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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    I was trying to come up with some thoughts on how to have an interesting whisk(e)y tasting that compared spirits from a variety of different countries. For example I can currently come up with a representative from each of these countries to include the US (bourbon, rye, other), Canada, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Netherlands, France, Japan and Australia.

    Albeit the options are limited for some places far more than others. There are many other limitations of course such as the broad spectrum of styles just from Scotland alone but what might one select to include in a multicultural whisk(e)y tasting?

    I was thinking I would try to select things that might be good middle of the road choices without including something that was really hard to find. Would it be better to highlight the differences or try to look for the similarities?

    What would be an interesting selection for a multicultural tasting? Would even be a practical to try? Suggestions for general ideas or specific bottles welcome!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

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  2. #2
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Not on your list, but Taiwan's Kavalan is producing some good Single Malts - I have a Solist Sherry Cask that is delicious.
    ¡Geaux Tigers! - ¡Visca el Barça!

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  3. #3
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Another one to consider is Sweden, there are something like 10+ distilleries there now with the first one, and the most available, being Mackmyra. I found my bottle of their single malt at a duty free in Sweden but I've heard you can find them stateside if you look.

    I personally have hosted a very small multicultural tasting with scotch, bourbon, irish, canadian, welsh, swedish, and japanese. It was a lot of fun but we found it hard to do since the whiskeys varied so much in character, mash bill, etc... Next time we are going to do a malt tasting focusing on just whiskies made from malted barely to try and keep the character somewhat similar between the different countries.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    I would limit it to four or five countries, more than that in one tasting is too much. (Save the B countries like Netherlands for the second tasting).

    I would do:

    1) Ireland
    2) Scotland
    3)America
    4) Canada

    with Japan an optional fifth.

    For the U.S., choose any good mid-price bourbon, Buffalo Trace, say, or EWSB.

    Scotland: any decent highland malt.

    Ireland: Powers or Jameson. Even though blended, there is plenty of pot still character in these especially Powers. Or perhaps Redbreast which is 100% single pot still.

    Canada: Canadian Club or VO (Seagram) or Crown Royal.

    Japan as applicable: Any Nikka or Yamazaki, or any other good quality malt from there.

    The object should be to identify the main national characteristics, and contrast.

    Gary

  5. #5
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post

    Canada: Canadian Club or VO (Seagram) or Crown Royal.

    The object should be to identify the main national characteristics, and contrast.

    Gary
    Far be it for me to contradict someone with MUCH more experience than I ... but .... why offer those choices and perpetuate the myth that all Canada can produce is bottom shelf mixing-whisky?

  6. #6
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    Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    I'd like to try the Amrut whiskies from India.

    Edit to add: Bruce, your willingness/eagerness to try new and different spirits, be they foreign-distilled, craft-distilled, "non-whiskey alcohol" or whatever else, is something I really admire. Cheers!
    Last edited by HighInTheMtns; 10-03-2013 at 13:18.
    Jim

  7. #7
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by portwood View Post
    Far be it for me to contradict someone with MUCH more experience than I ... but .... why offer those choices and perpetuate the myth that all Canada can produce is bottom shelf mixing-whisky?
    You can contradict, any time! We all have our own views.

    My take on the question was, he wants to compare spirits from different countries. To do this, I would take the most typical spirits, what developed the national tradition even if not the "best". If you took Masterson rye, say, for Canada, that wouldn't be a fair estimation of what the classic Canadian taste is. That is why I suggested a good blend from Ireland, a Highland malt from Scotland (not an Islay or cheap blend, say), etc.

    Gary

  8. #8
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by ChainWhip View Post
    Not on your list, but Taiwan's Kavalan is producing some good Single Malts - I have a Solist Sherry Cask that is delicious.
    But is that more in the hard to find category? Or is it more available than I thought?

    Maybe I could divide it out and have Japan, Taiwan and Australia in an Far East tasting! Hmm, what other country is out there that I could add? Kiwi whisky maybe if I can find any. Or add India to the Asia/Far East group.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  9. #9
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnDew View Post
    Another one to consider is Sweden, there are something like 10+ distilleries there now with the first one, and the most available, being Mackmyra. I found my bottle of their single malt at a duty free in Sweden but I've heard you can find them stateside if you look.

    I personally have hosted a very small multicultural tasting with scotch, bourbon, irish, canadian, welsh, swedish, and japanese. It was a lot of fun but we found it hard to do since the whiskeys varied so much in character, mash bill, etc... Next time we are going to do a malt tasting focusing on just whiskies made from malted barely to try and keep the character somewhat similar between the different countries.

    Good luck!
    Good point! I have been meaning to track down some Mackmyra but haven't done so yet.

    Your point about trying to focus on a similar profile is something I have wrestled with as well. Not many good quality American malt whiskeys to choose from that I know of. Balcones perhaps. Stranahan's and Westward Oregon whiskey and a few others in the "craft" category are malt but very young.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  10. #10
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    Re: Thoughts on a "multicultural" whisk(e)y tasting selection

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    I would limit it to four or five countries, more than that in one tasting is too much. (Save the B countries like Netherlands for the second tasting).

    I would do:

    1) Ireland
    2) Scotland
    3)America
    4) Canada

    with Japan an optional fifth.

    For the U.S., choose any good mid-price bourbon, Buffalo Trace, say, or EWSB.

    Scotland: any decent highland malt.

    Ireland: Powers or Jameson. Even though blended, there is plenty of pot still character in these especially Powers. Or perhaps Redbreast which is 100% single pot still.

    Canada: Canadian Club or VO (Seagram) or Crown Royal.

    Japan as applicable: Any Nikka or Yamazaki, or any other good quality malt from there.

    The object should be to identify the main national characteristics, and contrast.

    Gary
    Yes, this is probably a good framework and you are right that I probably need to keep it a bit more simple. I was thinking a little more mature for the bourbon. Maybe Elijah Craig and/or Weller 12. Or maybe a nice Four Roses selection.

    Will have to figure out a good basic highland malt, maybe Glenmorangie?

    For Irish I am leaning towards Redbreast.

    Canadian I was thinking more along the lines of Wiser Legacy or Forty Creek. Although i do have plenty of Crown Royal as well.

    I can add a Yamazaki 12 for Japan.

    That could be interesting!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

 

 

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