Why did I buy it?
You read the title right? Did I mention it was cask strength too? I’d very much gone into a peaty port cask spiral since trying Talisker Port Rughie and then being further persuaded of the wonders of port by trying the Tomatin 14 year old Port Cask at the Scotch Whisky Experience Bar in Edinburgh. But I didn’t want to buy either of those bottles. I was in Edinburgh and I was on holiday and I wanted to pick up something that was a little bit fancier as a holiday gift. For myself. Obviously.
Where did I buy it?
The great Royal Mile Whiskies on the Royal Mile. There are many tourist trap shops on the Royal Mile that horrendously overcharge for whisky and novelty hats etc. But this shop is one of the few that has a genuine passion and knowledge behind what they do and what they represent. Arriving at the front door of this place usually triggers an eye-roll or tut from my better half, as she knows this is going to be 40 minutes plus of her life she’s not going to get back!
Always a warm greeting when you go in here, and you can have as much or as little assistance as you like from the staff. For me I like to chat and explore what gems I could potentially pick out from the shelves. Sharing my latest whisky experiences is often a good way to spark a suggestion from the staff and today was no exception. Turns out they had only had a delivery of this BenRiach the day before, and although there was no sample to taste; the gentleman behind the counter spent a good ten minutes trawling the internet to find tasting notes for me on the bottle; and enthused over previous releases he had tried and enjoyed. My mind was set. This was the bottle for me. My partner even picked herself up a bottle of gin from their large selection; two happy customers left with two quality spirits.
Have I opened it?
Why haven’t I opened it?
I’m trying to find a valid excuse. I can’t really find one and all I can see in my minds eye is the Malt Review teams #openyourbottles hashtag flashing over and over! I suppose we can go cliche and say I was saving it for a special occasion. Christ knows what special occasion I was thinking of. I think it’s probably more that I’m a little concerned I need to give it the attention it deserves; I’ve always had too many bottles open and on the go to justify opening a potential real great dram like this one. Then there’s also being let down by a dram you thought was going to be a stunner and wasn’t (a 1990 14 year old Blair Athol Old Malt Cask if you were asking). Maybe I’m just a scaredy cat.
Regardless! I need to stick to my mantra of “A whisky isn’t a whisky until you drink it. It’s just a very expensive paperweight until then”, I certainly won’t be having any ‘special occasions’ any time soon and with current world events I have been working through the open bottles at a healthy pace. This one will be getting cracked open next. It deserves it; It’s what I bought it for in the first place, to enjoy it!
Limited Release Single Cask 2008
Cask No. 2048
Distilled on: 18/03/2008
Aged: 9 years
Bottled on: June 2017
Cask Type: Port Pipe
Bottle No. 78 of 838
I paid: £55-£60ish.