We don’t have seasons in Malaysia, but since our borders opened up in April, it sure feels like it has ushered in a brand new season, doesn’t it? Like the dawn of spring when flowers start peeping open after a long hard winter. I’m sure I’ve heard it being said that, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope”.
Whisky-wise, I have always found Teaninich’s grassy, floral, and biscuit-ty profile to be a great fit for springtime. We have two Teaninichs in the house at the moment; the Duncan Taylor Dimensions Teaninich 2009, 11 Year Old and Carn Mor Strictly Limited Teaninich 2012, 9 Year Old, Refill Sherry Butt. The former is a cask strength version and the latter being sherry finished at an elevated strength.
Teaninich is not a small distillery; in fact it’s one of Diageo’s biggest in terms of output, with most of it going into the Johnnie Walker Scotch blends, making an independent bottling of Teaninich a relatively rare find. It’s also different from most distilleries in that it doesn’t use a mash tun, instead relying on filter press to extract sugars from the malt (and you can bring that trivia nugget to your next whisky gathering).
Wemyss Blooming Gorse Blended Malt is a blend of two Highland malts that have different types of floral notes. The rugged gorse flowers that grow wild in Scotland form the dominant floral notes of this whisky, and is layered with notes of coconut and vanilla on top.
Floral aromas don’t have to be mutually exclusive from peaty ones and Wemyss Single Cask Bowmore 1988, 31 Year Old, Candied Violets is probably the one fine example of how this comes together perfectly. Matured in hogshead casks, these have a petrolic nose and floral flavours that are all enveloped in a classic Bowmore smoky nose – very delicious.
It is not often I obsess about gins, but the latest arrival, S de Sorgin Rosé Gin is most certainly spring in a bottle. Unlike most gins that are made from grain, this gin is made from distilled wine and is elevated with seasonal aromas of pink grapefruit, cranberry and French fig. Pure floral spring hope and elegance in a glass.