Monday, March 15, 2004

A Night to Remember

Saturday March 13, 2004: this day my little sister wed. She could not have chosen a more wonderful man if you ask me, and I know, as they begin their lives together, that this is meant to last. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was..., well you would have had to attend an Armstrong wedding to understand. It was a blast to say the least.

At any rate, as this is my scotch blog I must get to the point. After the dinner I had a chance to retire to the bar and survey the choices of single malt. I was expecting to find only the usual blends, but was pleasently surprised. Of course they had Glenfiddich, which I have mentioned previously, but they also had Glenfarcas, Speyburn, Bowmore and Talisker. It was the latter two that interested me most, as I have tried the Talisker before (it is distilled on the Isle of Skye and shares many of the characteristics I enjoy in the Islay malts), and I have wanted to try Bowmore (an Islay malt) for a while. I was not able to read the years on the bottles from my vantage point, but I am assuming that they were all fairly young, probably 10 or 12 years old. I started my evening with the Bowmore.

I found the Bowmore to be a very pleasant experience. I would highly reccommend it to anyone who is interested in trying an Islay malt, but unsure of the strong flavors. The nose was at first pleasently smoky, but not overbearing, and I caught a whif of apples when I held it much further away. When the glass was about 6 inches from my nose I was completely floored by the glorious smell of caramel. It was very pleasant, and I found myself enjoying this aroma almost as much as the drink itself. This is a very smooth scotch, and very nice to drink, with muted flavors of smoke and sweet caramel. I found it to be not nearly as strong as the Laphroaig, but still very nice. It has a burnt amber color; pleasing to the eye as well as the pallette.

I decided next that I wanted to try the Talisker again, so I had a few drinks of water and dove back in. As I had already had the Bowmore, my notes for this drink are not as clear as I would like, so I will have to try it again in the future. This malt exhibits the smoky aroma that I enjoy, but it seems to me to be a little more acrid than the Islay smoke. No caramel smell with this one either. But the tasting was the experience. This has a stronger attack than the Bowmore and has a strong taste of the sea. Salty, seaweedy flavors seem to dominate, with a smoky finish. The color is much darker as well, to me looking a little more like real maple syrup (this is the Canadian perspective of course). Altogether this is a very fine malt, which I would consider getting a bottle of in the future. As it was I had to settle for another of these before the evening closed out.

What a marvelous night it was. I was able to celebrate the union of my sister and brother-in-law, toasting good health to their marriage in the manner of my scottish ancestry. My father closed his speech with a scottish blessing and I think that it is appropriate that I do the same here: "Lang may your lum reek and your kailpot boil!" -- Long may your chimney smoke and your soup pot boil. Good health to you all!

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