TASTE AND TOAST By Patricia Canole
ood may get all the press, but specialty liquors are just as important in imparting the real taste of a location. The creation of such spirits is a celebration of the history, landscape, and culture of a particular region. We explored in search of authentic experiences to taste and toast some of the world’s most famous liquors.
The Glenlivet Distillery
SINGLE-MALT IN SCOTLAND Scotch is certainly having a significant moment, but it’s been the favored libation of every Scot from shopkeepers to kings for centuries. The single malts, which are distilled, barrel-aged and bottled by Scotland’s 120-plus whisky makers, are more prevalent now than ever. Meant to be slowly savored, single malts warm the palate with intense flavors that range from light and delicate to rich and smoky. The spirit is produced mainly in the Highlands (but also along the western coast and on islands such as Islay and Skye). Scottish whisky-tasting adventures are the perfect complement to the country’s wild craggy landscapes and secluded castles. Begin in Edinburgh, where there’s no shortage of whisky bars. At trendy The Devil’s Advocate, you’ll find more than 200 options, plus delicious whisky-based cocktails. And the old-school Bow Bar is popular with visitors and locals. Hire a driver/guide to explore the heart of the single-malt country in Speyside, and you can learn how malted barley, spring water, and yeast combine to create this strong (40 percent alcohol) spirit. Two favorite distilleries include Strathisia (chivas.com)—home to Chivas Regal—the region’s longest operating (since 1786) and most photogenic distillery, and The Glenlivet (theglenlivet.com), where history meets modern mega-commerce. Then head to the Isle of Skye to visit Talisker (isleofskye.com)—the producer makes whisky with a smoky taste: it’s malted over a peat-fueled fire. 84 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | AUGUST 2017