Saturday, April 11, 2009

In which goals are fulfilled, part 2.

It is now after 1am, and I have returned from my Scotch tasting at my friend's house. We lined up several grades of Johnnie Walker Scotch, as well as an Islay single malt called Caol Ila. The center pieces being the Blue label and Caol Ila.
I broke the foil seal and uncorked my bottle. Sniffing the cork and the top of the bottle, I got my first hint of what I'd been coveting for a long time. The smell of peat was immediate, followed by a nice soft oak and an undercurrent of an almost syrupy sweetness, like maple syrup or grenadine. I couldn't get anything more out of the smell other than whisky and soft.
The taste of it, cut and uncut, was delicious. Everything that came through in the smell, everything I always imagined GREAT Scotch would taste like was there, and all in perfect balance. Not too much of anything, or not enough. Wood, smoke, earth, sweetness, apples, nuts, spices, vanilla. It was all there, sitting nice and warm in my mouth.
I'm afraid I lack the professional taste to fully describe the whisky, all I know is that it is was really worth the wait. It may be the smoothest and most well balanced whisky I've ever had.
For now it will stay on my shelf, only to be enjoyed in the best of company.


Friday, April 10, 2009

In which goals are fulfilled, part 1.

Almost since I've been drinking, I've drank whiskey. Not exclusively, but after a few months of the obligatory cases of mass produced Beer of Questionable Quality, my first real purchase request was for whiskey. Any. Since then my palate has become more discerning. My 21st birthday gift to myself was a bottle of The Glenlivet 12 year single malt Scotch. Today, I purchased a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label blended Scotch Whisky. Since I began reading about Scotch, this particular name was mentioned over and over again, for taste...quality...class. I've desired this whisky for years.
I decided to buy the bottle about a week ago. My tax returns had arrived and I filed for my final RIT tuition refund, I was feeling rather minted. To this effect I placed an appointment in my Exchange calendar titled simply: It's time.
I waited anxiously through the week, until finally Friday afternoon rolled around. I left work with a good friend of mine, who shares my appreciation for fine whiskeys, and collected my better half, who shares my appreciation for fine states of inebriation. We went to a local liquor store, whose staff have come to recognize me due to the intensive research I usually put into my purchases. The store's owner was busy ringing out another customer, so I approached the other register and stated a request I'd been waiting to make:
I'd like a bottle of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch.
The store owner heard this, and immediately stated that he would be helping me today.
A few minutes later he returned from the back with a blue leather case, and set it on the desk. He opened the two clasps on the box, and opened the lid: revealing my bottle of Scotch, and small leather booklet. I paid, which was anticlimactic. I wish I'd have had the foresite to visit my bank and get several $20 bills.
I returned home and opened the case, the smell from the inside is a rich scent of age, class, and wood. Something I haven't smelled in years, not since I had the fortune to open the case of a very old and very expensive violin. I never had the pleasure of playing that violin, but tonight I will have the pleasure of drinking this Scotch.

Good things come to those who wait