If Someone Had Told Me….

back in January 2016 year that I’d be off on my travels sampling whiskies and blogging I’d have laughed.

But here I am and yes I’m doing that.

Someone asked the question of what were memorable drams of 2016 and it made me think, because there have been a few I have sampled, more to come (oh hell yeah) and some I just wish I could get my eager lips and hands on…. And what else has been happening?

New Year 2016 and I was seeing it in with a small bottle of Moët, and then me and the Bruichladdich Organic Scottish Barley sat and had a little think about things.

During the year I have had the absolute pleasure of visiting some truly wonderful distilleries – Glenfarclas being top of the list, a warm welcome and some great humour, free sweeties and a kind handshake.

This was / is closely followed by Glen Moray, that was really interesting and informative, again with down to earth people ((and a couple of additional samples purely by accident – a good oops!) and the rather happy older lady on the tour, we even shared a taxi afterwards)) and yes I will go back there too. This is what makes it all the more special I feel, that when you are on a tour that you feel like you are wanted there. Whether the distillery is in production or not!

Benromach was very interesting, being there while the malt was being delivered and seeing some casks being filled. Then Glen Garioch, Glenfiddich, The Edradour, Cardhu, Royal Lochnagar, The Glenlivet and last and by no means least the Lakes Distillery.

Then the two Whisky Lounge festivals I have been to, namely York and Birmingham. It was all a bit “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” to get there, but I got there and learnt that you can attend such events and a) not get absolutely ratted b) sample some absolutely wonderful whiskies c) meet some lovely people, d) don’t panic if the train home is delayed – full fare refunds equal funds for future events 😉 – Brum was the most daunting as I had never been there before (big city) apart from passing through it once on a coach. But I survived on some new discoveries, hearty conversation, oddly enough a couple of hugs and forehead kisses and a lovely discount on a whisky tumbler silver cup… (a kind offer from the maker.) York was the more memorable though as it was my first time (the featured image is the view over the race course from the Ebor stand at the end of the day.)

Then some tastings with the lovely Dram Team – great banter, great company and a few absolute delights amongst the samples. I have also been lucky enough to have been chosen by the Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire to sample the Rebel Yell bourbons, and I hope for some more opportunities in the future.

So my memorable whiskies of 2016…

Murray McDavid – Mortlach 21 year old – this had me saying “oh hello…” yes it had me lost for words, taking me somewhere nice where I didn’t want to come back from. It was so beautifully rich and inviting.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company – Tobermory 21 year old (cask strength) – “someone cupping your cheeks while giving you a gentle kiss”. Cocoa butter and milky bar followed by warm spices and chocolate on the palate, warming and oaky.

Benrinnes 23 year old sherry cask – a beautifully heavily sherried SMW, so full of flavour and warmth. Another delight!

Glen Moray 1994 – Sat in a cottage in the Lakes on a cold October evening in front of a fire I had this sample…a beautifully rich and delightful dram. The succulent sherry on the nose, a hint of tobacco and invitingly decadent. And then that palate which you simply have to savour…whilst smiling.

All in all a wonderful mixture of memories, and thanks to all of you that were a part of this year.

SS

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