There is something about Ardbeg and Glasgow’s Whisky Club… Last year we had a legendary evening with Stuart Thomson after our original tasting host, Dr Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie, had to pull out at the last minute. Stuart came along in his stead and provided one of the highlights of the Club’s year.This year our host was supposed to be Michael Heads, the new distillery manager, but he was stranded on Islay when the fog came down and stopped his flight from taking off.
This year, as last year, the stand-in was superb. Simon Hibbitt from parent company LVMH proved to be a willing pourer with a steady hand and Annabel Meikle – not Emily, as I had been told – was a charming very knowledgeable hostess. Part of the evening’s success was the lack of any formality – the very ethos on which the club was founded. Not lectures, just an informative talk and taste of a handful of Ardbeg’s finest – the Almost There, the Ten, the 1990 Airigh Nam Beist and the legendary Lord of the Isles.
As Annabel and Simon joined us at our tables, it seemed only fair we reciprocate their generosity and share a bottle of one of our sponsor’s drams – the Old Pulteney 12. I think it's fair to say it held its own against the peatier Islays, although obviously it is a different animal.
Sincere thanks to Andy Bell of Oddbins, who arranged the evening, brought the glasses and got Annabel's name wrong!
A very warm welcome, incidentally, to three new members who joined us for the evening - John Macintyre and Duncan and Sheila McLaren. A pleasure to see you all.