Newcomers Whisky Club: “Everything but the Kitchen Sink!” Tasting
I’ve referenced in a couple of the recent posts that our Newcomers Whisky Club had a big blowout tasting event in February which was, sadly, my last hurrah leading this great group! The underlying motivation for this bash was our impending move to Spain. As I am learning, it is a huge challenge just to ship a substantial collection of whisky bottles – and shipping open bottles isn’t even an option. So, since any open bottles can’t be shipped, what better way to “drain the swamp” than to host a big party and try to finish as many as we could??? The theme for the evening became “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” and the line-up consisted of all the open bottles that I had in my whisky closet!
This posting is going to be photo heavy with a minimum of commentary, because what can I say better to convey the fun than the photos do by themselves? As you can see, we had a great turnout, a lot of fun, and shared some great whiskies! I think we had nearly 50 people join us, including some first-timers!
Mike and I set up all the whiskies on the kitchen counter, grouped into the various categories – Scotch Unpeated, Scotch Peated, Scotch Blends, Grain, Irish, World, and American. We also separated the Cask Strength / High abv bottles from their more modest abv counterparts, just to help with individual selections. Of course, all the hard work to organize the bottles evaporated very quickly as people began to search through everything.
Scotch Unpeated selections! Several Glenmorangies and a selection of Berry Bros single cask whiskies from previous NWC events, Old Pulteney 21 yr, the Diageo 2010 Special Release Auchroisk 20 yr, the AD Rattray Linkwood that I just reviewed (here), the Arran Devil’s Punchbowl II, a bottle of the Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 2.
The Scotch Peated whiskies! A couple of Bruichladdich Port Charlottes, including the 2007 CC:01 which had been finished in a Cognac cask, the Laphroaig 15 yr, a Lagavulin 16 and the 2010 release of the Lagavulin 12 yr.
The Blends – mostly Johnnie Walker, but also the Berry Bros Blue Hanger 7th Release.
The World Whiskies had a couple of good Japanese and a couple of rather “meh” whiskies from KaVaLan. These particular KaVaLans are their bottom shelf offerings that are not anywhere near as good as the Solist bottlings. The big surprise here was the Cyril’s 20 year old single malt from New Zealand – that bottle emptied in a hurry!
The Irish Whiskies and Scotch Grain selections were a bit on the sparse side. I don’t have too many Scotch grains to begin with, and only one open at the time. And the limited Irish selection is due primarily that they tend to not stay open in my closet for very long….too darn good!
Our American Whiskies selection was a little better represented! The Old Forester Single Barrel is one that I hope to review here shortly – before that, too, gets finished! Many of the folks had not tried the Weller 12 and it was a big hit! There was the Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, the Ryemaggedon from the Corsair Distillery, and a couple of bottles of the Smooth Ambler Yearling.
So you can see, there was plenty to choose from at our “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” tasting, and there was truly something for everyone to enjoy.
At the close of the evening, the group surprised us with a couple of wonderful gifts. There is no question, though, that mine was the better of the two……a 26 year old Tormore single cask from the Duncan Taylor Dimensions line. That one is going to be shared with any of our NWC friends who visit us in Spain!