Insiders Guide - Chris Barnes
Scotch Malt Whisky Society Tasting,
Museum Hotel, 6 - 8:30pm, August 15, email@example.com.
How did you get interested in Scotch?
Obviously, I’m a whisky drinker. About ten years ago, someone said you should come along to one of these tastings. Like many people, I thought there’s whisky, there’s scotch, there may be a couple differences, but it’s all pretty much the same. I discovered there’s an extraordinary complexity and diversity and flavour.
What happens on the night of the tasting?
We are a bottler of Single Malt – which comes from one distillery – single cask, cask strength whisky. We bottle from over 100 distilleries in Scotland. At a tasting, we usually sample five or six different Scotches with a range of flavours, ages, and cask types.
Are you supposed to spit it out like wine or can you really drink it?
You can spit, but really if you are going to enjoy it, most people swallow.
Are there certain foods that enhance or assist with the tasting?
It depends on the flavour of the malt, just like wine, but generally savoury and salty foods work well. We’ll have some food at the tasting.
Was it difficult to decide which Scotches to taste?
With over 100 to choose from, we simply try to get a good range. Tasting to decide is great fun!
Are different or rare Scotches hard to get in New Zealand?
The only way to buy these extremely rare whiskies is to come to the tasting or be a member of the Society.
Is there a good source in Wellington?
Is Scotch like Champagne…if it doesn’t come from Scotland it’s not the real thing? Are there any Kiwis bootlegging it?
Scotch must be made and bottled in Scotland and has a number of other restrictions if it’s labelled malt. There are lots of great whiskies and malts from all over the world – they just can’t be called Scotch.
Do you have an absolute favorite Scotch?
Yes, the next one.
What about a utilitarian, day to day Scotch?
Yes, the last one.
Have you ever been to Scotland?
Many times. It’s a very friendly place.
If you were a Scotch, what kind would you be?
A nicely matured highland, with some good sherry to finish me off.