Thursday, February 7, 2013

Intro's and Intrigue

Thursday 31st January saw the first meeting of the Manchester Whisky Club.

We had a strong attendance with the majority of the club's members managing making it to The Lass to sample the 5 drams on offer. These were 5 single malts representing 5 of the Scottish whisky producing regions, the Lowlands, Islands, Highlands, Speyside and Islay. These were kept a secret until the members turned up and saw what was on offer.

At 7.30 the tasting began.

Photo courtesy of Jack Brown
Lowlands - Bladnoch 10 yo

We started off in the Lowlands and to Scotland's southernmost distillery with the Bladnoch 10yo. Bladnoch is only allowed to produce 100,000 litres of the water of life a year so this was selected to give a bit of a change from the usual Lowland suspects such as Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie.

This bottling was matured in Bourbon casks for the 10 year period. This is bottled at 46% and provided a fresh and bright start to the evening.

Andy's tasting notes were:
Nose - Freshly cut hay, malt, golden syrup, elderflower cordial, and pears
Palate - Lovely light sweetness, digestive biscuits, light caramel and vanilla
Finish - Refreshing yet lingered, malty aftermath with subtle underlying hints of the previous vanilla and fruit.

The Islands - Arran 14 yo

Moving on from here we went straight into the next dram and headed across the choppy sea to one of Scotland's many surrounding islands and in this case to one of Scotland's newest distilleries. The Isle of Arran and the Arran 14. This is finished in bourbon and sherry hogsheads for the last 2 years prior to bottling and bottled at 46%

Andy's tasting notes were:
Nose - Oodles of tropical fruits and malt alongside salt and boiled sweets
Palate - Caramel, vanilla extract, greengages and gooseberries alongside more biscuity malt
Finish - Sweet and long with a salty tail

Highlands - Dalwhinnie 1992 Distillers Edition (18yo)

Moving on to the Highlands we tried and tested the Dalwhinnie 1992 Distillers edition (18yo) 43% finished in Olorosso sherry casks. Dalwhinnie is a fully functioning weather station and the distillery manager must take daily recordings of the weather!

Andy's tasting notes were:
Nose - Rich demerera sugar, heather, oak, fresh wood and cinnamon
Palate - More of the oak from the nose, nutmeg and mum's bread and butter pudding
Finish - Quite spicy with dried cranberries and baked apples

Speyside - GlenDronach 15 yo 'Revival'

Now onto the incredible whisky sweetshop that is the region of Speyside. We had the Glendronach 15 'Revival' on offer bottled at 46% and what a dram this is. Matured in Olorosso sherry casks for the full 15 years of maturation this whisky takes on a deep and rich mahogany hue.

Andy's tasting notes were:
Nose -  Heavy sherry, custard, preserved fruits, brasil nuts and christmas pudding
Palate - Brown sugar, sherry, currants, sulatana's, heavy malt, toffee, and clementine
Finish - Long and satisfying with more sherry, and hints of espresso coffee and dark chocolate.

Islay - That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Bowmore Single Cask

We finished with an Islay dram and a rather unusual one at that. This was a single cask Bowmore from Master of Malt's 'That Boutique-y Whisky Co' range. Limited to 260 bottles and bottled at a healthy cask strength of 48.7% this little 50cl beauty went down a storm before it was even tasted as the label was much talked about (see below!) . . This was matured in a sherry cask, although a NAS (no age statement) bottling this is estimated to be over 14 yrs old at least

Andy's tasting notes were:
Nose -  Wow what a beauty! Lovely sweet peat with underlying hints of pine sap and menthol, dried fruits and manuka honey
Palate - Thick mouthfeel, a sweet and seducing peat that perfectly intertwines with each other, citrus peel, honey roasted nuts and sugared Shreddies, heavy wood ever present.
Finish - The wonderfully dry yet sweet smoke comes to the fore with hints of macadamia nuts and apricot jam

I think overall the general consensus was that the Bowmore stole the show with others preferring the fruity Arran and some the other 3 so it was good to see a wide range of tastes and preferences which is what this club is all about.

It was fantastic to finally get the group together and was great to see that everyone enjoyed the drams on offer.
February's meeting will see us looking at 4 of the Highland distillery Tomatin's range

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