There is something about the monsoons, which puts a spring in our step & warms up the heart! A lot has been written on the rains and the romance it produces. Poets, Musicians, Authors & Lovers, alike have put pen to paper & expressed themselves to glorify this manna from heaven.
Coming after the hot spell, Monsoons wave a magic wand & enhance nature’s beauty for all to enjoy. Rain calms the mind & brings out the child in all of us.
Rains create Memories. The showers from heaven carry us back in time to a period, which we associate best with rains & allow us to bask in nostalgia of days gone by. Mind wanders, spirit soars & the heart does a skip, as we remember something that we loved doing in the rains.
Food & Drink is also something that is strongly associated with monsoons & the lashing downpour unleashes a part of us that perhaps makes an appearance only during this time. Festival foods are prepared; celebration drinks are concocted and enjoyed with the spirit of the monsoons. In India, monsoons have a charm and essentially being a food loving nation, we express our joy through gourmet journeys & food trails. The romance of the rain is best enjoyed with friends or even in solitude, memories are created & memories are re-kindled.
Interestingly, rains are also quite well associated with Malts. Scotland is witness to frequent and heavy spells of summer rains that lash the countryside & make the landscape even more gorgeous, making us reach out for that Ball of Malt, that we savour so much ..The Great Scotch Malt Whisky! It’s quite interesting how the Monsoon & Malts in India, have a similarity with Rains & Malts in Scotland. Both bring out stories of an era gone by, times & events which created the stories and tales of yore that are told with a lot of gusto, fun and laughter. Both nations share a silent bonding and a terrific passion, passion for life!
As Monsoons prepare to pepper our lives, we share with you some Malts that one can enjoy & appreciate in the rains, with soft lilting music, an easy chair looking out of the window, greenery and …sometimes in Solitude!!
Glenfiddich 15 YO
This great dram is soft & gently romances the flavours of the Solera Cask. Honey & vanilla roll in the mouth & give way to burnt orange notes, with a lingering finish. It’s a nice malt to start the evening with and nicely hugs your tongue, with sensual pleasures, from where the going can only be good. Enjoy it also on the terrace with caramel pudding, after a low spice dinner.
Ardbeg Provenance, 1974, bottled in 1998
One of the most glorious malts ever, with a high ABV of 55.8 %, this malt is best enjoyed (if you can), walking in the woods. Soft & creamy texture, full bodied, & very warming. Smoke also opens up the mustard and fruity notes. The tongue has a roller coaster of fine flavours. Soaking rains provide a natural urge to each out for smoke wood and light a fire. This whisky is best enjoyed when one is feeling a little cold and seeks natural warmth. It might not be easy to procure this label, so stock up, when you can.
Auchentoshan Three Wood
Light bodied whisky, with lots or aroma. Bottled at a good 43%, but without an age statement, this malt promises a burst of zesty oranges, sweet cashew and soft fruits. Though it’s a lighter dram, it combines the robustness of bourbon casks with Oloroso sherry. Great as an aperitif, when you have a few friends over for an early evening meal.
Balvenie Single Barrel 15 YO
One of the greatest Single Malts, it promises a lot of tropical flavours, coconut, sweet pineapple and fresh oak overpower the tongue with a long finish. With a high ABV of 50.4%, being cask strength bottling, this expression was all done in Bourbon casks. Even though the colour is pale, the body is firm & supple like a 15 YO, bursting with youth. Generous swigs end with a dry finish.
Bruichladdich 10 YO
Founded in 1881 & then reopened in 2001, this really nice malt is an emotional Ambassador of the Islay region. Situated in the north shore of Lochindaal, this distillery gets water which flows over light peat and emerges from an iron tinged stone. Bruichladdich, also known as The Laddich has lots of expression which provide a voyage of discovery. Calm Breeze, exotic fruit aromas & zesty taste provide a perfect setting for a long and rainy evening, when you need to tuck in toes and watch nature at its finest.
Coal Ila 18 YO
Seems like the rain has stopped, though it’s still cloudy above. Skies are blue and one can listen to the birds coming out of trees, trying to cover the last miles of the day. Time to bring out the COLA ILA. Lovely leafy sweetness, menthol freshness & BIG on taste. Whilst some will argue that it is more for a sunny day, I feel its best enjoyed in a red wine glass, looking out from the big bay window, overlooking the trees, raise your glass and toast to happiness!
The Glenlivet 1967 – The Cellar Collection
One will need to put in some effort to source this great malt, which was bottled in 2000. A very long & lazy finish, with a apricot hue, this malt, has a lovely fragrance and a from textured body. Appreciated after a light and early supper, looking out at the skies unleash their fury, with tiny poodles of water dotting the landscape. Sweet peaches & hint of chocolate expression, envelope the tongue & a further dilution with 10% water, lights the mood and relaxes the mind.
Roasted almonds, unsalted, are a good accompaniment.
Macallan 25 YO
The Macallan 25 YO is best enjoyed just the way it is. Splash a generous dram in a whisky glass & enjoy the glow of the pure liquid. Incredibly powerful, a strong nose & complex taste. This malt stands on its own. Unhurried, calm enjoy with yourself or with someone close to you. Tingling spices, dry oak and the sherry coming clear through. Don’t hold yourself back, try another dram and add some water, just a wee bit. Look out at the Gods Above and thank them for the One Above- Macallan 25 YO
Benriach Curiositas Aged 10 YO Single Peated Malt
This one is the arm chair, after a long and brisk walk on wet grass, still a dark sky and when the last light is fading. Vanilla singing in harmony with lemon notes, touch of smoke & peat. This malt is chewy and big on taste, yet almost disappears on the tongue, giving way to long finish. Add a few drops of water and you find a new complies taste matrix developing, more flavoursome but gentle on the palate. Truly a lovely malt best enjoyed as an Apertif.
This Monsoon goes easy on food. Try & enjoy some great Single Malts with small portions of food, try & be outdoors, when you enjoy the Malt, to appreciate the experience of Monsoon Malts.