One of life’s pleasures is the gentlemanly pastime of drinking single malt scotch whisky. To share that pleasure with a few friends adds to the experience immeasurably.
If some of your friends are less knowledgeable about the water of life then a word about procedure is in order. Many are surprised to learn that single malt whisky, like fine wine, benefits from a few minutes in the glass to open up. Similarly, they may be surprised to learn that a couple of drops of water further enhances the taste and flavour. The convention of ‘a minute in the glass for every year in the cask’ is a good rule of thumb.
Here is my approach to hosting a whisky tasting afternoon. I will share with you my whisky choices, yours may be whatever brand or region you choose. First and foremost you select your whiskies and a pleasing venue. The setup must include a nosing glass, a glass of water and a spoon for dilution. In addition, bottled water and a separate glass for drinking is recommended.
A basket of crusty bread ever present to provide absorption and palate cleansing is a very good idea. Secondly, you must search all available sources to determine what ‘bites’ are recommended for each whisky. The internet is an excellent resource for determining pairings, some may surprise you!
A single cask Balvenie 12 year old, first fill ex bourbon cask @ 43% ABV paired with smoked salmon, beautifully plated, made a perfect opening stanza for the afternoon symphony. This was bottle #2 of 300 out of cask #12806.
The second offering was a 15 year old Mortlach @ 43% ABV paired with some air cured meat. An interesting drop but not one of my personal favourites.
Happy savouring and I hope that these notes inspire you to explore the single malt world.