Scotch tasting

scotland-whisky-regionsLeon invited me to a scotch tasting at the Army Officer’s Mess on Friday night.  We did this last year and I really enjoyed it.  I made sure I did a mani-pedi on myself before we went out for the evening.  I wore a black and white print skirt, black tank top, white summer cardigan with black flower embroidery, black sandals and a bright yellow purse.  My nails were painted with the orange-coral that Marlene gave me.

The evening began with a sampling of cheeses, but we got there as people were sitting down and ready to start the tasting, so we grabbed a plate of cheese and some grapes and quickly found our seats.  Brief introductions all around.  I found myself sitting in front of a young woman from Britain who had just moved to Canada with her husband in September.  I asked if she’d ever been to Scotland, but alas, no.

The tasting was provided by GrapeScot.  It’s a simple affair.  Each place is set with a paper placemat that has 5 numbered rings marked on it, over which a glass of each of the different scotches is placed.  Below each ring, a number of terms are typed where you can add your own comments.  For instance, you might try to describe the taste, the bouquet, etc. as you would in a wine tasting.  I can’t say my tastebuds are fine enough to make out the subtleties of the flavours and notes.  Along with this, we were provided with a map of Scotland and a detailed list of the scotches we were tasting. Here is the list and my comments:

  • Old Pulteney 12 yr old – Nice!
  • Caol Ila Distillers Edition – Not to my taste at all (see below)
  • The Balvenie 14 yr. old Caribbean Rum Cask – Really nice!! Tastes of spices and molasses.
  • Jura 16 yr old – looks like brandy.  May be the cause of my headache.
  • The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve – also nice, but I don’t smoke cigars.

Our host, Geoffrey Skeggs, provided commentary and instruction on distilling spirits while we tasted and sampled some of the food that was provided as a pairing for the scotch.  The pairings included smoked salmon, sausage and cheese, sea scallops, butter chicken and creme brulée with a berry coulis.  All were delicious in their own right.  As for the scotches, I have to say I enjoyed most of them, except for the one from Islay.  The whiskey that comes from that area has a very strong peat flavour and smell, very much like iodine.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Dettol we used in the outhouses when I was a Girl Guide.  My advice – don’t drink anything from the island of Islay.  Well maybe their tea is ok.

After drinking 4 of the 5 shots, and finishing a few of Leon’s tasters, I had certainly had enough scotch to send to be bed early.  Unfortunately, the drink did not agree with me and I woke up in the middle of the night with a headache and mild stomach ache which lasted into the morning.  Perhaps 2 scotch tastings in one lifetime are enough.  I did love the format, however, and thought it would be fun to have a tasting of our own as a fun night for friends to come around.  Perhaps we will organize a wine or beer tasting come fall.

6 thoughts on “Scotch tasting

  1. That outfit sounds cute, why don’t you put up a picture?? At least of your toes and purse 🙂 It sounds like it was a wonderful evening, but drinking that much scotch would have me up in the middle of the night as well (though I can handle wine pretty darn well!). I think my husband would really enjoy an evening like that.


    • I took a picture of my toes and found I just have old lady’s feet. Ugh!

      The tasting evening is fun and so easy to set up, even if you don’t have an expert to lead you through it. Another idea is the blind tasting where people enjoy several tastes and decide on favourites, then they are told the details, prices, etc. Some surprising results.


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