May’s tasting came and went and, simply put, it looked like a good time was had by all. While the turnout was respectable, it was by no means the largest crowd. While the weather was fine on the deck, there was still a cooling in the air. If there was one thing to be said about this 3rd Thursday, one unifying aspect that defined this particular evening, it was this: People were in the mood drink.
There did not seem to be any one reason to hang it on (not that you need one), but it seemed to be an unpublished plan that everyone was adhering to. Those who walked in tired walked out with a spring in their step. Probably in part due to the Springbank 12 Amontillado that kicked the evening off at 110.6 proof. Its praise ranged from a solid good to a Frosted Flake’s ‘Great!’ No one seemed interested in my Edger Allan Poe lore and cryptic references to his short story ‘A Cask of Amontillado’. But then people were there to drink and be merry, not to contemplate getting vengefully bricked up in a wall while still alive. Fair enough.
Scapa’s 16 year from the Orkney Isles followed quickly. Really quickly. Considerably tempered compared to the Springbank, it gave attendees the opportunity for an alcohol-infused breather before moving on to the Lagavulin 12 which brought the evening back up to cask strength. A complimentary bottle of the Lagavulin 16 was in residence purely for comparative references. And people drank. People engaged in pleasant conversation. Apparently some people even stumbled upon a stash of cigars on the deck. And people drank. Somewhere along the line a rather large stack of Vietnamese sandwiches managed to disappear.
In the end, an arbitrary time meaning variously everything from ‘time to turn in’ to ‘time to move on’, it was unclear which whisky was the most adored. The Springbank went over well and only an empty bottle remained. The Lagavulin went over well as well and only an empty bottle remained. The Scapa’s own showing wasn’t bad, with about ½ of an inch remaining. Was it the right whiskies? Was it the right crowd? Were we all simply in the mood to get our collective drink on? Personally, I’m going with ‘all of the above’. N. Nicoll (Tasting notes to follow.)