Friday, January 4, 2013

Scotch Drammer's Most Overrated Scotch

At Scotch Drammer we like to make use of the full grade spectrum, so we have whiskies ranging from 50 to 98.  Maybe we would appear less like the amateur whisky swillers we are and more like serious, authoritative experts if we graded everything down a bit, but we really love drinking whisky here and the ratings reflect that.  That said, there are always a few you look back on with some degree of embarrassment and regret.  For me the most egregious review is that for Bowmore 18, which I gave an A rating to.  I liked it so much that that I "went deep" and bought a second bottle.  Well, I only have so much room for second bottles in the basement, and I decided to open that second bottle this winter.

Yes, I am underwhelmed.  My review got the flavor notes about right, but damn, that's just too much rubber and soap.  This whisky tastes like sucking on a band-aid.  And what before seemed like a wonderful aged texture tastes pretty thin now.  It still has some positives: a pleasant amount of peat for an 18-year-old, smooth, and an interesting mix of flavors.  But if I am rating this today I'm giving it a B.

I don't think this is a case of different bottlings (like with my Ardbeg 10 experience) but more likely my preferences shifting.  In terms of texture, "bigness" is more important to me now than smoothness.  After reaching triple digits in bottles of whisky drunk, pretty much everything is smooth.  My discernment in body now has more to do with oiliness and mouth-feel of the whisky.

However, I won't go back and adjust any prior reviews.  Each review is the product of its time and place and is as likely to be applicable to a whisky drinker at a similar point in their whisky journey as any review I write now.  And who knows where that whisky journey will take me in the future.

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