I am reunited with my laptop. Let’s get cracking with Scotland.
My gig is wine. I rarely drink whisky. But I had heather-tinted glasses on last August.
After weeks in Canada and Iceland, my wife and I were touring Scotland. Weeks of climbing castles, winding on wonderful trains, and receiving unprecedented hospitality had warmed us to this wet, dramatic chunk of the North. Yet we had ignored Whisky.The cheap stuff scared us. But forty bucks for a good one seemed extreme to us wine people. But then we reached Dundee: the edge of the Highlands: Whisky country. We found Aberlour’s 10 year Single Malt (aka single distillery) on sale and cracked. It was our first whole bottle of Whisky. It came in its own shaft. The sales person had to get it from the back. Tracy jumped with glee, when he handed it to her.But at home we were stumped. Add ice? Coke? Our WSET Advanced class had skimmed by spirit tasting. But then, the webternet gifted us this man…and his mustache:
Armed with how to taste, I stumbled through the tasting note below:
The color here is a clear but average intensity gold. The heavy, glazed legs flaunt a high alcohol. The rim becomes watery midway. The aromas are still in the works: young and mild, reminding me of honey, caramel, orange candies, even strawberry, with a slight cigarette edge from ten years of oak aging.
The structure is average, with enough bitterness, body, and alcoholic warmth to keep your attention. In retrospect, Aberlour seems a bit thin when compared to Macallan’s 10 Year. The flavors are delayed, with medium intensity roasted vanilla coffee creamer, orange sorbet, caramel, with a slight toffee spice that finishes the show, lingering for a medium length.
Aberlour’s 10 year was a wonderful first love. It was extremely smooth, with measured vanilla oak spice, bright fruit, and seeming sweetness. I stared at it endlessly, trying to tease out any deeper complexity. All I found was warm, simple, superficial delight. It’s a solid good: 3 out of 5 points.
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I’d like to interview the Scots to learn why they find whiskey so endearing. Is it just so-o-o-o damp and so-o-o-o cold there? Or is it a generational social drinking thing? Who would be drinkin the wine there?
They can’t grow grapes. But the Scots used to be Britain’s greatest wine drinkers. Whisky is all they can make, because they can grow grains. They drink it because it is cold there and it traditionally doesn’t go bad. Generally, only the old and tourists drink whisky, everyone else drinks beer…more on that later.
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