In celebration of The Bard’s upcoming birthday I felt moved to share a few random thoughts on the wonderful world of whisky in this fair city in the year 2012. The first thing that needs to be shared is the choice of whiskies at this time in Edmonton and Alberta is outstanding compared with any other province in Canada. Since privatization, some 18 years ago, the choice has exploded, to such an extent that in my capacity as buyer for one of Edmonton’s finest whisky stores it’s hard to keep on top of everything that’s out there. I know, I know, I hear you cry, how tough can it be for a self confessed whisky lover, but you wouldn’t believe the days and months of research and tasting! Seriously though the choice is amazing out there and, it should be emphasized, that I’m not just talking about scotch whisky but there are now whiskies available from the four corners of the globe from established sources such as Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the U.S.A. but somewhat more surprisingly whiskies are now also accessible from England, Sweden, Australia,Wales, Japan and India.
Edmonton is at this time reflecting a growing worldwide interest in all things whisky. Take a look around town at the growing number of whisky dinners available together with an explosion of tastings, both formal and informal. There are an increasing number of people getting together to form themselves into tasting groups. The latest one I know of being The Alberta Scotch Society. For further details please visit www.albertascotchsociety.com.
In worldwide, and Edmonton terms, demand for whisky is outstripping supply and like any other commodity two things happen, availability goes down and the price goes up. There are many whiskies that come and go all too rapidly and I’ve only managed to get my grubby hands on 6 or 12 bottles.
If you have been an avid whisky drinker for decades or just starting to dip your toe in the water there has never been a better time to get out there and indulge your passion!
In no particular order here are my three favourite whiskies from the recent 3rd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival that took place as a fundraiser for the M.S. Society on Jan. 18th at the Sutton Place Hotel.
Glen Garioch 1994 – Toffee and demerara sugar give way to a floral freshness of springtime Highland heather, finishing with lasting yet subtle warm smoking embers. Tasting note courtesy of Royal Mile Whiskies; $89.99.
Glenrothes 1988 – More than two decades maturing in a combination of Spanish and American oak gives the citrus notes a delicious cooked orange flavour and plenty of fruit as well, which are evident on the nose and the palate. Tasting note courtesy of The Glenrothes.com; $104.99.
Amrut Sherry Matured, India – Exotic spices and fresh flowers on the nose, plus a hint of honey. Very lively on the palate, with plummy, oriental spices, and background furniture polish and new leather. Drying oak and persistent spice on the finish. Tasting note courtesy of whisky pages.com; $112.99.
Article supplied by Stephen Richmond