Universal Whisky Experience “Complimentary Events” – Whisky News

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Universal Whisky Experience

Complimentary Events Exclusively only to All Nth 2014 Attendees – April 3rd and 4th 2014

Thursday April 3rd 2014

Redbreast Tasting
6:30pm-7:15pm Complimentary event – Redbreast Tasting Location: Brahms 3 and 4 (Encore Hotel)
(Admission will only be allowed on first-come, first-served basis only)

Friday April 4th 2014

Orphan Barrel Tasting

4:15pm – 5:15pm Complimentary event – Orphan barrel tasting Location: Chopin 1-4 (Encore Hotel)
(Admission will only be allowed on first-come, first-served basis only)

Please see schedule for full itinerary http://www.universalwhiskyexperience.com/schedule

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/universal-whisky-experience-complimentary-events-whisky-news/

Exel Wines to host Home of Whisky Festival – Scotch Whisky News

 AA WM 2014

Exel Wines to host Home of Whisky Festival

Exel Wines is to host the first ever whisky festival in Perth with the support of Homecoming Scotland 2014. The Home of Whisky Festival will take place in the Salutation Hotel, Perth on Saturday 3 May between 12-5pm.

Perthshire has long had a love affair with the ‘water of life’, As one of Scotland’s great whisky producing regions, it is home to both the country’s smallest distillery, Edradour as well as Scotland’s oldest, Glenturret, with many other notable distillers to be found on the Perthshire whisky trail.

Cabinet Secretary for Food and Drink, Richard Lochhead said:

“Whisky is one of Scotland’s most iconic products and, with a number of great distilleries in Perthshire, the Fair City is the perfect location for a festival celebrating our national drink. The master classes and tasting sessions on offer in the first ever Home of Whisky Festival are the perfect opportunity to enjoy and learn about Scotland’s finest during Homecoming Whisky Month in May.”

Where better to hold a whisky festival thought Dianne Barrie, Company Administrator at Exel Wines, “It came out of a discussion I was having with Peter McKay, UK Sales Manager at the Scottish Liqueur Centre who was in our shop on 47 South Street a few months back. We were talking about Perth’s rich whisky-making heritage and the idea of hosting a whisky festival in the city seemed like a great way to celebrate this. When I got back to the office I put the idea to my colleagues who liked it too and the rest, as they say, is history!”

Russell Wallace, General Manager added, “Exel Wines is delighted to be hosting a whisky festival in Perth with the support of Homecoming Scotland 2014. The Home of Whisky Festival will showcase not only the whisky industry in Perthshire, but also throughout Scotland, giving those attending an opportunity to sample some of the best whisky Scotland has to offer and learn more about whisky production and distribution across the globe.”

AA Homecoming

As well as having the opportunity to taste some fine drams from distilleries and independent bottlers across the country, part of the day’s event will include a number of in-depth master classes led by some of the most notable names in the whisky industry. With free dram tokens, a free tasting glass and some of the most knowledgeable whisky experts in the industry, this festival is set to be both informative and enjoyable.

Established in 2009, Exel Wines has gone from strength-to-strength over the years to become one of the UK’s largest online retailers of wine, whisky, craft beer and spirits (www.exelwines.co.uk). With a retail outlet based on 47 South Street, it is also Perth’s leading whisky retailer offering both the wine and whisky enthusiast a little treasure trove of delights, including many rare and collectable bottles.

For more information about Home of Whisky Festival and to purchase tickets visit: http://homeofwhisky.exelwines.com/

Notes:

Homecoming Scotland 2014 – Whisky Month

Whisky Month is a key part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme of events

Whisky Month will be a month-long, country-wide celebration of Scotland’s national drink during May 2014 

It will explore the subtle blend of stories, circumstances, provenance and generation after generation of skilled craftsmanship that make it the national drink – a drink that is as uniquely Scottish as the landscape and people that created it 

The packed month of events will highlight the very best of Scotland’s food, drink and music, celebrated through festivals and events both large and small, taking place right across the country

AA Scotland

 

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/exel-wines-to-host-home-of-whisky-festival-scotch-whisky-news/

BARRY CROCKETT JOINS THE WHISKY MAGAZINE HALL OF FAME – Irish Whiskey News

AA BARRY CROCKETT - 17TH INDUCTEE INTO THE  WHISKY MAGAZINE HALL OF FAME

BARRY CROCKETT JOINS THE WHISKY MAGAZINE HALL OF FAME 

Barry Crockett, former Master Distiller at the Midleton Distillery, has become the 17th inductee into the coveted Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame.

Awarded by ex-editor of Whisky Magazine, Rob Allanson, at the publication’s annual awards ceremony in London, Crockett was recognised for his contribution to the growth of the Irish Whiskey category during his 47 year career with Irish Distillers. 

Allanson commended Crockett for “redefining Irish whiskey by combining technology, innovation, and craftsmanship with a deep sense of history” and overseeing operations at Midleton during “some of the most eventful times in Irish whiskey’s history”. 

Crockett’s award was supported by other key wins for Irish Distillers at the Icons of Whisky Rest of World* competition, including ‘Whisky Distiller of the Year’ for the third year running and ‘Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year’ for the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin. Final tasting results for the World Whiskies Awards were also revealed, with Redbreast 15 Year Old scooping ‘World’s Best Irish Pot Still’. 

Irish Distillers’ success last week follows a groundbreaking medal win at New York’s Ultimate Spirits Challenge earlier this month, with Redbreast 21 Year Old awarded the Chairman’s Trophy in the Irish Pot Still Whiskey category. With a perfect 100 score, Redbreast 21 Year Old became the first Irish whiskey to ever achieve this feat and is the only spirit from any category to do so this year – it also marks the fifth consecutive year that a Redbreast expression has received the top Irish Pot Still Whiskey score. 

Crockett, who was also recognised for his Outstanding Achievement at the International Spirits Challenge last year, said: “I am deeply honoured to join the list of whiskey greats in the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame. The success of Irish whiskey around the world in recent years has given me a great deal of pleasure and I am particularly proud to have been able to contribute to its development. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Midleton distillery and I would like to thank, once again, everyone at Irish Distillers who has supported me over the last 47 years.” 

Notes: 

*Icons of Whisky Rest of World judges whiskey distillers based outside of Scotland and the USA 

Icons of Whisky results:

Hall of Fame (17th Inductee) – Barry Crockett

Whisky Distiller of the Year (Rest of World) – Irish Distillers

Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year (Rest of World) – Old Jameson Distillery 

World Whiskies Awards results:

Redbreast 12 Year Old – World’s Best Irish Pot Still 

Ultimate Spirits Challenge results (out of 100):

Blended Irish Whiskey:                                                     

93  Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel                     

93  Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve                                                  

93  Jameson Gold                                                              

93  Jameson 18 Years Old                                               

92  Jameson 12 Years Old                                                

92  Midleton Very Rare                                                       

92  Powers Gold Label                                                      

89  Jameson Original                                     

Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey:

100  Redbreast 21 Year Old

96  Powers Signature Release                        

94  Powers John’s Lane Release

94  Redbreast 15 Year Old

94  Redbreast 12 Year Old

94  Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength

92  Green Spot

92  Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy 

About Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Irish Distillers Group was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between Irish whiskey distillers, John Power Son, John Jameson Son and the Cork Distillery Company. In an attempt to reverse the decline in Irish whiskey sales, the board of directors decided to close the existing distilleries in Cork and Dublin, and to consolidate production at a new purpose-built facility.  

A site alongside the existing distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork was chosen as the location for the new distillery, as there was no room for expansion in Dublin. Both the Old Jameson Distillery and the Old Midleton Distillery currently operate as visitor centres attracting over 330,000 visitors annually. Following an early unsolicited takeover offer and one of the most protracted battles in Irish corporate history made by GrandMet, Allied-Lyons and Guinness, Irish Distillers was taken over by Pernod Ricard in June 1988 with the support of the management and employees. 

Irish whiskey brands within the Irish Distillers’ portfolio include Jameson, Paddy and Powers, with Single Pot Still brands, Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Redbreast and the much-revered Midleton, which includes prestigious expressions such as Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy and Midleton Very Rare. 

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/barry-crockett-joins-the-whisky-magazine-hall-of-fame-irish-whiskey-news/

Springbank and The Mitchells – Scotch Whisky Sunday

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Springbank and The Mitchells by Mark Davidson

All distilleries can be said to be unique but the story of Springbank distillery is of particular note. It is normal when cataloguing distilleries to start at the beginning and record the date of birth of the still. However in the distilling industry it is often the case that formal documentation of origins start when a licence is acquired. It is also common that a license is attained after a period of illicit operation. Such is the case with Springbank distillery. In these occasions it is almost certain that a date will never be attributed to the initial distillation of spirit. This is due to the distiller’s belief that it is their right to produce the ‘water of  life’ free from taxation. Being a product of the land and elements most early distillers were farmers, using crop surplus as a means of supplementing their income. It seems that Springbank was not much different.

The first distinction to be made about the distillery is it’s lineage. Still in the hands of the family that first produced spirit on the site before official accounting began Springbank is the oldest distillery to remain in the hands of the founders. This part of the history begins when the Mitchell family settled in Argyll. making Campbeltown, at the tip of the peninsula, the location of their farm. It would not have been long before the family put it’s knowledge of malting to use and added distilling into their working schedule.

It is but a short sea voyage from Ireland, widely recognised as the origin of the art of distillation in this part of the world, to the south western extremities of Scotland. The spread of Christianity has long been mapped in its journey from inner-Hebridean islands to the mainland. Missionaries like Saint Columba have also been credited with bringing the alchemy of the still to Scotland.

Campbeltown being an ancient seat of power for early Celtic Scots would have also been a centre for commerce. Thanks to an outstanding natural harbour the importance of its settlement as a port was sealed. Further blessed with a milder climate and untypically fertile soil for this part of the country the region was known for the farming of the land as well as the sea.

The earliest date ascribed to the production of whisky in Scotland is 1494, in Campbeltown the record starts in 1591. John and William Mitchell began their legacy in 1837 when they acquired William Reid Junior and Company. Although there is no excise return for the date, the Reid family are said to have started distillation on the present site of the distillery in 1828. However thanks to a local coppersmith’s ledger there is evidence of one Archibald Mitchell Senior’s apparent need for a kettle shaped piece of copper!

To track the history of Springbank the story of Campbeltown as a capital of distillation must be told. The importance of the town in distilling history can be illustrated by the fact that even at this early date Springbank was the fourteenth of Campbeltown’s documented distilleries. This statistic is further put in perspective when it is appreciated that there have been a total of 34 stills recorded. Nowhere else has had such a concentration of production. Why should it be that such an isolated spot has excelled in the perfection of the art? Beyond the factors already mentioned for the location of the town itself several other important facets of locality, changes to distilling regulations not to mention the dice rolls of opportunity can be cited.

Close to town there was long a coal mine supplying fuel for the fires to heat the stills, peat fields were also local and used to great effect during the malting process and the short distance by sea to the major centre of population, Glasgow, was easily exploited thanks to the strong shipping network. The illicit nature of production, whereas not unusual around Scotland- particularly in the remoter regions, was promoted when an act of 1785 excluded Argyll from the lower taxed Highland region. Around the time of Springbank’s foundation there was one of the landmark events in Scottish distilling history. 1823 saw the passing of an act which equated to the liberation of commercial distilling. Up to this date most control of illicit distillation had been lost and steps taken to regulate the legitimate producers by taxation, licensing and other legislation had merely driven down the quality of the legal spirit to the further advantage of the smuggler.

Recognising the weakness in the system and in a position to influence those abusing the law the Duke of Gordon was able to persuade government to lift the stifling restraints on production and opened the door to a revolution which saw the production of spirit exponentially increase. Hand in hand with this mushrooming of quality output at affordable prices  was the proliferation of legal stills. From an established base of three licensed stills, before 1823, Campbeltown was able to count 27 registered distillers by 1834 and 30 by 1843. A total of 34 licences have been recorded in the period of 1817 to 1829. Indeed one street alone, Longrow, had no less than 7 distilleries along its length.Hence, uniquely, a town became a whole region classification in the production of whisky. Although today flavour boundaries are less well defined geographically compared to the past in its heyday Campbeltown was known for its full bodied malts, similar in taste to today’s heavily peated Islay whiskies. This character was popular in Glasgow at this time and welcomed by blenders when grain and malts were mixed. By adding an economic amount of Campbeltown to a cheap mix of grains the drinker would not notice a lack of flavour in their glass.

Taking full advantage of their position the Mitchells, as well as 2 or 3 other local dynasties, built their own mini empires. Archibald Senior had 5 children, son William was at first a business partner to brother John (who himself had originally bought out his cousin’s stake in Toberanrigh) in Springbank having bought it from John’s father-in-law in 1837. Records show their partnership as J. W. Mitchell Co. at least between 1852 and 1860. However after a disagreement William left to partner other brother Archibald Junior at Rieclachan (founded 1825). Later still William set up on his own as founder of Glen Gyle in 1872. On William’s departure from Springbank John was joined by his son, Alexander. Together they went on to found J. A. Mitchell in 1878 which by 1881 was limited as a company after some rebuilding of the plant. This was to be dissolved on Alexander’s sequestration in 1890 but was later reconstructed by 1897 and remains the name of the present owners. The last brother. Hugh, joined Archibald Junior at Rieclachan. Their sister, Mary, founded Drumore in 1824.

Around the date of 1887, in a town of less than 2000 inhabitants, there were 21 distilleries. As an example Springbank was employing 15 people. The town was said to be the second wealthiest in the British empire. So what went wrong? Why is there only three distilleries operating in Campbeltown today? Is the town still considered a region? The answer does not lie in a single event but like the ascendancy of the town can be attributed to a conspiracy of circumstances. As the industry received a huge leg-up by the relaxing of laws in 1823 it benefited once again at the end of that century. This time the rise in popularity can be credited to the phenomenal success of blending. It was now possible to reach more palates and pockets thanks to the mixing of the expensive full flavoured malts with the cheaper lighter grains. Twin this with some marketing entrepreneurs and a lack of brandy, brought about by the decimation of European vines after an insect plague, the late Victorian era saw another spate of distillery construction. Campbeltown, perhaps at saturation point, did not partake in this latest bonanza to nearly the same degree that the Speyside region enjoyed. An excellent transport network offered by the railways, Campbeltown’s remoteness now acting as a weakness, further attracted blending company accountants to deal with the previously distant North East. The Cognac drinkers of England could more accept a  substitute that was based on the milder character of the Speyside region’s spirit, finding the once popular full flavour of peaty malts too aggressive.

As their grip on sales began to weaken the opportunity presented byprohibition in the USA (1919-1933) must have been a real gift horse, even if an awkward one. However by reaping this harvest they sewed the seeds of their decline. By pandering to a desperate market where the eye was forced to be on supply first quality second most Campbeltown distillers succumbed under economic pressure to temptation. Corners were cut in order that demand was met. Stills were not allowed to cool down between distillations, poor barley was used, casks of doubtful virtue were filled, immature whisky bottled – generally poor practice was employed. To further compound their misery the distillers had to source still fuel from further afield than up to date when a local coal mine closed in the 1920s. The region’s barley production was also in decline around this period. Of course this was all happening in the post war world wide economic depression, a time when the temperance movement held a serious social influence. Without revenue for investment the future of the industry didn’t look good. The cutting of trade ties with the nearby new Irish free state again would work against good fortune.

During this dark time 19 of the remaining 20 stills shut. Prompting one commentator to pen “if the full repertoire of hisky is not to be  irredeemably impoverished the Campbeltowns must remain”. This quote is from 1930 when 10 distilleries stood but few actually distilled. With the closure in 1934 of Rieclachan there were to be only two distilleries left producing for the next 70 years.  This begs the question, why did Springbank survive? Perhaps their longevitycan be explained by the fact that the brand’s taste was distinct from the classic Campbeltown. It was milder than the regional hallmark fully weighted and peat based flavour. Unusually the malt was promoted as a single as earlyas the end of the 19th century, underlining its identity as a unique expression. During the era of prohibition the whisky rebranded itself as a ‘West Highland’ as opposed to a ‘Campbeltown’ in order to further remove it from customers’ association with the progressively poorer standards of its neighbours. Retaining independence was also critical in their survival. As the recession tightened its grip on small producers it was common to find them selling out to the mighty Distillers Company Limited (DCL). DCL was on a mission to rationalise the supply network. By simply buying up and closing down stills the remaining operators had a greater chance of finding a buyer for their spirit. The distillery, not for the only time in its history, did close. Come 1926, a year after no less than 4 still closures, the situation was so bad that the savings made by stopping production would hopefully tide the company over until the market could sustain a restart. As it turned out it only took a few years until the stills were at work again.

Thanks, most probably, to always having been a family legacy rather than a profit driven commodity- bought and sold, rationalised and produced for the mass market, Springbank is and always has been very traditional. By controlling all aspects of production the distiller can ensure the level of quality necessary to retain his customers’ loyalty. This requires the ability to turn grains of barley (optic variety) into bottles of malt. Where every other of Scotland’s 100 malt distilleries are required to buy in ready malted barley and, with two noble exceptions, pass on the mature item to a bottling facility Springbank do it all themselves. The modern maltster is able to guarantee high quality at low cost. The development of massive malting and kilning vessels means one headache of a distillery manager is soothed. Lorries arrive with tens of tonnes of specifically peated (or unpeated) malt as close to invariable as is possible. The price of this consistency is perhaps a loss of complexity in a certain aspect of detail in character.

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When malted by hand in relatively small amounts on traditional floor maltings the barley cannot behave uniformly from batch to batch. Although perhaps indiscernible in the finished product this is one method that influences the layers of taste and aroma to be experienced by the senses. At Springbank there are two malting floors each capable of handling 10-12 tonnes of barley which has been steeped in water for about 35 hours. By raising the grain’s moisture content to about 47% germination is triggered. The sprouting barley is left for 5-7 days and is turned every 4 hours. This movement helps keep an even temperature throughout the green malt and prevents rootlets and shoots entangling. At this stage the enzyme diastase begins to convert the plant kernel’s energy from a dormant starch form into a more accessible sugar ready for the next stage of growth. This laborious task is repeated over a 14 week period in order to store enough malt for the season’s few weeks of mashing and distilling. The floors were reinstated in 1992 after being abandoned in the 1970s.

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In order to yield a viable amount of alcohol from the malt the germination must be stopped at an optimum point. Heat is generated which halts the plant’s development and captures as much sugar as possible for the brewer. This stage involves the malt being roasted on a wire mesh floor in the kiln. For the Springbank specification a peating level of around 15 parts per million (PPM) is required. This entails burning peat for 6 hours before switching to hot air from an oil fired source for 18+ hours. 

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After going through a 50 year old Porteus mill the grist is ready for mashing. A 100+ year old cast iron and, unusually, open topped mash tun is used. Progressively hotter water is fed in four batches through the porridge like mash. The last two being used as the first two for the next mash. The sweet and thick wort is then held in a washback for the fermentation stage.

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Again tradition is adhered to. Where modern efficiency prefers easily cleaned stainless steel many companies hold on to their wooden washbacks. It seems another small component of character can be traced to the donation made by the organic nature of the material. 5 of these vessels, each of 21000 litres (4625 gallons) are required. Swedish boatskin larch is the wood of choice. After the introduction of yeast and a particularly slow fermentation, about 70 hours, the crude beer is now ready for distilling. In almost every case a Scottish distiller distils using two stills. The first, or wash, still raises the alcoholic content of the liquid from below 10 % alcohol by volume (abv) to somewhere above 20% abv. This is done by heating the contents of the copper kettle to boil off the alcohol. Alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water, the condensed vapour is gathered and sent through the second, or low wines/spirit still. This still is nearly always smaller than the previous and may or may not resemble it in shape, the contours very much moulding the make-up of the spirit. As the first part, foreshots, and last portion, feints, are too impure they are collected for redistilation along with the next batch of low wines from the wash still.

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At Springbank a unique system is employed. Three stills lead to what has been called a “two and a half” distillation technique. Nonsense to chemists it would be more appropriately described as a partial double partial triple distillation. The wash, at about 5% abv produces low wines at about 20-25% abv after being run through the wash still. 20% of the low wines are fed straight to the second spirit still. The rest go into the first spirit still to produce feints at 50-55% abv. 80% of these feints also go into the second spirit still. The foreshots and feints from the second spirit still are fed back into the first spirit still along with the next batch of low wines. The spirit ultimately collected for filling into casks is about 72% abv.

By choosing to retain an ‘old fashioned’ still heating method Springbank again help the ultimate flavour of their whisky become a particularly hard to pigeon hole taste. In days gone by all stills would have been direct fired by some fossil fuel. More recently oil or gas have been used directly but today the most common type of heating is the use of steam in coils or pans within the still.. Offering a safer, cheaper and more controllable heat source the benefits are obvious. However the traditional method did result in another contribution of character to the dram. Occasional flares of heat found in direct firing meant solid particles within the wash would stick to the bottom of the still and begin to toast. In order that this didn’t foul the stills a rummager would be needed. Basically a copper link mesh the rummager rotates internally scrapping the burnt yeast and other particles from the still body. As it does this a fresh surface of copper is exposed allowing the valuable catalytic qualities of the metal to be promoted. Although there are a few companies still sticking to this option of heating Springbank is unique in that their wash still is both heated externally by oil flame and internally by steam coils. Like current normal practice their spirit stills are exclusively steam heated . Also of note the wash still is one of only very few left in the industry that is riveted. Advancements in coppersmithing sees spot welding produce very smooth surfaces on today’s stills where the joining of plates are difficult to see. Finally the wash still continues to have its vapour condensed in the traditional manner. Whereas, like most distilleries, the two spirit stills use shell and tube condensers the wash still uses a worm. This is the way it has been done for centuries, a tube of diminishing diameter is coiled into a tub of flowing water. As the vapour comes into contact with the cold copper surface it returns to liquid. The point at which gas turns to liquid decides the particular chemical structuring of the spirits components.

Where the modern method results in a more predictable path worms will vary their efficiency depending on the temperature of the cooling water- yet again adding another layer of individuality. In size and shape the stills are similar being relatively small (wash ~10,000 litres, spirits about 12,000 litres odd) and are onion like in shape. Before the last and longest step in the process, maturation, casks are filled on site this practice once again more traditional then most as many distilleries road tanker their spirit to centralised warehouses. A steel tank can store up to 2 weeks production before it is reduced in strength to 63% abv and then put into cask.

Springbank does well in a variety of wood types while other makes tend to reveal their qualities best when a particular variety of oak is selected- perhaps ex-sherry red oak for full bodied spirit or refilled ex-bourbon white oak for peaty malts and lighter spirits. Water for all aspects of use is sourced from the dammed Crosshill Loch. The loch is filled from springs on Ben Ghuilean. It appears that all the town’s stills were fed from a single, common source- a unique feature compared to other regions.

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When it comes to the storing of casks Mitchell’s own some of the oldest warehouse of their type. Unlike the modern aircraft hangar-like constructions of today yesteryear’s distillers built low level, slate roofed, stone walled, earthen floored bonds. Ideal environments for the slow steady ageing of casks these buildings, particularly when at sea level, tend to keep humidity and temperature variances to a minimum. Although a racked warehouse is also used Springbank owns 6 of the old fashion style dunnage warehouses.

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The final influence a company has on its brand is its bottling Although on the surface this stage may seem straight forward over time market forces have influenced, via processing, the final product. Discovering sales are more buoyant when a whisky is dark in colour most whisky companies see fit to alter the colour of their brand. This is done by adding E150a, essentially caramelised sugar. Often legitimised by claims that because a brand bottling will vary in appearance from batch to batch but ‘quality control’ steps ensure flavour is maintained, the consumer is being reassured of consistency thanks to a standard colour hue. Embracing the variance of not only appearance but also flavour Springbank reject the addition of an impurity in any of its bottling as a deception and taint.

Another process adopted by the dominant players in the market is that of chill-filteration. Whisky contains fatty acids, esters, proteins, etc, (known as congeners) derived from, among other sources, the barley and the cask. Some of these are invisible when kept in solution by alcohol but can appear as a haze when in low alcohol mixes, particularly at low temperature. As industry standard is to pre-water to 40% abv clouding can be expected.

When some drinkers take ice in their glass the effect is usually more noticeable. Seen as unappealing to some the industry arranged for these troublesome elements to be removed guaranteeing a clear product. However by extracting these valuable components flavour, aroma and texture can be compromised. It could be thought of as a loss of soul. For mass appeal this may not necessarily be a bad thing. These brands are all the best selling, lack of strong character leading to more accessibility to the immature palate. However Springbank does not accept the simplifying of the drinking experience to reach the majority as acceptable and avoid any techniques to alter the natural qualities of its malt.

SOME (UNATTRIBUTED) ACCOLADES

“Complexity which astounds”

“Simply stupendous”

“Incomparable” “Perhaps the finest liquor distilled on the planet”

“An elderly eccentric among distilleries”

“Springbank is majestic in its resonant complexity, its subtlety and weight”

 “One of the most remarkable distilleries on Earth”

 “Reputation and renown second to none”

“A hidden Jewel”

“Fiercely independent”

 “Synonymous with style and complexity”

 “A malt drinker’s dream”

“An embarrassment of riches”

“you won’t refuse the second one”

“A dram for the connoisseur”

“Beautifully balanced”

“(A) benchmark dram”

Besides these words Springbank has earned numerous awards, perhaps principally being unanimously voted premier grand cru classe in a blind tasting for The Times. It was at one time the best selling malt in Japan, was chosen as the house whisky on the QEII and was voted favourite in Whisky Magazine’s 1999 readers poll. Enjoy Springbnak responsibly, i.e. finish every drop and share it.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/springbank-and-the-mitchells-scotch-whisky-sunday/

Whisk(ey) Tastings at The Dundee Dell, Omaha – Whisk(e)y News

5007 Underwood Ave, Omaha NE 68132

www.dundeedell.com 402.553.9501

April Events at the Dundee Dell!

Hello Dell Friends! We have an exciting month in April, we have many events to attend!

Scotch Tasting
Sunday, April 6 @ 4 p.m.
Chris and Amanda have been planning a great tasting for April. The girls really love Scotch and give a great tasting! $50 per person

Rye Whiskey Tasting
Saturday, April 12 @ 4 p.m.
Pat is very excited to give a Rye Whiskey Tasting. He picked his favorite 8 Rye Whiskies is going to share all of his amazing knowledge with us! This tasting will be packed and I can’t wait!! $50 per person

 

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/whiskey-tastings-at-the-dundee-dell-omaha-whiskey-news/

Malt Messenger Bulletin – Some Exciting New Whiskies & Tastings – Whisky News

Kensington Wine Market Malt Messenger

This past Thursday and Friday we held two sold out Ancient Malts tastings at Kensington Wine Market, highlighting the Glendronach 1968 Recherche, and 7 other Scotch whiskies. The lineup was epic, and the tastings a huge success. The star of the show, other than the 1968 Glendronach (of course), was the Wilson Morgan Caol Ila 30 Year! You can read all about the tasting and my tasting notes on the whiskies on the store blog. I’ll include some of the details in the next Malt Messenger!

Ancient Malts is not the only whisky tasting we’ve hosted over the last few weeks, there’s been a parade of great tastings like: Monday’s Irish Whiskey Rennaissance, the Great Macallan Vertical Featuring ‘M’ on March 5th and of course the March Outturn Tastings for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Speaking of the Society, there’s an exciting and handsome new Membership Kit, more details to come in the next Malt Messenger.

On the subject of tastings, I have a couple of events to tell you about. Firstly, we’ve added a new tasting for April 1, “Fools for Whisky”, our first ever April Fools Day Whisky tasting. We’re aiming to challenge your preconceptions and introduce a little fun and sport to whisky tasting. Think you know your whiskies? Careful, we’re aiming to fool you.

There is also a great club tasting I’d like to fill you in on too. The Calgary Companions of the Quaich, Calgary’s oldest and most established whisky club is hosting a Kavalan vertical tasting this tomorrow, Wednesday March 26. The tasting will feature a range of 9-10 single malts from Kavalan, one of the hottest new distilleries in the world. The tasting is great value, $40 for member and $60 for guests. Curious about the club, or Kavalan whisky, send me a note, and maybe you can join us!

I’m also working on a full edition of the Malt Messenger, which I hope to have out next week. Included in it will be a slew of new products and the Spring 2014 preview. In the meantime, there’s a couple of whiskies I thought I bring to your attention, before they sell out. First up, is the Arran Millennium Casks, a seductive whisky filled into cask the day before and the day after the turn of the millennium. We bought 2/3 of what came into Alberta, and at the time of writing we’ve only a handful left. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3 is also nearly sold out.

We also have a couple of new Organic whiskies from Loch Lomond distillery, a single malt and a single blend. Both are surprisingly good, especially considering the less than sterling reputation of the distillery. Could be a sign of things to come. I’ve also included some tasting notes I wrote up on a couple of older whiskies from Balblair and Rosebank.

Finally, its not too late, though we’re getting close, to join on a tour of the Speyside and Highlands in May. We’ll hit more than a dozen of Scotland’s finest distilleries in 12 days. More info is available on my Ferguson Whisky Tours website.

I hope you enjoy this Malt Messenger Bulletin, clear your plate for Friday. Malt Messenger No.59 is going to be a big one!

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

PS- PS – Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/scotch_guy and Facebook: facebook.com/scotch.guy.1 .

www.fergusonwhiskytours.com

Fools For Whisky

Tuesday April 1

We won’t be opening a bottle of Port Ellen at our Fools for Whisky tasting, on April Fools Day, we just wanted to get your attention!

$50.00

Click Here For More Info

Taking Pre-Orders of our Duncan Taylor Octaves !

Mortlach 1995 – $175 Deanston 1994 – $180

Pre-order Save 5%! Both are small casks and will sell out very quickly. Tasting notes to be posted shortly on our website. 

Fools for Whisky

The Highland Park 50 Year is Stunning but Will Not Be Poured at the Tasting!

Monday April 1, 2014, 7PM – $50

Think you know your whiskies? Be forewarned, we’re aiming to make a fool out of you! Join us for our first ever April Fool’s Day Tasting at KWM, and let’s see just how well you do know your whiskies!

Call 403-283-8000 or Register Online: kensingtonwinemarket.com/tastings/register.php

 AA Kavalan
Companions of the Quaich Kavalan Vertical Tasting

Guests welcome!

The Companions of the Quaich is a Canada-wide whisky club with a strong chapter in Calgary. Established in February of 2007, the Calgary Chapter is now in its 8th year. The club holds six to eight events a year, from tastings to whisky dinners. It also selects and bottles casks of malt whisky exclusively for its members. For more information on the club visit: quaichcalgary.ca/ , the website is being redeveloped but is up and running.

The Calgary Quaich’s Kavalan Vertical Tasting is being help on March 26 at 7PM. The tasting will feature a range of 9-10 Kavalan whiskies. Kavalan to the uninitiated is a new award winning whisky distillery in Taiwan. Taiwan is a huge market for Scotch whisky, and it was probably only a matter of time until someone there decided to open their own distillery. They owners sought out the Scotch whisky industry’s Top Guns for the project, which they hoped would create a whisky similar in style to Glenlivet or Macallan. As a point of pride they take the smallest middle cut (or hear) of any malt distillery in the world. They sought out to creat world class whisky, and by all accounts they’ve succeeded.

The tasting will include:

Kavalan Number 1
King Kar Conductor
Kavalan Concert Master (Port Finish)
Kavalan Podium (Virgin Oak)
Kavalan Ex Bourbon 46%
Kavalan Solist Bourbon
Kavalan Solist Vinho
Kavalan Ex Sherry 46%
Kavalan Solist Sherry
!!Possibly 1 More!!

Just some of the Kavalans to be Sampled

For more information or to register, please send me an email!

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New Organic Whiskies from Loch Lomond

A new single blend and a single malt!

Both of these whiskies have caught me by surprise. Surprise because who’d have thought someone at Loch Lomond, a distillery known for creating mainly supermarket and low quality brands, had thought to distill both organic malt and grain 12 years ago. It is even more surprising how characterful and interesting these whiskies are.

Loch Lomond Organic 12 Year Single Malt – 48% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: juicy citrus and powdered sugar, sweet barley and green grasses; floral and delicate with some white chocolate, honey and candied apple; Palate: very sweet and malty with loads of honey, soft toasted oak and coconut chips; still floral and grassy but with green grapes, Granny Smith apples and some tart citrus notes; white peppers and anise; Finish: honeyed, malty and sweetly spiced with more toasted oak, cream and floral tones. – $94.99

Loch Lomond Organic Single Blend – 46% – My Tasting Note: “Nose: very buttery and toffeed on the nose, the grain make its presence know with a Caramel or Kettle Corn like character; lots of vanilla, honey and white fruits as it opens up and something reminiscent of almond brittle; Palate: surprisingly big and toasty with both the grain and malt making their presence known right off the back with some grassy malt and more caramel corn; the base is of toasty oak with notes of vanilla pods, heather honey and more almond brittle augmented by a little peppery spice; the fruits eventually emerge from the creamy oak with some lovely white fruit and crisp citrus; Finish: dusty and toasty with honey and citrus and some growing peppery spice.” – $67.99

A Couple Other New Whiskies

From Rosebank and Balblair

Balblair 1975 – 46% – Distilled: 1975 – Bottled: 2007 – Matured in European Oak Ex-Sherry Casks – My Tasting Note: “Nose: all spice, Licorice All Sorts, musty old oak and Dunnage warehouses; candied fruits and Christmas cake with some tropical elements like mango and papaya; Palate: big round sherry notes with lots of candied fruits, Christmas cake, leather, tobacco and soft leather; tropical fruits emerge along with assorted decadent spices and Licorice All Sorts; Finish: as the tropical fruits fade it becomes subtly leathery and earthy showing its age with firm spices and more licorice.” – $369.99

OMC Rosebank 21 Year – 50% – Distilled: February 1990 – Bottled: August 2011 – Refill Butt – My Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy, confectioneries and French pastries; very sugary, reminiscent of French crepes with powdered sugar and lemon juice; floral and dusty with a hint of refined flower and potpourri; Palate: creamy, floral and fruity at first soft and citric, then tropical (melons) moving toward candied fruits; more French crepes and powdered sugar with lemon juice; fruit flan, pain au chocolate and some slowly developing dark fruits and spice with soft leather; Finish: light, soft, floral and fruity; more tropical fruits and toasty oak .” – $249.99

AA 857

Glendronach 1968 Recherche 44 Year – $4,799.99

97pts Whisky Bible – SOLD OUT!

Glendronach has been a hot whisky at KWM ever since its relaunch in 2008 by BenRiach Distillery Co. The distillery’s new owners immediately put out a new core range of 12, 15 and 18 year old whiskies, heavily sherried in the distillery’s classic style. They then began releasing batch of vintage single casks and things really got exciting. A few of the older single casks from 1971 and 1972 became legendary, like our KWM 1972 Cask 711.

Glendronach launched the 1968 Recherche in the fall of 2013. At 44 years of age it is the oldest Glendronach ever bottled. From a single oloroso sherry cask, 1968 #5, 632 bottles were released at 48.6%. 10 bottles of the whisky found its way to Canada, 5 of those to the Kensington Wine Market where we opened one for our Ancient Malts tastings, March 20 21 of 2014. It was a hit. We squirreled one final bottle away until the tastings, and it sold at the Friday tasting. 97pts from the Whisky Bible.

Glendronach 1968 Recherche – 44 Year – 48.6% – Oloroso Sherry Butt – Cask No. 5 – 632 Bottles – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: rich and fruity, right off the bat soft sweet licorice notes (think Panda brand), expensive ladies leather gloves and brandy soaked cherries; candied fruits and classic Christmas cake notes are present, but they are soft and elegant, layers of assorted fruits lie beneath, dark, orchard and tropical; Palate: rich and fruity with lively spice and a velvety smooth delivery; the flavours peel back from this whisky like the layers of an onion: first dark fruits: dates and sultanas, then fleshier tropical fruits, next soft leather, then chocolate and tobacco before tingling spices take charge; this is a classic sherry cask whisky, and so fruity: melons, mangoes and plums; brown sugar, maple syrup and treacle sauce develop as the fruits fade; Finish: long and fruity with a soft leathery backbone; it dries hinting at the whiskies age but still has more layers to peel back. – $4,799.99 – !!!SOLD OUT!!!
Going…, going…, GONE!

Your Last Chance for Two Popular Whiskies

Our two most popular whiskies over February and March have been a couple of limited edition cask strength offerings. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3, which was our best selling whisky in February, and the Arran Millennium Casks, our best selling whisky in March. The Arran may be sold out by the end of the weekend. The third batch of the Glendronach Cask Strength will not last much longer! Here are my tasting notes on each:

Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 3 – 54.9% – No Age Statement – Oloroso PX Sherry – My Tasting Note: “Nose: firm leather, chocolate orange, candied fruits and treacle sauce; Palate: rich, fruity and layered with some late spices; it gently warms the palate with notes of candied fruits, leather and some earthy spices; Finish: long, rich, fruity and sweet with tingling-drying spice.” – $94.99

Arran Millennium Casks – 53.5% – 13 Year – My Tasting Note: “Nose: creamy and floral with loads of creamed heather honey, white chocolate and soft fruits; melons, juicy oranges, soft barley and a touch of spice; Palate: round and chewy with some silky vanillans, big juicy malt, and more white chocolate, heather honey and spices found on the nose; the melon and citrus notes are still there along with some chocolate, soft leather and dark fruits; this is a whisky with layers and depth well beyond its 13 years; Finish: long, rich, creamy and coating the heather honey lingers long and the spices fade ever so slowly with the layers of fruit.” – $114.99

Ferguson Whisky Tours

Speyside Tour May 11-17 2014

Estimated price, $3500-4,000 per person.
7 days/6 nights
Includes visits to the following distilleries some to be confirmed:
Glengoyne
Deanston
Edradour and Signatory
Glencadam
Glen Garioch
AnCnoc
Glendronach
Balvenie
Cardhu
BenRiach
Gordon MacPhail
Benromach
Tomatin
And More.

As always, we’ll wind up with a whisky dinner at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Check out the website, or send an email to scotchguide@fergusonwhiskytours.com for more details.

FergusonWhiskyTours.com

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger!

Contact Disclaimers

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com. All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change, don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.

Slainte!

Andrew Ferguson

Manager Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market

403-283-8000

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

www.kensingtonwinemarket.com

Owner Opperator

Ferguson’s Whisky Tours

www.fergusonwhiskytours.com

scotchguide@fergusonwhiskytours.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/malt-messenger-bulletin-some-exciting-new-whiskies-tastings-whisky-news/

Jura Whisky “GET READY TO EXPERIENCE WHISKY LIKE NEVER BEFORE” – Scotch Whisky News

AA JURA 1

GET READY TO EXPERIENCE WHISKY LIKE NEVER BEFORE

If you want to take your appreciation of whisky one step further, Create:Eat:Whisky is calling. Dreamt up by food event pioneers JellyGin, this immersive extravaganza will take you on a sensory journey through Jura whisky, using lighting, projection, sound and taste. Unfolding under the old beams of a former milk factory in Edinburgh, this will be a unique and atmospheric experience, bringing to life the magic of whisky from grain to glass.

Find out more and buy tickets here. We hope to see you there.

And in case you missed it, we’ve extended our Save The Date competition to 28th March. So keep your photos coming. Visit jurawhisky.com for more details.

Willie Cochrane and everybody at the Jura Distillery.

AA JURA 2

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/jura-whisky-get-ready-to-experience-whisky-like-never-before-scotch-whisky-news-2/

Whisky & More Tasting with Karl duHoffman from Anchor Distilling & Imports, March 26 at Mora’s Fine Wine & Spirits (E. Setauket, New York) – Whisky News

Mora's

Whisky More Tasting with Karl duHoffman from Anchor Distilling Imports, March 26 at Mora’s Fine Wine Spirits (E. Setauket, New York) 

 AA Karl

Karl DuHoffmann brings over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry to bear when speaking on distilled beverages. A passionate advocate for the diversity to be found amongst the great spirits of the world. A dynamic educator who challenges received wisdom and brings a fun informative presence to the event.

 AA Mora's

At Mora’s on March 26th from 4-7pm we will be sampling 3 Scottish single malts, 2 Japanese whiskies, and 2 additional special spirits with special guest, spirits expert, Karl duHoffman. Featured brands include, Benriach, Glendronach, Glenrothes, Nikka, Maurin, and No. 3 Gin. Products are discounted for purchase through April 2nd. Please visit Mora’s Monthly Spirit Tasting page for more information or to place an order for shipment across the US. 

Mora’s Fine Wine Spirits

www.moraswines.com

631-941-4458   sev.clemens@moraswines.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/whisky-more-tasting-with-karl-duhoffman-from-anchor-distilling-imports-march-26-at-moras-fine-wine-spirits-e-setauket-new-york-whisky-news/

ULTIMATE SPIRITS CHALLENGE® Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary and Announces This Year’s Top Scotch, Whiskey & Whisky – Whisky News

  AA 1A

The judges’ votes are in and today we announce the brands that hit the highest scores at the fifth annual ULTIMATE SPIRITS CHALLENGE.  Led by F. Paul Pacult and his merry band of judges including: Sean Ludford (judging co-chair), Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, James Conley, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, Dan Nicolaescu, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW and David Wondrich, USC named the top spirits in their categories based on the 100-point scale (including a rare 100 pointer!).

The results are in for the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge®, the world’s premier spirits competition. Today, Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC) announces 37 Chairman Trophy winners, the highest award, along with 218 Finalists, 171 Tried True AwardsSM and 89 Great Values. The Challenge, celebrating its fifth anniversary, was held in New York on March 10-14. For the second consecutive year, a perfect 100 point score was given by multiple panels to a whiskey. This year’s 100-point recipient is Redbreast 21 Years Old Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey

“Interest in Ultimate Spirits Challenge has never been greater,” says Ultimate Spirits Challenge founder F. Paul Pacult. “Companies enter because they want brands to be evaluated against their peers by the world’s best judges. USC provides the most trusted, sought after testimonials that help distillers and importers build their brands.” 

This year, USC introduces the Tried True AwardSM to recognize brands that can be relied on to provide unfailing quality and superb taste to consumers year after year. To be eligible, brands that entered USC 2014 must have scored 85 points or higher in this year’s Challenge as well as in at least two previous Challenges. 

All products entered are rated on the 100-point scale by the spirits industry’s most renowned judges that include award-winning authors, spirits buyers, journalists, educators, bar owners and consultants. This year’s judges were: USC Founder and Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, Judging Co-Chairman Sean Ludford, Jacques Bezuidenhout, Tad Carducci, James Conley, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, Dan Nicolaescu, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, MW and David Wondrich

AA 1

THE 2014 RESULTS

All spirits rated 85 points and higher receive their own page showing current award results, downloadable score icons, tasting notes and bottle image. USC results will be promoted via the Ultimate Beverage Challenge Guide to be published in the October issue of The Beverage Media Group’s top 15 U.S. markets, reaching more than 70,000 on- and off-premise spirits buyers.  

2014 ULTIMATE SPIRITS CHALLENGE – CHAIRMAN’S TROPHY WINNERS

For a complete list of results visit www.ultimate-beverage.com/usc2014results 

WHISKEY – USA

American: Wild Turkey Forgiven

Kentucky Straight Bourbon: George T. Stagg

Rye: Bulleit 95 Small Batch 

WHISKEY – IRELAND

Blended: Tullamore D.E.W. Special Reserve 12 Years Old (Tried True Award)

Irish Pot Still: Redbreast 21 Years Old

Single Malt: Bushmills 16 Years Old (Tried True Award

WHISKY – SCOTLAND

Blended Malt: Big Peat

Blended: Ballantine’s 17 Years Old

Single Malt: Glenmorangie Quarter Century 25 Years Old

WHISKY – CANADA

Alberta Premium Dark Horse

WHISKY – JAPAN

Nikka Coffey Grain

AA 1

Next Challenge: Ultimate Wine Challenge, June 2-13, 2014. Information at: www.ultimate-beverage.com/uwc2014info 

Ultimate Spirits Challenge…like no other competition and doesn’t want to be. 

ABOUT ULTIMATE BEVERAGE CHALLENGE

Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) provides expert evaluation of wines and spirits for producers, importers and marketers through its two innovative annual competitions: Ultimate Spirits Challenge and Ultimate Wine Challenge. Based on exacting standards, expert judges and rigorous methodology, UBC raises the standards of spirits and wine evaluation and supplies ratings and accolades to help companies build their brands with buyers, both industry and consumer. UBC partners are F. Paul Pacult, Sue Woodley, David Talbot and Sean Ludford. Past Challenge results and event photos, videos and press coverage can be found at http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/

Ultimate Beverage Challenge inquiries: info@ultimate-beverage.com, 1-347-878-6551

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UltimateBeverageChallenge 

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ultimatebeverage

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/03/ultimate-spirits-challenge-celebrates-its-fifth-anniversary-and-announces-this-years-top-scotch-whiskey-whisky-whisky-news/

Glenlochy Distillery

Whisky Festival Gent 2014

EventsGeplaatst door Mark Dermul do, maart 13, 2014 18:09:09

Het weekend van 8 en 9 maart was het ICC te Gent weer het decor voor het Internationaal Whisky Festival Gent, één van de jaarlijkse hoogmissen van de gouden nectar.

Op zondag 9 maart zakte een delegatie van Whivie af naar het feestgedruis (nou, ja, gedruis, het was bijzonder kalm op zondag, maar dat kan ook aan het stralende weer gelegen hebben).

Om de smaakpapillen op gang te trekken passeerden we eerst aan de stand van The Nectar, alwaar we een geweldige Glenturret 36 Year Old 1977 van Daily Drams voorgeschoteld kregen. Kwestie van in stijl te beginnen. Aan dezelfde tafel liet ik me door de lieftallige hostess van Mackmyra verleiden tot het proeven van hun Brukswhisky.

Maar een grote verrassing kwam eigenlijk een tafeltje verder. Ik had de man van de Paul John whisky, uit India, in Leuven gemist en was daarom blij dat ik de flesjes hier kon proeven. Ik nam samples voor later, maar proefde ter plekke wel de Paul John Classic en Peated, die me zeer goed meeviel.

Aan de overzijde stond de man van Johnnie Walker moederziel alleen achter zijn stand, dus voelden we ons verplicht hem even te entertainen. En hoewel zijn Double Black mij wel smaakte, was ik niet echt kapot van de 18 Year Old Platinum.

Ondertussen kwamen we wat bekend volk tegen – je weet hoe dat gaat – deelden we wat verhalen en samples uit – je weet hoe dat gaat – en deelden we wat glazen. Juist: je weet hoe dat gaat. Bij de stand van Glencadam proefden we de 1978 (sherry) en 1982 (bourbon) die meteen bovenaan mijn lijstje van ‘lekkers tot nu toe’ kwamen te staan. Helaas wel aan de dure kant.

Tullibardine had zijn volledig vernieuwde range bij, dus nam ik een sample van elke fles. Met Tullibardine heb ik nog niet zo veel ervaring, dus daar wil ik me thuis wel eens voor neer zetten.

Ondertussen waren we aanbeland bij onze goede vrienden van Morrison-Bowmore. Helaas hadden ze daar niet veel nieuws bij, behoudens dan de Auchentoshan American Oak, die in april eindelijk zal landen in ons landje (ik proefde hem al veel eerder in Glasgow, daar is hij al sinds oktober op de markt).
Maar Stephane De Bolle, importeur van Cinoco, had wederom aan mij gedacht, zoals hij ieder jaar doet.

Hij overhandige me twee prachtige geschenken voor de Toshan Man collectie: een press-only American Oak in sublieme verpakking en een flesje van 200ml met twee glazen van dezelfde whisky, in een speciale verpakking die niet gecommercialiseerd zal worden, maar enkel bestemd is als promotiemateriaal voor cavisten. Ikke blij, natuurlijk!

Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis had opnieuw een heleboel pareltjes mee uit de reeksen Silver Seal, Samaroli, AD Rattray en Kintra. Ik was zeer aangenaam verrast met de Miltonduff 18 Year Old 1995 van AD Rattray. Wat een miskende whisky soms. Maar ook de Caol Ila 15 Year Old 1998 van Samaroli viel mij heel goed mee!

We bleven nog even in de Caol Ila (één van mijn favoriete whisky’s) met een 18-jarige en een outstanding 27-jarige van Wilson Morgan. Daar proefde ik overigens tevens de lekkerste whisky die ik die dag aan de lippen zou zetten: een Glenlivet 36 Year Old 1975 van Wilson Morgan, cask 5759. Bangelijk!

Bij Diageo maakten we kennis met de Clynelish Distiller’s Edition en de nieuwe Singletons. Daar komen we later zeker op terug, want samples gingen mee naar het Whivie HQ. Bij Filip lieten we ons aangenaam verrassen door de Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Gran Reserva, twee geweldige Laffie (bestaan er andere?) en een heerlijke Caperdonich 19 Year Old 1992 van Berry Bros Rudd. Maar top of the bill was toch de Glenrothes 1978, die binnenkort de hoofdrol zal spelen in één mijn volgende Whisky Ramblings. Wat een whisky!

Na het feliciteren van de winnaars van de Whisky Awards (Whivie eindigde op een verdienstelijke tweede plaats) passeerden we bij Eric Vermeire aan de stand van Gordon Macphail. De Tamdhu 1966 Macphail’s Collection die we daar aan de lippen zetten dook meteen onze top vijf in.

Ondertussen waren onze drams ruimschoots op en werd het tijd om de tent te sluiten. Thuisgekomen deelde ik nog wat Glenrothes 1978 met Niek en Ilse (echt goed spul als je het mij vraagt), maar van de rest van de avond herinner ik me helaas niet zo veel. Enkel dat mijn vrouwtje me op een gegeven moment wakker schudde in de zetel en toefluisterde ‘zou je niet in je bedje kruipen?’. Zo gezegd, zo gedaan.

Hieronder een kort lijstje van de dingen de we geproefd hebben, waarbij de 10 whisky’s in vet de highlights waren voor mij:

Glenturret 36 Year Old 1977/2013 The Nectar of the Daily Drams 48,6%

Mackmyra Bruks Whisky 41,4%

GlenDronach 21 Year Old Parliament

John Paul Classic 55,2%

Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old Platinum

Johnnie Walker Double Black

Glencadam 30 Year Old 1982/2012 Bourbon Cask 729 46%

Glencadam 32 Year Old 1978/2010 Sherry Cask 2332 46%

Bowmore Small Batch Bourbon Cask Matured 40%

Auchentoshan American Oak 40%

Tobermory 15 Year Old 46,3%

Bank Note 5 Year Old Blended

Miltonduff 18 Year Old 1995/2013 AD Rattray bourbon barrel 2591 58,5%

Caol Ila 15 Year Old 1998 Samaroli Cask 12379 50%

Dzama Rhum Blanc 40%

Caol Ila 27 Year Old 1983/2011 Wilson Morgan Cask 2932 53,2%

Glenlivet 36 Year Old 1975/2012 Wilson Morgan Cask 5759 56,2%

Clynelish 15 Year Old 1997/2011 Marsala Finish Wilson Morgan 48%

Caol Ila 18 Year Old 1995/2013 Wilson Morgan Sherry Butt 10028 58,6%

Clynelish 14 Year Old 46%

Clynelish Distiller’s Edition 1997/2012 Cl-Br: 175/7l 46%

Singleton of Dufftown 18 Year Old 40%

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Gran Reserva

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 48%

Laphroaig Triple Wood 48%

North British 2000 Berry Bros Rudd Cask 4314 46%

Caperdonich 19 Year Old 1992 Berry Bros Rudd Cask 121122 55,9%

Goldlys 12 Year Old Distiller’s Range Cask 2615 43%

Strathisla 1989/2011 Scott’s Selection 56,5%

Tamdhu 1966/2003 Gordon Macphail Collection 43%

Arran Millennium Casks 53,5%

Glen Garioch 1986/2011 Release No 11 54,6%

Glenrothes 1978

Uiteraard zullen we ook volgend jaar weer van de partij zijn, traditiegetrouw op zondag.

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