It’s that time of year again when it gets cooler as the wintery months approach--the perfect time to wrap ourselves in the warmth of the dram. Recently, I had the honor to attend an Anchor Distilling whisky portfolio tasting that my dear friend and colleague Mrs. Selena Ricks-Good invited me to experience. I am guest writing this article for The Dizzy Fizz, because I guess my pal thinks I know a thing or two about whisky and will gladly share it with the Dizzy Fizz audience.
The whisky pairing dinner was held at St. Andrews restaurant, where I chose the haggis with neeps and tatties to start and then I moved on to the grilled New Zealand rack of lamb as the main course. To finish off this proper Scottish meal, I enjoyed the St. Andrews Cranachan, which is a tasty dessert oatmeal made with whisky, raspberries, Scottish heather honey and double cream. Now that’s what I call dessert--or maybe breakfast!
Three flights were presented by Euan Shand (Duncan Taylor), Allistair Walker (BenRiach/GlenDronach Distillery) and Ranald Watson (Springbank/Longrow/Kilkerran Distillers). The flight selection was created by Steve Fox, the category director at Anchor Distilling Co.
Now sit back and take a look at some fantastic whiskies that I think you should add to your collection and/or enjoy this season:
Kilkerran 7 year old, Glengyle distillery Color: light-medium golden honey Nose: citrus and sweet spice with lingering sweet toffee Palate: salty sweet vanilla
Linkwood 19 year old Cask #10221, Duncan Taylor Color: vibrant light honey Nose: woody with a light aroma of plums Palate: dark chocolate and raspberries with a light honey sweetness finishing it off. *A top pick
Springbank 12 year old cask strength Color: rich medium-dark brown Nose: wet grass and wood, a touch of peat smoke, sweet butterscotch Palate: powerful sweet spices, sea spray, chocolate, with a silky texture
Note: I added a few drops of water and experienced a beautiful bouquet of roses on the nose.
Lonach Glendarroch 1966 42 year old Color: medium brown Nose: soft, supple, and creamy Palate: cream brulee, apples, pears, and bananas
Note: A few words on this special dram: Lonach in gaeilc means “gathering.” Every year, the Strathdon area in the Highlands of Scotland is home to a clan gathering, normally held the last week of August. * A top pick
Springbank 14 year old Manzanilla Cask #305 Color: beautiful dark cherry Nose: honey, raisins, sweet, buttery, brown sugar, and dry Palate: oaky, dry, and floral
Note: This is a very complex whisky that is exclusively created for the USA. It is distilled 2 ½ times.
Black Bull 12 year old Color: dark golden brown Nose: spicy with burnt sugar Palate: rich, slightly hot, and sweet
Note: This is the first ever 100% proof blend, which consists of 50% malted barley and 50% grain.
GlenDronach 15 year old Color: dark rich brown Nose: big sherry and sweet Palate: melon, moderately hot, with vanilla
Note: I like to add a few drops of water to this dram. A lavish honeycomb sweetness shines through!
GlenDronach 1995 Pedro Ximenez Color: golden honey comb Nose: vanilla bean and molasses Palate: dates, raisins, and oranges
BenRiach Curiositas Single Malt 10 year old Color: light golden brown Nose: grassy, peat smoke, and salty Palate:peaty, mixed nuts and fruits, oak, and wood
Note: The first 6 weeks of production at BenRiach are strictly for peated production and the average age in this 10 year is 16 years old. *A top pick
BenRiach 1995 Pedro Ximenez 15 year old Cask #7165 Color: light-medium rich brown Nose: light smoke and citrus Palate: spicy, lemon, and tropical fruits *A top pick
Duncan Taylor NC2 1997 Bunnahabhain 12 year old peated Color: medium- dark brown Nose: bacon, butter, oranges, and leather Palate: meaty, jammy, fruity, oily
Note: NC2 means non-chill filtered and this sophisticated dram has 40 ppm *A top pick
Longrow CV Color: light brown Nose: sweet honey, brine, and peat Palate: lemon, spice, sweet, oak, bark, ginger
Note: This dram has been matured in multiple casks and has the average of about 6, 10, and 14 years in this beauty.
Carmen Operetta is the CEO/Founder/Writer of Planet Operetta Productions, a primarily whisky-based production company which consults, presents events/seminars, and creates programming for the whisky category. She is currently researching whisky between NYC and the UK in order to distill the first American Scottish style whisky.