Sunday, June 24, 2012

Taste challenge with the in-laws

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.

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