Having donated a few pictures to Billy for his reviews, I thought it was only fair to let the dust settle before adding a few words of my own.
Starting with the most recent first – Whisky Squad 15 was held in it’s normal venue, upstairs at The Gunmakers. This means whisky enjoyed in limited light and a mandatory cozy feel. The tasting led by Rob from Berry Brothers was themed around the Highlands. Apparently this means absolutely nothing. The highlands are defined by what they are not: Speyside, Islay or Lowland. Possibly including the Islands (such as Skye for Talisker and Orkney for Highland Park) or possibly not. This means there’s no real connection between the flavour profiles – it’s all very much down to the local tradition of which ever distillery the bottle is from.
During #15 I was suffering a late season bout of man-flu, so my tasting notes are rather limited and vague. Read Billy’s words if you want an interpretation of the taste! However, think I came to the conclustion that my favourites were whiskies 3 and 6, an 11 year old Blair Atholl and 15 year olf Karuzawa (Rob decided to stretch the boundaries of Highlands to include Japanese highlands for the night!). Both had been near sherry butts which probably explains that – my sweet tooth picking up the fruitier, richer flavours.
Whisky Squad 14 was a very different affair. Titled, side-by-side it featured whiskies with a close connection in pairs. Led by Colin from Diageo were led through 7 whiskies, and in true ‘geek’ style we started with whisky 0, Cameron Brig – a single grain whisky, meaning a a light fairly simple whisky to enjoy as an apéritif.This time the ticket included a main meal and the numbers were scaled up to 25, meaning we were out back with a little more light. After dinner we were led through the 3 pairs: Johnny Walker Black / Caol Isla 15 Distillers Edition, two Clynelish and two from Dufftown.
Dufftown is very important whisky-wise. It’s the home of Glenfiddich (the biggest selling independent single malt) but also home to more distilleries than anywhere else in Scotland. Again for the tasting notes you’re best of reading Billy. I can’t even remember my favourite, though I do remember being pleasantly surprised by the Johnny Walker black label so that may join my cabinet as ‘the blend’. I still haven’t quite shaken the anti-blend snobbery yet!
Something new at whisky squad 14 were the ladies. Typically as per stereotype, it’s been a mostly (or all) male affair. This time Ruth joined me but she was not alone…
Remember – just like wine or beer, there are hundreds of varieties of whisky. Chances are you might like one of them…