February 12, 2012

Please sir, can I have some more

Whisky n' Gruel. Yum.
We just picked up 2 new single malts this week and they've inspired us to write a bit about single malt / dessert pairings. Seeing as we've also brought in some amazing crème brûlées over the last few weeks and we're working feverishly on our first whisky tasting which may or may not include a chocolate/truffle pairing, I figured this sort of combination deserved some coverage. (BTW the pecan tarts we carry are made with bourbon... but that's our little secret ok!)

This bars' not big enough for the both of us
Auchentoshan Three Wood
This is the second review we've done for the Auchentoshan distillery... 'FOUR!' he yelled across the dew drenched fields of Dalmuir. One has to wonder if the name is an inside reference for golf enthusiasts... (The 'three wood' being that trusty ol' club in your bag – your 'go-to' as you roll up and down the lowland links.)

If you've had the Auchentoshan 12 yr old you know it's light and crisp with slight grassy notes. The Three Wood is nothing like the 12 yr old. It'll drive 300 yards easy without breaking a sweat. And that's just the nose. Although not labeled with an age, this single malt is a 12 year old, matured for 10 in bourbon casks then finished for one year in Oloroso Sherry casks and then another year in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. The colour is deep, the nose has a staying power, and the palate... well the palate is oh so sweet. Not what you would expect from a lowland right? There's a definite cherry note, maybe cooked cherries? This is a whisky I'd pair with a cream filled chocolate over a dark bittersweet. Overall, it's always nice to see a range from the same distillery. It really showcases what great maltmasters can do in the wonderful world of whisky!

Highland Park 18 yr old
When you're a poor dram-addict like me but decide to drop this kind of cash on a scotch, you have to almost forget about the price tag if you want to get any enjoyment from it at all. If you put the cost on the front burner, then that's all you'll think about when you sip n' slip away to the land of whisky-valhalla. The 12 year old Highland Park is extraordinary for the price and is always onsite at DVLB. It's the first single malt I experienced that gave me that "aha moment". The 12's older brother is like most older brothers; a little wiser, a little stronger, and not so desperate to prove himself to anyone anymore. Refined, yes. Not as peaty as the 12, much richer in tone and a longer finish. Cheers to older brothers.

Sexy beast!... I mean god.
As an aside, there are some interesting and creative things Highland Park is doing these days. They've recently launched a special Valhalla Collection with the first release being called "Thor". A 16 year old cask strength. One must wonder if it tastes as good as it looks, because damn, that packaging is sexy.

Honourable mention for crème brûlée pairing: Dalmore 12 yr old, Balvenie Caribbean Cask, Aberlour 18 yr old.

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