Picture this if you will: a 3 milliliter bottle sealed with wax, with a miniscule label that I have to use a magnifying glass on to read “Grain Whisky, Scotland”, and the only other identifying marking is a small group of letters and numbers. That’s all I get in playing my new favorite blind tasting game in which I must describe, and then identify, some kind of whisky.
The game, via ForScotchLovers.com, is meant to not only help you learn about whisky, but also discern the different subtle nuances in each and, finally, make an educated decision before buying. You get a few of these little bottles a few times a year, depending which club you sign up for, and you’re in the game!
Your Virtual Tasting
While I swirl, sniff and taste – just like a fine wine – I love what I think is vanilla and viscosity in “WESE11Q6”. I eagerly mark those two selections in the multiple-choice sections. But beyond that, all I can guess was that I’d never had this before…and I definitely wanted it again.
Fast forward to the choices at the end of the quiz: a Speyside (would have been more salty) a couple Highlands (My husband Eddie ruled those out) and Compass Box Hedonism. Hey, it tasted hedonistic to me, so I went with that…
AND I WAS RIGHT: Compass Box Hedonism Vatted Scotch Grain Whisky. “Rare and old, it’s something special for the collector or the new whisky enthusiast.”
Now as far as how I rated in noting the proper Color, Nose, Body, Palate/Taste and Finish…it sure looked like I agreed with ForScotchLovers.com Managing Editor, Ian Buxton, as I also thought the color was pale straw, he had the same vanilla notes on the nose, and creamy body, vanilla palate, and well…he said the finish was lingering and soothing and I might have said biting…
With total number of points being 105 I still only got 53.
But, I didn’t feel like a loser because I really dug the Scotch. The retail is about $95 and ForScotchLovers sells it for about $85.
The Tally Breakdown
Me: TASTING IQ: 17 PEOPLE’S CHOICE IQ: 5 BUSINESS IQ: 6 BRAND IQ: 20 BONUS BOOSTER IQ: 5 ZEN MASTER IQ: 53
These of Ian’s I didn’t get: Q1: Color (10 pts), Q2: Nose (10 pts), Q3: Body (10 pts), Q4: Palate\Taste (10 pts), Q5: Finish (10 pts). And these I got…a little bit: Q6: People’s Choice (15 pts), Q7: Business/Price IQ (15 pts), Q8: Brand IQ (20 pts), Q9: Bonus Booster (5 pts).
Playing Again – Sort Of
By the way, the Scotch Lovers slipped in a new bottle, with a complete label identifying what I would taste: Tyrconnell 10 year Old Port Finish, Single Malt Whisky, Ireland. Eddie said he liked it…but for some strange reason, he can’t remember why. (Good thing we were at home with the al-al-al-cohol.)
And, without playing the game again, Eddie tried – and liked – a taste of “WESE11C6” single malt whisky from Scotland. I had to just check a few boxes at random to get to the answer at the end – even though I knew that my whisky IQ would sink even further – to find out what it was he liked this time: Springbank 15 year old single malt from Scotland.
I thought it was pretty cool that you don’t have to actually “play” the game if you just wanted to enjoy, and learn from, a blind tasting. What better way to dispel price, location or status, and just find something cool to drink?