Just as the federal Cabinet sometimes meets away from Parliament during the summer, such as at the Prime Minister's retreat at Harrington Lake, The Cabinet will also, on occasion, hold a summer meeting in its gazebo on the riverbank, rather than in its customary subterranean chambers. And so it was last night as we assembled there to the murmur of rushing water, punctuated by distant sirens and assorted bird noises. And being on the shores of this beautiful river we thought it appropriate to sample whiskies distilled on the shores of Scotland. Admittedly this is a bit of stretch as far as tasting themes go, but sometimes you just need a loose framework, so long as that loose framework contains tasty scotch. And it did.
We worked our way clockwise along the Scottish coast beginning in the southwest corner with the Springbank 10 year old in Campbeltown, heading north to the town of Oban and the eponymous Oban Little Bay whisky, and then rounding the top to the northeast extremity of the Scottish mainland at Wick, home of the Old Pulteney 17 year old.
All of these have been reviewed by us before, so you can search for those descriptions if you are keen on them, but for the less energetic among you I can spare you the trouble and summarize as follows. We like all of them, but curiously amongst these three we liked the youngest and cheapest the most and the oldest and most costly the least, keeping in mind that the least liked, the Old Pulteney 17, really only suffers by comparison. On it's own, or put up against the many (many) inferior whiskies, it's absolutely fine. More than fine. The Springbank 10 is the stand-out favourite though for balance, finish, flavour profile and liveliness. The whole package. And the Oban Little Bay sits in-between in age (making assumptions based on colour as there is no age statement), price and enjoyability. Again, an excellent malt on its own, but it suffers beside the Springbank 10, at least last night it did. Sometimes a particular vibe or a particular group mood or a particular environment play a role in what we enjoy too.
So let's wrap it up there and give the rest of the post over to the photographs. Thank you to the members, and thank you to the readers. Until October - slainte!