Friday, September 11, 2009

Who Loves Scotch?

(Originally posted 2008.02.08)

Well

I do ...

Since this site is an "avatar" for a tavern, frequented by software developers, etc., it seems appropriate to discuss the entire gamut of topics suitable to taverns. One of my favorites is "spirits"; Usquabae, whisky, "the water of life". For those of you who are easily amused, try the following link: Whiskipedia.

I have 3 favorites, in the following order of preference: "Laphroaig", "Lagavulin", and "Glenmorangie Port Wood". "Lagavulin" and "Laphroaig" are both "Islay" (eye-la) scotches. They are produced on the Isle of Islay, which is the southernmost island of the Southern Hebrides off the West coast of Scotland. Both are famous for being smoky, peaty, whiskies. They are. Laphroaig sells (here in the US), primarily the 10 and 15 year old. For a good, strong, bracing drink before dinner, the Laphroaig 10 year old is my favorite. For me, it is an aperitif. The 15 year old is much smoother and more refined, but still smoky. I like it with a good piece of bittersweet chocolate.

"Lagavulin" is primarily sold here only in the 16 year old. "Lagavulin" is smoother and sweeter than the "Laphroaig" 15 year old. "Lagavulin" is aged 100% in sherry casks (like Macallen). It has more bite and character than Macallen, to me at least. I find Macallen to be just sweet. Again, good after dinner and with a piece of dark chocolate.

The "Glenmorangie Port Wood" is another single malt. It apparently is aged in Bourbon casks, and then "finished" in Port pipes. It has a slight pink tinge and is sweet and light. I happen to like Port a lot. So the Glenmorangie is a nice diversion for me. Glenmorangie is a Highland scotch, and like all the other Highland and Speyside scotches I've had so far, too light for me.

One peculiar scotch I've come across is "Jura" scotch. The Isle of Jura is another Hebrides island, just a little nor'east of Islay. The first time I had this, I thought the bar keep had gone cross-eyed and poured me some Tequila! It had an "oily" finish I'd only experienced with Tequila before. However, a second glass, and watching the bar keep carefully revealed it was indeed the taste from the bottle. If you can find it, I suggest trying it.

I prefer to drink ALL my whiskey's in a brandy snifter. I don't warm the snifter, I don't add water, ice, or anything. What's your preference?