Chris KelleyThe Drink: Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood Single Malt Scotch

The Comic: Justice League of America #10 published by DC Comics

The Drink
WIlliam Grant began working as a bookkeeper at the Mortlach Distillery in Dufftown, Moray, Scotland in 1866. He eventually worked his way up to become the manager and learned the art of distilling whiskey. In 1886, he left the Mortlach Distillery to open his own, The Glenfiddich Distillery. With the help of his nine children, the Glenfiddich Distillery began operations on Christmas Day the following year. They were the first distillery to offer a single malt Scotch whiskey. It was also at this time that William Grant established the William Grant & Sons Company. Glenfiddich proved to be very successful, so, to handle the workload, Grant purchased land near the Balvenie Castle. In 1892 Grant began converting an 18th century mansion known as the Balvenie New House into a distillery. The building took 15 months to renovate and was completed on May 1st, 1893. Thus, The Balvenie Distillery was born.

From the barley to the bottle, every step is done in-house at the Balvenie Distillery. They remain the only single malt Scotch whiskey distillery to still grow it’s own barley. They are also the only distillery in the region to maintain and operate a working floor maltings. They have highly trained on-site coopers(people who build their casks) who handcraft each cask. Each candidate must complete a four year apprenticeship before becoming a cooper. The distillery is still under the ownership of the Grant family. It is one of the longest single family ownerships in the world.

The Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood single malt is aged in an American oak barrel for 10 years then finishes in a European sherry cask for 2 years. It has a beautiful, rich golden color. The nose is very sweet like vanilla and honey with a hint of oak. The taste is smooth with hints of vanilla, nuts and spice. The finish is long and warm. This is a perfect scotch for a beginner or a long time fan. This is one of my favorite scotches to date and one I highly recommend. A bottle costs between $50-$60 and is well worth it. The people at Balvenie have mastered their craft and it shows. Don’t miss out on one of the best scotches on the shelves today.

The Comic
Over the course of the last few months I have fallen woefully behind on my DC Comics. When I get home with my stack of fresh new books, I usually lean towards Image and Marvel first. Then, it happens. My DC pile grows and grows. Keep in mind, I was a staunch follower of DC Comics and didn’t read a single Marvel book for a very long while. My, my how the tables have turned.

Justice League of America #10, written by Matt Kindt and drawn by Tom Derenick and Eddie Barrows gives the spotlight to two characters who really haven’t seen a lot of attention in The New 52: Stargirl and Martian Manhunter. We see that they have both escaped the Crime Syndicate’s prison from the previous issue only to be fused together. Martian Manhunter’s mind is now in the body of Stargirl as he tries to help guide her through a very difficult fight. The narrative bounces back and forth between the current battle with the Secret Society and Stargirl’s background which can get a bit confusing at times. We get more information on why she became the hero she is today, but in the end we are left with more questions than answers. The prison break and subsequent battle with the Secret Society are used as a device to tie this story into Forever Evil. By the end of this issue I found myself not really caring that much about the story or the characters in it. The original concept for Justice League of America caught my attention, but now it seems to be slipping due to Forever Evil.

Barrows and Derenick do a great job of showing the emotional and physical stress that Stargirl is experiencing. The fight sequence between Stargirl and the Secret Society is drawn by Barrows and is very well done. It does get a bit jumbled towards the end, but overall, it’s one of the better sequences in the book.

For a Forever Evil tie in, it sure doesn’t mention it much. Instead, what we have is an unlikely team coming together to overcome a seemingly impossible situation. It wasn’t a terrible issue, but it didn’t really do much for me either. DC has really been slipping for me lately. Here is yet another title that may soon meet it’s demise and be dropped from my pull file.

Thanks for reading,
Christopher Kelley

Chris Kelley is Matt Baum’s cousin. We try not to hold that against him.