York Whisky Festival 2012 Review

Last year I became lucky enough to experience two whisky festivals organised by The Whisky Lounge. I happened to be in York for a weekend and heard that the Whisky Festival was in town, so naturally I decided to spend the afternoon there.

I targeted the whiskies I knew I hadn’t tried in Manchester, as well as some favourites, so below, I give to you my tasting notes on each –

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2012 – 46%

A good combination of smoke and malt on the nose, with a mix of pepper, chocolate and spice on the palate that creates a long-lasting finish.

Kilchoman 2006 Vintage Release – 46%

Delicate smoke with hints of spice on the nose. Bitter orange takes over on the palate with smoke flavours dominating a lingering finish.

Kilbeggan 18yr – 40%

Dominating vanilla on the nose with hints of cinnamon aromas following. Both cinnamon and vanilla present on the palate with the addition of caramel throwing itself in to create a long, sweet dram.

Glen Garioch 12yr – 48%

A mix of fudge and pear blend well on the nose to create a sweet offering. The palate is rather sharp to begin with but mellows quickly. Ripe banana moves to a slight smoke and salt flavour with the pear notes coming through at the end.

Hakushu 12yr – 43.5%

Fresh nose of green fruit with a whisp of smoke lingering. Sweetness on the palate, with pear dominating and the soft smoke creating a dry texture.

Yamazaki 12yr – 43%

A bold floral mix with tropical fruits blending nicely on the nose. Smooth sweetness on the palate with a little spice and wood finish.

Hibiki 12yr – 43%

Lots of pineapple and plum aromas blending nicely on the nose and following through onto the palate to create a soft and sweet flavour. A little spice on the end.

Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition – 40%

Citrus and barley on the nose with a slight aroma of chocolate followed by a vanilla and nut mix on the palate. Rather oily texture to begin but becomes rather dry near the finish.

Tullibardine Rum Finish – 46%

Toffee and vanilla dominating on the nose and palate with a rather sweet offering and a hint of spice. Heavy dose of rum which helps onto a long finish.

Balvenie PortWood 21yr – 40%

A strong yet fresh floral aroma with sweet notes and a hint of smoke on the nose. An extremely smooth and creamy flavour of fruit and honey on the palate.

Berry Bros. Speyside Reserve – 46%

Citrus and honey aromas on the nose with a slight nut scent following. Rather rich on the palate with fruits and malt combining well despite a slightly dry finish.

Speyburn 10yr – 40%

Fresh lemon scents on the nose which develops into fruit flavours on the palate. Sweet toffee also makes an appearance on the long finish.

Speyburn Bradan Orach – 40%

Green fruit mixes nicely with subtle vanilla on the nose. Delicate honey on the palate to begin-with but moves onto a smooth spicy finish.

Old Pulteney 17yr – 46%

Sweet nose of white fruit and butter with a scent of wood on the nose. Rounded hits of vanilla on the palate with the white fruit more delicate on the long finish.

Old Pulteney 21yr – 46%

A good hit of pear and apple on the nose with a little spice following nicely. Sweet on the palate with flavours of vanilla and honey making its presence. Dry finish.

Balbair 2002 – 46%

Floral fruits on the nose with hints of vanilla and toffee following, A good mix of spice and sweetness on the palate with orange and lemons dominating.

Balbair 1989 – 46%

Apple and raisin notes on the nose and then combines with spice flavours on the palate. A long, rich offering with raisin dominating throughout.

Balbair 1975 – 46%

Fresh citrus and coconut notes on the nose. Sweet and spicy on the palate with honey and fruits on the finish. Warming.

Arran 14yr – 46%

Dry notes of vanilla and toffee on the nose but a good hit of toffee on the palate. Chocolate and spice develops a rich sweetness on the finish.

Arran 12yr Cask Strength – 54.1%

Peach and apricot noticeably delicate on the nose, with fresh fruit and spice blending nicely on the palate with a slight kick of citrus at the end.

Arran Sauternes Cask Finish – 50%

Aromas of honey and marzipan on the nose, with citrus, spice and vanilla combining over a long finish with a hint of oak.

Arran Amarone Finish – 50%

Scents of honey and almonds fill the nose whilst chocolate and cherry flavours create a well-balanced match on the palate. Slight oak finish.

Arran Port Finish – 57%

Dry vanilla and citrus on the nose, with spice added to the mix on the palate. A good combination that develops a warmth on the finish.

Arran Machrie Moor Peated – 46%

Fudge hints on the nose that’s dominated by peat. Citrus and spice start off the palate, but smoke flavours follow quickly on a lingering finish.

Longmorn 16yr – 48%

Fresh nose of apple and herbs. Citrus creates a rich palate combining with spice and oak which leads to a dry finish.

Strathisla 12yr – 40%

Soft nose of floral and spice. A good malt flavour on the palate with a good hit of fruit on the long finish.

Chivas Regal 18yr – 40%

Orange and vanilla notes combine on the nose and palate, with hints of wood lingering. Spice flavours revealed near the long finish.

Glenlivet 15yr French Oak Reserve – 40%

Rich butter aromas on the nose with oak following. A combination of fruit and nut with spice and cinnamon making an appearance. Lingering finish of spice.

Glenlivet Nadurra Cask Strength 16yr – 54.2%

Fresh, rich aromas of apple and vanilla on the nose. Slight spice on the palate, with vanilla and soft fruits bursting on a dry finish.

Glenlivet 18yr – 43%

Rich toffee and fruit notes on the nose with honey and walnut flavours mixing with spice as it nears the long ending on the palate.

Glenlivet 21yr – 43%

Cereal and honey aromas create a rich nose, whilst a sweet ginger and cinnamon offering on the palate developing towards a warm, long ending.

Glenrothes 1998 – 43%

Rich vanilla and lemon-grass on the nose with hints of spice following. Rather soft on the palate with flavours of sweet vanilla and cinnamon blending well.

Glenrothes 1995 – 43%

Light citrus and spice on the nose with biscuit and cinnamon mixing nicely. A rich spice on the palate with a cocoa and coffee dry finish.

Glenrothes 1988 – 43%

Rich spice and berry notes on the nose with a hint of orange coming through. Orange and ginger combine well on the palate with a long, creamy finish.

Highland Park 18yr – 43%

Rich oak nose with hints of smoak, honey and floral aromas near the end. Soft honey and creamy spice on the palate with a long lingering peat finish.

Highland Park 21yr – 47.5%

Sweet toffee on the nose with hints of sherry creeping through. Sweetness carries onto the palate with flavours of smoke and spice to round it off.

Macallan Gold – 40%

A good blend of vanilla and citrus on the nose with fresh fruit, vanilla and toffee creating a short spice finish.

Laphroaig 18yr – 48%

Toffee nose with hints of cereal and spice leads to a warm yet rounded flavour of smoke and liquorice on the palate. A long, rich toffee finish.

Laphroaig Triple Wood – 48%

Dry nuts mix with a dominant sweet raisin aroma on the nose. A kick of peat on the palate leading to a vanilla, caramel and dried fruit finish.

Ardmore 25yr – 51.4%

Marzipan, peat and dark fruit dominate the nose with the peat continuing onto the palate with the rich fruits slowly following. Long, fresh finish.

Glenfiddich Rich Oak – 40%

Soft fruit notes on the nose with slight oak whispers. Rather soft and short on the palate, but a fruity offering with rich vanilla thrown in.

Some fantastic whiskies on offer yet again at the York leg of the show. There’s some on the list above that I probably will never get round to trying again so to attend a show like this can really throw towards you some real gems. Highlights for me include Kilchoman 2006, Hibiki 12yr, both Speyburn’s, Balbair 2002, Old Pulteney 21yr, Arran Machrie Moor, all the Glenlivet’s I tried as well as the Laphroaig 18yr.

If you like whisky, then you will love attending these festivals. If you’re not a lover, you can be pointed into the direction of some of the more introductory whiskies on offer in the world. This is the best thing about this category – love it or hate it, there will always be something to convert or possibly soften your initial thought.

Sláinte.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Corks Out Winter Tasting, Manchester Review

Last week carried on something that has been proving popular in recent years – the Corks Out tasting evenings. Back with a bang at the Castlefield Rooms in Manchester, they brought along with them a host of brands in both wine, Champagne and spirits. With the promise of a wide selection from producers including Morton, Franschhoek and Cattier as well as spirits that included El Dorado rum, Hayman’s gin and Auchentoshan whisky, you’d think there would be plenty to go around. Oh no. To cap off the selection, Wrenbury cider were at the Castlefield Room’s to shed a bit of local prestige to the afternoon’s proceedings. With the Corks Out team on hand to lend their expertise to the public, an afternoon turned quickly into an evening of not only being given the chance to try bottles that ranged from £6.99 to £39.99, but also the opportunity to purchase on the night and to learn the trade by signing up to their collaboration with Manchester Wine School. With much to experience, I tried to keep to brands and styles that I had either never come across or had not previously had the chance to sample, so below I give to you my tasting notes on each –

Franschhoek Statue De Femme Sauvignon Blanc 2012, South Africa – 13.5%

Tangy tropical and citrus aromas on the nose with hints of grapefruit and pineapple present on the palate. Considerable length.

Franschhoek Vineyard Barrel Fermented Semillon 2011, South Africa – 13.5%

Ripe tropical fruit and tangy citrus on the nose entwined with vanilla and spice on the palate.

Franschhoek Stone Bridge Pinotage 2010, South Africa – 13.5%

Nose of pepper, spice and bright red berry fruit. Soft on the palate, with red fruit and slight vanilla blending on the palate.

Franschhoek The Churchyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, South Africa – 14%

Lots of dark berries on the nose with blackcurrant and dark chocolate melting on the palate.

Trivento Golden Reserve Chardonnay 2011, Argentina – 14.5%

Fresh and fruity on the nose with lots of spice lingering whilst the palate enjoys a splash of sweet tropical fruits.

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2009, Argentina – 14.5%

A mix of vanilla, spice and red fruit on the nose, yet soft once it reaches the palate with dark fruit to create a long finish.

Two Rivers Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand – 13.5%

Lots of ripe tropical fruit on the nose and creates a fresh, long finish on the palate.

Cypress Terraces Chardonnay 2010, New Zealand – 14.1%

Soft melon and peach notes on the nose develop into more grapefruit characteristics on the palate.

Two Rivers Pinot Noir 2010, New Zealand – 13.9%

Bold aroma of spice and dried fruits on the nose leading to an herbal palate mixed with red fruit.

Cypress Terraces Syrah 2008, New Zealand – 14.2%

Strong nose of pepper to begin with a hint of plum following. A mix of chocolate and dark fruits blending on the palate.

Weemala Pinot Gris 2011, Australia

Almond and peach dominate the nose with apple making an appearance on the palate. Rather sweet but a dry finish.

Picaroon Margaret River Sauvignon / Semillon 2011, Australia – 13%

Lots of citrus and herbal aromas on the nose with a fresh hit of blackberry and lemon around the palate.

Logan Shiraz 2009, Australia

Aroma of pepper, mixed berries and plums with a full flavour hit on the palate that has a long spiced finish.

Orben Rioja 2007, Spain – 14%

On the nose there’s lots of bold plum and cherry notes mixing well with the ripe fruit on the palate and hints of spice coming through.

Pouilly Fume Domaine du Petit Soumard 2011, France – 12.5%

Strong honey note on the nose followed by a blend of apple and gooseberry on the palate.

Sancerre Charmilles 2011, France – 12.5%

Lots of citrus aromas on the nose with a sharp palate of grapefruit flavours.

Chateau du Terrefort Lescalle 2010, France – 12.5%

Blackcurrant and plums heavily present on both the nose and palate for this easy drinking wine.

Dasvin Bel Air Haut Medoc 2008, France – 12.5%

Fresh red fruit on the nose becoming mouth-watering on the palate with a good length.

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2009, South Africa – 14%

Creamy nose with hints of almonds coming through. Lots of citrus flavours on the palate.

A range of spirits were also on offer

The Chocolate Block 2011, South Africa – 14%

Bold spice on the nose is instant with a blend of ripe plum and dark fruits blending onto the palate. Long finish.

Portia Ebeia Ribera del Duero 2010, Spain – 13%

Fresh on the nose with hints of raspberry that develops once onto the palate. Vanilla is also present as it nears the end.

Pyrat XO Rum – 40%

Tropical fruits and oranges on the nose with an instant hit of banana and sweet orange on the palate that creates a long finish.

Patron XO Cafe – 35%

Instant blend of coffee and sugar on the nose, but smooth once it hits the palate. Velvet texture that becomes long with a slight dryness at the end.

Glen Garioch Founders Reserve – 48%

A light, corn led aroma on the nose, with sweet vanilla, fresh green fruit and citrus on the palate that creates a fresh finish.

Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Classic Blend – 40%

Spice and mixed berries on the nose with a sweet yet light palate of citrus and honey.

Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Rare – 43%

Lots of floral notes with pepper and citrus also making an appearance on the nose. A rich, malt flavour on the palate with a hint of honey for a long finish.

Cava De Don Agustin Reposado  – 38%

Deep nose of agave and herbs with sweet, earthy flavours present on the palate with hints of wood following.

Calvados Pere Magloire VSOP – 40%

Heavy apple aroma on the nose with a crisp, fresh flavour bursting on the palate. Well rounded.

Hayman’s Sloe Gin – 26%

Very fresh and light on the nose with a good dose of sloe berry aroma. Rather light and refreshing on the palate with a bold beginning. Mellows out rather quickly, with cinnamon and citrus the noticeable flavours.

El Dorado 5yr – 40%

Dry nose of tropical fruits leads to caramel and coconut with hints of vanilla at the end of a long offering.

El Dorado Finest Demerera 12yr – 40%

Tropical fruits on the nose with a small hint of spice lingering around. The spice is more known on the palate with rich fruits complimenting to a dry finish.

Gosling’s Family Reserve – 40%

Dried fruit and oak notes on the nose with a rich flavour of prunes and dark fruits on the palate with a hint of smokiness that creates a mellow finish.

An incredible selection that covers a host of countries including Argentina, France, New Zealand and Australia, as well as a Calvados for good measure.

The event was a great chance to not only try something different in a variety of categories, but also the opportunity to talk to both the ladies and gentleman behind the brands and Ruth Yates herself who was more than willing to chat to anyone and everyone about her favourite hobby.

The Park Royal Winter Tasting will be next on the agenda, and I strongly suggest you get yourself down. Get involved!

Check out more photos from the event via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Morrison Bowmore Whisky Tasting at Kro Bar

Last night was the return of the monthly whisky tastings held at Manchester’s Kro Bar. This time Morrison Bowmore Distilleries were the guests, bringing with them Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch.

Again for those of you who don’t know what Kro Bar is, they’re a Danish family business who specialise in Danish food and beer. A popular idea in the Manchester area, they’ve expanded from 1 outlet to 5 in the space of 10 years.

Our host for the evening was Paul, with help from Tim who represented their UK distributor Cellar Trends.

Now many regulars who follow me might well recognise the word Auchentoshan, having visited their distillery back in January. However, the great thing about these whisky tastings is that you get the chance to try the rest of the range, which in my case, was to add the Auchentoshan Classic to my repertoire. I have sold the Bowmore range from my work at Casa Tapas Bar & Grill, and Glen Garioch is a whisky that I’ve never come across in my travels. So armed with Paul’s exciting enthusiasm, myself and Dalia of The Circle 360  got stuck into our first offering – Auchentoshan Classic.

Our range for the evening

Auchentoshan Classic – 40%

Matured in first filled American bourbon barrels, it gave off a light, delicate vanilla scent on the nose, with white fruit coming through near the end. The palate enjoys a sweet vanilla, with a fresh citrus flavour that creates a lingering aftertaste.

Auchentoshan Three Wood – 43%

Matured in three different cask types, American bourbon to Spanish Oloroso sherry and finishing in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, a nose of sweet orange and raisin with blackcurrant. The palate has some dry fruitness with fresh lemon and butterscotch resulting in a long oak finish.

Bowmore 12yr – 40%

A pre dinner whisky from the oldest Isle distillery in Scotland, a heavy nose of burnt peat blended with chocolate follows on the palate with a deep, smokyness balanced out with flavours of lemon and honey.

Bowmore 15yr – 43%

Finished for three years in a Oloroso sherry butt, it creates a light, fruity nose with raisin aromas and a slight smoke note. Treacle flavours on the palate, again with a slight smokyness with a short finish.

Glen Garioch OB Founder’s Reserve – 48%

A light, corn led aroma on the nose, with sweet vanilla, fresh green fruit and citrus on the palate that creates a fresh finish.

Glen Garioch 12yr – 48%

A mix of fudge and pear blend well on the nose to create a sweet offering. The palate is rather sharp to begin with but mellows quickly. Ripe banana moves to a slight smoke and salt flavour with the pear notes coming through at the end.

Delicious Kro Bar burger

To compliment the whisky selection, the Head Chef at Kro Bar created us all a traditional beef burger with chips. Simple, but effective!

So another thoroughly enjoyable event in which we were able to sample a good range of Scotland, visiting the Lowlands, Highlands and Isla.  Personal highlights were the Auchentoshan Three Wood and Glen Garioch OB Founder’s Reserve.

Hopefully I’ll be at next months whisky tasting, where 6 more whiskies will be on offer to a crowd that is steadily rising as the months go by. Care to join me?

Check out the previous Kro whisky tastings here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.