Last night of the month and a cracking way to bring down the curtains on March, with a celebration of An Cnoc. Presented by Nicola Ball, the evening at Oran Mor’s private dining room, was a mixture of the familiar, the surprising and the secretive.
The familiar were two of the drams, the 12 and 16 year old. Not so familiar was the 1994, un-chill-filtered at 46% from a mixture of sherry and bourbon casks. Floral and fragrant, it had rum and raisins, leather and, with water, chocolate.
The surprising was the 30 year old - an intense dram with huge sherry influence, bottled at 50%. Keir Sword of Royal Mile Whiskies (which sells it for under £100) found Roses lime marmalade and a hint of butterscotch. He thought it had a soft oily texture with caramac and a gooseberry finish. I got candles and beeswax and thought it showed EXACTLY the progression from the previous drams. An undoubted hit and a fantastic find.
Then came the secret trio of drams that could be described as a work in progress. We’re sworn to secrecy and we really appreciated getting the chance to taste this trio, but suffice to say the third of the drams was, to my mind, the standout and one that I’d happily pay money for.
The chairman forgot to thank Nicola during his closing remarks and he’s happy to put that right now. He would have mentioned it’s a measure of how far the club has come that we’re being used as a focus group. We have a perfect blend of experienced and not so experienced whisky drinkers and a healthy respect for what good whisky can taste like, and it appears others agree.