Almost two years ago I read an inspiring article about single-malt whisky which set me to the road of learning to enjoy the drink.
To paraphrase the judge: the difference between a drunk and a connoisseur is a glass and a book
The article in question was Matt Gemmell’s post “Whisky”, which I linked to earlier already, but I didn’t quite start right away. In the beginning it was more “interest” than actually drinking it. After a visit to the local liquor store it also became quickly apparent that I had no clue as of where to start. So many options. And that’s when my interest ended. At least for a while.
A month or two later though the pieces fell into place and I received a few bottles as a gift. A Laphroaig Quarter Cask and Lagavulin 16 years single malt. Since then, my collection has grown a bit and from time to time I’m looking for a addition.
It took a bit of practice to learn how to drink it. Matt Gemmel was spot on with this:
Whisky, like any non-clear spirit, is an acquired taste — and I mean acquired in the same way that we acquire wealth, or possessions: it takes work. You have to actually decide that you’re going to drink it.
I daresay that since then I have achieved that. I find it rather interesting to look up tasting notes on a certain scotch and see whether or not I can find similar in it.
One of the first things that I learned was that the right glass makes a huge difference, also adding water is a must. I got me a rather nice and surprsingly inexpensive glass, The Glencairn Glass.
As a birthday gift I received Dave Broom’s “The World Atlas of Whisky” and have since then learned a bit more about production, differences in area and so on. It’s a very interesting book.
Recently I also ran into these, rather insightful articles:
- The Secret History of Single Malts
- How are scotch whisky regions different?
- An Absurdly complete guide to understanding whisky
- And the question how Scotch peaty is answered here: How Does Peat make Whisky taste… Peaty?
What I enjoy about whisky is the time it takes to drink it. It is not intended to be drunk fast, but slow. It takes time for the drink to develop its flavours in the glass, hence a dram easily takes me an hour from time to time. It is like a moment to wind down.
I’m looking forward to learn about whisky and discover more and different brands and flavours.