Worldwide Whiskies – The Dram Team

Last night saw a welcome return to The Dram Team twitter tastings. It was definitely a case of “don’t forget your passport” as we embarked on a whistle stop tour while enjoying “Worldwide Whiskies”.

I was sat listening to “Around the World” by Daft Punk as the stewardess told us to put our devices into flight mode.

The flight was fully booked with some familiar passengers as well as our trusty Captain Chris Borrow. So tray tables up and belts fastened we headed for our first destination…to the land down under, Australia.

The first dram was from Starward Whisky. This is a New World Malt Whisky – 43%

The nose was lovely fresh honey and gently spiced & deliciously fragrant. Banana, apples and cream coming through also.

Now the palate – caramel, lovely sweetness, marzipan, quite peppery. The caramel was quite delicious. The finish was quite dry and slightly woody.

We then took flight off to Ireland where Teeling Distillery in Dublin were waiting for us with a small batch Irish Blended Whisky – 46%

The nose offered lots of vanilla and light spices. Quite a creamy nose. Fruity and a drizzle of custard. A smooth mouthfeel. Some spice and a little bitter. Getting some wood. Nice sweetness but not overly so. It finishes as the wood lingers, quite spicy and a tad dry.

Our next destination saw us flying to England (“whoop whoop go England” were my exact words) and we were bound for Norfolk and The English Whisky Co. invited us to try The Norfolk Farmers, Single Grain Whisky – 45%

This was quite a full nose (?) Demerara sugar. Pencil shavings for sure. Muesli and fruit compote. Reminded me of my breakfast in Bristol last month. The palate was quite dry with some cherry & spices. The finish was a little dry too.

Long haul flight to the USA. We were welcomed at F.E.W Spirits with an American Rye Whisky – 46.5%

I’m a hit or a miss with rye. So let’s see…

Nose is spicy and a touch of fresh wood. A sticky light fruitiness. Some chocolate. Initially the nose just didn’t appeal. I kept nosing it and swirling it in my glass but the palate told me what I imagined – it just didn’t sit well with me, there was quite a lot of spice. It’s a pity but I’m sure the other passengers had some different experiences.

Now we were heading off to Sweden. Our Captain told us as we flew at 28,000ft that we would soon be starting our descent. This trip saw us heading for Mackmyra to sample their Svensk Rök a Swedish Single Malt Whisky – 46.1%

The nose offered sweet smoke and hmmm fudge? Gently spiced and fragrant. The palate was quite woody (oaky) peppery too. The smoke from the nose is still there.

The last leg of our journey and we were off to India for a Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky at Dave Worthington’s house. This was a 6 year old whisky – 52.9% and this was also the teaser dram. Namely the sixth dram.

The nose offered a delicious light smokiness…Tudor Smoky Bacon crisps “I’d climb a mountain” and all that… still sweet too. A peppery finish and possibly a larger sample would have been better, but that’s the tease of the sixth dram.

And with that we all decided it was time to collect our duty free and head home. A jovial night with lots of banter and interaction with fellow passengers old and new.

Thanks as ever to Captain Chris and The Dram Team.

If you haven’t tried one of these monthly boxes, then please do try. I’ve had some wonderful whisky moments because of them 🙂

Marie Curie Scotland & Bruichladdich Charity Whisky Fudge

From Bruichladdich’s website “There can be few more worthwhile causes than the wonderful nurses at Marie Curie. In their own words… “We’re here for people living with any terminal illness, and their families. We offer expert care, guidance and support to help them get the most from the time they have left.”

Team Bruichladdich will be riding the mighty Etape Caledonia on Sunday 21st May to support Marie Curie – and they are raising money by offering bottles from their personal collections for auction.  All the funds raised from the bids will be donated to Marie Curie. https://www.bruichladdich.com/article/whisky-auction-marie-curie

ocdwhisky suggested that I could put my whisky fudge skills to good use and make some fudge to help this charity help others. And so after contacting the wonderful folks at Bruichladdich I am making fudge with Port Charlotte Scottish Barley. The boxes will be the 200g in weight and all profits will be going to @mariecurieSCO

Hopefully orders will be posted in the next couple of weeks.

As at publishing this updated blog I have now presold 22 of 20 boxes. So a huge amount of thanks to those who got in touch.

I normally charge £5 per box, but I hope you will dig a little deeper…

INGREDIENTS: Golden Caster Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Milk (Whole Milk and Sugar), Butter (from Milk and Salt) Whisky

For Allergens see ingredients in bold

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Fudge will be sold in ballotin boxes and packed and sent via Royal Mail.

The fudge should be kept at an ambient temperature.

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Anyone for Fudge?

I will be making my next order of fresh fudge on Friday, 19th May and will post them out in the afternoon. So if the Royal Mail behave themselves, you’ll have it on Saturday.

I’ll be rotating some of the whiskies I use on a fortnightly basis as I will be making fudge every second Thursday (except holiday time.)

Whisky choices will be:

Caol Ila 12 year old

Glen Moray Elgin Classic – Sherry Cask Finish

Costs are £5.00 per 200g box, plus p+p (first two boxes @ £3.40)

Important Information

INGREDIENTS: Golden Caster Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Milk (Whole Milk and Sugar), Butter (from Milk and Salt) Whisky

For Allergens see ingredients in bold

———–

Fudge will be sold in ballotin boxes and packed and sent via Royal Mail.

The fudge should be kept at an ambient temperature.

Interested? DM me on Twitter or email me sarah@iheartwhisky.co.uk

Thanks, Sarah 🙂

 

Tamdhu Tasting

I’d buggered my dates up on this one and ended up at The Whisky Lounge Bristol.. naughty me. Saying that I had a wonderful time there. And I apologised for my silly mix up too.

But tonight I’ll sit with these four bottles from Tamdhu, and I have really been looking forward to trying them.

I’m trying:

Tamdhu New Spirit 69.7%

Tamdhu 10 year old 40%

Tamdhu Limited Edition 46%

Tamdhu Batch Strength 58.5%

Tamdhu New Spirit 69.7%

So here I go, the New Spirit. Fresh with a fruity nose. Smells like fresh baked bread. Quite malty. A hint of banana? And a touch of vanilla.

Palate is quite obviously powerful. Full of red fruit and sugars. Like a soft berry compote. Quite malty. With a warming finish with a touch of oak.

Tamdhu 10 year old 40%

The first thing I notice is a gentle vanilla and it gives a gentle sprinkling of cinnamon and a creaminess. A little caramel with some delicious oak.

Very smooth on the palate with cinnamon and cream, vanilla and a touch of ginger perhaps. There’s a lovely sweetness there with sherry and that delicious woody flavour.

Lovely long finish a bit dry but still very pleasant. With some sweetness lingering.

Tamdhu Limited Edition 46%

I love the rich colour of this. It’s got a rich Christmas cake nose. Some vanilla and lovely spices and that sherry. A bit of oak and some demerara sugar.

Again a delicious smooth mouth feel. It delivers a delightful burst of sherry and that lovely richness which the nose promised. A touch of chocolate? and maybe a sprinkling of spice and oak.

The finish, warming with a slight dryness but again the wood comes through.

Tamdhu Batch Strength 58.5%

Definitely getting some bread on the nose. And some cinnamon and spice. A little vanilla but a full sumptuous offering. It’s a bit like a bar of Mr Toms. Sherry really came to the fore as I added some water.

A lovely richness on the palate. Sweet sticky fruit with a touch of pepper and the sherry tastes wonderful. I like the oak.

Deliciously slightly tingly (spicy) but warm finish which mingles with the vanilla.

I was chatting to a friend who said that M&S have the 12 year old, so this might be something to explore at some point too.

Thank you Steve, and thank you Tamdhu.

Play Your Drams Right The Dram Team

The letter reads “Greetings Dearest Dram-Teamer!

Welcome to our whisky-based gameshow-in-a-box, “Play your drams right”…our chance to go “Highland or Lowland”

So I decided to try this box of delights from Douglas Laing to Ailsa Bay.

Dear reader please note, these are my thoughts on the drams.

First card picked and it’s a…

Douglas Laing – Timorous Beastie Highland Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 46.8%

Light straw colour

Sherry on the nose. Sugar and fudge with a  slightly creamy note. Floral honey. Some spice sprinkled on top.

Smooth on the mouth. A slight bitter cocoa. But with fruit and spices and lovely vanilla just accompanying the other flavours.

Medium finish but with a lovely oak and a gentle spice just warming as it leaves.

Next another

Douglas Laing – The Epicurean Lowland Blended Scotch Whisky 46.2%

Very light in colour

The nose offers light fragrant sweetness. Vanilla and fresh cut grass. Orange freshness.

Another smooth sip with a bit of a bite. Peaches and burnt sugar adding a depth to it. Spicy warmth.

Warm finish with burnt sugar and a hint of grass once more.

Now to the wonderful tease to our senses that is the sixth dram…

Let’s go low again.

Auchentoshan 21 years old Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 43%

Deep golden colour

Rich honey first greets the senses, along with vanilla. That gorgeous sweetness just draws you in. There’s a certain woodiness to it.

Note: to The Dram Team you really do tease us with the sixth dram 🙂

The palate is oh so smooth and delicately invites you to have another sip. The wood is still there and comes through as oak. And honey. There’s chocolate and sweetness and it’s light and mmmm.

Delicious finish that just echoes the flavours you’ve already savoured. It’s smooth, delightful and ever so easy to enjoy.

Now a bit closer to home with…

GlenGarioch – Founder’s Reserve Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 48%

I did have a little giggle at the “Glen Girrie” rather than “Glen Garry-Och” though I’m sure the distillery is used to many a mispronunciation 🙂

Golden in colour

The nose is deliciously soft fruity with vanilla and light spices. Crunchy green apples and a subtle touch of orange.

Quite a rich mouthfeel. Oak is followed by apple and a bit of nutmeg as spice just makes you gently suck your cheeks in. A slight tartness to it. The vanilla lingers.

Finish has that touch of oak and the gentle spice again just leaving a certain warmth.

AnCnoc 18 years old – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 46%

Rich copper colour

Lovely vanilla and butterscotch. A touch of ginger and oak.

Creamy caramel and ginger with some cloves. Honey richness, fruity with a touch of lemon.

The finish gives black pepper, yet still retains that fruitiness.

Ailsa Bay – Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 48.9%

Another golden dram

Woah smokiness… but sweet & creamy. Warm leather and that unmissable smoke. Another moment passes and smoky bacon crisps creep out. There’s definitely a sweetness though.

Initially sweet on the tongue and delicately so with soft smoke and a real warmth and a slight kick just to keep you focused.

A long sweet finish with a prickly smoke remaining.

Another box of delights and some hope of a Twitter tasting on the cards?

Slàinte

Bristol Whisky Festival

Saturday 29th April saw me attending the Bristol Whisky Festival.

I had travelled down the day before to stay with Jo for the evening. An adventurous journey that saw me spending some time in Cheltenham (I’ll get the pronunciation correct at some point) where I took myself off to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Many giggles from me at the double entendres. After which I was off to meet the lovely Jo and her hubby.

Saturday saw us up and dressed and off to Brizzle (get me.)

The venue was a hall, the name of which is causing much consternation in the local area.

Standing in the queue I was greeted by a fellow tweeter and eventually worked out who they were.

So glass, pipette and tokens in hand it was upstairs to get cracking. First stop was to see the lovely Dave from That Boutique-y Whisky Company and get my first dram too.

After saying hello to Dave it was nice to see some more friendly faces, the ever so humorous Colin Dunn and his megaphone adding additional comments to Eddie’s announcements.

I must say this festival was more about mingling and chatting this time. Met some fellow tweeters namely Adrian and Jon. Then Rob. Who else? Said hello and a brief chat with Gina 🙂 then a chat with Amanda and Liz.

Then out for lunch with some folks from the Stroud Whisky Club.

After coming back I finally spoke to a couple from Newcastle who I’d first spotted at Birmingham last year (eyeing my Glen Moray bag) and then Newcastle and now Bristol. So at least I now know Nicky and John and I’m sure I’ll see them both again. Had a nice Kilkerran from Grant and later bagged a few wee samples for a bit of experimenting…

Whilst stood at TBWC stand I was approached by the lovely Chris of the Dram Team. A great chat and finally a chance to put a face to a name…but forgot to thank him for his funny messages on the monthly box cards…so thank you. They are most welcome 🙂

A big thank you to everyone I spoke to for making me feel so welcome. Thanks for the laughs and conversations and who knows, you might see me soon!

Sarah

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Glenfiddich #01 IPA Experiment Twitter Tasting

Last night saw us taking part in the Glenfiddich Experimental IPA #01 tasting on Twitter. This is a Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky which was finished off for 3 months in casks that formerly held IPA. The whisky is 43% abv. Also accompanying the whisky was a bottle of Brew 2. This was in fact the IPA which is used to season the casks for the whiskies.

The whisky itself had a lovely golden colour with fresh fruit and a delicately floral note.

Juicy apples and pear with vanilla, and this felt smooth in the mouth. Having poured some into a fresh glass for the serve I was rewarded with some fresh scents of orange and honey, and along with it the Challenger hops started to come through.

On the palate there was ginger and caramel with honey. Touches of spice with hops and the citrus fruit with some oak from the casks.

We then moved on to Brew Two. This was the IPA that was developed and brewed to season the oak casks. This had a distinct orange colour which I wasn’t expecting. Not sure why.

The nose was lemon and hops (obviously) but it was bitter. I could definitely taste those flavours in the whisky albeit to a lesser extent.

Someome asked if I was a beer drinker. This gave me a “been there, done that, bought the t… CAMRA badge and won the bar runner” moment. So yes, I’ve been a beer / real ale drinker. From Bishop’s Finger to Wobbly Bob, Fraoch and even sampling some brews from the “new kids on the block” type breweries, but guess my palate has changed as I just don’t drink them anymore.

Anyway, I digress, this IPA just wasn’t for me. But it told a story.

Now was the time to unleash the blood orange peel from its packet and gently coat the rim of a glass with its flavour before giving it a final twist as it met the IPA whisky and some ice…

I think I finished by saying it was an interesting opportunity to try something different. The IPA explained the tastes in the whisky and the serve highlighted the tastes.

The only whisky serves / cocktails I’ve enjoyed thus far are The Whiskey Jar Manchester G&T which starts off having the glass laced with Laphroaig 10 and the Big Peat Smoky Sour.

Thanks as always to Steve from @thewhiskywire for the opportunity.