Tasting note: Edradour 2002 (14yo, Ibisco Decanter)

Color: Chestnutoloroso sherry

Nose: Pungent spiciness in the foreground, the sherry not that present at first. Gets rounder after a couple of minutes in the glass. More sherry now as I begin to smell sweet notes, most notably dried dark fruits. I'm inclined to describe the nose as "peppery sweetness".

Taste: Intense, there is that pepper again, accompanied by tobacco. Definitely a lot of sherry, too. Plums, ripe fruits.

Finish: Long, spicy and slightly bitter (tobacco) with a tad of dark chocolate.

Comments: Rich taste, quite spicy compared to other sherried whiskies. The addition of water takes some of the spicy edge off by pushing the tobacco and pepper notes off their first-row seats, leaving room for espresso and toffee to shine through. This is a fine cask strength whisky indeed.

(If you're looking for a cask strength sherry bomb that is less spicy and more affordable, give the Aberlour a'bunadh a try.)

Rating: I rated this whisky 83 out of 100.
(Nose 22, Taste 21, Finish 20, Balance 20)

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Tasting note: Glenmorangie Signet

Color: Russetmuscat

Nose: Very round indeed, the alcohol not too present, with sherry, cocoa and vanilla. After a couple of minutes in the glass, a first sip and taking a deep breath, a fruity note emerges. Yellow fruits come to mind, more reminiscent of apricot jam than oranges.

Taste: The cocoa smell turns into a milky chocolate taste, with a slight bitterness hinting at cappuccino. More spicy than you would have expected after the sweet smell.

Finish: Long finish with more bitterness, milk chocolate turns into dark chocolate.

Comments: Elegant presentation with a beautiful bottle design. Quite pricey too, unfortunately. Make no mistake, this is a fine whisky, but at a price of EUR 130+ as of this writing you should be able to buy a more affordable whisky of comparable quality.

Rating: I rated this whisky 86 out of 100.
(Nose 23, Taste 22, Finish 20, Balance 21)

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Closed my EURUSD short at 1.0602

I closed my EURUSD short trade at 1.0602 this morning at 8:50am CET to take a 2% profit. I'd opened the trade at 1.0795 on 1st February. As I wrote on Thursday, a few things started to bug me about my position, including a failure to break through the 1.0520 support and a sudden jump in the implied probability of a Fed rate hike in March. Friday's USD selling didn't exactly alleviate my worries. Flat now and on the lookout for new trading opportunities.

USD Index DXY Daily 06/03/2017Open positions as of 06/03/2017 8:50am CET: Flat

Realized YTD return: +6.34% from 4 trades
Total YTD return: +6.34% from 4 trades

Johnny Cash: Home Of The Blues

It's Sunday, and Sunday is blues day! This week with a country spin, as I'd like to remember the great Johnny Cash. February 26 would have been his 85th birthday. The song Home Of The Blues off his 1958 album Sings The Songs That Made Him Famous (released by the Sun Record Company) is about his unhappy childhood. Cash's older brother Jack, to whom Johnny was very close, died at the age of 15 after he'd been pulled into a head saw in the mill he worked at in 1944. He was almost cut in two and suffered for over a week before he finally died. Many decades later Johnny Cash still spoke of this horrible accident and said he looked forward to meeting his brother again in heaven.

I walk and cry while my heartbeat
Keeps time with the drag of my shoes
The sun never shines through this window of mine
It's dark at the Home of the Blues

Oh, but the place is filled with the sweetest mem'ries
Memories so sweet that I cry
Dreams that I've had left me feeling so bad
I just want to give up and lay down and die

These two things worry me

Two things have begun to worry me about the strong USD story:

First of all, the implied probability of a March 15 Fed rate hike jumped from roughly 30% to almost 90% within a few days on no important news whatsoever. The biggest jump occured after Trump's address to Congress and comments by New York Fed President Dudley that the case for Fed tightening had become a lot more compelling. But come on, we've seen comments like that many times before. They haven't exactly been a reliable predictor of future Fed actions. I'm afraid the market is overreacting to comments by central bankers and politicians. An almost 90% probability of a rate hike amounts to a near-certainty expectation that we will see a hike in two weeks. The risk of disappointing that expectation is enormous.

Secondly, EURUSD has repeatedly failed to break through the important support level around 1.0520. While we would probably see an extended downmove to at least 1.0341 if that support were finally taken out, I must assert that a failure to do so would likely result in a similarly large move higher. This, too, suggests an increased risk for my EURUSD short position. I'm keeping the position on for now, but I'll probably close it out if the expected move lower doesn't materialize soon.

Open positions as of 02/03/2017 8:49am CET:
EURUSD short from 1.0795, unrealized return: +2.62%

Realized YTD return: +4.34% from 3 trades
Total YTD return: +6.96% from 4 trades