The lamb racks turned out pretty well. I had two batches. The first batch roasted in mm’s oven at 200°C, but hers is a small countertop oven and I didn’t notice that we had it on grill only. Once we turned both top and bottom elements on, it only took 10mins more to get to rare, by that time they’ve been cooking for about 30mins. The second batch I seared first then put in my oven at 180°C for 20mins. I can control it better with my own equipment. Then again, I also burned my palm on the handle of the pan.
We had a leisurely lunch with the lamb, and mm made a couple of nice salads — chili marinaded cucumber and sesame oil flavoured bean sprouts. And then we got started with our whisky flight. Mainly Japanese whisky and mostly pure malt blends:
- Nikka from the barrel — Mr Murray described it as an unspecified malt; came in a cute perfume bottle like bottle; clean and sweet
- Nikka Pure Malt Red — fruity and quite light
- NIkka Pure Malt Black — sweet and big, quite like a Speyside
- Nikka Pure Malt White — slightly smoky, with its Yoichi content, need to drink this very slowly
- Yamazaki 12 — pleasant, typical Yamazaki
- Macallan 12 — as a contrast to the Yamazaki, very typical, bigger than Japanese
- Yoichi — I think this was either 10 or 12, slightly peaty
- Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 — great value for money, easy daily drinking
- Kavalan Bourbon cask (from Taiwan) — I remembered it as bering really good, but it tasted a bit rough compared with the others
Only a small sip of each, the total we each had was probably just a double. The Pure Malts were quite good, and each had its own character. The Nikka from the barrel was the real surprise. With a higher alcohol content of 58.6% it was sweet and smooth and very easy to drink. No wonder I tend to prefer cask strength whiskies.
p.s. There are different types of whisky blends. What is referred here as pure malt is a blended malt, ie a blend made from single malts only. It’s also known as vatted or sometimes all malt. Not to be confused with generic blends which includes whiskies made with other type of grains; or even grain alcohol itself.