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Feis Ile 2013 Day Two

Feis Ile 2013 Day Two

So the more observant amongst you may notice that there is no Day One post from this years Feis. That's because we spent Saturday travelling up from England trying to avoid the worst the motorway network could throw at us, whilst picking up some funky Feis Ile tees for Master of Malt. Once on Islay though we managed to catch up with Andrew from The Bowmore House and shared a couple of whiskies.


Day two was Sunday and Sunday meant Bruichladdich day and Bruichladdich meant sun and there was plenty of early morning sun on Islay. We were booked onto Jims's final(?) masterclass and what a treat it was Jim entertained us all with stories of years gone by with musical interludes from some of the best including the legendary Robin Laing. We tried an fine selection of whiskies – some of the best from Bruichladdich. The highlights are below.

Jim's Masterclass


Black Art 4 (work in progress) 49.2%

Jim had handcrafted the latest incarnation of Black Art and wanted our approval as to whether he should continue tinkering, or bottle it as it was. The overwhelming consensus was to bottle – a fence decision from the Islay crowd.

Nose: Stewed fruit, toffee, rum Christmas cake and tobacco. Full of salt and dark cherries.

Palate: Very silky and fruity. Plummy and lots of tobacco smoke. Sightly bitter and bags of treacle.


Port Charlotte 2001


Laddie Five-O 47.2% [Festival Bottle]

A masterpiece in whisky creation from Jim. Crafted over 6 weeks with whisky totalling over 100 years of age. We bought a bottle, a bottle that just sums up what Islay should be in a glass.

Nose: Peaches, apricot, fruity and tropical

Palate: Very complex, fruity, soft and full of vanilla. Gentle heat and spices


The masterclass was exceptional – a real treat, educational, hilarious and a real privilege to be there. The open day continued well. We caught up with Master of Malt, exchanged the tees and shared some old Bruichladdich 10 which was really creamy and malty. Later we found John from the SMWS and Colin Dunn and shared some drams and stories. Bruichladdich day rocked.


After a brief nap to recuperate we headed out to join the Friends of Laphroaig and enjoyed a spit roast pig feast. Due to an impressive downpour of rain all the FoL sheltered together in the peat shed and sampled some generous drams of the Laphroaig Feis and Cask Strength Batch 005 bottlings. As the night drew colder we visited the still rooms for a bit of warmth and to briefly chat to night shift staff. Great night had by all.


Compass Box Tweet Tasting [Part Deux]

The Origins of Living Room Whisky

The LivingRoomWhisky blog was born out of a charity whisky night hosted by Jon and Mike in June 2011.

Jon, a long time whisky enthusiast, offered to help me, a teacher and some other teaching friends get to Malawi. We were going out as part of a team of teachers to support teachers in Nkhotakota and Chilema, Malawi, through the Birmingham Diocese’s Skills Share programme.

We put a collection of whisky together, mainly from Jon’s whisky cabinet but also including some gifts from the incredibly kind chaps at Compass Box. We asked everyone who came to make a donation and we had a fantastic night of whisky tasting. We made some money and had a cracking evening!

Garden Whisky

Glen Moray, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin

That night was the first time I’d experienced some classics of the whisky world; Lagavulin 16yo, Macallan 10yo and the Laphroaig 10yo. We also tasted something from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society called ‘Tropical Rainforest’ which was a rather good Glen Moray 20yo, the astonishing Hedonism and Spice Tree from CompassBox and the exceedingly rare ‘Jon’s Christmas Whisky’ (a concoction of Teachers whisky stuffed with blackberries before draining and bottling).

The other bottlings

Christmas Whisky, Macallan 10, Spice Tree and Hedonism

It gets a little hazy after that but towards the end of the evening, some awful photos were taken, more whisky drank and… LivingRoomWhisky was born.

As we explore the world of whisky through this blog, we hope to continue to hold charity events to share our passion for whisky and our passion to support the people of Malawi.

There is actually a rather beautiful common bond between Malawi, Scotland and where we are based, Birmingham. The Scottish missionary explorer Dr David Livingstone was the first European to reach the country, and since then, for the past 150 years, Scots has been working with the people of Malawi to develop their education and health systems. The Birmingham Diocese has partnered with Malawi since the 1960s and continues to encourage the improvement of Health and education there.


Mike teaching in Malawi

So, Scotland…whisky….Malawi….whisky….Birmingham…It all makes sense to us!

If you want to know more about charities working in Malawi check out these sites.