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Geek alert: I got into single malts about a year ago via an upscale lounge in NYC which sponsors free tastings on Saturdays. I nabbed a copy of a reputable whisky mag (well, it wasn't nabbing since it was offerred for free). It happened to have been the yearly review issue. This bottle was rated whisky of the year in that publication for 2009.
My relationship to smokiness in anything is one of an infatuated lover. In fact, my professed favorite smell that the earth can produce is a bonfire (preferably one with resinous wood for some reason). These things said....This bottle became my holy grail. I searched, but it was too late for me. All the stocks on the Northeast were sold out. I went as far as finding the original press release showing what retailers would have the bottle. Alas, I found one in the great state of massachusettes, a bit off the beaten path for me. no way in heck could I justify a sojourn to my wife just for whisky as a novice enthusiast. So I planted the seed. "C-O-R-R-Y-V-R-E-C-K-A-N is how its spelled," I said when asked what I want for Xmas. Somehow, she managed to find someone in California willing to ship it to me in NY. I love my wife. Now down to business:
Nose pre dilution: Bacon bacon bacon. Seaweed. Burnt dried fruit. Black fermented garlic cloves.
Nose post-dilution: Bacon bacon (fruit) bacon. Seaweed. Burnt dried fruit puree. I'll be honest, the aromas were just as strong, with a continuity that just has not been matched by anything else I've tried yet. This is a big Islay; not one that leads by injecting fear, but one who certainly asserts its authority. Its Michael Corleone in a bottle (sorry for the Godfather reference). In other words, its a young, powerful, unimaginably full of surprises and natural talent. There are bananas there, rum. This bottle is aptly titled. Hats off.
Food pairing: Main: Surf and turf that involves seaweed and mushrooms, a vegetarian plate. Sure you can do a nice fatty NY strip, but why make the meat the star? Why not the whisky?
I only suggested a main, because I wouldn't think of making this an appetizer whisky. Too big, too complex (and also too expenseive!). My hats off to you Corry. You've put a smile on my face.