Heaven Hill UK Tweet Tasting

On the 4th July myself and a host of other tweeters joined together for an evening of bourbon from Heaven Hill UK. hmm just realised the # I used read #HeaveHillUK…D’oh missing the N!

First to sample was Evan Williams Extra Aged, the nose gave rich sweet honey and caramel yet slightly minty, probably like Pacers if you’re of that generation?! Sweet hint of vanilla and a dash of oak and banana. Palate is quite punchy, caramel, burnt sugar and that minty-ness remains with some spices too. Dry and bitter finish.

Next to try was the Old Fitzgerald Larceny, toffee and fresh baked bread, caramel, vanilla and soft sugar. A touch of cinnamon. On the palate, sweet and a tad doughy a little peppery and some wood too, quite dry on the finish.

Now to the Bernheim Original. Honey and freshly made buttered popcorn / buttered white toast. Sweetex. Sweet and inviting on the nose with a touch of vanilla and a drizzle of honey and maybe a little fudge (it worked well in fudge too.)  Lovely palate sweet and caramel / toffee coming through.

And last but not least the Rittenhouse. The nose delivers honey and a touch of oak, slightly fresh note too. Palate spicy and sweet and a bit tingly. Some delicious bitterness though.

My favourites on the evening were Larceny and the Bernheim. Having just sat with them again, I dare say I enjoyed the Rittenhouse too.

Thanks to Steve, and Heaven Hill UK for the chance to take part and for the samples.

Sarah

 

 

 

The Balvenie Tweet Tasting – The Craftsmen’s Dinner

Imagine the excitement of knowing you are going to participate in The Balvenie twitter tasting, and then the rush of excitement as a big parcel marked “fragile” arrives and you open it up and you are greeted by The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year old, the 14 year old Caribbean Cask and the 17 year old DoubleWood… these are accompanied by a jar of honey from Bermondsey Street Bees and cheese washed with Balvenie from Wildes Cheese and lastly chocolate from Pump Street Chocolate.

So the evening of the 7th June was here and we had all unwrapped our delicious bounty and with greetings said we set about a delicious tasting. The tasting was to celebrate The Craftsmen’s Dinner Series with Michel Roux Jnr.

The first dram of the evening was the DoubleWood 12 year old, this is a whisky that I have most certainly enjoyed for a few years. The nose delivers gorgeous honey and vanilla, the palate is smooth and delicious with delicate cinnamon and that perfect sweetness and a lovely finish. Just hitting the spot. This was paired with Bermondsey Bees honey which really brought out the sherry and some wood too.

Next was the Caribbean Cask which is a 14 year old. I have liked this for a number of years. You know you sometimes have a recollection of a time and place where a whisky first touched your lips? I do. This was on a little trip I took and while at dinner at the Angel’s Share in Edinburgh, where sadly my Caeser salad didn’t live up to their standards, and as an apology I was handed the whisky menu…and I chose the Caribbean Cask. So little old me and a fire place enjoyed a bit of quiet time together. I think the same now as I did then, a pleasant nose with oak and vanilla and lovely sweetness. The palate delivers some more lovely oak and sweetness with some caramel and a lovely finish too. This was paired with Wildes Cheese that had been washed with The Balvenie whisky. A lovely smooth cheese with a little mustiness and a slight slight tart note which did bring out the sweetness of the whisky. Lovely cheese indeed!

The final whisky of the evening was the 17 year old DoubleWood. Gorgeous honey and vanilla greet your senses with a delicious oak and fruitiness, the plate is smooth with a slight spicy warmth with some cinnamon sprinkles and the vanilla is there and that reassuring oak. I do like wood. This was paired with the chocolate from Pump Street. It intensified the fruity spices and the honey for me. Likewise the whisky brought out the deep flavours of the chocolate.

So, the night had drawn to a close and with thanks given and favourites noted it was time to bid all a fond farewell.

Apology time…I’m not sure what happened on Twitter that evening, the wrong hashtag or gremlins in the works, but it had seemed a tad quiet. Though I was able to see the feed on my TL. So I’m glad I had the chance to do it all over again this evening. A delicious treat for one.

A huge amount of thanks and gratitude to Steve @thewhiskywire, Alwynne @themisswhisky and @balvenieuk for a truly fab evening.

Now it’s time to book my tour there 🙂

Slàinte

Loch Lomond Tweet Tasting

On the 31st May I had the absolute pleasure of taking part in the Loch Lomond Tweet Tasting with Steve Rush of the The Whisky Wire. This included three Loch Lomond whiskies, and two Glen Scotia. Since I hadn’t tried any whiskies from either distillery before, this was going to be another journey of discovery…

The first whisky of the evening was the Loch Lomond Inchmurrin, this is a 12 year old whisky. The nose was lovely and fresh, with cream and caramel and a softness about it. Fresh cut grass, and lovely fresh fudge. The palate delivered maltiness and and a lovely fruitiness, with a little pear and a sprinkling of pepper. I got a little saltiness too, yet this wasn’t at all unpleasant.

Next we moved on to the Loch Lomond 12 year old which presented me with ginger and vanilla and a lot of sweetness on the nose. Lovely caramel and fresh green apples and maybe a malted milk biscuit. When I had a sip I thought it was lovely a rich, smooth and fruity, with the malt there again. Citrus fruits, lemon and a little orange with some vanilla too. A nice finish too.

The final Loch Lomond of the evening was to be the Inchmoan, another 12 year old, yet this time a peated whisky. A quite savoury nose with a not too fierce peatiness to it, yet accompanied by delicious vanilla and burnt sugar too perhaps. Again a lovely smooth mouthfeel lovely peat and a lot of sweetness, yet it has that lovely savouriness also with a spice and some apple.

We then took a look at the Glen Scotia malts, this was the 16 year old. Fudge, sweet vanilla (morello cherry too?) and a rather inviting floral freshness…

Again, a delightfully smooth mouthfeel, sweet vanilla and fudge, a bit of orange and a definite delicious richness. I had previously written that it had a little tobacco at the end too.

Now on the to final dram of the evening and the Glen Scotia 25 year old. This one had me a little lost for words… yeah, me 🙂

Lovely, fresh, floral and oh so appealing… it gave me a certain musky note which just drew me in, and upon revisiting it this evening a lovely beach walk on a summers afternoon comes to mind. There is just something about this. A lovely rich palate of sweet vanilla and lovely caramel and fruit. A real delight!

So a huge thanks to Steve and the distilleries for another wonderful journey in whisky.

Slàinte

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.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company – Twitter Tasting

Wednesday 15th March was a night that so many had been waiting for… including me.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s twitter tasting with Steve Rush aka The Whisky Wire and the man of the moment Dave Worthington from the wonderfully aforementioned whisky company.

I had my first delicious encounter with TBWC during the Yorkshire Whisky Festival in York last September (2016), and to say I was smitten would be putting it mildly… so when this tasting was announced I was hoping it would be a dram come true. I wonder how many of us applied and then waited expectantly for the message to say we had been chosen to participate?

Then the moment of jubilation after weeks of having lots of bits and bobs crossed, just hoping…

With package in hand, and unwrapped, I eagerly opened the box and carefully unknotted the twine from the cards and smiled when I saw what we were going to try! I was sure that this was indeed about to be a boutique-y-licious evening.

My thoughts on these:

Loch Lomond 19 year old – Batch 3 – Single Grain Scotch Whisky – 49.7% abv

Lovely rich golden colour, the nose was vanilla and fudge accompanied by milk chocolate buttons and pineapple cubes just jostling about after a naughty bag of pick and mix when you couldn’t quite choose chocolate over sugar so went for both. Followed by a lovely mocha.

The palate was smooth, with rum and raisin ice-cream melting on a warm fruity bun that had some ginger sprinkled in, so there was just a touch of taste. Then you get to finish that mocha but you just get that last bit of bitter cocoa at that’s not quite stirred in. I thought this had a warm lengthy finish with just a bit of fruit rind coming in.

Secret Distillery #2 15 year old – Batch 2 – Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 51% abv

This had a lovely pinky colour to it…and okay, I will admit it now…I think the secret distillery was named last night, so if you read this blog and know which one it is, then please let me know!

Rich sticky fruit buns and the thought that “a minute on the lips is some extra curves for the hips”, my initial thought was “a waft of hops in 1976 in Gorgie during a warm summers day’ (that my friends is another story) I think this was then better described as malted loaf… I think I got something savoury just floating by, but couldn’t quite pin it down. There was light spices and the cinnamon from the bun – oh the calories 😉 some condensed milk too!

The palate continued with that sweet condensed milk, and fruitiness and something a tad bitter like Bourneville chocolate, this wasn’t off-putting , it was just there a moment, this along with cinnamon again and summer fruits.

This had a creamy finish to it.

Next up and something that really made me smile was the Mortlach… I had a MM (Mortlach Moment) last year that well, left me in a funny way, and having not managed to buy a bottle of the Murray McDavid Mortlach 21 year old 1994 Mission Gold  (apart from a sample) this hopefully would peek my interest again…

Mortlach 18 year old – Batch 3 – Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 48.9%

Lovely colour that just had me wanting to pick it up and begin to nose it. My initial thought was newly applied nail varnish, not a negative, just a comment (I dare say this could have had a little more time to open) There was sherbet lemons and some vanilla, and a maltiness that just sat well with the lovely perfume on the senses, plus a side of maple bacon.

The palate had a lovely rich mouthfeel, chocolate and rich caramel with spice meeting oak with a sprinkle of nutmeg and vanilla, an odd bitterness in a good way, and the finish was met with that same oak just carrying through.

Glenrothes 25 year old – Batch 3 – Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 49.7%

Ah, another one with which I have been lost in thought… I know it won’t be the same, but the anticipation can be a wonderful thing and besides which, remembering a whisky that you were lost in is a nice thing to recall..

A light amber gold colour. Fresh and creamy, and a little bit dreamy. A little crisp – was that some ginger? There was definitely some peach, and it was deliciously floral and pleasantly enticing. Got a squeeze of warm and comfortable leather, and some freshly sawn wood.

Hmm the palate, boutique-y-liciousness… chocolate and creamy peaches and drizzled creamy white milky bar and I wrote “just there”.

The finish was warm and yummy and a touch of oak and just darn good!

Now who didn’t love a bit of Father Ted? “honestly the money was just resting in my account”… Kick Bishop Brennan up the arse! Sampras the rabbit, and the unforgettable “My Lovely Horse”… the last dram of the night, bring on the horse and an extra helping of sugar lumps.

Irish Single Malt #1 24 year old – Batch 1 – Single Malt Irish Whisky

A lovely colour and and eagerness to try this! It was fresh with childhood sweets all mingling together, chupa chups (gotta love a lolly) some juicy apple just leaving a dribble on your lip and some passion fruit. Barley sugar sticks on Derwentwater (last place I had one in October.)

The palate was bitter lemon in a good way, bitter but delicious. A drop of honey, and the passion fruit, and creamy and fruity and increasingly more-ish. The finish was plums and cream and rich and hmm. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this, but it was very interesting.

And then there were none.

So what is left to say? All I can say is a massive thanks to Steve, and That Boutique-y Whisky Company and of course, Dave. And everyone else, great banter and some smiles 🙂