Whiskey is a special kind of indulgence. Used properly, it can be a great comfort in times of stress, a reward at the end of a long day, an appetite-stimulating aperitif as a prelude to dinner and a celebratory toast to triumphal moments. The key word is sparingly in all of these instances. Part of its charm is the infrequency of its use.
Scotch is a special kind of whiskey. One either loves or hates Scotch (novices say it tastes like Iodine). It demands your attention when approached. The unique smoky-peat quality gives Scotch a dimension unlike all other whiskies. I generalize but feel that Scotch aficionados have a sophisticated palate that appreciates complex flavors.
There are three types of Scotch; Single Malt (malt whiskies from one distillery), Blended Malt (malt whiskies from multiple distilleries) and Blended Scotch (80% grain whiskies and 20% blended malts). One can spend a lifetime exploring the nuances of single malts with their dizzying array of distilleries, regions and producers. We currently like The Macphail’s Collection, eight year old Islay single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery in Elgin, Scotland.
But our favorite Scotch is and has been Dewar’s White Label, a blended Scotch whiskey. Blends are consistent and reliable. Like sherry and Champagne, skilled artisans marry whiskies from many regions and distilleries to achieve a balanced “house note”, a signature taste. Dewar’s is widely available, moderately priced and has a high percentage of desirable Highland malts. It’s the first Scotch I was introduced to as a rookie food and wine-buyer by a very sophisticated superior and like many firsts, it was memorable. Dewar’s placed four of its products in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge of TheSpir.it
For a really special experience in tasting Scotch, try the Johnson’s Whiskey Tot from Bottega del Vino designed by Scotch whiskey authority, David Johnson.
Enjoy… and as they say, “Drink responsibly”. Slàinte!