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Enjoying Scotch Whisky and a few other things

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lagavulin

Lagavulin 8 Limited Edition

Lagavulin 8

Happy 200th Lagavulin! Though I’m a bit tardy. Of course you have to release something special, so Lagavulin has decided to go its beginnings. For you fans of peat smoke whisky, this is certainly what you have wanted and your longing for just something different to come to shelves in America. If you are curious if this should be the first scotch whisky you taste from Islay, be warned, this is not a tame spirit.

The hallmark of this brand is its intense smoke, so intense it is as if you are standing over the peat as it sets fire and infuses the barley. I love smelling this whisky as much as I like to taste it. The fact that it is a limited edition and eight years of aging has occurred before being arrested in glass is enough to make me pick it off the shelf and actually write a bit about it.

It’s a touch lighter than the typical Lagavulin 16 year that most are used to. But that is all. Its wonderful mouthfeel and richness of lemon and smoke are sublime. “Exceptionally fine” is what Alfred Barnard said in 1886, I do believe he would same the same today.

Pairing: Famous Grouse with Top Sirloin Steak, flavored rice

Riding home today I was thinking I need to pair some food and whisky tonight. After my last post with The Glenrothes Select Reserve and rockfish, which @TheGlenrothes wanted to have more information, I thought I’d give a little more detail on the fish. Rockfish are a common fish, close to shore and are similar to bass in structure and taste. This is a popular fish in Asia and is gaining popularity in America. I have always found the fish pleasing, and easy to cook. It is usually cheaper than other premium fish also. I cook fish usually the same way every time. I usually heat up a griddle with some vegetable oil of the healthy variety and season the fish with either a sea salt mix or a mix that is popular in New Orleans called Zatarain’s. On this occasion I used Zatarain’s lightly on the fish and it gives it a nice little kick. It was a nice combination with sweet potato.

So tonight I swept by one of my grocers and picked up a top sirloin steak that was on sale and had been well seasoned with green pepper, black pepper and other unidentifiable seasonings. Anyhow, I grilled it outside on the gas grill for roughly 8-10 minutes on no more than 300 Fahrenheit, which gave me a nice medium rare steak. I tossed some rice with broccoli in the microwave and steamed it.

As for the whisky, I was bent on using Lagavulin but at the last-minute switched to The Famous Grouse. Now, this is, as I understand it, the most popular whisky in Scotland. In the liquor store it is displayed and marketed to where one would believe this is a slightly inferior product. I had a dram of it in Las Vegas in a chocolate pairing class (will write about later) and was quite surprised with how well a product it was.

Tonight was no exception. Wait, let me back up. I poured a generous dram of it while I was cooking and though I did not have the proper nosing glass did pick up on a sweet candy like smell. Sweet, maybe syrup. Anyhow, tasting it was only confirming the nose and maybe some light oak coming through. I enjoyed the texture. Slightly silky and very well-rounded. Smooth, but not creamy.

After I set the glass down it swirled and left perfect legs dripping down the glass like it had rehearsed it before. I did add some water to it later and the nose diminished but the texture turned slightly more creamy.

The pairing balanced well. I felt that neither the steak or the whisky were fighting or negating each others existence. I found the pairing pleasing, nothing to WOW about but certainly satisfying. If I were smoking a cigar tonight I would go for a medium wrapper, I think a Connecticut wrapper would be too light but a maduro too much.

The finish of the two, plus the rice and veggies, left a toasty caramel with sautéed mushrooms impression with me.

So, go out and get yourself some steak, some Famous Grouse and enjoy! And if you are unsure of the cigar choice, go for a medium blend and I think you will have a pleasing experience.

Cheers!

 

 

Whisky Chef – Single Malt TV

Whisky Chef – Lagavulin & Scallops (via SingleMaltTv)

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