TOP 4 DRAMS – The Whisky Show @ Old Billingsgate, London – 02.10.17

See Tom’s full write-up of the Whisky Exchange Show for more.

  1. Stagg Jr – Batch #1
    I’m as astounded as you.
    Not being a particularly big fan of bourbon I am amazed that the top 2 standouts, from what seems to be the biggest whisky show of the year, weren’t whisky.
    The Stagg Jr. was my first dram of the day and in all honesty it was all downhill from there. The watermark had been set and it was absolutely fucking incredible.
    Strong as all hell, sweet but not too sweet, oaky and full of depth – I want some.
  2. Balcones Brimstone
    The Balcones stand was fantastic; it was great to talk with Jared Himstedt, their Head Distiller – a passionate guy with some good information and conversation about the brand. Their whole range was great and it was a toss-up between Brimstone and True Blue as to which one made the list, very nearly both.
    If this is what Balcones is all about then I sincerely hope to see more of their bottles around on this side of the ocean.
    Plus he gave me some pin badges, so the number 2 spot is theirs – quid pro quo.
  3. Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3
    The Bruichladdich stand was a good hangout for a while where Tom and I spoke to Christy, one of the young ladies behind the table, at length about the distillery and a lot of the foibles and shit that goes on in the industry.
    We started with the Octomores and were promptly told off for doing the range the wrong way. Bah, we’ve had your Laddie 10 before, give us the damn Octomore! It was a good laugh and the caramel-sweet peat bomb of the Islay barley was the stand winner.
  4. Jura One and All
    I never in a million years thought I’d put a bottle of Jura on one of my top 5 4 lists.
    Jura were a brand that I drank when I first started out with whisky – there was generally always a bottle of Superstition or Origin on the go in my room. The NAS approach kind of put me off before I even knew what NAS truly was, at the time it was just more difficult to understand and correlate the similarities between their wares and other distilleries who put out a peated 10 year old or a sherried 15.
    I had heard in the press that Jura were to release One and All, a 20 year old expression, and was barely curious to be honest, put off by hazy memories. On a whim I gave it a go and it was great.
    Sherried, warm and rich in flavour.
    Definitely one to give a go to if you have the chance.

N.B. I’d have done a top 5 but my notes were lost when my phone committed seppuku shortly after the festival. In reality this is probably a fairer interpretation of the top picks of the day as they were the ones that stood out in my whisky-pickled memory.

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