I love Scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Wine touring and enjoying wine tastings whenever available has opened my palate to other spirits with a wide spectrum of flavors. Scotch is my favorite spirit, and they differ from each other country to country and region to region (just like wine!). I’ve tasted enough of a variety to know that I really like single malt scotch whisky (whiskey without an e, meaning not from the US or Ireland), specifically from the highlands of Scotland. Many times I hear people say “I don’t like scotch” and to that I challenge: but have you tried scotch whisky from all regions? Because they’re wildly different! My husband prefers the smoky peaty scotches (gross!) from the Scottish islands, while I prefer the floral scotches from the Speyside area in the Scottish Highlands (and no, I don’t care which side of the Spey River, I’m not that snobbish). We got to this realization by attending tastings at home and abroad.
Conveniently (for me) located in Downtown Houston is Reserve 101, a whiskey bar with an impressive selection. They host tastings periodically, and on one occasion I attended a Glenmorangie tasting. We tasted Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, aged 12 years in Sauternes casks, instead of Original (which we have at home anyway). We also tasted Lasanta, aged 12 years and finished in sherry casks, Quinta Ruban, aged 12 years and finished in port casks, and finally Signet, which is a secret blend of Glenmorangie with their oldest whisky aged over 30 years.
All four of these were wonderful in their own way, picking up distinct flavors from the sauternes, sherry, or port casks. We tried each whisky neat, meaning straight out of the bottle served at room temperature, and with a drop of water, which softens the taste ever so slightly. Ice was offered but I don’t think anyone partook. I prefer neat myself.
As a wine enthusiast, it’s nice to branch out once in a while and explore other options. Scotch whisky is a fun spirit with such a wide spectrum of aromas and flavors. If you get the chance to attend these or any scotch tastings, I highly recommend it.