Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 22 Advent Calendar - Ode to Bob...

Our house has been fairly busy this last week and Graham and I were fighting off some sort of bug. I had been feeling a bit sluggish and really achy. This morning was no different. My knees creaked a bit as I planted my feet on the cold floor and as I searched for my slippers in my semi-conscious state I could feel a twinge in my lower back. "Getting old sucks" I said out loud at the cat, who of course simply blinked and went back to sleep. I wandered quietly down the stairs and poked my finger through door 22. I did a bit of a double take and couldn't quite believe my eyes. I read it and then spelled it out loud just to make sure: C-A-M-B-U-S. What happened next, I can't print... It was a slew of expletive language that even now, my mother would slap me behind the head for... 

This is a unicorn dram for me... Something I never thought I would get to experience in my lifetime. Cambus was a Stirling Scotland grain distillery from the early 1800's that closed forever in 1993. Grain whiskies are often exquisite, especially those that have spent much time in the barrel. I carefully poured just a little in my glass and proceeded to nose/taste it. My train of thought immediately drifted to distilleries of days gone by and how fortunate I have been in these 32 years o whisky imbibing to have experienced so many of their wonderful whiskies. Then an image popped into my head. A moment in time with my friend Bob Rae who we lost in May 2015. Bob... a friend of days gone by. It was difficult not to tear up as I remembered some of the great moments we had shared. He and his wife Daphne showing up in a snowstorm to a "party" we had cancelled, but Bob said: "Nonsense" and showed up anyway. There we were the four of us, spending a fabulous evening talking, sharing drams and laughing while the blizzard raged on. That was the last time I saw Bob.
I went to work but thought of Bob all day. When I got home, we had errands to run and things that needed to get done. I didn't get back to the whisky until much later. I got into my pj's, got a warm fuzzy blanket and proceeded to finally make notes about the Cambus. 

Adelphi Cambus 1988, Single grain whisky, 27 year old at 48% ABV. Bourbon refill cask #59353. 

Colour: Another really pale whisky. Barely there yellow!

Nose: Powdered sugar on an apple danish. Creamy, buttery and sweet.

Palate: Delicate, silky. Vanilla pound cake but with of a Madeira cream sauce. 

Finish: Not as sweet as the nose and palate and it has a bit of a strange aftertaste... a bit "plasticky"? 

Overall this was a very good dram, except the finish threw me off completely. I'm happy I got to try it, but I didn't find this one as balanced as many of the other drams in the calendar. The great part of the discovery is how it made me remember a friend from days gone by.

If you'd like to see what Jonathan thought: 

Dr. Robert Rae - We miss you dearly my friend

Can't wait to see what is next... and here's to the memory of distilleries and friends gone but never forgotten.


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