Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Telegraph Whisky Experience

Another Whisky Show, but one we haven’t been to before. At 5.30 pm we arrived at The Telegraph Whisky Experience where we were greeted with a goody bag, and by the host, drinks author Charles MacLean. He gave a talk to a crowd of mainly newcomers to whisky, explaining how to maximise their tasting experience. Discussing how you should take your time to nose a dram, sipping the spirit, and importantly enjoying it how you like – straight, mixed, in cocktails, and adding water. Charles made it clear he doesn't agree with adding ice to neat drams because it kills the aromas.

To begin the experience, Charles took us through a mini tasting – a comparison of Wemyss Malts’ latest release of The Hive and Craigellachie 13 Year Old. We decided that both were equally as good as each other, a view that most would agree on if judging by the empty glasses (which were perfectly pocket sized mini Glencairns).
The 'goodie bag' contained a miniature of The Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old

The atmosphere was alive with many discussions and questions from an enthusiastic crowd. All of the exhibitors remarked at how refreshingly it was to be able to talk to so many people at the start of their whisky journeys. Other shows usually lean more towards a larger percentage of experienced drinkers; here many tasted core ranges for the first time.

Due to the show being held over a Monday and Tuesday, the feel was less about a going-out-drinking-party vibe, really setting the tone for drinkers wanting to be educated instead of being full of alcohol. Many purchased bottles of drams they really enjoyed, The Whisky Shop stand was certainly busy, running out of stock of certain bottles due to sales were being higher than they had anticipated. 
Dave about to get his nose into something!
One thing I did notice that left me feeling a little disappointed is the crowd was still made up of older men with just a few ladies peppering the room. A clear lack of under 35s too I'm not sure if this was any different on the other day but I was expecting a more mixed crowd. 

We found ourselves revisiting many drams we had previously tasted, for example the Highland Park 18 year old, Talisker Skye and Mortlach Rare Old. There were only a handful of drams that were new discoveries. Most of the non-standard drams where being poured in the master classes which we did not attend, so can’t comment. 

The full dram list enjoyed as follows, with only two Whisky Discoveries to add to Dave's 'Liquid Log'
  • WD #1219 Wemyss Malts 'The Hive'
  • WD #1149 Craigellachie 13 Year old
  • WD #1030 Mortlach 'Old and Rare'
  • WD #395   Highland Park 21 Year Old
  • WD #1274 SMWS G7.8 'Sweet Seduction in a Car Wash'
  • WD #951   Wemyss Malts Glenrothes 1988 'Aromatic Orange Tobacco'
  • WD #1218 Wemyss Malts Bowmore 1987 'Sweet Peat Posy'
  • WD #1301 The Arran Malt Sauternes Cask Finished
  • WD #533   The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finished
  • WD #1302 The Arran Malt Port Cask Finished
Just two new Whisky Discoveries to add to the Liquid Log this time
There were two masterclasses to choose from, one a tasting of The Macallan 1824 Series consisting of Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby with an added special dram of The Macallan Rare Cask. The second masterclass was led by Charles with a selection of drams chosen by him under the title of Charles MacLean’s Taste of Scotland.

Lastly the food at the show was the best that we have tasted out of all the shows we have been to – a two course meal was included in the ticket price. It’s a great intimate show, not too crowded giving more opportunities for people to have one-to-one chats with the brands, all set in a beautiful and historic surroundings. 

You can find more about the Telegraph Whisky Experience and their next event in December here:

We would like to say thank you to Wemyss Malts for inviting us as their guest. You can find out more about Wemyss Malts here:

Slàinte! Kat

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