Buffalo Trace Northern Final 2015

Buffalo Trace

One of the world’s best known bourbon brands, Buffalo Trace, came to Manchester this past week to secure a northern bartender a trip of a lifetime to America, courtesy of creating a unique British twist on an American classic cocktail. Hosted by Ross Thompson of UK distributor Hi-Spirits, and judged by the Buffalo palates of UK Brand Ambassador Tim Giles, Liverpool’s own Jim Brailsford and last years winner Amir Javaid, currently head honcho at Harvey Nichols Second Floor Bar in Manchester, 11 competitors from across Chester, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool converged at Gorilla to impress.

Mike Holmes with his creation BBLT
Mike Holmes with his creation BBLT

First to step up to the challenge was to be Mike Holmes of Bourbon and Black in West Didsbury. Using the classic Mint Julep as his inspiration, his creation of BBLT (or bourbon, bacon, leaves and tomato) saw him combine mint, Buffalo Trace and poppy shrub syrup within a mixing glass and stirred over smoked ice. After straining into a bean can, a sprig of mint, a vine of tomatoes and candied bacon adorned the crushed ice top.
Rebecca of The Wash House in Manchester showed her idea on a dessert based cocktail named the Aristocity Flip. Using Buffalo Trace, a spoon of Dewars marmalade, King’s Ginger liqueur, Earl Grey syrup, a pinch of cinnamon, fresh lemon and apple juice, Becca shook the ingredients over ice and strained into a coupette. Offering a garnish of apple crisps with buttered Buffalo Trace to dip, a small cone of ice cream (Cheshire Farm and Buffalo Trace syrup) attached to the glass and a cinnamon dusting over the cocktail itself, she offered the judges an idea that could entice women to enjoy whiskey cocktails!

Lewis Cooke of Epernay, Manchester was up third, twisting a Boilermaker and Bourbon Sling by using Buffalo Trace, Antica Formula, a lemon and oat shrub plus a couple of dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters. Shaken over ice and strained into a crystal cut highball glass, he topped the recipe up with BrewDog’s Dead Pony Club expression and placed a dehydrated lemon wheel and a sprinkling of citrus hops on top. Alongside came an offering to the judges of salted caramel and pecan ice cream, complete with Buffalo Trace salted caramel sauce. Say hello to the Stirling Shandy!
Almost Famous of Manchester stepped up after Lewis in the form of Jonathan Leathley, seeing his twist on a Root Beer float that he called the Brown Buffalo. Showing a de-constructed recipe of Mr Fitzpatrick’s Sarsaparilla cordial, Sacred spiced English vermouth, lime juice, Eager apple juice, homemade vanilla syrup, Fentimans Curiosity Cola and Buffalo Trace, shaken over ice and strained into a glass tankard over ice, he floated on top salted caramel and maraschino cherry ice cream.

The first Leeds representative in Tom Finnon of The Hedonist Project joined the competition, creating his Buffalo8.
Using inspiration from the brands heritage, he came up with using a homemade vermouth that had beetroot as a dominant flavour, chargrilled pineapple syrup, Owney’s NYC rum, a couple of dashes of bitters and of course Buffalo Trace. Shaking over ice and served over a large cube of ice within a goblet, this twist on the Manhattan saw Tom garnish with dry ice and a model of the HMS Mayflower.
Jon Lee of Jake’s Bar and Still in Leeds was to be next to impress, bringing to the bar a twist on the flip named A Breakfast Flip For A King. This saw Buffalo Trace, egg, Kent English porter, golden syrup, Angostura Bitter and King’s Ginger liqueur combined, shaken and strained into a tea cup, complete with a crème brûlée sugar dusting and a stag biscuit to accompany.

Joe Ballinger with Old Fire On The Meadow
Joe Ballinger with Old Fire On The Meadow

Niall McGloin, also of Leeds but this time representing Smokestack, showed his Julep Twist by bringing together a rock candy syrup that had been marinated within rhubarb, homemade custard bitters, fresh rhubarb and Buffalo Trace. Using the aged-old method of crushing ice that he called the ‘wack-a-mole’ way (beating a wrap of ice with a mallet), he filled a sweet tin with the ice and swizzled the ingredients within. His recipe, named Buffalo Rock, came adorned with rock candy and dehydrated rhubarb for a garnish.
Ben Halpin of Blind Tiger became the first to enter the stage from Liverpool, with his recipe named Buffalo From Across The Pond. A twist on a Sazerac, he used his grandmothers own marmalade, Buffalo Trace, lemon juice, almond milk, homemade sarsaparilla bitters that were infused with Buffalo Trace and fresh anise. Mixing the ingredients within a mixing glass over ice, he served his drink on a piece of turf, alleged to have been dug from the Kentucky plains themselves, via a leather drinking pouch.

Calum Adams of Bar Lounge in Chester offered the judges an inspired recipe by Mark Twain (the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) that saw his twist on the classic Whiskey Sour named Quite Frankly Dear, I Don’t Give A Dram!. Using a Bergamot and Assan tea reduction, a handful of cascade and nelson hops, Taylor’s port, fresh pink grapefruit juice, egg and Buffalo Trace, he shook the ingredients over ice and strained into an ice filled wine glass.
Joe Ballinger of Berry and Rye in Liverpool was to be the tenth to show off, with his version of the Mint Julep that he called Old Fire On The Meadow. This saw mint leaves, Peychaud’s Bitters, oaked smoked nettle infused cider syrup, homemade redcurrant wine and Buffalo Trace come together within a crushed ice filled copper tin. An extravagant garnish of wild flowers for the vessel to be served upon and red currants adoring the drink itself, a lid was put over whilst Joe added oak wood chipped smoke into the chamber.

Mani Dosanjh of Tariff and Dale in Manchester was the last to be up, with his Afternoon Tea With The Buffalo’s seeing Buffalo Trace combined with Earl Grey infused neutral spirit, Earl Grey syrup, rose liqueur Luxardo Maraschino liqueur and Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters, all shaken over ice. This twist on the Whiskey Sour came served within a tea pot and ladened with fresh homemade corn bread and a lemon zest sprinkle.

From L-R: UK Brand Ambassador Tim Giles, Amir Javaid, Jim Brailsford, Joe Ballinger, Ross Thompson
From L-R: UK Brand Ambassador Tim Giles, Amir Javaid, Jim Brailsford, Joe Ballinger, Ross Thompson

11 fantastic recipes, but who came out on top? Third place saw Rebecca of The Wash House in Manchester and her Aristocity Flip, whilst Tom Finnon of The Hedonist Project in Leeds came second with his creation Buffalo8. But it was to be Joe Ballinger of Berry and Rye in Liverpool who would impress the judges with his Old Fire On The Meadow, a twist on the classic Mint Julep.

Joe won himself a trip to Kentucky and the chance to represent the northern bartenders of the UK alongside the rest of the Buffalo Trace competition winners, including London and Scotland.
If you fancy trying the winning recipe for yourself, head down to Berry and Rye in Liverpool and seek out Joe, I’ll see you at the bar!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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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Manchester Whisky Club – January 2015

MCR Whisky

Entering the second birthday of the Manchester Whisky Club, we decided to take a break from the whisky itself due to the January blues, and side-stepped into the world or rum as a one-off. Held once again at The Briton’s Protection, here’s a run down of the expressions we explored, and my tasting notes to accompany –

Plantation 3 Stars – 41.2%

Smooth vanilla notes on the nose, with a slight grass aroma similar to agricole. A velvet texture on the palate, very soft and smooth with a slight sharpness of dry spice to create a crisp, dry, lingering finish.

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof – 54.5%

Originally named Pusser’s Old Blue. Rich vanilla nose with a slight toffee that lightens off with a hint of sweetness. A heavy burn on the palate to begin with but a mellow warmth develops with a sweet vanilla flavour.

Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary
Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary

Ron Zacapa Centenario 23yr – 40%

Rich toffee and treacle aromas upon the nose, yet softens over time. Very rich once it hits the palate, with plenty of toffee and fudge flavours blending well. Burnt sugar and a slight sharp, dry spice contribute to the long finish.

Plantation XO Barbados 20th Anniversary – 40%

Thick fudge notes on the nose, with a slight treacle followed by rich toffee and a banana aroma finish. Light on the start of the palate, developing into a thick hit of vanilla. Smooth, mellow and has a lingering sweetness. Superb.

Rumbullion! – 42.6%

Plenty of rich cinnamon and vanilla aromas upon the nose. The richness carries over to the palate too, with cloves and powdered cinnamon blending to create a thin, lingering dry spiced finish.

A great selection to experience, with only one of them that I’ve truly experienced before in the Pusser’s. The Plantation XO had the group buzzing to purchase, with some great nods of appreciation from staunch whisky lovers towards the rest. Roll n the next rum evening!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.

Manchester Whisky Club

Manchester Whisky ClubI’ve been a bit lax lately in posting up the last few Manchester Whisky Club meetings, but after finding a spare evening, I’ve decided to consolidate the missing drams into one, all found with tasting notes below –

March saw the theme of Photo Finish, a look at the prospect of different cask finish and maturation styles within whisky.

Deanston Virgin Oak – 46.3%

Light on the nose with a slight spice, fresh corn and plenty of wood elements. A developing spice on the palate, quite mouth-watering that produces a smooth, long finish that has a slight cherry and pepper finish.

EdradourCadenhead’s Royal Lochnagar 17yr Rum Cask Matured – 57.4%

Light with green apples flesh pineapple and plenty of dry pot still elements on the nose. A nice developing warmth on the palate, rather potent with a lingering dry spice on the tongue and finish.

BenRiach 16yr – 46%

Sauterne finish. Soft, sweet aromas of dried fruits on the nose, with bold hits of sultanas and pine coming through. A dry palate with a slow spice lingering. Fresh nuts and pine counteract for a short finish.

Tomintoul 12yr Portwood – 46%

Smooth with plenty of creamy port nose with a dry finish. Very smooth on the palate with a slight kick of port dividing the experience. Short.

Edradour 11yr ‘Straight From the Cask’ Chateauneuf Du Pape Finish – 58.5%

Soft plums on the nose with red apple with a stewed sweetness coming through. Short, rich grape and plums with a dry finish on the palate. Simple yet fantastic.

Both the Tomintoul and Edradour were stand out highlights for the Photo Finish session.

WilletAfter unfortunately missing out on April and May’s meetings, June rolled around with a The United States of Dramerica evening.

Tincup – 42%

A sweet, aromatic aroma on the nose, with a good blend of vanilla and rye. Sweet yet a sharp dose of vanilla on the palate, causing it to linger slightly. It creates a dry, spice finish. Incredible.

Willett Single Pot Still Reserve – 47%

Very smooth on the nose with a slight dry aroma of raisin and brown sugar. Plenty of rich pepper on the palate, producing a long, fresh hit of dark chocolate on a dry, wood based finish.

Noah’s Mill – 57.1%

Soft, light notes of raisins and vanilla on the nose, leading to a sharp hit of herb mixed with plenty of wood notes on the palate. Slightly burnt with the lips enjoying a tingle sensation on the finish.

Corsair Ryemageddon – 46%

A rich nose of chocolate malt with plenty of sweetness coming through. The cocoa carries onto the palate, producing a rich, mellow and well-balanced dram. A long, soft and slightly dry finish with hints of vanilla.

Balcones Brimstone – 53.1%

A hickory smoke aroma dominates the nose, reminding me of rich ribs. The richness carries onto the palate, developing quickly into a mouth-watering, savoury experience. Short though, with whispers of the hickory smoke on occasion.

The Balcones stood out as unique on the flavour palate, with the Corsair Ryemageddon and Tincup worthy of praise too.

Sullivans CoveJuly saw a line up of whiskies from across the commonwealth in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games.

Sullivan’s Cove Double Cask – 40%

Velvet aroma of chocolate and rich Cognac on the nose, with vanilla, slight spice and a warming toffee flavour producing a short finish.

Milford 15yr – 43%

A very dry nose of banana and burnt sugar. Light pear and gingerbread notes on the palate with a dry oat finish.

Pike Creek – 40%

Plenty of pear, blackberry and cranberry flavours mixing well on the nose, with a slight spice coming through near the finish. Lots of dry grain on the palate, but a smoothness of vanilla and honey bring a velvet, yet short finish with plenty of oak whispers.

Glengoyne 15yr – 43%

Plenty of heather and cream with pushes of black berry near the finish. Rather thick on the palate, with toffee, honey and nut flavours mixing in an oily mouth-feel. Lingering on the finish.

Amrut Kadhambam – 50%

Fresh spice on the nose with aromas of aniseed and cinnamon present. A good mix on the palate including raisins, orange, dark chocolate, plum and slight spice. Flavoursome finish with a long effect with plenty of oak.

It’s Scotland and Canada that are winners for me, with the Glengoyne and Pike Creek respectively.

Travel Retail Lineup
Travel Retail Lineup

Just before the summer holidays began, we held a Travel Retail evening, looking at exclusive bottlings only available airside!

Old Pulteney Noss Head – 46%

Very light with citrus elements creating a smooth, creamy and rich finish on the nose. Slight cherry bakewell aroma coming through too. Rich coconut milk flavours on the palate with a smooth, long finish and a slight kick of citrus to boot.

Jameson Select Reserve – 43%

Produced using a small batch of grain collected once a week per year from a field that is never touched thereafter. Around 10 years matured. Slightly sharp nose at the beginning but softens out with a wisp of smoke. Sweet offering on the palate with very smooth texture of toffee and lingering smoke.

Balblair 2004 – 46%

Bourbon matured. Light nose with no distinctive aromas coming through. Slight malt honey on the odd occasion. Dry orange with light, sweet hints available. A short and very dry finish.

Old Pulteney Duncansby Head – 46%

Light sherry notes on the nose with plenty of shortbread blending well. Lots of sherry characteristics on the palate too, with rich vanilla creating a toasty finish.

Balblair 1991 – 43%

Bold and fresh notes of honey and butter, with subtle cherry finding its way through. Soft green fruits on the palate creating a very dry, almost ash driven finish.

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 – 50%

Bold citrus aromas on the nose with an oily butter note that follows to the palate. Rather thin and sharp, creating a dry spice in time for a big barley finish.

Highland Park Svein – 40%

Soft citrus on the nose with notes of green apple coming through. A light sweetness begins the palate, with hints of cherry and smoke before a strong finish.

Highland Park Harald – 40%

Sharp hit of citrus on the nose before malt and biscuit notes come through. Soft with a thick treacle palate creating long finish with an eventual citrus dicing at the end.

Bruichladdich is the best of a diverse bunch. Some surprising drams though, and confirms to myself at least that some brands will put anything out in travel retail, losing that ‘specialness’ so-to-speak.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Manchester Whisky Club Review – February

MCR Whisky Club

The end of last month saw me miss out on attending the latest Manchester Whisky Club meeting, but not one to miss out too much, the drams were picked up a few days back and enjoyed at my own leisure. This months theme had a look at Speyside, but specifically 5 bottles that all came in at under £50. So, lets see what club founder Andy had managed to acquire –

Glen Elgin 18yr – 46%

Matured for the full 18 years in 2 refill hogshead casks before being bottled in November 2013 by independent bottlers Signatory.
Peach and honey aromas on the nose, with tropical pineapple and hints of vanilla coming through. Sharp on the palate, although light and with splashes of wood blended with sweet finishes. Very long.

Glenlivet 16yr – 46%

Matured for 16 years in a 1st fill Sherry Butt before being bottled in November 2013 by Signatory.
Light aromas of warm leather, toffee and vanilla on the nose. Slight sharpness on the palate, with a pepper spice entering slowly. Hints of sherry and banana on the long finish.

Miltonduff – Glenlivet 19yr – 46%

Bottled in 2013 by independent bottlers Cadenheads.
Fresh red apples and plums on the nose, with rich, sweet tones of pastry. Sweet on the palate, with a bold hit of spice that develops. Lots of hard fruits, with dark toffee and vanilla flavours dominating. Lingering finish.

Glenfarclas 105 10yr – 60%

Plenty of light sherry notes on the nose, with faint pine nuts following. Rich sherry on the palate, with a high kick of coffee and nuts. Very warming, although results in a short finish.

Aberlour a’Bunadh Batch 47 – 60.7%

Well balanced sherry and orange aromas on the nose. Light, with a developing warmth and spice on the palate. Plenty of sherry, with hints of ginger sliding in on the lingering finish.

Not a bad selection, with the Glen Elgin probably my most preferred. It’s always great to experience some lesser know expressions, especially from independent bottling companies like Signatory and Cadenheads, and it really shows the difference sometimes from the main range you are more likely to see in your local bar. Cracking stuff.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Manchester Whisky Club Review – January

DSC_0033

It’s the start of a new year here at Manchester Whisky Club, and we kicked off with a trip out to the Manchester branch of The Whisky Shop. January’s meeting would involve some Whisky Shop own editions from brand names, so the evening came with some exclusivity.

Hosted by Joe, we cracked open five expressions, so without further a do, lets see how they all fared –

Cragganmore 12yr – 40%

Light on the nose with herbal aromas coming through. Smooth on the palate with honey, nuts and berry flavours blending well. A hint of spice to finish.

Glenfarclas 2003 – Whisky Club Exclusive – 46%

A 9-year-old. Very dry on the nose with sherry and wood notes dominating. Very sharp on the palate, with a dry, short offering of fruit.

Douglas of Drumlanrig – Glenrothes 9yr – 46%

Banana notes on the nose followed by dry ginger. A developing smoke that mellows as quickly as it came. Short.

BenRiach 1995 17yr – 53.5%

Fresh with sweet ripe red fruit on the nose. A good, long spice hit with flavours of clotted fudge. Slightly dry but probably due to the plentiful of oak on the finish.

Douglas of Drumlanrig – Laphroaig 8yr – 46%

Light peat on the nose, with hints of paprika flowing loosely. Hickery smoked bacon flavours on the palate, with a good kick to begin before mellowing down for a dry finish. The Bacon Sandwich of Laphroaig.

A very good collection, with many of the expressions causing quite a discussion. Personally, the Laphroaig was my personal highlight of the night, a cracker of a dram which I will happily seek out again. It’s always great to try these lesser known varieties of brands, especially within such a highly rated store. Pop-in, try then buy. I don’t think you can go wrong.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Manchester Whisky Club Review – November

Manchester Whisky Club

The end of last month saw the next meeting of the Manchester Whisky Club held at The Castle in Manchester. Like previous meetings, a region of Scotland was the order of the day, with Campbeltown being the chosen. Club founder Andy brought with him 5 expressions, but like last month, set a challenge to the rest of the members and revealed the brand names at the end, so effectively a night of blind tastings. So without further a do, lets see how they all fared –

Kilkerran Work In Progress 5th Release – Bourbon Wood – 46%

Light and dry on the nose, with a very sharp, lingering citrus flavour on the palate that grows with hints of peat.

Glen Scotia 21yr - Single Cask, Cadenhead's
Glen Scotia 21yr – Single Cask, Cadenhead’s

Hazelburn 12yr – 46%

Very aromatic on the nose with dry fruits, sherry and toffee coming through. A little spicy on the palate, with cocoa, coffee and a hint of peat nearing the finish. A long finish.

Springbank 12yr Cask Strength – Batch 5 – 53.1%

Soft with light sherry notes on the nose. Hints of fruit and vanilla come through too. Very sharp on the palate, it develops a very long citrus flavour that flows into a spice and fudge combination.

Glen Scotia 21yr – Single Cask, Cadenhead’s – 52.2%

Lots of dry sherry wood on the nose, flowing onto the palate, although livens up into a smooth finish.

Longrow Peated – 46%

Rich smoak on the nose, with bursts of leather making appearances. Very smooth on the palate, with a burst of smoke near the  lingering dry finish.

A very diverse collection, with many of the expressions causing quite a discussion. Not  the most well-known of the Scottish whisky areas, but with the recent resurgence in popularity, there are a fair few limited and exclusive bottlings available.

© 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.

Manchester Whisky Club Review – October

Manchester Whisky Club

The end of last month saw the next meeting of the Manchester Whisky Club held at The Castle in Manchester. Like previous meetings, a region of Scotland was the order of the day, with Smoke in the Water covering Islay and beyond being the chosen. Club founder Andy brought with him 5 expressions, but like last month, set a challenge to the rest of the members and revealed the brand names at  the end, so effectively a night of blind tastings. So without further a do, lets see how they all fared –

Tomatin Cù Bòcan – 46%

Very light with a nose of chocolate, peaches and plums. Aromas of cereal and barley come through too. A dryness on the palate, with corn syrup flavours dominating over whispers of peat and oak. Long.

Millstone Peated – 40%

Golden syrup notes on the nose, with light lemon and caramel also present alongside delicate smoke aromas. Peppermint blends with caramel on the palate, creating a smooth texture with flavours of smoke, prickly heat and a short finish.

Bunnahabhain Toiteach
Bunnahabhain Toiteach

Bunnahabhain Toiteach – 46%

Rich tequila like notes on the nose with subtle smoke, a slight citrus aroma and salty fudge blended with hints of iodine. An incredibly rich and powerful palate with mouth-watering bursts of vanilla, plenty of smoke and fresh iodine straight from the sea. Very, very long. Stunning.

BenRiach 17yr Septendecim – 46%

Slight smoke on the nose with a light cream and oil aroma. Slightly floral too. A sharp, dry biscuit flavour on the palate, with a developing peat and heather heat, with a short citrus burst. A very long finish.

Kilchoman 100% Islay 3rd Edition – 50%

Aromatic pears on the nose has a subtle smoke lingering soon after on the nose. Soft peat on the palate, with some flavours of citrus lemons coming through for a long finish.

A very diverse collection, with many of the expressions causing quite a discussion. As you can see there were none of your regular Islay and Smoky names such as Lagavulin, Bowmore or Laphroaig, so this gave a great chance to try some of the lesser known, or in the case of Tomatin, brand new expressions. A highlight for me though would be the Bunnahabhain Toiteach. An incredible dram, and one that I’ll be searching in every whisky bar known to man. This should be there.

© 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.

Manchester Whisky Club Review – September

MCR Whisky Highland

The end of last month saw me miss out on my first ever Manchester Whisky Club meeting, but not one to miss out too much, the drams from the ninth meeting, held at The Castle in Manchester, were decanted for a taste in my own time – and here we are. Like previous meetings, a region of Scotland was the order of the day, with Highland being the chosen. Club founder Andy brought with him 5 expressions, but set a challenge to the rest of the members and revealed the brand names at  the end, so effectively a night of blind tastings. So without further a do, lets see how they all fared –

The Dalmore 11yr 1999 (cask 6879) – Provenance (Douglas Laing) – 46%

Lots of green apple notes with faint aromas of orange and malt on the nose. The malt dominates and develops on the palate, but the green fruit, predominantly apples, cuts through close to the end and produces a mouth-watering finish.

Clynelish 15yr 1997 (cask 6470) (Berry Bros. & Rudd) – 46%

Apricot and honey notes blend well on the nose, An oily texture on the palate, with a hint of sea salt and olive brine. Vanilla pops up at the end with a slight kick of smoke to finish.

Glencadam 21yr – 46%

Tropical fruits on the nose, with a hint of sweet butter. Lots of oak with flavours of cinnamon, vanilla and pineapple coming through. Rather short and dry.

Deanston 19yr – Single Cask (Master of Malt) – 53.4%

Mint chocolate notes on the nose, with some citrus and ginger coming through. Subtle peat smoke on the palate develops, with toffee, vanilla and oak flavours rounding off the dram. A long finish.

Glen Garioch 20yr – Single Cask (Master of Malt) – 58.8%

Dry herbs mixed with toffee aromas on the nose, Pepper dominates the palate, with hints of grass coming through. Short, but powerful.

A very diverse collection, with the highlight for me being the Deanston 19yr or The Dalmore 11yr. The Glen Garioch 20yr will fool you, blind tasting, you would never have quoted the strength. A major surprise to find it nearly tops 60%, yet I would have it down as a regular sipping whisky. Always learning.

© 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.

 

Manchester Whisky Club Review – August

Manchester Whisky Club - Going Global

This past Thursday saw the eighth meeting of the Manchester Whisky Club, held at The Castle in Manchester. Just like last month, a theme was the order of the day, and as we had covered Ireland, Scotland, Japan and the USA, it made sense to take look at some of the lesser known whisky producing countries including Sweden, Taiwan and England. Club founder Andy brought with him 6 expressions, so without further a do, lets see how they all fared –

Mackmyra First Edition – 46.1%

Swedish. Very dry on the nose, a little damp but some sweetness follows. Ripe on the palate, a slight sweetness follows with wisps of cocoa coming through slowly. Short.

Three Ships 10yr Limited Edition – 43%

South Africa. Very light with a sherry and fruit salad nose with hints of vanilla. A sharp start on the palate with bold citrus flavours and a slight blend of peat and smoak.

Going Global
Going Global

Kavalan King Car Conductor – 46%

Taiwan. Rich fruit and a sherry nose, with a sharp, dry texture and flavours of banana on the palate. Creates a long finish.

Amrut Fusion – 50%

India. Dry yet bold with toasted barley aromas on the nose. Very sharp on the palate, with a mouth-watering and long flavour of citrus. It soon dries though, with a salty finish.

English Whisky Company Chapter 6 – 43%

England. Slight smoke on the nose with a light sweet peat aroma coming through. Very sweet on the palate though, with a long flavour of dark chocolate creating a smooth yet dry finish. Hints of iodine and sea salt pop through too.

Penderyn Madeira – 46%

Light on the nose but with sweet honey notes lingering around. Sharp citrus cuts through on the palate, with a dry spice and hints of green fruit coming through. Creates a long finish.

A great look around the world, with some surprising results. My personal favourite out of the range would have to be English Whisky Company Chapter 6, although the Mackmyra First Edition came a close second. There seemed to be a split divide on which whisky favoured each member, but the great thing about the club is, and I could guarantee on my behalf, there would have been a hesitation in purchasing a dram in a bar if I had ever come across these brands, now though, I’d not only purchase, I’d recommend.

Next on the agenda for the Manchester Whisky Club is a touch of India, with Paul John whisky being showcased by the chaps themselves.

Join Manchester Whisky Club here or follow them on Twitter at @MCRWhiskyClub and Facebook.

Check out the rest of the photos of the first meet via my Facebook page.

© 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.

Manchester Whisky Club Review – July

MCR Whisky Club - Japanese

Last Thursday saw meeting number seven of the Manchester Whisky Club, held at the new venue of The Castle in Manchester. Just like last month, a theme was the order of the day, with everything Japanese celebrated. Club founder Andy brought with him 5 expressions covering a little bit of everything, so without further a do, lets see how they all fared –

Yamazaki 12yr – 43%

Matured in US, Spanish and Japanese oak casks. Light on the nose with aromas of honey, vanilla and peach. Becomes a little sweeter on the palate with spice lingering and a long finish.

Nikka Coffey Grain – 45%

A smooth nose of grain with a slight toffee aroma coming through. Again smooth on the palate, with a slight developing spice that creates a mouth-watering effect. Light, long and lingering on the finish.

Hakushu 12yrYoichi 10yr – 45%

Lightly peated, matured in ex bourbon and sherry casks. Bold, slightly peated with lots of sherry aromas. A spicy start, with some bold citrus and sherry notes coming through. Hints of peat gather at the long finish.

Karuizawa Spirit of Asama – 55%

Vatting of 77 casks. Bold on the nose with heavy treacle notes as well as demerara sugar and slight peat. Sharp and bold on the palate, but mellows into a lingering aroma of treacle. A short finish.

Hakushu 12yr – 43%

The older expression (the new version is 43.5%). Apple dominates the nose with a slight sweetness at the end. Light on the palate with slight bursts of freshness that mellows and causes it to linger slightly.

A great collection showcased, and a surprise for myself. Previously, Yamazaki has been my personal favourite, but after sampling the Hakushu, this is now my sought after Japanese whisky!

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