Whisky Tasting #15: Scotch Time!

The first Cape Whisky drinkup of 2017 welcomed a bunch of awesome new members, who very graciously squeezed into a tiny venue at the last minute. Fortunately, piles and piles of whisky has the side effect of being the mother of all icebreakers, so it wasn’t long before whisky stories were being recounted and preferences hotly debated. Excellent!

The best way to introduce new members – apart from plying them with whisky – is to take a trip through the classic Scotch flavours and regions. Here’s the lineup we put to the test:

The Lineup

We kicked off with a simple, classic Speysider: This time in the form of Glenfiddich – The Original (43%), a limited-edition NAS expression styled as an homage to the very first commercially available single malt. And of course, priced well above its 12-year-old big brother 😉 While it got mixed reactions all round, it was the perfect basis for comparison as we dove into a few more interesting drams…

…and they rarely get more interesting than the venerable Oban 14 (43%), a heavy, fruity Highlander showing off some top-quality casks and an oily, mature spirit. Great stuff.

On to Orkney Islands! Highland Park – Dark Origins (46.8%) is the sole NAS expression in Highland Park’s highly regarded core lineup. But this one packs a serious punch – high bottling strength and dripping in fresh sherry casks, this is the slighty-peated sherry monster you’re looking for!

From slighty-peated sherry to slighty-sherried peat: Lagavulin 16 (43%) is one of the darling children of Islay (where else), considered one of the finest peat monsters in the business and giving Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Caol Ila and Bowmore a run for their money. Another smash hit for the evening – The Cape Whisky Club seems to have a good track record of turning first-timers into die hard peat-heads. But to be fair, Lagavulin makes that easy.

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