Scotch is Your Friend

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Does the sound of the word “scotch,” the smell of it, or taste of it make your face wrinkle up all sour, scrunched-nose-like?

It did for me.

So, I went to a Ladies Scotch Tasting this week at Sonsie as part of their Scotch Week festivities. And ladies of Boston, scotch can be your friend too. As a non-scotch drinker, I think it all depends on what kind you have and how you have it.

First, prepare yourself: Scotch has a distinctive taste. It is aged for a minimum of three years in a cask, or barrel, which likely has a scent and flavor of its own. Like sherry, for example. As the expert at Sonsie, Catherine Stanton Schiff from The Edrington Group, said during our tasting, “Ladies, this is not vodka.”

We started the tasting off easy, with a Blood and Sand made with Cutty Sark, sweet vermouth, a cherry liqueur, and a little orange juice. Bonus: Somehow I wound up with two of these!

We then moved to Famous Grouse with ginger ale on the rocks – also delicious and very accessible. And then we moved to the bigger guns, Macallan and Highland Park. We tried Macallan 12 – mine with a little water and ice because I’m still a fan of some training wheels. And then Highland Park, which to be frank, tastes like eating a campfire.

Highland wasn’t my first experience with woody scotch – a friend brought a bottle of Laphroaig to the ski house last year. Just smelling it made me think of horking back ashy wood chips. Blech. I think I’m all set now with those types.

A couple of side tastings we had were Macallan 10 year, aged in three different casks, and Macallan 17 year. Of course, I liked the 17. My mother’s always said, “Casey, you have expensive taste.”

While Scotch Week at Sonsie has officially ended, the bar was recently named one of the best for Black Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. I’m thankful that with the tasting, I know more about scotch and can definitely incorporate it into my adult beverage repertoire.

Now, who wants to buy me a Macallan 17?