With Ian Robinson of Cellar Trends Ltd.
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 @ 7.30pm
The Hampshire Room @ Lysses House Hotel
Tickets £10 per person in advance only – available from Fareham Wine Cellar.
There will be a refund of £5 per ticket for any order placed on the evening
We will be showing the following whiskies:
Left to right:
First of all, a big thank you to Ian Robinson from Cellar Trends for coming to presenting the World Whisky Tasting and a big thank you to all who turned out to come and taste the whiskies. As always with tastings it is difficult to know how much depth of information to go into and, for the first part of the tasting, Ian gave a brief, but very thorough, introduction to the entire whisky making process. From the start to finish, from the grain to the final maturation period and even I learned a few things. This was followed by the whisky tasting. Of course, the world of whisky is a massive subject and it is really difficult trying do a World Whisky Tasting in a couple of hours and 7 or 8 whiskies, but Ian did a pretty good job. Perhaps it might have been nice to include an Irish whiskey. Maybe next time.
It is always interesting to sit in on a tasting like this and to listen to the opinions and comments of the people sitting around you. I am continually surprised by what I think people will like and what people actually like! For example, I thought the Rock Oyster and the Rebel Yell Rye whiskey would be the two biggest sellers. How wrong I was.
Here is a breakdown of whiskies ordered on the evening (as percentages of bottles sold):
Here are my brief tasting notes:
Epicurean Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 70cl 46.2% – Very pale, light golden colour. The nose has aromas of lemon citrus, grassy, floral notes and a slight note of anise. In the mouth the whiskey is soft and supple with flavours of green apple and barley notes with a good, clean, fresh finish. I have tried The Epicurean a number of times and have not always liked it but this time, I think, I got it. A lighter lowland style of whisky. A blended malt. the whiskies in the blend are most likely Auchentoshan, Glenkinchie and Ailsa Bay.
Rock Oyster Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 70cl 46.8% – Light golden colour. The nose is slightly sweet with aromas of smoky, brinem green apples and a touch honey. The aromas on the nose follow through on to the palate which has a slight salty tang. Fresh, clean finish with only a whisper of peat. I am a bit of a peathead and this is not quite peaty enough for me. It is a multi-island blended malt comprising single malts from Arran, Jura, Orkney and Islay. The Arran and Jura ones are easy, there is only one distillery each of these could be. The Orkney whisky is most likely Highland Park and the Islay probably Coal Ila. A great, and gentle, introduction to anyone who might want to get into peated whiskies.
Togouchi Premium Japanese Blended Whisky 40% -Very pale golden colour. The nose is soft and fruity. The palate was soft, sweet and mellow with sweet, malty character and a hint of chocolate and fudge. It is actually a blend of Scottish malt whisky and Canadian grain whisky. Apparently the malt is a little bit peated, but I couldn’t detect any. For me the grain dominates the blend but it is still a great example of Japanese whisky blending. An extremely drinkable whisky, and quite a few people seemed to agree.
Akashi Japanese Blended Whisky 40% – Good golden colour. The nose is floral with hints of cereal, barley and grain. The palate was soft and fruity, with hints of stewed fruits and some orange-y notes. Good finish. Unlike the Togouchi, this is Japanese spirit (although some sources say some of the grain may not be). In 1919 the Akashi White Oak Distillery was the first whisky distillery in Japan to be granted a whisky distilling license and they still only distill once a year. Bottled at 5 years old.
Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve Bourbon 45.3% – Golden brown colour. The nose is typically Bourbon. There are hints of sweet, spicy, vanilla, burnt sugar, spice, a touch of smoke and maybe a bit of orange peel. This is a wheated style of Bourbon and the palate has cereal, sweet malty flavours. Pretty powerful stuff. Bottled at around 4 to 6 years old. A good Bourbon.
Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye 45% – Golden orange colour. Around 85% Rye. The nose is sweet and spicy with black pepper and baking spices. The palate is full and rich, spicy and oily with some rum-like flavours, brown sugar, oaky vanilla and more spice. Someone mentioned that it reminded him of a spiced rum. I could understand why. This would make a good Manhattan cocktail or old-fashioned.
Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon 41.2% – Light golden colour. The nose has aromas of marzipan, floral notes and an older spirit / rancio character reminiscent of a Cognac or Brandy. The palate is lighter and more delicate in style than the Rebel Yell and is softer and mellower. It surprised my that this was the biggest selling whisky of the evening because I didn’t think it was typical Bourbon. Aged between 6 to 10 years.