Know thine whisky!! - An interesting comparison

Posted by Leo | Posted in , , , , | Posted on 20:26

It's a wonderful thing whisky. So many different flavors, some filthy, some oh so very tasty. I myself love anything from Islay and especially cask strength!! My friend Donna is a great Ardbeg fan and having recently attended a whisky food evening featuring Ardbeg (Yay!!) and Glenmorangie (Boo!!), we were keen to compare some of our favorite Islay whiskies side by side.

Phase I of operation 'cask strength' was a blind comparison between Bruichladdich Octomore and Ardbeg Supernova. Here's how it went down. We each filled two glasses and mixed them up for the other. Then we tasted each one in order to decide which was which, and what our favourite dram was!

Now, they are both salubriously tasty drops and very similar in a lot of ways. Both are cask strength, though the Octomore leads the way at 63.5% and both wonderfully peaty, though again Octomore wins with 131ppm.

Anyway the upshot of our blind tasting was that we both were able to discern one from the other though it is a bit more tricky than it sounds. My acid test was that when it numbed the roof of my mouth I knew it was 'Octomore'. Interestingly we both preferred different drams. Donna, being the Ardbeg fan loved the Supernova, whereas myself, I loved the 'SUPER Cask Strength' of the Octomore JUST! It was very close!!

Note: Octomore 2 has just been released!
It's a 15000 bottle release of this new expression at 140 ppm and 62.5%. I will attempt to source some on my upcoming trip to Scotland (Including 7 days on Islay & 1 day on Jura) YAY!!

Anyway Phase II commenced a few weeks later but this time the theme was a comparison between two tasty tasty Ardbegs. The abovementioned Supernova and the glorious Renaissance. The format was the same.

Renaissance was distilled in 1998 and released to in June 2008. It is 55.9% ABV, and the final release in the 'still young' series. Supernova on the other hand is a whopping 100ppm + of peat and 58.9% ABV.

The exact results of the comparison are not relevant but needless to say we picked different favorites. I enjoyed the Supernova and Donna picked the Renaissance. That is the great thing about blind tastings, you don't carry any preconceptions into the room. You just taste two glasses of whisky and pick the best on the day! What could be simpler?

So go forth and taste some whisky. It's got to be good for you!

I didn't get where I am today by not drinking whisky!!