One of my good friends and I had recently went out to a couple of different whisky bars/restaurants here in Perth. It'd been an odd coincidence considering that he'd been discussing a couple of new restaurants (he's a foodie) and I'd been talking about a couple of new whisky bars that I'd recently heard about on Facebook.
We were flabbergasted when we realized that we were both talking about the same places and considering that he seems to know just about EVERYONE in the restaurant industry over here, he made me promise to hold off on going to any of the new whisky bars until we could hit them together.
Not a problem! Especially because we'd made plans to meet up in a couple of weeks time.
The first bar we went to was Lafayette, which had a reasonable selection of whiskies for reasonable prices. This is where I decided to grab a sample of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. I offered my friend a taste, but he informed me that whisky wasn't his thing, him being a wine guy and all. The next bar/restaurant we were going to be going to was his favorite and one where he was friends with EVERYONE.
The Print Hall.
We walk in and he's immediately greeted by staff there that he knows.
Holy crap, it's like being with a celebrity.
We walk over to the bar to take a look at the whisky selection and there I'm both thrilled and disappointed.
Whisky selection isn't the greatest, well at least in number of bottles that are open. But what it lacks in variety, it more then makes up in quality!
I immediately see several whiskies that catch my eye, including a Glen Grant bottled by Gordon and MacPhail from 1949, 58 years old and Bruichladdich's Octomore 2.2 Orpheus.
The bartender gives me a wee nip of the 58 yr old Glen Grant for free before asking what'll it be?
The Glen Grant is beautiful, but at $65 a shot it's more pricey then I can afford this fine evening, but I shall return for it.
I decide to go with the Bruichladdich Octomore 2.2 Orpheus. I've heard about this whisky for years and have always wanted to try it.
The bartender then gives me and my friend a wee nip of this one for free to try, even though I've already decided to grab a dram. When he pours my dram he decides to give me an extra half shot for free...
Yep this is how celebrities must feel, all the time.
My friend exclaims in pleasure and surprise on his sample.
It wasn't anything like he'd expected a whisky to taste!
I then sit down and decide to focus my attention on this bad boy.
Lovely nose, actually a powerful nose as my friend comments that he can smell the whisky from across the table.
Peat, beautiful peat, sweet peat with hints of smoke, vanilla, sea salt brine, hints of leather and bags of fruit, raspberries, grapes, cherries.
Delicious beautiful nose!
This is the kind of the nose that sucks you in and just begs you to take a taste of it, which being the kind of person I am, I don't want to hurt the whisky's feelings so I will oblige it!
This whisky sits at 61% and is big, but not overpowering, the first thing that hits the palate is the peat, again that beautiful sweet peat, smoke, those sexy fruits, raspberries, grapes, cherries, awesome cerealy barley, oak, vanilla, and LOTS of spices.
The finish is MASSIVE, lasting for minutes as my friend mentions several times that he can still taste the whisky and it's really surprised him.
So much so that 4 or 5 days later I get an sms from him asking for the link to my whisky blog and then I hear from some other friends that he's commenting that he might just start getting into whisky.
Now for the bad news, Octomore Orpheus 2.2 which is a 5 year old whisky (once more I'm left asking the people who insist that a whisky much be 15, 18, 21+ years old to be good to please try this whisky and tell me that young whiskies can't kick ass) is a limited edition and has since been discontinued.
I've never seen a bottle before and honestly I'd expect to pay over $200 AUS for a bottle of it, more likely more then that, but this whisky would be completely worth that price point!
If you're ever fortunate enough to see a bottle of this, or see it for sale by the dram, grab it!