by Dan Clarke
Spending $7000 for a bottle of whisky seemed preposterous to me. Accepting an invitation to taste from that bottle was a different matter.
Some years ago I joined a small group of wine and food writers and restaurateurs to sample a number of single-malt Scotch whiskies, among them a 40-year-old Bowmore which was indeed retailing for $7,000. That its bottle was cut-glass and came in its own handsome wooden cabinetry (with brass lock), mitigates the price somewhat. Oh, and the purchaser received an invitation for an overnight stay at the distillery. However, the product was incredibly expensive by any standard.
Single malts are where the action is. Though only four percent of Scotland’s whisky exports by volume, their U.S. sales had been growing at 15 to 20 percent a year for the past decade. Paul Pacult, writing in Kindred Spirits, described single malt whiskies as ranging “from the most feral and lusty of whiskies to the most serenely elegant.” Who could resist exploring such a category?
By Dan Clarke
May 7, 2016 - For three decades I’ve been writing about wine. This has meant a lot of tasting. Not necessarily drinking, mind you, but tasting. It’s not the dream job some might think, but it’s more fun than many I’ve had. And you can’t spend that much time in any endeavor without developing some skill. Tasting and analyzing wine comes naturally at this point.
I like gin. My preferred brand is Beefeater. In the summer I drink it with tonic and a lime. I also drink gin in a Martini. While I enjoy gin and other hard liquors, I don’t profess expertise in the spirits arena. Nevertheless, when I had the chance to sample sloe gin from Spirit Works, the Sebastopol, California distillery, I didn’t hesitate.