At the same stand, we also tried the Nikka From The Barrel, a Japanese titbit with big-boned and bursting character, a blend of grain and malt, carrying a price of about 50 euros.
It was time to search for the smoky one.
After Scotland, we tried Ireland. The Irish Yellow Spot 12 Year Old, costing about 85 euros, was an interesting find and we weren’t the only one’s thinking so as it won the number one place in the category of Irish whiskies during Friday.
It’s a single pot still whisky, matured in three types of cask: American Bourbon cask, Spanish Sherry butts and Spanish Malaga casks for a sweeter flavour.
We found the taste unique and even, without any of the flavours distinctively jumping out. It has a firm body and would complement, for example, a plate of sushi.
While tasting whiskies, it’s hard to single out one absolute favourite. And maybe one shouldn’t either, if you ask the British whisky expert Ian Buxton, the author of the book ‘101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die’, and the celebrity guest at UISGE 2015.
“I don’t think there’s any one best whisky in the world. The problem with that is that that is too simplistic, too reductionist in notion. There are many, many fine whiskies. To say that there is just one, is too easy,” Buxton said in an interview for Finland Today.
Buxton laid out some of his likes. Within the Scottish palate he prefers notes of sherry – in the US, he might have a rye whisky and in Finland he might sip the Finnish one from Lahti: Teerenpeli Single Malt 8 Years Old.
“Pretty soon they’ll have a 10-year-old whisky as well. Teerenpeli is different. It’s not Scottish whisky, its Finnish whisky. I don’t try to judge it in the standards of Scottish whisky but it’s good.”
Buxton said that in the world of whiskies each single day is a chance to find a new favourite.
“With vodka there is a very narrow taste, gin is a bit bigger taste, brandy a bit bigger taste …”
“But whisky has the biggest taste of all.”
UISGE Whisky Festival from Friday February 6 to Saturday 7 2015. Open from 15-24. Venue: Vanha Ylioppilastalo, Mannerheimintie 5, Helsinki. Entrance at the door: 15 euros. The portions of whiskies are paid with tickets which are bought at the venue. The price range of the whisky portions (1 centilitre) varies from 1 euro to 60 euros. There are about 200 different whiskies available from around the world.