Posts Tagged With: scotch blend

Scotch and Soda (The Hydronator)

Normally I’m a puritan when it comes to whisky, I was raised this way, whisky stones being the preferred method of cooling my spirit of choice, or chilling the damn bottle. Neat is the optimal method of presentation and indeed the preferred method of trying a new dram, or enjoying an old favourite.

But Australian sun is hot… and in Brisbane, Queensland there is the added bonus of humidity… you also need to keep your fluids up and a 40 oz bottle of Grants will not keep you hydrated (and is a wee bit dangerous in this heat to boot).

Meanwhile, this year one of the major changes to the culinary delights from my mother’s kitchen (For Food & Family). Has been the significant reduction in easy carbohydrates in the diet, and as such all those yummy sugary goodness in a can are now somewhat taboo… along with drinkable beer, wine, and soft drinks.

bottled-water

Enter the scotch and soda.

Scotch has near to no carbohydrates in it thus making it an ideal water enhancer for those looking for a low carb option. It’s also easy to prepare to boot.

Simply add 30ml of scotch to a high ball glass with Ice, and top up with soda water.

Scotch, Soda, Scotch and Soda, Scotch and Rocks

Serving suggestion: Try adding the scotch to the soda, so that rather than watering down the scotch, you are improving the water

It’s cool, refreshing, and has a hint of whisky flavour to it. It also makes use of those less than stellar blends, meaning less of a chance of reaching the nights end with nothing but the nasties in the back of the cabinet. Interestingly it can also help to release some previously undiscovered flavours released with the addition of water (and this is done by the pro-tasters too to better explore each dram).

Scotch and Soda

Yup, that’s Grants, but its also our 8th? bottle of scotch this month…

So sit back this summer and sip away guilt free knowing that your tall drink is good for your waist and great for your hydration (like you needed an excuse… right?)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

William Grants day in the sun…

Last night I traveled down to Taranaki on lodge business, I am one of the few men out there with the Ba-abilitiy to stand in front of a room of distinguished men and blow my horn. I am a herald, and I carry the beast below and embellish the ritual where it is needed. My reward for my efforts (other than recognition and praise) is a healthy measure of whisky from the bottle reserved for the officers of Grand Lodge. This bottle is usually provided by the incoming master of the lodge, and for the last few installations it has been a bottle of Grants.

Shiny…

Some of my earliest memories of drinking whisky were of when I was allowed a sip from my mother’s glass, this was often a rare occurrence, and many a time left me baffled as to how she could drink such a foul unsavoury beast. Later in life I gained my first experience of single malt whisky, and it dawned on me then that something was amiss… It turns out that I had been provided with a sip, or on the odd occasion a wee thimble of either Wilsons, or more often than not Grants in an attempt to keep me from drinking the good stuff!

My general tasting notes were simple, The stuff smelt of old yeast spread (Marmite, Vegemite…) and the taste was reminiscent of an odd medicinal drink often dished out by my grandmother with was essentially that same spread, but in a bug of hot water. More importantly, of all the unfortunate nights binge drinking  on the stuff (it is one of the cheapest after all, and as a student you must live within your means), one is often left with what can best be described as a cup full of fresh manure on the breath.

But Last night I was pleasantly surprised. As I braced myself for the first measure of poison to pass my lips it was greeted with soft oaty notes and a heathery sweetness… the notes lingered slightly presenting a wiff of smoke… perhaps these were the first signs of madness… I took another, checked the bottle for marks of tampering, rechecked that this was not some kind of extra special bottling… the second bottle was the same, and it too was equally punching well above expectation.

Shamelessly nicked from an Indian retail site, I don’t actually own a bottle of the stuff.

I little bit of knowledge explains much I’ve found. Grants you see, is a product of the glenfiddich plant in spaeyside. It takes 12 years to mature their first single malt for retail sale, and up to 50 years for some of the more prestigious bottlings. Not all casks are destined to reach these lofty heights and some casks mature faster than others. As such regular testing of the contents of each cask is checked and rechecked every 6 or so months and when they start to mature they are hauled off to be blended into the their age bracket. Those that don’t make the 12th year (and there are many) are cut with grain whisky and other casks for near and far to gain some semblance of consistency, but It would seem that this year’s round of casks were a stellar bunch and with so much cream at the top, some of the still good casks were diverted into the Grants Blend.

In short, this year’s run is a bargain!

But I hasten to add this is most likely a one off event. Not long back I was put off the Glenfiddich when the 12 year tasted worse than cheap bourbon, a few years later the 15 year got some rotten reviews… its back on form again now, however, it is worth remembering that whisky is affected by the seasons, air quality, and any other factors. Distilleries have good years… and bad ones. So enjoy the Good Grants while you can, it won’t be round forever.

Categories: Basics of whisky, whiskey, and barrelwash, Blended, Tastings, Whisk(e)y | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Passport Scotch whisky blended

The first time I attempted to try the Passport Scotch whisky was just after my parents had moved to Australia. As there were few who have not fled the nation for the land of milk and honey (or as I like to know it blocked nasals and stupidly high humidity) I inherited what was left undrunk, which included a collection of miniatures. There is an interesting family story that goes along with miniatures and one must be most careful to check the seal is still intact before placing it to ones lips for a swig. The mouthful of ancient ice cold tea was not what I was expecting, but came as little shock to me.

I honestly thought this was a dead brand and had decided to shrug off this famous drop as one that I would never get to experience… Until recently, when I discovered it had been re-released! After saving up for a couple of weeks I made my purchase and it has become my current quaffing scotch.

It is a Speyside blend, with liberal amounts of lowland whisky added to it, most likely cut with some form of grain whisky to bring the price down to a moderate level. Expectedly it is like honey on the nose, with a hint of peat following later in the breath. The bottle I’m drinking from is half full at this stage and has been for some time, therefore the spirit has softened slightly as happens when there is more air than fluid in the bottle. This can be a good thing in some cases, and in this case it detracts little from the first experience on the tongue. The peaty flavour comes forth first followed by malty tones that are reminiscent of marmite (oh how I lament for our unobtainable spread!), the finish lingers on in for a rather short period of time with the flavours on the palate leaving not long after.

This is a very pleasant drop on a budget, it does have a higher viscosity and thus has an almost oily mouth feel, this is not a bad thing as it helps it coat the mouth giving a fuller flavour. The colour is light amber, almost straw so I do not suspect any caramel has been added to the mix. This is (according to some sites) an up and coming blend and I for one can completely understand why; this blend is good bang for your buck.

Categories: Blended, Tastings, Whisk(e)y | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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