The actual Games competitions are held on the various fields surrounding the covered stadium under which are all the clan tents. The cabers are tossed. The hammer is thrown. The shot put is – well – thrown. And a weight for height competition, which also involves throwing something, is contested. Those athletes travel in circuits to Games and Celtic festivals competing against each other around the southeast and nationwide.
Whisky. Ah yes. The Water of Life. Uisge beatha. Like vessels throughout a body, glimpses of the flowing spirit are only seen close to the surface. On display but factory sealed, bottles of the stuff sit on tables. Ask and from under kilts, tables and displays the magical liquid appears. There are always those willing to share in a dram and talk of things Scottish. Or just talk and talk.
The night before the Games, Friday night, the bottles of whisky are out on the bar. They are opened and they are tasted for that is the night of the Whisky Tasting. Here is what we tasted that night:
[This is apparently a blend of 20 single malts to get as close to the original Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt found in the floorboards of the cabin of the famous Ernest Shackleton Antarctic base camp. The whisky was found to have contained Orkney peat and indications of aging in American oak sherry casks.]
-smelled citrusy, lemon with touch of oak
-tasted light oak and vanilla
-trailed peppery-very light
-w/water smelled slight dish soap, very floral and lemon
-tasted peppery oak (lightly)
Not much to this whisky.
This uses peated and unpeated barley.
-smelled very light w/touch of wood
-tasted slight smoke like from a campfire
-goes quickly to oak without pepper
-w/water smelled a tinge of toast w/bacon
-tasted a little peat with oak
[7 Casks-French and American]
-smelled caramel, sherry, vanilla
- tasted wood with pepper
-w/water smelled floral caramel
-tasted lighter wood w/pepper
-trailed bitter (wine)
I try to taste things ‘blind,’ meaning I do not do any research about a whisky before I taste it. That way I am not influenced by anything I read or expecting any flavors or dislikes. In this case I am not a fan of wine, especially in my whisky. The water opened up the wine. Interesting whisky, for sure, but not one I would reach for.
-smelled almost grape w/slight citrus
-tasted unsweetened chocolate, slightly peppery w/citrus notes
-w/water smelled sweeter – caramel, slight toffee
-tasted light citrus orange but less sweet
-quickly went to oak
Not as sweet as it smelled.
-smelled slight bourbon w/oak and raisin bread
-tasted sweet oak w/sweet bread/dough
-w/water smelled cherry w/caramel
-tasted almost smoky w/light floral
-trailed oak quickly!
Water gave this a surprise.