With Valentines day approaching, this reminds me of the scotch whisky Wendy and I served at our wedding. Rather than a bubbly for a wedding toast, we chose Royal Lochnagar from a distillery we visited on our first trip to Scotland. A distillery that was a stone’s throw from Balmoral Castle on the south side of the River Dee in Aberdeenshire. This is where Wendy discovered that whisky was more than simply ‘booze’. And, where we both learned about the magic of how whisky is distilled and the distinguishing characteristics that make up each keg.
Since our first trip to Scotland, we have also learned that whisky is more than the sum of what we see, smell and taste as tasting is not confined to the characteristics of the whisky itself but encompasses the unique perceptions that individual tasters will have influenced by place, the circumstances, the weather, the company they are with, and the mood they are in. All of which adds to the complexity of what the Ancient Celts called uisge beatha (pronounced: oosh-ga bah), a medicinal elixir that prolonged life. A dram of Royal Lochnagar (12 yr) is a pairing I truly enjoy as it invokes so many memories reflective of the love we share.