As many of you know, I have not been real keen on Whisky (without the “e”) or Scotch Whisky as we call it here in the States. This has to do with an incident I had in College which has made the strong peaty flavor of whisky off putting for me. But through this blog, and through the relationships I have made, I decided to do a little bit of exploration into the world of Scotch Whisky. Finally I found a Whisky that I, in fact, liked very much. I wrote about my experience with “The Glenlivet” Whisky as the first Whisky I have been able to drink since college, and that its fruity flavor with just a light touch of peatiness was not only palatable to me, but thoroughly enjoyable.
So as it happened I also had a couple of other Whisky offerings in my bunker that I had not drank since they were given to me about a year ago. These were just 50 ml sample bottles, but enough to get a taste and formulate an opinion. Monday, as it was a holiday for me, I decided was the day. I had a 50 ml sample of “The Macallan” 12 year old, and a 50 ml sample of Chivas Regal 12 year old scotch whisky. I started with the Chivas Regal…
First thing you notice when looking at this photo are the nice legs hanging on the edge of the glass. This reflected a very nice and oily mouthfeel that was prevalent in this whisky and coated the palate nicely. This whisky like the Glenlivet was not a peat monster, but had a very fruity character to it. It was easy drinking and quite enjoyable. Not too many challenging flavors here, and probabaly why it is such an iconic scotch whisky.
I sipped this while having a cigar on my front porch and I can see why that is such a saught after pairing. The fruitiness, combined with that touch of peat was the perfect match, flavor wise with the rich dark Maduro I was smoking.
Finally I had a 50 ml sample of “the Macallan” 12 year old scotch whisky. This scotch was aged in sherry casks which gave it a nice light body with a lot of dark fruit on the nose and palate. The first thing I noticed however was the package. Both these samples came in glass bottles, which is becoming a rarity, as many manufactures have opted for the more convenient plastic bottles for their sample sizes. Not only was “the Macallan’s” bottle glass, but it actually had the tiniest cork stopper I have ever seen. I took a picture of it for this photo because I thought it was so unusual.
The next thing I noticed was that this particular scotch was several shades darker than the Chivas Regal. Not sure what to attribute that to, as they were both aged for 12 years, but there it is. The Macallan was a touch more challenging than the Chivas Regal for the amount of peatiness that was present in the flavor. I’m not sure if I’m simply acclimating to the flavor, or if my palate was deadened by the smoke and the previous dram, but this was not only palatable, but it actually began to be a flavor I looked forward to in each sip.
So there you have it. Three Scotch Whiskys that I truly like. I thought it would never happen, but I just had to find the right flavor profile and set of circumstances to enjoy this whisky brother from the Scottish Isles. I have. So to answer the question I posed in the title, to Dram or not to Dram…I say go ahead. Dram away. There are lots of unique and tasty flavors to explore.