Friday Night Drink: Islay Scotch

Nothing like a relaxing start to the weekend: a simple, hearty dinner of pho in Chinatown, followed by beer and scotches in a quiet rooftop beer garden with a group of friends, drinkers and climbers. Conversation jumped randomly all over the board but flowed easily as we lounged in the surprising heat of October.

I jumped at the opportunity to try more of the Islay scotches: Ardberg and Bowmore. I’ve now tried 5 of the Islay scotches, with the exception of Port Ellen and Bunnahabhain.

Ardberg 12 Year: Smoky, though lower on the scale than Lagavulin or Laphroaig. The smokiness was rounded off with a sweetish-scent, which lent Yeming to compare it to honey smoked ham. Mm. Slightly bitter mouthfeel.

Bowmore: There was a haunting smokiness in the nose, so fleeting I had to sniff harder to hunt it down again. This felt like a somewhat indecisive wines to me; Julian said it seemed like a wine at crossroads, as if it couldn’t decide where to fall on the peatiness spectrum. Nonetheless, it was a delightful dram to linger over, especially with the sweet caramel finish.


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