The Scottish Prince has an impressive lineup of whiskies available at its Palm Beach bar and it seems local whisky fans are lapping up the opportunity to try such a big range. The whisky bar and live music venue, right on the highway at Palm Beach started its whisky appreciation evenings soon after opening in October 2017 and the feedback has been astounding. And little wonder. When I drop in to do some “research” for this story the bar is buzzing. With a drink list that includes local and national craft beers, cocktails, whiskies and rums, you’d be hard pressed to work your way through this drinks list. Although I always did like a challenge.
When you enter the special whisky appreciation room at The Scottish Prince, the first thing you’ll notice is the stunning styling on the table. Honestly, I felt like I had been transported to some kind of hedonistic medieval feast. The walls are lined in American oak, previously used to age whisky in and there’s a shelf housing empty bottles of some of the best whiskies in the house. The table is overflowing with pre-poured whiskies laid out, the bottles on display and grazing plates for sharing.
Dave Ferry is co-owner as well as Captain, otherwise known as the General Manager of both The Scottish Prince and The Cambus Wallace. He’s not the only whisky fan on the team, but he is the host of tonight’s whisky appreciation session and he talks fast. He’s got a LOT of information to get through after all.
We start with where the word whisky comes from and the early history of Scotch whisky – which is what tonight’s session is focussed on. From there we learn the difference between a single malt and a blended whisky before we look at Scotland’s whisky-making regions and the basics of distillation.
Over a 2.5hr period we taste six whiskies and talk about many more. Tonight we start with a 10yo Glen Grant which still uses the stills designed by Major James Grant in 1872. It’s a Speyside whisky, pale straw in colour and all vanilla and spice on the palette. It’s light and easy drinking and the perfect introduction to the rest of the whiskies already laid out before us.
We move onto a 12yo Highland Park whisky, a peaty drop with bright gold hues, then a 12yo Glendorach which is one for the sherry-heads (a term Dave drops on us while admitting he could fall into this category himself). We try a 15yo blended Dewar’s whisky – the first ever blended whisky to receive a royal warrant and then The Six Isles – a blend of single malts – one from each of the six whisky-producing islands of Scotland. We finish with The Hakushu Distillers Reserve – a Japanese whisky which blends 9 – 15yo lightly peated and heavily peated malts.
As well as a journey around Scotland (with a detour to Japan), The Scottish Prince’s whisky appreciation nights are a feast for the senses. With eyes, ears, nose and taste-buds stimulated, and full bellies, it’s also a decadent affair.
If you’re on a mission to understand the nuances of whisky, or you’re looking for new ways to excite your palate, you’ll love these sessions.
World Whisky Day is 19 May and so there’ll be two sittings on offer at 4.30 and 6.30pm before things return to their monthly routine with Introduction to Whisky on 25 May and 24 June. If you’re a little further along your whisky journey then you might enjoy a session on Sherry Cask Malts with Glendronach on Wednesday 16 May or a session on Irish whiskies on Wednesday 13 June. Get all the deets at thescottishprince.wordpress.com.