Spirit forward Cocktail

The senses need to be our guide in the magnificent world of the golden spirits!

Whisky as legend has it, was first created by holy men (aka Monks…) and used mainly at the start of its fascinating career, for medicinal reasons.

It was not created to show status, or intelligence or influence, it basically fell into level one of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Today, whisky has taken most parts of the world by storm,  it’s showcased on some of the world’s most expensive billboards, brands are asked for by name in the latest hit Series, and it’s ordered “by the bottle” in Clubs to show status (and highlight the colour of one’s credit card…)

The above is probably not news to anyone. But like all things in life, all whisky is not made equally, and not all aspire to the same final goal. Some brand’s goal is global domination, others (and these are intriguing…) is sensory domination! Brands that simply want to make excellent spirit, not ones that are aiming to be featured in the next hit Series, or trending on Instagram.

Chamarel Muscatel Finish

The senses are here to guide, here to authentically lead fellow drinkers in the “right” direction for them.

These are Spirits that appeal to flavourists, drinkers who will close their eyes, senses heightened, and ask one simple question, “do I like this or don’t I”, and then order or purchase that mighty golden Spirit based on the answer to that simple question. The guide is not how beautiful the packaging is, not how expensive it is, how old it is, and not based on what the latest review says. A simple act of tasting, truly tasting, and basing the call on sensory enjoyment alone.

This is the way we should enjoy all great drinks, whether it’s a local craft beer, a spirit forward cocktail or a glass of Shiraz. Use the senses, not the marketing machine, not the influencers, and go back to the basics. Use what we were given to enjoy life and to perceive it with, our senses!

My recent sensory highlights (which include both rums and whiskies)

  1. Hampden 8 – my soiree into high-ester rums, love-at-first-nose I like to think…
  2. Signatory Vintage Caol Ila 8, 2012 – my favourite, a delightful balance of sherry and peat, my two passions in one dram, sensory delight to say the least!
  3. Ballechin 2010 – anyone who’s privy to my whisky drinking profile, knows I’m a bit of a sucker for a peated dram, this is a joy!
  4. Chamarel , Moscatel Finish –  a delight, it was love at first taste! And that is a good enough reason for me.


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