Every now and again those of us who love single malt scotch come across something exquisite, unusual, and hard to find…and still within a working man’s or woman’s budget. Well, maybe, for a bit of a splurge.
The most recent foray was actually precipitated by a single malt tasting with the extraordinary Nate, local buddy of mine. Suffice to say, the bottles at his table were enough to bring whisky drinkers to their knees. The star of the night was the Longmorn 35 YO, 53.6% bottled by The Perfect Dram and bought in Switzerland. This Speyside whisky came from ex-bourbon hogshead barrels, was mellow yet flavorful, like blossoms with caramel. One comment said it all, “This is a fresh, warm buttery croissant with honey!” Oh yeah. Naturally, I said I wanted a bottle. Chuckle, chuckle, this one bottle came by way of Switzerland and is one of only 187 produced. I persisted and contacted fellow Party People across the continent and beyond. Not happening, none to be found. What’s a girl to do? I dug into my own scotch cabinet and came up with a Duncan Taylor Cask Strength Longmorn 29 YO (1973-2003), which is one of 120 bottles. I’m drinking it right now. There is an unexpected sweetness, though it matured only in oak casks. The finish lingers with touch of molasses. The alcohol is only 47.6% so the cask strength moniker is a bit deceiving. I am pretending it is the 35 YO that I drank six months ago.
The Party People have stayed in touch with Switzerland for that certain something special and I was finally contacted a few weeks ago about a bottle of Girvan 48 YO bottled by The Whisky Agency – one of only 487 bottles. It was matured in an ex-sherry butt and was reviewed by Serge at whiskyfun.com. The word “rum” comes up a lot in his description. Serge’s ending comments: “a lovely concoction, greatly both rummy and liqueur (sp?), eminently drinkable. No ideas as for the price but if it’s fair and if you haven’t got any old grain in the house, well, I know what I would do.” 90 pts. I offered Nate first chance at it as a thank you for allowing me to be part of his immense tasting. I (and Nate) didn’t want to lose it, so the move was made to have the international team grab it. While the bottle hasn’t made it to my scotch cabinet as of yet, it has been secured by fellow Party People and is expected to make its way to the US this summer. Nate will be present for the cracking open.
The hunt for that exquisite splurge is most definitely part of the fun for me. Drinking it after bringing it home….
I raise a glass!