Tasted: A Toast to Robbie Burns
This coming Sunday marks Robert Burns’ 256th birthday and, here in Canada, the annual Robbie Burns Day.
The man, affectionately known as Scotland’s favourite son, was a poet and lyricist. Burns has been professed as Bob Dylan’s primary inspiration and his poetry still graces the face of British currency.
To celebrate this Scottish national hero, we encourage you to enjoy a dram (or two) of Scotch Whisky.
Tasting notes provided by Tod Stewart, contributing editor, quench magazine
Laphroaig 10 Year Old: The most popular expression accounting for 70 per cent of the distillery’s sales. Assertive peat smoke on the nose with hints of iodine, vanilla, spice and a hint of barley. Slightly oily in the mouth with sweet/spicy flavours and a long smoky finish fading out with some anise notes.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask: Finished in smaller barrels (originally to accommodate the pack horses used to transport the whisky in the early 19th century), the ratio of wood to whisky in this version is increased and this is evident in the aroma which offers up hints of caramel, toasted barley and, of course, a noticeable does of peat smoke and brine. Warm and intense, the flavour profile centres around fruitcake, toffee and smoky/fruity ending notes.
Laphroaig 18 Year Old: Produced in limited quantities. Brine, peat smoke, mild almond and some sweet fruity notes define the aroma of this complex and well-rounded dram. The complexity continues in the mouth with salty/sea spray intermingling with some nutty/cocoa nuances that fade into a long, slightly honeyed, smoke-tinged finish.
Laphroaig 25 Year Old: Blended from whiskies aged in both American Bourbon casks and those that once contained Oloroso Sherry. The influence of the Sherry casks comes through with hints of Sultana raisin, chocolate and baked apple all wrapped around a core of the ever-present peak smoke. Lots of dried fruit, treacle and lingering smokiness on the palate with characteristic iodine wrapping up the whole package and sending it on its long, memorable way.
Highland Park 10 Year Old: The newest addition to the Highland Park range carries the distillery’s flag with dignity. Gentle smoke on the nose with nuances of malted barley, ginger, lemon oil, beeswax, polished wood and that certain je ne sai quois that seems to run right through the HP line. Citrus, mild peat, bread dough, toffee, and mild herbal notes in the mouth. Crisp and clean on the finish.
The Macallan 1824 Series “Amber”: The new range of The Macallan 1824 Series malts take their name from their colour and their character (largely) from the type of oak used for their maturation and the length of maturation. The Amber expression boasts notes of pear, apricot, sultana, and dried fruit with a dollop of nutmeg. Fruity (crisp apple, lemon, marmalade) and spicy (ginger/cinnamon) with lingering traces of oak and a rich, round core.