Sunday, January 14, 2007

Taste, truth, and Toronto

In Thursday's notes I mentioned how it would be cool to try the other bottlings in the Macallan decades series. Well, thanks to Colin Harvey at the shop where I used to work, this dream became a reality on Friday when Simeon Attaway (who was down here for a training week for work) and I went down to Borough market for lunch... and a drink.
Macallan Thirties
Fresh and sweet on top, then there is a marked fuel element. Petroleum,
antiseptic,"Euthymol toothpaste(pink toothpaste), fabric plasters"(Colin), apple cider. "Good"(Simeon)
Beer nuts/candied peanuts.
"Tastes of chocolately almonds skating on christmas cake"(Simeon). Burnt, and even mor phenolic than nose. Peaty? Maybe. Petrolic(that is a wine word, yeah?) for sure.
Macallan Forties
Muddy, heavy in the nose. Figs. Blown out candles
Stamp glue. "Bruised apples" (Simeon) Very stimulating as it addresses all parts of your tongue. Bitter and sour, fresh, rotten, and juiced apples.
Simeon bought both bottlings. I wasnt crazy about either, but they undeniably interes
ting and very un-Macallan. And worlds better than other things for the price.


Consistency in whisky that we have today(for the most part) is something to be grateful for. And then we have guys like John Glaser, indie bottlings, and single casks to keep things varied... as if the 85(or whatever) working distilleries werent enough.

I am not sure if tasting first thing in the morning is the fairest way to judge a malt. I think that last night I got a glimpse into why people hate whisky. You may or may not remember that the Johnnie Walker Black I tasted earlier in this malt mission got a nice reception. Well, last night, at about 1:30, Kristin and I had a JW Black at
a pretty hip bar near Smithfield Market here in London. It tasted like chlorine, ink, and ass. Now, normally I would think there could be a problem with the bottle at the bar. But earlier I had enjoyed two drams of Compass Box Asyla and that was fine. Also, to be honest, the JW didnt even come from behind the bar. No, as a matter of fact, we had put JW in our flask that night and fed some into my empty Asyla glass. And ew! Yes, the flask was clean and the booze had not been in there very long. So perhaps the tradition of having a whisky at the end of night is what turns people off the stuff for life.

Whisky is not meant to be a refreshing or everyday, everytime drink. This is why most whisky drinkers will have many different bottles on hand at home because it is all about mood and setting. Dont waste money on a whisky "shot" at the end of the night... have a sambuca or another Corona and lime.

Thanks for your comments. Sorry I dont post all of them. This is why:
I receive notification of comments via email, and I love all(5) of them. But below explains why I dont publish all of them.
Anyone who thinks this blog, or whisky tasting as a phenomenon, is just for the rich, pompous, erudite old whisky drinker, please let me introduce you to just two of our readers...

Paisley has left a new comment on your post "Malt Mission #10":
i'm totally gay for sammy. love, chuck.


Paisley has left a new comment on your post "Malt Mission #10":
ps - that note was actually from inder, representing chuck. inder, as a good friend of chuck's, is well aware of his gayness for sam, so he felt perfectly comfortable speaking on chuck's behalf. in conclusion, chuck is gay for inder? and we're all gay for whisky.

I remember being picked up by my grandmother after being downtown Toronto without parents for the first(maybe?) time with some friends from school. Upon seeing me she asked, "did you have a gay time with your boyfriends?" Well, I know I must have shuddered at the time with how loaded those words get for kids and idiots, but I would answer different today, if I had the chance. "Yes, Buba. Gay, indeed."

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