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The dram roll

epicure 31 March 2011

How single malts should be drunk, and the way to convince a lady to like her Scotch according to Ian Millar, brand ambassador of Glenfiddich.

Tell us more about Glenfiddich 12-year-old, the best selling single malt in the world.
The distilled spirit undergoes separate maturation in two casks, American and Spanish, and after 12 years, the matured whiskies are emptied and brought together: 85 percent from the American oak and 15 percent from the Spanish one. We experimented with a 20 percent part from the European cask, but the bitterness was a bit too much. You have to be careful how you tweak the mixture because you can easily upset its balance.

How do you enjoy your whisky?
I determine whether I need to add any water in it with my first taste of the dram. Generally, with a younger whisky, the alcoholic strength is quite strong, so a few drops of water neutralise some of that taste and bring up its nuanced flavours. I put water in my 12-year-old, for my 15-year-old, none. I like to warm up the glass with my hands to enhance the spirit's taste. Some health conscious drinkers consume it with ice, although this contracts or tightens the drink's flavour and tones down its potency.

Have you seen any strange ways of whisky consumption?
In China, we have seen it blended with green tea. It isn't a good mix. Such a mix is usually seen with blended Scotch. Single malts are mostly drunk neat or with ice or water.

What foods would you pair with your whiskies?
Dried or smoked meat works well with the rounded flavours of the 12-year-old. Orange-infused Lindt chocolate brings out the citrus notes of the 15-year-old, recommend this to a lady if you want her to love the spirit. For the 21-year-old, match it with a creme brulee.

From m(int.) Network

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