Thursday, 9 October 2014

TWE Whisky Show 2014!

Is this the world’s biggest whisky festival?  500+ drams, multiple masterclasses, a working distillery, all sorts of fun.  This year I got to do the Saturday and the trade day (Monday) and may have just about recovered from the enormity.  7 hours of tasting whisky goes by so quickly when there’s so much to discover.  10 new Adelphi whiskies?  A whole Weymss horizontal, including the absolutely sublime Bowmore 31yo “Loch Indaal Catch”?  The new batch of Laphroaig 25? Three new Karuizawas and the Hanyu Joker? Loads of new Old Particulars?  A whole new set of single malt of Scotland, Elements of Islay and other show bottlings?  A whole new set of Signatory cask strength bottlings?  The new Octomore?!  A heavily sherried Arran 17 private cask?  You can see why I had trouble sleeping the night before - and trouble getting up the morning after!

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Here’s some highlights.

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Douglas Laing Highland Park 21 Directors Cut

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Hazelburn 11 yo, the next Springbank Society bottling, out in 4-6 weeks. 

Also coming from Springbank a couple of organic whiskies.  The Springbank Green (bourbon casks) – out in 4-6 weeks, 12 years old.  And the Springbank 17 year old sherry casks – 9000 bottles in January.  This last one was particularly wonderful.

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Springbank 25 year old (dream dram).  Apparently the edict has always been “bottle it at 21” and hence, nothing older.  A few years ago the 21s were a smaller batch and a few casks were kept back. This batch is from 4 casks, 1,200 bottles and will be out in January – only 180 bottles for the UK!  The next batch is only 900 bottles in total.  Eek.

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The lineup at Adelphi – lots of cool new stuff out released today.  Look at the colour on that Glen Garioch!

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Glenlivet 25 – just because I could.

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The certificate of authenticity on the Tomatin 1981 (dream dram).

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A new Bruichladdich 1990 23 year old from Signatory – this was lovely.  Cask 175.

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Linkwood 1985, 28yo Signatory picked by TWE – also amazing.

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Glenlivet 1981, 32yo Signatory picked by TWE.

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SMOS Bowmore 15yo – really lovely

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25yo Bowmore for the show – retro label.  Pricey!

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18yo Craigellachie Old Particular by Douglas Laing.  Lovely – the new Bunnahabhain OP is even better – forgot to take a photo of that though.  New for August and weirdly not available from TWE site (just like the new Tomatin OP, it’s been omitted from TWE, although it’s out elsewhere).

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Ardbeg 21 Old Particular.  Lovely, elegant.

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Laphroaig 25 2014 batch.  Ripe, clean, light and lovely.  The 18 was also beautiful.

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Bruichladdich masterclass on the trade day.  Blogger table! 

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Launch of the Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley! Uber provenance – it’s even let down a little with spring water from the Octomore farm!  £150 a bottle, out soon.

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Beautiful comus like packaging on the 6.3.

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The new Port Charlotte Islay Barley.  £55 a bottle, out soon.

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Finally, one of the most amazing drams – the Balblair 69. 

Oh yeah, nearly forgot this – a 1972 single cask sample from the 8th batch of Balvenie tun 1401.  BOOM!

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What a rollercoaster!  I’m barely recovered now.  An amazing event, thanks everyone at TWE!

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