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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2004/11/16 13:16:17 (November 2004).

[Monday 15th November]
The highlight of this evening was a loaf of bread. I'd had a bit of a pissy day at work, one of those where you get so fed up you write out your letter of resignation and keep it on hand just in case. To cheer me up, Chie had popped into the Italian shop near where she works and bought a loaf of their bread, which is simply fantastic. We don't know the proper Italian name for it, so, like many things for us, it gets labelled in Japanese - umapan - meaning simply delicious bread. This we ate with a salady sort of dinner which was actually very nice. Had a few glasses of whisky - a Scapa, a Laphroaig and a Bunnahabhain which complemented the umapan well.

Comment 1

Yes, I like those Italian breads - all olive-oily and covered in 'urbs. I tell the Mem' that olive-oil's good for the old ticker!

As for the malt... I'm slowly working my way through the list. Didn't like Laphroaig so much - too peaty for me. Can you recommend a good malt that is missing the overly peaty taste? (Oban too was a bit too much, though a tad better.)

Posted by Nigel at 2004/11/17 10:44:03.

Comment 2

Almost all the ones I drink are pretty peaty, as I tend to concentrate on Islay and the other islands, which are of course characteristically very peaty...

Hmmm I guess you need to head to Speyside for not-so-peaty. My favourites from Speyside are Glenlivet and Macallan, which Michael Jackson (no, not the singer) gives some of of his highest scores to. I also like the look of Balvenie, although have never actually tried it.

If you're into heavily sherried, which I am on occasion, then I've really enjoyed Edradour in the past. As Homer would say: sweeeeeeeeeeet.

The sherry finish can often help counteract the peat a bit, or sometimes just complement it. Bowmore isn't usually as peated as some of the other Islay malts, and Bowmore Darkest (the darkness coming from a heavy sherry finish) makes for a very nice drink.

Bruichladdich is similarly a bit less peated as Islay malts go. I have two bottles of this at present, a 15 year old bought in Japan which must have had a bit of a sherry finish judging by the colour, and a 10 (?) year old from the Whisky Society which rather bizarrely tastes of banana cream (?!), but not much peat.

But in general, if you want to avoid peatiness altogether, then you'll probably want something from Speyside.

Posted by John at 2004/11/18 09:56:52.

Comment 3

Ahh, thanks for that. Good to hear from someone who knows! I'm a bit of an amateur - even after several years trying! I always enjoy GlenMorangie - especially the older, more expensive ones when I can afford it. Chivas too. The Oban still sits in the "drinks cupboard" and only really comes out for guests now. When I was living in Lincoln, we used to motor on down to Leadenham where the pub (I forget the name now) was renowned for the malts. There is (was?) a high level shelf running all around the walls absolutely jam-packed with obscure whiskeys. You would tell the bar-tender you'd like to try such-and-such, he'd get the bottle down, blow the dust of it (!) and then pour you a very expensive dram. Delicious more often than not though! Ah, those were the days...

Posted by Nigel at 2004/11/18 24:55:43.

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