Today is a self proclaimed Scotch and Irish Whiskey day. I am sipping on two Irish Whiskies (both 80 proof); Bushmills 16 YO Single Malt Irish Whiskey, and Jameson 18 YO Master Selection Blend, and a Scotch Whiskey; The Macallan Fine Oak 15 YO Single Malt Scotch (86 proof). These whiskies all fall into a category that I would designate as refined (at least two boubons also fall into this category in my opinion, Pappy Van Winkle 20 YO, Black Maple Hill 21 YO). They are not in the least assaultive and are very subtle and must be treated as delicate, sipping whiskies. They challenge you by demanding patience (a requirement for all great spirits.........they must be given time to breath and open up)!
BUSHMILLS - a soft aroma with citrus, clover, leather, some spicy notes, a touch of vanilla and oaky dryness from the bourbon barrels, and a hint of the nutty sweetness from the sherry casks. It absolutely pleasures the mouth with its rich, creamy, viscous mouthfeel. Somehow, the word sensuous seems to fit this whiskey. It goes down so smoothly with a mild peppery finish. This, dear friends, is a high quality whiskey. Highly recommended!
JAMESON - a milder citrusy aroma than the Bushmills, with a skosh of peat, some clover, light spices, and just a touch of organic earthiness. Appearing after a short while in the glass is a slight brown sugar, nutmeg aroma that is pleasing. Patience allows the leather to sneak in with the other aromas (if I did not know better, I would swear this whiskey has some rye in it). The mouthfeel is equally as viscous as the Bushmills, but is a bit sweeter. The finish is as smooth as a baby's butt and leaves the rich creamy taste behind with barely a nod by the alcohol. An excellent whiskey, maybe slightly less interesting than the Bushmills. Also highly recommended!
MACALLAN - A nose unlike most other Scotchs. The peat and smokiness that are normally so apparent in Scotch are moderated in this whiskey by the time spent in the bourbon barrels. There is the definite oak aroma, with its vanilla and dry tannins. Leather makes its appearance late along with the sherry nuttiness. There is a definite earthy component (heather?) and some citrus and floral elements, along with a nice whiff of butter. A complex and interesting nose that must be given time to evolve. The mouthfeel is viscous and creamy with just enough peat to remind you that this is, after all, Scotch. A wonderfully complex, smooth, creamy, Scotch whiskey. If the aromatic distinctiveness and strong flavors of the Isaly Scotchs offend you (I personally enjoy them very much), then give this a go. It is lighter in body (and color) but is a very rewarding whiskey. Highly recommended!
In my humble opinion, people who distain Scotch and Irish whiskey are denying themselves some wonderful taste experiences and some great whiskies! In gustatory terms, this was a great afternoon..........I keep going back for another small sip of each, so good are each of these whiskies!
Last edited by Mike
on Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas