The enjoyment of whiskies with family and friends always seems warmer and more appropriate at this time of year. Even Mother Nature has created “whisky-drinking weather” here in Southern California, as temperatures have dipped into the 30s, 40s and 50s, and strong winds have brought rain … perfect for bringing on the single malts!
A visit to the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland is always tops on the holiday “Must Do” list. The magnificent lobby just sets the tone for the entire season.
New this year for my 18th Annual Christmas Whisky Tasting in San Diego was pairing über malts with gourmet Vietnamese cuisine. The aromas and flavors of black pepper filet mignon, fruit pungent shrimp, basil curry sea bass, and papaya salad snuggled perfectly with the 1979 Macallan Gran Reserva, Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt (the “Shackleton” replica), Caperdonich (a silent still), Highland Park 25, and Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix. The outside patio came alive with the skirls of a bagpiper and heavenly carols sung by Elizabethan singers known as Vox Nobili. A quick trip over the bridge to view the fairy lights and Victorian splendor of the Hotel del Coronado capped a perfect evening of holiday celebration.
Another tradition at this time of the year is reading the whisky tidbits friends care to share – opinions about new whisky expressions, tales of distillery-visiting, plans for upcoming trips to Scotland, even a description of wassailing. Keep them coming, my friends!
So, with dark clouds forming and more rain predicted, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and the very best of holiday spirits.