Monday, November 26, 2007

Charred Hamburgers on a Yacht

Aged 12 years
Single Islay malt Scotch whisky
40% alc/vol

Most of the single malt Scotch I buy is from the Highland region (including Speyside), probably due to its popularity as much as its taste. But, hey, what can I say? I dig it. I do branch out, though; I quite enjoyed the few Lowland Scotches I've tasted, and look forward to trying malts from other regions. This particular Scotch is one such malt.

I wanted to try an Islay. To be honest, I've heard a lot of bad things about them -- several of my whiskey-drinking friends have declared the Laphroaig 10-yo to be, well, vile. I've yet to taste it for myself (though I do mean to!). At any rate, I came across the Bunnahabhain 12-yo, and figured I'd have a go at it. Years ago, I received a bottle of this from a friend as a gift, and while I don't remember much about how it tasted, I do know I got through the bottle with no difficulty, so it seemed a safe bet.


  • Color: Russet
  • Nose: Black pepper. Slightly sweet and smoky.
  • Palate: Walnuts? A bit of sweet sharpness. Or sharp sweetness?
  • Finish: Moderate. Sea salt. A little bitter. Dark chocolate.

I was particularly struck by this whiskey's saltiness and smokiness -- like accidentally burning a hamburger while grilling on a yacht. It's not bad, although it's not the kind of malt I could drink all night. Maybe with the right food (it does actually put me in the mood for a barbecue), or in the right mood. I'm a strong proponent of drinking Scotch neat, with only a bit of water as one likes; but I think the Bunnahabhain is better on ice, to help clear out some of the smoke. I'll be in no rush to replace the bottle when it's gone, but if someone offers me a dram, I'll not likely turn it away!

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

I wish I could imagine what you're describing, but since I've never accidentally burned a hamburger while grilling on a yacht, I'll have to try one or the other sometime. Islay. Blech.