The most important thing I’ll ever say on ATW: whisky is about the stories.
Think about that for a moment.
It’s a drink that is built on stories that are years and decades and centuries old. It’s a drink that is shared along the way to making memories and future stories with friends. It’s a drink wherein the very fabric of its being is rooted in time. And the passage of time – especially for an aged spirit like this – is where stories are born, live and grow.
This indie Pulteney from the good people at Gordon & MacPhail is a malt that has now become a piece of my story. I love that. The whisky itself? Meh. Not so great. But that’s beside the point. What matters is it that it takes me places.
That may seem counter to conventional thought, aye? When you spend money you want good return on your outlay. Completely logical. But sometimes you take a leap of faith on something because the price is right (and it was for this one) and because circumstances dictate (which they did).
When a few of the good guys were over on Islay this past September one of the lads saw this bottle sitting bottom shelf in the Co-op in Bowmore. It was intriguing enough that he cleared a little furrow in his bag just big enough to mule this guy home with him. The packaging was retro and charming…the distillery one we typically like…the bottler one whose reputation is beyond repute…and quite frankly…it was a bottle we wouldn’t see back home. It didn’t end up getting cracked open until a couple months later, but it’s since been passed around and shared with many more folks than just the initial contingent who were there when it was purchased. And that becomes part of the story too.
Am I getting a little too cheesy here? Probably for some. Such is.
Nose: A light nose. Approachable and actually quite charming, straight off. Faint hint of bubblegum. Playdough. Red berries. Slightly perfumed. Vaguely malty. Uber light. Not much more. Higher strength may have helped.
Palate: Ok, not sure what happened here. Clayish. Very flat. Almost bittering. Like under-ripe cranberries. A bit cardboardy. In spite of the notes here…it’s not bad. Just…not great.
Thoughts: Very little in the way of balance. Would score higher if on the nose alone. But…holds a bit of a sweet spot in my heart nonetheless.
– Images & Words: Curt
This post and what it stands for remains for me one of the main reasons for staying in the whisky game so to speak, whisky is about the stories, the communion and the ties that it creates. I had a discussion with a friend the other day, she was saying whisky was elitist and in some way I understood why she would think that.
Like many industries (wine, food, clothing) there is always a portion of the sector that gives itself allures, whether partly guided by elitist or by geeks it doesn’t matter that can’t be helped. Then there’s the premiumisation of the industry which has helped drive that idea further. I had to fight to try to explain that whisky has working class roots, that it has the power to bring people close together and it’s “mysteries” are really open to everyone. Sure there are other types of spirits one could share but none are as close to offering the variety, depth and unexpectedness that whisky offers (although rum is a close second for me.)
The stories and memories are what keep us coming back, that drive most of the sensory experience of nosing and drinking whisky.
Agreed….whisky is an acquired taste. But the stories are what make it interesting.