Monday, 14 November 2011

Can you figure it out? ...As We Get It 8 Year Old

I've always liked the idea of detective work, not in a News of the World tap-your-phone-kinda-way, but in a Sherlock Holmesian deductive style. I quite like how logic and attention to detail can unearth a story hidden behind finger prints, mysterious notes and a mad dog on a moor. There is an inherent romance in the power of mind and reason over seemingly disparate evidence that when pieced together solves a heinous mystery. In the same way I've always enjoyed reading studies relating to the evolution of man. How with a few bones and a couple of rocks paleontogolists and anthropologists can discern where we came from, when we came from and how we came from being apes picking each others scalps to being literate beasts capable of making fine oak-aged spirits that in large quantities send us back so many thousands of years to being chimps in the mud again.

There has been a fun development in Scottish whisky in recent years. This is the bottling of single malt whiskies under brand rather than distillery names, Smokehead jumps to mind here. The idea is that the distillery remains a mystery to the consumer, this of course invites speculation as to which distillery produced which mystery bottling. Recently I tried one of Ian Macleod's 8 year old Islay As We Get It bottlings, and had a shot at identifying the distillery behind the mystery. My guess was Ardbeg, although with only a small glass to taste from I could easily be wrong. It wasn't as maritime as Laphroaig, Bowmore or Caol Ila, and too old to be Kilchoman. Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich were definitely not the distilleries and Lagavulin just seemed unlikely. So with its densely peaty character and lack of maritime seaweed, my guess is Ardbeg, but I am happy to be corrected!

As We Get It
58.4% ABV - 8 Years Old - Bottled by Ian Macleod
Nose: Cloves crash into the sinuses first followed by the gentle caress of toffee which in turn is followed by a sweet peatness that warns of the storm to come.
Palate: Spicy with strong peat, there is a touch of medicinal orange that is needed to cure a hot palate.
Finish: Coal smoke at first, if a tad bitter, with a long nutty conclusion.
Overall: I quite enjoyed this dram, it had some flavours that intrigued, others that battered and ones that soothed. Great stuff indeed!

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