GuestsHub Staff

Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton held their annual scotch tasting event on October 23.

The event, sponsored by Meridian Credit Union, sold out early with 62 people participating in the evening's sample tasting of single malt Scotch whiskies. Also on offer were various appetizers including cured meats, smoked cheese, mixed nuts, stuffed dates, bread, smoked salmon and olives.

To start the evening off, guests were welcomed with a glass of The Famous Grouse Scotch whisky which, according to Guest Presenter and Brand Ambassador, Nicolas Villalon of Edrington, has been Scotland's best selling Scotch for the past 34 years.

Guests were welcomed by the evening's Master of Ceremonies Don Nicholson before Villalon was piped in by Sauble Beach's David Murray. He then spoke about the history, making and tasting of Scotch.

Villalon said that about 80 percent of all single malt whiskies are made in a small area in the Scottish highlands known as Speyside, located by the the largest river in Scotland, River Spey. “The river provides for the perfect type of water to make whisky with and so a lot of companies are established around there,” he said. “The weather is kind of a micro climate right in that region that's perfect to age whiskiess for a long extended period of time.”

For the technique of Scotch tasting, Villalon said, “I always tell people to keep their lips parted, bring the glass to their lower lower lip and inhale through their mouth. That way the mouth takes care of the alcohol vapour and gently you can start involving your nose more and more in the tasting as it gets used to those subtle flavours and you're going to pick up on more complexity.”

He went on to say that you should take smaller sips than you would compared to wine tasting and said not to swish it around in the mouth but rather chew on it. “The reason why we swish it around with wine is to add oxygen to the mix to exalt the flavours. Now with alcohol at a higher lever of alcohol that's going to burn your palette,” he said. “The oxygen is going to burn the alcohol and you're going to feel that warm sensation on your palette missing out on the subtle flavours.”

Villalon said that after swallowing, you should breathe out. “The breathing out is to get rid of those alcohol vapours and then you pay attention to what's happening on your palette.”

Five different varieties of Scotch were sampled as Villalon explained about each one - The Macallan Gold, The Macallan Amber, The Macallan Sienna, Highland Park 10 year and Highland Park Dark Origins.Nicolas VillalonPiperWhisky