Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 65

Steve Turner Photo

"Johnnie Walker is good. I like that.”


Again Cam gave the America a look of amused pity. He nodded to Alistair signaling that he knew what needed to be done. "Okayfine. Alastair, my boy let's give our American friend the tour of Scotland."


"Here we go." Alastair sighed and reached up to the wall and brought down 5 bottles of single malt. He obviously had been through this drill before.


"There are 5 principle regions for single malt in Scotland." Cam began. "The Highlands, the Lowlands, the Islands, Islay and Speyside. Each has a different personality. This here is a Glenkinchie 12 year old from Edinburgh, its smooth, sort of a beginner’s whiskey. The Americans like it. No offense. Next is a Dahlwinnie 15 year old, a bit of a classic Highlands malt, you can taste the heather in this one. Then we go west out to the Islands where we are and you get Highland Park. This is my favorite. Smokey and smooth. Then we have Islay. It is famous for its peat. This is a Caol Isla, 12 year old. It’s really smoky but you can taste the ocean in it, which is nice. Finally Speyside, home of the Spey rod. This is a Macallan 18 Yr old, again this a standard, the ghillies here go in for this one. Its tastes like wood smoke, some spice, orange, things like that."

Mike took a second to take it in. "So, if these are all good whiskeys, are there any here that are really good? Like if you were to die and had to have something that made you think of home, what would it be?"

Cam got quiet, he looked up at the wall and pointed to a bottle high and to the right, covered

in dust.


“What is it" Asked Mike.


"It’s a Talisker.” Said Cam reverently. “It’s the only whiskey made on the island."


“Then I think we need a taste test. I'd like to try two of these and the Talisker to see the difference.” Said Mike.


Alastair looked to Cam for direction on this one, and Cam sat quiet for a moment then shook his head. "No. I don't think so."


Mike sensed something going on but did not understand it quite yet. "Why not?"


"Because that, right there, is Faeries Piss."


"Faeries Piss?"


"Aye, that is a 1959, pre-fire Talisker. Ya canna do it. It's just too good."

Ah, Mike got it. It meant it was too good to waste on a kid like Mike. “Are you kidding me?” He challenged.


Cam thought for a moment. “I have an idea, you really want to learn how to throw a Spey rod and learn how to fish my river?"

"Yeah, I sure do."

"Well I have a proposition for you. A little bet, a wager."

Mike leaned in to hear more. "It’ll be a sort of a half assed McNab…" said Cam.

"What's a McNab?" Mike no idea what he was talking about.

One of the ghillies listening in couldn't control himself. "Ach, it’s a challenge. A real McNab is the challenge of killing a stag, shooting a grouse and poaching a salmon in one day."

"Sort of a cast and blast.” said Mike.