December 8th, 2010

Organizing a scotch tasting

For better or worse, I volunteered to host a scotch tasting at work.

My plan is to bring in a bottle that exemplifies each of the major regions, plus a couple of special things out of my personal collection. I'll give a quick talk on the basics of scotch and tasting, hand out sheets for tasting notes, then walk them through the tastings from mildest to strongest. After everybody has tried one, I'll read the tasting notes from a review site.

After that, I'll have a couple of special bottles, and a couple of other people have offered to bring in some of their favorites as well.

I expect around two dozen people, some of whom know scotch and some who don't. I'm thinking cheese and crackers for palate cleansers. I'll have plenty of water on hand as well, of course. I've billed it as "bring your own shot glass", but I have a dozen available for people who didn't do that.

As for the scotches, I'm thinking the following:

Lowland: Auchentoshan
Campbeltown: Springbank
Speyside: Macallan or Balvenie
Highland: Dalmore or Glenmorangie
Islay: Laphroag, maybe also a Bruichladdich for contrast

Thoughts? Have I chosen wisely? I have strong preferences for Islays and other intensely-flavored stuff, so I don't know the other regions as well. I'll be footing most of the bill for this, so I'll be going with relatively-inexpensive mainstream bottlings.