Whisky sponge, for those unaware, is a satirical site for an industry that badly needs satirising. They can be fairly hit and miss, but when they get it right, its really great. Recently they launched a couple of bottlings and made a standard self deprecating, lightly amusing post to accompany them. So far, so normal. The post really defends itself in a way that really no-one but the author asked. I don’t think anyone would really get on their high horse about someone releasing a couple of casks. Their choices, a £400 glen moray and a £200 unnamed distillery were poor, in my opinion, but hey, whatever. There’s plenty of ridiculously overpriced whisky out there and I’m too jaded to really get worked up about it. I’m sure some sucker will buy it. The point that did get my goat, was the attempt to justify it:
I like Taylor Swift. I think 1989 is a great album and I listen to it regularly. I regularly defend diageo and Macallan are one of my favourite distilleries. I wouldn’t class myself as a hipster. I don’t live in East London, know nothing about coffee and I own nothing released on the warp records label. I’m not cool and I don’t prefer the early stuff. I am, however, a bit fed up with whisky at the moment. There. I said it.
Macallan re-launched their age statements after their stripper range fell from its high heels flat on its arse. However, they brought it back at prices that are laughable. They want you to pay £75 for Macallan 10 sherry cask. A 10 year old 40% bottle. £75. That puts it up against the amazing Glendronach Allardice, Glenfarclas 21 or a bottle of Benriach 10 with a bonus bottle of talisker 10 on the side. I know prices are crazy at the moment but The question has to be… who is buying this shit?!
Whether it be job interview feedback, parents’ evenings at school or honest conversations with friends, there’s a process which is known as ‘the shit sandwich’. Last Saturday’s (25.11.17) Whisky Lounge Birmingham festival left a shitty taste in my mouth (which had nothing to do with the whisky…), so it’s only appropriate that this process is applied in this review; because there were some positives to take from the evening session, which I can use to make the shit layer a little more palatable. So, let’s kick off with some of the amazing whisky I got to try: Continue reading Whisky Lounge Birmingham – the drunken uncle at the wedding.
A fairly soft nose not overpowered by one particular note.
Plenty of cereal, as to be expected, along with some honeyed sweetness and maybe a hint of pears in the background.
Very thin mouth-feel, with a very clean taste on the palate.
Cereal present again, overpowering most fruity notes but allowing a hint of orange cream to creep in along with the faint tang of pineapple.
A slight light-oak note provides the backdrop.
The lack of fullness to the palate carries through to the finish, which lingers just long enough to almost satisfy before disappearing into nothingness.
More woody than anything with the fruity notes from earlier dying right back.
A small hint of golden syrup perhaps?
Extremely thin on the palate which lets this dram down.
While being extremely drinkable I can’t help feeling like there is a lot that has been lost due to the ABV and no doubt chill-filtering.
Not necessarily worth the money in my opinion, as Bushmills 10 Year Old is available for around £30.00 and appears to have a much greater depth of character than this bottle I am sad to say that this just doesn’t make the cut.
The general consensus on the interweb is that, due to the age of the whiskey, this is actually Bushmills. This hypothesis is explained in depth by Billy from the Whisky Exchange (here), in a review that is itself well worth a read, even if I didn’t manage to pick up the Coke syrup in the finish.
TOTAL SCORE: 64
Baked red apples dominate with hints of icing sugar and all-butter pastry.
Those apples calm down a little allowing light oaky notes to rise up, almost soft enough to be European oak.
Vanilla is definitely present and possibly the faintest hint of maple syrup.
Very thin finish.
Quickly dissipates to leave next to nothing on the taste buds.
Vanilla is still there and is the most forthright of the notes.
A small hint of honey is there if you can catch it.
A very easy to drink, Autumnal dram.
A little thin, but what do you expect at 40% ABV?
The nose carries this dram in my opinion as the palate isn’t quite strong enough to wow you; the flavours are good but there just isn’t enough of each of them.
No indication of region on the label but I would hazard a guess at Speyside and I’d say it has a lot of characteristics in common with Longmorn‘s output – definitely not a bad thing.
TOTAL SCORE: 73
You’d never think it would you? A non-top-tier supermarket having a huge age statement single malt of their own?
Why would you? Continue reading Aldi Festive Releases 2018
See Tom’s full write-up of the Whisky Exchange Show for more. Continue reading TOP 4 DRAMS – The Whisky Show @ Old Billingsgate, London – 02.10.17
We are at an impasse. Literally. The train doors will not open. Pressing the shiny green button is entirely futile, the doors remain firmly closed. Half of our train will soon be speeding towards sunny Wolverhampton. The other half will remain fixed in Milton Keynes. We are currently located in the half that is a train to no-where. No-one wants to remain fixed in Milton Keynes. Being a seasoned train traveler I know for a fact that if the button doesn’t work it’s a simple matter to pull the doors open. They’re designed for this. In fact, there may even be a sticker on the doors advising you to do so. I try to gently encourage my friend to push on, lest we be left behind in Milton Keynes. “Fear not fellow traveler, these doors are designed to open with the merest of pulls, we shall soon be merrily on our way down the carriage”. That is what I say in my head. What comes out is nearer “lloooooookkkkk, jusssssssssss force the faaaaaaaking thinnnnng”. Robin is not convinced. He decides we need instead to exit the train, and re-enter further down. Cue a trainspotting style dash down the platform, only very slowly, and very wobbly. To think, just a few hours earlier I’d been on a different train full of such excitement…
So it’s been and gone; DBC’s first whisky festival, from the other side of the table is over.
And with all modesty, it was a roaring success.
Tom and I caught the train down from Wolverhampton and after hitting delays at New Street, diversions via Newport we finally arrived at Bristol Temple Meads, burdened with around a dozen bottles of whisky.
The Loco Klub, was just around the corner and on entry we were completely in awe.
The atmosphere was amazing, perfect for the event. The venue was expansive yet intimate, if that’s possible; kind of labyrinthine in layout with more whisky waiting round every turn and in every alcove.
We met up with Rob B and promptly switched into our fancy new DBC shirts (Represent yo!), set out our bottles and gave ourselves a bit of Dutch(Scotch?) courage with a drop of Springbank 20 year old (1st fill sherry cask) that Tom had brought along, before sampling a drop of the Claxton’s bottles each to be 100% confident we had a good grip on what we were presenting.
We braced ourselves for the first festival-goers. Continue reading Whisky Bristol Underground 2017