"I am very much into foreplay with my whisky"
And onto the palate: Hold the whisky in your mouth 1 second for every year of age. So a 12 year old gets 12 seconds in the mouth...if you can handle it.
We started with Johnny Walker Black Label (a blend of 39 single malts and 1 grain don't you know!) which was sweet vanilla all the way through. Next came a 10 year old Talisker (age doesn't always matter!) which gave us both a mouth of bonfire smoke and a beautiful cocktail from Julien Lafond, Grand Marnier brand manager, which was a twist on the whisky sour:
20ml Rhubarb Puree (try the Chase brand)
20ml lemon juice
20ml Black Cherry syrup
Some egg white and topped with a black cherry spray
The last of this flight was a whisky I had neither tasted nor heard of - Mortlach from Speyside. This was very fresh and almost green with a white pepper finish. And if that was not enough a 19th Century appeared on the table.
A bit of Lillet Rouge
20ml Creme de Cacao White
20ml Lemon Juice
The next round compared Lagavulin 16 year old to 12 year old and the colour difference in just 4 years was huge. The 16 year old was firey lapseng tea and notes of caramel and although starting soft it powers through and finishes on a bitter note. The 12 year old is floral but in the mouth rich and almost thick with smoke tearing across the tongue and leaving smokey bacon at the end.
A special treat ended the tasting - a whisky called Saint Magdalaine. This distillery closed in 1983 so although age is not everything this is a piece of history. From the lowlands, it is unusually triple distilled. And what a burn. An honour to try but my favourite of the night - Lagavulin 12 year old, definitely.
And to finish where we started with Colin:
"Smells like teen spirit, tastes like Nirvana"