Scotch Whisky Blog
I've been continuing my exploration of Bourbon. A couple of nights ago I decided to try a dram of Blantons at Harry's and I was pretty impressed. My first thought was Rye. In fact I had to ask my waitress if it was Rye whisky. She was nice enough to bring the bottle over (attractive bottle BTW) and it was in fact Bourbon. Didn't taste like Bourbon at all to me. Good though. I'm finding I like Grainy whiskys, like this and the Bernheim wheat.
I had also read about Wild Turkey's American Honey and thought I'd give it a try. Blech! It tasted like nasty cough syrup. Way too sweet. In fact I couldn't even finish it and let my server take an almost full glass away, a rare occurrence. A couple of days later another server brought over a couple free shots (we go there a lot), and she said "This is my favorite, I don't know if you've had it, it's American Honey". I'm glad it was just a shot. My wife thinks they're messing with us.
I need to veer back to Scotch a little. I bought a bottle of Clynelish but haven't cracked it yet. I'm also 3 months into the year and haven't bought anything from my calendar.
I feel as though I've covered pretty good ground so far on the Single Malt Scotch front. I have about 15 bottles myself, and I've gone down the list at my local bar which has a surprisingly large selection. I know there's LOTS more to try, but there's also a lot of other Whisk(e)y out there.
Speaking of my local bar, we've been going there enough I've established a relationship with the servers there. The other night after one of them finished reminding me what each of the Breakfast Club characters did to get into detention (taping butt-cheeks was my favorite) he offered to buy me some Bourbon. He brought out some Jim Beam, saying it was pretty standard and there's a lot to try from there. He also ended up comping all but two beers, which was awesome.
I enjoyed it. It reminded me of some bourbon I tried a long time ago, Jeremiah Weed. In fact, that was some of the first Whisky, or even alcohol I'd ever tried. Thanks bro!
So last night I tried some Jim Beam Rye. Again, it was good. Nice and smooth, very sweet relative to what I'm used to. It's definitely got me wanting to expand my Whisky scope.
I haven't blogged for awhile, this year has been a little rough. That hasn't slowed my drinking however. I've collected a few more bottles since my last update, and I'll try to post notes soon.
I can't say my tasting skills have improved a lot, however I realized that it's probably because I'm drinking standard expressions. I'm going to try and find some more exotic bottles to taste.
With this cold weather, I've been drinking a lot of tea, and I'm quite liking it. This gave me an idea. I'll start trying some different flavored teas, and try to study them too. My hope is that this will give me a more defined pallate. We'll see.
Bowmore - 12yo - Islay
At first there was an overwhelming scent of medical tape. It came through in the taste too, however there was also a hint of smokiness, like your clothes after you've been by a campfire. I thought I'd try it neat, so it was highly astringent. My mistake.
It became even more clear to me that I have no idea what I'm doing, so I did some more reading. After learning some terms I could pick out the Phenol Wood Smoke flavor, as well as the Wood Associated Pine. I think I could brake down the Medical tape to pine and astringent.
The overwhelming astringent left it Dry and Neutral for me. I think this will be a good one to break down my sensitivity.
Deanston - 12yo - Highlands
This was the first bottle I've tried so far that just tasted like my mental image of Whisky. I purchased a bottle of still water from World Market, and I could definitely taste it better with a little water. The nose and mouth were both caramel and sherry. I couldn't pick out much more than that.
I read some other notes and found many references to peat and malt. These two essential flavors are not in my vocabulary yet, so I guess I'll need more practice.
I'm curious to know if it's better to go through many different bottles, or to work on one at a time. For now I'll keep trying new things.
Isle of Jura - 10yr
My Wife says she chose this because it was supposed to be mild and would be a good place to start. I definitely agree. It was very smooth and went down easy. I drank it neat and my virgin throat had no problem. I couldn't comment on the nose, but it did have a distinct cherry and choclate flavor. It's supposed to taste of honey, however I couldn't pick up on this.
Glen Moray - 12yr
After reading about the different Scotch Whisky regions it was clear that Speyside is the largest. Not a very calculated way to pick the next bottle, but hey, I'm a simple man. I tried it with about a 3 to 1 Scotch to Water mix. Even watered down it was a lot more harsh than the Jura. The nose was like fruity candy, almost like a jolly rancher. The same for the taste. I'd say pear and apple. I'm drinking it neat right now, and it's definitely kicking my ass. I can still taste the fruit, but something else that I can't quite discern.
I'll probably drop by World Market and get some nice spring water and a tulip glass.
My wife was lucky that her wine of the month club shipment came at the same time as my Xmas present or I would have been a little suspicious when the UPS guy asked me if I was 21. Though it doesn't matter much, because she let me open it early.
I was blown away when I opened the box and saw a Talisker scotch box on top of what was obviously styrofoam shaped to ship liquor. She went on to explain that she did a lot of research into the different Scotch Whisky Regions and got a bottle from each of the six, plus an extra.
- Glen Moray - 12yr - Speyside
- Isle of Jura - 10yr - Islands
- Deanston - 17yr - Highlands
- Talisker - 10yr - Isle of Skye
- Springbank - 10yr - Campbeltown
- Auchentoshan - 10yr - Lowland
- Bowmore - 12yr - Islay
I work in a world of information and abstract nothingness. It's nice to have something real to grasp on to.