|Beautiful Victoria Harbour, Victoria, BC|
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Daily Dram #2 Kilchoman Sherry Cask...And a bit of a rant. He Says...
Daily Dram #2 Kilchoman Sherry Cask 46%.
In honor of the Gentleman behind the table my daily dram for Monday, February 25 is Kilchoman Sherry Cask (Read on below to figure out what the heck I'm talking about?).
On the nose this whisky starts with a smooth velvety smoke. There is a lovely hit of heat like cinnamon heart candies and then sweet spices and nutty like banana bread fresh out of the oven.
The peat smoke is obvious on the palate with cloves and mace. The cinnamon appears again in the back corners with chewy mouth feel and a medium to long finish. I love the belly warming that comes with this dram, which is why I originally wrote about it in What to Drink for the Next 7-8 Months! Cold Weather Drams! Enjoy!
People: on both sides of whisky
The people of this world fascinate me for a variety of reasons. Christmas tradition among my father, brother and I used to consist of heading to the local shopping mall on Christmas Eve, grabbing a hot beverage and watching the madness of extreme last minute shopping unfold in front of us while stress and time constraint expose the best and worst of people’s personalities. Weirdo watching at its best! A sadistic tradition you say? I would agree, but a tradition nonetheless.
Fast forward to our post Xmas trip to the Victoria Whisky Festival and am presented with a weirdo watching extravaganza as people come together with a common interest! Whisky you say? No, expressing their common distain for the apparently outlandish, self-indulged, and controlling behavior of Jim Murray. There I said it, but that’s not exactly the purpose of this post. You see, although I don’t buy into the rock star hype, I can sort of understand it. I can see how anyone who had had the stones to entitle their book “Bible” on any topic might easily make the self proclaimed leap to God or at least Moses and in turn issue commandments: “Thow shall warm thy cup close to thy chest.” I should also mention that although I heard a lot of rumbling, screeching, etc… I didn’t actually have the pleasure (or displeasure) to meet the man formally or be in some way insulted by him. So, until that day comes I’ll simply listen to Johanne tell her story (although I did see a TV interview with him where he described the Glencairn nosing glass as being mostly useless except that the large solid crystal base could be well used as a bludgeoning tool).
The sad side of this little tale is that jackassery is not limited to superstars. The great part of attending this type of event is the honor and pleasure to meet so many wonderfully kind, friendly and intelligent people! As I have written before, I have a special little spot for the whiskies of Kilchoman Distillery and it was a great pleasure to meet Anthony Wills, the driving force behind Kilchoman’s birth and success. For those who have not had the pleasure, The impression I got was Anthony Wills is a very tall, modestly spoken individual who seems to quietly gush with pride for what he is a part of at Kilchoman. In the animal world he might be a giraffe…wearing tartan trews (as oppose one of those loud, bare-arsed baboons… err, wearing a fedora; I digress...).
What happened next I still can’t quite wrap my head around, but while the three of us were engaged in conversation a man approached from the side and leaned in. The table was adequately staffed with two others pouring and there was no line up. When he realized that we were not ready to give up our conversation he reached out and wrapped the base of his glass on the rim of the bottle in the hand of Anthony Wills and then thrust his glass forward looking for a pour. The three of us stopped talking, looked at one another and blinked, then turned our heads in unison to look at the obviously parched man. Not missing a beat Mr. Wills poured him an ample serving and carried on with our conversation obviously electing not to dignify poor behavior with a response, a true Gentleman. All the while the man went on his way without a thank you.
I’m ranting, I know. The point of all of this is not to single out one well known personality. Rather it is call attention to the fact that for all the inappropriate behavior that gets put under the spotlight for someone like Jim Murray there are 10 others who are simply rude without the celebrity. “Whisky Snobbery” is alive and well but it doesn’t need to be. Just because you bought a ticket doesn’t give you entitlement. Just because you have “X” number of bottles in your collection doesn’t make you better, smarter, more important then the next person. Whisky is just a beverage. Yes its often-steeped in lore, history and tradition but so is tea. Whisky is meant to be shared and enjoyed, examined and assessed, but still for our enjoyment. Have fun with it; share your knowledge and enthusiasm if you like, but why be rude?
The light at the end of the tunnel is that for every 10 of those jackasses there are a hundreds or more who want nothing more than to share a dram, celebrate and enjoy. The Victoria Whisky Festival is a premier event I would recommend to any and everyone. The people were warm, welcoming, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable; and the people make the event.
Speaking of people. The funniest thing of all was that despite what people were saying in the crowds at the festival, Jim Murray turned out to be absolutely correct. The solid crystal base of the Glencairn does make an excellent striking tool, the guy at the Kilchoman table proved it! Sláinte!