Denkantā Tweet Tasting

Monday 18th June saw a merry group of tweeters group together for a journey into Japanese Whisky. A first for me and many others I imagine…

The first whisky we were going to try was the Yamazakura 963 21 year old bottled at 58%.

From their website “the whisky is meticulously blended using a combination of single malt and grain whisky. Bottled at 58%, you’ll enjoy the mellow fragrance and complex flavor of this great bottle.”

On the nose,  I was getting a creamy vanilla. Slight slight wisp of sulphur (I had been letting the whisky open for half an hour or so…) A little apple and a dusting of chocolate…got a little morello cherry as I was nosing it earlier on.  The dram kept changing slightly a new scent here and there, getting that old creaky worn leather note now. And a slight perfumed scent which is… lovely!!

The palate, lovely oaky flavour on the tongue… I do love a bit of wood. Fruity and kind of got my taste buds watering. There was lovely fruit sweetness… some bitter notes too. And that’s a good thing. Chocolate is still lingering with a pinch of spice. Some added water, I added another sip… I think my exact words were “I’ll chuck in an “eeh, I like that!”

The second sample of the evening was Eigashima 2011 Kikou-Ki Series – Single Cask Japanese Single Malt bottled at 58.4%. this was aged in a Port Ellen cask.

From Dekanatā “The Kikou bottling pays homage to the rich history of Japanese whisky by maturing in a cask from the world renowned Port Ellen distillery in Scotland. This is an acknowledgement of the Scottish education of Masataka Taketsuru, the industry pioneer regarded as the “Father Of Japanese Whisky.” By learning the process of Scotland’s premiere distilleries, Taketsuru was able to bring those concepts back to Japan and launch the first Japanese whisky distillery.”

Initially (I poured it an hour earlier) I got the aroma of yeast/dough, green apples, and citrus fruit. Coupled with a smoky scent. There was a soft perfumed note but organic (outdoorsy (fresh early morning walk)) scent too. Then some more fruity notes coming to the fore… floral scent too. Alongside this there was a slight lemony note, very fresh. A slight saltiness…

Time for a sip.

Ooh a slightly viscous mouthfeel… (which I didn’t quire expect) big hit of burnt sugar meets spice. Slightly tart. A suggestion of smokiness. Drying on the palate. It was a little woody (think pencil shavings) and some nutty flavours too. Warming finish but it is quite dry.

I really can’t say that I liked the Kikou. There was just something that didn’t quite sit well with my palate. On the other hand, the Yamazakura blend just kept giving me little nods and hints of something more… which is always nice.

It was a great evening with some lovely people. Huge amount of thanks to Steve Rush and Denkantā for including me in this tweet tasting… always a treat to try something completely new.

Sarah x

Singleton Malt Master’s Selection Whisky Flash Blog!

Okay so let’s start by saying there wasn’t much information on this so… let’s do this.

Bright golden colour. Fine legs.

The nose is quite fresh and inviting. I’m getting toffee. Initially it was lightly perfumed and quite floral. Slight nuttiness. Bit of ginger and nutmeg. Fruit cake kind of aroma too.

On the palate, quite a thin mouthfeel. Pleasantly spicy. Nutty flavours and a lovely toffee too. A little creamy, a hint of sweet vanilla.

The finish was quite short and a little drying but the sweetness and spice remain.

If I have to hazard a guess at the strength I’d go for 40%…. time will tell. It’s definitely a sweet whisky and an easy one to spend some time with if it suits your palate.

Many thanks to Diageo and Steve for the sample and the opportunity.

Sarah

Anyone Fancy Some Fudge?

Whisky fudge lovers…  The next date for your diaries is next week fudge will be posted out on Friday 22nd June. If you are attending Stoke Whisky Festival, then feel free to pop past and say hello and collect it from me in person.

So treat yourself or treat that someone special in your life…

The choices of fudge will be:

Aberlour A’bunadh – Batch 61

Glen Garioch 15 Year Old – Sherry Cask Matured

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Boxes contain 200g of fresh homemade whisky fudge – Order form link is below…

Important Information

INGREDIENTS: Golden Caster Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Milk (Whole Milk and Sugar), Butter (from Milk and Salt) Whisky

For Allergens see ingredients in bold

The freshly made fudge has a shelf life of 3 weeks… but believe me it won’t take that long before I hear you say “nom nom…it’s all gone!!”….

Boxes are £5.50 per 200g box, plus p+p (normally £3.90 up to two boxes…I will let you know the cost directly should you order more.)

UK and EU Only

Order Form

What I Love… About Making Fudge

You’ve probably heard the story of what started me on my whisky fudge making journey…but what makes me continue to do it?

I guess it’s because it is something I love to do.

It is by no means a 5 minute job however, once my orders have been received and I have prepped my kitchen, that joy kicks in. The weighing, chopping, and measuring the special ingredient “whisky!!”.

The moment the whisky meets the mixture and that delicious cloud of my very own angel’s share hits my senses, bliss! And while it sets I make up the boxes and labels and my kitchen smells like whisky heaven…

Once it is cut and packaged what still remains is that wonderful aroma. And that’s what I love.

If you fancy delighting your tastebuds, then you know where to come x

General Data Protection Regulations – iheartwhisky

iheartwhisky Privacy Policy

Hello, I’m writing this because while I am required to notify you of my privacy policy, for the most part my approach is pretty simple, and it’s worth me telling it to you in plain English.

See below a version of things you need to know about data and privacy.

I care a lot about using your info in the right way.  As such, any data/info I collect is only to help me to be able to send you your delicious fudge, and there is no chance that I will sell that data to anyone, it is kept private.

If you buy from me I’ll collect your details to help me fulfil your order. Payment data, like any proper website, is not collected. If for any reason you think I mucked up and did something I shouldn’t have, I am confident it is a mistake, as I personally handle customer data and manage my communications, so please write to me at sarah@iheartwhisky.co.uk with any concerns or requests, and I’ll deal with it.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the full legalese version below!

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

This Privacy Policy describes how your personal information is collected, used, and shared make a purchase from iheartwhisky (the “Site”).

PERSONAL INFORMATION I COLLECT When you visit the Site, I automatically collect certain information (as requested on the “order form”) when you make a purchase or attempt to make a purchase through the Site, I collect certain information from you, including your name, billing address, shipping address, email address, and phone number. I refer to this information as “Order Information”. When I talk about “Personal Information” in this Privacy Policy, I am talking about Order Information.

HOW DO I USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION? ORDER INFORMATION I use the Order Information that I collect generally to fulfill any orders placed through the Site (including receiving your payment, arranging for shipping, and providing you with invoices and/or order confirmations). Additionally, I use this Order Information to:- Communicate with you;- Screen my orders for potential risk or fraud; and when in line with the preferences you have shared with me, provide you with information relating to my products.

SHARING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION In order to do the above, I share your Personal Information with third parties. For example, I use The Royal Mail to post parcels.

I also use Google Forms for the order process –  you can read more about how Google uses your Personal Information here: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/. You can also opt-out of Google Analytics here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout   

I never give your Personal Information to a third party.

Finally, I may also share your Personal Information to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to respond to a subpoena, search warrant or other lawful request for information I receive, or to otherwise protect my rights.

Google: https://www.google.com/settings/ads/anonymous-

Bing: https://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/policies/personalized-adsAdditionally, you can opt out of some of these services by visiting the Digital Advertising Alliance’s opt-out portal at: http://optout.aboutads.info/

YOUR RIGHTS If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information I hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. If you would like to exercise this right, please contact me through the contact information below. Additionally, if you are a European resident and I note that I am processing your information in order to fulfill contracts I might have with you (for example if you make an order), or otherwise to pursue my legitimate business interests listed above. Additionally, please note that your information will be transferred outside of Europe.

DATA RETENTION When you place an order through the Site, I will maintain your Order Information for my records unless and until you ask me to delete this information.

CHANGES I may update this privacy policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to my practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons.

MINORS The Site is not intended for individuals under the legal age of drinking in the country in which you reside, which is 18 in the United Kingdom where I operate.

CONTACT ME For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact me by e-mail at sarah@iheartwhisky.co.uk

Tamdhu Tweet Tasting

Saturday 5th May brought us a sumptuous tasting from Tamdhu… lucky us!!

This live tasting came from Tamdhu Distillery during Spirit of Speyside. The only question on my lips was “what delights are we going to experience?” remember it’s not only the palate which can make us smile, it’s the colour, the nose and the finish that can take us to heaven… I’ve been there. It’s a good place 🙂

Four drams awaited our exploration, they were the 10 year old, batch strength 003, the Dalbeallie and the Distillery Team Edition.

First up was the 10 year old this had a lovely fresh almost perfumed nose…lovely vanilla, lightly spiced too, and a little fudge. Next we moved on to the batch strength 003 – 58.3% abv.

The batch strength had a lovely thick mouthfeel. Delicious spice, and lovely oak flavours. Something to get your teeth into.

The sample with the question mark was the Dalbeallie, from Tamdhu’s website: “This rare bottling has been created to honour Dalbeallie train station and the vital role the Victorian railway played in receiving Tamdhu’s precious sherry oak casks from Spain”.

A whopping but pleasing strength of 62.1% abv what would this deliver? Hmm sherry (obvs.) Quite soft scents. Fresh. Very light sugar… a little hint of bread and a feint wisp of vanilla and leather. Then…hmm nice a full mouthfeel again. That cask strength is right up my street. Cinnamon and woody flavours. A little burnt sugar…hoo yah!

Last dram of the tasting was the Distillery Team Edition, this was released to mark the 120th anniversary of the distillery, and it was selected by the 15 members of the distillery team.

Another cask strength delight (59.3% abv definitley hitting my spot.) First to note…what a colour, and as for the strength I’m getting a lot of gentle scents… sugar and some treacle and fruit and ooh.. I needed to taste this!! It is thick and full on the palate… a lovely dark muscovado sugar, spice and a little bitter chocolate. Pencil shavings, and sweetness too. A certain smoothness on the tongue too…a little cream. Delightful indeed! A definite smile inducer…

A huge amount of thanks to Tamdhu and Steve for incuding me and to everyone else who took part – slàinte!

Sarah x

Cognac Twitter Tasting

Wednesday 25th April saw me dipping my toes or more likely coating my tongue in cognac…Yes I was a cognac virgin.

We were about to sample cognac from Maxim Trijol, Réviseur and Leyrat:

“The first Maxime Trijol still was installed in Saint-Martial-sur-Né in the Cognac heartland in 1859.

Today, the house boasts twenty-two 2,500-litre stills. Maxime Trijol is different in that the brand cultivates its own vines, as well as distilling and ageing Cognac.

In this way, Maxime Trijol oversees all the steps in the cognac production process: growing the grapes, distillation, ageing and bottling”…

Réviseur & Leyrat:

 

“Cognac Réviseur embodies the attributes that have made the Petite Champagne cru that it comes from famous: intensity, full body and aromatic richness.

The Réviseur estate spreads over more than 90 hectares in the heart of Petite Champagne.

The east-west position of its vineyards is particularly favourable for producing very aromatic wines. The distillation in very small stills (1600 litres) and its ageing in dry cellars gives powerful Cognacs that reflect the true potential of this terroir recognised for its concentration of aromas”.

“I chose the Domaine at Chez Maillard for the exceptional terroir over the 90 hectares of vines. Situated on top of the limestone hill with lots of sunshine, this reputed vineyard in the Fins Bois gives fine and elegant eaux-de-vie with astonishing quality.

Recognised by the greatest restaurants around the world, LEYRAT Cognac is the gastronomic flagship in my group. Cognac LEYRAT has a long history of international recognition, winning awards internationally. It is a Cognac for the great connoisseur”.

Réviseur nose was fruity and fresh, at the start an almost grassy freshness and some nice spice prickling at your senses.

Réviseur palate…hmm vanilla and a lovely warmth from the spices & some fruity notes. Thin mouthfeel but a full flavour.

Maxime Trijol VSOP nose gives a soft and floral scent and delicately so, a little peach. Lovely sugar sweetness. Maybe a hint of caramel…

Maxime Trijol XO N: nail varnish initially (and I’m not painting mine black at the moment) a wee bit of muscovado sugar perhaps. A feint hint of vanilla.

Maxime Trijol (kisses and hugs my friends) grande champagne cognac, I getting a lovely woody note now I’ve left it to open. Something quite appealing that I can’t quite put my finger on… the palte? ooh a little rich, lovely but thin mouthfeel. Rich fruit flavours and a little creaminess to it too. Maybe getting some nice woody notes too accompanied by a nice warmth on the palate, not overly fruity. A nice bitter sweetness (but reminds me of tea when the bags been left in too long.

Leyrat XO Elite Cognac the nose was sweet and salty (fleetingly) and some woody notes again.

The palate, oof big full mouthfeel fruity and rich. A little too bitter perhaps and a salty aftertaste.

I’ll definitely have another dabble in cognac. The Maxime Trijol VSOP and XO intrigue me. The Leyrat didn’t quite suit my palate however. Just need to remember I am sampling something other than whisky… can throw you a little at times.

Thanks for the opportunity of sampling these Steve and MarussiaUK.

Sarah x

The Balvenie Tour

All good things come to he (or she) that waits…and man, that happened to me.

I’ve been trying to visit The Balvenie Distillery since mid 2016, and I even had to cancel a tour last year as work got in the way.

Today that changed.

Today I found myself spending rather a long time in whisky heaven…and I loved every single minute.

What treats awaited me? What would I see? All those sights and sounds and of course aromas and tastes.

I was met outside by Charles Metcalfe at the visitor centre. Then it was time for a coffee and to meet the others who were on the tour. This was a lovely group of four from America and shortly after a group of three men from Liverpool.

So the time had come. We were told the history of the distillery and then we made a move to start… off to the malt house. It was great to see the barley steeping as well as being able to follow it through to the kiln. A real insight and treat…I had been hoping to see one of these processes, but not both.

We then meandered through to the washbacks…the comment that made me smile was “and now you’re ready for whisky..” yum yum indeed. Being able to immerse yourself in an experience like this. Bliss!

The stills were a lovely sight, and then off to the cooperage after calling shotgun. En route we passed all those wonderful warehouses where casks sleep.

This was my first experience of a cooperage. All I can say is what a skill!

From there we then drove back to the visitor centre to drop the van, where to next?

Warehouse 24.

I was really quite excited about this.

Through the door, heavenly aromas greeted us. The dimly lit warehouse with the casks sleeping…maturing while we await their contents.

Upstairs we enjoyed some samples from a first fill bourbon cask, a second fill bourbon and a sherry cask.

Then time for samples back in the tasting room. From new make to a rather delicious dram from 1974…what an array of whiskies.

Huge amount of thanks to Charles for a thoroughly informative tour, and to Lisa and Duane…your humour and fun were appreciated.

Sarah x

PS I licked my fingers 😋

Glenfarclas 15 Cask Strength

You know me…I like a good recommendation…so I bought this.

The “this” is the Glenfarclas 15 at cask strength which is 58.6% – I do love the 15 year old so it made sense to purchase this.

The nose is soft spices mingling with sticky rich fruit, the scent of milk chocolate floats by along with soft dark sugar with some lovely cinnamon.

A palate that is a rich and full cask strength delight. Lovely hints of oak and a slight nuttiness…A little vanilla and spices delight your tastebuds as you tuck into a lovely slice of sticky fruit cake. Yum yum!

Please sir can I have some more? The finish leave you licking and picking on the crumbs of the cake and enjoying the remnants of the oaky flavours… delicious!

Tullamore DEW Tweet Tasting

Wednesday March 7th saw a group of avid whisky fans take part in a tweet tasting with Steve Rush @TheWhiskyWire and @TullamoreDEW

From their website… “Tullamore D.E.W. is the original triple distilled, triple blend whiskey. Known the world over for its smooth and gentle complexity. Tullamore D.E.W. is named after Daniel E. Williams, the man who decided that true craft could only come from the True Character and insisted that his whiskey was made accordingly.” A tale of character.

And I love the quote too:

“SUCCESS COMES NOT TO THOSE WHO DESIRE IT MOST, BUT TO THOSE WHO CARE DEEPLY ABOUT WHAT THEY DO AND FEEL COMPELLED TO CREATE”

So what treats were we about to partake in? The line up was as follows: XO Rum Cask, 14 year old, 18 year old and the Original.

The rum Cask XO was sweet with a bit of caramel and vanilla and a twist of citrus. The palate was sweet, but dark with treacle toffee. The finish was delicious with vanilla and spices.

We then moved onto the 14 year old.  Initially pear drops but as it’s opening it’s turning towards warm apple cake with lovely caramel and sweetness. Very soft on the nose. I then detected a sort of hot chocolate powder too (before you add milk) then that hint of pear comes back. Well we all love a nice pear…don’t we? It had quite a light mouthfeel. Plenty of vanilla and still some fruity flavours. Smooth.

Add another four years and we then sampled the 18 year old, fruity and juicy. I’m thinking galia melon. Vanilla and a lovely almost talc like softness. Letting it open further, there was a nice caramel and a soft fleeting hint of worn / warm leather. Hmm I’m enjoying nosing this…

It has a nice rich feel on the mouth. It’s just teasing enough to make your mouth water a little…always a plus point with me. The fruit flavours remain with lovely woody flavours. A little pepper too.

The last dram of the evening was the Original, this is triple ditilled in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks. This was very light on the nose as opposed to the others…caramel and vanilla a fresh scent on the nose.

The  palate is delivering some spice and fruit now (cherry tunes?)

At this point I had to duck out, but what an interesting journey into Tullamore DEW.

I think my order of preference was: 14/18 then the Original/XO rum cask. Another insight into Irish whiskey that was fab!

Another lovely evening in the company of friends all delighting in this journey of whisky…

Thanks for the opportunity Steve and Tullamore 🙂