The Victoria Whisky Festival – The Springbank Grand Tasting

Of all the Scottish distilleries that people in the whisky industry are meant to like the one that I’ve paid least attention to in recent times is Springbank. I loved the ‘Rundlets & Kilderkins‘ bottling that appeared last year and used to ensure that I always had a bottle of Longrow 100 proof in the cupboard, but other than that I’ve not really tried anything from them in recent times. Being a reflective sort (self-examining rather than polished) I’m assuming this is because most of the contact I’ve had with the brand in the last couple of years is hearing about how expensive their older bottlings are, and seeing the Longrow 18 fly off the shelves for a scary amount of money, even though I thought it quite average.

So, when I was offered the choice of various ‘Grand Tastings’, the top end tasting sessions that happen the night before the big day of the Victoria Whisky Festival, I pounced on the Sprinbank one. We had no indication of what might be on the mat, but behind the times as I am any recent bottlings would be great. However, that wasn’t entirely what happened.

Continue reading “The Victoria Whisky Festival – The Springbank Grand Tasting”

The Victoria Whisky Festival – Quick Tastings: Bowmore

I drank a fair few things at the Victoria Whisky Festival and haven’t got enough hours in the day to write them up in my usual overly wordy fashion. But rather than let my notes disappear into the pile of notebooks on my desk I thought I’d better stick them up here. Firstly, a few Bowmores.

In recent times my Islay whisky drinking has become rather focused on Bowmore, pungent peat wuss that I’ve become, so I was rather please to get into Iain ‘Sometimes drinking Black Bowmore for weeks can be really awful’ McCallum’s final tasting of the day at the festival – Davin de Kergommeaux was knackered after a day of Canadian Whisky Awards press and ‘forced’ the ticket on me. What a horrible life I lead.

Continue reading “The Victoria Whisky Festival – Quick Tastings: Bowmore”

Shelter Point Distillery

A little bit of reading up on the country before my recent trip to Canada showed that in addition to moose(s), woolly hats and decent do(ugh)nuts they also have have an alarmingly rich tradition of making fine boozes. The small range of whisky and bottles of Labatt’s that we see in the UK are merely the slightly dodgy tip of the iceberg, and a whole host of interesting beer and wine is being made along with the decent whisky that I discovered during my trip. The organisers of the Victoria Whisky Festival wanted to show off some of the tasty things being made in British Columbia, so organised a trip for some of us international guests to visit the only single malt distillery on Vancouver island – Shelter Point.

Continue reading “Shelter Point Distillery”

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.

Continue reading “The Victoria Whisky Festival”