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
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.
I’m relatively new to bourbon. I used to hate the stuff. I once told Drew Mayville that George T. Stagg was like licking a log flume. Continue reading FEW Bourbon – BBS barrel pick
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.
So, this is definitely the last brand we will be announcing for Whisky Bristol Underground.
We are extremely pleased to announce that Claxton’s Spirits have been in touch and suggested dropping a couple of bottles over to us for Bristol; who are we to say no?
On our table-top, alongside our other delicious wares, you will find a ridiculously good Glen Elgin 20 Year Old (only 294 bottles produced) and a huge Ledaig 9 Year Old (only 334 bottles produced).
Claxton’s bottles always impress and we’re certain these two will blow Bristol away!
So, looks like the dram announcements haven’t finished yet!
Come one, come all, to the DBC stand on Saturday, at Whisky Bristol Underground, where we you will now be able to find 2 fantastic whiskies from Indian distillers, Paul John.
We will have both Brilliance and Bold expressions available to sample.
Brilliance is the smooth, bourbon cask matured core expression of the Paul John range, while Bold is a fully peated dram with in your face smoke and peppery notes to get those tastebuds tingling.
Slight wisps of smoke with peat notes developing.
Orangey citrus notes make a very gentle appearance.
Soft, and very delicate peat kick off the palate underpinned by a smooth sweetness not usually found in peated malts.
Hints of vanilla are obvious along with possibly ginger notes.
Complex and quite difficult to decipher.
A long lingering finish with the peat softly surging forward to take on more of an active role.
Soft and sweet, with creamy cereal notes showing and vanilla rising up in a crescendo.
A unique peated expression which at times you would have to re-read the label to know was peated.
Very pleasant and enjoyable.
The combination of the soft creamy vanilla and the extremely gentle peat make for an interesting combination.
I would have enjoyed the orange/citrus notes making an appearance on the palate or finish but the dram as it stands is enough to enjoy.
Not a huge mouth feel, quite light, like it’s peat.
TOTAL SCORE: 68
Very faint redcurrant aromas present initially with a hint of vanilla.
A remarkably soft and restrained nose with no spirit to speak of.
Not enough to really get a true idea of what the dram is about.
Immediately, and quite surprisingly, pepper notes make themselves known, yet, at the same time, big, bold and fruity flavours come forth.
The pepper notes drop off as quickly as they appeared, allowing the whole dram to open up completely.
Blackberries rise up to feature prominently and seem to offer a velvety quality to the mouth feel.
Very gentle, not fiery in the slightest.
A very gentle, finish with, again, no fire whatsoever.
A soft fruitiness carries right through.
A gentle and rounded dram with some big fruity flavours.
Lovely waves of dark summer berries are the predominant flavour and run from start to finish.
A decent amount of complexity to keep things interesting.
Not too much bulk in the mouth feel, quite thin.
Way too easy to drink.
TOTAL SCORE: 70
In the first of our dram previews ahead of Whisky Bristol Underground we have the first of 3 bottles that we will be presenting which originate from the island of Tasmania’s Hellyers Road Distillery.
Bold, fruity and sweet, to the point of tasting sherried.
Notes of white grapes, lemons and definitely ripe pears rising up.
The level of spirit tones hint that this could be a fiery one.
Oak and vanilla are immediately obvious.
Much softer than the expectation the nose produces.
The citrus and white grape notes from earlier are still there but the huge levels of sweetness back off to allow the dram to open up.
Quite a short finish, that stings the cheeks a little.
Vanilla is by far and away the dominant flavour that comes through, lasting until the close.
A very good, light, everyday dram – but with plenty of character.
Sweet on the palate with a heavy presence of the American Oak.
Quite a thick mouth feel for only being 40% ABV with enough substance to it to make it interesting while remaining extremely quaffable.
The sort of dram I’d drink at a summer garden party while everyone else drank white wine.
TOTAL SCORE: 67