I wanted to share a bit more on this weekend's whiskey tasting not because I love the drink (still acquiring the taste-buds for it) but because the shop is so rad.
I love the hand scripted signs , labels, and wood crates stacked as shelves that add to the sense of originality and pride - Cadenhead's is, after all, Scotland's oldest independent whiskey bottler. As for the tasting, I didn't know anything about whiskeys going into it but I quickly learned about different varieties, proofs, distilling processes, and even how to add water to "open" up the flavor. To my surprise I did really like one bottle from Springbank - the oldest independent family owned and operated distillery in Scotland. Based on the history lesson we received, the fact that Springbank is still completely independent and family run is a pretty big deal where craft, quality, and taste are concerned. Apparently the big guys have taken over and devastated many local Scottish whiskey industries and as a result, there's a lot of crap whiskeys out there...probably what I've tried and hated in the past. It was awesome to sneak away for an afternoon to learn about (and taste) a part of Scotland's cultural heritage. I'll definitely be saying my "cheers!" with a new found appreciation for the spirit.