Translate Caskstrength!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

(can't) Beat It....

Whilst the rest of the world is losing their collective heads, fawning and wringing their hands in despair about the death of the King Of Pop, we thought we'd jump on the coat tails ourselves and do our own fitting tribute. But not for 'the man in the mirror/moonwalker'. About the equally legendary and perhaps more revered Mr Michael Jackson, Drinks Journalist who sadly passed away in August 2007.

It would be too easy at this juncture to fall about, crudely pointing out that the two Jackson's perhaps shared something in common, both enjoying their fair share of 12 year olds, but we'll leave the smut here and concentrate on the whisky.

A few months ago, a blended whisky was produced in Michael's honour from 1,000 open bottles in his personal collection. Imagine the scene on entering his study and seeing all that great, undoubtedly priceless whisky... think for one second just what the man had sampled over his illustrious life.

This blend was a daunting task for anyone to attempt, given the fact that it would effectively be Jackson's final liquid epitaph. Doug McIvor at Berry Bros & Rudd was the man tasked with bringing this fitting tribute of a 'life in whisky' to the general public and its launch was timed to coincide with this year's Whisky Live in February.

Why you ask, wait till now to stick a review up? Well... why not? If we put a few tags to 'Michael Jackson Tribute' in this post then maybe, just maybe a few uneducated Jacko fans will realise that there was another great Michael Jackson out there and start drinking good whisky. Well, here's hoping....

Anyway. Raise your glass to the great man...

Michael Jackson - Special Blend- 43%

Nose: Light and very restrained, with wafts of heather, egg custard, apple juice, honey and nutmeg, followed by a nice backing of soft grain. Given some time in the glass and something vaguely medicinal pops in. Very nicely balanced.

Palate: Sherbet lemons, more heathery notes, hints of something resembling a younger Campbeltown malt, with further notes of Flamb├ęd bananas.

Finish: A little bit of pepper, a little bit more spice and generally a light, pleasant sweetish finish. It isn't a particularly weighty blend, but I don't think that was the point. Imagine trying to piece something together that conveys Michael's huge and varied palate.

Overall: This is a highly drinkable and strangely relaxing blend. I decided to listen to some of The King Of Pop's best tunes whilst having a few drams of this- Try your first measure listening to 'Ben'...close your eyes - and drink in a voice that is certainly as eloquent and complete as the musings from one of the greatest beverage journalists in our lifetime.

Michael- here's to you both....Slainte and rest in peace.