iheartwhisky Fudge and Chocolate is 3 Years Old!!

Sooooo…  iheartwhisky is officially three years old (7th April 2020.)

Did you try my truffles… Did my Rene Yell balls of joy have you crying out for ‘more, more, more’… maybe my whisky filled chocolates hit the spot for you? Tell me.

However, though it was quiet, it was another good year and I’ve loved it.

What’s New?

Well as things stand at the moment, not a lot. We are in the midst of COVID-19 and as much as I would love to make whisky fudge and chocolates…none of the ingredients, packaging etc. can be classed as essentials. I know some of you would love some…but be patient. All good things come to those that wait.

Thanks…basically the same as last year

Why? They’ve had my back, they’ve stood bedside me, they’ve encouraged me to be brave and helped me carry on. They’ve seen me sparkle when I start to talk about my passion and not once let me down.

Elton…thanks for listening and for your feedback, and tasting notes and saying way back when to “go for it”.

Sorren…thank you for your support and guidance…advice, humour, and “nom nom it’s all gone !! (oh the Royalties to pay….ha ha ha!!)

Jeannine…thank you for your lovely tweets and your friendship. You’ve given me some wonderful support (again) and I am looking forward to seeing you in the coming months…

Steve Rush too for the retweets of my posts on whisky fudge and chocolates.

Website

I fully admit that I have been a little quiet on the whisky fudge side of life, but sometimes you don’t have control over everything. However I am still here…please keep checking as soon as the world becomes a safer place, I promise to delight your palates.

Until then, please, unless there is no option to stay in for work or whatever, stay inside and be safe x

Lastly, should I have forgotten to thank anyone, accept my apologies.

Smile, and the World Smiles With You… A Little Review of 2019

Smile, and the World Smiles With You…

While I was giving some consideration to the title of this blog, I was sat somewhere very quiet… my thoughts drifting to happy times, the times where a smile dances on my lips, and I feel at home in the thought and recollection of that moment.

Surely we all have those times? I’m blinking sure we need them!!

That’s what counts.

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Whisky Life

If you have seen me out and about, then you know where I have been, and those places have been fun… and thorougly enjoyable (on occasion.)

I just wish some people would get off their bloody high horse’s and be… normal. Normal is good. I soooo love normal people. Better a giggle and a catch up, then being stood thinking “huh, why did I try?” Despite being shy, I will actually speak to strangers, people at bus stops etc., that simple interaction could be the only contact that person has, so kindness should prevail. Always.

I actually wrote something about this earlier in the year, the whisky side of life. You can have a read here: Inside the Bottle: Thinking

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Real Life…

As I and other’s have posted recently, there are more links and numbers in this post by Sorren – ocdwhisky.com there are those who are less fortunate than us, and times when people simply cannot see through the fog… the black dog biting at their ankles. Worries, pressures etc. etc.

These people need our not only support, but that of professionals. There is nothing sadder (or scarier) than seeing a family member or friend so troubled that they are looking for a way out, and when you cannot help them despite trying, you hope the help they need will come swiftly to allow them the strength to go on or the want to live.

Samaritans 116 123

Mind 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

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Highlights

IMG_2109Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Atom Brands for inviting me to be part of the Dram Good Club, the tastings and also the whisky advent calendar.. and my Whisky Santa present, it’s all been utterl-y delicious and utterl-y awesome!! A big hug to the “guv’nor” Dave for being Dave. Also, Emily and Ros too.

Steve Rush The Whisky Wire a huge amount of thanks to you too!! Thanks for allowing me to be part of the online tastings, both Twitter and Instagram… a fantastic way to develop both my knowledge and palate in the fine company of others.

Greg from Great Drams also, the tastings you had were fab too, especially the Dewar’s of Aberfeldy tasting, the 40 year old was delicious!!

Ant and Dec aka Andy and Stu for their humorous comments and general support and loveliness… their podcasts are more than well worth a listen too, even in bed. Ha ha!! Maybe that’s just me…

I have had some lovely distillery visits again in 2019. Having Speyside a stone’s throw away from me is wonderful and I’m very fortunate to be in a position to just get in my car and go… Meeting Rachel Barry, which felt like meeting an old friend while at BenRiach and online support of my blogs and thoughts has been fantastic too!!

Thoughts

I haven’t blogged quite as much as I wanted to, and I still have things to catch up with. That said, the whiskies I have tried, including those from my own collection (if I can call it that?) have been delcious to sit with…even ones I have had for a couple of years.

Some of my favourite tastings & thoughts from the year:

Auchentoshan Distillery Exclusive

Invergordon – 42 Year Old – That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Boutique-y-licious Baby!

The English Whisky Company | Tweet Tasting

Thanks to Dominic Roskrow for agreeing to let me post my responses to the questions he’d asked me, and some lovely comments from Andy Watts –  If You Ask Me…

Glenfarclas 2003 Distillery Exclusive 2019

Bimber Distillery Tweet Tasting

Dumbarton 22 Year Old – That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Three Ships 6 Year Old – Batch 1 – That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Icons of whisky Scotland 2020

So it was a huge surprise to see my name on the shortlist for “Communicator of the Year”!! Believe me, it was also a huge honour and delight to see it there too, thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for me…even though I didn’t win, it’s the taking part that’s important too!! Congratulations of course to the winners!!

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Daydreamer

I know I love to drift off into daydreams, or spend time listening to music while looking through my photostream. Memories can evoke a feeling that gets you through the day (happy days, travel days, sad or lonesome days, whatever you feel days!! ((I’ve said before, you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely, though it’s also true that I like my time alone… there are subtle differences to each.))

It is escapism.

A smile can hide so much, yet a smile can also reveal so much… it can even be about being in the right place at the right time.

I know facing some people and situations this year has left me feeling stronger (about bloody time!!) and bollocks to the rest… I’ve spoken up, which was refreshing.

Sometimes we face hard times, but you can either succumb to them, or let them remind you that you are strong… stronger than you or I might think!!

Whisky in Bottles

I have been really lucky and fortunate to be able to buy some more bottles of whisky…and so much for me not buying any more, at least I’m sure that was what I said in June, July, August…?

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Sweets for My Sweet

Sugar for my honey…

My whisky chocolates (with ample amounts of whisky deliciousness) have been so well received. Even the “Rene Yell” truffles…

Please don’t give up hope of trying them (as explained below, there were some constraints this year) and 2020 is just around the corner, and I am still here!! So keep your eye’s peeled…

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To those that love to say “nom nom, it’s all gone !!” thanks for your custom and support throughout the year. And the feedback too of course.

Friendship

To me, friendship is so important… to be able to have someone who listens to you, and to be able to be there for them also. To have someone to laugh with, be silly with, to honestly be myself with… this is what matters.

So, if you have been there, through the quiet times, the tough times, the smiley and memorable times… thank you. I truly mean that.

Life is full of uncertainty but that should’t ever stop us from trying.

Ever.

A passion for change, a desire for more, a thirst for adventure, sheer determination, faith, call it whatever you need to. This can be all it takes to achieve something that could take your breath away!!

All that is left to say is this, Merry Christmas!! (Okay, maybe a little late… I was writing this on Tuesday morning while multitasking ((believe it or not, I was lost in nice thoughts while writing this.))

I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you health, happiness and prosperity in 2020.

Love, Sarah ♥ x x x 

PS. click on the blue…they are links

PPS. thers’s a little more to read below the photographs

Real Life…If I should Explain?

It has been a funny old year…not so much funny ha ha, more odd and tiring funny. Due to the latter I have been taking action… You see, if you don’t respect yourself, then how can you expect others to?

Maybe I shouldn’t explain, there again, maybe I should…

Some can empathise as to how utterly debilitating this can be (taking its toll on your health for example – perhaps leaving you rundown and all that.) Others wouldn’t know empathy if it smacked them round the face with a wet fish!!!

Believe me, I am always always looking for the good things to come, being positive and upbeat. Being grateful and happy… however, there can be a sadness that breathes down your neck…lurking in the corner, waiting to pounce. Merely being reminded by someone that your lives have been tough the last 13 years can be the last thing you want to hear…

Pardon my French, but I really do wish it would just fuck off !!

A few weeks back we thought we were about to lose Mum, thankfully she has stabilised, but she is still so frail and poorly. You can feel so helpless in that all you can do is hold a hand, stroke her hair and talk to her, and hope she can hear the words of love that are being spoken to her.

It is also sad that I’ve lost contact with some… but that’s life.

Struggles and/or pressure can make us withdraw. Whether intentionally or not, maybe it’s what we need, or it just happens. That space. That time.

If I’ve not said hello, don’t turn your back on me. Whether figuratively or literally…I’ve had that done. It can make you feel less of yourself, if you allow it to. I think it says more about them than it does me… I’m not offended, I’m kinda just saying.

I’ve thought about friends and acquaintances, and those people I would normally see out and about at festivals. If I’ve not liked or commented on things, don’t think it’s because I’m not interested. I am. It’s just the way its been.

In life, we don’t only deal with ourselves, we are there for friends and loved ones. Work can become busy or things can happen, and you might forget about checking timelines or whatever…

But there is still a person there too. Thanks to those that do say hello… etc. Maybe you have to coax people out on occasion…some of you have.

Saying all that, I do hope you’ve had a good year. I hope you’ve been blessed with happiness and good times. I hope you’ve made memories to look back on later.

See y’all out there in 2020!!

A Trip to Speyside…

A Weekend Away

So, I fancied a weekend away, and after I had seen people “raving on” about the Spirit of Speyside I thought I would see what the fuss was all about…I would attend a few events.

Friday 3rd May

A cold but dry start from my house, yet just as I entered Morayshire the weather changed to hail, then as I was about to drop into Duffotwn it started to snow… Well we all know Scotland usually has four seasons in one day, this was starting it off in style!!

First stop was Glen Moray for a hearty breakfast and a dram (plus a tour.) The older gentleman beside me and his companion shared my dram between themselves as I was driving, and they accepted it with gratitude. After purchasing a bottle of whisky I left as the group were heading for their tour…

I then took myself for a little drive to Glenfarclas. This was a whistle-stop drive as I really wanted to get myself the festival bottling…which I managed to do, while I was there I bumped into my whisky brothers, hard to miss as they pulled up next to me in the car park. Yes it was Jon, Tom, Adrian and Steve so I popped into the visitor centre with them and then joined them in Aberlour for a bite of  lunch and a catch up, albeit very briefly. It’s nice to meet good friends… and I think they loved the Bruichladdich Black Art truffles!!

Later that afternoon I went to BenRiach Distillery for the warehouse tasting with Rachel Barrie. What a lovely warm welcome!! It was nice to see Stewart Buchanan too. This tasting was held in Warehouse 13, and while the wind / hail / sleet rattled the roof and attempted to distract us, we sampled whisky!! I’m say sampled…I was driving so they came home with me.

The next day I was up with the larks again… today was Balvenie!! Whoop whoop!

Saturday 4th May

I was met by Charles at Balvenie. A coffee and introductions done (there was me, a man from London, another from Japan, a man, then a father and two sons all from the USA) we went on our tour…

There was nothing on the malting floor, but this allowed us to see the scale of the area. The kiln etc. had a slight warmth in the stones from their much much earlier use.

Then we continued our tour through to Warehouse 24, where I was asked if I’d used a dipping dog before…apparently I looked quite capable. I do think that’s a good thing!

We then had a tasting before heading to one of the private homes to enjoy a three course lunch before it was time to say our farewells and head our separate ways. I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to visit the cooperage this time. I know we had a meal, but I had been looking forward to the cooperage.

Afterwards I went for a walk at Craigellachie bridge and went and found Glenrothes distillery, this has to be done.  And that was that. A quiet and early evening and up early to drive home on the Sunday.

To those that took the time to chat… thank you

 

iheartwhisky Fudge is 2 Years Old!!

Sooooo…  iheartwhisky is officially two years old (7th April 2019.)

It was another good year and I’ve loved it.

Again, I’ve not only been selling to family and friends, but I’ve been invited to festivals again too… and all I can say is thank you all for your custom and continuing support. This always makes the difference!!

What’s New?

I set up a little online shop, and thanks to Jason B Standing for his guidance and assistance with that!! the feedback has been brilliant.

Thanks

However, there are some people I’d like to say thanks to. They’ve had my back, they’ve stood bedside me, they’ve encouraged me to be brave and helped me carry on. They’ve seen me sparkle when I start to talk about my passion and not once let me down.

Elton…thanks for listening and for your feedback, and tasting notes and saying way back when to “go for it”.

Sorren…thank you for your support and guidance…advice, humour, and “nom nom it’s all gone!!

Jeannine…thank you for your lovely tweets and your friendship. You’ve given me some wonderful support (again.)

Geordie still gives his support from across in Canada too. Steve Rush too for the retweets of my posts on whisky fudge.

Website and This Week’s Whisky Fudge

I fully admit that I have been a little quiet on the whisky fudge side of life, but sometimes you don’t have control over everything. However I am still here.

Lastly, should I have forgotten to thank anyone, accept my apologies.

Have You Been to a Whisky Festival Before…?

Have you attended a festival before?

…this was a question that I was asked on Saturday, and I very much feel it was tongue in cheek… It must have been!! I got my own back with a “nah…but I have heard they’re crap!!”

I’m kidding, of course I am…if I was being serious then what in the name of hell was I doing in England??! Spreading the message of whisky fudge of course…

And it was the last one of the year again.. For those of you who do come back and read my blog, or those that know me then you will know that I do tend to travel around the UK attending festivals. Sometimes on that side of the table and more often on this side… this was a this side kinda day.

What did the day bring?

So, this festival was just one session and it was in a different venue to the previous two years, previously it was held in the Council House and this year the BCEC. No grandeur here… But it was all about the whisky after all, and hand delivering some whisky fudge…any excuse.

It was lovely to see some familiar faces and some unexpected faces too… always is. And that’s why I do it.

It was great seeing the familiar whisky lounge posse faces, then David and Wendy from Whiskey Tumblers… if you’ve not had a look at what they do, then try to. They make such lovely gifts for yourself or a loved one. Bumped into No Nonsense Whisky man Vin and had a brief chat and he also gave me a little badge… thanks again.

Who else? Ah yes, Alex from Mackmyra. Always nice to say hello to him. Really enjoyed my dram of the Fjällmark, this was distilled in casks that previously held cloudberry wine… kept meaning to try it in Manchester but ended up speaking to people en route and didn’t quite make it to their table.

It was nice to see Andy Purslow and hand over his whisky fudge order by hand. Joe Holmes was there… he said “I’m sure we’ve met before?” when he saw me coming in, and we had, I think it was at the Newcastle festival in 2017.

I heard something banging…what could it be? It was drawing me in… bang, bang, bang… bang! I managed to follow this sound to the Diageo table where I met the affable Colin Dunn and another familiar face of Sorren (ocdwhisky.)

Do you want to see my party trick?

I fought the urge to go down and audition for Britain’s Got Talent! ha ha… I mean who wants to see my party trick??!

It was lovely catching up with Martin and Anna of course…. great couple. Had a lovely Invergordon from Dean at Murray McDavid.

I spent time chatting to a few people about my fudge, which was fun and nice to do. It’s also lovely to hear people talk about it and overhear mentions of it… it’s these little moments that make me smile. It’s also nice to talk about other people’s talents, just giving others a spot in the limelight.

All too soon (there was only one session) it was time to say bye bye, hugs and bidding friends safe onward journeys it was time to go.

The next morning was kinda odd, caught up with people going to a comic-con. Super Mario and other characters first thing on a Sunday just had me giggling… then at the airport I was treated to a few drams in World Duty Free… yum yum!!

Boarding my plane I had just one question! Is it 2019 yet??