The first leg of the Derby Gras Family Holiday Tour 2012 (four nights aboard a Disney cruise with my side of the family) has just come to an end. On the second to last night, the Pretty Little Wife and I dropped off Baby A at the nursery and sent Q off to the tween club while we attended back-to-back liquor tastings. She agreed to sit through the whiskey tasting with me if I would sit through the cognac tasting with her.
So at 9:00 on Friday evening, we settled into our barstools in the Meridian Lounge (deck 12 aft) and Selami began pouring the whiskey.
First up was Macallan Select Oak, a 12 year-old single malt scotch whisky from the highlands region. It was a light amber color and fairly easy to drink. I don’t recall anything particularly outstanding about the flavor beyond some oaky notes.
The second pour was Johnny Walker black label, a 12 year-old blended scotch whisky. This one was darker with more smoky scents and favors from the Islay whisky in the blend. It was more complex than the single malt, but not really my cup of tea.
The third pour was Jameson’s, an Irish whiskey that the Pretty Little Wife said was the first one she would drink “on purpose.” It was lighter in color and flavor than either of the scotches.
Pour number four was Blanton’s single barrel bourbon. It was the darkest of the bunch and significantly sweeter than the Scotch and Irish pours. I may be biased, but I think only the blended scotch approached the bourbon in complexity of flavor.
The last pour was everyone’s favorite Canadian, Crown Royal. Personally, I think Crown performs much better in a mixed drink or cocktail than it does neat.
It was very interesting and informative to have five very different styles of whisk(e)y line up side by side and I really enjoyed it. While the bourbon won the day for me, it did open my eyes somewhat to the variety that exists in the rest of the whisk(e)y world.
The cognac tasting was also quite informative, but more on that later.