By popular demand, I bring you WHISKY DEATHMATCH. Two whiskies enter, one whisky leaves, that’s the essence of it.
We begin with twelve contenders, which I’m going to pair up like against like according to origin and style. That’ll give us six thrilling matches and six worthy winners, and I’m then going to let through my two favourite losers to give a field of eight. Quarter finals, probably with some seeding, semi-finals, final, and there can be only one winner. Like in that Highlander – except the contestants will actually be Scottish. Thirteen matches all told, the broken bodies of eleven whiskies left scattered on sand soaked with … well, whisky, I guess, one standing over all, victorious, shaking weapons daubed with the whiskey of fallen adversaries at the lowering skies. Oooh, the excitement!
‘But!’ I hear you cry, ‘whiskies are inanimate, and therefore cannot actually fight each other!’ Of course, you are right. They shall wage war within the metaphorical Thunderdome of my face. I shall assess them on LOOK – of the whisky, packaging, and marketing blurb, though I’m not going to be placing too much weight here, SMELL – the effect it has on my nose holes, and TASTE – what is it like in my mouth? Since my palate is risible this will all be highly unspecific and will dwell on strange metaphors and unquantifiable emotional responses. I shall then issue a CONCLUSION – giving a smart-arse summing up. Other critics might suggest a suitable food, cigar, or time of day to pair with a whisky, I am going to suggest one of my point-of-view characters with whose chapters a given whisky might be aptly enjoyed. Finally I shall don my black cap, sit in terrible judgement, and issue the RESULT of my deliberations, heaping glory upon one whisky and consigning the other to the flames of Mount Doom. Or, more likely, drinking it later. I mean, why throw good whisky down a volcano?
So, our six first round Deathmatches will be:
Lowland: Bladnoch 20 vs Auchentoshan 3 Wood
Speyside (Sherried): Glenfarclas 21 vs Aberlour 18
Island: Talisker 18 vs Highland Park 18
Speyside (Bourboned): AnCnoc 16 vs Longmorn 16
Islay: Bruichladdich Infinity vs Ardbeg Corryvreckan
Others: Dalmore 15 vs Balvenie Single Barrel
I’ve given all of them a thorough sampling and some favourites are already emerging, but I must say my opinion on a couple has shifted quite radically even over a few tastes. When the brutal work of direct comparison begins, who knows what will be the outcome? There’s everything to play for. Or, since this is a Deathmatch – to kill for.
Is your mouth watering already? I know mine is…