He-Man and Skeletor. Shearer and Sheringham. Hall and Oates. Pie and mash. Some things are just meant to be paired together. I have long been a fan of pairing whisky with cheese, whether that be at a dedicated tasting, or totally shitfaced, trying to apply some much needed fat/carb damage limitation, after a night of heavy drinking. So, when our great friends at the Birmingham Whisky Club announced that they had organised a whisky and cheese tasting, at The Plough in Harborne, with Glenfarclas (one of our favourite distilleries), Tom and I decided that we’d be crazy not to go along, on an otherwise drab and dreary pre-World Whisky Day Wednesday.
When a Nikka Whisky taste-along screening of the original 1954 production of Godzilla was announced a pause for thought was definitely not necessary.
As a big fan of Nikka, their drams and the history behind their company I was overjoyed at the announcement. Pair that with a classic of the monster movie genre and the progenitor of the whole kaiju sub-genre of films and I think I could have only been happier if there was katsu bento and gyoza waiting for me in the lobby afterwards.
Continue reading Nikka & Godzilla (1954) Taste-along @ The Electric – 27.04.17
In recent months, my palate has changed. I’ll admit, this came as quite a shock to me. If you’d have told me a year or two ago that I’d have this unquenchable thirst for sherried whisky, I’d have thought you were a fool. I was so peated, I was probably about 200 ppm. So, when my better half suggested that we go back to Edinburgh in the Easter holidays, the place where our romance began, I made the less romantic suggestion of her driving me around Speyside for a couple of days, while I drank copious amounts of whisky. Luckily, she said yes! Continue reading Rob B’s Speyside Spectacular
Only my second edition of Bottom of the Barrel and my boat has most definitely come in!
Talisker 10 for under £25?
That’s an insane price! Continue reading Bottom of the Barrel #2: Talisker 10 Year Old
Think of a whisky snob. For me it conjures up a stuffy, plummy voiced person, bespoke Saville row suit (more Gieves and Hawkes than Kilgour), lots of rules about how you have to do this or do that, they’d probably tell you that if you put ice in your whisky they’ll kill you. They’d probably do something stupid like throw whisky on the floor to “season the glass”. They’d be Robert Paterson. How is he not treated as the clown of whisky? The Ronald McDonald of Dalmore? He gave himself a nickname of “The nose” for God sake. What more does it take?!
Wherever my whisky life takes me, over land or sea or foam, the Midlands Whisky Festival will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only is it the first whisky festival I ever attended and the place where so much of my whisky education has taken place, but it also holds so many memories of good times and adventures with my friends. This year’s spring offering was arguably the best one yet, for many reasons, but mainly for a host of stunning drams at every turn. Below are my ten highlights, a list which took a lot of whittling down:
It’s three am. Dressed in a bright white blazer I am dancing, alone, on stage, at my local goth/biker bar, to 90s rock legends hole. I guess sometimes you just really need to celebrate!
It’s 2am on a Sunday morning.
I have no idea how I got home.
My head’s pounding and there’s a strange buzzer ringing throughout the house.
What the hell happened?
We may both have red facial hair (and a slight penchant for alcohol), but neither Rob B or myself have an Irish bone in our body.
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day though we thought it would be rude not to join in the festivities.
While being fairly inexperienced with Irish whiskey we were both aware of the current surge in interest and were looking forward to experiencing what the emerald isle had to offer. Continue reading Bushmills St. Patrick’s Day Tasting @ The Wellington, Birmingham – 16.03.17
With whisky, as a general rule, I prefer higher ABVs.
I tend to find it imbues a richer character, more punch and an overall deeper experience.
With no other spirit is this necessarily true. Vodka, gin, rum and even cider do not usually taste better with a higher alcohol content. They become strong, spirity, and often-times bitter; you lose a lot of the flavour that the producers were no doubt trying to convey.
This can also be true with whisky and, despite my love for a high ABV, I don’t believe that high strength always equals high flavour/quality. Continue reading Cask Strength or Weakness?