A Little Introspection

November 18, 2011

Late in college, a good friend and I went through a single malt scotch phase. This may sound odd to some, as most college liquor phases include cheap vodka and a porcelain bowl, but for us, the single malt represented something more. We both pretended we were worthy of evaluating the nuance of the Scottish distillations. The peaty varietals from the Islay. The more rounded offerings from the Highlands. But at the core it was about remembering those iconic bottles our Dads would pour out of at the end of a long day. It was a symbol of maturation.

Truth be told, I kind of hate the stuff…

Okay, hate maybe a strong word. But I can’t say single malt is on the top of my list these days. Don’t get me wrong. It has its place. And every whiskey lover should probably have a bottle. But it’s an aggressive liquor. Yes, the best and most popular are smooth and complex, but still aggressive nonetheless.

So why the ramble? Last night I was cooking up a beef tenderloin and a potato gratin for my client’s dinner party and there it was. That bottle of 12 year old Macallan. The same bottle that I linked to my so-called maturity. It made me laugh.  Maybe some day, I’ll be a single malt guy. But for now, I’m pretty happy with my bourbon…

Despite my personal feelings, I will say that single malt has a pretty cool story. The name “single malt scotch” implies two key characteristics. First, and my favorite of all the whiskey regulations…call it a scotch and it must be made in Scotland. Love that rule! Secondly, single malt implies that the product was made from only one grain, malted barley, and only one distillery. This is why there is so much to argue about. Single distilleries located in distinct parts of Scotland create true one of a kind flavor profiles. It’s on my short list to take a trip to Scotland to check out the madness!


One comment

  1. That friend was me!

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