Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I have to admit; I believe I'm sinking into a "Cocktail Crisis". When I would get home from work, I used to crave a glass of wine. I was always the wine guy in the liquor stores where I worked. You could probably find me at a craft beer bar sipping on a pint of some obscure belgian beer on a rare occasion, but I was a wine drinker for the most part. Right now, however, I'm a little lost.

I have been drinking a lot of tequila, scotch and bourbon lately. They were always an option throughout my career. I just never paid that much attention to them. Being in the industry our distributors would flood us with knowledge and information on the products that we sold. I took that knowledge and imparted it to my customers so just being in the store would give me enough to pitch a product. Now that I own my own store with my beautiful fiancee, I have no choice but to put that knowledge into practice. Since my fiancee doesn't drink hard alcohol I've taken it upon myself to jump in head first to "specialize" in the booze.

The Dark Rum & Pedro Ximinez 
Scotch for me was always a beverage that my father drank. Blended scotch was what was always on hand. I never really "enjoyed" any of the brands that he had. What he had was what I knew and that was that. Those flavor profiles were what I what I had to work with until recently. Now I think I am looking for something new, something different and interesting. I want something that is going to knock my socks off. When it comes down to it, I might be bored. That's why I decided to bring home bottle of of BenRiach scotch.

The bottle I decided crack open was the 15 year Dark Rum Wood Finish. I was always curious about this bottle every time I came to work. It would always call to me. I just resisted the purple label. It never struck me as a serious scotch. With that said, the price tag alone would make me sad if the bottle wasn't up to par.

I drink my scotch neat. For the noobs out there, that means scotch + glass = neat. There are no ice cubes, no water, no mixers, no crutches. I feel that if the bottle is less than cask strength, they have already added the water. That's enough for me. I want to taste this the way the distiller wanted me to taste it.

I poured it in my glass and I immediately got hit with an amazing aroma of lemon peel with hints of spice, vanilla and orange. On the palate it's soft oak and gentle fruit laced with spicy rum and floral notes. In this particular scotch, the rum flavors really seem to balance everything else out. It's got a pretty long finish with the sweetness of the rum hanging in there all the way through. Don't get me wrong, this isn't  rum. It's scotch with hints of dark rum.

This bottle for me really bridges the gap between rum and scotch. I'm glad that I finally broke down and brought this baby home. It was delicious. It really hit the spot and opened my eyes to a new genre of scotch. I brought home a bottle of the 15 year Pedro Ximinez Sherry Wood Finish as well. I can assure you  that I will write about that bottle as well.

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