When I first started drinking whisky, I found myself regularly surrounded by whisky snobs. Some were Scotch single malt purists, others were Irish and bourbon drinkers. Myself? I’m an explorer. I think to understand what each distiller has done with their unique ingredients and this ancient method of making spirit. Like comparing Van Gogh to… Continue reading Next Week’s Tasting: A Whisky Worldview
A brief update to let you know more about this year’s upcoming Women Who Whisky event in Auckland. We started this annual event last year and I was delighted to sell out the venue as we toured through six exceptional whiskies that all feature prominent women as part of their history, present or future. Since… Continue reading Women Who Whisky 2017
It’s the annual Ardbeg Day celebration, where all fans of peaty bog monsters come out to get their hands on deliciously rare and unusual Islay treats from Ardbeg.
I’ve had a few of the Old Particular independent bottlings from Douglas Laing & Co. Their single cask bottlings are sourced from some of my favourite distilleries – Aberlour, Auchentoshan, Ben Nevis, Bowmore and Speyburn just to name a few. They are a third generation, family owned whisky business specialising in small batch, single cask… Continue reading Douglas Laing .. Aberlour 20
The story of the day is simply a question: when you should drink whisky and when should you store it away? Which is in turn, closely followed by the question when should you invest in a bottle or just in a dram? And where do you find the very best treasures to be savoured or stored away? The answer to one of those questions is the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
As night fell, the smoke and mist rose up in a late autumn haze and we ducked under the cover of our own darkened den, a safe haven underground called the Jefferson.
The beauty of this vertical tasting is to explore the Ardbeg Day whisky as part of the Ardbeg story.
Half the pleasure is in seeking the treasure. It’s not that this whisky is the best whisky ever made. But in nosing the glass and enjoying the spirit, we are participating in the golden age of whisky experimentation and re-definition.
Reminds me of an orange and almond cake I make. Caramelised vanilla sugar crust with the sharpness of citrus developing. Now I taste elements of Persian orange water. Slowly more baked apple emerges with cinnamon and nutmeg. Big, tobacco leaf and old leather starts to emerge out the back where the peat overtakes any leftover smoke. Now it’s starting to feel like a true Ardbeggian expression.
The bottle alone is something to gaze at. Be warned, it doesn’t pour that well and takes a practiced hand. You’ll get plenty of practice though, because for a young whisky it exudes character beyond its years. Not surprisingly, because this is a Talisker and I believe whisky is indelibly marked by the people who make it and the place comes into being from.
Delightful things happen when delicious ingredients are shaken, muddled, thrown, stirred and strained together. Scotch whisky is notoriously difficult to use in cocktails, however there are a few classics that not only stand up to Scotch whisky but cry out for the complexity, richness and smoke of a classic Islay single malt like Ardbeg.