Monday, October 5, 2015

Water of Life, Scotland Version

It was a good evening last Friday as a group of friends got together to polish off the remains of a number of bottles of Scottish Whisky.  All but one had less than eight ounces left in them so the collection proved to be an interesting evening.  Pictured above are a bottle of Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition, a Highland whisky from what I understand is the distillery with the highest elevation in Scotland, and a bottle of Kilchoman, a somewhat new, craft distillery from Islay.  The Dalwhinnie was elegant and refined and the Kilchoman was was raw and wild.  I was not in an elegant mood and I preferred the Kilchoman.

Next up was a Glenmorangie finished in a Sauterne cask and an Oban Distillers Edition with a 1995 distilling date.  Both of these were quite elegant and tasty and much more refined than the previous two.  The Glenmorangie is another Highland malt and had a bit of smoke and a bit of earth to it.  The Oban is a coastal malt and had a secondary maturation in a sherry cask.  It had seaweed notes and a distinctly orange flavor, rather like a glass of Drambuie without the sweetness.  The Oban was my contribution to the evening.  You will notice the bottle is empty.

The one exception to the small content of the bottles was the Laphroaig QA cask, a double matured Islay available only at duty free shops.  We drank the first sips from this bottle.  Smoke and peat and iodine were everywhere, but they were in such good balance that this whisky had a touch of elegance to it.  Not for the faint of heart - but definitely for me.

And that brings us to another product from Islay, Lagavulin, a very near neighbor to Lagavulin.  This was the regular 16 year old bottling.  There is elegance here to go along with incredible smokiness.  Full flavored and rich and hearty.  If the gods told me that I could only have one whisky from anywhere this would be the one.  Not surprising that my late Gordon Setter was formally named Dunbar's Lagavulin.   Indeed this is the water of life.  A great evening.

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