My First Whisky Tasting: A Night with the Boys (or the first Anglo Israeli whisky tweetup)
I’m very happy to present to you , our first ever female guest post on the blog. Women also dig whisky, and their voice should be heard loud and clear, so please welcome our guest blogger Ruth, and first, a short intro:
Usually dabbling in the hotel and tourism arena, Ruth has learned to admire fine single malts. Hailing from the UK, her father is responsible for her initial introduction to whisky and is still a firm supporter of her ongoing appreciation. Ruth now resides in Tel Aviv and when not sampling Scottish delights (no not the kilted kind), can be found walking her dog on the beach.
It was a long time in the making but when I noticed a window of opportunity, I had to open it. A whisky night with the boys! For a while now I’ve enjoyed the twitter interaction with what has quickly grown into a little whisky crew. By creating a Whisky Israel blog, @galg facilitated building a little local online whisky community, and by reading his posts (and getting to know him and others online a bit more) my “love” of whisky continued to be cultivated.
a wee collage of some (not all) of the drams and cigars we poured and smoked that night.
Now let’s redefine; I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a “love” of whisky, but certainly an admiration, appreciation and interest, all of which grew perhaps when I realised it could be a conversation point with guys. And who could argue that a girl who can handle her whisky (in moderation) is one who a whisky-loving guy might notice? Gosh, what would Freud say that men who drink whisky remind me of my father?? Hhhmmm.
So following months of online banter, @_BigPhil_ “called our bluff” (as he put it) and the date was set, event posted, and it finally happened!!! (even though I got there a little late)
The guys being, well, gentlemen (sure, let’s go with that) I, of course had a dram poured and waiting for me; “easing me in” with an Aberlour 16 year old – at first sniff, I could tell it would be on the smoky side for my usual tipple but still somewhat smooth. I was pleasantly surprised how palatable this dram was; still smoky but definitely a sweet undertone. Looking at the selection on the table though, the evenings undertakings dawned on me and I knew a moderate pace had to be set. A tradition was quickly created – Noah the bin. Watching Mr pro Gal ‘bin’ the ends of his drams, I didn’t want mine to go to waste, so they went into Noah.
A wise host once told me, an empty glass needs to be filled so next up I tried the Glen Scotia 19. Maybe these guys were trying to educate me on smoky/peaty whiskies while I’m much more a Spey girl, but who am I to refuse such education?! I appreciated diving into the deep end, and getting stuck in the ‘turf’ but even in the best of days drinking whisky takes getting used to, and for me…. Yeah I’ll stick with the smooth.
But before sitting back to enjoy the delicious Cragganmore coming up, I had to, almost literally, “Take a bite” out of the Bunnahabhain, the palest of them all, and in fact any whisky I’ve ever seen (I’m a total novice let me remind you) I was certainly not expecting that hit of smoke, right to the throat. Yeah, Noah the bin even cringed downing the rest of that one. A very interesting dram, and I’m sure there’s lots a whisky maven could tell you about it (cue galg: ) since they all tried to explain some interesting fact here and there about the tastings I was experiencing. Yes, I guess, they were something like gentlemen after all. (Special thanks to @sgilboa @simeonlebo & @yoavgel who all tried to impart some whisky knowledge alongside @_bigphil_ @noahroth , @markkorman and of course @galg) (oran and Hillel were there too but they need to get their asses on twitter)
After starting the evening off in the proverbial mud, i.e a peaty build up, I welcomed the opportunity to try an old favourite brand; Cragganmore. The Double matured cask is just that, doubly mature. Full of body and style; felt like sitting having a chat with an old friend, so comfortable and smooth, a whisky with which to ponder the day and a great one to tie up proceedings.
Upon @_BigPhil_’s suggestion, I took a little taster of his delightful Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 yo Rum; having never really considered drinking rum in an evening before this struck me as odd (I think I even asked where the coke was) but was well worth the sweet ending to what had been already a fabulously fun evening of Beauty playing with the beasts……. Ok no not really, all their respective wives would be proud to know that this was THE most tame ‘night out drinking with the lads’ I had ever been to. (what happens in Modiin…..)