Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Manchester Whisky Club Christmas Party 2016

There was plenty of whisky.
Another successful year of Manchester Whisky Club concluded last Thursday with our annual Christmas party. As is now traditional, all of the bottles sampled at tastings throughout the year were brought back for everyone to try again amid a general atmosphere of festive cheer.

The homemade Laphroaig-infused tablet.
We had 28 members in attendance, who also got to pick from a cracking buffet spread. Perhaps most excitingly, this included an incredible array of homemade sausage rolls, cakes and much else besides, including TheGreedyGirl's famous Laphroaig tablet.

We didn't quite manage to get through all the food, so the lucky drinkers downstairs at the Briton's Protection got an unexpected snack at the end of their evenings, too.

There was one new dram for everyone to try on the way in. And that turned out to be the extremely pleasant 28yo Glen Marnoch, a sherried Speyside available in Aldi this Christmas. An absolute steal at £40 or so, if you're lucky enough to to find one still on the shelves, or perhaps hidden behind the stack of leftover decorations.

It's certainly far superior than the bottle of Lidl 'Highland Black' from our blind supermarket tasting, which resurfaced only to spend the night looking rather unloved in the middle of one of the tables, the unfortunately unwanted ghost of Christmas past.

Exactly where 'Glen Marnoch' is isn't clear. It's not a real place, just a brand name Aldi uses for its assorted whiskies. But it had the Christmas cake and icing sugar taste of a Glenfarclas, or something along those lines.

Our favourite bottles of the year.
In past years we've done a draw for our favourite bottles of the year, so everyone could go home with the remains of something good.

But with consistently high attendance at the tastings during 2016, many of the bottles only had a little left, so instead we decided to simply keep the most popular drams back initially before opening things up to more of a free-for-all as the night went on.

Anyone for Cadenhead's?
And that really does underline how successful the club has been during its fourth year.  The number of members at each tasting has regularly been in the mid to high 20s, and we've welcomed a considerable number of new ones from the waiting list during 2016.

Particular thanks for this are due not only to those new faces for making such enthusiastic contributions to the club but also to the committee - Martin, Matthew, Stina and Tom - for putting in the time and effort to build on Andy's hard work and keep the club going in good order and constantly finding some imaginative and interesting whiskies for us to try.

Thanks also once again to all at the Briton's Protection, as well as to those distilleries who came to visit us this year.

We're already looking forward to more of all this in 2017.

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