This gives a drying effect, which is balanced to a degree by some honey and vanilla.  There are also notes of gingerbread, dried green apple, bittersweet malty cereals and oat biscuits.  The finish is long, smoky and warming.


What's the verdict?
This is a good new range of whiskies that seems to offer something for all tastes - there is a soft, gentle, sweet entry level one, a sweet and mid-range smoky one and a heavier, big smoky one.  They are all very drinkable and pleasant, and also positioned at a selection of price points to appeal to a wider audience.  Rumour has it that these three bottlings will be joined by others in the range, so we cannot wait to see what they may offer.

The Bowman Line

author-lew-brysonHey, remember that coffee-finished whiskey from Bowman I posted about back in March? Distiller Brian Prewitt was going to decide whether to bottle it or not, after tasting it.

Well…he did. It came out as Abraham Bowman Coffee Finished Bourbon, and all of it was sold at the distillery in Fredericksburg, Va. I got a sample, and while the coffee aroma isn’t that present, the coffee flavor in the whiskey is solid, and pure, and — to this coffee drinker — right tasty.

But it’s gone, as most of the Abraham Bowman line is. This set of bottlings is designed to be — in the tradition of their parent company, Sazerac, and Buffalo Trace — experimental, almost to the point of whim. And now that mashing and fermentation facilities and the new still — George — are in place at Bowman, the experiments will continue.

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The flexible, capable new still at Bowman: “George”

I asked Brian Prewitt about the Bowman line.

How much of each release do you make, and is it only sold at the distillery?

The Abraham line is very limited and while we like to have a nice stock of each release at the distillery, most of the Abraham is sent out to retailers across the country.

How do you choose which ideas will be moving forward? Is it completely trial and error, or is there method to the madness?

There is a method to the madness, but it is also a process of opportunity. I have several trials laid out that I would like to attempt, but I also know that inspiration comes in many different ways. For example, for the coffee finish I was thinking about trialing something like the coffee finish but wasn’t sure what variable to trial first. By chance, John Freund from Ricks Roasters came into the distillery and thus the coffee finish was born.

We constantly maintain a list of ideas, adding items as they come up. For many of the experiments that we trial we try different variables to see what works. Not all variables or experiments make the grade. Sometimes, the ones that I am concerned about turn out to be remarkable, but because I deemed them to be potentially a higher risk for failure, I may produce less whiskey for that variable.

Will you be using different mashbills, mashing, and fermentation regimens now that you have control on that in-house?

Absolutely! The first batch of whiskey off of George [the new still at Bowman] will be slated for [the] Abraham [line] and will be our original bourbon recipe. Afterwards, we are going to trial different grains, mash bills, techniques, fermentation profiles, yeasts, distillation methods, and finally aging and finishing regimes.

Will you ever repeat one? 

My hope is to find a whiskey that is truly exceptional and the process that it takes to make that truly exceptional whiskey. If we find one that we feel is exceptional it is a possibility that we will make it again but most of our experiments are likely to not be repeated.

 

The post The Bowman Line appeared first on Whisky Advocate.

WhiskyCast Episode 541: June 27, 2015

Just as whisky brands need to change things up once in a while to remain fresh, so do whisky festivals. Tickets have gone on sale for this September's Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and while most of the changes this year are taking place behind the scenes, next year's 25th edition of the festival should look very different. We'll talk with the Bourbon Festival's new executive director, Jill Hawkins, on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Silver Trail Distillery's Jay Rogers is back home two months after the explosion that destroyed the distillery, Heaven Hill is planning to expand the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville to avoid Bourbon shortages in the future while introducing a new/old Rye whiskey, Chivas Brothers opens the Dalmunach Distillery in Speyside, and Prince Charles visits Islay to help Ardbeg and Laphroaig celebrate their 200th anniversaries.

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 Caskstrength.net 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 Caskstrength.net, there was barely a handful of online blogs or webpages dedicated to the spirit. Our influences came from inspirational spaces like Whiskyfun.com 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 Caskstrength.net 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, Caskstrength.net 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 Caskstrength.net 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. Caskstrength.net 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: WorldsBestSpirits.com 
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, WorldsBestSpirits.com 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 Caskstrength.net 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 WorldsBestSpirits.com


  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

Introduction

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.

Impression

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.

Value

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.

Cheers,
Jeff

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:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/whiskyparty/ETPs

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.