17 April 2014

Big Peat Tweet Tasting


Continuing our teaming throng of Tweet Tastings, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce our 45th event on May 21st, when we’ll be teaming up yet again with our good friends at Douglas Laing & Co for an evening which will be as much about Big Peat as Big Peat!

Our lips are sealed with regards to the details just for now, but I can tell you it’ll be another belter of a blind tasting.
If you would like to take part in what promises to be a dramspanker of a night, register your interest by emailing your name, postal address and Twitter handle via the contact tab, remembering to mark the subject line #BigPeat
The closing date to register is April 27th and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the night!
Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following all the night’s dramspankery, so we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on May 21st at 7pm BST via hash tag #BigPeat
Until then Happy Dramlaxing!
For more information on Douglas Laing & Co visit: douglaslaing.com

15 April 2014

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #35

Arran 17 Year Old
 
 
Nose: A big wedge of homemade pear and almond tart, a steamed syrup sponge pudding, Waitrose Madagascan vanilla custard, orange peel, lime zest, toffee apples, candy floss, Rowse set organic honey, Fry’s Turkish delight, wood spice, sweet oak, ground cinnamon, anise and a blink and you’ll miss it kick-ette of clove oil.
 
Palate: Poached pears, Thorntons orange Seville continental chocolates, Sainsbury’s spiced apple cake, Mirabelle plums, sugared almonds, ground white pepper, freshly chopped ginger, cinnamon infused honey, ground cloves and a wisp of wood smoke.
 
Finish: A spicy zinging sweet treat of a finish, that neither under or overstays its welcome on the palate. A perfect party guest of a dram!
 
Summary: I know what I’ll be drinking this Summer! A lovely light and lush drop of dramspankage, that’d make for a perfect early evening pour on a late July evening, or if you fancy something tall and cool over the next few months, it also makes for a cracking highball!
 
 

8 April 2014

Wemyss Tweet Tasting III


Continuing our hugely successful string of Tweet Tastings, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that for our 44th event on May 15th, we’ll be exploring another wave of wondrous whisky wares from Wemyss.

Full details to follow soon, but if you fancy sampling some of their latest single cask and blended offerings, register your interest by emailing your name, daytime delivery address and Twitter handle via the contact tab, remembering to mark the subject line: #WemyssTT3
The closing date to register is April 18th, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the night!!!
Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following all the night’s dramspankery, so we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on May 15th at 7pm BST via hash tag #WemyssTT3
Until then Happy Dramlaxing!
For more information on Wemyss Malts visit: wemyssmalts.com

1 April 2014

Whisky Insiders Interview - Jan Beckers



Company:
Douglas Laing & Co

Job:
Global Malt Ambassador

Website:
douglaslaing.com



How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I started my professional Whisky life as a summer guide at Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown in 1998. It was an excellent stepping stone and it is impressive to see how many of my former colleagues managed to continue in the world of Whisky.
 
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
One was bottling the first cask that I selected when I joined Douglas Laing, the other winning Whisky Ambassador of the Year in 2011.
 
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
Helping my mum in the kitchen with all kinds of sauces as a kid, I might have spilled some of my late grandfather’s Old Smuggler on my fingers and tried it that way. Although my first proper taste of whisky was under the good guidance of my older brother, it was a Chivas Royal Salute 21 Year Old. We’re talking late 80’s here and there was hardly any Single Malt out there at the time. I still like to revisit it once in a while.
 
What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky travels with me wherever I go. It started off as a keen hobby and developed to a fantastic job, which I can combine with my other passions, cooking and photography.
 
Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Since Douglas Laing & Co went through some big changes over the last year, I’m looking forward to be a part of the progress of this family owned company.
 
What was your last dram?
Yesterday we had some Americans in the office and we wanted to confuse them a bit with a 5 Year Old Sherry matured Aultmore, that we recently bottle as our 1000th Provenance bottling. Knowing this dram very well, I felt like joining them.
 
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Anyone who has met us on one of the Scottish Whisky events might have tried my Big Peat & dark Belgian chocolate mousse combo. My latest thing now is Oven baked apple with a speculaas crumble, macerated raisins and an Earl Grey tea infused custard paired with Scallywag.
 
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Being in the company of friends and pouring them one of my drams (or have them pour a dram for me... even better actually).
 
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
There is a big difference in Whisky & Whisk(e)y and where the Scotch Whisky industry is more tied to traditions (not a bad thing), I am looking forward to try some of the experiments that boutique distilleries around the world will come up with.
 
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
The next one!

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

24 March 2014

Normal Service Shall Resume Shortly


Having been taken ill early last week with meningitis we’re now pleased to say that Steve is now back home and well and truly on the road to recovery. It will be a couple of weeks yet before things start to return back to normal, but in the meantime we would like to say a huge thanks for all the emails and get well messages, which have all helped to provide a huge wealth of support. Thank you!

10 March 2014

The Whisky Wire's 4th Birthday Competition


On April 6th we reach the ripe old age of four, and to help celebrate our 4th Birthday we’d love to share some of our favourite whiskies that have featured on the website in one way or another over the last four years.
 
So between now and April 6th we’re giving one lucky follower the chance of winning a bottle of Compass Box Great King Street Artist’s Blend (one of the finest examples of blendage we’ve come across in the last four years) a bottle of Elijah Crag 12 Year Old (a rich and remarkable drop of liquid Americana) a bottle of Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky (not only a superb example of South African whisky but also a gargantuanly glorious drop of grainage) and a bottle of Glenlivet 12 Year Old (proof if proof is needed that no matter if you’re into your 4th or 40th year of your whisky journey, you should never forget those cracking core range classics).
To be in with a chance of winning all four bottles of the above mentioned dramspanking deliciousness, 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 The Whisky Wire’s Fourth Birthday bounty of four fine and frolicking drops of dramspanking drammage”
*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: Birthday Comp
If you’re on Twitter you can also follow us via @TheWhiskyWire and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!
While I’m at it I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last four years, and I look forward to raising a glass of something special to you all on April 6th. Happy Dramlaxing!
Competition closes at 23:59 on April 6th the winner will be announced on April 8th. You have to be aged 18 years or over to enter.

28 February 2014

Whisky Insiders Interview - Martine Nouet



Company:
Freelance

Job:
Food and Spirits Journalist

Website:
martinenouet.com



How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I have been a journalist for 35 years but I started writing about whisky and all spirits in the early 90’s.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Can I give three? Meeting Michael Jackson and becoming friends with him, being made a Master of the Quaich in 2012, and more recently being offered a superb portrait of Laphroaig by a whisky aficionado in Canada, after my Art and Whisky seminar to thank me for sharing my knowledge and passion. I have just told the story on my blog.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I remember the first time I drank whisky at a party and the disaster which followed, when I was only 18 years old. I prefer not to mention the name of the whisky.

My first dram as such was a Caol Ila 12 Year Old, which I enjoyed at the distillery, looking over the Sound of Islay on a rainy day with a beautiful rainbow joining the two shores. Since then Caol Ila features as an aromatic rainbow in my sensory memory.

What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky has changed my life. It has brought me to the UK, made me discover Islay, made me challenge myself to write in English and made me meet wonderful people who are so proud of their art. It has also helped me to re-discover myself through a sensory itinerary.

When I savour a dram, I savour Scotland, its culture, its landscapes and its people. Now having travelled round the world, I appreciate other cultures in my glass. What a great life!

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Tough question. Firstly I’d like to still be alive and living on Islay. There is definitely one word which will not be in my vocabulary “retirement”. I’d easily see myself more involved in personal writing and running a cooking and tasting experimental workshop on Islay.

What was your last dram?
The new Glenmorangie Companta, which I tasted for my website and also for Whisky Magazine.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I'm definitely not good at choosing “one” choice. That goes with my personality I think. I am pluridisciplinary (and not well-disciplined). The easiest and immediately rewarding pairing I recommend is oysters with a few drops of Laphroaig. Of course there are plenty of winning pairings with sweets; Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or and a nougat glace, who would say no?

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
It really depends upon the moment and the mood. I never have a dram just by myself, I like to share with friends and I more and more enjoy “outdoor drams”, especially by the sea. My idea of “whisky on the rocks”.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
I am quite amazed at the way distilleries have mushroomed around the world and of course in Scotland. So I think we will see more and more emerging boutique distilleries, maybe in the way that microbreweries have developed. That will have an impact on the big players I am sure.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
The next one!

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

27 February 2014

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #34

Girvan Patent Still 25 Year Old
 
 
Nose: A warm Nestle Caramac bar, vanilla fudge, Lyle’s golden syrup, a bowl of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cornflakes, a toasted New York Bakery Co cinnamon and raisin bagel, an Innocent mango and passion fruit smoothy, Twinings green lemon tea, ground pink peppercorns and wondrous infused whiffs of orange oil and Airfix model glue.
 
Palate: Grilled pineapple rings, mango pulp, dried apricots, zest from a Valencia orange, desiccated coconut, Werther’s Original toffees, cinnamon baked apples, vanilla danish, creme brulee, a slice of granary toast smeared in Rose’s lemon and lime marmalade, wood spice and oodles of opulant oak.
 
Finish: A feisty and spicy tropical temptress of a long lunging lingering finish.
 
Summary: It has to be said that this is a gargantuanly glorious drop of grainage, and as ever it’s always great to see grain whiskies in the spotlight and given the attention they deserve. This is top end priced stuff at around £250 a bottle, but despite its gloriousness its bang for buck ratio is somewhat debatable.
 
 

23 February 2014

St Patrick's Day Jameson Tweet Tasting


Continuing our hugely successful teaming throng of Tweet Tastings, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that on March 17th we’ll be celebrating St Patrick’s Day by sampling some of the joyous and jubilant dramming ditties on offer from one of the most iconic names in the Irish whiskey; Jameson.

On the night a specially invited ensemble of whisky weavers will be sampling a tantalising and tenacious trio of Jameson’s Reserve releases, as well as their cracking core classic Original offering.
We'd love for you to follow all the evening’s dram-craic-spankery, and if you have any Jameson at home pour and share your thoughts from 7pm GMT on March 17th via #JamesonWhiskey
For more information on Jameson visit: jamesonwhiskey.com