Before delving into the deets of our last meet, we’d like to wish our readers a belated merry Christmas, but since we’re still in time, we hope you all have a fantastic 2020, with so many new memories to create, and drink with which to give cheers to them and the people we share them with.
Over to our whiskey-do, there’s few things better than a good whiskey, in good company and a nice setting, so to have five decent whiskeys at the ever-elegant Palazzo Preca was a treat indeed. Five home-made chocolates paired with each whiskey to complement or contrast the taste? At that stage you’d be forgiven for thinking overkill, but that’s exactly what we did on the 16th December, taking our monthly meet to Palazzo Preca in Valletta for our first whiskey tasting and last event for the year.
To kick-start the night (and later on to close it), Daniela cooked up an Old Fashioned to rival any other, and even for those not inclined to mixing their drinks with orange, this cocktail was the kind of treat to get us questioning our own taste buds in a delightful surprise.
Moving onto the whiskey per se and with Kevin giving the details on each whiskey, we started with the Glenkinchie 12-year-old. A Lowland with all the expected characteristics of a fruit-centric nature in smell and taste, but the oaky feeling at the back of the palate…that’s as sure a winner for a sunset-kind-of-whiskey if you’re looking for it. At this stage, confidence was literally flying, with people on opposite ends of the table discussing, and they were right again, as they centred in on the nutty flavour of almonds and hazelnuts.
Up next was the Dalwhinnie 15-year-old, not so smoky but rich in aroma and on the palate nonetheless, with hints of almonds and fruits. A perfect match with its chocolate counterpart, our guests were keeping their opinions between themselves…until the next glass that is.
The Glenfarclas was where things began to take off, although some of the guests would recommend this whiskey as the aperitif, offering far more complexity than a normal 10-year-old whiskey would. Notes of fruit and winter spice make this an ideal drink for this time of year too. Paired with caramel bonbon, though some felt the two tastes combined well, the over-riding feeling was that the caramel was a bit too overpowering, but hey, we’re learning along with you guys, so next time, it’ll be even better!
Penultimate stop and also aged at 10 years, The Arran provides equal intrigue as the Glenfarclas but a completely different taste, with several guests in agreement over taste, and they were right too, as this whiskey puts the scotch in butterscotch – sweet on the nose, and also a bit in taste, although the finish does shift towards the bitter.
To close off the night (before more Old Fashioneds made their way out somehow…) was the Glen Scotia Double Cask…and it truly gives you both barrels the moment you’re in range. The first taste gives you eyes like a tarsier (Google it, you’ll understand and you won’t regret it either) but the more you sample, the more you realise that you’ve just had yourself a magnificent whiskey. Hints of fudge in taste and smell to open, and a sherry-like taste to finish, this scotch is actually finished in first-fill bourbon barrels and later in sherry casks so well done to the guests who got that right as well.
This night was a challenge for us too, in particular Emann, who concocted the bonbons with each particular whiskey in mind, but in the end, it was the perfect night to close the year for us. There were mostly new faces, but not only did everyone get along perfectly well, we were also proud with the feedback we got, giving us ample confidence heading into the new year, as we prepare to indulge you all with new tasting opportunities.With this in mind, we raise our glasses to you all, and once again wish you a great year to come with plenty of good taste and fresh experiences to boot.