I might have a formal education in the field, but my brother’s knowledge about whisky is based on his experience, instinct and remarkable perception. He calls it his “whisky sixth sense” he is smug like that. I just think he has a great taste in whisky. More importantly my brother has tried a wider variety of whiskies that you and I can imagine.
When I was assisting a professional bartender few years ago, for the first time I saw a collection of 400 whiskies from around the world. Until then I had only seen the collections in duty free shops at the airport, and the airport bars. I did not taste all the 400 whiskies, just a few rare ones. But this time I was sure that I had beaten my brother, at least in the number of whiskies I knew.
I showed him the pictures that I had taken and asked him, “ So what’s you magic number?” I had forgotten that my brother is a big collector and he loves tasting the good stuff. Few years ago he had been to Scotland, in one of those rare shops that store some whiskies treasure, he had seen some 3000 different types of whisky, no it wasn’t a museum, he would go there everyday and have a look at the whisky bottle all day, or at least that’s what he told me to win that competition.
He may or may not have seen 3000 bottles of whisky, but I do believe that he has tasted far more varieties of whiskies than I have, so when he recommends a whisky to me I believe him. After all, I know that he had been to Scotland, and he must have tried a variety of whiskies there. Me, I’m more a person of habit and I usually stick to my comfort zone when it comes to whisky drinking. If I pour a drink to relax, I am more likely to relax with a familiar whisky instead of trying something new on an easy evening. I guess I am just more loyal to my beverage than my brother is.
My brother was visiting last evening, and we were casually talking, and obviously, the topic of whiskies came up. I asked him, “So, what are you drinking these days?” he told me the name of some distillery followed by a really boring story about why he bought that whisky. When he saw me yawning, he made a face and sarcastically asked me, “So, what are you drinking?” He knows that I am loyal to my brand. I’m always drinking Black Dog, so I hardly ever have anything new to share with him. He was just being mean to his little sister. Sometimes I just make up stuff or memorise a brand name to boast that I try other whiskies too.
I’m proud of my choice of beverage? So I brazenly said, “The new Black Dog, Triple Gold Reserve. And it is an awesome whisky. It is triple matured. It is as good as any 12 YO Scotch. It has delicate aromas, and very light yet multiple flavours” My brother burst out laughing with my defense. It was as though I had learnt the answer, just so I could sell my choice of whisky to him. Don’t get me wrong, he loves Black Dog too, he loves the taste and it’s his Daddy’s drink too, but he is just more experimental.
“Really?” he said, “I heard about the launch of their new label but somehow I haven’t tasted it yet. May be because I was expecting that since it Black Dog, you must have it, and you won’t mind treating your brother to it”. Of course I did not mind, I was so thrilled, finally I have a whisky that my big brother had not tasted. A whisky that I tasted before him, and a whisky I can boast that I introduced him too.
I was waiting for his verdict as if I had blended the Triple Gold Reserve myself. “I usually do love the flavour of Black Dog” he said, “but this one is really something. It has an exquisite taste and these velvety aromas. Good choice!” Then he went on to describe the flavours with some really complicated words, it was like he was reciting poem. Something about meadows and sun rays I think, I don’t know. I had stopped listening the moment he said “Good choice!” In my mind I was celebrating, “I won! I won!”
We did celebrate that evening with the bottle of Triple Gold Reserve that we both loved. He even bought me another bottle of the Black Dog after that. We chatted, ate some rotis with kebabs and enjoyed drink, after drink. It was an amazing week. I finally succeeded in being the first one to introduce my big brother to a great Scotch whisky, a whisky that he loved.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is meant only for readers above 25 years of age.