MrTattieHeid wrote:Ed, if you want to experience salt in whisky, try the Bruichladdich Links Augusta (I believe there's still some at T&V) or Jura Superstition. Both have a very strongly salty finish--I likened the Jura to having a salt shaker in the bottom of your dram with the top unscrewed. I didn't really care for it, to be honest. The Augusta was intensely soapy on first opening, but that disappeared shortly. I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me--in fact, I am at this moment having the last of it, and the last few drams have been the best. I imagine the experience of salt is subjective, to some extent, but those two stood out in my mind. I've yet to experience something that I would say was salty on the palate, but that's subjective, as well, like chocolate in Glenfiddich.
I don't think we've had an argument about salt here, at least not in the brief time I've been around. As Michael Jackson said (and I paraphrase), "I never said there was salt in whisky. I said it tasted like salt." It's pretty hard to tell someone that he didn't taste what he thought he did.
The Eleuthera sounds very interesting. I will keep an eye out for a dram of it when I'm traveling next month.
Mr. T, thanks for the reply. I tried a bottle of Jura Superstition last year and didn't get any saltiness at all. I thought it was better than the standard 10 yo, by a considerable margin, and I admit that I liked the Superstition more as I got used to it, but I have been in no hurry to replace the bottle given that, e.g., Ardbeg 10 is so reasonably priced and, to my tastes, vastly superior. I have been wary of those Augusta Links Bruichladdichs given your prior, and now repeated, comment about it having an intense soapy taste. I love a good experiment, but prefer not to perform them on myself, other things equal! Table & Vine also have 2 bottles of the St. Andrews Links 'laddies in with the 2 Augusta bottles, so I will most likely snag one of those first. Frankly, I REALLY don't like soapy whisky (or FWP-ed whisky either, for that matter, but I'm not going there ...).
The Eleuthera and other Compass Box whiskies are available at Town & Country, BTW. I found "The Peat Monster" to be good, but relatively expensive and not all that much a monster in the peat dimension. I have not tried the Aslya or Hedonism. The problem is that these are relatively expensive and there are so many single malts I still want to try. I also agree with Harry about Eleuthera in regard to the Caol Ila and Clynelish malts in it: these are old favorites of mine, available at good prices, so why not just enjoy them as singles? And T & C has Caol Ila 25 for a mere $204! (Too bad some of the bottles are recumbent on the shelf.)
I completely agree with comments regarding taste not being subject to dispute: if someone says they taste salt or chocolate or rubber, coconuts, etc., in a whisky, then I see no reason to disbelieve them. But if I cannot taste that particular taste, especially if someone else finds it to be intense, then I know I am calibrated, palate-wise, differently, so I factor that into tasing notes I read. Of course, I still read tasting notes, and very much enjoy doing so, but, thus far, I seem to be calibrated differently than everyone else. I cannot even taste chocolate in Ardbeg, despite having tried Ardbegs from Uigeadail and TEN up through Ardbeggeddon and VOA and some indie Ardbegs. And I never get pepper in any Talisker 10 I have had, or coconut in Springbank 21, sad to say. But this is likely just me and maybe it will change with time or more experience. I can live with it!
Finally, although I would never dispute someone's tastes, I have to admit that I cannot believe that any of the five primary tastes can be smelled in any meaningful way. Thus, when I read a tasting note for a single malt and the nose is described as salty, I assume this is rubbish, basically reflecting what the taster is expecting to smell or has read somewhere. Saltiness is a perfect example: even concentrated brine has no salty smell and neither does a heap of salt crystals (there are no NaCl molecules above solid NaCl). Note that this is an easy experiment to do at home, and, with a partner, it can be done in true blind fashion. Fine water droplets that are inhaled will certainly evoke some sensations, as would a snoot full of brine, but not a salty smell. (This is probably not good to do at home or anywhere else.) Salt spray at the beach, of course, is another matter entirely: the flux and fleen of rotting organics certainly gives characteristic marine "aromas." But it is not salt "smell." My two cents. Ed V.