A glance over the shoulder

Finally. I have reached the point of saturation, I no longer feel the pressing need to spend every waking hour with that bloody new drug of mine – Dragon Age: Origins. For those of you who live in the 1990′s and still think gaming is for kids, DA:O is a huge single-player RPG game that basically consumes you and turns you into a person who says ‘greetings’ instead of ‘hi’ and ‘you have my thanks’ instead of ‘cheers’. Anyway.

At last I can devote my spare time to things I care for most: whisky, beer, my woman and whisky.

A glance over a whisky blog shoulder...

It was good to take some time off writing for you, though. I had a good think about where I want to go with the blog and I took a glance back over my shoulder to see where we came from. Never got a chance to do this on or around our birthday a few weeks back, we were too busy making it happen and then the hungover crushed any reflective thoughts as well as thousands over thousands of neurons in my brain (or so my doctor says). To cut a long story short, the blog is getting an overhaul inside-out. We will be looking into how it looks and reads, who writes for it and about what and how this all feels. Chris and I will obviously have to have a good think about all this but we are more than happy to take your points on board so if you have any suggestions, please email them to us. We are also looking for an artist photographer (see above) in Edinburgh to make our faces (see below) look good in a photo. For whisky and fame, not cash. Do you know such a person?

Chris and Lucas from Edinburgh Whisky Blog

Ok, that out of the way I can say something about whisky, eh? Remember when I tasted some Manager’s Choices and promised I would go through all of them and judge them on their merit forgetting the price tags? Well, I kind of did but lost my Moleskine along the way and couldn’t copy notes here. Over time some samples went missing, some were knocked back (no, they weren’t), some we never actually received… but a recent ‘drink with a mirror’ featuring part of the selection re-revealed the potential behind these bottlings. Not commercial potential, we all know by now that the collector frenzy for the range is not going to happen. Not drinking potential, they are drams to sample but not to get smash on. Their value is elsewhere. They show just how different a single cask nonchill-filtered, cask strength expression can be in comparison to a watered-down, E150-ied through the roof vatting of hundreds or thousands of casks. Lets do one at a time and begin with one of my favourite distilleries.

Clynelish Manager’s Choice
58.8% ABV

First on the nose is honey. Then baked walnuts and a hint of peppermint. It grabs your attention with this intense sweet quality and then never lets go bringing more and more of it. A drop of water brings out marzipan, raisins, green banana and a touch of citrus. Staggering. Not the aroma profile but its intensity. Concentration. Palate is bitter and stingy neat. Begs for water straight away, which brings candy floss, fruit gums, bitter almonds, lemon tart, runny honey… takes even more water and then even more, with each drop opening even more. Water takes out the bitterness, puts fruitiness in front consistently through the experience. Finish is long and sweet, shows off that fruit/wine gum accent again, maybe it’s Haribos. Vanilla comes in a sudden wave at this stage and completes the picture of a perfect Clynelish. Overall, it has everything you want from this Highlander. A strong honey-nut central axis with enough distractions around it to keep you busy for half an hour of nosing. Delivers great punch on the palate and finishes like a sprinter – chest forward and gunning for it till the very end. If you ever get to try it be patient, it opens up with water and time, reveals itself to you in mysterious ways. If we had a scoring system this would be one of those super rare scores, the kind a drinks commentator should give 3-4 times in a lifetime. But better than any score should be the fact that the laziest ass in the whole of Edinburgh (with exception for Sighthill) just sweat out 271 words about it. Damn.


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