Monthly Archives: July 2016

Your Scotch Spirit Master in Edinburgh

Halo Single Malt Mates,

I,  your humble Scotch Spirit Master, am in Edinburgh Scotland, pronounced Edinburough, on a mission to get better educated on things Scottish. And particularly educated on single malt scotch whisky!

Yesterday I visited Edinburgh castle and today visited the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II. This is Holyrood Palace.

The staff are dressed in ancient Stuart hunting tartans  They call it plaids (playeds) and the effect was great. The Royal family is related to the Stuarts, the Scottish Royals.

It is summer in Scotland and I am told it was 85 degrees fahrenheit last week and it has been raining and 60-66 degrees this week.

You have to drive on the left side of the street and things are difficult for newcomers which is why they have taxis and tours.

Tomorrow we are going to Elgin to try and drink distilleries dry.

Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

 

 

I will be in Scotland for two weeks

Halo single malt mates,

I shall be in Scotland visiting distilleries and learning how to taste whisky from masters.

Hopefully I can post from there and keep you informed. I shall try and submit pictures too.

If I can I will.

I would like to make a toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. If you’re going to lie, lie for a friend. If you’re going to steal, steal a heart. If your going to cheat, cheat death. And if you’re going to drink, drink with me.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you

Your Scotch Spirit Master

Whisky and food pairing alert

Halo single malt mates,

I have just experienced a great pairing of Scotch Whisky and Scottish Smoked salmon.

This site promotes things Scottish. From Tartans to single malt whisky.

So here in Sin City USA, Yes I am a Yank, I can get real Scottish Smoked Salmon. At Albertsons  Super Market to be exact.

I believe that it is the best smoked salmon that I can buy. No doubt. But I digress.

Mo Clann, my children, bought me a single malt whisky for fathers day.This means the whisky is a mix of malts from the same distillery with no grain alcohol

It is bottled by Alexander Murray, a very good bottler by the way, under the name of a Ainsley Brae and it is a sherry matured .

It has a citrus nose with a citrussy palate. The finish is good too.

Anyway it is delightful paired with Scottish Salmon.

I suggest you try it.

I would like to make a toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. If you’re going to lie, lie for a friend. If you’re going to steal, steal a heart. If your going to cheat, cheat death. And if you’re going to drink, drink with me.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you

Your Scotch Spirit Master

 

 

A wee Dailuaine pairing with good food

Halo again single malt mates

I hosted a single malt whisky tasting the other night and everyone enjoyed the pairings as usual.

As an aficionado, I acquire hard to get whiskies from Scotland and share them with my friends.  Dailuaine  pronounced Dal yoo en is a major component of Dewars whiskies.  It’s stand alone single malt production is limited.

Here is the blurb:

DAILUAINE 16 Year Old Flora & Fauna

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DAILUAINE 16 Year Old Flora & Fauna

Distillery: Dailuaine
One of our favourite sherry monsters. A special dram for after-dinner enjoyment and reflection. Furthermore, as only 2% of the distillery’s output goes into single malt, this bottling is only available through specialists such as RMW.
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ABV: 43 %
Volume: 0.7 Litre
Region: Speyside
Age: 16 Years Old
£56.95  (Inc VAT)
£47.46  (Ex VAT)

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Description Details Distillery: Dailuaine
Staff Tasting Notes
Nose: Big thick sugar notes of boiled sweets with cocoa powder and bitter orange. Later alters slightly to reveal a sharper citrus note of lemon pith which is complimented by slightly dusty macadamia nuts. A light smokiness pervades throughout.
Palate: Smooth and rich. Warming syrupy flavours and an almost meaty smokiness give way to lighter notes of tinned peaches and sponge fingers.
Comments: Delicious and takes small amounts of water really well often creating a whole new nose and palate.

Whisky Magazine Tasting Notes
by Michael Jackson
Nose: Clean. Sweetish. Pronounced barley sugar. Some sherry.
Palate: Medium-bodied. Very smooth indeed. Clean, malty, nutty.
Finish: Nice balance of fragrant smoky dryness.
Overall: Almost too perfect.

In prior research for tastings I discovered that sherried whiskies go great with spicy food.  So you can try spicy Mexican and oriental food with Glenfiddich 15 or with a sherried Macallan if you are limited to buying at liquor outlets.

So the long and the short of it is that the Dailuaine went great with enchiladas and everyone liked the pairing. Especially me. Make sure your enchiladas are great if you are pairing them with great whisky.

May you aye ha’e a copper to spare,
And a pinch o’ guide sneeshin’ to share!
And what is the best thing o’ a’ –
A freend at yet beck an’ yer ca’.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones!

Slàinte mhath, a-h-uile latha, na chi ‘snach fhaic!
(Good health, every day, whether I see you or not!)

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee beautiful whisky pairing

I love to pair guid whisky and guid food.

I am giving a tasting next week and am choosing the right foods to make it delightful.

So  I tried to pair a Glen Scotia 21 with smoked salmon. The slight peatiness mixed well with the fish and it was great.

The food augments the flavors of the whisky and there is no burn.

Here was the whisky!

Glen Scotia

 

GLEN SCOTIA 1991 Signatory

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GLEN SCOTIA 1991 Signatory

Distillery: Glen Scotia
Bottled as a 22 year old in October 2012, this is a from a single hogshead cask (1077) and is limited to 409 bottles.
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ABV: 43 %
Volume: 0.7 Litre
Region: Campbeltown
Age: 22 Years Old

This is a collectors item because I can’t find it anywhere.

It is so rare that nobody has released a tasting notes.

Here is to those who loes us or gives us a lift.

Slainte mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

 

A wee bit of whisky facts

Halo single malt mates,

By law Scotch whisky is one of three kinds. Single malt blended malt and blended grain.

A blended malt means the whisky is a mixture of single malts from different distilleries.

Here is a collectalbe blended malt.

Since launching The Compass Box Whisky Co., we have always been firm believers in the spirit of enlightenment.

That the more information we can share with our customers about the Scotch whisky we produce, the better. Inspired by the writers, philosophers and scientists of the Age of Enlightenment, this blend of fruity fragrant Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies is bursting with aromas of fresh orchard fruit, vanilla, soft spice and pear.

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This limited release (only 5,922 bottles worldwide) from Compass Box embodies their belief that they should be able to be honest and open about what makes up their whiskies. Legal barriers stop that to some extent but they have said this one contains Clynelish, Glentauchers, Balblair and Mortlach.
 Staff Tasting Notes
Colour: Summer gold.
Nose: A pleasing fruity prickle of green apples, rhubarb & quince is followed by gentle vanilla and white chocolate. A smooth orange zest overlays the while thing as well as a light spring, floral character.
Palate: Subtle but undoubtedly similar to the fruity and light nose. Toffee apples and warm chocolate combine to give a smooth, velvety mouth-feel. It reminds of delicious treats at fun-fairs.
Finish: Long and fresh at first but begins to develop into a lovely dry wood.
Comment: Another outstanding whisky from Compass Box- at a reasonable price too!

 

This sounds like a good deal. look out for it at your favorite vendor.

I would like to make a toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. If you’re going to lie, lie for a friend. If you’re going to steal, steal a heart. If your going to cheat, cheat death. And if you’re going to drink, drink with me.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee Glenturret and food pairing

Glenturret is a very interesting distillery. It means the Valley of the Turret in Scots Gaelic. it does its distilling on the banks of the Turret River in Perthshire near Crief.

Mo Clann, my children, gave me a bottle of Glenturret sherry edition. I shall be using it in a tasting next week. In case you haven’t deduced it, I love my sherried whiskies…

Here it is:

GLENTURRET Sherry Edition 43%

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GLENTURRET Sherry Edition 43%

Distillery: Glenturret
Glenturret is often overlooked as a single malt but the producers are looking to change all that. Their sherry cask edition has been matured in a combination of American & European oak casks which have all contained sherry before.
Buy Now
ABV: 43 %
Volume: 0.7 Litre
Region: Highlands
£46.50  (Inc VAT)
£38.75  (Ex VAT)Add
Low stock ~ Just a few bottles left
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Description Details Distillery: Glenturret
Official Tasting Notes
Colour: Deep burnished gold, clear and bright.
Nose: Homemade syrup sponge meets sweetness and warmth.
Palate: Puff candy layered with aromatic sandalwood and smooth, sweet spices.
Finish: Medium sweet, good length with lingering spiciness.
A sherried whisky goes well with many kinds of food. I tried mine with a spicy Chinese dish, kung pao chicken. The spice augmented the sherried flavour of the whisky. Now you might think that the spice will be too much but the fact is the cure for really spicy food is alcohol. alcohol dissolves the spice agent in the food. you could also try it with spicy mexican food. I will.
So if you feel adventurous try some  spicy food with a good single malt floral whisky!

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

 

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones!

 

Slàinte mhath, a-h-uile latha, na chi ‘snach fhaic!
(Good health, every day, whether I see you or not!)

 

Your Scotch Spirit Master

The Finish in tasting whisky

Halo  Single Malt mates

After you have your snifter, some pure water, a guid single malt and you have nosed and tasted, it slowly please, the last step is the finish,

Here are some comments on it:

After swallowing the whisky, what are you left with? This, unsurprisingly, is the finish. Is it short, medium or long? Dry or smooth? Are there new flavours to be found now things have quietened down a bit?

The finish is the after taste that comes once you have swallowed the whisky. Some people say that the complexity of the finish in whisky is what differentiates it from all other spirits. Once you get passed the alcoholic burn, then numerous flavours can reveal themselves, some of which can be extremely subtle. The list can be extensive but again try an relate the flavours and sensations to things that you have tasted in the past. Also, ask yourself whether the flavours remain for a short, medium or long time. This is called the length of finish.

Some would ask, Why is there a finish? The answer is simple. Everyone has taste buds in the esophagus and at the end of the mouth. When you swallow the esophagus picks up some flavours and of course not all the liquid vacates your mouth. What’s left causes the finish.

This is why to be accurate in tasting you have to clear your palate before the next whisky.

The length of the finish depends on the character of the single malt. They vary.

So enjoy a dram and see how the components work out for you. It really doesn’t matter how they work out for anyone else.

Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones!

 

Slàinte mhath, a-h-uile latha, na chi ‘snach fhaic!
(Good health, every day, whether I see you or not!)

 

Your Scotch Spirit Master

The palate in whisky tasting

Brither Scots,

Here are some thoughts on the palate or tasting of the whisky.

The flavour of the whisky on your palate should be the most rewarding and enjoyable part of the whole process. The most important thing is not to drink the whisky too fast (like a shot of cheap Tequila), rather to savour it in your mouth to get the maximum flavour and benefit. Different parts of your tongue and mouth respond to different flavours and stimuli, so pass the whisky over all areas of your mouth to gain maximum effect.

Upon swallowing, there will be an alcoholic burn, which is one of the main things that puts a lot of people off drinking whisky. It is important to let this pass as it is now that any whisky will reveal its true characteristics. Try to identify obvious flavours that are present and repeat, trying to identify something new each time. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers and everyone’s taste buds are different so don’t worry if you get a flavour that someone else doesn’t or vice versa.

The taste buds are the ticket.

Taste buds contain the taste receptors. They are located around the small structures known as papillae found on the upper surface of the tongue, soft palate, upper esophagus, the cheek and epiglottis.[1] These structures are involved in detecting the five elements of taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami; through the combination of these elements we detect “flavors.”

So in order to milk the most flavour out of the whisky the spirit should be in contact with your whole mouth.  I suggest ‘chewing’ on the liquid which forces the spirit all around your mouth cavity. The epiglottis is the the column you can see at the back of the mouth. So help me, there are taste buds there too.

Your taste is your taste. That is all anyone can say.The supreme test of any whisky for you is do you like it? If you don’t then that particular whisky isn’t for you.

I do have to share an experiment i made. there was a whisky I didn’t particularly care for and I shared it with my son Matt. he plied me with a few drams of other whisky then we went back to the one i didn’t like much.

Well the long and short of it is i liked it then. The moral of this story is if you don’t like a particular whisky try others for a while and you might like it if you try the old one again.

Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

 

 

 

 

 

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