I am always keeping my eyes open for whisky from interesting countries. As wonderful as whiskies from the traditional whisky producing countries (Scotland, Ireland) are, It is even more exciting to find whisky from a non-traditional country. I was not even aware that there is a whisky culture in Spain, but then we managed to get our hands on a bottle of DYC from Spain. We were truly thrilled. This is a blend and not a Single Malt whisky. DYC does produce a 10 yo Single Malt but we have not managed to find it yet. The DYC blended whisky is aged for 8 years in American Oak. Destilerías y Crianza del Whisky S.A. (or Whisky DYC) is a Spanish company formed by businessman Nicomedes García Gómez in 1958.
We love our regular whisky and cheese pairing sessions. It usually takes place on a Saturday afternoon and we try a broad range of whiskies with the interesting cheeses. Many of the whiskies in our collection are limited editions and not readily available and this makes our tastings interesting but also challenging. To allow more people to try these pairings, we also try to find a whisky and cheese pairing readily available in South Africa. This past week we bought a Fairview Traditional Camembert. Fairview traditionally was a wine farm in the Paarl area in the Western Cape.
After trying it for the first time last year, Ballantine’s have quickly become our favourite blended whisky. The Ballantine’s Finest received our first Divine rating and the Ballantine’s 17 yo was our Blend of the Year 2014. Based on 2013 case volume sales, Ballantine’s is the number 2 Scotch Whisky brand in the world. Ballantine’s is owned by Pernod Ricard and produced in Dumbarton, Scotland. Ballantine’s Scotch whisky dates back to 1827. George Ballantine began supplying a selected range of blended Scotch whiskies to distinguished customers from his grocery store in Edinburgh. In 1938 they received the Grant of Heraldic Arms featured on their bottles.
In around 1789, Reverend Craig founded a distillery in Virginia. Not long after establishing the distillery, the Baptist minister and distiller suffered a fire, which damaged many of his barrels. The story goes that the Reverend, being too stingy to replace them, filled the burnt barrels with whiskey regardless. Later he apparently noticed that the whiskey from the burnt barrels tasted better than whisky from uncharred barrels. He has ever since, rightly or wrongly, been credited as the “Father of Bourbon whiskey”. Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc was founded in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1934, not long after the abolition of Prohibition. Named for William Heavenhill, the company was established by a group of investors.
Most of our whisky food pairings involve, cheese. Whisky and cheese make for noteworthy combinations. We have tried various kinds of cheese and whisky pairings. One of our favourites was the Laphroaig 10 yo Cask Strength and Stilton pairing. We enjoy our cheese pairings usually as a late afternoon snack or after dinner as part of a cheese platter. I wanted to broaden our whisky food-pairing repertoire and when John came back from his expedition, it was the perfect time to try something else.