Hard to believe after almost five and half decades of life, there are still so many things to experience. Last week, I enjoyed my first whisky at a Whisky Tasting held in the Suds Factory River Grill in my hometown of Baldwinsville, New York. When I found out about this event, I contacted my friend, Dave, who carries a whisky encyclopedia when traveling. He was eager to attend as the tasting included matched food items with each flight.
A Diageo Master Of Whisky, Gina Unverferth, was our host and guide. She explained the history of whisky and how it is made. Before each tasting of the six different whiskies, Gina would explain where the whisky was made and what defined it via smell and taste. Below was our line up (click to see a larger image):
While my name is of Walsh decent, I do love Scottish heritage, history, stories and folklore. I was looking forward to seeing if I would love whisky, too. Like all alcohol, whisky is a distilled spirit. Anyone who has used a condenser in Chemistry 101, knows how to produce it. The trick is in creating flavoring to make it both safe and enjoyable to drink. Scottish whisky makers for centuries have learned to use the natural resource of peat moss to add a distinctive smokey flavoring.
Whisky trivia: Whisky in the Scottish Gaelic is uisge beatha meaning “lively water” or “water of life”.
Which whisky did I like? I must admit after the first three I was not too sure I would like whisky. The whisky drinkers trick of adding a drop or two of water helped some. In fact, the forth flight of the Dalwhinnie Highlands Whisky almost knocked me over! Added a couple of drops of water which smoothed it right out. Not sure if it was the accumulation of whiskies or the game meat foods which accompanied each flight but the fifth whisky turned out to be my favorite.
The Lagavulin 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Isle of Islay with its smokey flavor and smooth taste without the need for any water won me over. Of course, I found out later my taste in whisky does not come cheap as a 750ml bottle runs around $80.