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!

10 May 2019

Writers' Tears Double Oak Competition

To help celebrate the launch of the new core range Writers’ Tears Double Oak expression from Walsh Whiskey, we’ve teamed up with our friends at the County Carlow – Ireland based brand, to giveaway a bottle of their latest dramspanking Irish dramming ditty.
Inspired by the blends popular in 18th century Ireland, Writers’ Tears Double Oak is a blend of single pot still and single malt Irish whiskeys, that have been matured in American and French oak casks.
The use of French oak casks in the maturation of Irish whiskey was widespread through the 17th and 18th centuries. This changed in the 19th century, with the arrival of more affordable and larger quantities of American oak casks, which was driven by the surge in exports of Irish whiskey.
This gave rise to a unique ménage of both French and American Oak barrels being used for maturing Irish whiskies and the resultant blends gave a new twist in the flavour profile of Irish pot and malt whiskeys.
This latest release from the Carlow - Ireland based company, was made possible by a close collaboration between the Walsh family and the Legaret family in Cognac, France.

To be in with a chance of winning a bottle of the new Writers’ Tears Double Oak click here to email us your contact details along with the phrase that dramming pays:
"I’d love to pour and explore some
dramspankingly delicious
Writers’ Tears of joy in a glass."

*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: Writers’ Tears 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!

Writers’ Tears Double Oak (46% ABV) will be available later this month in existing markets, for a RRP of €55.00.
For more info on Writers’ Tears, visit: walshwhiskey.com
Competition closes at 23:59 on June 7th 2019. You have to be aged 21 years or over to enter!
Good Luck!

8 May 2019

Quick Fire Rum Tasting Notes

Old Bakery Rum
Re-Distilled Jamaican Rum
41% ABV

Nose: An initial umph-ette of unmistakable Jamaican rum esters – ripe banana skin – orange peel – dried apricots – date heavy sticky toffee pudding – blackberry compote – boiled condensed milk – Lyle’s golden syrup – anise - demerara sugar – dark chocolate – mixed spice - tobacco leaves – ground black pepper - wood spice and a tenacious tease of plum wine.

Palate: A wondrous wedge of banoffee pie - treacle tart served with a scoop of Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream – Delia Smith’s Creole Christmas cake – honey – mixed spice - espresso coffee – dark chocolate - preserved lemons – orange peel - dried banana chips – maraschino cherries - blackberry compote – baked apples – cinnamon – tobacco leaves - nutmeg and something rather Port-esque.

Finish: A deep, dark and decadent dessert trolley of a finish, that lingers long into the night.

Summary: This is a real tamed tiger of a Jamaican rum, which after being re-distilled and matured in Mead and Mavrodaphne (black grape wine from Greece/Cyprus) oak barrels, delivers something that is sensationally smooth and sumptuously sippable!

We’re huge fans of what the Old Bakery Distillery, in Enfield, North London is doing. Their gin is now one of our top three go to’s in the category, and now they’ve rustled up this rather rum-arkable, re-distilled drop of Jamaican rummage.

Very much looking forward to seeing what distilled delights they come up with next. A whisky matured/finished in the same types of cask, could quite possibly be a very wonderful thing! 

3 May 2019

Loch Lomond Whiskies Tweet Tasting

To help celebrate their second year as the official spirit of The Open Golf Championship, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that on June 12th, we’ll be teaming up again with our good friends at Loch Lomond Whiskies, to share, sip and savour some very special drops of dramspankage.
On the night, we’ll be pouring and exploring Loch Lomond’s four The Open special editions; The Open Special Edition, Single Malt Vintage 2002, The Open Royal Portrush and 25 Year Old Triple Wood Matured.
If you fancy taking part in a rare opportunity to sample all four of Loch Lomond's The Open special editions click here to register your interest by emailing your name, address, date of birth and Twitter handle, remembering to mark the subject line: #LochLomondWhisky
The closing date to register is May 20th, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the evening of June 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 dramspankery. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on June 12th at 7pm BST via #LochLomondWhisky
Registration open to over 21's only!
For more info on Loch Lomond Whiskies, visit: lochlomondwhiskies.com
Be part of the dramfotainment!