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April 06, 2004
Wee Dram

I almost forgot to mention the Tartan Day grand finalé....

No Tartan Day would be complete without a drop of the single malt scotch whisky.

Tonight's feature:

  • Isle of Jura. Tonight is my first taste-test with this particular distillation.
The verdict:
  • Of course it's good. It's a single malt.
This whisky is different from most of what I've sampled in the past. The aroma... I suppose I would say it's got a bit of nuttiness to it -- it reminds me of Frangelico more than anything else.

The taste isn't harsh at all - very mild, in fact, compared to other single malts. Single malts are not noted for being smoother than other whiskies -- but this was easily the smoothest single malt I've tried. No "burn" at all.

I lack the technical training to adequately describe the flavor (sorry, I'm not a "scotch snob" -- not yet, anyway) but to my amateur palate, it had a hint of vanilla, some fruitiness, and a certain oak taste. Not very smoky or peaty, certainly not compared to something like Laphroaig.

There's very little bite to it, and only a slight not-at-all-unpleasant aftertaste.

Yes. I'll be acquiring more of this in the future.

Posted by Russ at 11:37 PM, April 6, 2004 in Bloggery & Drinks

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Not to pick nits, but....

Single Malt is not necessarily smoother than other whiskeys. In fact, blended Scotch is specifically made with the idea of smoothness in mind. What makes Single Malts so special is their distinctiveness. Because all of the whiskey in a bottle of Single Malt comes from the same distillery, it reflects the character of that distillery -- the source of the water, the still used, the little nuances specific to that distillery.

Single Malts from specific regions tend to be similar, but still are distinctive. The major regions for producion are Speysides (distilleries near the River Spey), Highland, Lowland, And Islay (from the isles). The Islays tend to be my favorites - the smokier, peatier, saltier, and more iodiney the whiskey, the more I like it. I LIKE the strong, distincitve Single Malts. If you like really smooth, less strong-flavored ones, you'd probably prefer Speysides or Highland malts.

Posted by: Brian B at April 7, 2004 12:36 PM

You're right. "Smoother" wasn't the right word to convey what I meant... but like I say, I lack the "technical language" to adequately describe it.

The post has been corrected.

Posted by: Russ at April 7, 2004 01:43 PM

You're right. "Smoother" wasn't the right word to convey what I meant... but like I say, I lack the "technical language" to adequately describe it.

Overenthusiasm for Single Malt is easily forgivable. :-)

Posted by: Brian B at April 7, 2004 08:25 PM

I'll be at Pinehurst next weekend golfing and sampling a large variety (and a large quantity) of single malts with some of me mates. I'm bringing an 18 year-old Macallan this time.

Posted by: charles austin at April 8, 2004 09:23 PM

Damn you, Charles.

One of my finest Single Malt memories involves an 18-year old MacCallan.

I was attending a birthday party for one of my wife's co-workers. The woman's husband was a wealthy executive in a biotech firm. But he had started out as an emergency room orderly. In those days, he was stabbed with a dirty needle by an unruly patient. It wasn't until years later that he found he'd been infected with Hepatitis. His doctor had recently given him the "No Booze" order.

Well there I was at his party, sipping a 12-year old MacCallan, and told him how grateful I was, and how dearly I love Single Malt.

He got a sly grin on his face, went over to the liquor cabinet, pulled out a bottle of 18-year-old, put it in front of me, told me his story, and said, "Have as much as you want."

Now, I ask you.

What else was I to do?

Posted by: Brian B at April 9, 2004 02:26 PM