There is so much to learn about scotch...or should I say scotch whisky. What better way to learn about the world of scotch, than to host a Robbie Burns whisky tasting! To entertain our sold out crowd of scotch enthusiasts as well as some people who were simply curious about the drink, we called on our Savvy friend & scotch expert Carol Anderson of GrapeScot to lead a scotch tasting featuring delicious Single Malt Scotches. The cold wintery January evening kicked off a refreshing Whisky Mac cocktail, a scotch 101 primer followed by a few toasts, a taste of Burns poetry while our piper entertained us with scotish tunes. Some guests even donned kilts, daggers & tartans. It was a fun & relaxed way to discover scotches from the different regions of Scotland.
Savvy Company celebrates Robbie Burns birthday with a scotch tasting
To top it all off, the chefs at Thyme & Again Creative Catering made delicious bites that made the evening memorable.
Here are the scotches that we enjoyed & Carol's tasting notes. All scotches are available at the LCBO.
Whisky Mac Cocktail
Mix together & serve in a highball glass as either a short or long drink.
We served this with: Vegetarian Sushi Rolls with Pickled Ginger & Wasabi
Auchentoshan 12 year old, Lowland Single Malt, 40% ABV
LCBO #: 107359
$53.45 (on sale right now)
Auchentoshan distillery dates back to 1823. Its name in Gaelic means “Corner of the Field” and it sits tucked away at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills on the outskirts of Glasgow, overlooking the River Clyde. It was rebuilt in 1875, bombed in World War II, repaired in 1949, re-equipped in 1974, and refurbished in the late 1980’s. It is one of three Lowland distilleries.
Auchentoshan produces a delicate and smooth single malt whisky, with subtle aromas and flavours. In part, this is achieved by a triple distillation process. The distillery uses water from Loch Katrine in the famous Trossachs area and its cooling water is collected in a WWII bomb crater, located in the surrounding hills. Auchentoshan 12 was introduced in 2008, is made with unpeated malt and is matured in a mixture of American Bourbon and Spanish sherry casks.
Carol’s tasting notes: Golden in colour; on the nose citrus and a hint of nuts and caramelized brown sugar; light to medium body, smooth on the palate with juicy citrus; a smooth finish, again with hints of citrus, nuts and spice.
Served with: Pâté Maison, Smoked Salmon Pâté, Stilton & Port Pâté with Crackers, Pumpernickel & Fresh Baguette
Bowmore 12 year old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 40% ABV
$51.55 (on sale right now)
Founded in 1779, Bowmore is the oldest licensed distillery on Islay. Half its barley is still malted traditionally by hand and dried over a peat fire. The whiskies are medium peated, with about half the phenols of its coastal neighbours Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. The whisky is matured in Spanish and American oak casks, some of which are stored in vaults below sea level. Morrison Bowmore Distillers form part of the Suntory group and own Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch. The distillery produces numerous whiskies including 12 year old, 15, 17, 18, 25, and 40. From time to time different expressions are produced with names like Legend, Mariner, Dawn, Dusk, Surf and Claret, as well as various cask strength offerings. Additionally there are dozens of independent bottlings. The 12 year old is a delightful whisky, highly regarded, and an excellent lightly peaty one to keep on hand, in many ways more balanced and appealing than pricier products in the range.
Carol’s tasting notes: Light amber in colour; characteristic gentle peaty smokiness on the nose, with lemon and honey, a bit floral, wet earth; savour for a while on the palate until the peat kicks in, cough drops, lovely; a long, dry finish.
Served with: Locally Smoked Maple Cured Salmon Drizzled with Maple Sesame Dipping Sauce
The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old, Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky 43% ABV
One of Scotland’s most respected distilleries, The Macallan, in the heart of Speyside, has been distilling whisky legally since 1824. Today it offers a range of single malts, aged in Sherry Oak or triple cask matured Fine Oak (Spanish sherry, American sherry and American bourbon). Following its launch, The Macallan Fine Oak 15 years old was awarded Best Whisky of 2004 by renowned whisky expert F. Paul Pacult. In 2010, a bottle of The Macallan 64-year-old single malt whisky was sold for $460,000 at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York City. Made from barley grown on The Macallan Estate and using soft, pure local water at several stages of production, The Macallan ranks amongst the five best-selling malt whiskies in the world. The Macallan Distillers Ltd is a private limited company, headquartered in Craigellachie, Banffshire, Scotland. It is owned by The Edrington Group.
Carol’s tasting notes: Golden straw colour and a lovely, refined nose with hints of soft fruit, juicy barley and vanilla. Luscious on the palate, with hints of fruitcake and chocolate orange. A long, lingering finish. Delectable and beautifully balanced.
Served with: Haggis & Mashed Neeps (Turnip)
$139.25 (on sale right now)
Established in 1798 and licensed in 1826, Highland Park, on the island of Orkney – a World Heritage Site, is the world’s most northerly distillery. Using Orcadian peat and, unusually, hard local water, the Highland Park range of Single Malts is favoured by Whisky lovers the world over. Judicious use of peated malted barley and Bourbon and Sherry casks gives a toffee sweetness and a juicy, smoky finish. Highland Park 18 Year Old is a multiple Gold Medal and First Place winner, including the ultimate accolade of Best Spirit in the World in 2005 by, previously mentioned, F Paul Pacult. The distillery is owned by The Edrington Group, a Scottish international premium spirits company.
Carol’s tasting notes: Burnished gold in colour, with a rich and mature bouquet, redolent of toffee, dried fruits, marzipan and smoke. The palate is rich and full, with a hint of salt. Take time to measure the flavour developments in the mouth. A long, satisfying finish, slightly smoky.
Served with: Aged White Cheddar with Thyme & Again`s Fruit Chutney & strawberries
Aberlour A’bunadh Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky 59.5% ABV
Aberlour distillery, founded in 1879, and now owned by Pernod-Ricard, is in Aberlour village in the Speyside region. Exceptionally soft water flows through peaty soil and the granite hills around Ben Rinnes and is drawn from the springs of the Lour Glen. Aberlour malt whiskies are available at numerous ages and most are matured in both sherry and bourbon casks. Aberlour A’bunadh (the original) is a 19th century style whisky matured exclusively in oak ex-oloroso sherry butts and bottled at cask strength. It is dark, rich, impressive and a wonderful after-dinner whisky.
Carol’s tasting notes: Deep, rich amber in colour. A big, luxurious aroma of exotic fruits and spices, nuts, sherry, a hint of peatiness. Rich and creamy on the palate with dried fruits, ginger, nuts, oranges and cherries, a hint of dark chocolate. A long, clean finish, bitter chocolate and ginger spice. Complex, luxurious and delicious.
Served with: Milk Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
(Slan-ja vah) Good health!