The clouds have rolled in. I blame the boys from Cask Strength who arrived yesterday and surely brought the cold and fog with them.
After last night’s pass out fest on the sofa, we were all up early (relatively) in order to arrive on time (relatively) to TWO (count them) two tastings: Bowmore at 11.30 and Kilchoman at high noon. After prepping another massive breakfast, Chef de mission Ben fired up the Malt Mobile for another high-speed tour through farm fields and past stretching coast line.
Wellity, wellity, wellity…as you may have read yesterday, our day began with the Balvenie Boys driving the Malt Mobile away from the Master of Malt cottage at 6.30am with minimal protest from me. It shall surely end with a dip in the hot tub.
Our day officially began at around 10am, with Ben rousing us by shouting, ‘wake up!’ all throughout the house. I did not find this pleasing. Justin had spent the early morning hours hoovering some foxy midges that had managed to creep their way into his bedroom, but didn’t seem to worse for the wear. More…
I’ll begin from the end and work backwards today as Balvenie has done a number on my brain and it’s the only way I can recollect the events preceding this moment.
I recall at half past six this morning, I watched as the Balvenie brand ambassadors drove away with the Malt Mobile. I apparently did not protest enough at the claim that ‘Ben said it was ok.’
Having survived the wilds of Edinburgh and a skin-of-our-teeth race for the last ferry to Islay from Kennacraig, we found ourselves settled in to our exquisite cottage on Islay quite nicely. A little too nicely.
We began the day with rare and glorious sunshine, savoury crepes for breakfast, and the promise of an exceptionally brilliant day. After a bit of admin work (you can’t keep a nerd from his computer), we were on our way in the trusty Malt Mobile—now sullied with the carcasses of many an insect— to the Bruichladdich open day.
I woke up, and removed myself from bed with the cautiousness of a man who has just undergone complicated surgery.
Unbelievable. Despite my memory rendering the last few hours in similar detail to a five year old’s picture of the Sistine Chapel, I was all right. Praise be indeed!
I congratulated myself on my iron constitution. Today would be a day of winding Highland roads and tight schedules. Not a day to be under the weather.
It all started so well. The Master of Malt Mobile was pimped, packed with drams and a simply outrageous selection of fine booze, and we were ready to go by 9.30am… not bad going I think you’ll agree.
We’ll be doing a bit of entertaining in Islay, so we packed our entire range of Vintage Cocktails, a selection of whisky and a few special bottles including Glenfarclas Cognac Cask, a single cask Ardbeg 1993 (more on this in coming weeks – yes – it’s going to be a new bottling from MoM), and a 28-year-old Port Ellen.
So – it’s that time of year again – Feis Ile time.
We went along for the first time last year, and despite several fates befalling us which wouldn’t have seemed out of place in the bible*, it was an absolutely awesome holiday strictly work-related event.
As a result, we’ve decided to go back again this year, en-masse for the full 8 days of the festval, starting next Saturday (26th May) and ending the Saturday after.
I know what you’re thinking: The shock! The horror!
Scratch that. You’re thinking: I know. Boring. Old news. Who gives a doodle?
Full disclosure: until 3 March, 2010, I was a whisky hater. Full on. In my youth, I partook of the occasional whisky sour, but that was in an attempt to sound sophisticated to a bartender who could not care less about my ingénue posturing. Mostly, I just couldn’t stand the stuff. More…
Categories : News
Okay, so here’s the thing – I’ve got a reasonably good idea. It’s a secret for now, but won’t be for much longer – in fact to those of you with reasonably astute imaginations, the cat’s probably out of the bag already. The idea hinges on being able to find sources of Juniper which are specific to one particular location, and to be honest I’m drawing a little bit of a blank.
Now it’s worth pointing out that as I type this post, I have a rotavap going behind me, I’m planning the details of a trip to Islay, ordering some Vinyl Graphics for our car (more on that later), working out the final details of a business trip to Poland, planning for a visit to the Tanqueray distillery next week, sorting out tastings for the lovely folk at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, finalising a gin for The Spectator, and there was one more thing as well… oh yes – ‘running a whisky business’. So – it’s probably fair to say that perhaps I’ve not gone as far as I can down the road of investigating each and every producer in the world, or contacting every friendly distiller to try and prise out of them the details of from whence their juniper came, but I’ve had ‘a bit of a crack’.
This, dear readers is where you, and the bounty come in. More…
The weather may have thwarted the brave Walking with the Wounded team’s attempt on the summit of Everest, but their journey is still an inspiring story.
And tonight, they will commiserate by staging the world’s highest ever whisky tasting, streamed live on Glenfiddich’s website at 7pm tonight. Technology eh? More…
Categories : News