It wasn’t just whiskey on show at Whiskey Live Dublin.
Glassware was also on display at the Neat stand with their friendly crew of attendants who had a cool way of promoting the Neat whisky glass.
An identical sample of a whisky – in this case a Scottish blend by the name of Big Peat – was proffered in 2 whisky glasses for the discerning drinker to nose and compare.
It certainly helped that Big Peat is a blended malt from some of Islay’s finest distilleries including Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen so a hefty waft of peat smoke was to be expected.
Now I’ve used the Neat Glass for a few years at the Irish Whiskey Awards judging sessions and I have a few at home – but I can’t say I’m a convert.
The thistle shaped glass is made to concentrate the aromas at the centre of the opening without giving that alcohol burn often associated with a strong ABV percentage. So far so good. Big Peat certainly smelled like my kind of whisky.
The second glass was a more traditional tulip shaped offering as in the Glencairn – other brands with a similar style are available. This would be my ‘go to’ glass when at home and in this demonstration I’m afraid to say I got more of that lovely Islay smoke sensation using this receptacle.
I even did some research at home with another whisky and got a similar result.
What glassware you drink your whiskey out of is almost as hotly debated as what whiskey you actually put in the glass to begin with. It took me a few years to appreciate some of the smoky drams out there so it may take me a similar period of time to appreciate the Neat Glass.
Undeterred I asked for a cheeky sample of the wonderfully labelled Big Peat for a tasting.
I’ve actually bought a few bottles of this Douglas Laing brand as presents over the years – especially their Xmas Specials – but by the time I visited the recipient the bottles were empty! – which says something about the quality of the liquid within.
Rather than being hit on the head by a lump of turf – as portrayed on the bottle – I was gently caressed by a short sweet note before being immersed in a beautiful peaty smoke which tantalised the tastebuds.
The finish was long and satisfying and would have tempted me for more if there wasn’t so many other drams waiting to be sampled at the show.
I’d like to wish good luck to all the Neat Glass crew. It can’t be easy converting die-hard tulip shaped glass fans like me to Neat – and many thanks for the Big Peat.
Looking forward to our next encounter!