The New Alchemists: Tasting Notes from The Scotch Dinner

Tasting notes on a wide range of single malt scotches: Orkney, Highlands, Speyside.

The dinner was a blast.

Now I'm a wine guy so to me it is amazing that such a variety of flavors can be conjured up with such base elements as water, malted barley, a peat fire and oak for aging. As far as I'm concerned it is true alchemy. Single malt Scotch Whisky is truly liquid gold distilled from base elements.

Mosaic's food accompaniment was nothing short of witchcraft. Gary Keimach from the independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail did a great job striking the perfect balance between education and enjoyment. And the menu was amazing. Jonathan and Tate at Mosaic must be doing drugs to come up with those wild combinations of flavors that work so well.

The variety in both the food and the whiskey was what made the dinner so fun and informative. An independent bottler like G&M has relationships with I believe about 80 distilleries going on four generations. They bottle whiskey from every corner of Scotland's whiskey regions and belive me that is a lot of ground to cover. So we had one Highland Park Whisky (from the northermost islands of Scotland) and not 7 different Highland Parks. We sampled an Islay, an Orkney, several Speysides and one Highlands malt. In a nutshell, I loved the Tormore, Imperial Port finish and Glenrothes, the Highland Park and Old Putney were on the second tier. The Caol Ila was peat poison and the Atholl Brose was the blessed antidote to it. Here's a more studied take on the 7 Scotches as well as the Atholl Brose liqueur.

Link to full tasting notes

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