whisky club tasting 201601


Our informal online whisky club tasting is this weekend. I wasn’t sure if my cold/flu would affect anything, but since whisky is such an important part of cold/flu remedy in the form of hot toddies, I carried on regardless.

The theme is back to basics. I have 2 bottles open: The Macallan 12 and Highland Park 12. I didn’t bother with proper Glencairn glass, this little shot glass is from Islay.

The Macallan 12: it’s as I remembered. Even with a stuffy nose I could identify the sherry sweetness. First sip was smooth, a little tangy, tiny hints of vanilla. Second sip was all smoothness. Medium finish, just enough to leave fruitiness and a little sophisticated sweetness on the palate.

Highland Park 12: ahhhhh, it’s like the call of home. Sweet toffee on the nose. First sip was all fresh smoothness. Then comes the floral and fruity notes; rich, pleasant, tiny hint of smokiness. The temptation is both to sip and gulp vast quantities. Long finish, sweet and wood with a touch of bitterness.

Before I learned anything about whisky, I was told that one should only drink single malts; and of the single malts only The Macallan. That was something like 10 years ago. I’ve had this bottle of Macallan for ages, I think it’s one of my first purchases and it was at the duty free. I just looked at TWE and saw that Macallan 12 is £60 compared with £32 for HP. I hadn’t realised that Macallan is now so expensive. Like the rest of the industry, most of both distilleries’ offerings in the marketplace is NAS and fancy named whiskies. In the case of HP, even fancy packaging. Ugh. I just want to stick with the basics.