Life in the slow lane
Glengoyne 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 700ml, Scotland, 40%, $80.
Glengoyne Scotch near Glasgow is known for being "unhurried since 1833". That's because Glengoyne's custom-made oak casts (made from sherry casks) take six years to prepare, their malted barley is dried by air rather than peat, and their stills are proudly "the slowest in Scotland". What does all this mean? In a nutshell, this is a whisky worth your while. It's slightly sherry sweet on the nose but the palate leans more towards malt, dried fruit, apples and a distinct nuttiness. There is a balance of grassy and fruity at play. The new-look Glengoyne collection features 100 per cent recyclable and reusable packaging. This 10-year is soft and easy to drink but not too harsh on the hip pocket. Give it a go if you are keen to taste Scottish slow distillation at its best.
Othello's Curse, Riverside Brewing Co, Parramatta, NSW, 9.0%, $11.
We are led by the least among us; the least intelligent; the least noble; the least visionary. Modern replicants of Iago and Rodergio; meddling fools and malcontents, hectoring, sanctimonious imbeciles, suckling fools and chronicling small beer, ensnaring wreak and ruin with as little a web as this, a handkerchief. Better to be a dog in times of tranquillity than a human in times of chaos. Such is the fate of the Moor of Venice, Othello, whose crippling curse was that he found truth and freedom in love. A curse memorialised in Riverside's best beer, this ominous, dark hued, Imperial Black IPA. Roasted, spirituous aromas of coffee and dark chocolate descend before an uplift of bitter harmony from heady, fresh citrus and resinous hops. This forked plague is fated to us.
White worthy of the man
Meerea Park 2012 Alexander Munro Aged Release Semillon, $80.
Why you may ask do Rhys and Garth Eather's Meerea Park flagship wines, like today's duo, carry the name Alexander Munro? The answer is Munro came to Australia from Scotland in 1831 as a 14-year-old convict transported for the theft from an Inverness grocery of 15 shillings and three pence, three pieces of cheese, some snuff and a few raisins and lollies. He was the great, great grandfather of the Eather brothers and became a man worthy of this great Hunter semillon. From the Braemore vineyard, it has brassy gold hues, ginger blossom and almond scents and bright, mellow lemony front-palate flavour. The middle has peach, melon, flint and toast and honey and a slatey acid finish. Perfect with oysters and good for another 10 years' cellaring.
Convict's rise to fame
Meerea Park 2019 Alexander Munro Shiraz, $115.
Alexander Munro rose to become a Patrick Plains area pioneer, the first Mayor of Singleton and the founder in 1846 of the Bebeah vineyard on Singleton's outskirts. After he died in 1889 all the shops in Singleton closed at 1pm to allow townsfolk to attend his funeral, which had a cortege half a mile long. This excellent 14% alcohol, cassis-scented, bright purple shiraz bearing his name is from Roche Estate grapes. The front palate displays intense ripe plum flavour, the middle palate has cherry, bramble jelly, spice, spearmint and savoury oak and an earthy tannin finish. Drink with fillet mignon and cellar 15 years. It and the 2012 semillon are at meereapark.com.au and the cellar door on the corner of Broke and McDonalds roads, Pokolbin.