My excuse for reading this book was being stuck in hospital.
It’s not exactly an uplifting experience.
One central character slowly descends into alcoholism & damages relations all around.
The rather sad lives portrayed give no sense of hope for a brighter future & I found it rather predictable – if a little bit voyeuristic peering in on folks struggling to cope.
Given fellow patients on my ward suffered from alcoholism & drug abuse – along with other physical ailments – I found Shuggie Bain showcasing characters I’ve met with all too often.
There is hope for alcoholics to improve their lives – but precious little of that came through in the book.
Too close to reality for me.
All photos authors own.
The cork disintegrated on trying to open this miniature Red Hackle.
Red Hackle c/othewhiskeynut
Not a promising start.
Several old bottles of whisky I’ve picked up along the way have also started to deteriorate – leaving a stale musty taste behind.
Red Hackle had only a faint whiff of decay – along with some sherried depth & a teaser of tabacco.
A charming dram c/othewhiskeynut
Silky smooth mouthfeel,
The finish had an engaging prickly dryness topped off with a smidgen of smoke.
Red Hackle has held it’s delights very well over the decades.
Surprisingly so – as the
internet suggests my bottle is from the 1960’s!
A charming dram.
Burns Night is usually associated with whisky – but in Rabbie’s day the spirits of choice were
Irish Whiskey or Rum!
This was before Aeneas Coffey invented his patent still allowing the art of blending to fuel the rise of Scotch Whisky.
Rabbie at one point contemplated
heading to Jamaica – but his growing poetry fame held him at home.
Cuban rum c/othewhiskeynut
Havana Club 3 is a Cuban Rum. It’s unlikely Rabbie tasted any as the island was under Spanish control at the time.
Despite being aged for 3 years – Havana filter the rum in charcoal to leave the colour a pale straw hue – & possibly reduce the pungency too!
Nonetheless there’s a fresh & fruity grassiness to the nose.
Very mild & mellow on the palate – yet a pleasing black peppery spice enlivens up the finish leaving a prickly tingling on the tongue.
Label info c/othewhiskeynut
Entertaining neat – but more commonly used as a base for mixing.
I wonder if Rabbie would have approved?
After my initial findings with a washed out bottle of Islay Storm from last year – available
here – I chanced upon a miniature bottle sporting a shiny new label & thought I’d check it out.
A fresh Storm c/othewhiskeynut
I still had the old bottle – so did a comparison.
First off – the older bottle is slightly darker.
Dark Storm v Light Storm? c/othewhiskeynut
More added caramel?
Longer in the cask?
A completely different source of single malt?
All of the above?
Being an independent bottling for
C.S. James & Sons Ltd of Glasgow there is no guarantee what was in the old bottle is the same as the new. It’s the same for all bottlings – they change & evolve -and I have no problem with that.
On the nose the miniature was cleaner, fresher & more lively.
A lovely bright & full on smoky peat hit enveloped my palate from the start. Briny & a tad sweet at the end – but very enjoyable.
Dull Storm c/othewhiskeynut
The old bottle was dull & flat in comparison. Only on the finish did the ashy peat rise up to give some life to the washed out contents.
If you enjoy a smoky number – Islay Storm clearly delivers.
Just drink your bottle in timely fashion to get the full effect!
Straight off the Belfast to Cairnryan Ferry my first stop on the Scottish side was to
MacSorley’s Bar on Jamaica Street in Glasgow.
Chosen mainly for ease of access to & from the M8 motorway – it was a handy spot to pick up fellow travellers – and some tasty refreshments too!
MacSorley’s do a fine & fun range of
Tartan Tapas which suited my needs perfectly.
On the whisky front it didn’t disappoint either.
1770 Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut
Spotting a bottle of
1770 Whisky – the 2019 edition from the recently opened Glasgow Distillery Co – I had to give it a try.
A nice clean & fresh dram with an inviting nose greeted me.
Quite light on the palate, some dark fruity notes gave a certain gravitas & body to this young malt.
The back label c/othewhiskeynut
A gently drying soft pepper spice rounded up this delightful whisky.
A wonderful introduction to the next generation of Scottish Whisky Distilleries.