D E F O N T E L E P O R U M

Download (0)

Full text

(1)

D E

F O N T E

L E P O R U M

( T H E F O U N T A I N O F D E L I G H T S )

O R

S o m e N o t e s To w a r d s a n U n d e r s t a n d i n g o f

T H E S U B L I M E M Y S T E R Y O F

as enjoyed since time immemorial by

T H E A N C I E N T C A L E D O N I A N S

t o g e t h e r w i t h

INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW BEST TO APPRECIATE ITS EXCELLENCE a n d S U N D RY R E M A R K S U P O N T H E U S E F U L AC T I V I T I E S O F

T H E

A D E L P H I

D I S T I L L E R Y

L I M I T E D

by J A M E S W A L K E R ESQUIRE E D I N B U R G H , 1 9 9 3

(2)

A.E. Housman

we must distinguish two distinct styles of Scotch Whisky – malt whisky and grain whisky – differentiated by their methods of production, and by the cereals which they employ. Mixed, they make ‘blended whisky’.

Malt whisky is the nobler spirit, and was the original

aqua vitae

of Scotland and Ireland – U I S G E B E AT H A in the Gaelic tongue, meaning simply‘ W AT E R O F L I F E ’ . Its origins are obscure, but it was certainly being made in quantity by 1494, and by the end of the next century so much was being produced that there was a shortage of barley for baking bread.

Well-matured in a good cask, Scotch malt whisky is considered to be the finest distilled liquor in the world.

AD E L P H IDI S T I L L E RY H A S B U T O N E A I M : T O O F F E R I T S C L I E N T S T H E V E RY B E S T O F T H E S E M A LT W H I S K I E S .

W E A R E H E L P E D BY H AV I N G J U S T T W O AC T I V I T I E S : I D E N T I F Y I N G T H E V E RY B E S T C A S K S A N D O F F E R I N G T H E S E T O O U R C U S T O M E R S . W E H AV E N O D I S T I L L E R I E S O F O U R O W N . T H I S A L L O W S U S T O O F F E R A F U L L RANGE OF WHISKIES, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO BE WHOLLY OBJECTIVE W H E N S E L E C T I N G T H E M . W H I L S T W E A I M AT A L L T I M E S T O O F F E R A R A N G E O F S T Y L E S A N D R E G I O N S , O U R W H I S K I E S A R E S E L E C T E D O N T H E B A S I S O F E XC E L L E N C E A L O N E . T O E N S U R E T H I S I S T H E C A S E , T H E D I R E C T O R S A R E A S S I S T E D BY A PA N E L O F P R O F E S S I O N A L “ N O S E S ” , C H A I R E D BY C H A R L E S M AC L E A N . T H E Y A L O N E C A N A P P R OV E T H E S E L E C T I O N O F A N Y C A S K . O U R W H I S K I E S A R E O U R R E P U TAT I O N

(3)

was formerly a branch of alchemy, and in truth the transmutation of two simple and natural elements – barley and water – into a golden liquid of infinite worth can be described accurately as an alchemical process.

Malt whisky is an elemental elixir, its ingredients no more or less than theW AT E RtheA I RtheE A R T Hand theF I R Eof Scotland. Nobody knows for certain what role each of the elements plays – just that malt whisky made anywhere else in the world, even to precisely the same recipe in exactly the same way, is but a pale shadow of

uisge beatha.

It used to be thought that soft mountain water – rising through peat and flowing over granite – was the crucial ingredient. But excellent whisky is also made with hard water. Barley is the quintessential harvest of the earth and Scots barley is perfect for distilling, but much barley now comes from abroad. Highland peat once fired the kilns and the stills, but today it is used sparingly and the flavour of the whisky is probably better. Finally there is the air of Scotland: cool, temperate and generally damp – a crucial factor in the spirit’s maturation.

TH E O R I G I N A L A D E L P H I D I S T I L L E RY WA S B U I LT I N 1 8 2 6 O N T H E B A N K S O F T H E R I V E R C LY D E I N W H AT I S N O W T H E H E A RT O F G L A S G O W. T H E T W O AC R E S I T E H A D B E E N A N O RC H A R D , F R O N T E D BY A W H A R F, A N D BY T H E 1 8 8 0 ’ S , W H E N JA M E S WA L K E R’ S G R E AT- G R A N D FAT H E R B O U G H T T H E C O M PA N Y, I T WA S O N E O F T H E M O S T A DVA N C E D A N D P R O D U C T I V E D I S T I L L E R I E S I N S C O T L A N D . AD E L P H I WA S R E V I V E D I N 1 9 9 3 BY T H E F O U N D E R’ S G R E AT- G R A N D S O N I N O R D E R T O E X P L O R E T H E M Y S T E R I E S O F M A LT W H I S KY M O R E F U L LY A N D T O M A K E A N U M B E R O F R A R E , W E L L AG E D A N D T O P Q UA L I T Y M A LT W H I S K I E S AVA I L A B L E T O D I S C E R N I N G C U S T O M E R S . T H I S C O N T I N U E S T O T H I S DAY.

“Inspiring , bold John Barleycorn

What dangers thou canst make us scorn!

Wi’ tipenny we fear nae evil:

Wi’ uisghe beath we’ll face the devil!”

(4)

Scotch whisky must mature in casks for a minimum of

three years

before being bottled, although in practice, malt whiskies are normally matured for at least

eight years.

The casks must be made fromO A Kand only two oaks are used -A M E R I C A N W H I T E O A KandE U R O P E A N O A K ,usually from Spain. The casks will have normally been used before to prevent the whisky becoming over-wooded. Since US law dictates that all American whiskies are matured in new casks, it is not surprising that some 95% of scotch whisky is

matured

in casks made from American White oak. No matter how good the distilled spirit, the choice of cask-indeed the individual cask itself will influence the quality of the outcome. European oak casks usually result in a

mahogany

coloured whisky, the American oak more a

golden yellow

. The more times a particular cask is filled, the softer the colour of the whisky that will emerge. Whilst a very pale whisky may imply a non-active cask, this will not always be the case. And some casks allow the contents to mature for up to5 0 Y E A R Swhilst others do not.

We recently tasted 2 consecutive casks from a well-knownS P E Y S I D E D I S T I L L E R Y– the first was a deep

mahogany

colour, and turned out to be one of the best whiskies we have ever found. However, the second was pale and tasteless – the unfortunate product of an inactive cask. It pays to

be

selective.

A small amount of whisky is

matured

in sherry butts, which can round off the flavourD E L I C I O U S LY,but can also mask more subtle malts. Some distillers will re-rack in sherry-wood only for the last year or so of the whisky’s

maturation.

AD E L P H I ’ S W H I S K I E S S PA N A R A N G E O F C O L O U R S F R O M PA L E G O L D E N Y E L L O W T O DA R K M A H O GA N Y.

OU R D I S T I N C T I V E L A B E L S A L L O W T H E S E W O N D E R F U L C O L O U R S T O B E E N J OY E D .

“The rate at which whisky matures

depends on the size of the cask (the larger, the

longer it will take to mature) and how often it

has been filled with whisky. After two or three

fillings the vital contribution made by the cask

is greatly reduced. What is more, some whiskies

peak twice, with a dull middle period, and very

old whisky can become undesirably woody.”

Charles MacLean (1993)

“The oak casks are permeable and

allow the air to pass inwards to tone down the

harsher elements in the spirit. The temperature

and humidity of the warehouse also influence

maturation. A damp atmosphere reduces the

strength, rather than the bulk of the spirit, and

dry conditions reduce the bulk rather than the

strength.”

(5)

, was a saying among distillery workers in days gone by. Only in recent years has the truth of the adage been understood by sensory chemists.

Each cask matures its contents slightly differently, depending on a number of factors - not least, how often the cask has been used for maturing whisky, and for how long. The first time a cask is filled with whisky, the wood has a powerful impact upon the spirit. Maturity can be achieved after only a few years, but sometimes a cask can work its magic for 50 years or more. On the other hand, after three or four fills, the cask becomes a mere container, incapable of maturing its contents.

To ensure consistency of their whiskies from batch to batch, distillery owners iron out differences by combining the contents of a number of casks for each bottling. Furthermore, in order to make sure that each batch has precisely the same appearance as the last, it is common practice to adjust the colour by the addition of small amounts of spirit caramel.

Finally, most proprietary malt whiskies (and all blended whiskies) undergo a process called 'chill-filtration' prior to bottling, by which the temperature of the spirit is lowered to around freezing, after the whisky has been reduced to 'bottling strength' (usually 40%Vol), in order to 'polish' the whisky by precipitating certain compounds and filtering them out.

O U R B O T T L I N G P O L I C Y I S Q U I T E D I F F E R E N T T O T H E N O R M .

A F T E R T H E M O S T R I G O U R O U S C A S K S E L E C T I O N P R O C E D U R E , D E S I G N E D TO CHOOSE ONLY WHISKIES AT THE PEAK OF PERFECTION, WE CELEBRATE T H E D I F F E R E N T C H A R AC T E R I S T I C S B E S T O W E D BY I N D I V I D UA L C A S K S BY B O T T L I N G D I R E C T F R O M T H E W O O D , AT N AT U R A L S T R E N GT H , W I T H O U T T H E A D D I T I O N O F A N Y A RT I F I C I A L C O L O U R I N G A N D W I T H N O C H I L L - F I LT R AT I O N . N O T H I N G A D D E D ; N O T H I N G TA K E N O U T: S I N G L E C A S K M A LT W H I S KY A S I T WA S E N J OY E D I N T H E O L D DAY S .

“£1.8 billion was contributed to the trade balance by

Scotch exports in 1991. Without Scotch, the UK food

and drinks trade deficit would have increased by

almost 40% to reach £6.8 billion. It is also rumoured

that the Angel’s Share is equivalent to the reserves

of the Bank of England.”

(6)

“We asked a celebrated Parisian perfume-noser

to analyse the bouquet of our malt whisky.

He identified 26 distinct scents, including:

bergamot, gentian, liquorice, orange, apricot,

verbena, wild mint, nutmeg, ginger, pepper,

vanilla, cinnamon, narcissus, crushed fruit stone,

peony, pine resin and bitter almond.”

Neil McKerrow, Managing Director, Macdonald & Muir

“ I knew of one small town with seven distilleries,

and I knew an expert who could distinguish the

seven by bouquet alone. These seven were within

one mile of a highland river, they used the same

water, peat and malt, and the methods of brewing

and distillation were identical. Yet each spirit

had its own individual bouquet.”

Maurice Walsh, in the Introduction to Scotch Whisky By J.M. Robb (1950) D ried h op s,P ot ale coco nut, gors e,la ven der B u rg u n d y, B ra n d y, R ie sl in g Sm ok ed salm on , M os s,Fr esh pe at per fum ed, scen ted ,ro se, co ok ed m ash, W eeta b ix,B ra n, M alt ed m ilk ,M arm ite,H orlic k s, matchbox, cigarb ox, resin, sandalwoo d, pencils, cardboard, newspap ers S her ry , C h a rdo n a y, P o rt, bon fires, peat-r eek , cinn am on stic ks, L ap sang Souc ho ng, K ipp ery, M A LT Y, C ER EA L FL OR AL , FR AG RA NT FRUITY P EAT Y, SM O KY W IN E Y WOOD para ffin, crud e oil milk choc olate, butte r, cream , haz elnut s,alm onds , olive s,lin seed oil, c andle wax, OILY

bananas,peaches, fresh figs, cherries, raspberries,ripe pears, strawberries, stewed apples,raisins, sultanas,

dried figs, mince pies, Christmas cake, marmalade

(7)

LOWLAND MALTS

The whiskies made south of an imaginary line drawn from Greenock on the west coast to Dundee in the east, tend to be light in body and colour

and to have a grassy or hay-like aroma, with some cereal notes. HIGHLAND MALTS

North Highland malts tend to be medium-bodied and fresh-flavoured, with heathery, nutty notes. Those from the West add smokiness and spice

to this while Central Highland malts often have floral aromas. SPEYSIDE MALTS

Often described as the ‘Premiers Grands Crus’ of malt whiskies – they can vary from highly perfumed, light-bodied confections, perfect for a summer’s afternoon, to chocolate and fruitcake-rich digestifs,

comparable to old cognac. ISLAY MALTS

The eight distilleries on the windswept Isle of Islay produce some of the most aromatic of whiskies, often redolent of peatsmoke and seaweed. much of the Island is peat and this taints the water, some distilleries draw

their water from springs to avoid this, others use heavily peated barley to reinforce it.

ISLAND MALTS

Orkney, Skye, Mull, Jura and Arran each have their own distilleries, producing individual whiskies with some of the characteristics

of Highland malts, but often with a rebellious edge. CAMPBELTOWN MALTS

From a small town on the Mull of Kintyre come two remarkable malts with a misty flavour and a trace of salt.

distilled at Adelphi was described as ‘Lowland’ for, just as the wines of Bordeaux vary according to their place of origin – Medoc, St. Emilion, Sauternes, and so on – so the malt whiskies of Scotland acquire characteristics from the region in which they are made.

The traditional classification wasH I G H L A N D , L O W L A N D , I S L A Y and

C A M P B E LT O W N .Then‘ S P E Y S I D E ’[part ofH I G H L A N D] was given its own denomination, ‘ I S L A N D ’ became an accepted category and

‘ C A M P B E LT O W N ’was dropped since all but two of its thirty-two former distilleries closed down.

Although it is difficult to generalise about regional flavour characteristics – so much depends upon the kind of cask in which the individual whisky has been matured, for how long, and under what conditions – certain features may be discerned.

AD E L P H I W H I S KY S H O U L D B E S E RV E D AT R O O M T E M P E R AT U R E I N A G L A S S W H I C H W I L L A L L O W YO U T O C O N S I D E R I T S C O L O U R A N D B O U Q U E T. T H E G L A S S S H O U L D GAT H E R T H E A R O M A S , S O A T U L I P-S H A P E D P-S H E R RY C O P I TA I P-S B E P-S T. T H E T R A D I T I O N A L W H I P-S KY T U M B L E R I S D E S I G N E D F O R W H I S KY A N D S O DA A N D I S W O RT H L E S S ! OU R W H I S K I E S A R E U S UA L LY T O O S T R O N G T O D R I N K N E AT: AT 1 0 0 D E G R E E S P R O O F T H E A L C O H O L I C VA P O U R S T E N D T O A N A E S T H E T I S E T H E PA L AT E . S O A L I T T L E WAT E R S H O U L D B E A D D E D T H E A M O U N T I S A M AT T E R O F TA S T E A N D D E P E N D S O N T H E N AT U R E O F T H E W H I S KY. P R O F E S S I O N A L TA S T E R S D I LU T E T O 2 0 % A L C H O H O L .

TH E WAT E R R E L E A S E S T H E F L AVO U R- B E A R I N G E S T E R S A N D AWA K E N S T H E B O U Q U E T A S I T AG I TAT E S T H E S P I R I T YO U W I L L S E E T H E O I L S S W I R L I N G I N T H E G L A S S . I T A L S O H E L P S T O R E L AX T H E W H I S KY, S O I T B E G I N S T O U N F O L D A N D G I V E I T S B E S T.

(8)

TH E AD E L P H I DI S T I L L E R Y LI M I T E D S E L E C T S A N D B O T T L E S C A S K S O F R A R E M A LT W H I S KY A N D M A K E S T H E I R U N I Q U E C O N T E N T S AVA I L A B L E BY M A I L O R D E R T O T H O S E W H O A P P R E C I AT E F I N E L I Q U O R , A N Y W H E R E I N T H E W O R L D . T H E I N D I V I D UA L W H I S K I E S A R E E AC H O F T H E H I G H E S T Q UA L I T Y A N D T H E C R I T E R I A F O R S E L E C T I O N I N C LU D E R A R I T Y A N D M AT U R I T Y, B U T A B OV E A L L F L AVO U R . E AC H C A S K I M PA RT S I T S O W N C H A R AC T E R T O T H E W H I S KY I T H O L D S , S O T O AC H I E V E B R A N D C O N S I S T E N C Y I T I S C U S T O M A RY T O M I X T H E C O N T E N T S O F A N U M B E R O F C A S K S P R I O R T O B O T T L I N G . W E D O N O T D O T H I S : W E A R E N O T S E E K I N G U N I F O R M I T Y. F U RT H E R M O R E , I N O R D E R T O R E TA I N T H E F U L L F L AVO U R O F T H E W H I S KY, I T I S B O T T L E D S T R A I G H T F R O M T H E C A S K – W I T H O U T C H I L L F I LT E R I N G , O R D I LU T I O N . O U R W H I S K I E S A R E T H U S S T R O N G E R T H A N P R O P R I E T RY B R A N D S . U S UA L LY BY A B O U T 3 0 P R O O F, O R 1 7 % A L C O H O L ( T H E E XAC T S T R E N GT H W I L L VA RY AC C O R D I N G T O T H E W H I S KY ’ S AG E ) . I N S H O RT, T H E W H I S K I E S S E L E C T E D BY A D E L P H I W I L L B E T H E T R U E A N D U N A D U LT E R AT E D S P I R I T, A S E N J OY E D BY O U R A N C E S T O R S ! F O R F U R T H E R I N F O R M AT I O N P L E A S E C O N TA C T

T

H E

A

D E L P H I

D

I S T I L L E R Y

L

I M I T E D G L E N B O R R O D A L E C A S T L E , A R D N A M U R C H A N , A R G Y L L , P H 3 6 4 J P T E L E P H O N E : 0 1 9 7 2 5 0 0 7 6 5 FA X : 0 1 9 7 2 5 0 0 7 7 1 M E R R Y H I L L FA R M S T E A D I N G , C H A R L E S T O W N , F I F E , K Y 1 1 3 D R T E L E P H O N E : 0 1 3 8 3 8 7 3 4 2 6 FA X : 0 1 3 8 3 8 7 3 5 1 9 E m a i l : i n f o @ a d e l p h i d i s t i l l e r y . c o m w w w . a d e l p h i d i s t i l l e r y . c o m

“Whisky suffers its worst insults at the

hands of the swillers… the boozers, the ‘let’s

have-a-spot’ and ‘make-it-a-quick-one’ gentry, and

all the rest who dwell in a darkness where there are

no whiskies but only whisky – and of course, ice

and soda…“As a result there has been a tendency

to abolish whisky from the table of the connoisseur

to the saloon bar and the golf club smoke-room.

The notion that we can possibly develop a palate for

whisky is guaranteed to produce a smile of derision

in any company except that of a few Scottish lairds,

farmers, gamekeepers and bailies – all relics of a

vanished age of gold when the vintages of the north

had their students and lovers.”

(9)

Figure

Updating...

References

Related subjects :