December 26, 2016

Smells not entirely smelled.

"Rich and smoky with seaside minerals with a hint of ash and bitter chocolate drops. Vanilla follows with oily unroasted chestnuts and a hint of fudge with a malty sweetness. A drop of water adds a creamy clotted cream note with fruit appearing in the form of unripe citrus in a flan glaze."

Description of the "nose" of a much-appreciated Christmas gift.

56 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Never been to Islay (the home of your present), but I've been next door on Skye. Life is very different on those islands. Slow, peaceful, and stark.

Hagar said...

All the islands in the Irish Sea and around and north of Scotland once were Norse possessions.
Good times!

tcrosse said...

Marshall McLuhan said that colour photography has done more for food than eating has. Likewise, florid writing has almost done as much for whisky as drinking has. Slàinte mhath !

traditionalguy said...

You did it again. This is from the old Norse/Viking area of the Hebrides Isles. That is Trump's heritage country. Islay is in Lordship of the Isles that was wisely ruled by Clan Donald.

mikee said...

The description does not mention peat. It should.
Rotted mossy growth, dried and burned, is the primary flavor component of wonderful, delicious Laphroig. Take a sip, and you will know what the bogs of Islay taste like.

mikee said...

The description does not mention peat. It should.
Rotted mossy growth, dried and burned, is the primary flavor component of wonderful, delicious Laphroig. Take a sip, and you will know what the bogs of Islay taste like.

David said...

Drop of water? Gotta be single malt.

Larry Day said...

I really do like many single malts, but some Scotch whiskies taste awful to me. Several of the small batch bourbons currently on the market are fantastic. Funny thing about those taste descriptions though, the taste sensation varies among people. It seems we don't all taste flavor compounds the same way, so it's not always a case of who has the "educated" palate and who doesn't. I think some good things just taste bad to some people.

EDH said...

For Althouse...

To smell, the impossible smell

To savor, the piquant of the inscrutable bouquet...


"Smell you later!"

MadisonMan said...

Excellent marketing for something that is not really the ne plus ultra.

I just finished off my bottle of Riegers yesterday, so I have to replenish that.

Hagar said...

Why would anyone want to know what the bogs of Islay taste like?
Or any other bog?

John said...

Hennigans

"... And afterwards you don't even smell. "

John Henry

Fritz said...

I think some good things just taste bad to some people.

Cilantro.

Meade said...

"I think some good things just taste bad to some people."

Peat bog (finished compost).

LYNNDH said...

Wonderful aroma, taste is sublime. Enough said.

Howard said...

Drank a few snorts of my college professor's Laphroaig around a campfire due to a Scottish camper next door who had shared a keg of Bass Ale with us. After the professor retired to his tent, the Scotsman said the professor was a pretentious arse and that no true Scotsman would drink Laphroaig because it tasted like Australian bush fire.

JAORE said...

"I think some good things just taste bad to some people.

Cilantro."

That's Spanish for dish soap,right?

madAsHell said...

They use some of the same vocabulary to sell licensed marijuana here in Washington state.
My friend tells me that it really has no impact on the quality of the weed.

Arthur James said...

It has been years, yet there was a Scottish writer, details vague and distant, yet I know Neil Gunn was a writer who could hypnotize me when I was younger. I don't know why this post reminded me of him.

Danno said...

It would appear that the snobbery of wine and coffee connoisseurs is rubbing off on the purveyors of imported whiskey.

Linda said...

I have enjoyed Nina's adventures on the isle of Islay. The pictures are beautiful, but the landscape is so stark. I know there are still beautiful views to enjoy, but I really think I would miss trees. I enjoy the smell of whiskey far more than the taste!

TML said...

I drink a very excellent cocktail in Manhattan at the old Peacock (Now the Raines Law Room) called the Penicillin. It's most notable feature is the Laphroaig "float." It's a big, boozy, brawling cocktail. Delicious. But I call it the "Dirty Band-aid" because that's what it smells like. It's the Laphroaig.

Linda said...

I guess I should have checked before I posted(above, about no trees) - there are trees on Islay, I guess most of the pictures I have seen are along the coast lines.

John said...

Blogger Howard said...

no true Scotsman would drink Laphroaig because it tasted like Australian bush fire.

Kind of like Bacardi rum in Puerto Rico. Bacardi is, technically, a Puertan Rum, made here in PR though of Philippine and Brazilian molasses. All the tourists buy it by the boatload. However, it is a Cuban recipe and pretty nasty. It has a very harsh, burning, taste.

That's why all Bacardi drinks are with Coke, orange juice, pineapple or something else to mask the taste.

Top selling distilled spirit in the world. In Puerto Rico we use it as charcoal lighter.

If you can't enjoy a rum straight, or perhaps on ice, maybe a splash of water and/or a lime rind it doesn't deserve to be drunk.

If you want a good rum, I recommend Don Q, Granados or especially Barrilito (2 star great, 3 star better, 5 star out of this world)

John Henry

Arthur James said...

If you go Cuban on me, there is a poet I am strongly attached, to a Catholic amazing woman remaining hidden in Cuba. Maria Loynaz is a poet's poet. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?cc=mqr;c=mqr;c=mqrarchive;idno=act2080.0036.401;rgn=main;view=text;xc=1;g=mqrg

buwaya puti said...

The Balvenie is extremely smooth. Unlike many other single malts.
A favorite.
As with most such things the subtleties of flavor are beyond me.

Hagar said...

I got very drunk on (cheap) Scotch on my 17th birthday, and to this day I cannot stand the smell of Scotch, never mind the taste. Any Scotch.

I have seen comments before that Laphroaig is rather over the top and lacks real class, whatever that may be for Scotch drinkers.

As for Puerto Rican Bacardi, I used to like it, but as John Henry says, in mixed drinks. Now Mexican Bacardi, even Coca Cola can't mask that!

And then there was my first wife, whom I caught making herself a brandy and coke with my sole bottle ever (actually stoneware crock) of Courvoisier Brandy Napoleon!

Meade said...

"...then there was my first wife..."

Say no more.

Arthur James said...

Here is a Maria Loynez poem, so many reasons I will glorify her.

I cast my word on the wiind without keys and without veils.
It is not a coffer for for the things we covet.
Nor a coquette trying to be more beautiful than she is.
I cast my word on the wind so everyone might see it, feel it, squeeze it, or squander it.
There is nothing in it that is not me myself, and my wisdom,
if I have any, lies in my wearing it is not like a shawl,
but like a hair shirt.

Kate said...

I'm with @mikee. If you don't use the word "rotten" along with "delicious" you haven't described Laphroaig. My husband says it tastes like a cigar.

madAsHell said...

I got very drunk on (cheap) Scotch on my 17th birthday, and to this day I cannot stand the smell of Scotch, never mind the taste. Any Scotch.

I suffered a similar cure for Scotch. I can't stand the smell of it today.

mikee said...

Hagar, I was gifted a bottle of Laphroig by my son one Christmas long ago. I enjoyed the harsh, medicinal taste, the bogwater peat aroma, and the luxuriously long peppery finish of the brew, but then I grew up sneaking sips of original Vicks 44 and eating spoonfuls of Liptons Instant Iced Tea mix. I like the flavor.

Then I discovered an even better reason to buy it. My wife, who drinks faster and more often than do I, won't touch Laphroig. A bottle of Jamesons gets shared; a bottle Laphroig is all mine.

Hagar said...

I have a set of Courvoisier advertising baby snifters with eggshell thin glass, and in my old age enjoy sipping a shot of Gentleman Jack on a quiet evening.

Ray Visotski said...

I am not sure about that description, but Laphroaig is my favorite, sipping drink. Surely not a mainstream Scotch, but a just reward for those that appreciate uniqueness.

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LYNNDH said...

Laphroaig, Taliskers, Oban, The Balvenie, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie - all good Single Malts. The strong peaty ones are the very best, with just a drop of water, NO ICE. I have them all in my bar, and several others. If ever you go to Edinburgh go to the Scotch shop just down from the Castle. Ah, just pure heaven.
If you got Laphroaig for Christmas from a friend, they are a True Friend indeed.

walter said...

"A drop of water adds a creamy clotted cream note with fruit appearing in the form of unripe citrus in a flan glaze."

This should be animated..

walter said...

traditionalguy said...This is from the old Norse/Viking area of the Hebrides Isles. That is Trump's heritage country.
--
Great Scot(ch)!

tcrosse said...

No True Scotsman would drink his whisky without water or his water without whisky.

Dr Weevil said...

I seriously thought the description was for a high-end fruitcake made by monks - maybe partly because I had left-over Christmas fruitcake for breakfast.

Dr Weevil said...

tcrosse:
In a totally tangential way, that reminds me of something my grandmother used to say about a brand of orange marmalade that had Scotch for one of its ingredients (to be read with an Edinburgh accent): "A terrible thing to do to good Scotch, and a terrible thing to do to good marmalade."

traditionalguy said...

Vat 69 is my speed. Scotch and Soda.

Mark Harrison said...

"And the quintessential essence of a Scotsman's socks after a long march through the peat bogs."

walter said...

Drink..and re-peat.

Fernandinande said...

Hagar said...
I got very drunk on (cheap) Scotch on my 17th birthday, and to this day I cannot stand the smell of Scotch, never mind the taste. Any Scotch.


Same here, but I was 14 and sick for three days. Throat feels like it's literally closing-up at the slightest scent of that vile poison. "It's an acquired distaste."

Quaestor said...

I like Laphroaig, but frankly Johnny Walker Black tastes better to me at half the price, which is much more a true Scots virtue than hints of creamy clotted cream (is clotted cream ever not creamy?) — we're talking Scotland here, Alba fucking gu bràth, the land of the deep-fired Mars bar, and not some poncy teashop in Torquay.

The more I read online reviews of spirits — anything, not just whiskey — the more I'm convinced that the writers of those "reviews" are dangerous psychotics who ought to be chained to something immovable and not allowed anywhere near children and domestic animals. Oily chestnuts, indeed... Here's an honest and defensible review of Laphroaig: Tastes like an alcohol-soaked plank. which proves only that alcohol-soaked planks are perhaps an overlooked taste sensation.

I used to spend money on whiskey, but not anymore. I let others buy it for me in exchange for my repartee, which must be getting valuable since they're pouring Pappy Van Winkle for me lately. For myself I buy absinthe because, let's face it, in a world where the Japs distill better Scotch than the Scots, it's bugger all.

Hagar said...

I have read that the rascals who stole the "Stoone of Scoone" from parliament dropped it and it shattered (must be a poor grade of rock!), so when it was recovered, they glued it back together with superglue, but some pieces are still missing.
Seems like an apt metaphor for the political situation in Scotland p.t.

rehajm said...

When I first began flirting with scotch I couldn't handle the Highalnds but the Islays were appealing for some reason. Now I prefer the other.

Glenfarclas 15 or older, please.

tcrosse said...

Laphroaig: my working-class Glasgow friends called it Leapfrog. They couldn't afford it.

Fabi said...

Laphroaig smells like iodine. It probably tastes like it too, but I've never tasted iodine -- only Laphroaig.

Curious George said...

"Hagar said...
I got very drunk on (cheap) Scotch on my 17th birthday, and to this day I cannot stand the smell of Scotch, never mind the taste. Any Scotch."

Same deal here but Seagram's Seven. The smell of any brown liquor...whiskey, scotch, rum, made me nauseous. Then a friend convinced me to try some Macallan 18. It's now my favorite but at $220/750ml for special occasion only. My everyday single malt is Glenlivet 12. Not a fan of the smokey scotchs.

Mike said...

A larger explosion of American whiskeys is coming and the superlatives will fly! I believe this densely knotted text is a descendant of the description overload during the craft beer explosion. Wine tried to keep up but beer-makers invented incredible brews actually made with citrus or spices or what-have-you. No it isn't like Meyer lemon, Man. It actually is made with Meyer lemon, Man.

So anyway, making ale or beer is more than two-thirds the way to making whiskey. All that's left is the distilling, so it's not surprising that many hot brewers are now becoming distillers too. We are living in the golden age of alcohols. So many kinds are made so well and are so freely available for competitive prices that it's never been a better time to have a drink. I'm sipping Trader Joe Whaler's Rum with a splash of creme soda while pecking this out.

Ann Althouse said...

People are talking about Laphroaig generally, but not the specific: Lore.

Does anyone have anything to say about Lore?

MadisonMan said...

Does anyone have anything to say about Lore?

Data's evil brother. A ST:TNG plot line best forgotten.

Phil 3:14 said...

If you're going to praise something that tastes crappy, the least you can do is sing your praises.

navillus said...

Ann- If you were gifted a bottle of Laphroaig Lore for Xmas, it means either your friend likes you an awful lot ($120 a bottle!) or that your friend has expensive tastes, or both. Congrats. Lore is a new expression from Laphroaig, it came out earlier this year for the first time. It's so new, only now is it hitting stores locally here in Virginia. I have yet to summon the courage to buy a bottle (especially since my wife has threatened dire consequences if I buy anything new before I reduce my current single malt collection), but I have heard great things about the whisky. Of course, Lore is a No Age Statement (NAS) whisky & some argue that it's folly to spend >$100 for whisky that doesn't carry an age statement. I've read that Lore has spirits as young as 7 years & as old as 22, but under the rules for scotch labeling it would have to be labeled as 7 year old whisky if it carried an age statement. Since your bottle was a gift, you & Meade can sip your prize without all the drama. Slainte.