6 May 2021

The whisky journey

What’s so beautiful about whisky? Let me try to explain what it is for me (Dennis). But first, here’s how it all began:

We started drinking whisk(e)y just for fun. Jack Daniel’s, Famous Grouse, some Grant’s and White Lion… you know the drill. Until I bought my very first single malt a year later, I had really no idea what the difference was between them and what goes into making whisk(e)y. My first single malt was a Glen Moray 12yo. Struck by the subtle flavours of banana and citrus fruits, I began searching for more information and went down the rabbit hole. Many hours were spent strolling down the liquor store to find my next companion. I bought many Glenfiddich expressions, because that was still the only brand I knew from the Discovery Channel commercials and their bottles looked great. Little did I know.

When Bowmore 12yo became part of our cabinet, we knew for sure: there’s a huge journey ahead of us. The subtle peat smoke something we had never experienced before. It went fast from that moment on. I came across GlenDronach 15 and Glen Garioch 12, still two of my favourite brands. Those sparked my love for sherry casks maturations. I can also vividly remember my Longmorn 16 which tasted like mothballs, and Bowmore 15yo Mariner, kiwi-galore. Those days were the most fun, because we still knew so little and flavours were so profound. Even in drams we find so subtle now.

And here we are, about 10 years later, times have changed, our palates and knowledge have changed.

But our journey still continues. Every time when I think I have figured it out, there’s a dram that changes my mind. For example: I’m not really into port or rum maturations, or a combination of heavily peated Islay with sherry casks. And when I think I will never buy one again, I taste something in the above category that blows my mind. Same goes for sherry casks, I’m definitely more in favour of Oloroso. But some of my best sherry bombs have undergone a PX treatment. That’s why we try our very best to keep an open mind.

This journey is not a straight path, rather a bumpy road, meandering through good and bad experiences, moments and great stories. But I definitely know better where to look for, some of my favourite distilleries at the moment are: Bunnahabhain, Ben Nevis, Tomatin, Glenrothes, Tobermory and Glen Garioch. I’m having more of a bourbon-cask period at the moment, but I don’t say no to a wonderful sherry treatment.

Looking for the best combination of bottler, distillery, cask recipe, age and ABV in the search for the perfect bottle (which doesn’t exist), is what makes this journey so great. Also visiting distilleries, probably one of the best things in life. But photographing and writing about them makes it even more fun, especially because of the great whisky community.

Thank you.