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markeb

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  1. This is where I sort of back off of an earlier statement on age. But I can't really blame this on "no age statement", as this is pure marketing on MacAllan's part. The Quest series appears to be a "Global Travel Retail" series of whiskies. They describe the palate as "Apple mixed with ginger and dried fruits. Nutmeg and cinnamon soften and fade.". Compare that to the 12 year old Doublewood "Deliciously honeyed, wood spices and citrus, balanced with raisins and caramel.", which sounds a lot more like a Speyside Single Malt. The Quest is an entry level whisky, and frankly sounds a lot like Dewars or the like! I used to be a fan of MacAllan, but this kind of crap drives me insane! If I want a glass of The MacAllan, I'm thinking a 12 year old whisky with some character, and that does not match the description of Quest... I wouldn't have been happy either! Honestly, this is a big reason why I drink Balvenie and Glenmorangie...
  2. I'm not seeing anything near that "accurate", a word I frankly hate. In this context, I don't need the test to be right; I need it to not be wrong! If I'm going to exclude people because I believe they're infected/infectious, I need the highest negative predictive value I can get, which means a very sensitive test that WILL have false positives (which as NCPL has discussed, is extremely unusual in SARS-CoV-2 PCR). That's arguably different from a clinical diagnostic criteria, and these tests were largely developed along diagnostic criteria, not exclusionary screening criteria. I realize I'm being a little pedantic here, but if you don't want false negatives on the ship, you've got to accept false positives at screening. If what's being said is that a specific PCR is close to 100% accurate in finding SARS-CoV-2 RNA if present, that's an interesting but I'll argue almost irrelevant data point and is centered on the laboratory processing. You have to sample when the virus is present in the specimen your sampling, and that has proven to be the hard part. It's not always there...
  3. I "think" I saw that BARDA had been able to contract for delivery of supplies. I'm reasonably sure the push will be for pre-filled, but I've only had so many clock cycles to look at that! It could be vials and separate syringes. Yeah, take rate is going to be critical to control transmission. You just have to hope that at least everyone willing to wear a mask will take the vaccine, and that gets us to enough to drop the R below 1...
  4. That's probably the bottom line, isn't it? How the testing started and evolved, all over the news and social media, should really be studied when we all come up for air. From the clinical provider to the public health system to the policy makers to the understanding of the general public.
  5. Never stationed there. Worked with them for parts of 20 years. Was in the old building before it became a prison and the slammer while it was still the slammer. Was in positions (being a little cryptic as I kind of become identifiable because not many people did what I did for as long as I did...) where I had to know their business, sometimes inside and out, both in the lab and the acquisition side. It's amazing what you learn if you just listen to people, especially if you turn around and explain it to people who actually have money...
  6. And even worse when you're trying to use a diagnostic test as a screening tool. You really need a very high negative predictive value test, which means you accept false positives on screening, but false positives are rare. And accepting false positives means potentially excluding more passengers dockside, unless you have a follow up plan for confirmation, also onsite... If you adjust your inclusivity/exclusivity and call criteria on PCR, and allow more near neighbors to be called positive, it "might" be a better screening tool, but you're going to be calling a lot of suspects rather than confirmed. And a negative dockside just means "no virus detected". The testing may get better, but it's limited by the biology of the virus. It's got to be there when you test for it, and it's there in highest quantities when you're actually sick. So I don't know what the limits of testing will be, and especially the limits of testing to exclude rather than to diagnose.
  7. Too late at night, but a minor analogy. Two weeks from today marks the release of my all time favorite album: Born to Run. Whether you love him or hate him or somewhere in the middle, like the various regions of Scotland and the different styles of whisky, Bruce has written, to date, 327 recorded pieces pieces of music! Writers over the years have attempted to rank a top 100, top 50, etc., to varying degrees of success, and usually incredible gnashing of teeth from the faithful. I just read through a top 100 that I'm OK with because the author really goes out of the way to say it's "his" top 100, not the top 100. (Although any list that doesn't have Jungleland in the top 10 is just wrong!). Springsteen fans, like many other music fans, are pretty passionate! (For the record, yes, the avatar is Bruce and Jake, from the pit, January 29, 2016, River Tour. Never got that close to Clarence.) The variety of Scotch whisky creates a passion for those of us who have had the opportunity to try a lot of varieties, and I've only touched on the varieties available. There's a lot of whisky I've never even heard of! One Google hit tonight says there are 133 distilleries in Scotland; another says 122. There's a lot of them! I'm sure that almost all bottle more than one single malt, not including what the supply to the major blends. If there are 133 distilleries, and they each make 3 finished whiskies, then my math says that's 399 single malt whiskies! Sounds like trying to rank Springsteen songs for fans! No way you'll get any significant sample size of that on a cruise ship, even if they suddenly decided to actually have a whisk(e)y bar, but that's the scope of trying to seriously look at Scottish whisky. And honestly, I haven't done the same numbers on Bourbon, which has been the "big thing" for the last few years. Just food for thought, and I'm enjoying this thread for however long it runs!
  8. One of the interesting questions is what's actually available onboard. Under normal circumstances, there would be multiple threads in the last 30 days where someone was looking for a current drink menu. Clearly not normal times. Found a really good menu from the the Club on the Edge posted by vtcruising, maybe one of her last. From the looks of it, it would be their primary whisk(e)y selection, on and off package. The usual menus from other ships are just buried too far back to find. Aberfeldy 21 Year...................................................................................20 Chivas Royal Salute................................................................................45 Dewar’s Signature ................................................................................19 Johnnie Walker Blue........................................................................... 60 Johnnie Walker Blue Cruise Edition................................................. 25 Johnnie Walker Blue King George V.....................................................45 Johnnie Walker Explorer Series Spice Road......................................... 12 Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve..................................................................11 Johnnie Walker Platinum 18 Year ..........................................................50 Johnnie Walker XR 21 Year .....................................................................35 Lagavullin 16 .............................................................................................18 Macallan Estate Reserve.............................................................................50 Macallan Whiskey Makers...........................................................................20 Oban 14 Year ................................................................................................11 I'd reformat it, but that's the gist of it. Bizarre pricing! Two of those (I think) would be in the packages. Very heavy on blends, which is a little odd, but Johnnie Walker almost seems like a sponsor... There are other whiskies listed in the fleetwide packages, from some time in the spring: Aberfeldy 12 Chivas Regal 12 *Dewar’s White Label Dewars 12 *Famous Grouse Glen Scotia Scotia Single Malt Glenfiddich Reserve Cask Glenfiddich Select Glenlivet Haig Highland Park Highland Park Einar Johnnie Walker Black Johnnie Walker Red *Monkey Shoulder The MacAllan The Macallan Lumina The MacAllan Quest *In the classic package. I don't know that I've ever seen that many on a ship? I have seen Balvenie behind the bar. The Triple Wood is a duty free version, and that may be what I've seen (I think that was on X). I'm remembering why I drank Oban at the WCB! vtcruising posted wine lists from all the specialty restaurants, but they don't include any spirits. That may be where the package whiskies hide on Edge, and behind the bar and off the main menu.
  9. Thanks. This one was floating right at the edge of my experience... No surprises was kind what I was thinking. And the fastest licensure could be for the most restrictive label, which could be 16-55 if I remember the study populations correctly. Or restrictive enough that it requires a a physician's evaluation and individual prescription. And I may be thinking after the initial round of vaccination where they may well be boxed individually, but bulk labeling and distribution makes sense for the first round, but then there's the how many in a box thing. Oh, and a distribution plan... There are a lot of little things that have to happen for this to work right. And the big thing of the clinical trial(s) succeeding.
  10. By 1Qtr I'm thinking end of March... This is going to sound really bureaucratic, but don't underestimate how long it takes to package, print, and label a few hundred million doses of vaccine, likely in pre-filled syringes (if at all possible). They may gamble and have the inserts printed, but they can't really put them in until they're approved as part of the BLA. And they do change... One advantage of pre-filled syringes is the FDA recognizes you don't have a lot of real estate, so gambling on labeling those is probably less significant, and from what I can interpret pretty standard and unlikely to change by that point. And they can incorporate that into the fill line, since they're already gambling on production. You'll likely never see it as a recipient, but the initial outer boxes will probably literally have an adhesive label; the second lot will be printed on the box.
  11. Could have been Oban 14. That was a featured whisky at WCB on our two cruises. A little smoke, bit not Lagavulin or Caol Ila smoke, and definitely not Talisker smoke!
  12. I think one thing, in my limited experience, is we get much more Scotch whisky imported in the US than Irish whiskey. At least by variety. Jameson may well outsell all of them, but you just don’t easily find the variety. And all Irish whiskey isn’t equal. Whisk(e)y and its close cousins, are pretty fascinating around the world. You can have a fairly interesting discussion, for instance, on whether Genever is really more of a flavored whiskey than gin, especially the ould or aged varieties. It’s certainly nothing like a traditional English gin. There are probably books out there on following the grain and it’s impact on spirits! Or other sugars and starches...
  13. Ken, I was never in the industry or FDA. You should be able to find a lot of information on clinicaltrials.gov. I think TeeRick posted direct links to some of the major trials, but last time I looked you could search for COVID-19 related trials. It’s a US site, but it tracks clinical trials on a global basis. It shows, among other things, projected start and end dates, detailed descriptions of the trials (the AZ trial is crazy complicated!), and recruitment status. Those trials are largely projected into mid to late 21 or 22. Most if not all serious candidates have “fast track” status with the FDA. That means, among other things, more frequent meetings with the regulators and review of data as produced, rather than waiting for a completed BLA. The studies are going to be designed to demonstrate effectiveness statistically. The statisticians will have calculated how many cases they need in the control (placebo) group to demonstrate statistical power. If they’re able to do that early, they’ll likely look to truncate that arm of the study; the safety aspect could be more complicated, and if there’s anything concerning, could extend the study and licensure. Keep in mind there’s a data processing time here, and a review time at FDA. Those will probably be as short as the data supports, but months, not days wouldn’t be unusual under normal circumstances. I think everyone will push for weeks, not months. I’m having a hard time imagining anything fully licensed before 1st Qtr 2021 if EVERYTHING goes well. The vaccine may well be produced and ready to label and distribute at that time. That also requires enough active transmission to achieve power. “Emergency” has specific legal connotations that have not been well explained to the public. I can see the FDA granting emergency use, known as an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA if applied for and supported by the data, but I suspect it would be for a much more limited population than a fully licensed product. I see an EUA offering a vaccine to health care providers, first responders, etc. I don’t see an EUA doing anything for recreational travel. That’s my semi-educated answer to your question. There are folks in this thread with both industry and FDA experience who can hopefully correct anything I got not quite right.
  14. I get that, but many of the Japanese malts ARE excellent. Suntory actually owns Bowmore and Laphroaig (Islay, so not one of your preferred styles), so they got their expertise the old-fashioned way: they bought it! You could also stay local in Texas and try Balcones. It's pretty hard to find in Virginia, but most of the reviews have been excellent. I may try to track down a bottle just out of curiosity. (Retailers can do tastings of liquor in Texas, can't they?)
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