I’m back in Edinburgh having enjoyed a short blast up the North Coast 500; I took in some amazing sites and came back with a tan… yup, it was raining, snowing, hailstones and blustery in the rest of the country…
My journey in whisky has revealed something that is changing in the creation of malts from around Scotland. Traditionally you would expect Island whisky (Islay, Skye, and Hebrides) to be strong, peaty maritime flavours; Highland whiskies to be more smooth and floral; Lowland whiskies to be light and fresh with the Speysides to be fruity and delicate. This may be a huge generalisation; it is however not far off the mark.
The onset of all these new Distilleries opening (37 and counting as of January 2016) is the diversification of their production. For example the Brewdog’s Lone Wolf Distillery in Ellon, Aberdeenshire and David Robertson’s Holyrood Park Distillery in Edinburgh have both been quoted as saying they’ll be experimenting with various short runs; their approach is more about quality of product than specific and regional flavouring.
What of the whiskies (and whiskeys) around the world, how do they determine the best approach to flavour tones and strength; is there a likelihood of analysing too much data and therefore creating something that appeases every taste and therefore being dull – making people reach for mixers to desecrate a glorious and respected tipple? What is your experience?
When I was blasting up the A9 I waved at my friends at the Dalwhinnie Distillery in Inverness-shire; they are the ones that give you a tour of the premises and then provide a tasting with specially paired chocolates – heaven. A true highland spirit, the Dalwhinnie 15 year old is known as the gentle dram, just too easy to enjoy quickly, it’s one of those that you have to learn to take your time, both smooth and floral, just like my driving.
Colin Gilchrist (whisky enthusiast), guest blogger.
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