I’ll never forget the first time I had a nice bottle of scotch, even though I didn’t really know, or appreciate it at the time. A long-time friend of mine bought me a nicely aged bottle of Glenfiddich for my 30th birthday. I can’t recall the exact age anymore, partly because it’s been a few years and at the time I had no idea about scotch and that the longer it was aged, the more expensive it is. To say I was ignorant of scotch and whisky would be an understatement.
This, of course, is to give context to how I fell in love with scotch and subsequently all forms of whisky. I’d been to the New Brunswick Spirits Festival (in Fredericton, NB) a couple of times before and had done a handful of tastings. I had a small taste for it, although I didn’t think I liked smokey scotch. However, it wasn’t until 2012, when we decided to do the main event of the fest and try as much as we could. It’s hard not to love an event that has a cover price and then allows you to drink as much as you can in a few hours. The most unexpected thing happened during that time. It turns out that I LOVED scotch. I was tasting so many new tastes, my tongue had no idea what was happening. It was in love.
The first love is always the best. I’ll never forget that bottle. It was exactly the sort of scotch that only shortly before I’d thought I didn’t like. Bold, strong Islay scotch. The scotch that made me fall in love was the Bowmore Tempest Batch 3.
There was something about the sea salt and peaty taste to it that just spoke to me. I’m not as good with being able to express what I’m tasting as well as @actiongeologist is, but I do know when I like a drink. I’ve yet to drink anything since that has spoke to as well at the Tempest #3 has.
If you’ve never been to the New Brunswick Spirits Festival and you enjoy (or love) whisky and scotch, it’s a must attend event. If you go to the Festival website, you can see the events, including dinners and master classes, along with the showcase, that you missed for this year. If you’re not really into scotch or whisky and want to know more. Spend a little money for the The Festival Showcase and go find out what you like or don’t like, because if you the time, and stomach, you’ll be able to taste enough to have a sample size to say “I love that scotch!”.
Feel free to add your first scotch love in the comments!