Once again, there’s this one unavoidable question I’ve been asked countless times by both whisky enthusiasts, novices or simply people intrigued by the fact I developed a passion for “such a manly beverage” (No, don’t get me wrong, I surely don’t wanna bore you with this false gender issue everybody seems to have noticed just a few months ago…). And this frequently asked question is : WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WHISKY ??
How can I even answer such a thorny question ?! It does actually sound to me like the tricky subjects I had to answer while taking those 4-hour philosophy tests at High School (which required at least 8-10 pages of litterary embroidery to finally not even ending up with a proper answer to the initial question…).
I do believe there’s a place and time for every whisky. There was even a time in my life when I could order a William Peel at the bar with complete impunity, without being affraid of attracting the anger of any imaginary whisky superpower.
Now that my palate (
and purse ?) has a little bit improved, I developed a real taste for smooth, floral, fruity nectars. I actually tend to really appreciate the sherry-influenced whiskies, but I’m always keen on discovering new expressions. Experimentations with whiskies is what drives my interest, I like unusual expressions whether it’s in the distillation process, the combination of casks used for maturation, or even the way it’s been thought, where the ingredients come from, basically everything that could make a whisky stands out from the others. Not saying I don’t appreciate the more traditional drams, quality is what matters the most, but I like this unexpected twist that can turn a classic whisky into a memorable one.
I know I may not make friends here (And if I lose half of my Twitter followers base by the end of the week I’ll blame my honesty), but I never really enjoy myself sipping the peatiest whiskies. The Octomore expressions don’t sound particularly appealing to me, while Laphroaig and Talisker won’t make an appearance on my “50 favourite whiskies” list (which by the way doesn’t exist). However, don’t get me wrong here, I do like a bit of peat and earthy notes in my whisky, well balanced, when it’s not overpowering the more subtle aromas of my dram.
If you really want a bit of name-dropping, Scapa 16 would for example stands near the top of the list, but you would also find expressions from Highland Park, Auchentoshan, Bunnahabain, Redbreast, Mackmyra and many more.
But the whisky I like the most is the one drunk in good company !