Craig’s List: A Guide to Scottish Mundanity

In the world of wine you have this weird concept of the biodynamic calendar. It’s utter bullshit, but there are people who earnestly believe that some days are fruit days, and some days are root days. They say that on root days, nothing tastes good. On fruit days, everything is better. I’ve been to wine tastings where (whilst I believe this theory is bullshit) I kinda understood it. Stuff that should have been amazing just wasn’t. Today, possibly, was one of those days. 

Maybe it was a root day (it wasn’t, I genuinely checked just in case!), maybe my palate was fucked, maybe I was just fatigued (I probably was), whatever. Nothing was really that good today. Auchentoshan springwood was always going to be a shit starter. Having read the reviews before hand I was kinda excited to see just how shit it would be. I was even disappointed in that. It was so bad it wasn’t even bad. Lakes was so bad it became interesting. Memorable. This was just bland. Forgettable. Whatever. Mannochmore Connoisseurs Choice 20 Year Old 1994 should have been a return to form. It was interesting, different, yet still wildly forgettable, I’ve no interest in trying it again. Glen Garrioch 15 Year old Renaissance Chapter 1 maybe suffered from the previous two being so shit, but still continued the theme for me, better than the previous two, but I honestly couldn’t really tell you what it was like, a glass of slightly better meh. Kilkerran 8 year old Cask Strength shook us out of my whisky coma. It tasted of… something! Cask strength no doubt helped, and a healthy whack of peat, but I enjoyed it. I came back for seconds at the end though and was in no way as enamored as I was on first tasting, I suspect I was just desperate to taste something. Anything.  

Big, well, maybe b cup , hopes for the Highland Park valkeryie.  I tried to keep my expectations low yet I was still disappointed. Highland park would no question have been one of my favourite distilleries a few years back. I doubt they’d make my top ten these days. Have they fallen or have I outgrown them? Dunno. But this was another forgettable glass of whatever. Surely we’d finish of a good ‘un. I will happily fight anyone about laphroaig triple wood. It is clearly one of the greatest whiskies ever and deserves to sit proudly with udi and 105 on the constantly refreshed shelf. So, let’s add an extra wood. Laphroaig four wood. They say more ppm means better whisky. Only it doesn’t. So, adding extra casks, does it make things better? More casks means… I don’t know, because they watered it down to 40% abv. The nose was great. But the taste was just water. Smokey water. Arg!

Afterwards we had montes on the terrace. Rob was worried they’d be too dry but they smoked really well. Not massively complex, but not massively challenging, perfect cigar for the occasion. Rob got in the peated Benriach, something moss? Pretty good actually, worked well with the cigar.

It was a great night. An interesting night. Even if the whisky was a bit shit. You win some you lose some and it takes bad nights to appreciate the great ones. And if this was a bad night then a good night must be pretty fucking special.

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