Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Doubles at the Doublet

Change of venue for the club night, and the Doublet more than measured up. We got the venue free but the pub must have been happy judging by the numbers who turned up, especially the non-members who wondered what on earth was going on. Nice to see Juliet back on her feet. In a rash moment she (kind of) offered a tasting at her house to get rid of some of the drams she's got lying around. I'll organise the bus!

Some good drams on offer too. Your humble chairman brought along a Tormore and Miltonduff, the last bottlings from Allied Distillers in Dumbarton in 2002. The Miltonduff was by far the better dram, IMHO. Ralf brought a Bladnoch 15 cask strength - the blackfaced sheep bottling - courtesy of Raymond Armstrong at the distillery, and it was a fine dram. Raymond would appreciate an email with your tasting notes ( We should think of an outing there. A long haul, but worth it.

Star of the night for me was the Fascadale from Adelphi, a secret bottling from a distillery not 20 miles from Talisker!

Next up is our Highland Park night, confirmed for the Bon Accord on June 30. The list is now closed and a stand-by is in operation. See you there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Dram's A Dram For A' That

Many of us have long thought Robbie's annual whisky fest was among the best in the calendar - good master classes, a good selection of exhibitors and a fine venue at Ayr Town Hall. Saturday's event had all that - and more. Crowds, crowd, crowds. It was VERY busy, VERY hot and I suppose an indication of the growing success of the gathering.
A good turn out of club members as usual, half heading for the Ardbeg master class, half to George Grant’s Glenfarclas tasting. Your humble scrivener headed for Speyside. Six drams were on offer from the Grants’ Family Casks – 1979, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1992 and 1993 – ranging in price from £225 to a mere £125 a bottle. Fergus and I thought the 1989 was the absolute standout, big, sherried Speysider with fruit cake, toffee and vanilla. Just stunning.

The Islayphiles raved about the Supernova, a BIG BIG BIG smokey joe of a dram. Did it waste them for the rest of the day? Didn’t seem to! You’ll know club member David Keir asked for some help at busy times at his Arran and Bruichladdich/Tullibardine stalls, and it seemed Ralf and Mark were constant companions, dispensing drams and words of wisdom. Your slightly deafer chairman dispensed drams and grunted affably at every question, going for the lightly baffled approach.

Couldn’t help noticing, though, that a great many of the ‘connoisseurs’ at the tasting tables were merely table-hopping up and paying little attention to the quality or otherwise of the drams. Still, they paid their money like everyone else, I suppose.