As written by Christine Berenger for Bordeaux Index.
For the longest time, I never cheated. It’s true. I was exclusively a wine woman. But one day, our friends Steve and Ira gave us a beautiful bottle of Lagavulin. Dr. Evil descended upon us that very night, my friend.
With our new found enthusiasm for the single malt, we visited Angel’s Share, one of our favorite date-night cocktail places in New York. This super chic speakeasy is tucked away within unmarked and hidden doors of a random Japanese restaurant. Their cocktails are sublime and, if applicable, served with the most perfect ice cube (the search for the perfect ice cube, ahh… another obsessive and never ending quest of ours, but I digress). At the urging of one of their bartenders, we discovered one of our absolute favorite whiskies to this day – Yoichi. Yes, it is Japanese and yes, it is amazing.
Maybe we are weirdoes or maybe we have a problem, but like wine, our whisky thing seems to follow us wherever we go. Our honeymoon in Venice – check. Late nights in Miami and Vegas – um, check. Many, many nights with friends in London and New York – check. That fabulous single malt is always there.
Over the years, there’s been lots of muttering within my family about whisky. So, we decided a formal tasting was long past due. Fresh off their trans-Atlantic flights to London, we hit The Whisky Tasting Room in Marylebone for a sampling of single cask Scotches. If you are in the London area and have a special place in your heart for whisky, I highly recommend a visit. Their selection is impeccable, as is their enthusiasm for the single malt.
As with wine, whisky preferences are very personal. My friend Kristen’s mom (Carol) packs a Scotch “traveler” with her whenever she goes to someone’s home for dinner to ensure she has exactly what she wants. (I get it Carol).
Over the years, we’ve tasted lots of beautiful whiskies, and so, without further ado, here are some of our go tos:
Yoichi 15 yr. old – gentle delivery of elegant and complex flavors; ginger, spice, sweetness, nuttiness; bliss
Isle of Skye
– Talisker – retrained and easy peatiness, with some fruit and honey; smoke on the finish
– Macallan 17 yr. old – butterscotch and graham crackers, nuttiness
– Dalwhinne 18 yr. old – spicy, prickly with sweetness on the end
– Oban 15 yr. old – honey, caramel, nuts
– Lagavulin 1994 – peaty, smoky, with brininess and candy on the finish
– Springbank 12 yr. old – complex, smoky, salty butterscotch
– Auchentoshan 1999, 11 yr. old – light, rounded, smooth and sweet with sandalwood and honey; perfect for summer