Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

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Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby blind drunk » Thu May 12, 2011 11:57 am

I found this quote from the Scottish Master Distiller Michael Nicholson very interesting and also very revealing -

"There's no guarantee it is going to taste like scotch whisky ... If I can make a nice fruity spirit in the middle of the flavor spectrum, I'd be a happy man."
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby rockchucker22 » Thu May 12, 2011 12:57 pm

So making a good scotch is a crap shoot????
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby rad14701 » Thu May 12, 2011 1:25 pm

rockchucker22 wrote:So making a good scotch is a crap shoot????

Which perhaps explains why most scotches are blended rather than single malt... Single malt being the winner of the crap shoot...
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby HeadCase » Fri May 13, 2011 5:51 pm

rad14701 wrote:
rockchucker22 wrote:So making a good scotch is a crap shoot????

Which perhaps explains why most scotches are blended rather than single malt... Single malt being the winner of the crap shoot...


I just may be completely new to this and I haven't been able to find a worthy explanation for Single Malts, etc. I am interested in the future with more experience under my belt to try a scotch. But what are the differences in Malts? What does the process include to be considered a Malt Liqueur? Single, Double, Triple, etc?

I know... seriously newbie question...
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby rad14701 » Fri May 13, 2011 6:43 pm

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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby Barney Fife » Fri May 13, 2011 7:07 pm

That quote is useless without the rest of the conversation, as we don't know the context it was in. Be careful of taking quotes out of their context, as you can easily get mislead.
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby blind drunk » Fri May 13, 2011 7:38 pm

What interested me in the passage is the gentle humility of a true Mater Distiller. Even with all of the know how of a third generation distiller, there's always an element of chance ... and magic in the art of making a good drop. Science, in this case, is secondary to chance.
The other part of the quote
If I can make a nice fruity spirit in the middle of the flavor spectrum, I'd be a happy man"

reveals the secret to making a good Scotch, notwithstanding the element of chance. The "fruity middle" is where it's at, regardless of the context in which those words were spoken. The "fruity middle" is not a number on a scale, but a good indication that he relies on his senses to project into the future what something might taste like. It's what we hobbyist do every time we're at our stills. I think the quote is awesome on so many levels, and not at all "useless."
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby Barney Fife » Fri May 13, 2011 9:24 pm

Sorry, but it's still useless without the rest of the story, so we can read it in its intended context.
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby Ayay » Sat May 14, 2011 3:19 am

The context for me is the old master distiller really was tasting the product. The flavour does not have to conform to any ideal other than good taste. You may be missing out on what you have if you are only looking for a scotch same as other scotches.
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby Bagasso » Sat May 14, 2011 9:16 am

Barney Fife wrote:Sorry, but it's still useless without the rest of the story, so we can read it in its intended context.


Got to agree with you so I dug around the interwebz and found this:

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/foodies+watch/3696111/story.html

It's a report in the Vancouver Sun about ten foodies to watch out for.

Mike Nicolson, Master Distiller, Shelter Point Distillery

Mike Nicolson earned his pedigree over more than three decades running some of Scotland’s finest distilleries, including Lagavulin and Royal Lochnagar. Nicolson will apply that experience to creating Shelter Point single malt whisky in a newly constructed boutique distillery in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley.

Employing copper kettles and condensers and malted barley grown in the fields surrounding the distillery, Nicolson aims to create a medium bodied small-batch Canadian whisky in the Scottish tradition.

It will not be scotch whisky, because as he points out: “We are patently in the wrong country.”

“There’s no guarantee that it is going to taste like scotch whisky,” he explained. What the whisky tastes like will depend on the barley, the water and the unique attributes of the equipment.

“If I can make a nice fruity spirit in the middle of the flavour spectrum, I’d be a happy man,” Nicolson said.


Actually seems to me like he's saying that he isn't even gonna try for the taste of a scotch whisky and would be happy to settle for less.
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby LWTCS » Sat May 14, 2011 9:35 am

Ayay wrote:The context for me is the old master distiller really was tasting the product. The flavour does not have to conform to any ideal other than good taste. You may be missing out on what you have if you are only looking for a scotch same as other scotches.


+1

Similarly,,,,,,One employs One's skills as best as One knows how.
And hopefully the regional ingredients allow for good tasting spirits.
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Re: Quote from a Scottish Master Distiller

Postby Barney Fife » Sat May 14, 2011 12:55 pm

Nicolson will apply that experience to creating Shelter Point single malt whisky in a newly constructed boutique distillery in Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley.
Employing copper kettles and condensers and malted barley grown in the fields surrounding the distillery, Nicolson aims to create a medium bodied small-batch Canadian whisky in the Scottish tradition.
It will not be scotch whisky, because as he points out: “We are patently in the wrong country.”
“There’s no guarantee that it is going to taste like scotch whisky,” he explained. What the whisky tastes like will depend on the barley, the water and the unique attributes of the equipment.
“If I can make a nice fruity spirit in the middle of the flavour spectrum, I’d be a happy man,” Nicolson said.


Bingo! See what I mean about requiring the context of a quote? He's not making Scotch, but rather making malt whiskey in Vancouver, Canada.

We MUST keep the contents of a quote, or a chart, or any other information we're given, in its proper context, otherwise we'll just fool ourselves into false knowledge.
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