Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Road Trip #2
This time we traveled to Oviedo Florida and I got to try 4 different whiskies.
Our first stop was at an eatery that will remain nameless. Nameless because either the waitress just did not understand my order or they water down their whiskey. I ordered Seagram’s VO because it was one part of their selection that I had not tried in many years. Unfortunately it was somewhere around 2/3 or more water. I had ordered my drink straight so it was most disappointing. I do not want to mention the name of the place because there is a chance that something got misunderstood and I don’t want to say anything bad unless I am really sure it is bad. So after a quick snack we made our way to Medici’s Cigar Lounge and Bar where their friendly staff was wrangling a large selection of whisky, bourbon, and lots of beer. The bartenders were very knowledgeable about single malts and had some good things to tell me about a blended scotch that I was able to try that night.
I started out with a dram of Caol Ila which is Gaelic for “the sound of Islay”, Islay being an island with several distilleries off the Western coast of Scotland. This was a 12 year old and has a serious peaty smell and taste to it. It is lighter in peat than say Laphroaig for example or maybe even lighter than some of the other Islay scotches. I apologize to all you peaty scotch lovers but it is just not for me. I have not yet mastered drinking the peaty scotches. I’m sure if you like a good peaty scotch then Caol Ila is probably a very enjoyable dram for you. Give it a try. Next up was a dram of Oban 14 year old and that was more to my liking. Oban is located on the West coast of Scotland and is one of the places to catch the ferry for the outer islands.
Some say that they can taste saltiness from scotches that are aged near the sea and I don’t disagree but cannot honestly say I could taste the sea salt in the whisky. Perhaps I am not trying hard enough, but I can say it was really good and I could certainly taste its oaky goodness. Oban 14 is a single malt I can highly recommend and if you have never tried it please do so at your earliest opportunity.

Finally I get to the blend that the bartender told me about and it has been featured in magazines that deal with whisky lately so check your favorite one and read all about it.
I am referring to Compass Box. Its color was light and in fairness to Oban and Caol Ila, which are both high quality scotches it was the 3 rd one I had tried that evening but it was the best. I say best in that it was best suited to my individual tastes and I certainly would buy it again and will try to pick up a 5th next time I go to replenish my ever evaporating stocks of scotch at home. I keep buying scotch and it keeps disappearing or maybe I just keep drinking it. At any rate I am almost due a restocking trip and this light colored right fine tasting blend will be on my shopping list. Try it and I do not think you will be disappointed. Even if you drink single malts all the time this blend is worth a try. Hedonism was the particular version of Compass Box that I sampled that night and I really liked it. They have other choices and only you can select the one that is right for you and that include their “Peat Monster” which should give all you smoky loving folks the taste you desire.
We were treated well at Medici’s and all of us enjoyed talking with the knowledgeable bar staff so give them a try. They had sports on TV a great selection of cigars and good spirits to enjoy. You can find it on Google with ease.
The Whisky Warrior

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