Okay, every night is whisky night but this one is the real deal. Soon it will be Hogmanay, which Scotland reveres far more than Christmas and always has. Christmas is a bit of sherry and beer but Hogmanay is stovies and whisky!
Stovies are a sort of mix of steak mince and mashed potato with some other stuff in there. As with haggis, I have some idea what’s in it but don’t actually care. It tastes good and it’s a good stodgy meal to absorb the excess booze.
If you haven’t used steak mince, I recommend it. It does wonders for lasagne.
Anyway. I already have a stock of whisky in. CStM gave me a bottle of Johnnie Walker’s White Walker for Christmas and I haven’t touched it yet. It’s a limited edition so I’ll be savouring that one. My brother sent me Chivas Regal which is not quite done yet because I have Tomatin and Aberlour as well.
I also have the box set of Dewar’s which is not yet touched because I forgot to put the little bottle of water in the fridge. The set includes a measuring thing. Measure the whisky in the big end, the water in the small end and combine the two.
I have been told many times that adding a little drop of water to a good whisky improves it. I never believed it until I moved here. Tap water is no good, it’s full of chlorine and fluoride and all sorts of other crap. It has to be pure water, untainted by chemicals.
Well… that’s what comes out of the tap here. Well water, UV treated and filtered but nothing at all added to it. And it works. A little dash of it makes any whisky more mellow and flavoursome. The stuff we get from the tap is treated better than even bottled water, especially water in plastic bottles that will leach out plasticisers.
I did wonder about the logic in the Dewar’s set though. It is claimed that the best water to add to your whisky is the water it was made with. Seems logical if more than a tad pretentious.
However, the Dewar’s is 12 years old. At least. It’s a blend so the age is determined by the youngest whisky in the blend, there could be older ones in there. The age only applies to the time in the barrel – there is no further ageing after bottling – so if the bottle has been sitting in a warehouse for a few years it’s even longer since the youngest whisky in this blend was distilled.
The spring water supplied with it is not 12 years old. So, since this whisky was made and barrelled, a hell of a lot of water has passed Pitilie Burn. The water in the bottle cannot be the water the whisky was made from unless it was bottled at the same time as the whisky was made. And I don’t mean distilled. I mean the first fermentation. That’s where the water arrived.
It would not be possible to do that. Water, when bottled, has an expiry date because it has been handled and processed. It could be underground for a million years but once handled it carries a risk – however trivial – of contamination by those who handle it. Twelve years is just not going to be allowed.
I’ll try it, of course, but I will not become one of the whisky snobs who thinks that the water in a burn is the same water that was in it 12 years ago. Maybe it’s even better than my current UV treated and double filtered well water. We shall see.
If it is defintitively better then I will have to visit Pitilie Burn with a few glass (not plastic) bottles.
I do have an unreasonable number of five-litre conical flasks here now…