I love Scotch names. I can’t pronounce them half the time, but I enjoy their unique mix of letters and rolling sounds. They often convey a specific sense of place and mood – briny shores or an isolated island or rolling, wind-swept fields. I find them soothing, If I was crying and someone hugged me and said, “Lagavulin,” I think I would feel better. Of course, if they handed me a glass of Lagavulin, I know I would feel better.
All this to say that I tried a couple 12-year-old Scotches and was mostly drawn to them by their charming names – Cragganmore and Littlemill. They sound like Dickens characters. Cragganmore would be a crusty-on-the-outside, but secretly friendly detective trying to solve the murder of the young prostitute who was kind to all the orphan street children. Littlemill be the breadmaker’s assistant who sees everything that happens in the squalid London neighborhood except when the fog is too thick as it was on the night of the murder.
Two interesting characters to spend an evening with, for sure.
What I knew: 12 years, single malt, Speyside
What I discovered: This one was smooth, rich, and sweet with flavors of licorice and orange. It’s not too heavy on the peat, but leaves a taste of having just had a puff of a cigar.
As compared to:
What I knew: 12 years, single malt, Lowlands
What I discovered: This had a distinctly different flavor – vanilla, floral, grassy, and spicy. No smoke to this one, but it made my tongue feel like it was covered in a thin orange syrup. It entered a little spicy and ended a little sweet.
It was a toss-up of which one I preferred. I feel like they would fit different moods except whichever one I was drinking seemed to fit exactly the mood I was in. Perhaps the challenge would be finding a mood when I wouldn't want to drink them.