On The Rocks – A Scotch Tasting Date
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After the success of our cooking class date I was really excited when Ashley suggested another class offered by the LCBO titled ‘An Evening of Premium Scotches’. I, like many people, really enjoy a nice drink. Whether it’s celebrating with Champagne or a cold beer on a hot day, alcohol is refreshing and a sign of relaxation and enjoyment. Despite my affinity for alcohol, I am not big Scotch drinker so I knew I’d have a lot to learn from this date night.
For anyone who doesn’t know Scotch whisky is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland. First appearing as early as 1495, there are now over 125 Scotch distilleries spread throughout 6 regions in Scotland. Scotch itself is a broad term and each individual brand of Scotch can have a very distinct flavour. As a result enjoying Scotch can be a very personal experience based on your individual taste preferences. With flavours ranging from ‘Light & Floral’ to ‘Full-Bodied & Smokey’ the variety of tastes is expansive.
As I mentioned, I am not particularly familiar with Scotch so I was a bit of a blank slate going into our tasting. The Scotch tasting itself consisted of 6 different brands of Scotch:
- McCallan 18 Yr. Old Single Malt
- Highland Park 18 Yr. Old Single Malt
- Highland Park 21 Yr. Old Single Malt
- Glengoyne 21 Yr. Old Single Malt
- Balvenie 21 Yr. Old Single Malt
- Johnnie Walker Blue Label
For each drink we were given a brief introduction to the brand before ‘nosing’ the drink to try and pick up on the flavours it would present. After a small mouthful we were free to add water or try a sampling of food as a possible pairing. I must say that even as a first-timer it was very interesting to pick up on the differences between each brand. I truly enjoyed trying them all. As our tasting progressed we discussed some of the other differences between the brands such as the regions they come from, the history behind some of the brands and other details to help us truly enjoy these fine Scotches.
This date was a great success. The Scotch tasting lasted just over 90 minutes and for $35.00 CDN per person we were able to take an ordinary Wednesday and spend it trying a variety of Scotches that each cost between $150 CDN and $289 CDN per bottle. We got a really good value and a really interesting experience.
- Scotch drinking depends a lot on personal preference. If you are just looking to try Scotch, start with a bottle for less than $50 as spending more doesn’t guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
- Adding a few drops of distilled (not tap!) water can really release the flavour of your Scotch. Try it with and without to see what you like best.
- It goes without saying, but please ensure you enjoy your drink responsibly.
Have you ever gone for a Scotch tasting? What about other types of alcohol? What did you enjoy the most?
photo by: evocateur
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