Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Skype Tasting #2

Tasting #2
A little while ago fellow whisky tweeter @WhiskyRepublic and I 
swapped five different whiskies from our shelves with each other and held a tasting session using Skype. 

We managed to run through five drams on our first meeting, so scheduled a second session last week to finish of the remaining five whiskies.
The five drams received from @WhiskyRepublic
With three peated whiskies left, alongside two Speysiders, and three of the five were also at cask strength, some careful planning was needed to get the balance right and make this session as enjoyable as the first one.

We started off with two from my shelf, The Balvenie 21 PortWood which although a rich Port finished Speysider it is bottled at 40% abv and the honeyed sweetness that is synonymous with the Balvenie range could be enjoyed and savoured without any other influences from either cask strength alcohol or heavily peated whiskies. The PortWood is one of my favourites from Balvenie.

We followed The Balvenie with an 18 Year Old Glenfarclas from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.  SMWS 1.162 is bottled at 58.8% abv, and was from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead and was one of 234 bottles. It seemed to follow The Balvenie perfectly.
The drams I sent to @WhiskyRepublic in front of their parents
With three peated whiskies left, two at cask strength, the Irish Connemara Peated Whiskey was next and what a surprising nose this had! This was my first experience of Connemara, and I have smelt a little rubber in whiskies previously, but nothing compared to what hit me here. It was unbelievable! It reminded us of changing tyres and we were both laughing that we were drinking whisky that smelt like rubber! The phrase 'caramelised inner tube' was coined to describe the nose we were 'enjoying' during this tasting.

We followed the Connemara with a Heavily Peated 13 Year Old Bunnahabhain from Signatory's Cask Strength Collection. This is a smashing drop of whisky that I've been nursing for a year now!

The final dram of the evening was the one I had been really looking forward to since receiving the sample; Ardbeg Uigeadail. Another heavily peated whisky, but a total contrast to the Bunnahabhain. Both Islay single malts, both cask strength, but the Bunnahabhain had been matured in two ex-bourbon hogsheads and the Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced 'oog-a-dal) is a vatting that marries traditional smokey Ardbeg with spirit matured in old ex-sherry casks.

Another very successful and hugely entertaining Skype tasting. Overall, five new whiskies were introduced to each of us, and we had two great evenings from the comfort of our own computers! There's not much of a whisky scene in the Bedford area yet, but I'm looking to start something in the near future. If you are interested in either a whisky club in the Bedford area or Skype tasting, please contact me and check out my shelf for Skype sample swaps - it is always changing as I drink from it almost daily, and add at least one bottle to it every month!

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