* Prices may differ from that shown
One of the great advantages of operating an independent' Consultancy of the sort that I run, is that over the years, you meet all sorts of people.. Since I started this 'game', just over 5 years ago, I have sent out invoices to over 100 different companies, firms and even individuals. Generally, I believe I can say with all confidence that I have been able to help all these clients. The only 'bad debt' that I have had was with a company that 'ceased trading', and I was at least paid my expenses out of the Managing Director's own pocket, so she must have felt some honour. At Xmas, I both dispense to my 'best clients' gifts (usually of ' alcoholic beverages') and receive likewise in return. It is not often that other tangible tokens of gratitude are received, but whilst I was in Belfast at the beginning of May, Heather told me that a package had arrived, delivered from a local 'Vintners' van, and did I have any idea what it might be ? I said I didn't and we both proceeded to forget all about it until this evening when, having settled down with my second glass of Hungarian Irsai Oliver White Wine, (the Best that Safeways’ has sold this year for £2.49 a bottle), Heather asked if I had opened the package. She then proceeded to forget where she had put it but after a few 'false leads', she remembered that it was (where else) but lying on its side (still 'gift-wrapped') on the larger of the two wine racks. I carefully opened the red-striped package (be useful for another bottle, I thought) and removed the card. Jean ? I thought, who is Jean ? Oh yes .... that small food producer in the Borders that needed help on product labeling and shelf life determination. A small contract (even by my standards), well-less than £1,000 .... hardly worth the effort ... but I had advised properly and they would not have to spend as much as that other 'Consu
ltant’ had tried to suggest was necessary ... So what is this ? I expected a decent bottle of wine. What I found inside the package was a bottle in a presentation box labelled : "Connoisseurs Choice ISLAY Single Malt Scotch Whisky ... Distilled at CAOL ILA Distillery.... Distilled 1984 ...Bottled 1999 ...40% Vol. ..". "Never heard of it", I said, "but it looks good .. " Then the enormity of it sunk in ! WOW what a gift ! A note of appreciation was hastily scribbled and put ready for the post and a few plain crackers and some cold 'still' mineral water consumed to 'freshen' the palate before 'having a wee dram or twa'. And checking to see if DooYoo had a mention of it (which it did - well done Monica !). So.... the bottle is presented in a pale pink-mauve and gold thin cardboard box, with a similar coloured label. The label design very different from that shown on the DooYoo page. The colour of the whisky - a definite 'gold' hue, not pale like 'virgins' water' and certainly not dark like 'drunkard's morning flow'.... The odour ... rather 'raw' I thought for a 15 years old malt whisky, you can definitely imagine it poured on Italian ice cream, as I would do with a 5 years' old Glen Grant. I sat and sniffed the first dram so many times that I would reckon it lost about 5% of its alcohol (up my nose !). However, I would have to describe the 'bouquet' as 'disappointing'... 'immature' The first sip .... whoa too much - remember, Sidney ... savour it ... Now try again ..... Not really like a typical Islay Malt, less of the iodine 'tang' even than the Talisker. Definitely a .. no, steady Sidney, taste it again before pronouncing on it .. Yes, no doubt about it, this one has a salty, almost 'brine'
quality about it. Certainly not the ‘Big, full, smoky and pungent with an edge of sweetness’ flavour suggested on DooYoo. Not THAT ‘Big’; certainly NOT ‘full’; NOT ‘smokey’ OR that ‘pungent’. And as for “edge of sweetness” – well in YOUR dreams perhaps, but certainly NOT in my reality. Definitely 'briney'. Son roped in to taste. Asked about initial feelings - "not as good as Talisker ... 'acrid' ..... not sweet ... is it expensive ?" The flavour does not linger for quite as long as the best Islay Malts. More like a Highland Malt. Be a good one to catch out my cronies who fancy themselves as 'experts' (exercising their palates at my expense too !!). Heather tried it. She is NOT a whisky lover, although she will 'tolerate' Glenkinchie. She described it as 'lavvy cleaner' (or, as she immediately qualified it, after I raised an eyebrow, "... tasting like I would expect lavvy cleaner to taste") Possibly would be much better at a higher strength than 40%. Doesna doo it justice. Conclusions Well, I am pleased that I didn't spend ma own bawbies on this one. Happen as not it would be more expensive than a 10 years old Laphroiag or a Bowmore cask strength and certainly nothing like as satisfying. Still, variety IS the spice of life ...... And it is GOOD to try new drinks, especially from another satisfied client. Makes that effort worth while ... Even if the product is not 'up-to-expectations' it is still a 'good experience'. Update Still in numbed shock. Makro sell the 'ordinary' 15 years old, for £32.99 PLUS VAT - £38.76 !!!! Surely 'my' Connoisseurs Choice bottle couldn'yt have cost more than that, could it ? Er .......... extravagance ? © Sidneygee 200
Single malt Scotch from Islay. Big, full, smoky and pungent with an edge of sweetness