Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Drink of the month: Whisky

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Whisky monthSome have suggested that a month of absinthe may have been bad for my health, so for August I'm switching to something medicinal and health-giving: whisky. I'll leave it to good ol' Wikipedia to give you the background, but let's just say that there's a lot of variety (from bourbon & rye to Irish whiskey and the proper stuff - Scotch) and I'm thirsty.

I'm normally a bit of a purist, and I prefer my dram either straight up, or in the case of cask strength, with a splash of spring water. But for this month I'll broaden my explorations beyond my peaty comfort zone and try a few whisk(e)y cocktails. In some people's opinion, only American whiskeys are sweet and bland enough to lend themselves to mixing, but there are a few recognised cocktails that call for the use of Scotch.

Blood and Sand cocktail at PlumThe Rob Roy is a simple classic, and not just because it was invented at Moe's. Rusty Nails and Whisky Macs are appropriately warming for a late winter's night, and consideration must be given to the dangerously moreish Blood and Sand. For those less inclined to purity, the mixological mad scientists at places like Imbibe and Hawthorn Lounge have been known to play with dangerous ingredients (such as the fierce iodine and seaweed bomb that is Laphroaig) in their pursuit of the outer limits.

Of course, a good whisky is more than complex enough to savour on its own, and to seek the best selections around town it'll be worth venturing beyond my usual haunts into noted dens of malty goodness such as The Dubliner and The Dog & Bone. Where are your picks for the best selections and the most obscure drams that an old-time maltworm such as myself should try?


At 10:54 am, August 08, 2007, Blogger llew said...

An old time maltworm? But you drink anything & everything?

At 11:19 am, August 08, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Ah, if you'd known me back in the day ... :-) I was nearly in despair back in the days of the Great Lagavulin Shortage.

At 11:46 am, August 08, 2007, Blogger Martha Craig said...

Oooh yay. Can we have a whisky tasting session at some point? In fact, may be a job for Regionals...

At 12:26 pm, August 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urgh Blood and Sands make me gag. But I can heartily endorse a mandarin and Laphroaig sour. Ask at mhorn.

At 12:38 pm, August 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm, Lagavulin, does any bar stock that in Wellington?

If I were you I would flag the bars and just go to Regional Wine & Spirits and spend the money you are saving on buying more :-)

Oh, and depending on the staff member (older lass with braces) Liquidate makes a good Whiskey Sour.

Though im of the mind that whiskey is best enjoyed as is.

At 12:44 pm, August 08, 2007, Blogger Baz said...


But I really think it should be drink of the year, or possibly millenium.

At 8:29 pm, August 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always found the typical range of whisky in Wellington bars rather much the same, with a few exceptions. You’d have a few peaty Islays, the standard Speysides (Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Macallan), and maybe one or two each from the lowlands and islands. It got pretty boring.

Matterhorn always has a wider range, but only Motel in my experience seemed to stock interesting and rare whiskies that weren’t standard distillery bottlings, such as Murray McDavid or Gordon & McPhail bottlings.

The best place to drink whisky in Wellington is of course at Regional Wines whisky tastings: http://regionalwines.co.nz/page.asp?page=114

Have you ever been Tom? Highly recommended.

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