“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





23 December 2016


for the life of me that there looks like old Hellyer's taking a piss on his own sweet road ... that's a first methinks for whisky marketing ... that neat little 3-pack of selected tinctures was a taster from the excellent East End Cellars ... photo Philip White

This'll be quick: more a reminder than a review. It concerns malt whisky, and the fact that some of the very finest, cleanest whisky made on Earth right now comes from Japan and Tasmania. Of the latter lot, my clear favourite is the Hellyers Road Distillery Original Single Malt Whisky Aged 10 Years ($90; 46.2% alcohol; screw cap).

This lean lovely has spent that decade in fresh Missouri oak charred near as dammit to what the Bourbon makers of the USA call "gatorback".

All that brilliant  Tassie air, grain and rain have married seamlessly over those years, giving a racy malt whose style fits somewhere between Campbelltown (think Springbank on the Mull of Kintyre) and Yamazuki (well guess where?).

The oak has added just a wee teaspoon of its roasted caramel, along with the sweetish citrus and fresh ginger of its phloem, to that essence of compressed grain. It's alert enough of spurrut, and slightly prickly to sniff, making the nostrils flare as if there were prey on the zephyr while the little red lane gets all gushy and damp with anticipation.

It's too late in the year to begin arguments about how much extra rain one should add.

Personally, I'm quite content with about 10cc of it in frozen form, one block, just to get the temperature back somewhere near a Campbelltown seaside chais, or the breezes of Burnie for that matter. 

That leaves me with one task: drink the tincture before much dilution gets hold.

Oat cakes with butter or Petticoat Tail Shortbreads go perfectly.

Or you could squash some pilticks into your porridge with the back of your spoon and have it for breakfast. 

See you in a couple of weeks. Stay off the road. Otherwise, don't be too careful. Ka-chink!

if you're in more of a gin-and-tonic mood on account of the heat, I'd recommend this recipe

No comments: