My Scotch Adventure
Scotch whiskey has been called “the most extraordinary distilled spirit the world has ever seen.” I don’t know about that, but it sure gets me good and drunk. Apparently Scotland has something in the peat which gives Scotch its unique set of flavors (to me it just burns). Also being aged in wood casks for many years gives the beverage complexity. But honestly, if you were aged in a wood cask for many years, you’d be fairly complex too it’s safe to say. Let’s look at some examples and we’ll just see about all this, eh?
Duncan McGregorr 34-Year-Old Angus 1974 Cask No. 2234 Highlands Single Malt Whiskey ($229). In 1974 the northern Highlands distillery known as St. Whoopsies was demolished (and for good reason if you ever saw the place). This one bottling survives (barely, at those prices). The assertive aftertaste alone is worth a trip to the emergency room.
CragsAndMore Rare 1st Edition 11-Year-Old Leaky Cask Single Malt Whiskey ($149). This thoroughbred whiskey tastes somewhat like horse. I’m not sure how they accomplished this. Perhaps they used recycled peat. Recycled through a horse, that is.
Port Grannich PG13 Solidly Built Cask Single Malt Whiskey. Distilled at BruiccchhhI’mJustClearingMyThroatHereLaddie Distillery ($109). The medicinal, smoke-on-the-tongue midpalate is actually your midpalate on fire. Medicinal is a euphemism for “awful tasting,” of course.
Argbed Yuchh Beastly 1992 Filtered Married Malt Whiskey ($111). Argbed has a reputation for “staggeringly smoky married malts,” but this edition is surprisingly hard to drink (who’s surprised?). Argbed also has a reputation for people staggering out of pubs quite late to try to find their sleeping quarters, hence the name of the place – Arg! Bed!
Springback Recoil in Horror Marsala Wood Expression of a 9-Year-Old Camptown Races Doo-dah Divorced Malt Whiskey ($114.76 including tax and license). Springback is one of Scotland’s sixteen most mediocre distilleries. This “magical, mystical” malt has been known to make grown men weep, and remove paint from objects it’s never even touched. It has an almost wine-like kick in the “finish” and has sometimes returned later to finish a person off.
Abelacchhh A’Machhhlachhhitch Batch No. 44 Lonely and Despondent Malt Whiskey ($32). An “ultrasophisticated malt” (What? At only 32 bucks? Baloney!) best diluted with anything handy like used motor oil or school paste. An incredible value if you don’t value your life at all, that is. This malt has been named one of the reasons Scotland isn’t one of the world’s leaders in sobriety. This Scotch has also been rumored to be partly to blame for the invention of golf.
One last word about peat. The dictionary defines it as: “a mass of partially carbonized vegetable tissue formed by partial decomposition in water of various plants and especially mosses varying in consistency from a turf to a slime and used as a fertilizer, as stable litter, as a fuel, and for making charcoal.” If this doesn’t make you yearn for your own Scotch adventure, I don’t know what will.