Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review: Island Whisky

A while back I made it through another Master of Malt dram sampler set.  This time it was the Island Whisky one, and a rather tasty one indeed!

Island Whisky Set
First of all, anyone who has tasted a few Scotch whiskies has probably discovered that they're all very different, even within the same region! Maybe you like one particular style, but have no idea how to branch out. And, let's face it, the guy behind the counter in your local liquor store will either know nothing, or try to sell you the most expensive thing he's got.  If you don't like it you're likely stuck with the bottle taking up space in your pantry, gathering dust.

So, when my parents sent me this set for Hanukkah, I was quite happy that I could experiment a bit!  The Highland Park 25 Year Old and the Tobermory 14 Year Old were the most mellow, without being too boozy.  I never like when the alcohol overpowers the flavor.  The MoM Arran 12 Year Old and the Jura 16 Year Old were a bit more flavorful, but my favorite had to be the Talisker 57〫North. It's  nice and powerful; a bit peaty with some sweet and smoke thrown in for good measure.

The only downside? I didn't have any more...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Whisky Bitters

I recently got my paws on a bottle of Master of Malt's new whisky bitters.  I immediately went off in search of simple recipes and came across the classic Manhattan and Old Fashion.  Easy to make, and I already had the basic ingredients!  I decided to make my Old Fashion without the addition of any soda water, or tonic, but just a few teaspoons of simple syrup, a healthy dose of bitters, ice (3 cubes), and a good shot of whiskey.  I think it was The Irishman. I also left out those pesky garnishes as I am not fond of maraschino cherries and I was out of oranges after mulling cider.
The Bitters!

One word. YUM.

Several words. Sweet, spicy-cinnamon and nutmeg, slightly fruity.

The flavors are wintery and not remotely "bitter".  A few drops will even give a bit of a kick to any regular whisky, if you're so inclined.  However, if you think it's sacrilegious, stick to adding the bitters to cocktails.  You won't be sorry.