Whisky trending – what I liked this week
The W Club is going competition crazy and frankly it’s my humble view that we’re spoiling our members.
But it’s hard not to be impressed. I’m so keen to win a couple of them that I’ve adopted a couple of pseudonyms and am entering in disguise in the hope no-one will notice. That’ll learn ‘em.
We’ve just sent a lucky club member to Glen Garioch for what was an almost overwhelming trip, and now we’re following that with this little lot:
- a VIP trip to the BenRiach distillery in Speyside to select the cask which will be used for a Whisky Shop exclusive bottling
- a trip for two to the wonderful Gleneagles Hotel
- the chance to be a guest of Glenmorangie at the Open Golf Championship in July
- the chance to join the legend that is Richard Patersopn, master blender at Whyte & Mackay and one of the most charming and witty raconteurs you’ll ever meet, for an afternoon in his blending room
- the chance to attend a major Johnnie Walker launch event in Glasgow
Not enough? then what about the chance to win a trip for two to the brand new Mackmyra distillery in Sweden, or a trip for two, amazingly, to the Yamazaki distillery in Japan.
And if for some reason this all sounds like too much like hard work and you’d rather not get off your butt, then you ought to be trying to win a complete set of this year’s Islay Festival special bottlings. The prize is worth £1500 today but one week after the Festival is over that price will start heading upwards rapidly, leaving you with the ultimate dilemma – do you sit back and watch your investment grow, or open some of your special bottles and enjoy some of the finest Islay malt on offer.
what a choice
A diamond malt
I don’t think it’s any secret that I love Laphroaig, and of all the Laphroaig’s 18 year old is my favourite. In fact if I was really pushed I would put it in to my top three Scottish single malts.
So this special bottling diamond jubilee version of it provides me with the perfect excuse for me to buy another bottle. Mind you, there’s no way it’s going anywhere but very quickly in to my glass.
And before you ask, no I won’t share.
Compass Box’s isn’t much to look at from the outside but inside it’s like being in an alchemist’s cave. I was down in London to see John Glaser for a couple of unusual issues – both of which will become clear in the next three or four days – and when I arrived he was working on his latest batch of special releases.
He’s engaging company and he treated me to lunch at Jamie Oliver’s relatively new and moderatly priced Union Jack outlet -a sort of gastropub with traditional favourites presented with a twist. So does it get better than a chat with our greatest whisky pioneers, a pint of gorgeous Welsh cider, a hot chili pizza made with four different types of chili and covered in green leaf salad and accompanied by a little pot of curd.
not really. Except for the curd.
A taste of history
I picked up a parcel from the post office today and it contained a small sample of a 1953 58-year-old Glenfarclas. Wow! As George Grant says in the accompanying letter, he wasn’t born when it was made, his father was a little boy and his grand father was distilling. And just as amazingly, it was distilled the year after the Queen came to the throne.
Yep, that old…
I have decided it’s the perfect special whisky to start the weekend with. Trouble is, it’s my wedding anniversary so I’d have to give some to my wife. So I’ve hidden it.
No not really. She’s not that knowledgeable on whisky so I’m going to tell her it’s the 1953 but actually give her some Glenfarclas 10-year-old.
A bit mean i know, but the 10-year-old is rather good – and certainly good enough for her!!