Friday, October 02, 2009


After many false starts, rows over apostrophes, and questions of style (satin, silk) size (super XL, or uber-fatty) the club is a step nearer to its own identity, in the shape of a rather fetching black polo shirt. Unveiled quietly at the Arran Bruichladdich night (the only thing done quietly that night – see below) it was given its first proper airing at the Round the Barrel Night at the Bon Accord in September’s meeting.
Modelled here by the unassuming, and almost painfully shy Treasurer, it's thanks to Bobby B, the man behind the design, the Armani of Ardbeg you might say. Full details of how to order, along with pricings, will be revealed shortly.
The night itself was based on the Manzanilla theme. Two beasts were brought to the barrel - a 1996 Springbank at 55.6% and a 16 year old Bunnahabain at 53.2%. Of the two, I preferred the Springbank. The Bunny left an odd taste in my mouth that only repeated washes with Duncan Taylor’s NC2 Glen Elgin could force away.
Also on the barrel were a DT Glen Moray – much under-rated distillery – an Adelphi Running Man, and assorted hand ins from club members, including a G&M 21 year old Highland Fusilier,The MacPhails Collection single Campbeltown 1990 from the Glen Scotia Distillery, and a surprise from our new rock and roll crew – an absolutely fabulous Aberlour A’bunadh Batch 12 from ‘a wee shop up the road’!
Despite the football dividing our attention, it was another great night and proof that we are at our best as a club when we just get together for a dram and a natter, as good friends should.

A + B = Night of Chaos

There are tasting nights which are calm, studious, serious … and then there’s the ones we have. Our last tasting at Oran Mor was no exception.
The A was Arran, the B was Bruichladdich, and H for Host was David Keir, club member of such generous spirit, he raided his own cupboard to bring along the goodies.
We were also joined by Nick Brown, who many of us will know from the various whisky forums (fora?) and who we usually meet at Whisky Fringe. A welcome, too, to new member Andrew (in top picture sitting in front of David)who came from deepest darkest Paisly to be with us. If he was a bit bemused at the end of the proceedings, he hid it well! Nick is pictured below with Andrew, the Chanty Wrastler and Dr Iain.

We began with an Arran 10, but a new vatting, which oozed sherry and was a far better dram than previous incarnations. That was followed by a Bruichladdich 16, originally from a bourbon cask, but finished in a Bordeaux First Growth. I’m no longer a fan of wine finishes (if I ever was one) and preferred the original bourbon finish which I tasted, loved and bought at the Spirit of the West festival. Arran Peacock was next. The surprise hit of Whisky Fringe where it was unveiled, this 13 year old came from a split of bourbon and sherry casks and was my favourite of the night.
David stressed his attendance was as a member of the whisky club and he was generous with the pours, as the rising decibel levels testified to.
He introduced a mystery malt with a prize for the one who gussed it was an old bottling of Sheep Dip, a vatting with 16 different malts.
The rest of the evening was given over the the ‘Laddies – an Infinity at 50%, 3rd edition’ a PC6 at 61.6% and a mighty PC8. The last pour of the evening was James McEwan’s rocket fuel, or X4+3 as it’s known on the tin.
I said earlier it was our last night at Oran Mor unless someone else is paying for it. At £200 a pop, it’s an expensive way to do business. There is an alternative in the city centre, which we’ll be exploring.