17 June 2019

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes

Tamdhu 15 Year Old
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
Nose: Sherry steeped sultanas - spiced baked apples – Luxardo maraschino cherries – orange peel – grilled pineapple rings – Quality Street strawberry fondant chocolate creams – blackberry crumble - Madagascan vanilla custard – a warm Pret A Manger pain aux raisin – ground cinnamon – nutmeg – cloves – a kiss of anise and some rather charismatic charred oak.
Palate: Sheer sherry-soaked sultanas and raisins dusted with demerara sugar – poached pears – apple turnovers - M&S lemon curd whitby buns – Muller fruit corner peach and apricot yogurt - rhubarb and custard boiled sweets – Tunes cherry lozenges - bergamot oil – pink peppercorns – caramelised the fennel fronds - toasted cinnamon sticks – tobacco leaf and wisps of wood spice.
Finish: The finish is as magnificently memorable and as beautifully balanced as the nose and palate. Lingering long and leisurely after the final sip, highlighting each and every one of the elements that have helped to tell its sensory story!
Summary: Yet another drop of pure dramming class in a glass, from one of the most exciting Scotch whisky distilleries over the last few years. Since being taken over by Ian McLeod Distillers, Tamdhu continues to go from strength to strength, with both its core range and limited-edition (all killer and no filler) bottlings!


11 June 2019

Whisky Insiders Interview - Dave Worthington

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Global Brand Ambassador


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
It’s really not been that long! I worked my first whisky show at Whisky Live London 2013. I called Chip Tate up of Balcones and asked if he needed any help. Chip gave me my first break volunteering to help out at the stand in return for whisky heels. That continued over a number of years, with Balcones and Wemyss Malts, and I stood in at different stands over the years to give the official ambassador a break. I gave up my engineering career in October 2016 to work full time with Boutique-y Whisky, after covering their UK shows since Whisky Live London 2013.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Everyday is a highlight to be honest. I pinch myself every morning to make sure it's not a dream. I had no intention of changing careers, but every event I worked at drew me closer to the inevitable.

My biggest career highlight to date has got to be being nominated and then winning World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year 2018, and being awarded an 'Icon of Whisky.' Mind blowing stuff to be nominated so early on into my new career. I was nominated again this year, but I was really pleased to see it awarded to Yumi Yoshikawa of the Chichibu Distillery. Yumi had my vote!

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I can indeed and it really wasn't all that long ago too. The first whisky that I took seriously was in the run up to Christmas 2009 when my Sales Manager came in to work with a special whisky. I seriously needed my arm twisting to try it too. It was a 15 Year Old Clynelish from Cadenhead’s.

It wasn't the whisky that changed my life, but I remember it clearly. The following year he brought in another bottle for Christmas. It was another Cadenhead's release, a 15 Year Old Caol Ila distilled in 1991, bottled in May 2006, and one of just 378 bottles. I didn't need my arm twisting this time! It was like nectar, and I thought to myself, why aren't I drinking this stuff. I was given the heel to take home and shortly afterwards I went out and bought my first ever bottle of whisky. Not long after Whisky Discovery was born (the blog I started) and my journey into the whisky industry began.

5 June 2019

The Ultimate American Whiskey Tweet Tasting II

Continuing our teeming throng of industry leading, Twitter trending Tweet Tastings, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that on July 4th (American Independence Day) we’ll be teaming up again with our very good friends at Maverick Drinks, for another Ultimate American Whiskey Tweet Tasting!
On the night we’ll be pouring and exploring a wave of wondrous liquid Americana dramming delights, from some of the amazing brands in Maverick Drinks American craft whiskey portfolio.
Full details to follow, but if you fancy being part of a truly epic evening of American dramming discoveries click here to register your details by emailing your name, address, date of birth and Twitter handle. Please also remember to mark the subject line with #drinkcraft
The closing date to register is June 19th, and if you are registering please make sure that you will actually be free on the evening of July 4th to take part!
Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following all the evening’s dramfotainment, with your favourite drop of liquid Americana in hand. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on July 4th at 19:00 BST via #drinkcraft
Registration open to over 21's only!
For more info on Maverick Drinks, visit: maverickdrinks.com
Be part of the dramfotainment!

17 May 2019

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Over the last few years the secondary whisky market has well and truly rocketed, along with what seems to be an ever-growing army of whisky auction sites. For many the appeal is to try and cash in on a back of the cupboard spirited curiosity, or to take a chance on bidding for an old dust gathered classic headlined lot.

Whisky auction sites also seem to be increasingly becoming a bit of a flipper’s paradise, with streams of newly released, highly sought-after limited-editions, being instantly put up for sale upon launch, by those hoping to make a pounding of a profit.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain on the single malt front as much as the next person, but personally the biggest draw for me whisky auction wise over the last couple of years, has been that of all things blended!
From a 1960’s White Horse, a 1970’s Cutty Sark or a 1980’s Teacher’s (yes Teacher’s!) those bygone style of blends are real things of dramming beauty. Sometimes a little rough around the edges - but almost more beautiful for being so, and comprised of whiskies which provide a real lesson in liquid history.
It may not have quite the same rich, dusty old school feel as its older siblings from the 60s, 70s or 80s, but one blended Scotch whisky that well and truly stands the test of time and still has all of its heritage at the heart of every pour, is that of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
The nose: Wafting waves of winter spice, warm treacle tart, sherry-soaked sultanas and assorted citrus peels. Along with protruding but not overpowering puffs of coal smoke, charred oak, anise and vivacious waves of vanilla.
Baked spiced apples, grilled peaches, rich toffee tablet and Cadbury Bournville dark chocolate make for the next set of nasal niceties, along with ready rolled cake icing, walnuts, ground white pepper corns and a tease of some rather tannic black English breakfast tea.
The palate: A wealth of wood spice and coal smoke infused Werther's Original soft caramels, followed by a feisty fruit led frenzy of Frank Cooper's original Oxford orange marmalade, lemon zest, dried apricots, baked figs and more of those sherry-soaked sultanas.

The palatable pleasures then conclude with a generous wedge of bread pudding, granary toast, Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate, a heated hint of Jamaica ginger cake, five spice and the subtlest suggestion of something herbal.

The Finish: A fabulous fruit and spice led finish, that delivers a lingering and harmonious hum of smoke.

Johnnie Walker Black Label, is one of those whiskies that you can well and truly rely and depend on to deliver as an everyday pour. It also makes for a reassuring sight on a plane or on a back bar when travelling.

Retailing for under £30, Johnnie Walker Black Label most definitely falls into the category of being a big bang for buck blended belter!
As far as whisky auctions are concerned, keep your eyes peeled, there are big bargains to be had. Last year I managed to get hold of a 1970’s Johnnie Walker Black Label for just over £40, and it was blissful!