Sunday, March 07, 2004

Uisge Beatha -- Water of Life

Welcome to my online journal of scotch tasting. This is mostly for me to keep track of the malts that I like and the progression of my nosing and tasting, but may be useful to those interested in single-malt scotch whisky.

First a little background of my tasting history. A few years back I received a bottle of Glenfiddich (glen-fid-ick) 12yo as a prize. I tried it a few times and began to develop an apprciation for scotch. It also appealed to my scottish heritage. When I moved to Denver, my wife and I discovered a small pub style restaurant up the street from us called the Bull and Bush. They have many single malts to choose from and I began to enjoy a dram after our monthly trips there. I also had the opportunity to taste through the "classic malts" set of miniatures, and narrow down my likes and dislikes. For anyone interested in trying single malts for the first time I highly recommend this set.

I have found that I am very much an Islay (eye-la) person, I enjoy the earthy smoky flavours that that region imparts to its whisky. This smokyness is due to the peat that is used to dry the barly after malting (peat is used rather than wood as trees are scarse on the island), and is called the "peat reek." In addition, as many of the distillaries are located near the sea, the malts often have a very seaweedy flavour to them. I find these flavours challenging to the palatte (in a good way).

I think that this sets the stage for the journal, now onto the tasting!

O thou, my Muse! guid, auld Scotch Drink!

Whether thro' wimplin worms thou jink,

Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,

In glorious faem,

Inspire me, till I lisp an' wink,

To sing thy name!

--Robert Burns

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