|August's line up of samples|
|Story of the Spaniard|
It turned out to be a blend, a no age statement one at that, from Compass Box and called The Story of the Spaniard. Inspired by working on a whisky with The Spaniard bar in New York, this is built around whisky drawn from sherry and Spanish red wine casks (so that was wine we could pick up, just the wrong colour). A very pleasant start to the night though. It's 43% and is still available for £52.
|Madeira Cask Project|
Some in the club suspected a lightly peated Islay, but it was in fact a Speyside. Not just a Speyside, but a Glen Moray, a distillery recently branching out from its reputation as a purveyor of highly affordable, entry-level whiskies that you can pick up in the supermarket. This was a 13-year-old which had spent all its life in madeira casks, hence the name Madeira Cask Project. It's 46.3% and £62 if you can find a bottle. Closing comments on this included "yummy" and "really good".
The whisky hailed from Campbeltown, once a hub of the whisky industry and now certainly well onto the comeback trail, although the number of distilleries there is a fraction of those that existed in the early 20th century. This particular bottle is from the Glengyle distillery but does not appear under that name, because the rights to 'Glengyle' are held far away at Loch Lomond these days. So instead, it's bottled as Kilkerran, and this was the 12 year-old expression, one of the first of the core range released by the distillery since its 2004 reopening. At 46% and just £39, this represented great value too.
This was a Highland Park, bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society under the name 'Celebrity Yurt Indulgence'. It was surprisingly peaty for a Highland Park. A 16 year-old from a refill Oloroso sherry butt, it tasted all of its 60.6%. We paid £85 for it from the SMWS, although it's long since out of stock.
|Finlaggan Red Wine|
It was a Finlaggan, a brand created by the Vintage whisky company. So the actual origin distillery is a bit of a mystery, although we do know for sure it was on Islay somewhere. The particular bottle we were drinking was the red wine cask, which clocked in at 46%. At just over £42, another bottle offering good value.
All of which brought us to the dram of the night voting. And not for the first time, each whisky had some supporters, indicating plenty of strength in depth from this particular line up. But the winner in the end was the SMWS Celebrity Yurt Indulgence with nine votes, just ahead of the Story of the Spaniard and the Kilkerran which picked up six each.
Thanks again to all club members and guests for taking part via Zoom, and to Anna and Martin for overseeing this well-timed raid on the club's whisky stocks.