The Whisky Life List, Your Personal Archive!

We look forward to working with students as they explore the Whisky Life List. All students will have access to this personal archive that was created for those who want to keep track of the Whiskies that they have enjoyed.whisky life list 2

Here are some views of what the list currently looks like. We now have 1683 whiskies listed which is a good start. You can get some idea from the welcome page how it will flow. There is a search function area where the user keys in the name of the whisky and then, if the whisky is on the list, up comes the tasting note area. This is for the user to fill in as they see fit.

We now have the ability to upload images to this tasting note area. This way a user can take some photos of the event where they enjoyed the whisky and have the images filed with the tasting note.

It has been suggested that the ability to post to Facebook from the archive will be a big plus. We are looking into this.

Chairman Bill

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Whisky Tutorial: Introduction to Single Malt Scotches

Whisky Tutorial!

Whisky Tutorial!

Dear Fellow Whisky Lovers,

I was asked to help a friend put together a whisky education session for some folks who had never tried single malt scotch before. As I researched the whiskies I decided that we would taste six different whiskies along with water and some crusty bread and plain soda crackers to cleanse the palate. Please do not consider this to be the definitive tutorial structure. It does give some useful information to students and instructors alike.

Each student had six glasses in front of them along with a tasting record. The students were given a brief talk on why whisky is served at room temperature and one or two drops of water may be added after the first taste of an individual whisky to release additional flavours if so desired. The addition of water is an ongoing discussion among whisky lovers. I think that it depends on the whisky and the individual tasting the whisky.

The tasting grid had the six whiskies down the side. The order of tasting was: Auchentoshan 12 years, Glenfiddich 12 years, The Macallan Gold, Arran Amorone Cask, Highland Park 12 years and Talisker 10 years. The top of the grid had colour, nose, flavour, finish and overall. The most room was given to overall.

As the student tried the individual whisky the tasting notes from the distillery that produced that whisky were read out. This was presented as one option of finding information about a particular whisky. There are many other resources that students can use to find out more. Within the group we had a wide range of opinions as to what whisky was preferred. Some liked the whisky with the most dramatic finish. Others liked the whisky that had been in wine casks to age.

It is indeed a matter of personal taste and preference. The idea of having a group tutorial is to learn together. I always encourage students to learn from one another. It is quite possible that one of the tutorial students is well versed in single malt whiskies and has brought a friend along to introduce them to the variety of heavenly elixirs available. With the proper encouragement the tutorial can be further enriched with student input.

I always take the opportunity to remind one and all that single malt whisky starts with three ingredients, malted barley, water, and yeast. It is truly amazing how many different whiskies with such a wide range of flavours began this way.

We are all learning after all!

Chairman Bill

 

Glenmorangie Distillery

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This is a Highland region distillery. Glenmorangie is Scotland’s best selling single malt within Scotland. The tour guide was top notch and went the extra mile to drive me into town to catch my bus.

 

Tasting Notes: Glenmorangie 10 year old Amber colour, light fruity flavour, light finish. Overall a lovely dram that is welcome to join my drinks cabinet.

Benromach Distillery

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Benromach is still in the Speyside region of whisky making. It is the smallest working distillery on Speyside with a staff of two including the manager.

The tour was very well run.

Tasting Notes:
Benromach 10 year old: Pale amber, sweet and a bit smoky, nice flavour bites at the finish.

I would be happy to add this whisky to my drinks cabinet.

Glenfarclas Distillery

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The malt is lightly peated for Glenfarclas whisky. There is a range of single cask bottlings under the Family Casks label. You can enjoy whisky for each year from 1952 to 1994. I did not have the opportunity to try all of these whiskies.

 

 

Tasting Notes:
Glenfarclas 10 year old. Light colour and mild flavour with a hard finish
Glenfarclas 25 year old. Amber colour, smooth and tasty, 2 drops of water improve the finish making it less harsh.
Glenfarlcas 30 year old. Darker amber colour, very smooth and tasty, bites at the finish. 2 rops of water improves the finish making it less harsh

All three whiskies are most welcome to be part of my drinks cabinet.

Cardhu Distillery

The Cardhu Distillery tour was well done. The distillery is owned by the company that makes Johnny Walker and Cardhu is an ingredient of this blend.

The tastings were also well done:
12 year old Cardhu – light, very nice. All in all a lovely whisky
Cardhu Special Cask Reserve – purrs down the throat
Cardhu 18 year old – darker colour and more flavour than the 12 year old

All three of these whiskies were very fine. I gave top marks to the Special Cask Reserve followed closely by the 18 year old. The 12 year old is quite acceptable, but it is in a different league. They are all welcome to come and stay in my drinks cabinet.

Cragganmore Distillery

The Cragganmore distillery is located nine miles south of Aberlour.
It is part of the Diageo group which meant a free tour with my passport. The malt is unpeated and the casks are ex-Bourbon.

Tasting notes: Cragganmore Distiller’s Edition – 12 years old and a wee bit more.
Aged in Bourbon Casks and then in Port Wine Casks for a few months.

Light colour, delicate nose, sweet taste with a hint of smoke. I would be happy to add this whisky to my drinks cabinet.

 

 

Balvenie Distillery

An appointment was necessary and I paid 25 pounds for the tour and tasting. Worth every penny! It was a great treat. The tastings were excellent and included some 30 year old Balvenie! It was a wonderful experience for this writer. All that Balvenie put before me to sample is most welcome in my drinks cabinet.

15 year old Sherry Butt, 59.5% spicy dried fruits
15 year old Refilled Hogshead, 62%, honey, black licorice, spicy, fruity
12 year old 1st Filled Oak 63.6% floral
Signature ,12 year old Bourbon Sherry Butt, refilled Hogshead amber colour, sweet, slightly vanilla, spicy
Double Wood, 12 years in American Cask, finished 8 months in European Sherry Cask, dark amber, lovely flavour
Carribean Cask 14 years in Bourbon Casks and then 4 months in Rum Casks, very fine dram!
Single Barrel 15 year second filling,amber colour, honeyed flavour
Port Wood 21 years in Bourbon, 3-4 months in Port Pipes, nice amber colour, sweet licorice, fruits, honey vanilla
30 year old, dark amber, chocolate, hints of plum.

When your ninth tasting is a 30 year old Balvenie, you’ve had a good whisky tasting!

Strathisla Distillery

Strathisla s the home of Chivas Regal, a well known blended Scotch. The tour was very well done and the tasting room was like a gentleman’s club with big leather chairs and couches. Chivas 12 year old. A very pleasant whisky. smooth tasting with a nice finish Chivas 18 year old. rich, smooth, hint of smoke, light finish Strathisla 12 year old. sweet, nutty, oaky, vanilla, honey All three of these whiskies are most enjoyable. They are welcome in my drinks cabinet.

Aberlour Distillery

The tour of Aberlour was well arranged. Reservations were made the day before. There were five tastings put in front of us. These tastings are all very fine. All are welcome in my drinks cabinet!

16 year old Bourbon Cask 54.4% deep golden colour, vanilla nose, peppery on the lips, short finish

16 year old Sherry Cask Matured, dark amber colour, very nice flavour

10 year old 90% Bourbon Cask, 10% Sherry Cask, 43% alcohol, amber colour, apples, pears on the nose, sweet, smooth, easy to drink.

16 year old Bourbon Cask, 50% Sherry Cask, Final 6 months in a sherry cask, deep golden amber, apples, spiciness, nuttiness

A’bunadh – taste from the past. This whisky is based on an old bottle whose characteristics were duplicated by the master whisky makers of Abelour. It is aged in Spanish olorosa sherry buttes for 5-20 years. The average age is 12 years old. 60.3% alcohol, dark golden colour, chocolate,orange,cherry,spice.