Douglas Laing Old Particular Tweet Tasting

I don’t really do Twitter tastings any more. Mainly it’s because I seem to be quite good at missing them, but I also like the idea of getting more new people involved – most who see me tweeting along will probably already know about the drams I’m trying if they care about whisky, and if not they’ll be following someone else who’ll be taking part. However, every now and again one pops up that tickles my interest and drags me out of my self-imposed retirement. One of those hit recently – a preview tasting of the new Douglas Laing Old Particular range.

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Maltstock 2013: Tasting the Tamdhu 10

My final masterclass of Maltstock was the one I put at the top of my list – Tamdhu with Antony McCallum-Caron. Ever since I tried the recently released Tamdhu 10 I’ve been rather interested in what else the distillery might produce, and as such was rather keen to know what Antony might have brought along with him.

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Maltstock 2013: “Balvenie” Masterclass – Glenfiddich 21 Gran Reserva Deconstruction

So, there was another Maltstock. As is usual, it’s taken me a couple of weeks to get over the exertions of the weekend, but strangely it’s not to do with the booze – it’s sleep. A weekend in the Netherlands, surrounded by interesting whisky and whisky folk, leads to a distinct lack of kip, especially when the beds are so uncomfortable. However, it’s part of the event’s ‘charm’ and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unless they want to change the beds, in which case I’d be all for it.

Anyway, outside of the many tasty boozes I drank while sitting around talking rubbish (with Jonthe balloon headed whisky disposal unitBeach winning on both the whisky providing [a 1978 Port Ellen. Best. Year. Evar] and rubbish talking [his repeated claims that he’s not the Whisky Sponge. We all know it’s really him…{it’s not}]) I also sat in on some masterclasses. First up – the ‘Balvenie’ class…

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Whisky Squad #53 – The Rivers of Speyside

The first outing for the Whisky Squad in February (after a late January tasting with me at the helm which I was too busy talking at people during to make notes – the drams are all listed on the ‘Stuff we’ve drunk‘ page on the Squad website) handed the reins of to Joel for a tour through Speyside. While the region is named after the river Spey there are a bunch of other rivers, with the big ones being the Findhorn, Isla, Deveron, Avon and Lossie. However, despite the session’s moniker the focus of the evening was the whisky rather than any other bodies of liquid…

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#LoveBowmore – A Bowmore Twitter tasting

Twitter is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the whisky world, with the initial onslaught of geeky whisky fans acting as a vanguard to bloggers, writers and producers who have been signing up and joining in the conversation with various levels of enthusiasm. One of the more recent inductees into the online world is Rachel Barrie, aka @TheLadyBlender, master blender for Morrison Bowmore Distillers, the folks behind Bowmore, Glen Garioch and Auchentoshan (as well as the “I’ve never seen them before” McLelland’s single malts).

She’s thrown herself into tweeting in an enthusiastic manner and as a first larger work related thing put together a bunch of twitterers to join in with the first Bowmore Twitter tasting under the hashtag of #LoveBowmore. I was on the guestlist.

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The Victoria Whisky Festival

In recent times this blog has been characterised by flurries of posts followed by chunks of silence. Generally I have reasons why I haven’t had time to pour my brain out into a computer, but more often than not it’s been that I just didn’t round to writing anything. This time, though, I did have a reason:

I went to Canada.

Afraid as I am of the world that lies outside of the control of London transport, I started last week with a trip to Kidderminster, and two days later was on a plane to Beautiful British Columbia to visit the annual Victoria Whisky Festival.

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Whisky Squad #51 – The Brown Spectrum (volume 3)

With new year comes what is now becoming a tradition for Whisky Squad, in as much as doing something for three years in a row make a tradition – a session in the cellars of Berry Brothers & Rudd with friend of The Squad Rob Whitehead.

On arrival Foursquare informed me that I hadn’t been to Berry’s since January of 2012, when we did our ‘Third Sense‘ session in the Berry’s cellar, which makes me a sad panda – visiting the shop is something I try to do from time to time, despite being able to get most of their spirits at work, simply because it’s rather excellent, from subsiding floor to unalterable English Heritage listed nails (stuck into a Tudor period wall significantly after the time when the wall belonged to one of Henry VII’s hunting lodges), to say nothing of the wine.

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#BerrysWhisky – Berry Brothers and Rudd Tweet Tasting

Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire continues to rule the world of online Twitter tastings. I generally stay out of them to let more real people in, rather than industry shills like myself, but every now and again Steve runs one that piques my interest. They’ve been coming thick and fast recently and one of his November sessions was put on in association with The Great Whisky Company and Berry Brothers & Rudd. Despite Rob Whitehead‘s frequent attendance at Whisky Squad I don’t get to try anywhere as near as much of BBR’s whisky as I’d like, so I pinged Steve and got in on the tasting.

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Whisky Squad #48 – The Storry of Grain

Since I’ve started helping out with Whisky Squad I’ve not had the chance to contribute a session’s title, but with #48 I dropped a bad pun and the chaps for some reason went along with it. An evening of grain whisky with occasional whisky photorgrapher and evil tempter Philip Storry – The Storry of Grain.

I am not proud.

I’ve known Phil for a few years. He’s an almost constant fixture at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in London, comes along to many of our tastings at The Whisky Exchange, and has photographed both those tastings and The Whisky Show for a while. He’s also the reason I’m a grain whisky fan, ‘forcing’ me to try some Port Dundas at a Compass Box blending school, and since then filling my head with knowledge and my hand with random grain whiskies almost every time I bump into him. I approve.

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