Celebrate Tartan Day with Aberfeldy and Saturn Rocks Glass

By / Wine + Drinks / April 4th, 2017 / 3

I don’t typically require much in the way of persuasion to pour a dram or two of malt whisky. Made it through another day; accomplished something of minor significance; finished a good dinner with some friends; doing “research” for a story – all are as good a reason as any to dispense some decent Celtic uisge beatha. Of course, if there’s a significant Scottish date or event to toast, then raising a glass becomes a mandatory and patriotic duty.

While Robbie Burns Day might be the most well known excuse for indulging in a few nips, there are other days celebrated by the Scots that require those with even the slightest degree of tartan in their blood to answer the call of the quaich. Fortunately, one of these is on the near horizon.

April the 6th is Tartan Day – a celebration of Scottish heritage that marks the 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath. “The what?,” you may rightly ask (even if, like the five million or so people in Canada, you claim Scottish descent). That it was a declaration submitted to Pope John XXII confirming Scotland’s independence is likely not as important to the Scots as the fact that it provides another reason to praise Scotland. Of course, any praise of Scotland is an ipso facto justification for praising (and drinking) Scottish whisky.

So not only have I recently been provided with a new historic reason to drink, but by the sheerest of coincidences, a new Scottish single malt – and a new scotch whisky glass – also somehow found their way to my research laboratory (aka, my kitchen).

Okay, calling Aberfeldy 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky “new” is a bit of a stretch given that the distillery was founded in 1846 (making it not quite signing-of-the-declaration-of-Arbroath old). Yet in terms of the Canadian market, it’s certainly new-ish, being part of the John Dewar Last Great Malts Collection that also includes Aultmore, Craigellachie, The Devron, and Royal Brackla. The glass, however, is very much a new thing.

Saturn Rocks Glass, designed by Christopher Yamane and Matthew Johnson, are handcrafted in the Czech Republic and feature a unique design that allows them to be stood straight or tipped on their sides and rotated to aerate the liquid inside.

“We put a lot of thought into the Saturn Rocks Glasses,” Yamane reveals. “They’re beautifully crafted with a quality that you can feel immediately; something that machines have never been able to replicate. We want to bring the experience of drinking from both novel and finely crafted glassware to as many people as we can.”

I introduced the Aberfeldy to the Saturn Rocks Glass. They seemed to get along nicely; the Saturn Rocks Glass’s Swedish, lead-free crystal revealing the whisky’s barley-gold reflections. With the addition of a few drops of water and with a few rotations of the glass, honeyed-fruit aromas wafted up with some toasty cereal notes, a bare hint of smoke and some mineral/anise notes following along. On the palate, the Aberfeldy was supple, smooth and very nicely balanced, with toffee, dried apricot, hazelnut flavours that led to mildly spicy, buckwheat honey end notes.

I’m going to do my best to put both the Saturn Rocks Glass and the Aberfeldy away until Tartan Day. Then, again, I don’t require much in the way of persuasion….

BTW – don’t forget about National Gin & Tonic Day on April 9th. You should have most of the scotch out of your system by then.


Tod Stewart is the contributing editor at Quench. He's an award-winning Toronto-based wine/spirits/food/travel/lifestyle writer with over 35 years industry experience. He has contributed to newspapers, periodicals, and trade publications and has acted as a consultant to the hospitality industry. No matter what the subject matter, he aims to write an entertaining read. His book, 'Where The Spirits Moved Me' is now available on Amazon and Apple.

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