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theScotchlife

Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

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Islay

The great Peat region!

Bowmore Gold 1964 Distillation Tasting

I was recently faced with a problem most whisky drinkers have not faced. Which one of these whisky’s do I take a free sample of. The list read like an All-Star team of spirits, most of them aged for two, three, or four decades in Scotland. The one I’d focused in on was the 1964 Bowmore because it was a brand that I really admire. I love peaty scotch, and the delicateness that a Bowmore produces in the Islay style is unique. I’m sure I’d been very happy with some of the others but fortunately I would get the opportunity from a few gracious individuals to try many others for just a smile and a show of true appreciation.

This tasting occurred at the Nth event in Las Vegas and I felt like I’d won the lottery at the opening of the event. Suddenly surrounded by scotch producers, some very familiar, some I’d never heard of, I set out in freshman like frenzy to try as many as I could. Set with some notecards, pen, and my DroidX I started taking notes, and, then after a few, alas, I’d forgotten to take notes. Blame it on the whisky? Well, at least I have my recording from the Bowmore Gold to remind me of that first kiss.

So the Gold is matured in bourbon and sherry casks. I think about 50% in Sherry and the casks, again I belive, were Heaven Hill casks. 701 bottles are being released.

The nose was very floral and fruity.

The taste, beautiful. Very complex, and well rounded. A very creamy vanilla highlighted on the palate and then the finish was the equivalent to the finest ending ever concieved on film. It wasn’t until a minute afterwards that the peat of Islay turned around and winked. Blown away I was, and very happy with my choice.

Is drinking a whisky aged 44 years living The Scotch Life, you bet!

1974 Ardbeg Cask 3541 Tasting

Go ahead! Be very, very jealous if you are an Ardbeg fan (for that matter a fan of scotch) and have not had the pleasure of tasting something as rare as this sample taken directly from cask 3541 and brought to the Nth event in Las Vegas. Here a select few, including yours truly, was able to sample this marvelous spirit. I did, twice, yes, I grovelled, but you would too if you were an Ardbeg fan. On my tasting mat I have the following words written down:

Aroma – Rum and raisins, brazil nut, toffee, chocolate, cherries. With water added, lavender, toffee, and cappuccino.

Taste – Milk chocolate, ganache, cappuccino, gentle smoke and orange oil.

Finish – Complex, orange oil, mature, bacon, pork.

These are words from the Ardbeg rep, I did not get all of them but wouldn’t contradict them. What I do remember about this product was the orange oil. It was really nice, really warm and very rounded. From what I gathered, you can own two bottles of 1974 along with a bespoke leather gun case, price, I think was around $16,000 (US). If you want some, I’m sure Ardbeg will be happy to talk to you! If you don’t know how to get ahold of them go to their website.

The Ardbeg story is interesting and its great to know that this distillery was in fact rescued (ultimately) by Glenmorangie. Although Ardbeg is working, production wise, from product produced after being resurrected around 1990, they are working miracles and winning fans (not to mention awards) with the guidance and expertise of Bill Lumsden and David Blackmore.

I have tasting notes for five other Ardbeg’s that I tasted and will share them soon. I personally have the Corryvreckan and have a bottle of the “Beist” on the way that I am very excited about. This is a product that I intend to own as many of the offerings that I can. The 1974…… In time.

Whisky Chef – Single Malt TV

Whisky Chef – Lagavulin & Scallops (via SingleMaltTv)

Imagine the Islay “Angels’ share!”

Imagine the Islay “Angels’ share!”

Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 12yr.

Such a distinctive smell, like it should be a dessert…. Maybe that is what it is! Bowmore and I first met in Ottawa, the beautiful capital of Canada, where we cozied up to each other in the Fairmont Hotel. Soon my workmates also were interested in my newly purchased Scotch also. It was almost like high school, I was in high demand because I had a bottle of whisky! Only we were grown ups with expense accounts. Anyhow, I reacquired a bottle of Bowmore at my local store and was pleased to see it stocked well and on sale.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bowmore, they (Bowmore) state that they are the “original Islay distillery,” and since I’m firmly planted in the “the States” I have no reason to doubt that. There are certain scotchs’ (i.e. Lagavulin) that last quite awhile in my cabinet because I count them as “special” and not a daily drink or a house scotch. The Bowmore 12yr. is one of those that I like to enjoy my time with.

This whisky holds very true to the Color/Nose/Palate notes on the packaging and all I’d personally add is that it is a very lively and citrus like product. That it is an Islay product I believe makes it unique. When I smell and taste this product I think of Tiramisu or some chocolate type of dessert. As far as the peatiness that an Islay product carries, I find this one to be much more balanced and reserved. For some reason I think adding water to it brings out the peat exponentially. Perhaps exciting the seas?

I enjoyed mine with french truffles.

Cheers!

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