Digression & Whisky Geek Alert.....
Ok, so I was reading an article in the recent Winter 2013 issue of Whiskey Advocate. It was a profile on London bartender, Tristan Stephenson. Within the article was the following gem of a paragraph....
"I made an Instant Rob Roy where I roto-vapped Highland Park (splitting it into distillate and extractives; ie, wood)" he explains. "I then cut the extract with water and made it into ice cubes.. The clear distillate was made into a Rob Roy, into which I popped in the ice cube, so that when you drank it, the drink 'aged.' It's a way to discover the effect of oak, and it's fun" Fun and whisky? It might just catch on.
Now, I have no idea if the reality matches what he says he's achieved; but, to me, he gets huge points for concept. Brilliant.
I didn't know what a rotovap is, so I googled it & found this article by Tristan which pretty well lays it out - http://www.diffordsguide.com/class-magazine/read-online/en/2012-01-24/page-4/rotovaps-for-dummies
Oh, by the way, I googled 'used rotovap' and it looks like they range from just under a grand to $3500+. So, not something I'm going to play with at home.
I have my doubts about the cocktail anyway, but I'd love to drink one to see if it really works. Firstly, does the rotovap really break down the whisky into aged components and what would essentially be new make whisky? Maybe, could be, but I have my doubts. If it did, would the experience really provide a sense of the drink 'aging' as the ice melts. Again, I don't know but I'd love to find out. Even if not, huge kudos to Tristan for the idea alone!
Oh, and since I don't want to totally hijack this thread .... Highland Park rocks - but decidedly not an entry level whisky on the basis of price. However, it's very approachable for a newbie, but also has the complexity & depth to keep you coming back. Older is better, though more expensive, but even the base 12 year expression is fantastic - about $50-55 I believe.
Single malts keep going up in price steadily, dammit. I wish I liked bourbons as good bourbons are significantly cheaper than single malts, but they're generally too sweet for my taste (though there are exceptions). I limit my bourbon drinking mostly to friend's bottles for that reason, but I'd agree that Four Roses Single Barrel is a very good whiskey.