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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Gold is in Scotland

It is said that the acquisition of knowledge on any subject that you are interested in only increases your appreciation for it. This can easily be said about the finest of scotches as well.

There seems to be a trend building with aficionados flocking the rolling country sides in Scotland just to sneak a sample of the gold they seek. As one must experience to appreciate, it appears that this is a task for the strong willed in this subject.

One could imagine many trips booked from abroad flocking Scotland’s coastlines in search of the malt that has only been heard of and not been tasted. This is not merely just a trend, to Scotch enthusiast, it is rather a mission. To be experienced in the fine subtleties of these malts and blended scotch whiskies is to many a dream. Some could not even imagine the soft roll that many of these great spirits have to offer to the tongue.

Spending time with true connoisseurs of scotch and single malts gives you valuable insight as to what to look for in a full bodied fine scotch. They have made it a life ambition to seek out and test what the worlds finest has to offer. Many of these great spirits of course are not easily obtainable some run very steep in price and are on the wish list of some of the great testers of fine scotch everywhere. Generally they have first dibs, as the company will wait in anticipation for a vote of confidence and endorsement.

So too are the batches that are still maturing that so many people are waiting for with absolute excitement. Given the time it takes for some of these blends to reach an acceptable maturity where it will be appreciated it is only natural that many testers keep close tabs on the process and look for hints of up and coming blends that can be comparable.

As many professional testers will state, the best of the best still and most likely will always come from Scotland as they have mastered this art with a precision and dedication second to none. Testers will admit when they have stumbled on a gem from another country but honestly have not found that diamond in the rough all that many times.

So instead they give honest and professional opinions to the public, the benders, and distillers themselves, taking into account how harsh possible poor media coverage can be.

The Art Of Drinking Whisky

There is no true rule of thumb when drinking whisky but there are a few things to keep in mind to make the experience a lot more enjoyable. It should be pointed out that if the general rule of thumb is not observed there is still no reason not to enjoy this wonderful spirit.

You should never put ice in a great dram as it kills the taste and aroma, however, some do prefer it this way. The glass that is originally designed to accept a fine malt whisky is very wide at the top and gently slopes in for the very reason of not comfortably accepting a bed of ice, as the intention is to steer away from this practice. This glass is by most called a tumbler.

When purchasing great malt the price, like many things, will indeed reflect the quality you get since with scotch, you tend to get what you pay for. There are a variety of alcohols available for a cheap price in which you can get a buzz, however, fine scotch should be sipped and enjoyed.

Good malt is not an appropriate mate for a mixing party and does not really take kindly to a soda. It tastes much better with simple bottled water. The best pairing with great malt would be of the mineral water variety bottled water is tolerated by malt without hesitation.

At 40-60% alcohol, whisky is indeed a strong spirit and will definitely get the attention of the less than experienced in drinking it. Throwing in a dash of mineral water will soften the blow so to speak and calm its aggressive nature. The term “the whisky will open itself” is in reference to the aroma being released when water is added so a few drops will surely bring even the most experienced of malt drinkers to bliss.

The wonderful thing about cask strength is that at approximately 60% alcohol per volume rate, this is one strong drink in turn allowing the drinker to tone it down to an appropriate alcohol level to suit personal taste making this an ideal drink to customize.

The makers of these fine spirits advise that you take a small mouthful and hold it in your mouth swish it around your tongue giving it time to settle. Only then will you get the true nature of this fine malt.

Finally on a closing note, after a swallow, it is said that you can get a good read on the maturity of the malt by how long it stays with you in you mouth.

Mixed Drinks Upsetting for Distillers

Although some Scots are softening up in regards to their traditional dram, we cannot say all of them are. Some are indeed abusively screaming and kicking, with regard to how their fine brew is handled.

The idea of mixing a fine scotch in a fancy drink at the bar seems preposterous. This notion is dubbed an act of kindness, yet not too kind to the distillers that have toiled to bring us such a wonderful product.

Scotch is a wonderful brew that hit the mainstream of the U.S. in the early 1990’s. Several have considered this type of drink as a personality definer, causing it to grow quickly in popularity. Through Scotch as a drink was also a growing interest in it as a single malt treat. However, there are many different variations that have hit the market in order to please every palette.

It has been said that scotch is a nasty old bugger who is drank alone or with one or two close friends and not in the spirit of socializing. However the distillers, and aficionados alike tend to disagree. They feel that the time spent with friends and family, should indeed include the sipping of a fine scotch, for pleasure and conversation alike.