Paul John Whisky – Cask #1444

Last Saturday I was down in the rather beautiful Manchester Town Hall for The Whisky Lounge festival.

As it was getting very close to my time to rush off to the airport (boo!!) and so my final dram, I thought it would be nice to finish with the Classic. So I headed to the Paul John table to ask for sample (my bottle at home is still closed.) As it happened I was given a rather lovely dram from Craig instead.

This was the Paul John Cask #1444 this is a single cask – 59.7%

So I headed to one of the link bridges. Quiet and away from the crowds (it was a busy session) I could enjoy what was in my glass.

The nose offered lots of malty scents and barley. Hints of vanilla and ripe fruit. It was a fragrant sweet nose mingling with malted biscuits. Delicious honey sweetness  (in a place surrounded by images of worker bees seemed fitting.) Those lovely spices were really drawing me in, with a subtle herb influence too. After a while I got the most delicate hint of parma violets (wasn’t going to say that – but I did.)

A lot of spice initially greets your tastebuds. Oak and malt again. The woody hints are pleasant on the palate. Fruity sweetness and that soft herbaliness.. Malted biscuits. Full and smooth delicious mouthfeel coats the mouth.

The spice remains on the palate. It’s just toying with your tastebuds. A long finish with that delicious oakiness resting nicely with the remaining delicate spices.

Then it was time for an all too brief “see you later”…

As I was leaving I left some of my fudge with Sorren & Craig at the Paul John table, grabbed my bags and I was gone…

Thanks for the opportunity of trying this Craig.



Edinburgh Whisky Festival


Alternative title being “the other side of the table”…

I was invited to the Whisky Lounge Edinburgh by Amanda & Eddie to sell my fudge…so after making it I packed my lovely Balvenie hamper and Glen Moray bag and headed for Edinburgh on what was to be a swelteringly hot day.

I arrived at the really impressive Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. A friendly face greeted me, this was of course Mr Boutique-y Whisky the lovely Dave. So a quick hug and a hello and I went to pop my bags on my table. I saw Amanda who showed me where I could leave my case for the day, then after getting some directions my next port of call was a wee whisky shop on Rose St. And who would I find there? Well this would be Tom Thomson. A blogger and friend who I have tweeted with for 5 years or so, so finally I’d be able to say “hello”. A warm welcome greeted me as well as a rather delicious sample of a 25 year old Bunnahabhain. Lovely sweet caramel and toffee and then a deliciously smoky palate 🙂 whilst I was in the door went, and in walked Dave McKinnon and his stepson Graeme. Another hello, a hug goodbye to Tom and time to race back for the festival.

It was a wonderfully amusing day with lots of familiar faces, across from me was Paul Dempsey from Spey Single Malt and yes I got a hug… and amongst the other wonderful people I met was the lovely Justine Hazelhurst (Kask Whisky) and we have a few wee chats, and I might pop down for one of her events… Roy from Aqvavitae came past and said hello… I was on a stand next to a lovely pie maker from Mussleburgh whose banter was most welcome. I also met the lovely Whisky’n’Whiskers and her sister, again a lovely chat. David from Scotland Spirit spotted me and said hello… between times I was selling my fudge and it really was well received.  I looked across to my left and saw a familiar Tube Map and decided to go and have a look and met Blair Bowman and it was fantastic to say “thanks for signing my book “For Smiley” and to introduce myself.IMG_5650.JPG

Some were surprised there were a few choices of whiskies in the fudge and as ever the fudges I brought hit the spot. The Glen Moray fudge was extremely well received, as was the GlenDronach and the Caol Ila 12.

The wonderful and energetic Whisky Lounge – Eddie, Amanda and team were always on the go, and their passion and enthusiasm is evident amongst all of them. So refreshing to see!

Highlights of the day? I had a couple of men shouting to me in the street “Iove your fudge”, and the gentleman towards the end of the night who sampled a piece and declared “I love you – I’ll come back” and he did. And the old gentleman Dave who wanted to take my photo ha ha and then asked what I was selling and after sampling a piece went happily away with a box for himself. I sold most of the boxes full price but as the evening drew to a close I managed to sell the rest a little cheaper.

Banter, fun and laughter is the key to life…like meeting an old friend Rob (Bruce) It was so lovely to see him and catch up. And the lovely ambassadors from Fentimans, Mackmyra UK, etc. etc. Their love of their jobs and their humour is wonderful to see. And lastly the end of evening drinks.

So thank you everyone. A brilliant day and a fun evening. Truly a day of smiles, hugs and aching cheeks (upper.) And of course a few delicious drams…

Sarah x






Whisky Fudge

On the June 17th I’ll have a large box or hamper with 30 boxes of whisky fudge and heading along to The Whisky Lounge festival in Edinburgh. A thrill to have been invited, and another opportunity to meet some amazing whisky folks!

I’ll be taking along a few favourites, Glen Moray Elgin Classic Sherry Cask finish, Caol Ila 12 and lastly GlenDronach Batch 5 fudge…so if you’re popping along do say hello and feel free to buy a box.

See you then!


Newcastle Whisky Festival

Last Friday morning with bags packed, a couple of whisky samples and whisky fudge I boarded the train to Newcastle.

With a book in front of me I sat and planned a little sample session and note taking of my Boutique-y Whisky Carsebridge sample, maybe an hour or so into my trip. Earphones in.. then came the message over the tannoy “blah, blah, DRY TRAIN, blah blah, NO ALCOHOL till after Newcastle!!”

Well my little bag of goodies wasn’t helping as the aroma of Paul John “Edited” and GlenDronach “batch 5” fudge teased me with their delicious aroma…the man opposite did say that had I shared my samples he wouldn’t have told anyone. Yet, the thought of being met at the station by BTP most definitely put paid to that plan. So I sat with The Angels’ Share by James Markert (good read) and let the miles slip by.

So I arrived in Newcastle. I’d been trying to recall how often I must have visited as a child, as I’m from Middlesbrough (smoggy – in case no one got that yet..) but having left the area at 10 years of age, a lot has changed.

Checked into the hotel. Changed rooms. Chilled, showered and off I went to the evening session.

So here I was, festival number three. Wristband on, glass, pipette, and tokens in hand I went in.

First of all I said hello to and dropped off some fudge with the ladies from Angel’s Share Glass – they had the GlenDronach and then later I handed the Paul John “Edited” to Sorren and Craig, seemed fitting 🙂

I went and said hello to the wonderful Boutique-y Dave and had a very warm welcome from him. It was also nice meeting Joe from Twitter and Paul from Speyside Distillers. Then I went to see Colin Dunn (lovely funny man) and David from Spirit Scotland and the man who poured me my first festival dram in York, the delicious BenRinnes 23 year old. It was nice having a chat and a laugh, and making them laugh at my ever so well thought out blog “ILOVEWHISKY” well it says it all 🙂

Said hello to the Paul John men and their wonderful array of whiskies and delivered the ugly duckling fudge that was in fact a swan with its slightly smoky finish.

It was also nice speaking to the lovely Gina as I escaped the older gentlemen admirers. Ed was lovely and thankfully a) not 30 years younger and b) not single.

So, I tried a few drams on my travels round, from Angels’ nectar (thanks Karen) very smooth and an easy drinker (the whisky) to the Quiet Man, also very smooth and although perhaps not for me, still a nice whisky. I had Talisker, Lagavulin, Paul John Bold, Peated, probably a #1906, some Mackmyra, TBWC, Aberlour A’bunadh and possibly (definitely) a couple more on my way in and out of the gathering. I also had some rather scrummy chicken curry and chips.

It was a lovely evening and then I headed back to my digs.

Day 2 was to come…

This was the Saturday session, big brekky time and off I went, with my luggage in tow. It was nice to pop back in and revisit some more whiskies, I had the lovely Caledonian from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, stopped by to say hello to Colin and David who thought I looked bright eyed and energised I then went off for one final dram as the place was absolutely packed.

So final delicious dram poured, fudge and business card handed over with a few remaining tokens and and all too brief farewell, I was gone.

But I shall return…