Sunday, October 4, 2009

Double Time

Apologies extend to the now massive following the humble Whiskey Break!™ blog has established. An embarrassing length of time has passed 'twixt postings of our international exploits, with no one to blame or castigate but the group's weakling scribbler.

Of course, the rueful absence of documented Whiskey Break!™ exploits over the last couple of weeks in no way implies that there have been no Whiskey Break!™ exploits. Quite to the contrary, as this corrective report will reveal.

First on the docket was our marvelous trip to Cognac country, and specifically La Rochelle, where enthusiastic Whiskey Breaker, Daniella had been stationed this past summer. This is an outpost clearly demanding bottled recompense, and a visit from the hearty band.

Which is where we decided to spring forth, spreading good cheer amongst the indigenous clans of the Cognac. A hearty sample was up for grabs (of course!), and a fine turn o' th' cask presented itself in the form of the luscious, caramel-gold Lagavulin 16. We came. We drank. Conquering nothing, we drank some more!


With a few spots of Lagavulin still in hand from our lark in La Rochelle, Whiskey Break!™ decided to make the trek, once again, to a seat of Scotch Whisky production (we respectfully use the Scottish spelling "in country," though we know this spelling is likely the result of extended and remote isolation, which also happens to be a very good reason for making whisky).

And so off it was to Islay, where our roving band of liquor gypsies managed to snuggle up amongst the fragrant casks of Ardbeg, even as we were sipping the luxurient nectar. Rest assured however that we were not tapping the barrels, as Whiskey Break!™ has far too great an appreciation for the art of the cask than to muck about with the crucial fermentation process and the tools thereof.

It may be that in the Ardbeg, our group has hit upon a universally appreciated Scotch. With a clean nose and a lightness of colour, the Ardbeg was met with rounds of appreciation. Indeed, the Talisker 10 had been this breaker's favourite note until the Ardbeg hit the tongue.

More than anything, the unexpecting will be lulled by a colour that implies a wan innocence -- like white wine -- but rest assured, folks, there is nothing innocent nor demure about the 'beg, which strikes the senses with a full-force gale of rich, peaty flavour, followed by a warm and lingering finish. Mmmm.

So far, it seems, Whiskey Break!™ concurred; the bottle was finished in record time, while those who missed awaited in turn to suck on the cork, just to get a sense of it. Not to worry. There will be more! And we won't have to beg for it.

(For those wondering about the barrel sprites flitting amongst the cooper-work and where these casks are in relation to Ardbeg, here is a wider shot of our home for the break.)

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