This post continue from TWE Whisky Show [Part 1]
I have just complete the first floor of The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show, and after tasting very nice whiskies as Talisker 35, Midleton Rare or several Kavalan Solist. Now I run for the ground floor where more whisky is awaiting me.
Hurry up! Hurry up Miguel! Ok, first floor has the whisky and food pairings, sure, very interesting. Thank you very much sir.
Going one floor under it. Wooa! Mother of God! So much whiskies and so little time. Only two and a half hours for the show to close. ok! Ok! Don’t panic!.
Douglas Laing stand
Douglas Laing stand seems a sensible option, and what better way of starting with it than tasting Carsebridge 45 years old Clan Denny Single Grain whisky. Awesome whisky. If you have never tasted any Clan Denny whisky you are already missing some of the best single grain whiskies world has ever seen. This one is simply fantastic!.
When I ask Fred Laing what he suggest me next, he recommends a Big Peat Christmas edition. I said that I have already tasted Big Peat and that I wasn’t impressed with it at all. He just smile and said that I should try it.
Wooha! Awesome peated whisky, this is really Huge Peat and with lovely coffee and earth notes. Oh my! This is serious stuff and I definitively will get a bottle of this as soon as I return home. [Done: Just got a bottle of Carsebridge 45yo and Big Peat Xmas edition 2012]
Ok, next suggestion is a Double Barrel Talisker and Craggelaiche. He explains me that this Double Barrel bottle is a cask of a young Talisker with a Craggelaiche cask. Umm, perhaps it is Big Peat or perhaps it is the 45 years old whisky I tasted before… but this one seems so inmature and young… Yeah, it is a Talisker… but it is too young for my taste, too floral. No, definitively not a whisky for me.
Still at the Douglas Laing stand, now with a Bunnahabhain 1991 Director’s Cut. Not bad, it is an interesting Bunnahabhain with some notes of coffee and spices as well as liquorice. But it doesn’t really look twenty years old. A nice whisky but I wasn’t impressed by it.
The Whisky Exchange own bottling stand
Time to move up. Umm, there. I just spot Tim of The Whisky Exchange and go there so say hi to him. I am recommended a Rosebank 21 years old bottled by The Whisky Exchange. Impressive whisky! Very sweet and with lots of orange parfum. Lovely and dearly departed.
So many bottles on The Whisky Exchange stand that I can’t make my mind about which one to take next, so I decided about moving and get some inspiration.
Paul John Distilleries stand
I go so to Paul John distilleries. They are a new indian whisky distillery that is presenting their first single cask whisky in the UK. It is a nice whisky that welcomes a bit of water but it tastes slightly young. It will be impressive in a few years but by now is nowhere near Amrut.
Yamazaki, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch and Bowmore: Suntory stand
Another jump! Tasting Bowmore Tempest 3rd release. Nice Bowmore slightly dry but with a really good peat punch. Yummy! There are also Bowmore 12, 15 and … wtf! Speciality Drinks Islay bottling on the next stand. Thank you Sir!
Speciality Drinks stand
Hello, how are you!? So many bottles so little time… I decide for Bn4 as I was really amazed by Bn1. This one is nowhere as nice as the old one but more peated and young. Also I tasted their Port Charlotte sherried Pl1. It is a massive peated dram with a slight touch of sherry. It is a style I don’t enjoy… but it isn’t bad at all ( Heh! Seems Malt Maniacs has enjoyed this one a lot, enough even to win it a Gold Medal at MMA 2012).
The Whisky Exchange Exclusive bottles stand
See Billy working on The Whisky Exchange stand. Going there to say Hi and thank him for the great previous day. He said that I should taste the maddest dram of the whole show, an hypersherried superpeated Ledaig 6 years old. Peated nuts!
I have to eat three oat cakes to remove the taste from my mouth.
He poured them on my glass, after I have cleaned it three or four times!, a dram of Tamnavulin 40 years old. Just write it down! Awesome! Perhaps the best dram I have in the show and one of the best I have ever had. Spring in whisky! So many flowers and floral sweetness. Lovely! You need one of these.
WTF! Isn’t that Mr George Grant?! Yeah!, He himself!. I have a photo with him and a generous dram of Glenfarclas 105 20 years old. A very interesting dram with lots of sherry inside, but doesn’t look so old.
Going for a walk around the show, I need inspiration.
Number 1 Drinks stand
Yeah, almost forgot about it! Number One Drinks stand. I say hi to Marcin Miller and explain him that I have been recommended to grab a chair and sit there with them. So I do.
I taste every whisky on the stand.
Per recommendation, I start with Karuizawa Spirit of Asama. It is a blend of sherry and bourbons casks from disappeared Karuizawa distillery. Very impressive whisky with a massive sherry punch.
Ok, now three single casks Karuizawa, muahahahaha, I feel so lucky!…
First one is a delicious Karuizawa 1982 aged in bourbon cask, that let the distillery character to shine. Delicious complex with with lots of wood and spices and a slightly floral touch. Very good one.
Next is a Karuizawa 28 years old Noh, this single cask whisky is a massive traditional sherry monster with lots of nuts, leather and some notes of cocoa. The label match the whisky perfectly.
Finally I have a Karuizawa 1984 also aged in sherry cask. Very good one, even better than Noh. For my taste, this 1984 is more subtle with some notes of leather and peat over the lovely character of Karuizawa. Out of this world whisky! So sad there is no more of this…
Ok, you won’t get rid of me so easily. I want a dram of Ichiro Malt and Grain blended whisky. Tastes young but already shows a very promising character in just a few years.
English Whisky Co Stand
OMG! Just thirty minutes for the show to close! I am going to need a few weeks to taste it all.
I go the Amrut/English whisky stand. Both most interesting proposals. I decide to taste first English whisky because I have a harder time getting samples of it. I was in love, really, very in love with Chapter 4. Andrew Nelstrop suggest that I start with St. George Chapter 6, it is the first whisky they have created and for me it is a bit young ( sorry pals, it is really bad luck to taste your stuff after three awesome Karuizawas ).
St. George Chapter 9 is the three years old version of Chapter 4. It is very smoky, I remember the 18 months version more peated than this. Not bad anyway.
I look anxious into Andrew’s eyes and ask him to give me his more peated creation, St. George Chapter 11 that is peated to 50ppm, Ardbeg is peated to around 30ppm. Wooa! This is the stuff that makes your hair grow. Lovely peated whisky. Yes sir, a really nice one.
Amrut Distilleries stand
I just introduce myself to Surrinder Kumar, vicepresident of Amrut Distilleries. And I declare myself a loyal follower of his distillery. I am poured a dram of Amrut Intermediate Sherry. It is a whisky aged in bourbon cask, then in sherry cask and then back to bourbon cask again.
Sounds strange? Yep, it is, but I have to say that it is a very good whisky. Really the process is working. Nice sherry touch on the cask strength fruitness of Amrut without killing the honey and vanilla notes. Awesome whisky.
So happy I was that he offered me a mystery Amrut malt to taste. This one tasted older with notes of pineapple and candies and have a bit of smoke in the finish. I really enjoyed this one. I am really looking forward to know what it is, because it is a really nice Amrut. Very recommended.
Last dram poured: Nuts!
So concentrated I was that I have not listen the speaker saying that no more whisky were going to be pour. What the fuck! Man, I have been only five and half hours drinking whisky. I can handle more, much more.
Anyway, I am spaniard! Rules doesn’t work with spaniards, so I around and try to get a dram of Ardbeg Galileo, no luck. Most counters were already dismantled. I was losing my hope when a shinning light like Harry Potter patronus appeared!
A stag! Yeah! I did my best to ask a dram of Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 19 years old and I got a small dram under the counter. Delicious Glenfiddich whisky, I still have to taste a bad Glenfiddich. Unfortunately I have no tastings notes of it as I tasted it in a hurry and no serious tasting note could be written.
I have had a great day on the show and although the disappointing Diageo behavior with no stocking enough whisky of their special releases, the show has been a greatly positive experience even if it is a very expensive one.
My recommendations on this floor are the Tamnavulin 40 years old, Carsebridge 45 years old,Big Peat Xmas edition, any of the Karuizawa and the Amrut Intermediate Sherry. All of them mindblowing delicious.
Click here for reading Part 3 of my incredible visit to The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show 2012.