Saturday, December 10, 2005

Whisky Tasting

It may not be wine; however Andy, a friend, and I went along to our local Sainsbury's to a whisky tasting last night - and I can report that trying to taste 10 whiskies, when there is not spitoon is a decidedly dangerous occupation. Getting enough to taste but not enough to end up paralytic was the toughest part of the evening. We started with a 10 year old Ardbeg - which both of us would usually drink and as expected found a powerful, dry Whisky. We then moved onto a 10y.o Balvenie which I was really looking forward to tasting and had often toyed with the idea of buying - now I'm glad I didn't - this was like very alcoholic desert wine with added honey - it was frankly grotesque and after a sip of it we soon decided that a third glass was needed to pour anything unpalatable into. Bowmore legend came next - this was nice - but perhaps a little to delicate for our liking. Thwe big surprise came next in the form of bog standard 12 y.o. Glenfiddich - now I'm not sure whether it's the amount of advertising or what- but it's the one malt sold everywhere - so something makes you think it won't be very good - but it turned out to be one of the better whiskies on offer - not as powerful as the Ardbeg - but enough to know it was there. 5th up was Glenfiddich Caoran Reserve 12 y.o. a new venture from Glenfiddich who you imagine have lost market share in the last 5 years from increased competition and knowledge from consumers - and this hits the spot very nicely indeed and was one of the discoveries of the evening. Both the Glenlivet 12 y.o. and the Glenmorangie 10 y.o. we thought could use a little more body, there was nothing bad about them but they were a little too gentle and uninteresting. Isle of Jura 10 y.o. again was nothing to write home about, but where I might find myself buying either of the previous two, I don't think I'd venture to buy a bottle of this, on the other hand I wouldn't give it to a raffle if I had a bottle (as I would the Balvenie). Prize for the night for best discovery was 10 year old Yamazaki Japanese single malt - this was lovely (although by this stage it has to be said I'm not sure how well my palate was behaving!) and is something that I may well return to. The nicest whisky of the night, we had saved until last - a 15 y.o. Highland Park which was fantastic - although at £10 a bottle more than the rest of the selection I'd probably plump for something else. Indeed when we then wandered (or staggered) across to Whisky section we ended up buying a bottle of Burgundy Wood Glenmorangie that was on offer rather than something we'd already gone for!

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