It was a Monday night, and that seemed a perfectly good reason to go and visit Clutch for a whisky tasting. It was, after all, his turn to host. Oddly, we’d both been of the same mind – each had brought a 16 year-old along. Mine a blonde (the Glenlivet Nadurra 16), and his a redhead (the Lagavulin 16).
We started on the Nadurra, which is a lovely, toffee-ish malt with a kick. It’s a non chill-filtered cask strength bottling, aged in American oak bourbon casks. Really quite something. At 59.7% alcohol, it can take a fair splash of water, and even diluted close to 50/50, it’s sharp, sweet and rich. It’s one of my favourites.
To entertain ourselves, we watched a DVD about whisky distillation and its Scottish heritage, though it was clearly an advertorial for a couple of the Speyside distilleries (most notably Glenfiddich, who had clearly thrown a good deal of the budget into the pot). The music was dire, for the most part. Like a midi download of a “typically Scottish bagpipe reel” – but with a slap bass solo. The man introducing it pronounced Bunnahabain and Islay incorrectly too, which we were quite prepared to ridicule. We also laughed at the idea that one of the whiskies mentioned was “one of the most unique” in the region.
We then moved on to the Lagavulin, which is pretty much top of our ‘desert island malts’ list for both of us. Peaty and delicious. Real Islay man’s whisky. But Clutch introduced me to a new way of drinking it. He’d stumbled upon a tub of Mackie’s – the icecream of his youth and there’s something you can do with Mackie’s and Lagavulin that has to be tried.
Take a scoop of the rich, vanilla icecream, and hold a bit in your mouth. Then take a sip of the Lagavulin and let them mix. It’s the most amazingly delicious butterscotch flavour. You can’t get it by simply pouring the whisky over the icecream then eating it out of the bowl. You’re wasting perfectly good icecream and perfectly good whisky by doing that. But together – amazing.
We thought we’d call it quits after just a couple (it was a Monday night after all) so we went for a stroll around Kings Heath to catch a bit of fresh air. And there, on our walk, was Son Of La Phrog. Same breed of frog, as far as I can tell, but about half the size of the one we found the other night when Clutch came to mine.
Of course, out came the camera.
Clutch tried to catch it – and managed for a while, but the slippery critter got away, and we decided it wasn’t really worth the effort to have another go. After all, we would only have shown it to Clutch’s wife Collette – and then released it back into the wilds of Kings Heath High Street.
Still – weird.