20 October 2014

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #42

Smögen Primor
Swedish Single Malt Whisky

Nose: Phenol-menal protruding peaty punches, pencil shavings, bicycle inner tubes, soot, sea spray, Weetabix covered in hot milk and demerara sugar, vanilla fudge, blackberries, pink grapefruit, Copella cloudy apple juice, coriander, candied fennel fronds, cinnamon sticks, freshly grated nutmeg, white pepper and a box of Quality Street mint matchmakers.
Palate: Peat and pepper filled bicycle inner tubes, honey and lemon Lockets lozenges, soot and smoke from a coal fire, tea soaked prunes, Waitrose blackberry and apple crumble, Rowntree's fruit pastilles, Lindt chilli chocolate, five spice, freshly chopped ginger and the final puff of a menthol cigarette.
Finish: A long, lingering and lush finish, that’s as full-on, frolicking and fine as the nose and the palate.
Summary: At 63.7% this 3 Year Old, yes 3 Year Old Swedish whisky proves two points perfectly; firstly age ain’t nothing but a number and secondly along with the likes of Mackmyra, Sweden produces some kick-ass whisky!

17 October 2014

Peated Malts of Distinction Tweet Tasting

Not only are we thrilled to announce our 53rd Tweet Tasting, we’re absolutely delighted to announce that on November 12th, we’ll be teaming up with Beam Suntory for an evening exploring expressions from their newly named Peated Malts of Distinction collection.

On the night we’ll be sipping, savouring and sampling whiskies from four award-winning distilleries across Scotland and Ireland; Ardmore, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Connemara.

Full details coming soon, but if you would like to take part in an evening full of phenomenal peated pours, register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle via the contact tab, remembering to mark the subject line #PeatedMalts

You need to register by 23:59 on October 26th, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the evening of November 12th to take part!!!

Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following all the evenings tweet tasting dramfotainment. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on November 12th at 7pm via #PeatedMalts

Until then Happy Dramlaxing!

16 October 2014

Win a bottle of Great King Street Glasgow Blend

To help celebrate the official UK launch of Compass Box’s Great King Street Glasgow Blend, the second permanent whisky to be introduced to their Great King Street range, we’ve teamed up with the award-winning Scotch whisky craft blender to give two of our readers the chance of winning a bottle of their latest release, signed by their Founder and Whisky Maker John Glaser.

Glasgow Blend has been created to provide a very different expression of the Great King Street house style. While the whiskies share the same moreishness, creaminess and approachability, Artist’s Blend is fruity, spicy and packed with vanilla, while Glasgow Blend is rich, round smoky and sherried.
This latest release offers a rich vein of peaty-smokiness underpinned by sherry cask-aged whiskies full of dried fruit and wine character. The palate is full and round, with a sweetness typical of whiskies from Comapass Box.

The whisky is made from approximately 67% malt whisky from the regions of Islay, the Highlands and Speyside and 33% Lowland grain whisky from a Fife distillery. It is aged in a combination of first-fill Sherry casks, first-fill and refill ex-Bourbon barrels with a small portion of new French oak finishing.
Glasgow Blend will be available from mid-October at specialist retailers for a RRP of £30.
To be in with a chance of winning a bottle, all you need to do is click here and email us your contact details along with the following phrase that dramming pays:
“I’d love to win a bountiful belting blended
bottle of great Glasgow gloriousness from
those champion crafters at Compass Box”

*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: #CBGB
If you’re not already doing so follow us on Twitter via @TheWhiskyWire and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!
For more info on Compass Box visit: compassboxwhisky.com
Competition closes at 23:59 on November 16th 2014. Entry open to over 18's only

1 October 2014

Whisky Insiders Interview - Jeff Arnett

Jack Daniel's

Master Distiller


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I joined Jack Daniel's 13 years ago as the quality control manager after spending my first 10 years in food & beverages manufacturing with another company.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
There have been many, but the thing I'm most proud of is the continued growth and increasing popularity of Jack Daniel's whiskey during my tenure as master distiller.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
Before joining Jack Daniel's, I was a member of the Tennessee squires association and a huge fan of the brand. My first memory was ordering a 'Jack and Coke' in college.

What does whisky mean to you?
For many people, including myself, whiskey is more than a drink choice. It makes a statement about who you are and the things you value as a person. I think Jack Daniel's attracts people who value authenticity and independence and those traits are both important to me as well.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
In five years, I hope Jack Daniel's will be surpassing a well-known Scotch company to become the largest and most loved whiskey brand on the planet.

What was your last dram?
My last dram was a glass of Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select served neat.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I tend to enjoy whiskey either before or after dinner so that I can enjoy each sip to the fullest. Among the Jack Daniel's family of whiskies, I tend to drink Gentleman Jack the most with my meals. It's light vanilla and soft oak notes pair well with fish, chicken and pastas.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
My favourite time to enjoy any whiskey is after work and my favourite place is anywhere my family and friends are.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whiskey horizon?
American whiskey is definitely hot right now and much of this growth is happening in bourbon style and Tennessee whiskey. We expect rye whiskey to also experience a renaissance and have already begun distilling and maturing a high rye content whiskey at Jack Daniel's.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Although Jack Daniel's single barrel is my personal favourite, I think I would have to choose our Old No.7 Black Label if I could only have one. It's been my tried and true choice in whiskey for the last 25 years.

Many thanks to Jeff Arnett. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!

23 September 2014

Old St. Andrews Tweet Tasting

Continuing our hugely successful teaming throng of Tweet Tastings, we’re delighted to announce that on the evening of October 15th we’ll be sampling a bounty of blended delights from the Old St. Andrews whisky range.

On the night a specially invited ensemble of whisky enthusiasts will be sampling a gaggle of Old St. Andrews distinctively bottled blended Scotch whisky delights, and we’d absolutely love for you to join us by following all the evening’s dramspankery!
So to find out more about this brand that has fabulous lip-smacking flavours at the heart of every sip, join us with a dram in hand over on Twitter from 7pm on October 15th via #OSAWhisky
If you have any Old St. Andrews whisky wares at home, we'd also love for you to pour and tweet your thoughts on the night.
Until then Happy Dramlaxing!

18 September 2014

Win a copy of the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2015

It has to be said that there’s no shortage of annual releases and events in the whisky calendar, and in addition to all the committee and special releases, shows and fests, one of the undoubted highlights for me is in book form and the autumn launch of the latest edition of the Malt Whisky Yearbook.
This year’s edition marks the 10th anniversary of what has become the essential whisky read for enthusiasts and newbies alike, and as ever has been meticulously put together and edited by Mr Whisky Yearbook himself – Ingvar Ronde.
In addition to a wealth of features including articles from such distinguished whisky writers as Charles MacLean, Dominic Roskrow, Ian Buxton and Gavin D Smith, this year’s edition covers 361 distilleries from around the world and features more than 250 tasting notes.
Ahead of the release of this year’s edition on October 1st, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with The Malt Whisky Yearbook, to offer two of our readers the chance of winning a signed copy of the book.
To be in with a chance of winning a copy all you need to do is Click Here and email us your contact details along with the following phrase that dramming pays:
"Make my whisky year a blinding belter with this right rollicking rollercoaster of a whisky read"
*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: MWYB2015 Comp
If you’re not already doing so follow us on Twitter via @TheWhiskyWire and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!
If you’re too eager (and I can’t blame you) to get hold of this year’s edition you can pre-order now by Click Here.
For more info on The Malt Whisky Yearbook visit: maltwhiskyyearbook.com
Competition closes at 23:59 on October 3rd 2014.

11 September 2014

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #41

Kininvie 23 Year Old
(Batch 2)
Nose: Warm vanilla fudge, Häagen Dazs Pralines & Cream, retro white candy cigarettes, slightly over ripened bananas, sherry poached pears, oven baked peaches, Hipp Organic red fruit & apple compote, blackberries, lime zest, a steamed treacle sponge pudding, wood spice and a finesseful, flouncing, floral freshness.
Palate: Peach cobbler drenched in vanilla custard, Waitrose key lime pie, stewed prunes, orange zest, Bonne Maman damson plum conserve, Mcvities ginger nut biscuits, cinnamon sticks, freshly grated nutmeg, ground black pepper, wood spice and the very timely arrival of an After Eight dinner mint.
Finish: A sweet, spiced and all things nice kind of a long linger-ette of a finish.
Summary: A very impressive first UK solo release for a distillery that has been somewhat of an unsung dramming hero, with all its whisky wares up until now used solely as component parts in William Grant & Sons blends. Now a brand in its own right, it's most definitely one to keep an eye on!

10 September 2014

R.I.P James Nelstrop

James Nelstrop 1945 - 2014

Yesterday we reported via our sister website The Whisky Business that The English Whisky Co. had announced the very sad news of the death of it's founder James Nelstrop, who died at the age of 69, following a brief but courageous fight with cancer.

We would like to pass on our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family of the man who was the trailblazing pioneer of English whisky!