Saturday, 22 July 2017

Spirit Of Speyside winners #TweetTasting

Last week I was lucky to be selected to take part in Steve @TheWhiskyWire latest @TweetTasting, this time is was 6 of the winners and runners up from the recent @Spirit_Speyside

Not the most exciting of un-boxing videos but more than made up by the contents and the lovely hand written letter!

@_littlebrowndog managed to sprint around Speyside on the day taking photos of each of the drams outside their native distilleries! Many thanks for allowing me to use them here!

@_littlebrowndog with the drams and the Spey

First up was:

@_littlebrowndog outside Aberlour

Nose: Loads of sherry on the nose - as you would expect! Lots of honey and dried fruit, if I didn't know better I'd think the Mrs was making Christmas Cake! After a little time in the glass  the nose develops with  chocolate hints and spice.
Palate: Smooth, tongue coating, you can taste the spice attacking your mouth followed by soothing sherry - yummy! A little water enhances this dram - honey and spice fill the mouth. A little dry biscuit develops but the sherry is always there!
Conclusion: A strong dram to start with and a really lovely one - liquid Christmas Cake - this is a typical sipping Speysider!

Next was:

@_littlebrowndog outside Tamdhu

Nose: On the nose - dried apple, a little honey and wood. A strong dram which just jumps out of the glass to say hello! There are some nuts and a little cinnamon over the top of the dried apples.
Palate: Quite drying on the palate - lots of toffee and a little orange, finishes with some spice - delicious!
Finish: This is a great dram - love the long dry finish, sprinkled nuts and spice over apples
Conclusion: Had this one a few weeks ago on a previous @TweetTastings Liquid gold - delicious dram!

Third up was:

@_littlebrowndog outside Cragganmore

Nose: Nose has a lot of perfume, strange but not unpleasant! Pears with a little sweetness may be pineapple? Not getting any smoke thought.
Palate: Disappointing, maybe because of the previous two? watery honey with a little smoke now!
Finish: Enjoying the smoke on the finish - this one would have been better to start with rather than the high ABVs
Conclusion: A new one for me, would maybe have been better as the first of the night?

Fourth was:

@_littlebrowndog outside Aberlour again?

Nose: Aniseed bullets straight out of the sweet shop! A little grass and some sherry! Getting the chocolate - maybe a cherry chocolate cake - now there's a plan! Getting some spice on the nose as it lingers in the glass - maybe some fresh black pepper?
Palate: Oily, mouth filling, an expected surprise. Melon and cinnamon with a touch on honey!
Conclusion: !

Fifth dram was:

@_littlebrowndog outside? Glenlivet

Nose: Grass and herbs, with a little spice - very nice! Develops after a while - still grassy but chocolate and ginger spice come through.
Palate: Smooth and buttery on the palate, some sweetness with a long honey finish. Very nice!
Conclusion: This is a class dram, develops over time - loved the loooong dry biscuity finish. 

Final dram of the evening was:

@_littlebrowndog outside the beautiful Glenfiddich distillery

Nose: The vanilla jumps out at you to start with, a little ginger - I think this one needs time to develop.
Palate: Creamy on the palate, slightly drying, some fudge and biscuit - with a chewy finish
Conclusion: A slightly underwhelming dram, expected a lot fmore but maybe as it was the 6th of the night following the stronger drams it was a little nose and palate fatigue! Will need to try again on it's own.

For me I think the first two won the @spirit_speyside competition - @TamdhuWhisky Batch Strength 2 only just 'nosed' the @AberlourVC A'Bunadh

Many thanks to Steve and Pery at Spirit Of Speyside for organising and all the other folks who joined in!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Paul John Brilliance (with a little help from Jason!)

A bit of an experiment with this blog entry! Can you belief what those vloggers spout on YouTube (or those bloggers on Blogger or Wordpress for that matter!)

So what I've done here is follow along a tasting which Jason has put on to YouTube - you can watch the whole review here or I've embed the more relevant parts here and added my taste-along comments below!

Please let me know what you think!

So tonight's dram in Paul John Brilliance

Intro to Paul John Brilliance


I agree with Jason on this one it's a lovely non-coloured Amber, in the glass it has very fast legs perhaps showing it's young age.


For me the vanilla hits you straight away with some creamy butter - similar to Jason, I also get a winey aroma, like a good red wine. There is a sweetness like what you get from biting into a piece of dried pineapple that's juicy in the middle then there is some green apple skin - my Grandma used to peel apples and throw the skin to the birds - I used to love eating it - it's very similar on the nose. Jason also got tropical fruits - Mango, papaya and sultanas - so a little different! We both got nuts - him almonds and pistachio but I get Christmas walnuts. There is a lovely spice which develops from the glass - Jason mentioned cinnamon and citrus marmalade, I was getting nutmeg.


Both of us loved the smooth buttery mouth coating honey from this dram, I got immediate spice like fresh ground black pepper followed by some chocolate flavours. Jason also got the pepper but instead of the chocolate he got spiced fudge (sounds yummy!), candied citrus and some barley.


We both agreed on a long warm spicy finish - definitely a winter warmer dram! I detected vanilla with some spicy Allspice and a sweetness left in the mouth. Jason also got sweetness with his honey and creamy vanilla.


Well first of all the whisky - it has taken a while for my appreciation of the Brilliance to grow, I think from all the 'hype' I read I was expecting a brilliant dram, but you have to remember that this is Paul John's entry level dram and when you think of it that way it is very good. I'm not about half way down the bottle and it has become a favourite - definitely a winter dram so sip around a real fire.

Finally other people's views - bloggers and vloggers! There's a simple answer to this - everyone's nose and palate is different and yes we might detect some of the same aromas and flavours they won't be identical. If I'd compared my thoughts to someone else we may have day different differences! So by all means read and watch what other people are saying about a dram but there's no subsistute for sticking your own nose in the glass and taking some of the beautiful liquid into your own mouth! Then you can compare and discuss with the rest of us!

Thanks to Jason for letting me 'borrow' his clips!

Monday, 17 July 2017

The blind leading the blind #BlindTasting Pt2

Following on from our successful #BlindTasting Part 1 a couple of weeks ago we followed up with Part 2!

In case you missed the idea was very simple, the five of us would each bottle up five sets of three identical samples of our own whiskies, they didn't have to be expensive, just the ones we were drinking ourselves at the time. Then we'd post a set of three to each of the other members of the group. At £2.90 a parcel it cost us just over a tenner each and we'd each receive 12 'new' drams to try.

My samples were labelled A1, A2 & A3 @jwbassman_ had B1, B2 and B3. @SpiritAndWood had C-red, C-blue and C-green. @GentlemanGrimm had D1, D2 and D3 and finally @WhiskyWings bottled and posted E1, E2 and E3. We were all set!

Obviously apart from our own we don't know what they are so there's #NoPreconceivedIdeas we're tasting each on it's merits. This time we'd be tasting the second set of samples we'd swapped.

There was quite a range of colours in the different drams!

So first up was @SpiritAndWood's C-blue sample - here's some of the thoughts:

A cryptic comment from Alistair "what kind of distillery did C-blue come from" got us all thinking...

So we finally guessed as Haig Club Clubman - a whisky that has had a lot of bad press but when tasted blind is was quite likeable!

Next up was John's B2 sample!

We tried to guess where it was from...

Eventually it was revealed to be the Glenallachie Distillery Edition - a new dram for most of us - not one I'd heard of before - but the distillery has been in the news recently...

Third of the night was Grimm's D2...

This one got us thinking, Wings was a little closer to home than his Mongolia suggestion from last time...

We managed to correctly work out this dram was  Glengoyne 10yo!

Next up was Wings' E2 and the smoke hit you straight from the glass!

We thought we were getting somewhere with this one....

Ahhh a blend - but which one?

E2 was Compass Box's Great King Street Glasgow Blend - here's Wings' blog

So on to the final dram of the evening C-red from Alistair and what a beautiful colour it was...

This was turning out to be a great dram....

So the final dram turned out to be the Glengoyne Teapot Dram

I think this final dram was our favourite of the night

Once again a great time was had by all