A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘Whisky’

The whisky squad

Posted by Alan on January 12, 2011

Talisker 20

Talisker 20

Last week we were lucky enough to have tickets to Whisky Squad #10, ‘Wee Speyside Beauties’. A last minute change of venue saw us in the historic venue of the cellar at Berry Bros & Rudd, Wine Merchants in St James. Ā The shop itself is Grade I listed, not just the frontage – the entire shop! Downstairs are the cellars – some of the 6 acres are still working cellars but some have been converted to rooms for entertaining. The format of the event was simple enough – 4 whiskies (all Berry’s own Speysides) plus a small taster of a new spirit versus and aged one, ending in a competition that brought the Talisker to the table.

As I’m still not really able to verbalise my thoughts on tastes (i.e. the Jilly Goolden/Oz Clarke thing), you’re best off reading Billy’s booze blog.

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Whisky in the Attic

Posted by Alan on May 16, 2010

Last Tuesday I went to a whisky tasting with Billy and Chris. Luckily Billy has written up the whisky element here so I don’t have to šŸ™‚

The attic is in the pan peninsula tower, on South Quay. Right at the top. So there are some great views.

Central London Skyline from the Docklands

Central London from Docklands

We’d all won a competition by Chivas Regal for a free tasting event featuring their whisky. On the day the Chivas Regal 12 (the regular one) had been mixed up with Glenlivet 12 (nice) but that wasn’t really a big deal.

Part of the evening was of course a sales pitch – we leant about the origins of the Chivas brand (2 of the Chivas brothers started a shop in Aberdeen for the rich) and of blended whisky (a shortage of Cognac). All of this sampled from the 48th storey.

The Attic Bar, South Quay

The Attic Bar

The Docklands towers at dusk

Dusk on Docklands

I couldn’t pick a single favourite – but the Strathisla 18 and Chivas Regal 18 were both exceedingly nice… shame the former is mostly employed in the production of the latter and isn’t really sold anywhere.

Nightfall at Canary Wharf

Nightfall at Canary Wharf

The millennium dome at night

The millennium dome at night

And so with a miniature Chivas 18 and some chocolates to take home, we were dispatched into the night…

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Pure Groove and SMWS London

Posted by Alan on April 27, 2010

This is totally a post for one of my other internet presences – @pigsearcamra on twitter (stop reading now if you don’t like beer… or whisky for that matter…)

First up I called into Pure Groove tonight – a record shop/label come club come beer festival. Well, this week anyway.

Record Decks and Beer Casks

Decks and Casks @ Pure Groove

All this week they’ve got a whole host of stuff on – so if you have some time to spare an you happen to be in EC1 check it out. Beers are a reasonable (for London!) Ā£3/pint.

Then… I got invited over for a wee dram at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, London.

Whisky in a nosing glass

I'll have a wee one please...

Again, seriously worth it. You might have to find a member to get in though…

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Whisky Whisky Everywhere

Posted by Alan on March 22, 2010

Choices choices...

Last night we headed out to Billy’s to do a spot of whisky tasting. Billy had prepared by choosing very carefully a selection – including an entirely grain whisky (usually used to bulk out the blends), some ‘new spirit’ – i.e. bottled about 3 weeks old and some Japanese 100% sherry cask (usually a single malt will be part sherry partĀ bourbonĀ cask). I pitched in with a 100% sherry cask Speyside for comparison.

We pretty much agreed as a group that the Japanese came out top, with the Glenallachie coming a close second, mainly because of the Speyside’s change in taste after adding water.

The best bit though was that Ruth gave Whisky ago – so now we have a new shared interest. Perhaps I best buy a pad-lock for the Scotch cupboard…

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Posted by Alan on July 16, 2009

Last weekend we headed out to Scotland. Aberdeen to be precise to visit friends and sample some whisky. Travel was cared for by the Caledonian Sleeper – which isn’t anywhere near as expensive as you might expect! It’s quite neat being able to get on the train, chill in the lounge before retiring to bed and waking up some 600 or so miles away from home.

Ruth takes tea

Ruth takes tea

However… the sleep was really only good on our outward journey which was less than helpfulĀ  as on our return I was going straight into a 4 hour long meeting…. zzzzzzzz.

After mooching in Aberdeen a bit on Friday (and finding a Scottish breakfast – it is different honest!) we checked into our hotel and found ourselves with hotel win – bar listed in the CAMRA good beer guide for 25 consecutive years. 10 ales and some really good food. Marvellous!

Saturday brought a trek to Speyside, in particular Dufftown home of Glenfiddich.

Glenfiddich Distillery

Glenfiddich Distillery

Now we know all about the production of Scotch. Pretty easy really!

After a wander about in Dufftown centre and some food in a cafe with more trinkets than tables, we headed off for a second distiliary – Glenlivet.

Glenlivet Distillery

Glenlivet Distillery

Again the tour but this time we all bought stuff from the distilery shop – 1989, 18 year old Glenallachie cask strength for me (which was a bargain). We even got to try some before choosing our bottles.

Well worth an expedition, though perhaps with a bit more planning we could have save ourselves a few quid on the taxi fares…there isn’t much in the way of public transport that far north.

Ah well. All back to normal just about here. Except for the flat hunt…but thats another story… <sigh>

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