Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Isle of Skye 8 Year Old (Ian Macleod)

     This is the 47th anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival. I would imagine that when people think of this festival the first acts that generally come to mind are: The Grateful Dead, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin. For me the first act that comes to mind is Ravi Shankar.

     Mr. Shankar was introduced to America at this festival, and no music in my mind really characterises the Hippie movement more accurately than Indian classical. Not only does this music make a great accompaniment to the psychedelic experience, it also exemplifies the ideas of change, global growth and multiculturalism that was growing rapidly in the late 60s. From my stand point it is also extremely complex music.... and it needs to be as it makes a fantastic pairing for some of the most delicious and complex cuisine in the world. I wonder if it would make a great pairing for a whisky. In order to find out I will pair a whisky with Ravi Shankars Monterey performance.

     The whisky that is being paired is the Isle of Skye 8 Year Old from Ian Macleod. This awarded blended whisky has also won praise from Mr. Jim Murray. He called it a "superstar whisky". Probably the coolest thing about it is that a portion of the revenues from this whisky are donated to the Scottish Mountain Rescue. This volunteer organisation safeguards the many outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy the rugged mountainous regions of Scotland. Talk about a social responsibility campaign that looks outside the box. I haven't even tasted it and already I can agree with the superstar title.

As I pour this dram I am eager to see/hear how whisky pairs with Ravis' fine ragas.  

Nose: a sharp fruit greets me first with a smokiness about it. I also detected marshmallow, white pepper and just the faintest hint of peach.

Palate: the first wave is a smoke of the smoothest kind. Second wave brings notes of chocolate and nuts that remind me of a crispy crunch (candy bar). I also detected notes of vanilla and pear.

Finish: Very long, smooth and warming. I receive hints of vanilla, flowers and a bit of the smoke.

     I would have to say that overall this is a decent blend. It has a lot going on for it. I am a big fan of the pairing as well. I find the smokiness of the whisky with its sweet floral notes allows my mind to drift away on the sitar to an incense filled temple in India. Specifically I am reminded of the Mata temple in Amritsar.

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