It’s not a revelation to anyone who’s visited my house that I have a thing about some of BrewDog’s beers. If you are a long-term reader of this blog (hi mum!), you will probably realise this too, even if in more recent times I’ve not said much about them. Unfortunately this is a sign of their success, as they’ve become more ubiquitous and part of the establishment – the kind of thing that new-thing-loving bloggers like myself drink more than write about. However, they recently sent me a bottle of beer, so it’d be rude not to say a word or two about it, especially as I’ve already picked up a couple of bottles of it for my stash. The beer in question: Paradox Compass Box.
I like it when my obsessive calling of things by their Proper Name shows that I vaguely understand the world. Whether it be obsessive fact checking of people’s names or checking to see whether I should be sticking a The in front of a town/country/product/etc (The Hague, Ukraine and The Glenlivet, I’m looking at you) I do like to make sure that things are referred to properly. So, my insistence on calling Compass Box’s new-ish blended whisky ‘Great King Street: The Artist’s Blend’ (although whether I vocalise the colon is very much dependent on context) rather than the abbreviated ‘Great King Street’ has now come to fruition with a second whisky in the range appearing.
While a there is a second general release in the wings, the follow-up to GKS:TAB is a limited edition whisky that’s also the first in a new subseries – Great King Street: New York Blend.
There are some fairly mad people in the world of whisky – and I use that term in a purely complimentary manner. This weekend has shown off a couple of groups showing the best that whisky and madness can accomplish: Balvenie are tasting whisky in a specially built in a hotel in Manchester this weekend and (the thing that I’m going to write about here) John Glaser of Compass Box and Dom Roskrow decided to do some driving.
Now, driving between whisky tastings isn’t a particularly new thing. Doing a bunch of tastings in a day is also not a particularly big thing. However, doing eight tastings in a day at eight different locations, starting in Inverness and finishing in Brighton, is slightly different. And slightly more on the mad side.
The year hasn’t ended yet and here it is – a blog post about the most recent Whisky Squad tasting. It’s even (unless plans go awry, in which case I’ll delete this sentence making these parentheses entirely pointless) before the next Squad meeting, the Christmas dinner on the 8th of December, so this officially makes me a good boy again.
Anyways, the second tasting of November was deliberately pushed towards the end of the month as it was in honour of Movember, and the extra couple of weeks meant that there were some moustaches on display, unlike during the Smoking Section tasting where MoSista Charly‘s stick on lip warmer was the only thing worthy of the name ‘Mo’. Anyways, we gathered upstairs at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society with bottles donated from a variety of sponsors and all the proceeds going straight to the Whisky4Movember fund raising efforts. Unfortunately we had some generous sponsors and even excluding the emergency bottle I had in my bag, just in case any of the whiskies didn’t arrive, we had eight drams to get through. It’s a hard life…
The Twitter whisky tasting is something that I’ve seen pop up a few times in the past, but it’s something that I’ve singularly failed to take part in for quite a while. Since the first time I heard about Lukas from The Edinburgh Whisky Blog throwing whisky around the world before herding the twitterati into chatting with the same hash tag there’s been a bit of a boom, with a number of people organising events, both from brands and just for fun with their Twitter chums. However, I got back in on the action thanks to Steve Rush, aka @TheWhiskyWire, editor of The Whisky Wire and whisky-stuff freelancer. He’d been chatting with the fine folks at Compass Box and sorted out a Twitter tasting. I will take short break at this juncture to express my distaste at the term ‘Twasting’ – even typing it here makes my skin crawl. But such is the way with neologisms and my constant claims that the mispronounced words that fall out of the hole in the front of my face are ‘words so new the OED hasn’t even smelled their parents’ mean that I cannot complain without exposing myself to be the shallow hypocrite that I so obviously am.