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.
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
Champagne has Clos De Mesnil. Burgundy has Romanee Contee. Islay has Port Ellen. Bourbon has Pappy Van Winkle. Producers that are stars, released in very limited quantities with bottles on the secondary market that change hands for more money than any liquid really has a right to do. Supply and demand determines that to get hold of pappy you either need to be extremely rich, or extremely lucky. Even for those lucky enough to get hold of a bottle at retail price, I wonder how many hold their nerve and open it rather than flip it. Fair play to those who do open and share them, you are very much whiskies good guys and I salute you.
FULL TASTING NOTES AT END.
Have you ever had a room of 20 or so, slightly inebriated whisky-heads sing happy birthday to you?
No, I don’t suppose you have, but that’s what happened to me when I attended the Murray McDavid tasting that Birmingham Whisky Club had very kindly organised, coincidentally on my birthday.
In the world of wine you have this weird concept of the biodynamic calendar. It’s utter bullshit, but there are people who earnestly believe that some days are fruit days, and some days are root days. They say that on root days, nothing tastes good. On fruit days, everything is better. I’ve been to wine tastings where (whilst I believe this theory is bullshit) I kinda understood it. Stuff that should have been amazing just wasn’t. Today, possibly, was one of those days.
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
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
I hate innocent smoothies. A multi million pound company, owned by coca cola, with more sugar than coke, wants to be my mate. It wants to talk to me in cutesy cool lanugage. It tells shit Dad jokes and they wore thin years ago. If it was a person it would, without doubt, be a knob. So botiquey whisky company tread a fine line with me. They have cool comic style labels. Some work better than others, but it’s certainly a welcome change from all the standard gumpf we’ve seen a million times. They bottle in 50cl bottles, which is controversial. They say that they bottle mostly in very small amounts and the smaller bottle size enables them to release more bottles. I can understand that, and whilst it doesn’t sit perfectly well with me, I guess I understand that rationale. They also claim that they reduce the price to make up for the missing 20cl. I’ve not done masses of research but a quick search shows that their prices for 50cl are pretty much exactly the same as other independent bottling companies charge for 70 cl (independent arran 19 – botiquey: £77, single cask: £78, hunter laing: £78). So either that claim is bollocks or at 70 cl they’d be circa 30% more expensive than other companies. Are they worth the extra? Let’s find out…