Sunday, 6 April 2014

whisky chaser 5/4/14

Last year I carried a Stornoway shot glass. However after careful consideration I noticed the Rigg Race glass held a larger volume. Gio however, had chosen his glass because it was very small. On reflection I think he may have chosen wiser.

I ran 3 miles from town to Hillend. The Whisky Chaser is not a long day out (about 6 miles of Pentlands,) and I wanted to add a few miles to the day. I also had plans to run home (another 6+?) but wasn't sure what shape I'd be in and whether it was wise to stay on for the meal at the Steading. Jim and Mary's hangovers from last year were legendary and I didn't want to pour strong drink all over the weekend.

Number one. 
Nose: some grass and citrus fruits, and a little honey.
(For comparison, it's a while since I've had any grass.)

Photo thanks to Digby. I don't know if he stayed a bit more sober than myself, but Digby's photos seem much better than mine - better scenery and far more blue skies. 

"Carefully matured, quietly married."

Number two.
 Nose: a signature candle wax note, along with sugar, near a bonfire, by the sea.
(BTW, these notes are the official business, not my drunken rambling. While it was possible to agree with the notes if they were read out while one rinsed and swilled, we would have been there all day trying to guess the words chosen almost at random, presumably by people who have been tipping the stuff down themselves for years.)

Mary L in those leggings.

Number three.
Campbeltown Loch I wish you were whisky - oh, you are.
Nose: dark chocolate, marzipan and honey. 

Despite a lot of fanciful descriptions the most pronounced flavour and smell was WHISKY but perhaps that is stating the obvious. Perhaps the actual nose should be: "you are standing next to a bath of whisky, that smells of whisky; out in the corridor at the far end there is someone with an eggcup of sherry/marzipan/marmite. They may or may not have their hand over the eggcup and seaweed in their pocket. So while you think about that, the predominant SMELL in your nose unless you are of canine extraction will be, wait for it, WHISKY."

I mean there may well be some trace elements of peacock, or hibiscus and white amber, but to describe a liquid by it's least obvious element is a bit like describing the sea by saying it has a lemony scent and a long coconut finish. 

As there were fewer customers this year it meant there was sightly more to drink than last time. Or maybe I didn't have enough to eat before I left home. I was pretty toasted by this point.
Thanks Nick for taking the photo.

Number four.
Does that say Coal tar? It should have. Aptly coloured bottle for this medicinal Islay. (No likey!)
Nose: Peat, treacle toffee, and some damp grass. (Difficult to distinguish given the surroundings.) Apparently lemon pudding in the body. Didn't really get that either despite extensive search.

Bark for daddy!

Photobombed by Death!

Number five.
Not sure if this bottle is an outsize eau-de-cologne or art deco vase but it proved a popular Speyside. (Bottle inspired by the Victorian roots of the original distiller.)
Palate: bursting with fruit and spice which gently yields to toffee and rich sherry oak.

Digby's photo. Thanks!

then we scampered back to the pub

Big thanks to Oz (Ian Oswald) for leading a great run in the hills and providing a diverse selection of whisky. There are definitely "blank passages" in the evening, and I was glad I opted to run home when I did. Around 10.30? I vaguely remember witnessing, but not partaking in, a vast amount of drunken behaviour in the Grassmarket and Cowgate as I cantered through there. We really do live in a country soaked in alcohol. Moderation would probably be the watchword. Of which there was no sign, on Saturday evening. Smaller glass next year!

nose: slightly blocked, damp grass, whistling. 
body: tired and slightly tremulous, in need of lemon pudding.
palate: still tasting that Islay coal-tar soap. 

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