Since living in Malaysia, I’ve started to really appreciate whisky. It helped that friends and colleagues would usually pick up a bottle for me on their way through duty free, and it wasn’t too long before I had a sizeable collection.
I’d had a few drams before moving to Malaysia of course, but hadn’t really paid attention to the different distilleries other than being aware that my grandfather was partial to Glenmorangie, while my Dad erred more towards Glenfiddich. One thing was for sure though – blended Scotch whisky was not for me.
So I figured I should probably start to keep track of what I have been drinking, if only to remind myself of what I liked and what I didn’t like – there is a bewildering range of whisky on offer, and it can be somewhat overwhelming for the newcomer to be able to pick and choose something they like. I’m rather fortunate in that my palate is quite forgiving when I try different single malts, leading me on a bit of a tasting adventure.
Let’s start off by talking about the Auchentoshan Heartwood – sadly this is a single malt that is no longer produced by Auchentoshan, and I have around two thirds of a bottle left. I quite enjoy it, mainly because it’s matured in sherry and bourbon casks giving it an almost sweet flavour. It’s an easy drinker, with enough character to warm yourself too without being too smokey or peaty for those who’s palate is a little on the sensitive side.
I’ve also enjoyed the Laphroaig 10 Year, if only because it’s the first real Laphroaig that I’ve enjoyed. I have memories of my father giving me a small glass to try, and me turning my nose up at it proclaiming it to be offensive to my palate. Fortunately my taste buds have matured somewhat, and I’m able to enjoy a glass or two at a time, but not more than that – I find it’s peatiness enough for me to be able to drink it in small doses.
Another Auchentoshan I’ve come to like is the American Oak, which I was gifted by a friend who came to visit me in Malaysia. Fortunately this is still available to purchase, and I had a bottle to enjoy in January with a group of friends at an event we attended. It was my first opportunity to enjoy whisky with a large number of my friends (who were also part of my team in KL) and we got some great photos of us pouring, and tasting this deliciously easy drinking whisky. Fortunately I had another bottle in my cupboard, and since have had another bottle gifted to me.
Probably one of the biggest revelations I’ve tasted in recent months is the Lagavulin 16 years. If you like your whisky on the dirty side, then this is one for you to investigate further. It was another gift from one of my last visitors who had heard I enjoyed whisky and who selected this one for me to try. We enjoyed a couple of glasses each while in KL, and I finished it off just the other night. A very peaty and smokey whisky, the Lagavulin is not for the faint hearted, but worth a dram if you’re able to find one at a bar.
I’ll make some other notes on my adventures through whisky tasting – I’m not hugely descriptive about what I taste, mainly because I never consciously think about it, preferring instead to enjoy the whisky at the time I drink it. I’ve never been pretentious enough to have a small notepad to record my thoughts, but perhaps I should give it a go. But at the moment that’s all for now.