Thursday, October 09, 2008

Albannach

I think it’s Scottish for “A great Wednesday night”

Or maybe it’s Scottish for “Scotch tasting – FTW”

Or … “Not hung over on Thursday morning”

Last night I went to this bar with some friends (Hot Sauce, his wife, and someone else). It was a multi-event evening.

First – was the Scotch tasting. A fine lad from a long line of Scottsmen took us through a Scotch 101 course. Giving us the history of the drink as we sipped our way through five samples – all from The Glenlivet.

We started off with my “everyday” Scotch … the 12 year old. Then we moved to the 15 year old, French Oak Reserve. Nothing too exciting there – they’re just playing up that this batch of Scotch is aged in French Oak barrels. The third taste was something I haven’t had before, the Nadurra. Which is bottled at “cask strength” without “chill filtration”. (ie: another marketing game)

This was the beginning of the smoother mouth feel – and a spicier taste. There were several exclamations from the non-Scotch drinkers of pleasure when this delight hit their palettes. Our fourth pour was the 18 year old. If I could afford the $72.00 the North Carolina ABC charged for this bottle, I’d make IT my everyday Scotch. But – going through a bottle in a month – plus wine – makes this a rather expensive habit I’m forgoing so I can save myself in these wretched fiscal times – that I think will be sticking around longer than most boyfriends.

The final pour of the evening was yet another new taste for me. It was The Glenlivet’s “Archive” collection. Their 21 year old Scotch – that’s not available here in the ABC stores. (And may I just tell you how stupid this state is that requires all “hard liquor” to be sold through state stores – yet beer and wine may be purchased in retail outlets.) It doesn’t matter – even if the state DID carry this – I’m sure I couldn’t afford it. On the web prices range from $100-130/bottle.

I will say it is a very nice sip. Here are the tasting notes from the web-site.

PALATE Without water: Unctuous. Mouth-coating, almost syrupy. Full-bodied. Sultana cake. Ginger biscuits. Oak holds the reins back, releasing a drying spiciness. Cinnamon and ginger. A touch of hot paprika. Walnut and raisins dark chocolate.

With water: More sweetness but wood and fruit are not so well integrated. A watery gap at mid-palate. And a bitter note in the finish. Bare oakiness shows up a little blatantly.

FINISH Everlasting,warming. Nutty. Toasted hazelnuts. A full layer of liquorice.

Or … in laymen’s terms … YUMMY.

Besides the Scotch tasting – there was dinner too. Dark brown bread, Cottage pie (or what I’d call Sheppard’s pie), Beef and Guinness Pie, Roasted Root Vegetables, Roasted Potatoes, and Peach cobbler. All outstanding … except the cobbler.

While eating, sipping, talking and laughing – there was also a lot of gazing going on … because it was KILT night! Talk about mouthwatering! Men – young men, older men, smiling men – scary men … dressed in kilts – walking around fine as you please. And oh did it please!

The topper of the evening was listening to Albanach play. This is not your typical Drum and Pipe band. Their style of playing lands squarely in the “rock-out” tradition – with drummers dancing as the play – and not a staid glace in the bunch.

All in all, an A+ evening – especially for a “school night”

2 comments:

Allie said...

HOLY MOTHER OF CRAP!!! I missed Kilt Night at TNN!!! OMG...I feel like a horses patootey! I knew it was coming, I had planned in advance to surprise Doug with this, and take him over to TNN, so he could enjoy the mass spirits, and have fun. And I totally forgot about it!!! Jeezaroo...I think I'll keep this forgetful venture under my hat.

mamie said...

Another friend of mine was there Wednesday night too. She talked quite a bit about the kilts - her husband wears kilts to formal events - and she mentioned a photo she saw one time of a kilt-wearer sitting next to the Queen displaying the family jewels. We got a good laugh out of it. Sounds like a great time.