SWMS Whisky Tasting - Wellington

Posted by Leo | Posted in , , , , | Posted on 23:45

What :    Scotch Malt Whisky Society Tasting
When:    Thursday, 4th March, 2010
Where:   Museum Hotel, Wellington, NZ
Who:      Myself & 30 other random whisky fans
Why:      To find new and Salubrious whiskies to try

You know, it's a long time between whisky tastings at regional. A whole month for crying out loud!! How could a relatively normal person like myself go a whole month without tasting whisky. I couldn't I just couldn't!

Luckily my roving Australian (eeeww) whisky reporter, Donna sent me an article about the 'Scotch Malt Whisky Society' having a New Zealand tasting. Problem solved!!

It was held at the 'Museum Hotel' Wellington in the Agostini room on the fourth floor.

As I entered the room I was given a welcome dram. It was an Aberlour 10yo. A tasty but entry level Speyside dram that was setting us up for the salubrious whiskies ahead.

Now the Society buy single casks from various distillers so everything is cask strength and bottled in their own specific bottles. They don't however label the bottles with the distillery name, due to an agreement they have with distilleries not to compete with their marketing efforts. They use a distillery code to signify its origin.

The tasting differed from regional in that the drams were identified and tasting notes were provided.

The five whiskies were as follows :

Malt: Glen Moray (Speyside), 60.5%, 1st fill barrel, 215 bottles from cask, Colour - Pale Apricot Gold

Malt: Glenmorangie (Highland), 56.9%, 1st fill designer hogshead, 300 bottles from cask, Colour - Sunlit Chardonnay

Malt: Glenfarclas (Speyside), 50.1%, Refill hogshead, 165 bottles from cask, Colour - 9 Carat gold

Malt: Tormore (Speyside), 56%, 1st fill sherry hogshead, 318 bottles from cask, Colour - Colheita Tawny

Malt: Ardbeg (Islay), 56.7%, First fill barrel, 236 bottles from cask, Colour - HMS Edinburgh Bullion

Pick of the Evening : ARDBEG of course. Absolutely delicious!! Cask strength. Perfect

Dog of the Evening : Glenmorangie, Petrol in a barrel. Not palatable.

Special Mention : Tormore, I have never tried a Tormore before and I was pleasantly surprised. Very sweet almost sickly, but with a powerful punch and a spicy strong finish. Would definitely drink again.
The accompanying tasting note reads....POURING TREACLE ON CUT GRASS.......say no more!

All in all it was a pleasant experience and our presenter for the evening spoke with great knowledge and enthusiasm. Though compared to the wonderful tastings at Regional it was a little pretentious.
Also the pricing on the bottles was astronomical, from $192 (GlenMoray) to $373 (Tormore)...Ouch!!

In summary - Top notch whisky, oddball format, dodgy auction of the half empty bottles. At $85 a seat I'm not sure if I will attend another one........... but then again I probably will!!

Peat and Bruichladdich

Posted by Donna Grewal | Posted in | Posted on 20:20

When I first saw the bottle sitting high on one of the shelves with the security tag around the neck I knew that was the bottle for me. Peat. Something that Bruichladdich does well - Octomore is one of the most peaty whiskies around today - only narrowly superceeded by the (slightly less peaty) but complex and delicious Ardbeg Supernova!

The label boasts 'refreshingly free from 'medicinal' overtones - just evocative and beguiling peat aromas. A three dimensional flavour obtained from three strengths of peated barley'

At 46% it is not cask strength, a refreshing change! Unlike some of my fellow whisky drinkers I find non-cask strength pleasant as it allows you to enjoy the more subtle flavours that dont get wiped out by alcohol content.

'Peat' has some very nice flavours, caramel, honey, quite sweet and a wonderfully smoky flavour - in wine terms a nice everyday drinking whisky.

Great Whisky Photos

Posted by Leo | Posted in , | Posted on 22:13

Here are a few photos from a medium-sized photographer of my acquaintance.

Whisky of course being the wonderfully tasty subject

The Laphroaig is a very tasty drop. At 55.7% it is full of peaty, smoky goodness!