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#22576 - 03/02/08 10:16 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Hi Folks I'm Mark the host of these tastings (aka Jolly Toper) I'm not sure if commenting is a good idea but... I ask the regulars whenever I think of changing ticket prices, more budget equals the chance to taste more expensive drams. This does not mean better drams but there are some new releases/discontinued bottles that we would all like to taste but can't afford. I want these tastings to be the chance to come together with like minded people, taste something you would not have considerd/heard of/could afford and have a good night. Swap opinions and have a laugh. I don't do it to beat anybody's drum. I'm INDEPENDENT. Any leaning towards Cadenheads/Springbank is mainly because I can try the drams before I buy them and as I work at the shop it is so easy to find and buy the stock. The ticket price rise also coincided with a price rise of some of the older/rarer stock from the company and a cover charge from the venue, (oh yes and the birth of my second child). The venue has, luckily, changed hands and the new licensees have a very generous outlook so no charge- but plenty pints bought over the night. Livvy and Beefy I'm glad you enjoyed the nights but wondered if your absence was because you didn't! Finally I was on one of my rare excursions to the pub recently and found the price of the standard drams to be equivalent to the price pro-rata I was charging for the fancy pants stuff we taste then I noticed the price of a pint!
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#22578 - 03/02/08 11:48 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Livvy Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/03/03
Posts: 1974
Loc: Cupar
Hiya Mark...I think the last time I spoke to you was in the shop and I think Misako Udo was in...and if my memory serves me you were about to get married....or was it the first child? I have said before that I have no problem with the price rise, that is not the reason for my absence..I guess its just making the effort( like Beefy said). Since I was last there I have started college and tend to be working on that..or just working. I know Beefy and Hazel are busy too. I think we should make the effort though, we get regular tastings in St Andrews and there was a point when we never missed them...but we have kinda let that slip too. Let us know when the tastings are because if we get our fingers out it would be nice to do again.

Edited by Livvy (03/02/08 11:50 PM)

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#22586 - 04/02/08 08:30 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Livvy]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Hi Livvy, To put the record straight I am not married to Misako. I married another after our first born (our collection now includes a later vintage too). I was always impressed with the Fifer's dedication when it came to the effort you had to go to to get to the Canongate. For your information the tastings are:

13.02.08 rum £15/12

21.02.08 Islay £23/20

12.03.08 Talisker £23/£20

03.04.08 regular format = 1x :rare, unusual, sherried, peaty, old

24.04.08 regular format £20/17

14.05.08 1 x dram from 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s £29/26

The alternative prices mean a discount for first timers/members. Membership is £10 for 13 months (or £17 including 2 tasting glasses and a caraf)

I'll give you more details of the exact drams scheduled if you're interested. I don't want to totally hijack this forum!

Cheers

Mark

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#22587 - 04/02/08 10:00 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Par Offline
Full Member


Registered: 13/11/03
Posts: 2231
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
Hello Mark,

Chances are that we've met in the Cadenhead's Canongate shop at some point, although none of us was aware...anyway, to me, the prices for these tastings appear to me to be very fair. I suspect that the drams are not huge, but when I hold tastings, I tend to limit the size to 3 cls at the most, but never less than 2 cls (for very exclusive ones) and generally 2,5 cls or more. The idea is not to pour more than 15 cls of whisky, as that is really quite a bit to take in at one tasting, in particular if a serious event. My prices are not dissimilar to yours, if anything a little more expensive. But then I rarely manage to get any discounts, although I do happen upon the odd rare bottle or two.

And how about vertical tastings like the Talisker one above, what's in it? Just curious for a view of how others present their tastings and offerings...

As for hijacking the Forum, take a look at the number of postings made by the top runners and try harder...you're welcome!

/ Pär

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#22589 - 04/02/08 10:27 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Par]
Livvy Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/03/03
Posts: 1974
Loc: Cupar
Oooh..some tasty stuff there. By the way I am LMAO at the thought that you thought I was inferring you were married to Misako...we had a thread a few years ago about a sentence having two meanings depending on how you read it..and yes it does look like I wrote that. The Rum tasting looks good..had a few rums at the Whisky Fringe and was hugely impressed. The Islay one would be good but I wont make that one as I have my uni interview the next day and I have a trip to Edi on the 23rd planned to sit in various pubs and watch the rugby.
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#22640 - 06/02/08 09:48 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Livvy]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
LMAO? I tried a rum tasting last year and was very pleased with the results. Trouble is I'm not over burdened by insight into the drink so the tasting was centered almost totally on the drams' taste, background explanation was abit shaky. However all those in attendance agreed the rums were yummy and quite different from one another. I luckily picked some stars. This time I've done my best to come up with the goods again with the wondefully helpful Dave Broom book at hand. Panama 8yo 46%, Guyana 25yo 46%, Jamaica 18yo 46%, Demerara 29yo 64.7% and J. M. white Martinique Rhum Agricole 50%. This last one made perfect sense at Whisky Fringe but it seems, as Par points out, your palate might not be on top form after 12+ drams so it might be replaced. It still noses incredibly like new make Scotch whisky but taste much more like tequila.
Par, dram sizes are 25ml. Enough to get to grips with the dram but not so much as the number of drams have to be reduced if you want to have the best chance of tasting the details (and remembering them). I've taken to sticking in a mystery dram which gives me licence to use any old rubbish as it is a bonus. To date we've had some real curiosities - not all of them are simply of academic interest. The tastings are always blind but as I promote most tastings by including the exact nature of the drams some people will know what is coming if not their order.
The Talisker tasting includes 2007 release 30yo 50.7%, 18yo, 12yo friends of classic malts, Gordon and Macphail 1.2 21yo 45% (3 first fill sherry butts) and probably 'Island Malt' by Oddbins from some time ago. It would have been too good to have the 1955 50yo from G & M. I didn't use this until after they were all sold out so missed the chance of getting more. I belive there is an unaged 'North' bottling at higher strength about but can't be sure of details. Georgie Crawford is my contact at Talisker so hopefully get some more info soon. Par don't be a stranger if your down our way again.

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#22644 - 06/02/08 11:46 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Willie JJ Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/11/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Midlothian, Scotland
Mark if this set of Rums is even half as good as the last set it will be a treat. Also, don't be so disparaging about the mystery malts. Some (not all, I concede) of them have been fantastic. I still remember with fondness the 1970s bottling of Bell's 12 yo that the German lads ran off with. I still can't believe how good that was.
_________________________
Willie

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#22654 - 07/02/08 08:51 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
Par Offline
Full Member


Registered: 13/11/03
Posts: 2231
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
Mark,

I did a Talisker tasting in 2006 and then included the G&M 50 yo bottling. It is very good, provided you're fond of a right old sherry monster with massive spirit beneath, but even if it had not been that good, it still would have stolen the attention. The 20 and 25 yos and more standard 10 and 18 and the "175" just didn't matter that much, although all good to excellent. (The 10 yo seems to have lost quite a bit of bite in the last few years, in my opinion, so now "only" good.)

A great shame that one did not get a half case or so of that 50 yo. Must be really difficult to find such good whisky, at such an extreme age, at such a favourable price ever again. It did cost close to £ 200, but was worth it. And you won't hear me saying that too often, that's for sure!

Next time I'm in Edinburgh I'll be sure to make myself known a bit better, at the Canongate as well as at RMW, the SMWS and...well, there goes a week in a mist of whisky!

Please let us know a thing or two about how the tastings go and also what people thought of the whiskies.

/ Pär

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#22689 - 07/02/08 07:43 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Par]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
I tried the 50yo Talisker alongside Glen Grant 42yo sherry cask, 1967 32yo Old Rhosdhu 40%, 1960s 32yo Tullibardine and something else suitably old. Those present found it hard to seperate the Grant and Talisker. I thought Talsiker took it with a whisker but could easily have swung the other way on a different night. I recently tried an old bottling of G & M 1957 Talisker which was promising on the nose but failed to deliver. Really gentle with next to no peat. The 57 degrees North is for Scandinavia only so back to you Par for any comments. I tried the 21yo from the sherry butts today and liked it, the 30yo wasn't unwelcome but the Classic malts will need further scrutiny.

Did I mention I'm happy to post the drams to anybody unable to attend?

Willy, we'll have to wait and see to find out what everybody thinks of the rums, so far I'm not unduly worried about the quality only the number of tickets sold! You can have the shop copy of Malt Advocate to read if the stock hasn't arrived by Wednesday.

I look forward to meeting you Par, and anybody else for that matter. you can try the yummy Invergordon I took delivery of today thanks to those lovely people at Bladnoch.

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#22691 - 07/02/08 09:52 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Par Offline
Full Member


Registered: 13/11/03
Posts: 2231
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
Well Mark,

Can be tough on the actual spirit, those sherry casks. After just about anything over 20 yo and sometimes even quite a bit less than that, the sherry cask can easily dominate or even obliterate the spirit character, meaning it has turned into a sherry monster (usually without balance). But when it works, it can work fine, to create something really good. And this Talisker 50 yo did, in my opinion, manage to carry the long years and all that sherry character without giving in to it entirely - but sure, it is a close call! Not surprised that a Glen Grant may be close in character after 42 yrs in an ex sherry cask. As they give such heavy and often spicy characters, they would enhance the body of a lighter whisky rather a lot, which means it will approach the character of the Talisker from the ex sherry casks. Or so I would think anyway - haven't tried the GG 42 yo.

Have however received and also tried the coconut bombs that are the 1971 Invergordons from those friendly people at Bladnoch...very nice grain whiskies.

Haven't really realized that the Talisker 57 North would be available here yet - but perhaps it has not been released? Or it might be that most of my bottles tend to come from Scotland courtesy of the Royal Mail or ParcelForce...rather than from our monopoly, whose pricing strategy for the rarer bottles (of late) have had a tendency to more or less equal the Scottish price plus postage! How's that for a conspiracy theory...

/ Pär

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