This post is for Opinionated Man and any one else who enjoys Single Malt Scotch.
My introduction to Single Malt scotch occurred perhaps twenty plus years ago with Glen Morangie. I found that I would buy one bottle of scotch and nurse it for months before getting (sorry, trying to type around Sir Edmund Hillary, my cat beard) another, different bottle. I then found that I liked the smokier malts from Islay, Laphroaig and Lagavulin. On one of my business trips in the ’90s, I discovered The Macallan. It was my benchmark for Single Malt scotch for many years.
Perhaps four years ago a nice young lady was handing out samples of Famous Grouse at my local spirits superstore. I was a Single Malt snob, but it was a free sample. It was quite good and very reasonably priced. The 12 year old was called a “vatted malt” and I was told it was a blend of The Macallan and Highland Park. I added Famous Grouse to my collection.
The Macallan continued to be my preferred scotch and I also continued to think “older is better.” I noticed that there was a “Cask Strength” Macallan, but it had no age listed. I bought a bottle. Wow, deep red, strong, delicious. I was hooked on Cask Strength Macallan, it was the best scotch I had ever tried. I bought a bottle for a friend on his birthday. The day of his birthday I was researching Cask Strength Macallan and came across a comment that said it was good, but not as good as Aberlour A’bunadh.
I called around and found a store that carried it. I picked up my friend, gave him his bottle and told him we were on a mission. Any scotch that was alleged to be better than Cask Strength Macallan had to be tried. We picked up the A’bunadh and it lived up to its name. It was so delicious that we drank more than we should have, but it was so good (and we got so drunk).
In an earlier post I talked about Ralfy, below is his re-review of Aberlour A’bunadh.
Somethings I have since learned:
- It is better to have a stockpile of scotch so you always have variety
- Don’t be an age snob, there are some excellent young Single Malts out there
- The “cut” of the original spirit is the key to flavor
- You can not improve poor spirit with age
- Don’t be afraid to try something new
- Be cautious when sales folk make recommendations, my luck has been poor
- YouTube is your friend for whiskey reviews
- Cask Strength or anything in excess of 60% ABV is best
- ALWAYS add a little water, it brings out the flavor
- NO chill-filtering, NO added color, if it doesn’t say so on the label suspect this has been done
Be seeing you …