Paul A Jellis wrote:Can situation change your perception of a whisky? Now I believe it can.
Absolutely! And that's why, as much as I appreciate the efforts of the many folks here who go to great lengths to make detailed notes and give objective ratings and scores, I cannot personally imagine doing so. I do not believe that there is any such thing as an objective tasting. You can do your best to eliminate all the possible variables, but at the moment you taste, you are Admiral Harry T Lawrence in a tasting room in Glasgow at 10:00am on the fourth of July, you had lamb for dinner last night and scrambled eggs and haggis for breakfast, the temperature is 30°C and the humidity is pushing 100%, your girlfriend said something to you as you left for the tasting that may or may not have been hostile, and you had MacAskill 42 and Glen Googly Root Beer Barrel before tasting this Glen Campbell Rhinestone Reserve. Not only will the circumstances never be the same for you again; they will never be anything remotely similar for me.
Just now I am having what is lately my favorite twofer--Talisker 10 followed by Bruichladdich 10. I discovered quite by accident that any Bruichladdich tastes great after a peaty dram, very full-bodied and flavorful. I love to find such synergistic effects; it usually involves deciding what dram to have after what dinner.
Somewhere else hereabouts, someone mentioned having a dram of Highland Park 25 with vanilla ice cream. I can't wait to try that!
For me, whisky is the Water of Life, not a laboratory experiment. Again, I do not wish to denigrate those who actually do the lab work--I appreciate what they do, and read their notes with great interest. And I know very well that all of them enjoy whisky in the "real world", as well. But I take great delight in knowing that a Jura 10, a whisky not very highly rated by anyone (including me), really hits the spot for Paul A Jellis on a Saturday night overlooking the harbor in Looe, Cornwall. That, in my mind, is what it's all about.