Single Malt Education

tasting

Have you ever wondered why some single malt Scotch is $19.99 a bottle and others are $39.99? Not to mention those that exceed $100 per bottle. Is there really a difference? If there is a difference will I be able to detect it or is that type of discerning taste only experienced by ‘super tasters’? There was only one way to find out……

We had three single malt Scotches, there were all very close in price $27-39 per 750 ml bottle. For the first time ever we enjoyed our Scotch neat, no ice, no soda! It was a delightful experience. I found the Glenlivet to be smooth, very smooth. But the Grangestone, while just a smooth, had a more complex flavor. The Hamilton’s Lowland wasn’t a smooth as Glen but it was more complex. I suppose the Grangestone was my favorite but I would be delighted if a guest arrived with any of the three.

The snacks above took about 5 minutes to layout. It was a simple presentation but oh so delicious. The cheese on the left is the Screaming Dutchman Gouda – a jalapeño and habañero variety. The bluish cheese is a blue flavored jack. At first I was a little put of by this cheese. But this evening I figured out that it needs to be room temperature. Once it warms the jack texture softens a little and it’s much more enjoyable. I really think it would make a great grilled cheese with tomato soup (maybe lunch tomorrow :-). The yellow cheese is an aged, smoked cheddar. It’s been aged for five years and has a great flavor. Behind the cheeses we have baby carrots with black bean hummus. Interestingly we found that the carrots were the best thing for cleansing our palettes between scotch samples. We also used a new glass for each brand, no mixing the flavors.

The detail oriented readers will see that we have Irish Whiskey on the beverage tray. We decided to forgo those and stick with just single malt Scotch. When we do our Irish Whiskey tasting I want to compare the 12 year Jameson with 18 year! I suppose I’ll need some Dubliner cheese for that one. I’m not sure we’ll ever officially compare Bushmills to Jameson as that’s an Irish feud that goes back hundreds of years, it might be better to stay out of THAT debate!

So there you have it. A completely unplanned event. With five minutes of prep we had a beautiful evening with excellent conversation, excellent flavors, and we managed to expand our horizons. Presentation, presentation, presentation……..

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