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Perhaps I'm not a Speysider when it comes to the living water, at least not as much as I'd once thought.
I have tried some of the top shelf Aberlours and liked them quite a lot, especially the 18 and the A'bunadh.
This said, I guess I have been harboring a grudge against low end Glenfiddich and Glenlivet from my younger years that still haunts.
Tonight, before dinner at the pub, a glass of Glenfarclas 17 evoked bad memories at first whiff. In time, the better elementals respired in the glass, coming to life.
Still, all in all, I was not overly impressed. The palate could not shake a cloying perfume-y scent that that reminded me distantly of, well, Cutty Sark? Ugh.
Rewind to last night after work when I stopped by 10th Avenue Liquor in Portland on my way home, and was steered wrong by a clerk there who suggested that I tuck in a bottle of The MacTarnahan (alleged 9 year-old Glenfarclas) along with a pleasing pair: Tobermory 15 and a Glendronach 15 Revival--both the last bottles in the store, and which I intended to buy before even entering the premises.
Alas, the MacTarnahan turned out to be odious at best, only fit for mixed drinks, as far as I'm concerned after opening it and pouring a sip when I got home. I'm sure future guests will like it well enough with mixers.
Fast forward to the Glenfarclas 17 tonight: A little time in the class cured the bad memories of cheap Speysides from my past (along with the morose ghost of Cutty Sark), but the 17 was not what I had hoped it would be, even in the final analysis.
I followed up the Glenfarclas with a dram of Dalmore Cigar Malt, which I like great deal more, even though it was not the most sophisticated glass of whiskey that I've had the pleasure of drinking.
Before leaving the pub, I hovered over a glass of the Bowmore 16 DT. It certainly wasn't the best Bowmore I've tasted. In fact, I had a glass of the 15 (not darkest) a few weeks ago at Kells Irish Pub. The plain 15 year was delicious and astonishingly good. If memory serves, I much preferred it to the 16 DT tonight. (Perhaps "DT" should stand for Delirium Tremens and not Duncan Taylor. Will a bad pun like that get me kicked off this site? I hope not! A joke, just a joke!!!)
All hail the HIghland Stillhouse for enabling occasional forays into disappointment, as well as the glad eye of good fortune when'er it shines (through the hole in my pocketbook where fresh cabbage used to bloom). The Stillhouse has hundreds of bottles to choose from. A trip there is always an adventure in accidental tourism, and I wouldn't trade even my least favorite glass of the "living water" for anything. Experientia docet.