Revisiting Old Friends

If you have read my book you know that my dentist and I have a special relationship beyond molars and gums.  My appointments are always the last of the day and at the end of each bi-annual visit we sit and enjoy a few drams together. Our ritual has been in place for six or so years.  It all started after a December visit in which I brought him a bottle of Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist as a holiday gift. (Still is favorite of mine.)  He was so surprised that he said he would bring in a bottle or two that he had purchased during trips abroad. A spectacular tradition took flight.

Last summer, Dr. Paul while fondly remembering the “beast” as he calls the Ardbeg, commented that he had never tried a whisky older than 18 years.  Except for maybe that one time in western Massachusetts at a beautiful inn, after dinner, sitting by the fireplace – you know the perfect mood kinda place. But he can’t recall the name of the whisky. Oh well. I thought, time for me to rummage through the closet and bring in a few of my older whiskies. With three special whiskies in hand I was prepared for this December’s appointment.

The plan was to start with the youngest and work our way through the years. The three were all from opened bottles that were lingering and waiting patiently for re-tasting. Judging from what I have seen in my local liquor stores, all are now hard to find or not available in the US. But whisky is for drinking, so with my teeth sparkling, the glasses were set up for the pours.

Bowmore 25 YO

Greeted by a burst of alcohol which quickly dissipated and uplifted a swarth of sherry. And the layers continued with a hint of Islay peat. Deep and rich in color. The finish was smooth and sweet and bountiful.  A wonderful dram.

Duncan Taylor 29 YO Longmorn

Light in color and light in taste.  But this is no light weight whisky. There is something there on the palate that brings you back for more. Is it the spiciness? Is it heather? Is it grasses blowing in the breeze?  On a previous blog, I found a hint of molasses in the Longmorn. I believe the Bowmore lingering on my palate shifted the flavor. The only molasses I found this time was in the Christmas cookie I munched on while writing these notes.

Glenfarclas 30 YO

No peat, a touch of caramel sweetness and a steady feel that follows through the finish. The sherry doesn’t throw a bomb but presents itself in the direction of luscious. Color is near to the Bowmore but this is no Islay whisky but a charming, and not available in the US, Speyside.

Let’s just say that the whiskies wowed and wowed again. Difficult to select one over the other. In the end, I gave Dr. Paul the remaining Bowmore, his favorite. Hmmm, might have been my favorite as well.

Next appointment – we will be leaving Scotland. Dr. Paul is going to “borrow” a few Japanese bottles from his son-in-law and I am going to bring a couple of the new American single malts. Stay tuned.

I raise a glass to revisiting old friends and sharing a dram in unexpected places.




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