The Midlands Whisky Festival [September 2013]

Well, we are so excited about the upcoming Midlands Whisky Festival taking place on our doorstep this weekend! Nickolls and Perks, purveyors of fine wines and stupendous spirits will again be hosting one of THE whisky events in the Midlands this year! In fact, it’s this year’s second Whisky Fest held by N&P’s in Stourbridge after the hugely successful April show.

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The reason we can’t wait? Well just check out Nickolls and Perks website to see the array of whisky on offer at the show this year. I’m particularly keen to check out some of the Japanese drams such as the acclaimed Yamazaki 18 and meet Melanie Stranger of Springbank, to get to try the latest batches of the Longrow Red and 12 year old cask strength on their first trip to England!

Yet another reason to get down to the Fest is to catch up with Diageo’s Colin Dunn, a regular on the whisky festival scene and frankly, for me, it ain’t a whisky festival if Colins not there! You see, I’ve come to regard Colin as whisky dad, he’ll tell you what’s what and put you right. He’s Doc Brown to my Marty McFly, Gandalf to my Frodo, my spirit sage. His energetic, entertaining and enlightening masterclasses have been highlights in my journey of whisky discovery. AND HE’S BACK!

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Whisky Sage, Colin Dunn, kind of…

Colin will be hosting a masterclass into the delights of Lagavulin this weekend and it looks like it will be epically good! Yum! Including a special release of the Lagavulin 12 and the 2008 Feis Ile edition to tingle the tastebuds!

Colin spins a great yarn and it was for a more intimate masterclass with him that we last ventured from the LivingRoom and out to Stourbridge.

It was June, a few weeks after the Islay Feis Ile… dreamy shimmers…

An evening with Colin Dunn and a romp through 7 magificent Taliskers. The cellars of the Nickolls and Perks shop provided an atospheric and cosy atmosphere in which to taste whisky with some familiar faces and knowledgeable enthusiasts.

Highlights for me included my Talisker of choice, the classic 10 year old, one of the first whiskies I bought and still an old friend. The nose is full of salty and sweet notes, chocolate and fudge. It’s chilli heat on the tongue, zingy and oily. The finish sweetens with vanilla, licorice and lavender. One of my favourites. The 18 year old was fruitier, cherries and plums coated in that distinctive chilli peppery heat.

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Woah!

As well as tasting the sweetly jammy Port Ruighe, we were also treated to the 35 year old. It was something else altogether, so fresh and zesty despite it’s age. Meadow flowers, limes on the nose and gentile pepperiness and vanilla fudge on the palate. A delicious finish of burnt embers and pepper bite.

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Frodo and Gandalf

So friends, if you haven’t got your tickets yet, get one or at least check out some of the upcoming Nickolls and Perks Tasting events!

Islay Ferry and Port Ellen Lighthouse

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An Islay evening with Douglas Laing

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