Again this month I had the great privilege of bagging myself a pair of tickets of The Whisky Squad, held at the Gunmakers in Clerkenwell. This month’s theme was ‘a bottle for Britain which meant everyone guessed that we’d be touring the Isles. Thus to add a bit of interest and some game to the evening, all the bottles remained hidden until the end. I’m sure Billy will write up more complete notes at http://bbblog.org.uk/ in due course, thus here is my basic scribblings.
1. Manx Spirit – Isle of Man
This was a real oddity. No-one figured it’s origin or it’s precise age – Manx Spirit appears to be Scotch whisky re-distilled! I reckoned it was grainy but that was probably due to much of the flavour being distilled away.
2. Chapter 6, England
The distillery everyone was expecting from Norfolk. Very nutty, with a very sweet nose. Amaretti biscuits sprung to mind with a more peanut finish.
3. Penderyn Sherry Cask, Wales
Again something that was expected – Welsh Whisky has a heritage but died out a long time ago. Penderyn resurrected the practice being launched in 2004; I first tried it in 2006 in a hotel bar in Aberystwyth! This sherried version was very sweet and had similar notes to an aged rum. It was ok – better than I remember the first sip 5 years ago, but still probably not what I would bring home if I had £40 to spend on a bottle! However… these guys to make Brecon Gin, which is pretty good.
4. Bushmills 1608 anniversary edition, Northern Ireland
The forth was whiskey – Bushmills from County Antrim, Northern Ireland. On the nose I could get a sort of apple flavour, possibly like apple shampoo (!) but nothing much from this. On the taste, to steal Billy’s words – much fire and death!! Indeed, what I would expect from a blend.
5. Speaker Bercow’s Single Malt, Scotland
And so finally we return to Scotland. This bottle was brought along by one of the organisers who acquired this as part of a leaving present! This was very nice – well done Mr Speaker – easily sip-able, though by this point I had lost my pen. All I remember is that this was probably my favourite and not because all of the rest had been before!
I hope to rejoin the Whisky Squad later in the year for another sojourn through the wonderful world of whisky.
Also thanks to Jeff at The Gunmakers who allows the Whisky Squad to use the room upstairs.