Interesting day at Auchentoshan for Mark, Mr Black and myself on the day of July’s club night. We were there for a media visit and to hear about plans for Morrison Bowmore in the years to come.
After a whirlwind tour with Ian McCallum we had a briefing with Mike Keiler, who revealed plans are definitely afoot for a microbrewery on the Auchie site.
Last year’s Festival Ale was a huge success, but the amount of work it took has ruled it out for this year. Instead the distillery has outsourced it, having it made to its own recipe.
Things are progressing well for this year’s open day on August 28. Tickets from http://www.auchentoshan.co.uk/festival/ We tried this year’s Festival Bottling, a 1998 Fino cask, and it was delicious. The first 200 will be sold for £50 each on the open day.
Mike also revealed that in October Bowmore would be holding a dedicated Open Day, to be followed in Spring of next year by GlenGarioch.
Anyway, on to the club night, which again followed the more structured formula of last month’s.
We had a handful of Northern Highlands – Old Pulteney 12, Clynelish 14, Raymond’s Bladnoch bottling of a 20-year-old Balblair, an Ardmore 25 year old and a Bladnoch bottling of a 20-year-old Glen Ord.
We split the room into three and there was a highly interesting division of opinions, as there should for such a highly personal subject of taste.
Some loved the Ardmore, some put it at the bottom of the pile. Some hated the Glen Ord at first nosing, then came back to it as the evening progressed and it slowly released its secrets. One soul described the Glen Ord as “challenging” but said it was “a good debate whisky.”Star of the night, by two groups to one, was the Balblair, with the Ardmore second. As I said, however, one group put the Ardmore at the bottom! That’s the beauty of whisky – different things for different folks and it makes for a lively debate.