Continuing the trend of whisky posts, and in the vague hope that one day I’ll be sent freebies, here’s a whisky review – I’ll keep it brief, don’t worry.
The Glenfarclas 15 is a beast of a whisky – what’s more, it smells and tastes absolutely like Christmas cake (I wafted it under my girlfriend’s nose and she’s insistent that it’s with the icing on top). When you taste it there are plenty of dried fruits and sherry; the peat isn’t that prominent, but then again I have recently been drinking Laphroaig and Ardbeg, so probably wouldn’t notice. It has a real weight in the mouth, too, treacly and oily, and it just hangs on your taste-buds while you dream of a warm fire and distant, rolling landscapes. Delicious. It’s Christmas in a glass.
Jim Murray, guru of whisky reviews (and who uses a points system – nose, taste, finish and complexity – that I wish to be adopted by book reviewers), awarded the Glenfarclas 15 a stonking 95 points in this year’s Whisky Bible, which puts it up there with some of the best single malts in the world at the moment.
Glenfarclas is located here, in Speyside, and has been making whisky since 1865. I hope they keep at it for many years to come.
Oh I love whisky! I would love to try Glenfarclas but alas I cannot find it anywhere round where I live. Where did you obtain it Mark?
I’m a big fan of Irish single malts so would welcome a bottle for Christmas hehe
Andrew – Master of Malt is where I tend to buy whisky these days. They even do samples, too.
Oh wow I just had a look and added it to my browser favourites. This will do for some presents hehe
My whisky appreciation is growing so I read these alternative-themed posts with interest.
I’m intrigued by the idea of trying to describe a book based on a whisky reviewing methodology (nose, taste, finish and complexity), but it may need a little tweeking to avoid lazy comparasions that will inevitably emerge. What four categories would you like to see books reviewed under e.g world building, characterisation, plot and reviewer’s opinion?
James – I still think nose and taste would be good for book reviewing. 🙂 To be honest, it would be interesting to see some other criteria being used, just to see what happens. What’s interesting with the whisky criteria is that, more often than not, the words used in the review aren’t about good and bad, but on the kinds of flavours within; of course, there is a numeric score at the end. But I like the idea of books possessing different flavours, and trying to investigate just what they are.
ahh Mark, I like your style. Maybe I should start reviewing Scotch to see if I can get some freebies (we call it Scotch over here instead of just whisky to distinguish from our own whisky and bourbon). My typical routine is to poor a nice glass of scotch, pick up a good book and read for an hour or two after everyone else has gone to bed. I’m currently stocked with Glenlivet Nadurra (16 yr) and Bruichladdich Peat. I’m eagerly awaiting Christmas/B-day because all I ever ask for is gift cards to a my usual liquor store so I can buy a couple really good (and pricey) bottles. This year I want to try more Japanese/Asian whisky but I haven’t found a good source yet.
As for the multi-teared rating system for books, I certainly like it better than a single number. I can see different ratings for things like plot, characterization, style, entertainment, etc. I even considered it a while back, but decided against it because I already had single scores for the history of the blog and that would mess with the statistics I like to play around with. Also, I really believe that review should stand on the words within rather than a numeric score(s) at the end. I only keep giving scores for statistical use.
Pah, bourbon. Whiskey with an “e”. 🙂 Yeah, I’ve penciled in a few whiskies for whenever I get book money or birthday presents etc. That site I mentioned – Master of Malt – is UK-based, but is great because it offers samples at a very cheap price, so you can get a taste of a few, and know what you want to buy next.
The Japanese are producing very good whisky and winning quite a few awards this year.
Do you follow any whisky blogs? There’s a blogosphere just like for SFF reviewers!
I’ve followed one or two occasionally, but haven’t really gotten into it. I have very limited time so I need to draw lines somewhere – but I’m keeping it in mind for the future.
If you want to follow Japanese whisky, one blog I follow on my RSS feed is http://nonjatta.blogspot.com/ – which updates only now and then, but regular enough.