Rosemary's Blog

In the mood for a dram

 I’m in the throes of planning a Whisky Lux dinner for Friday 23rd November 2018 with Malcolm at The Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall, Orkney.

 All set for a whisky tasting for the Guild of Food Writers

All set for a whisky tasting for the Guild of Food Writers

We’ve been discussing the menu and starting to pull together a list of whiskies to taste with each course of the meal. There are many things to discuss. One is how will people react to me hosting the evening? There are two major things stacked against me: one, I am a woman and two, I’m from Sooth (as they say up here). Hopefully people will be brave enough to relax into the evening and just enjoy the experience of tasting different whiskies with delicious food and deciding which one they like most and which is the best match with the food. Hopefully the intrigue of that will help the diners to get over my gender and geographical shortcomings!

How you are feeling , where you are and who you are with can really alter how you react to a whisky and how it delivers on your palette. I think one of the key things is how warm you are. This was underlined for me when I checked two sets of notes about the new Highland Park travel retail whiskies. I first tasted them in a very warm hall at a charity fund raising event in June, then again during a Twitter Tasting on a breezy cool day in August. Deeper, richer flavour notes were lost on the cooler occasion with citrus notes dancing brightly at both tastings, although different fruits shone through.

I also think that there is another question: what do you want to get from your whisky today? Are you looking for a dram that will take you away from a miserable/stressful/exhausting day? Or are you looking for a whisky that will keep the good times rolling for an hour or two longer? Do you need warming up? Or refreshing? Do you want to sip from your glass, stare at the amber nectar and remember the great time you had visiting the distillery? Or if you have not yet begun your personal distillery trail, maybe you just want to nestle the glass in your hand and imagine the process?

Those suggestions are solitary thoughts about whisky drinking and tasting. There is also the conviviality of a shared dram, maybe a bottle that you’ve been saving for a special occasion, or, as we are planning at The Lynnfield, the excitement of trying one dram after another, thoughtfully selected to complement some wonderful food. I know how much fun that is, both from tastings I’ve run in Sussex and in London for the Guild of Food Writers, and for the Chichester Whisky Women.

Nikka Grain Whisky.jpg

Please leave a comment at the end of the whisky video and tell me why you like to drink whisky and what you want from it.

Cheers for now.