Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Uisge beatha

A slight tangent to my usual subject matter, but many of my readers will be aware of the fact that I am a big fan of Scottish single malt whisky. Tonight I was off work, and attended a whisky tasting session from Gordon & MacPhail's at the Clachaig. We don't often host these events--just a few times a year, and often only twenty or so people attend--but they are always worthwhile.

This is only the second time I have had the opportunity to attend one as a customer. The gentlemen from the distillery began by handing out drams of Benromach Traditional, a fine Speyside malt which we featured as our malt of the month some while ago (and which, if I remember correctly, flew off the shelves!) This a beautifully mellow malt and a good beginner's whisky. Since I prefer the slightly more full-flavoured Islay malts, it slipped down very easily. We sampled several other drams, including the brand new Benromach 10yo (which I had never tried before--highly recommended) and the Bowmore Legend, which does not give an age and does not have the maturity associated with the more standard Bowmore expressions that we have at the bar (12, 15 and 18yo). Nevertheless, a very palatable whisky.

We finished with the Benromach 'Peat Smoke', a delightful whisky from this distillery which has more in common with Islay malts than its native Speyside.

And of course, after the tasting session, we all piled into the Boots bar to sample the enormous range of whiskies behind the bar. It isn't often I can forget the fact I work here and see the place as a customer does, but there was a good crowd in the pub tonight and when all's said and done this is indeed a damn good pub!

(I also bought a new bottle of whisky today--the fourth I have ever owned--to replace the Mortlach 16yo I bought for my birthday and which sadly ran out last month. I chose the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, a 48% whisky I have long admired.)

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