Whisky & Curry!

Ok… Now I know many a whisky aficionado who sings (or sang before converted) in perfect harmony with the choir 🎶 Nooo Way! 🎶 I completely understand that, savouring the purity of “The Water of Life” without subjecting your taste-buds to an onslaught of spice and heat fighting for survival so they can savour the next caress of a gentle dram, blah blah blah.

Well that’s just it for a starter, not all drams are gentle and peaceful, in fact many are prepared for battle in full armour and ready to take on all challengers.

So after a recent and necessary whisky tasting I invited my tasting partner, a visitor from the States, for a curry where I advised him we could continue our tasting experience elevated of course by the pleasures of as the Indians themselves say “First Class” experience. He of course was massively sceptical both about food and the pairing.

Now we arrived at the sparsely seated establishment early evening and were promptly seated when I asked for some poppadoms and sparkling water to refresh and prepare 🙂

A selection of Tandoori starters were ordered and I took the lead in ordering the booze. First up a Bowmore Old Fashioned, no explanation needed this just works at every level with the starters.

For his main, being a novice, he opted for a safe Chicken Korma. No problem, double Eagle Rare Bourbon on the rocks (25 ml just does not do it and to interject; Puffin’ Rooms is the only place to get 35ml) anyway it’s candied fruity, honey complexity and oakyness was perfect.

Now I ordered Lamb Rogan Josh and Garlic Naan… when your pairing anything, particularly cigars and whisky, the rule of thumb is contrast or compliment. But I like to take one step further and challenge.

The idea is to bring out the best in both, not that it’s advised to have a mouthful of complex food and swirl it around with a counterpart spirit, but to take a bite enjoy all that the dish has to offer allow settle then reach for the glass of challenge see it raise to the occasion.

So fortunately this restaurant had a whisky that fit the bill Laphroaig Lore. Spicy, peaty and seriously good with hints of sherried sweetness! Perfect Harmony to my Rogan Josh.

Oh and on the table, left over from the poppadoms, sat my favourite lime pickle which I emptied on to my curry and left out of the equation just because it’s the “Pickle King!”

On the way out my friend said as Americans do that was “Awesome”.

Slainte

Ron Morrison
Chairman of C.Gars Ltd

Sexy Whisky!

For decades I have journeyed across the Highland Islands of bonnie Scotland on a quest for single casks of exceptional, or potentially exceptional, whiskies. The aim has been to nurse and influence the spirit in preparation of releasing a satisfying rare dram which we would use for our award winning range of independent bottlings.

It was on a recent such journey that my companion commented that I used the term Sexy Cask (not really being aware). I realised it was in response to finding such casks as described above. I got to thinking what was it that prompted that statement when examining and tasting the contents on the discovery of such a gem.

Simply, really on reflection, looking at a beautifully put together cask with curved long lines closely pressed against each other containing the inner beauty that it’s outside teasingly promises.

These individual staves, express themselves confidently, be they young or mature, and in unity held together with rings (hoops) of commitment… Yes, “Sexy Casks” indeed.

Then as you get more intimate with the contents, the allure of aromas often are seductive and inviting, perfume of nature and provenance sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy. Followed by the sensation of taste on your lips that fill your senses with excitement and desire… The incredible personalities of some casks and content come to life and bring you along for the journey, so much so that the lingering sensation leaves you wanting more.

Yes there is “Sexy Whisky” for sure.

Here are three such beauties all international award winners.

Benrinnes 20 year old, Auchroisk 19 year old, Ben Nevis 18 year old.

Slainte,

Ron Morrison
Chairman

A day in the life of a whisky specialist!

Ron Morrison is the Chairman of the C.Gars Ltd group, but also our in house whisky specialist with a huge wealth of knowledge at his finger tips. Enjoy a snippet of a day in Ron’s life:

I took a leisurely afternoon walk along the sunny Liverpool docks where I could see vessels of every kind resting after a lifetime filled with experiences and adventure. I decided to embark on my own little adventure for the day.

So inspired, I popped in to our beautiful Turmeaus store on Old Hall Street. As I walked into the whisky room, in which lies a spectacular array of whiskies from around the world, I was confronted by someone with a question; what was my favourite type of cask finish for whisky?

Now standing in a room with thousands of whiskies of which many are my favourite, my mind raced through the delights of, bourbons, creamy vanilla freshness or sherry casks with raisin-y nuttiness and berry driven red wine casks.

However I realised from the conversation what they really wanted was a recommendation! So, no problem, the previous evening I had the experience of the most loveliest of drams which paired wonderfully with my Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lancero cigar. The whisky was a relatively new release from Dalmore, The Dalmore Port Reserve. The dried fruity, orange-y spice notes danced around my palate keeping it fresh then slid away in a smooth satisfying finish. It had a rather generous, and my preferred, ABV of around 46%. That was my recommendation to the customer who happily embraced it.

Whiskies are a real, and relatively safe, adventure 🙂 This one is certainly worth a try!

Slainte,

Ron Morrison
Chairman of C.Gars Ltd

Terrific Triple Distillation!

If you want to indulge in silky smooth Single Malts then triple distilled whiskies are the way to go!

The unique lowland distillery Auchentoshan Single Malts are a true delight! They offer incredible character, flavour and supple smoothness which will appeal to anyone new to whisky including malt maniacs!

Having been privileged to have sampled these great Lowlands, here are my reviews,

Auchentoshan 12 Years 40%

This new, 12 Year Old bottling exhibits the new, slightly Imperial aesthetics in which Auchentoshan have re-branded themselves with.

Appearance: Golden honey.
Nose: Cereals and exotic fruits make up the fantastic nose on this 12 year old Auchentoshan.
Palate: Smooth and sweet with barley, vanilla and hints of tangerines.
Finish: Dry and very long, sweetness from the barley continues as well as ginger and a lingering nutiness.

Auchentoshan American Oak 40%
Introduced in 2014 to replace the Classic Auchentoshan comes this new Auchentoshan.

Triple distilled and matured solely in American bourbon casks, the result? Auchentoshan American Oak, a Lowland Single Malt Whisky with the sweet aromas of vanilla and coconut – along with the signature smooth, delicate, Auchentoshan taste.

Colour: Bright gold.
Nose: Oranges and lemons with delicious toffee chunks and milk chocolate. Wafts of grassy air and clotted cream come and go.
Palate: Bounty bars, yet more citrus in the sense of peels with peaches. A little buttery, with golden barley and oak spice developing on the mid palate.
Finish: Lasting notes of grapefruit and toffee pennies.

Auchentoshan Three Wood 43%

The Auchentoshan Three Wood is a Lowland single malt matured in 3 different casks, namely: Pedro Ximénez Sherry
casks, bourbon casks and Oloroso Sherry.

Colour: Rich golden bronze.
Nose: Blackcurrant, brown sugar, orange, plum and raisin.

Palate: Fruit and syrup. Hazelnut with hints of cinnamon and lemon. A butterscotch sweetness adds to the overall complexity.
Finish: Fresh and fruity, with long lasting oaky sweetness.

Last but not least, the great Auchentoshan 18 Years 43%

Triple distilled and matured in American bourbon oak for over eighteen years. The result: a refreshing Lowland single malt whisky with the added infusion of ripe citrus and green tea, the warmth of toasted almonds and the signature smooth, delicate, Auchentoshan taste.

Colour: Deep golden summer barley.
Nose: Fresh tobacco leaf – then sweet with a hint of caramelised sugars, green tea and toasted almonds.
Palate: A floral freshness with sweet barley sugar at first – this gently ebbs to reveal a tangerine zestiness. The palate is left alive and refreshed.
Finish: A long, lingering and well balanced dram that invigorates the mouth.

Slainte

Pete

GREAT SUMMER NEW RELEASES!

The arrival of August means that we are in the height of summer and we have some more great whiskies, gin and vodka to offer you! Two fabulous whiskies from Paul John, Shetland Reel Gin and a Penderyn vodka.