Today’s dram: The Balvenie, 14-year-old, Caribbean Cask
Today’s tasting notes: It’s a warm, easy whisky. Well, easy is relative, I guess. It’s full, rich, with a faint burn but nothing like harshness. There’s a sweetness to the finish. I’m told it has a lovely faint vanilla in the aroma, but I can’t quite catch it yet, dammit.
Today’s thoughts: This year’s wind-down should have been a weekly feature, right?
Yes, yes, I’d have missed that deadline, too. Shush.
Earlier this month, The Empress of Whisky and I observed our 14th anniversary.
When I say “observed” I really mean that. This year we just watched it go by, what with it falling on a day when neither of us was feeling much like celebrating, due to the case of never-ending plague we contracted.
At least, it sure felt never-ending while it was going on. We have both, finally, after about a month all told, returned to our more-or-less usual set of senses and sensibilities. We feel like doing things, such as getting up from bed and even trying exotic foods that are not soup or crackers and drinks that didn’t start their lives on a citrus tree.
We have resumed our hobbies.
In my case, that includes drinking whisky and writing about it.
You don’t get a name like The Empress of Whisky by not enjoying the stuff, so when it came time to pick an anniversary gift, I thought it would be fun to select for us a bottle of something aged 14 years. (This is not a novel concept; she hit on the idea two years ago.)
There aren’t that many options in that specific age. The great majority of whisky is sold after aging 10 or 12 years. I know of a good 13-year-old whisky, but I’ve only seen a few aged 14 years. Next year, if I try this, I’ll have a wealth of options at the 15-year-old mark, but sadly that’s also the mark where whisky prices take a nice jump.
Then there are scarce offerings at 16 or 17 years old before you start to see several offerings at 18, with prices that might start to make your hair stand on end. Those are the common ages you’re likely to see on your friendly bottle shoppe shelves. Anything older is usually behind a glass case or a locked door.
Anyway, back to the 14 at hand.
It’s apparently (according to the distillery’s marketing copy) aged for 14 years and then finished (for an undefined length of time) in freshly emptied rum barrels, said barrels having been previously filled with a blend of Caribbean rums selected by the Balvenie master distiller. Lovely.
I found this lovely option to offer my lovely wife, and once we were both well, we shared a lovely dram. ‘Twas lovely.
Today’s word of the day: Lovely, apparently.
Today’s toast: Here’s to 14 years behind, and many more ahead.