Well, Jon is in Islay at the Feis Ile. I’m in Birmingham wishing I was there too! So, I thought I’d post one or two Islay related tasting notes from our recent excursion to Stratford and the Midlands Whisky Festival.
We had a fantastic time at the Whisky Fest! One of the reasons for this were the marvelous masterclasses we attended during the event which gave us the opportunity to try some rare and special whiskies.
The second of our masterclasses was hosted by Eddie Ludlow, whisky evangelist and founder of The Whisky Lounge. The Whisky Lounge is on a mission to bring whisky to the people, and the festival in Stratford has certainly been a part of my journey! Having been twice now, it has opened my eyes and palate to the astounding variety of whiskies out there. Part of the TWL mission is to make whisky as inclusive as possible, so as you’d expect, the bottlings in the Cask Series 3 cover a range of styles, regions and prices.
And so it was, with a growing expectation we sat down for Eddie’s masterclass, TWL Cask Series 3.
This was one of our favourites…
Bottled in 2012, single cask, 53.1%, stunner!
Amongst the Cask Three bottlings, this was by far the darkest in colouring and was striking in its colour; a reddish hue brought about by its years in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. These casks, made with European Oak, have wide grains which draw more colour and taste into the whisky stored in the casks.
On the nose we have intense sherry, brown sugar and leather. In my mind, it takes me back to the doctor’s surgery I had to frequent as a child; intense smell memories of plastic leather chairs, carpet tiles and mahogony furniture are cunjoured by this rich dram. As we allowed the smells to develop, background wisps of peat and fruit cake came though too. A complex and pleasing start.
The palate again brought a hit of sweet sherry and more rich fruit and spice. It was slightly smokey, meaty and chewy with truffle, blackberry and dark chocolate appearing before the tide of flavour drew back.
The finish lingered quietly with spices, rich fruits and bitter chocolate.
This is a stunningly beautiful dram from The Whisky Lounge. It has been well chosen by Eddie Ludlow and was gratefully received by us and our fellow tasters. It is rich and sherried, balanced superbly with spice, wood and gentle smoke. Look out for this when you attend the Whisky Lounge events this year!