19 September 2005
The Nineteen Malts Of Stonehaven
Monday 19 September 2005
Arrived in Aberdeen on KLM after changing planes in Amsterdam. On the approach, the plane dipped and weaved, and the landing was hard. "That's what we call a sporty landing," said the pilot, explaining that, in such conditions, he's mostly concerned with putting the plane in the middle of the runway, rather than trying for a soft landing. He did a good job undr the conditions, in my estimation.
Left the bulk of my luggage at the airport and took the bus into town. Visited Ottakar's, where I bought CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2006 (the most important book in my touring arsenal) and a paper copy of Peat Smoke & Spirit. A quick glance showed "Kildalton" spelled correctly throughout. There is an acknowledgement at the front to the many who helped with corrections, including a fellow named Harry Pulley.
Had lunch at the Prince of Wales,along with a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord, my favorite beer. After a year's wait, the pint I had wasn't all that good. Ah, well, that's the nature of it. The Prince has only a small handful of malts. I've heard since that the place is in receivership, so perhaps standards are a bit down at the moment. Too bad, it's a lovely pub; better days ahead, no doubt.
Took the train to Stonehaven, nodding off on the way. Dreamt I was on the plane for Shetland, taxiing on the runway. Awoke in a panic, not knowing whether I'd missed my stop. I hadn't.
My B&B is a short walk from the rail station, and I took a good solid nap. Then I had a walk through town and on the beach. Stonehaven has always struck me as a bit shabby, but it didn't seem so bad today--still quite a few vacant storefronts, but perhaps it's looking up. The beach is nice, as is the old harbor, where the Marine Hotel stands.
The Marine has in the past had some pretty good and adventurous pub food, but that has disappeared the past couple years, and the meal I had was rather ordinary. But the pint of Landlord was excellent, making up for the one at the Prince. There are nineteen malts in the Marine. I don't intend to make a list of all the malts in all the pubs I go to, but will do so here, to show how it's possible to have an interesting selection without too many bottles:
OB's: Dalwhinnie, Glendronach, Jura, Highland Park, Laphroaig, Dalmore, Scapa, Cragganmore, Glenkinchie; plus three Glenrothes, '79, '89, and '92.
MacPhail's Collection: Glenturret, Bunnahabhain, Glen Scotia.
Connoisseur's Choice: Clynelish, Strathmill, Glencadam, Littlemill.
Also: Grant's Ale and Sherry Casks, The Antiquary, The Century of Malts, Glen Calder, JW Black, Black Bush, Jameson, Grouse, and Jack Daniel's.
I tried a few things; the one that really stood out was the Littlemill, which I tried out of sheer perversity. It was indeed a unique experience. Imagine a fairly nice but undistinctive malt; add a few drops of turpentine. Now store the malt inside one of your car's tires and drive for a week or two in very hot weather. There you have it...the worst whisky I've ever had, by far. It ruined the subsequent Clynelish, as well, even with a pint in between.
Last edited by Guest
on Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.