My in-laws like their whiskey with water. That is, they like an ounce of whiskey in a glass of water with a couple of ice cubes. I have no problem with people liking what they like, and I think folks should be free to drink their booze however they enjoy it -- so long as it doesn't contribute to injury or ill-health, and so long as they aren't diluting my best scotch. Being an educator-type, I also believe in the ongoing pursuit of knowledge. I wondered if maybe some education would help diversify their tastes. The second night the in-laws were visiting, I set up a blind taste-test. I might as well review all the whiskeys I included:
1. Aberlour 16
My dearly beloved guessed was the Famous Grouse -- oh my! His dad thought it was good, but spicy. His mum found it "harsh and sharp". I also noted that it had some heat, but I picked up apricots on the nose and fruits and honey (maybe sherry?) on the palate with a slightly darker finish. I liked it better with a splash of water, but I sure wouldn't let it be diluted with 4 parts water and a couple of ice cubes! It's not my favourite scotch, but I certainly wouldn't refuse it.
2. the Famous Grouse
My man guessed was Isle of Jura. I can't blame him though -- taste is genetic, right? His dad found this one "more mellow, softer" which I'd expect for a blend. His mum agreed, and said that this one didn't need dilution. I agreed that it was smooth, but I phrased it differently: "watery and bland." I thought it tasted like toasted piss with a drop of honey. Like the other blends I've tasted, I wouldn't pour it down the drain, but I would save it for a time I knew I wouldn't be paying attention to taste. I will write another review of it, though, when I can pay attention to taste for you.
3. Connemara peated Irish
He guessed it might have been rye. My in-laws both said it was their least favorite of the bunch. She said that one "might get used to it" but I think she was trying to be polite. Meanwhile, I was no longer sitting on the couch -- I'd been transported to cloud nine. My only tasting notes from the then-and-there were "tastes like heaven and candy". I intend to review this one in greater detail another day.
4. the Dun Bheagan 2002 Islay
My fella guessed correctly at first, then changed his guess to Aberlour. Dad-in-law found it to be "too much flavour" and wanted water for it. Mum-in-law found it smelled the best of the bunch -- smoky and heavier. When I gave them the chance to refill their glasses, this is the one she went for. I have previously reviewed this Dun Bheagan for you, so you can see my notes there.