World Whisky Day
This year, World Whisky Day falls on 20th May. So, to celebrate, I thought it’d be a great idea to host a tasting the evening before and call it World Whisky Day Eve. This notion wasn’t fueled by any attempts to be innovative. Quite simply, I’m a one person business, a mere drop in the ocean of whisky tasting events taking place in Edinburgh and I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete with all the others; I just thought I’d try to get in there first.
The theme of this World Whisky Day tasting was Drams Under The Hammer. So (you’ve probably guessed) these whiskies were all poured from bottles purchased at recent auctions. With the exception of one. The Macallan 10 years Fine Oak had been unopened, at the back of the cupboard, since 2012 (I think!) and was my contingency dram. It appeared in the line up due to some swine outbidding me on a bottle of Tormore. Obviously, I can’t be 100% sure who it was but I have my suspicions, Jason.
The line up was, let’s say, eclectic. At £20 a ticket, this was never going to be about chasing the Ardbegs or the Highland Parks. Instead, this was about having the opportunity to taste something a little unusual, perhaps even odd; to taste whisky you hadn’t tasted before and wouldn’t have the chance to taste again (and perhaps wouldn’t want to!). Most importantly, though, it was about pouring whisky with a story to tell. Let’s face it; everyone loves a good story. And by good story, I mean genuine story; not marketing crap.
So, here was our line up with my tasting notes. As usual, it was great to hear others’ reactions. Long live the subjectivity of whisky…
Palate: slightly oily texture; lots of oak spice; spice remains on the tip of the tongue well into the long finish; fairly drying towards the end
Verdict: Not as famous as Haig Gold Label or Dimple but a good quality blend; a warming whisky!
Palate: custard; toffee; fudge; barley
Verdict: discontinued to make way for the Macallan Strippers (Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby) this is a straight forward, not terribly complex whisky; a good sipper
Palate: earthy and smoky; gooseberries; chilli pepper; long finish
Verdict: distilled in 1981, when Ardmore still used coal fired stills, there’s a lovely earthiness and smokiness to this dram; would’ve been better at a higher abv
Palate: dry; ginger; gooseberries; very tannin led
Verdict: bottled for the Pauls Malt maltings, this is believed to be Tullibardine. Not my favourite dram of the evening!
Palate: spice and more spice; grape; melon; lychee; drying into the finish which is long
Verdict: reliably informed that this is Tomatin, it was bottled in 2008. A lovely dram and the biggest surprise of the evening!
Palate: peat; smoke; grilled pineapple; gooseberries; smoke continues into the finish
Verdict: distilled in 1993 and bottled in 2005, this is a superb whiskey from Cadenhead’s