Some of you will have seen the Herald’s whisky supplement on August 17, which Alex has called a full page advertisement for the club and marks a major step forward in our fortunes. For those of you who didn’t see them, here they are. Thanks to Andy Clark for taking all the notes and painting such a vivid picture of each dram.
Lowland? Highland? Who cares? This smooth, silky and, dare I say sumptuous, little star from the meeting point of the mountains and the meadows is a fine starter for 10 in anybody’s whisky challenge. Try and taste the Edinburgh rock as you scale the heights of this sweet little number.
Great value. Great fun.
THE FAMOUS GROUSE 10-YEAR-OLD MALT
Just a fat bird with a posh coat on? Not a bit of it. There’s so much going on that it leaves you in a spin. Dryness, sweetness, creaminess, newly hewn forests, pine resin on your fingers … even the odd fisherman’s sweater. It’s all there.Sit back, take a sip and marvel.
This is as good as blended malt gets.
First there was mono, then there was stereo. Now we have whisky in digital surround sound. Listen for the earthy, smoky backing track that sneaks up from behind as the flavour sub-woofers smack you in the face with smoke, spice, sherry and toffee-sweetness all at the same time. Pity about the over-processed Caramac finish that added a bum note right at the end.
Ah well, there’s always a price to pay for near-perfection.
JOHN, MARK AND ROBBO’S FRESH FRUITY ONE
100% grain. 100% fun. Add this to a summer barbie and your pals will be impressed. A masterful concoction of spice and smoothness. It does exactly what it says on the bottle. But be careful with the water. Dilute it too much and it’s like sending the sun behind a cloud just as you put the burgers in the buns.
There’s no need to be afraid of this big, bad wolf … but watch, it still bites.
Skye’s scariest export is more mouth than trousers if you’re prepared to take it on. Smoky, seaweedy, smells like a summer campfire, but still wonderfully soft and nutty. This is a good old-fashioned man’s dram. A true heavyweight with a heart of gold.
Oh, and did I mentioned he’s called Peat?
GLENGOYNE 12-YEAR-OLD CASK STRENGTH
Yeeouch! Take it straight and there’s nothing subtle or simple about this two-faced heavyweight. A cold cure in a glass. Menthol-lyptus mixed with rocket fuel. Scary and serious. Add a wad of water and you’ll see why first impressions shouldn’t last. Now there’s complexity. It’s sweet yet smoky, fluffy yet flavourful, with a long, peppery finish.
Strong and far from silent.
BALVENIE 21 PORT WOOD
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so picture the scene…
Trees heaving with ripe oranges, honey dripping from a hive high up in the branches, a bowl of sherry-flavour ice cream sitting on the mossy ground, still soaking after a shower of rain. Do you see it? This is pure class in a glass.
Inspiration for the mind as well as the mouth.