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 – slĂ inte!

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, RĂ©viseur and Leyrat:

“The first Maxime Trijol still was installed in Saint-Martial-sur-NĂ© 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”…

RĂ©viseur & Leyrat:

 

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

The RĂ©viseur 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”.

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

RĂ©viseur 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

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 🙂

Would the Real Dave Please Stand Up! Hairlarious…

Well now it’s been a little while since I graced you all with my words and thoughts, and seeing as I’ve got a few hours to spare before I fly away home, I thought I’d put my thumbs to good use. And now I’m catching up and properly finishing it off…

So, what’s been happening? Well I’ve had two fun weekends away and a lovely tasting in between.

Last weekend saw me in Newcastle at the other side of the table… yes I was selling whisky fudge and serving some whisky on the iheartwhisky stand along with the help of Sorren (ocdwhisky) and the kindness of Adrian (Claxton’s) and the ever so funny and lovely Colin Dunn (Talisker.) Thanks again to you all…. you really have helped make it even better than it already was.

Fine drams were poured, the Talisker 10 year old alongside Claxton’s Glentauchers 20 year and an 11 year old Linkwood as well as some Glen Moray whisky we we had both supplied ourselves. What a thirsty bunch!

As you’re all probably aware, I have attended festivals with fudge before now, squeezing in to a little space here and there…but this time, well this time was bigger. So what was new? The banner was new…a few discussions and ideas were thought out before I went ahead and ordered one. I think this definitely helped people to locate the table…after all my boxes are small even though they are filled with lovely treats so it was to draw people in.

A not too early start on the Saturday (I came down the day before) saw me travelling a short distance to the Civic Centre, and thanks to Guy my table was alongside Talisker and as a bonus I had Murray McDavid on the other side…what a treat! So I quickly set up while the faces of friends started to appear to do the exact same thing. All too soon it was time for the doors to open to waiting whisky fans who it has to be said on the whole were a lovely bunch. A lot of fudge was sold and sampled with the benefit of having Talisker on the neighbouring table with David (and later Sorren.)

It was handy Talisker were next door so people were able to try the Talisker 10 fudge along with the whisky. People also enjoyed the Glen Moray Elgin Classic and Elgin Classic Sherry Cask Finish along with the matching fudge. It was great to talk about why I do what I do as well as also meeting new people, and this is a big part of why I do it too.

It was lovely to meet some new people, Derek Custer and his Dad. Then Scott Munro too, and yes there were a few more…and apologies to the person who followed me and was instantly faced with my Policeman’s helmet tweet… Ha ha.

Who else did I say hello to? Ben ‘adramaday’ Bowers, Ant and Dec (Andy & Stu aka This Is My Dram), Alex (Mackmyra), David & Wendy (whiskeytumblers) and Craig.

It was then time to head back North and prepare for another weekend away (the following weekend), this time to Stourbridge for The Midlands Whisky Festival. So it was get home. Make fudge, pack a suitcase and fly!

It was such a gorgeous day when I eventually got to Stourbridge, a balmy 12 degrees which was nice to sit in in the beer garden with a Glenfiddich… yum yum.

It was then time to go and find the hall so a quick nip into Nickolls & Perks pointed us in the right direction whisky and fudge in tow. It was lovely bumping into Colin (Dunn.)

So we found the table and got set up.

The evening session was great fun… the iheartwhisky sandwich was between That Boutique-y Whisky Company and Kilkerran. Lucky us.

It was a quick evening.

The Saturday session was soon upon us, so it was breakfast, grab more fudge and head back to the hall. Not sure what happened to Sorren, was it too much Talisker the weekend before? Was it a full moon? Or had Dave suggested he needed a beard to work on the Boutique-y stand? Probably the latter, however it was hairlarious… I even bought emergency olives in order to find out which one was which?

Saturday was hectic. Lots of people as well as some delicious whisky discoveries too. I managed to buy a couple of bottles from the samples I tried from That Boutique-y Whisky Company so I was pleased about that. I also toyed with buying the Douglas Laing XOP Invergordon 51 year old….

Saw some familiar faces dotting about too. It was great to meet David and Jerome (Nickolls & Perks) Andy Watts (@thewhiskymaker) all the way from SA. Graham Ward too and thank you so much for the samples, hope you enjoy the Claxton’s Glenrothes 1997!

Mark from Malt Review, Edward Milner. Andy Purslow. The lovely Eddie Mullen and Matt… and Neil Rowley too.

Sadly all too soon it was time to say farewell… and wish everyone safe journeys home in the snow.

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by and laughed and chatted and bought fudge. Those that supported me… thank you, you helped make this possible.

This only begs one question?

When’s the next one?

Glenfarclas The Legend of Speyside â€śPassion”

Glenfarclas The Legend of Speyside Passion 46% vol.

This was produced for the German market.

The nose offers a lot of caramel, vanilla and sweetness…this hand in hand with spice. It’s fragrant with cinnamon. There’s a slight herbal note too.

It’s quite thin on the palate. Plenty of spices just warming the throat as you swallow… there are some lovely  oak flavours and it’s ever so slightly tart.

Still suggestions of vanilla on the tongue. Just feels a tad too weak. The finish gives the warmth of the spices and the woody flavours remain. Quite a short finish though.

Glenfarclas 29 Year Old 1986 Family Collector Series 7

Tonight I’m trying one of the bottles from my advent calendar. I was kinda busy so didn’t do them all in December.

This is a 29 year old from refill sherry casks. From the Family Collector Series 7, this was distilled in 1986, and it’s 53.8% vol.

On the nose:

Initially there was the feint scent of struck matches. Ever so fleetingly.

Lots of fruit, sticky & rich…with spices prickling at the senses. A slight hint of ginger. Sweet vanilla and demerara sugar. Maybe the slightest wisp of menthol… after letting it open there’s a little maraschino cherry, and old cigar boxes.

Palate is smooth and rich. It starts with those delicious fruits I had on the nose…lovely vanilla and dark chocolate giving a bitter bite. The spice is there with a touch of oak. It’s a comforting dram.

The finish is warm and delicious…fruit and a lingering soft sweetness.  I’ve really taken my time with this one.

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Inside the Glenfarclas Advent Calendar: Day 11

December 11th and another Glenfarclas dram for me 🙂

Today’s dram is one of the cask strength premium editions which was distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2015 and it’s 59.8% vol. I believe this was originally released for the German market.

Ooh did someone order Christmas cake? Fruitilicious baby! And chocolate from an advent calendar too…there’s a slight little mustiness that also gives allspice and the merest hints of orange rind.

Quite a powerful first sip, but of course this is cask strength and it shows. It’s a bit of a sherry tease. The spice is apparent and so is the orange. It’s sweet from the rich fruits I noticed on the nose and there’s a lovely flavour of oak too.

Warming fruity finish with oak and milk chocolate sweetness just levelled by the spice. And some malty notes too.

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The GlenDronach Distillery 1995

Last night I enjoyed a second dram of the above whisky…just to be sure.

I first sat with this a good few weeks back.

When I tried it initially, I started with it in one glass, allowed it to open, and then poured it into a fresh one. It was interesting to be able to nose the first glass while enjoying getting to know this whisky.

So from that glass which had the whisky in it, I was getting chocolate, and delicious musky notes, as well as rich demerara sugar. There was the aroma of an old tobacco box, and a gentle whack of leather…

From what I was nosing in the sample was a rich heady fragrance. I was getting succulent sherry soaked sultanas and raisins. Morello cherries on the nose too…then a feint scent of menthol and black pepper. A hint of leather and the old tobacco box scent was still there, and a little nutty aroma, perhaps like macadamia nuts.

It was ever, ever so slightly waxy on the palate. It had dark bitter chocolate.

It was nutty with warming spices. There wasn’t a lot of sweetness…but there was dark burnt sugar. However this is reassuringly delicious.

Then the oak that comes through on the finish, with some black pepper warmth with those cherries making a reappearance and a dark bitter chocolate.

I really enjoyed this dram!! As I say, I’ve sat with it on a couple of occasions now, just letting it open, and then allowing it to toy with my senses…

This is definitely a dram to share on a winters night. I can picture it now, music in the background, low lights, logs crackling on the fire and a glass of this in hand… bliss!

– – – – –

GlenDronach 1995

Distilled : 01.11.95

Bottled: September 2015

Age: 19 years old

Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry Puncheon

56.9% vol.

Inside the Glenfarclas Advent Calendar: Day 10

Ho Ho Ho!

Today it’s the turn of the 21 year old, this is slightly tamer than yesterday’s dram at 43% vol.

Fruity nose. A little fresh orange and spice – cinnamon and a drizzle of vanilla essence. Not sure where this came from, but there’s a real outdoorsy fresh scent once left to open. The palate is quite malty. There’s a very slight bitter sugary taste. The malt is very prominent, with some chocolate buttons for good measure.

The spice is quite warming.

There’s a long finish on this dram, it’s ever so slightly nutty and a little dry.

I’m quite eager to get my hands on tomorrow’s dram…it being the 11th and all that 🙂