Wee Dram Charity Tasting – 19th October 2018

Each year we do a tasting where the proceeds go to our two chosen charities Pancreatic Cancer Research and Prostate Cancer Research. These being a couple of causes close to our hearts. The whiskies are all donated by the distillers and bottlers.

 The Line Up

The Whiskies:

 

Benriach 21 y/o – 46%

  • Founded in 1897.
  • Owned by Brown Forman, big American Company, which donated this bottle to us.
  • Benriach produces a light genital spirit, as well as peaty spirit.
  • This bottling is the first one done by the new Master Blender, Rachel Barry, who has previously worked at Morrison Bowmore, and Glenmorangie.
  • When this whisky was made the distillery was owned by Seagrams and they didn’t have a single malt, only went into blends.
  • It wasn’t until Billy Walker and his partners took over in 2004 that a range of single malts were bottled.
  • They use four different types of cask bourbon barrels, virgin oak casks, Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and red wine casks.
  • I really like the delicate subtle flavours, vanilla, chocolate, red fruits.

 

Glenmorangie 18 y/o – 46%

  • Famous distillery in Tain, founded in 1848 – converted from a brewery, got their first stills second hand from a gin distillery.
  • Have the tallest stills, 17 feet high, they produce a light, gentle spirit, a lot of reflux with the copper.
  • Next year, 2019, they are going to be expanding the distillery from 6 – 7 million litres of spirit a year.
  • This is their 18-year-old, due to the lightness of the spirit it picks up a lot from the wood.
  • The spirit spends 15 years in American oak, ex bourbon casks, then 30% is transferred to Ex-Oloroso sherry casks for 3 years, the other 70% remaining in their original casks. At 18 they are married together.
  • This makes a richer more full-bodied Glenmorangie.

 Guests

English Whisky Company Founders Reserve -

  • This whisky was donated by The English Whisky Co based at St Georges Distillery in Roudham, Norfolk.  
  • Began distilling in 2006 was founded by father and son team James and Andrew Nelstrop.
  • This is a small distillery, with only three guys being involved with the making of the whisky, so they all get involved with all parts of the production process.
  • Andrew was a barley farmer, so they get the best ingredients, actually they get some of their barley from Andrew’s cousin, so they keep it in the family.
  • The Distillery Manager, David Fitt, has donated this whisky.

 

Isle of Jura 18 y/o – 44%

  • The Isle of Jura has 1 pub, 1 road, 1 shop, 1 distillery and no Policemen. You have to catch two ferries to get there – one to Islay and then another to Jura.
  • Originally opened in 1810, dismantled in 1901.
  • Back in the 1960’s some of the large land owners on Jura encouraged one of the leading distillers to reopen the Distillery.
  • Started distilling again in 1963.
  • Today it is part of Whyte and MacKay. Earlier this year they completely changed their core range, so a perfect choice for tonight – they were very keen for us to try this.
  • Matured for eighteen years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux barrels.

 

Jade's Cask 15 y/o – 50%

  • An independent bottling of Bruichladdich – donated by Jade Murray, a member of one of the foremost whisky dynasties in the whole of Bakewell - Us.
  • I brought this cask back in 2002, for our first daughter Jade. The profits from this are going to her – well just a little more directly than normal.
  • From a refill Sherry Hogshead – 250 litre American Oak cask which had sherry, Whisky then this in.
  • Aged 15 years – and 50%.

 

Glen Grant 1950 – 40%

  • Founded in 1840, in Rothes right in the heart of Speyside by brothers James and John Grant.
  • This bottle was from Gordon and MacPhail, of Elgin and was given to us by Stephen Rankin, Stuart and Richard Urquhart.
  • When it was for sale a few years ago was about £1,500, One had fetched about £2,600 at Auction.
  • The Boys Grandad, George Urquhart always had a favourite warehouse at Glen Grant where this cask would have been first laid down. His sons thought he was mad, but he insisted that this particular small warehouse produced the best whisky.
  • Some years ago this favourite warehouse was knocked down as they needed access to the garden – underneath they found a stream – which would have effected the maturation of the whisky.
  • We only had 1 bottle so everyone only got half a measure.

 Toast

Balvenie Peat Week – 14 y/o - 48.3%

  • Balvenie is situated in Dufftown, sister delivery to Glenfiddich, founded in 1892 by William Grant – still family owned.
  • Back in 2001 the then Master Distiller David Stewart, did some experimental distillations using peated Barley.
  • Since then one week each year is dedicated to making peaty whisky.
  • The Barley is peated to a level of 30 ppm – relatively light.
  • They use Highland peat which doesn’t have the Iodine like the island peat, so mossier, woody, earthy smoke.
  • Sweet smoky – velvety texture.
  • Easier drinking than some Islay whiskies.

 

The evening raised around £1,200 for our charities.

Raffle Winner

Raffle Winner