Whisky or Whiskey? But Never, Ever say “Scotch”!
Many of us that enjoy cigars undoubtedly savor a favorite Whiskey, Bourbon, Beer, Wine or other relished libation along with it.
My wife Jennifer happens to be Scottish. Shortly after we met, given her heritage and my love of Single Malts, I suggested a trip to Scotland. After pulling her off the ceiling and calming her down from an extremely elevated level of raw excitement, we made plans and off we went during the horrific winter of 2010.
All in all, it was an amazing trip on many levels despite the bone chilling weather. After touring the great city of Edinburgh and visiting a proper Tobacconist with all employees donning suits and ties, we headed to the renowned highlands to tour some distilleries and enjoy this very special “Water of Life” at its source.
To say the least, it was wonderful seeing may of these companies producing their brands continuously for over a hundred years. Each one had their own uniqueness and character. It was also very interesting drinking ” Wee Drams” known as samplings throughout the entire day non stop. I’m glad we had someone driving us around!
While owning cigar stores, I held many cigar dinner events which is how I got introduced to Single Malts. I recall one such gathering in 1997 where the featured Whiskey was Glenmorangie 10 year old. The company had a representative from Scotland in the US at the time and dispersed him to our get together as the brand’s ambassador.
I remember casually asking him if his company offered any other older or one off batches. His difficult to understand accented response was blunt, “This is our only whiskey which has been made with water from the same stream at the same facility for over 150 years.” When I attempted to respond, he raised his fingers over his lips signaling me to be quiet and continued, “We and only we have the tallest stills in the world and the taller the still the purer the Whiskey so science dictates we produce the purest Whiskey in the world which is why this is the best Whiskey on the planet…..do you fully understand sir?” I had no choice other than to nod in agreement and apologize for my obvious stupidity.
As our trip abroad continued on, we finally arrived at the Glenmorangie distillery on the banks of the Dornoch Firth in Tain. It just so happened that before our trip, the Louis Vuitton French luxury goods company purchased Glenmorangie in 2004. Needless to say, the locals as well as the employees were not pleased. But that’s a whole other story!
I know there are countless, great whiskies available and you probably have more than a few favorites. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve tried. I have more different brands on hand than I’ll ever drink.
So why do I keep coming back to this heritage rich brand again and again? And why do seasoned drinkers I introduce it to quickly attest to it being their new found favorite?
All things considered, the most interesting aspect of Glenmorangie’s being for me is the 170+ year tradition dictating that it takes 16 men to complete the production process. “Perfected by the 16 men of Tain” can still be found in the tiniest of print on the bottle’s label. During our visit we were told by our guide that no one person knows how to produce their Whiskey. Each one of the 16 people performs a single specific task that when combined, the end result is produced. In fact, each person has an apprentice so that if one of the 16 men either retires or dies no interruption will occur.
Whatever my particular reasons are for gravitating to this wonderful Whiskey are, they’re mine. As I’ve often said, taste is a personal preference and everyone has their own. It’s been a pleasure to share my experience with you and hope you’ll share some of your own with me.
Each customer is escorted by an extremely knowledgeable personal assistant through your entire visit no matter how long you take or what you buy.