well, i have never really been a big drinker. ok, once a long time ago… in hawaii, while in the military there was that one time. but thats it i promise. i digress… last weekend my wife and i went to a new wine shop to buy her mom a mothers day gift. this place was crazy, it was a mega liquor store. they had probably the biggest selection of wine i have every seen. Total Wine & More. they say they carry 8,000 wines – 2,000 spirits & 1,000 beers. yup, this place was insane. i don’t really drink wine, but i had to check the selection out. it was like walking into a large named brand grocery store, but one that only [for the most part] sells wine, liquor & beer.
as i walked the isles, i was amazed with each glance i took down each new isle. i couldn’t believe the size of this place. finally i stumbled upon the spirits section – an area that i have a slight amount of knowledge about. it just so happens, i ended up staring right at the single malt scotches. funny thing is i have been meaning to try a scotch for a while now. [sub story = i have to admit i have never bought/owned a bottle of scotch before. so i really had no idea what i was looking for at all. no idea of what brand may be best.]
a friend from work recommended that i try Lagavulin a [16 year old] single malt scotch. now im not a cheap guy, but i saw the price tag – $75. i thought, since i am not a big scotch drinker… [i’ve only had various scotches maybe a dozen or so times.] i might want to save the cash till i know i REALLY like scotch. hey maybe i might even want to try a glass of the stuff before i drop $75. so, i ended up speaking to the store manager. i asked him if he liked scotch and maybe had a recommendation of what i should try – say in the $30-$45 range. he noted that his favorite spirits were scotch followed closely by bourbon. he pointed out the blends and single malts, explained some of the history of scotch and pointed to a couple in my price range. his best recommendation was to try The Macallan 12 year single malt scotch. he said it’s probably one of the best scotches you can get in my price range. he also recommended that if i hadn’t experienced many scotches before that this one is a nice place to start. smooth, not too smokey or peaty. i grabbed a bottle. [in the back of my mind i wished really hard that i hadn’t made a mistake, and instead should have bought a bottle of good ole Gentleman Jack.] meanwhile my wife scurried off to find an appropriate gift for her mom. since she saw i was bitten by the scotch talk bug.
later in the evening. i poured myself a small amount of The Macallan 12 year old single malt scotch. hold on a second. i just noticed i am writing a post about scotch without any! [short intermission – while i pour a glass] ok, sorry about that… i am back now. well, right here before me in a small old fashioned glass there is a quarter cup of beautifully hued sort of amber colored scotch. the nose of the scotch – i will be honest i have no idea what it smells like. people say oak, spice, vanilla – but i got nothing. which is odd since i have a super sensitive sniffer. what i actually smell is a spicy [maybe woodsy] yet almost sweet vaporous drink. now even though i don’t drink a lot of this stuff, i do know how it should be enjoyed – neat in a rocks glass. no water. nothing. it should be savored – i was told once long ago. a quarter cup of a nice scotch should take 30-40 mins to enjoy. so, being the the kind of guy who wants to try it the way it should be. i did just that. poured about one quarter cup in to a clear rocks glass – neat. i swirled the drink in its glass – waiting for some sort of magic to happen. i felt just as i did when i was 11 while playing with my chemistry set. i swirled and sniffed. swirled and sniffed. i almost wanted to say some sort of incantation, but i refrained.
i let the drink sit for a moment before taking my fist sip. as i grabbed the glass i looked at it one last time. its golden amber liquid swirling about the glass. finally i brought the glass to my lips, tilted it ever so slightly. what seemed like only a couple drops of scotch hit my lips and i felt a slightly cool burn. as the liquid hit my tongue it took a second… then a pop. the scotch seemed to bloom in my mouth. at first it was sweet – then it almost felt as though it vaporized within my mouth – as it exploded into a spicy sensation – tingling my taste buds. it finished off with a slightly sweet taste. while thats how it actually did taste/feel to me. honestly, i wasn’t sure i liked it – that explosion of spicy vapor almost seemed too much for me. so i waited a bit then i took another sip. hmm… i was thinking crap there goes $40 and thank heavens it wasn’t $75. funny thing is, if i didn’t like it so much. why am i drinking it now, sipping it at this very moment. over the past few nights i have had maybe two more of those quarter cup or less glasses. each time growing slightly fonder of the sensations.
this stuff is much different than the whisky and bourbons i drink. it reminds me of when i first experienced beer, when i was young and had my first couple beers – i was like wtf?! i am not sure i can do this. then slowly i became appreciative to the tastes and complexities of a nice well rounded beer [did i actually say well rounded beer?]. so, what the heck. i might as well see if maybe its my newbie-ish experiences to scotch… maybe its just too strong for me. maybe i should try it with an ice cube. i have no idea. but for some reason. its starting to make me feel warm inside and not in a drunk or buzzed sort of way. maybe there is hope for me yet…
Matt is a Systems Development Director for a multinational franchise. Matt has lived and worked in Hawaii, Chicago, South Florida and currently resides outside of Atlanta. He enjoys his hobbies including Technology, Gadgets/EDC, Fountain Pens, Wetshaving, Clocks, Antiques & Coffee. He even roasts his own coffee weekly.