Now into the third fortnight, sixth week of official lockdown figures.
I have taken up drinking whisky. Under the circumstances, it seems like the only sensible thing to do…
Over the last 3 weeks I’ve bought the following single malt whiskies.
Cardhu Gold Reserve – £25 (Tesco)
After checking online reviews, I bought this one whilst in Tesco. It’s a single malt, Speyside, 12 years matured. The reviews seemed mostly positive at a quick scan whilst in the aisles… Getting it home, I felt the packaging a bit bulky maybe even a bit tacky. Overstated may be a better word… After a few sips, I found it a bit sweet, less smokey, complex flavors, a bit more up-front. Made it a bit more-ish, but I don’t think I’d buy it again. Bit of a novelty perhaps. Not sure why it got all the good reviews. Glad I got it on offer. Not something I’d pay full price for.
Initially, I was quite impressed with the strong flavor. It’s quite strong and heady and it does have that lingering smokiness and smoothness which seems to be the hallmark of most of the Speyside whiskies out there.
I’ve not finished this one yet. It is quite strong, flavor and alcohol wise, it’s not something you’d drink in a rush. So it’s still around.
Aldi – Glen Marnoch Highland – £17.98
This one is one of three single malts sourced exclusively by Aldi.
Like many Aldi items, the quality is surprisingly good, better even than higher priced similar products.
In fact, having tasted all three single malts that Aldi currently sell in store, I would say that they are a better, more satisfying whisky.
That’s it for me. I’ve done my stint and from this Friday, (7th March), I’m back on the cut. Away from the protected environs of the marina and back out into the wilds.
Is it better to over-winter in a marina?
Here’s some of my positive and negative aspects of choosing one, or the other.
Advantages of the Marina over the Cut
Electric. Easy and probably the only single reason I’d pick a marina over the cut is the electric. It’s in abundant supply, you can use as much as you want of it, and it doesn’t cost very much. Contrast this to starting of engines of one sort or another, it’s a greener and more pleasant way to spend those dark nights watching telly or using the computer.
Post. All post is delivered to the marina office. Around Christmas, this is a massive thing allowing you to shop with alacrity.
Parking. No more parking on the road, it’s all secure. Need your keys to get in and out and a short walk to the boat.
Shelter. The boat is slightly more sheltered on the pontoons than areas you might be located on the cut.
No mud. Serious business when you’re coming home from work or doing the shopping and got the towpath full of mud. Not so bad here on the GU, but down on the Kennet, there were definitely areas where the towpath was impassible.
Personal care facilities. If you so wish, you can wash and ablute using the marina’s facilities.
Shop/chandlers. To drop by and pick up things you may need in the future for the boat.
Water-point/Elsan. Is right there! No fussing and planning trips to the waterpoint/elsan. Waterpoints are at the end of the pontoons, and the elsan is about 25yards away.
No passing boats. I’m not one of those people that complains a lot about passing boats, but in certain circumstances, they can be detrimental in terms of noise or wake or collisions or all the above. This simply doesn’t happen in the marina. There are no speeding boats. Although the boats do speed around the marina, it has little or no impact on your boat.
Deep charge batteries. For 4 months 24/7, your batteries will be receiving full charge courtesy of the marina hook-up. By the time you leave, they will have reached the maximum amount of charge that they can receive. From there on in, electrons in your battery electrolyte line up, so they’re all uniform, and ready for action! This can significantly improve the performance/life of your battery bank.