|My view of this tasting also featured Scotland v Austria:|
one of these events was more stressful than the other
Our March Zoom tasting was led by Anna, who took us through a series of five drams on the theme of 'The Art of Maturation' - with whiskies matured in casks of different kinds. We tried them blind to see if we could guess what the barrels had previously held: perhaps unsurprisingly, this proved rather tricky!
This was an 11yo Benrinnes, from independent bottler Cadenheads. It was a vatted malt, with two casks of sherry-finished whisky, two of bourbon and one of rum. So some of us, almost inevitably, were miles out. This got a general thumbs up. And at £49, this was good value too. The ABV was 46% although it tasted stronger.
|English Whisky 12yo|
As it transpired, we were drinking something from the English Whisky Company. It was a 12-year-old, making it just about as old as you can get from that distillery. This particular bottling was finished in red wine (totally wrong, as ever), and it was a release for The Whisky Circus. It was a small cask maturation, just a 50 litre cask, which probably helped explain the unusual flavours going on. It was £65 and came in at 57.1%.
We were drinking not a Glenfiddich as such, but a 'teaspooned' Glenfiddich under the Wardhead brand. A 23-year-old from 1997, this was 51.1% and cost us £122.
It was even a little bit pink, which hinted at what it had been finished in: a tawny port pipe. The distillery was Penderyn of Wales, and this was a 6yo single cask from Berry, Brothers and Rudd. At £150 and 60.5% this was either one to avoid or one not to forget in a hurry: the 'Penderyn marmite cask' as someone described it.
|Loch Lomond 14yo|
It was from the Loch Lomond distillery, and was a 14yo bottled for golf's European Tour Welsh Open. Matured in a first fill oloroso, it was 52.3% and cost £85. "Like hot tarmac!" says the last line of my notes, whatever that means.
And so it was time for the dram of the night voting. All five attracted some votes, but the winner was - unusually - dram number one, the Benrinnes, with the club's peat fans putting the Loch Lomond second.
Thanks again to all members for joining us on Zoom, it's now more than a year since we last met in person but hopefully we're much nearer the end than the start of the pandemic now. And particular thanks to Anna for taking us through a great selection!