Another festival this weekend had me heading down south to London where the streets are paved with gold and dreams can come true.. Ok not exactly what I found but some dreams could possibly come true but that’s another story.
This weekend was only the weekend for the whisky exchange show where us northern folk need passports and translation assistants to help us understand all that apples and pears talk… And don’t get me started on the ruddy underground………
So here is a short account off my visit for the Trade day ( bloggers, journalists, bar owners/staff and many other trades connected to the industry)
I arrived at the train station full of excitement only to find the train ain’t coming on time (don’t it know I have a whisky breakfast to get to) so as I arrived in London just a little late, gave my excuses to Billy ( part of the whisky exchange gang and everyday great guy and off course whisky buff ) as he poured me what should have been the second part of my breakfast (liquid of course) along with a room full of other bloggers before really spoiling us with a Strathisla 1977 single cast ( refill hogsheads ) which was bottled by Gordon and MacPhail (not a bad start to the day ) after a little explanation and chat about the whisky, a lot of ooos and mmmms we all headed down to the show.
Now those of you that know me will of course know that over the last several festivals I have been helping out with the Indian whisky, Paul John .. But as Said on this occasion I am back round the other side of the table in order to sample and meet a few of the great people within the industry ( some real name dropping coming up ) I was however feeling a little lost and kind of felt a little out of place but soon got back into the swing of trying whisky instead of pouring.. First stop was of course to say hello to Shilton on the Paul John stand before heading off to see what and who I could see..
First stop in the festival was with Gordon and MacPhail and the great duo of Ben ( a dram a day hero !! ) and Luke who had to put up with Ben all weekend.. As I already know Ben quite well we had to catch up over a wee dram, and what a dram it was (only a blooming 1967 Longmorn ) which was incredible !! Thanks Ben for the pointer !!
( Ben looking rather pleased with himself and the awesome Longmorn 1967..)
Next stop was Glen Moray ( A distillery that is producing some fantastic whisky and one of my favourite drams at the moment in the 1994 sherry finish ) for a chat and catch up with Iain whom had given me a fantastic tour and awsome whisky when I visited the Distillery last year, an introduction to Emma one of the staff from the distillery who very gracefully poured me a dram from the Mastery which is bottled from a very impressive 5 vintages in order to celebrate the distillerys 120th year.. (this is another rather impressive dram I’ll add ) Graham and the team just seem to be doing everything right up there..
A little walk had me arrive at Tomatin where a chat with Alistair and a pour of the 1988 while drooling over the 1972, A mix of 3 sherry matured hogsheads which when bottled at a massive 41 years of age gave an abv of 42.1%..
When I was actually offered a little taste and my senses went into overdrive! The aromas and flavours were just incredible and this wee sample was not hurried but given the respect it deserved..
Where next I wonder… I found myself standing at the Glenfiddich stand and chatting with James who blew my mind when he pulled out a bottle with black stuff in it… What the hell is that I asked
Jesus it was only a Glenfiddich 40 year old ( this is a dram I have always wanted to try but never expected to get the opportunity to actually drink some !! Bloody hell it was still in the glass 45 minutes later without touching my lips .. Incredible… enough said !! ( O and I actually did a bottle kill on this bottle )
Glendronach was my next stop and Eddie with his infectious enthusiasm and obviously fantastic whisky kindly poured a dram from a very low bottle (the kingsman) another very interesting dram from one of my favourite distilleries!! Can’t wait to review this one.. Moving on I arrived at a very busy Boutiquey whisky stand where Dave was sharing the Boutiquey love ( You have to give this guy some respect as he works so hard with an endless smile) all the time pouring some superb whiskies including a 33yo Port Ellen, yes I got to try this too and it could actually be the best one I’ve tried from the now closed distillery.. A few steps had me talking with Iain from the Angus Dundee stand where I was treated to the new Tomintoul 40 year old which again was just superb.. Just a few short step found me at Bruichladdich where I finally met up with Christy ( anyone who has been involved with or just watched the live micro provenance broadcasts will know the name !!) who off course treated me to the one and only Black Art which I have to say was just another whisky that just makes you smile !! ( it was only because I told her the tractor gang were on the way) Ok so now there was only really one place left to visit and no show is complete without the ever youthful, incredible, one of a kind whisky master himself, Colin Dunn ( he pays for the intros ) who had delights like the latest Brora from the 2017 release, but I didn’t go there instead he poured me some Talisker new make ( yes I said Talisker new make !! ) ( and yes I know what your thinking, me with talisker in my glass ) not something that happens too often but wow how fruity and soft was this !! Next a pour of Talisker 8yo straight from a cask that isn’t even bottled yet … ( Colin what you doing to me)
but incredibly I rather enjoyed them (Am I Ill ? ) ok so the show is almost over now and only really one more thing to do and that would be to drop a few names that I met.. Only Mark from Whisky cast !! Almost felt like taking a bow as he is royalty ( isn’t he ? ) Then within a few steps only one of the most influential ( my opinion ) persons in the industry Mr Dave Broom..
it was Incredible to be able to chat briefly with these two giants from the industry then as I turn round there is only a familiar face from back home (Yorkshire) Non other than Eddie and Amanda Ludlow from the Whisky lounge a quick chat and off I went again to see Glenlivet where another incredible dram was waiting to be poured into my glass, a rather delicious 40 yo single cask from way back ( 1966 )
I think that just about finished it off but I will just say watch out for a rather incredible whisky coming out from those people at Compass box .. ( you peat lovers are going to go nuts over this one !!)
A few other mentions that need to be said.. It was a pleasure to meet a lot of other bloggers and industry folk like Stewart from Glendronach, Matt from whisky for everyone, Chris from the Dram team ( long overdue ) No nonsense whisky ( Vim ) and Gentleman Grimm who I spoke with several times before right at the end of the show I suddenly realised who he was so my apologies to you.. Jon from scotchandsci-fi and Sarah who makes some incredibly tasty whisky fudge ( find it, eat it .. Nom nom it’s all gone !! ) Amy Seaton (whisky brum ) and @whiskymsjnr who just makes you want to smile.. Ollie ( mr one day I’ll get you drinking peated whisky ) and Mariella from Elements of Islay.. And to the many many others who made this one of the most enjoyable days at a whisky festival I’ve had …
I am sure you will all agree that the above list of drams sampled are all incredible in their own rights but as a group of drams in one day they are nothing more than phenomenal !!
Jason from Whiskywise. Check out his video vlogs on YouTube..
Below.. . Christy from Bruichladdich.. The tractor boys are after you !
Just look at the colour !!
Below.. Ashok from Amrut..
A fantastic dram .. Tomintoul 40 ..
Omg what a bottle kill…
Below.. No nonsense whisky ( vim) check out his video reviews on YouTube and off course Gentleman Grimm ( fellow blogger)
Eddie and Stewart from Glendronach, BenRiach and Glenglassough..
Hair transplant time..