Creswell and I were catching up over and about skype, sumo and whisky the other day and we got to talking about summer whiskeys and winter whiskeys. The upshot of it (wipe that smirk off your face, Valentine) was this. The colder it gets, the smokier the whiskey should taste. The hotter it gets, the simpler the whiskey should taste.
Imagine yourself on hot afternoon. Perhaps you have a towel wrapped around your neck to keep yourself cool. You are sitting in your favorite chair, reclined and the thin wailing of the obidashi is floating out of the speakers of your TV or computer. You are, in a word, ready. Ready for what? A nice sip of….
Well, it needs to be smooth and not too smokey. The aftertaste needs to evaporate and leave you thirsty for more. Its too hot for anything too sweet, and you find yourself wondering what to buy.
Now, I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I can tell you about the bottle I bought for this basho. It was made of glass, it had a label on it, and whiskey inside it.
The label read Tullamore Dew and I chose it from the rack because the whiskey inside looked light and delicious, and I wanted to try something new in the spirit of fresh starts that this basho had better embody.
There was a moment at the liquor store when I briefly forgot how old I was – without the bashos to keep my sense of time organized, I had lost track. Luckily, I did eventually remember my age, the whiskey was mine, and I returned to my chair.
My first sip of the Tullamore Dew revealed a whiskey that was light without a hint of sweetness. The second sip confirmed that I had made a perfect purchase for the hot summer day. I reclined back and then a goodly number of hours and a goodly amount of whiskey later, I waved my farewell into the Skype camera and lost consciousness just as one fat man in a strip of canvas fell atop another fat man in a strip of canvas.
So let’s talk comparisons:
I would put Tullamore Dew in with Maker’s Mark as a nice whiskey to learn to like whiskey on. Its a simple whiskey and easy to like, though I will say that the hang over I suffered after drinking too much of the stuff was not quite so easy to like.
And just a titch of history:
Tullamore Dew hails from Ireland. Its a blend (but don’t worry, you don’t have to pay too much for it!) and it is the second best selling Irish whiskey label after Jameson. This is one of those oldies but goodies that Creswell was getting away from in his recent report on The Compass Whiskey Company.
Being poor, the cheapest of the Tullamore Dew brethren is keeping me company through this basho, but perhaps if September rolls around and the heat wave lasts, I will pull out the old penny jar and buy myself a bottle of the 10 year reserve or perhaps the Black 43.
Finally, a challenge:
I doubt there will be enough pennies in the jar to buy myself a bottle of the 12 year special reserve, but for any of you with a job that pays, it’d be nice to see a review of the award winning 12 year special reserve: consider it a challenge for September.