Whisky Lounge Birmingham – the drunken uncle at the wedding.

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.

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Irish Reserve 26 Year Old – 40.0% [Aldi Festive Releases]

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NOSE: 21

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.
Inviting.

PALATE: 20

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.

FINISH: 18

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?

PERSONAL: 5

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


Available from:

Aldi

 

Glen Marnoch 29 Year Old – 40.0% [Aldi Festive Releases]

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NOSE: 26

Baked red apples dominate with hints of icing sugar and all-butter pastry.

PALATE: 23

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.

FINISH: 17

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.

PERSONAL: 6

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


Available from:

Aldi

 

Whisky Exchange Show

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…

Continue reading Whisky Exchange Show

Whisky Bristol Underground 2017

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

Port Ellen 2.0 can fuck off

I don’t care about Brora 2.0 because brora is shit, and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot with no taste buds drinking the kool aid because Serge told them to.  However, Port Ellen, is good.  Really good.  I’ve been lucky enough to try various expressions over the years and whilst it’s not always great  when it is on, it’s seriously good.

Diageo have decided to create a brand new distillery on Islay, call it “Port Ellen” and hope nobody notices that its a completely different distillery.  Just calling something the same name doesn’t make it the same.  Trying to emulate something else doesn’t make it the same.  Nothing about “Port Ellen” will be the same. Presumably they’re keeping the maltings so it won’t even be in the same place! What. The. Fuck.

“Hi, we’re diageo, we’re going to do a cheap knock off of our own product and hope no-one notices”. Surely this is a fake whisky too far.

Whisky Bristol Underground Blogger’s Choice Reviews, Episode 1 – Firkin American Oak Aged Gin

So, today we start our (belated) look at the wonderful products we were fortunate enough to present on our stand. The first of which is the only non-whisky product we served up on the day, an awesome gin from independent whisky bottler Gleann Mor.

Continue reading Whisky Bristol Underground Blogger’s Choice Reviews, Episode 1 – Firkin American Oak Aged Gin