Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show Part 2

Monday the 8th of October was the Trade and Press Day and, fortunately for us, bloggers were invited, so Kat and I made our way down to London following the morning rush. Unfortunately it wasn't as nice a day on the Monday, the heavens opened when we got to London Bridge so had to purchase an umbrella at London Bridge Station for Kat (you can’t mess a girl’s hair up) then dodge the puddles running from shop front to shop front trying to keep dry. We’d arrived a little early so decided we’d stop for a coffee and a bite to eat before making our way down to Vinopolis.

The coffee served was so hot when I went to sip it, that it cleaned of my taste buds from my tongue leaving my palate ruined for the whisky show. I really wasn't expecting that from what I thought was a quality deli. Coffee should never be made with boiling water and this was absolutely scalding.

Stopping outside Vinopolis and hiding under the railway bridge we spot Jon from Living Room Whisky (@LRWhisky)and shelter from the rain until the queue subsides, before making our way into the show to pick up where I left off yesterday.
The first dram of the day
It seems that our preferred starting point for whisky shows is the SMWS stand when in attendance, so that’s where we headed for catching up with Joe McGirr (@SMWSLondon) and meeting Georgie Bell (@BellesWhisky) for the first time. Explaining my palate predicament to Joe he suggested a light palate conditioner in the form of SMWS 35.60, a rather special 39 Year Old Glen Moray, distilled on the 11th October 1971 which was just so amazing I had to go back for a second take.

We caught up with Jon again and while he was being introduced to the Yoichi I tried yesterday and with my palate suitably refreshed I looked for something else that would be gentle on my palate and picked SMWS 7.78, a fabulous 20 Year Old Longmorn which again needed a double take it was that good. 

We popped across to see Melanie Stanger at the Springbank stand on the way over to catch up with Darren Rook of The London Distillery again before heading upstairs to the food pairing room, (like me, Kat is always hungry) which we hadn't stopped at yesterday. Spotting Mackmyra Whisky and the lovely Angela D’Orazio (@AngelasShare) we sampled the 05 Special and the new 09 Special while nibbling canapes.
We decided to look for some lunch in the Brasserie only to find that there was no hot buffet today and that sandwiches would be brought out later, and so we headed on up to the Mezzanine and bumped into Amanda (@TWLAmanda) and Eddie Ludlow (@TWLEddie) from The Whisky Lounge (@TheWhiskyLounge) on The Glenlivet stand and managed to catch up with Ian Logan (@ianthegaurdian) again.

Seeing sandwiches being brought up we decided we ought to grab some quickly, along with a coffee from Weanie Beans Coffee Lounge conveniently set up in the middle of the Mezzanine. We met up again with Jon from Living Room Whisky here and sat down for a short while, and we managed to get Colin Dunn to come and serve us a drop of Brora 35 Year Old while still sitting in the coffee lounge – yes we were waited on by Colin!  
After thoroughly enjoying the Brora we shifted over to the Diageo stand and were introduced to James Hill where we sampled the recently released Lagavulin 21 Year Old which was just stunning – no, really stunning. We met Oliver Klimek (@OliverKlimek) here too, who was also enjoying the Lagavulin 21 Year Old. 
So what do you follow a Lagavulin 21 Year Old with, why a Port Ellen of course! Yes we sampled the 12th release from Port Ellen, a 32 year old gem of a whisky.
We had to beat a hasty retreat from the Diageo stand after that having booked ourselves on a Cocktails Masterclass with Colin Dunn and Alessandro Palazzi from The Dukes Hotel. I've never been a cocktail drinker, I've had Margaritas and Gin and Tonics before which is the closest I've been to one, so thought I might learn something, and with Colin Dunn in charge thought it could be a bit of fun too!

Three whiskies were used for the the base of the cocktails, two I had tried before, Talisker 10 Year Old and The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Year Old, and one new to me, Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve

Cocktail Discovery #2

THE FABULOUS NEGRONI (Rocks Glass) Twist on Negroni

  • 30 ml Talisker 10
  • 30 ml Aperol
  • 20 ml Cynar
  • Method :Build
  • Garnish : Orange and Lemon peel
Cocktail Discovery #3

THE GOLDEN ERA (Frozen Martini Glass) Twist on Rob Roy

  • 50 ml Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve
  • 10 ml Ratafia
  • 20 ml Calvados
  • Lemon Twist
  • Juice of Griottines  Cherries 1 jar( if you have)
  • Method :Mixing Glass, Shaken
  • Garnish : 2 Cherries

Cocktail Discovery #4

JOHN’S WELL (Rocks Glass) Twist on Manhattan

  • 45 ml The Singleton 15
  • 15 ml Kina Martini
  • 15 ml Crème de Cacao
  • Juice of Griottines Cherries

I'm glad we got a chance to try each of the whiskies on their own beforehand as the cocktails didn't do it for me. It was great fun, but I preferred my scotch neat.

Realising that time was rapidly running out and that I still had yet to meet Marcin Miller at Number One Drinks for my introduction to Japanese Whisky. The stand was packed and Alwynne (@themisswhisky)  and Jon from Living Room Whisky were propping one end of the stand up having spent the previous forty five minutes minutes getting their introduction.

Marcin handed me over to Ed who took me through a fabulous collection of very special Japanese whisky starting with something that I had heard mentioned a number of times during the day, Chichibu The First. A long awaited release from Ichiro Akuto's Chichibu distillery - their first whisky, aged for three years and bottled at 61.8% abv

From Chichibu we moved to the Karuizawa distillery and ‘Spirit of Asama’ was tasted before what was one of my highlights of the day a 30 Year Old from a 1982 Bourbon Cask.

This was promptly followed by the Karuizawa 1983 ‘Noh’ Sherry Butt 28 Year Old and for my final dram of the show the Karuizawa 1984 Sherry Cask 28 Year Old
It was great to catch up with so many people we know on Twitter, as well as meeting some new friends. You can find all the photos of the drams we tasted on our Facebook Page - pop across and 'like-us' there please!

The full dram list with links as and when applicable!
  • Whisky Discovery #201 SMWS 35.60 39 Year Old Glen Moray (42.3% abv) 
  • Whisky Discovery #202 SMWS 7.78 20 Year Old Longmorn (53.6% abv) 
  • Whisky Discovery #203 Mackmyra 05 Special (47.2% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #204 Mackmyra 09 Special (47.2% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #205 Brora 35 Year Old (48.1% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #206 Lagavulin 21 Year Old (52% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #207 Port Ellen 12th Release (52.5% abv)
  • Cocktail Discovery #1 Monkey Shoulder & Oranges
  • Whisky Discovery #16 Talisker 10 Year Old (45.6% abv)
  • Cocktail Discovery #2 Talisker based cocktail with Aperol and Cynar
  • Whisky Discovery #208 Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve (40% abv)
  • Cocktail Discovery #3 Johnnie Walker Gold based cocktail with Calvados VSOP and Ratafia Cherry
  • Whisky Discovery #115 The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Year Old (40% abv)
  • Cocktail Discovery #4 The Singleton based cocktail with Chino Martini and Crème de Cacao
  • Whisky Discovery #209 Chichibu The First (61.8% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #210 Karuizawa Spirit of Asama (48% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #211 Karuizawa 1982 Bourbon Cask 30 Year Old (46% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #212 Karuizawa 1983 ‘Noh’ Sherry Butt 28 Year Old (57.2% abv)
  • Whisky Discovery #213 Karuizawa 1984 Sherry Cask 28 Year Old (64.5% abv)

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