I know. Technically it’s a beverage, not a food. Although the Scots may disagree. I’d never given Scotch a real try. Maybe it was from that one awful experience of drinking out of someone’s cup and coming to the stark conclusion that it in fact did NOT contain water. Rather Laphroaig. Mind you the difference is great.
So I didn’t expect to enjoy the Whisky Experience as much as I did. Learning the distillation process whilst rolling on a track in a giant barrel was kit, but slightly more overwhelming was going into the tasting room, where you are literally surrounded by liquid gold.
We learned about the 4 major areas producing Scotch, and the flavors peculiar to each one. Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, and Islay. Admittedly Speyside is not my favorite (the one pictured here, and the only bottle remaining in my house from the Scotland trip, only because I gave away the ones I liked the best). It has a rather tropical flavor to it. I was actually able to enjoy the smokiness of the malts from Islay. Caol Ila to be exact. It’s exquisite. I gave it to my boyfriend (good to keep the best in the family).
After we were done with the tour, we bellied up to the bar and continued the tasting. We asked the bartendress what was the proper way to drink Scotch. She refused to answer this question. Instead she shared with us how she liked her Scotch. With ginger beer. So, maybe we encountered the one profane Scots person when it came to the drink, but I must admit, it is delicious. To my tongue, the ginger beer helps release the flavor of the Scotch while also cutting the alcohol. Ginger ale doesn’t do since it’s too sweet and watered down.
I’ve have the great misfortunate of craving this drink on two dive bar misadventures. Each time the bartender laughed and asked if they looked like they were a top shelf place. So now in addition to beer snobbery, I now have to deal with this. And I relish it.