When I asked the bartender at the Brandy Library what people usually want to drink – rye, bourbon, Scotch – he said people tend to want to try something they haven’t had before. It’s no wonder with their selection – I could look around and know there was definitely plenty I hadn’t tried yet.
I went with a couple of randoms – ones I hadn’t even heard of, Sam Houston and Pikesville.
But I got a few extra treats because a member of the Glenfarclas family, George Grant – 6th generation in the whisky business! – happened to be there to host a tasting. I had just tried Glenfarclas Scotch for the first time a few days before, wanted to explore it more, and here it was handing itself to me. I tried a few different years, but I think the 21-year was my favorite. I’d give you a really thoughtful analysis and all, but I had my notes put away and my smile out instead. So…it was really good. I can say that.
As for the others:
What I knew: 86 proof, American Straight Whiskey
What I discovered: Banana on the nose. Marshmallow. Left the taste in my mouth of kind of a sweet and chalky smarty candy that faded to frosting. Too sweet for me, I think. Wasn't enough balance of sensations.
What I knew: 110 proof, straight rye, aged at least 6 years, from Heaven Hill
What I discovered: Whew! Spicy! A definite contrast to Sam Houston in both sweet vs. spicy and in a much higher alcohol proof. I asked for a straw, and you know a whiskey place is classy when they hand you an actual water dropper. Legit. The water didn’t exactly soften it – it seemed to bring out more spice, leaving the mouth all tingly. It’s not all spice though – still slightly sweet and slightly nutty. Almost like drinking a pine tree. I must like pine trees – I wanted to keep drinking.