Thursday, March 29, 2007

Whisky for women

As you may have noticed from my collection, I am quite passionate about whisky. I often attend tasting sessions and will be posting about them regularly. I would encourage anyone who doesn't shy away from strong alcoholic drinks to try a few single malts.

There is a lot to say about whisky, and I don't want to go into every technical detail here, there are plenty of sites on the web that document just about anything there is to know about the 'water of life', if that's what you're after. On my blog I will only ventilate some of my opinions about the 'connoisseur' side of whisky.

Today I want to elaborate a bit more about 'women and whisky'.

What are the facts? Women tend to be less interested in whisky than men. On any of my previous tasting sessions the men always outnumbered the women. Sometimes even, when women turn up, they don't join in at all. They're just there to be with their man, who does participate. That's fine, really. All I'm saying is that in my experience women truly are less interested in whisky.

Greatly due to this relative lack of interest, whisky is known as a man's drink. Nevertheless I think whisky has a lot to offer for women, as well as for men. In fact when it comes down to sniffing out the aromas, women often outclass the men.

When women do appreciate malts, they tend to favour the lighter and smoother varieties, more than the heavier, peatier, stronger ones. Or at least that is the way it is perceived. I know my wife generally stays clear of the peated ones, although occasionally she can appreciate a Port Ellen, but I have met women who just adore Islay, and all it has to offer. So every time I hear the words "whisky for women" I cannot help but be annoyed.

Firstly, as I said, not all women's preferences are the same, and amongst the female malt enthusiasts there are plenty who do adore something else than "whisky for women".

Secondly, what also bugs me is that the term "whisky for women" seems to imply the distillate in question isn't good enough for men to appreciate. I like all styles of whisky, and the typical Lowland whisky, and many Irish have a warm place in my heart. Their subtlety and finesse is a highlight for me on any occasion. They are neither effeminate nor sub par. They are perhaps just too difficult to notice for men who boast their whisky achievements by drinking Ardbeg exclusively.