For this journey, I chose three smoking and smoldering drams: Lagavulin 12 yo Cask Strength 2009, the Ultimate Caol Ila 2000 Cask Strengh single cask and Ardbeg Corryvreckan. All strong and wielding the steel of powerness. These drams hack, slash and take you to the outer limits. Especially Caol Ila, which is very potent (63.7%), takes you to the another plane of existence.
The first encounter was with garlic, enhanced with herbal spells. Lagavulin was perfect and their both tastes got a boost. Smoke and garlic work so well together, while keeping vampire’s off your neck. Caol Ila was strong in taste, even so much that it somewhat shadowed garlic. They do work together, but as a pointy stick. You get the first impression, then the overwhelming magic fills your nerves – and if you are a nightwalker you will flee with awe. Not bad, but with this dram you won’t taste anything of the food and garlic..
The last was one of my favorite Uisge Beathas. The Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Filled with peat, smoke and tar I expected garlic to be blown away. And I was not wrong. Like Lagavulin, Ardbeg complemented garlic with wondrous tales and beautiful poems.
I must say, that if you are looking for a drink to go along with food that has a lots of garlic in it, you might want to consider Ardbeg or Lagavulin to go with it. Overall, I dare to say that peatsmoke does go very well with garlic.
Next was the test of strength with chili and jalapeno. I don’t know what chili it was, but something that we had at home and it is handled with care. Strong spice, none the less. I served myself jalapenos and chili, finding the ultimate border with both of them. Jalapeno is usually found on Mexican food, but we tend to use them a lot on many servings.
Lagavulin works, as expected, with jalapenos nicely. It burns somewhat, but in a good way. Taking it with chili, will bring some sweat to your skin – along with fiery sensation on your tongue. But unlike I feared, it is a not a Drawmij’s Instant Death. Instead, these two fighters work together and face a force far greater they could do together.
Caol Ila gives no mercy and will cut you into small pieces. Since I had already tasted the Lagavulin and chili, this is a real killer. Jalapeno + chili accompanied by Lagavulin and then jalapeno and Caol Ila it gets you to hell and then to very high euphoria. Caol Ila’s demeanor and intimidation do create new worlds. After a while, the peak withers away but there is still strong battle going on. Recommended only for those seeking how to break the sense-limit. Funny is that was just the jalapeno. Taking some chili on top of it, did not create the dragon’s all-devouring breath I feared. Yes, the taste and sensation is very strong but with a successful saving throw you can take it and experience the bliss.
Finally the everswirling maelstrom of Corryvreckan. First, with jalapeno you don’t get anything extreme. It is like they are meant together. After the first sip, if you wait, you will get the real taste and burn. With chili, note that this tasting is done by one sitting, you get the dragon’s breath. Ardbeg does boost the experience, gets tears into your eyes and takes you to a trip across all levels of Abyss and Elysium. Tears of pleasure, tears of pain and burn. Smoke fills your eyes and lips can start a forest fire if you just bend low and kiss the tree's root. I was flying and plowing at the same time.
The End game
Well, now that some of the tears have gone there is time for the analysis. I make it short. If you want to enchant the taste of chili, use smoke whisky. The thin line is somewhere at 60%. Caol Ila will send you deep down, while Lagavulin can be much more gentle. Ardbeg gets stronger as time passes, so Corryvreckan is an excellent sensation bringer.
Next time I offer spicy or highly garlic food to my friends, they will have to drink a dram of peatsmoke with it. Saying no is not allowed, or they will end up hungry and thirsty.