Indie-bottled Artisan Scotch Whisky

Type of Post: 
Best of Show
Destination: 
Plymouth, MA
Best of Show: 
The indie bottled Arran Distillery Old Malt Cask 50

Scotch Night at the Old Colony ClubA week ahead of Robert Burns Night, we had a Scotch Night at the Old Colony Club. Master Distiller Curtis McMillan (in the kilt) guided us through the intricacies of blended Scotch whiskey and single-malts from the lowlands, highlands, and the islands. It was a fascinating tour of these oft-misunderstood spirits. For sustenance of a less spiritual nature, Richmond and I provided a heart-stopping array of Scotch eggs, smoked salmon, whole-meal bread and cheddar, and of course a Haggis!

a haggis

The lore was fascinating indeed, and McMillan's knowledge is encyclopedic. I promise to do a good write-up on Scotch whiskeys in the What's in my Glass section soon. In the end, Richmond still like his neat and I still like a couple of drops of water, but now we know why.  We tried a variety of whiskeys, and based on what I liked of them I asked Mr McMillan what he would recommend for me: he suggested Lagavulin, which has been my favorite for many years! 

a Scotch Egg with a pint of Old Thumper

I will also write up the recipes for the foods we served. The event was a lot of fun, but without some corporeal sustenance, those Scottish spirits go right to your head!

Best of Show for the assembled crowd was probably the Highland Park 12-year, from Orkney, a bleak island off the northern tip of Scotland where I spent a memorable vacation many years ago.  

Arran Distillers Old Malt Cask 50For me, though, the Best of Show has to go to the Old Malt Cask 50 from the Arran Distillery, courtesy of Douglas Laing and Co. Ltd. It had the peat smokiness that I love in a winter whiskey, but it also offered many-layered flavors of honey and toffee and seaside flavors that made me think of being warm and dry while the gale howls off the bay and hurls sleet against the windows. Or maybe it just makes me get all fanciful and poetic - like that's a bad thing...  You decide for yourself; as for me, I'll pour another dram of this delicious winter elixir!