Whiskey Obsession in Sarasota, Florida recently wrapped up its Sixth Annual Festival. The offering included four days of whiskey tasting, pairing, dinners, master classes, VIP tasting and an incredible general tasting. If only I could have attended all the sessions, but reality heartily laughs at my wishful thinking. I eagerly attended the VIP tasting and the general tasting on Friday the 13th. Hmm, Friday the 13th – I got nothin’. But whisky notes, I do have.
This year I brought some sample bottles with the hopes that a few of the pours would make their way in so I wouldn’t have a tired palate, and I could pick and choose how I wanted to taste and compare the whiskies. Seven expressions made their way home with me while I tasted six different expressions during the evening. I prefer to complete each taste and rarely sip and then pour out. Waste not want not.
This blog edition primarily focuses on the samples, which I tasted over the course of a few days.
Raj Sabharwal (2017 Global Whisky Ambassador, High Commended) was my first stop during the VIP session. I actually wanted to simply pull up a stool and stay planted for the evening. The selection was varied and deep, but knowing I had a specific quest in mind I limited myself to two pours to bring home.
After nosing the seven sample bottles, I decided to compare Raj’s English Whisky Company Single Cask Release – Peated, Jamaica Rum Cask Finish @ 57.8% alc. with the Bruichladdich Port Charlotte @ 57.8% alc.
I admit that I eyed the Port Charlotte early on during the tasting and knew that it would be my last pour of the night. I like to end the night with PEAT. Lucky me also secured a sample to take home.
The Port Charlotte has an oily nose that transforms to a smoky, earthy palate that lingers on the finish. When I tasted it at the event, I rated it a 4 (top score.) Would the 4 hold up after tasting the English Whisky?
The English I poured at home. It has a candy nose with a touch of buttered popcorn – the rum comes through on the nose. The palate was more of a hay then medicinal hit finishing with a pleasant earthiness. I was quite pleasantly pleased with this whisky and gave it a solid 3 out of 4. After the English I went back to the Port Charlotte then back to the English again. The Port Charlotte lost ground and the English gained momentum during the comparison tasting. After much thought though the Port Charlotte still edges out the English…but not by much. Could be that I am partial to Bruichladdich whiskies!
Next comparison Virginia Distillery Company, Port Cask Finished, Highland Whisky and Virginia’s Chardonnay Cask, Highland Whisky….
In the meantime, I raise a glass to the world of whisky and all its enthusiasts.
Raise a glass to the North Shore Whisky Club and guest presenter Joshua Hatton of ImpEx Beverages and CEO of Single Cask Nation (SCN). Together they created an evening of tasting of diverse whiskies for a crowd of fifty enthusiastic tasters.
This event drew me in as I had not tasted any of the eight featured whiskies. I went in with no preconceived notion of which whisky would be the cream of the crop. In my mind this objectivity enhances tastings. Darren and George of NSWC had the line-up poured and identified on a numbered info sheet. Snacks and water were abundant and for those who wanted a beer chaser, the bar was in the next room. Add to the fact that Joshua is a skilled, informative and playful presenter, the night was bound to be the perfect beginning to a long weekend.
The first half of the evening’s line-up began with SCN Glenrothes 8 YO. This sherry cask with a 56.7% ABV reminded folks at the table of New England Hermit cookies – molasses, cloves and raisins. I found a burn on the palate and dark syrup molasses on the finish. Someone called out ribbon candy on the nose. I wonder.
Joshua moved us on to a Speyside, Tamdhu 10 YO at 43%. Most often used for blends, and with time spent in Oloroso casks, it was described as soft and sweet. I found it on the edge of soapy with sherry on the finish. The pepper jack cheese I munched on managed to pull it back from the edge.
Keeping with the Tamdhu family, the next tasting was the Tamdhu Batch Strength 001 13 YO at 58.8%. The sherry and spice said hello but I didn’t warm to it at all.
The last taste of the first half of the evening was one I did not have anywhere on my radar screen. The Swiss Independent Bottler, Chapter 7, bottled a 19 YO Highland Single Malt at 56.2%. Joshua stated it was from Ben Nevis. To my amazement I nosed and tasted pineapple, which Joshua said would have come from the Brewer’s Yeast used in days gone by at the distillery. That yeast tends to bring out the tropical notes. I had no idea. I do know that I went back for a second dram of this treasure.
After a short break for a few additional munchies – salmon, cheeses, crackers, the group, now happily buzzing, sat down eager to taste the final four.
SCN Girvan Single Grain Bourbon Cask 10 YO at 56.7%, while light as expected, rolled around the mouth like a nice slice of grainy bread, someone said orange gum drops. I found the hint of orange. The high alcohol content kept the bite alive and my interest in the dram.
SCN Ben Nevis 20 YO Olorosso Cask at 55.6% jumped out of the glass next as a true sherry bomb should. Yeah, there was some oak but the sherry shined brightly. All around jammy!
SCN Ardmore 8 YO at 56.9% announced that the peat had arrived via finishing in a Laphroaig Cask. The sparks flew from the campfire and a spicy salami tamed the peat. Thank you for waking up the peat senses.
Joshua finished the tasting with a Kilchoman Original Cask Strength 5 YO at 59.3%. This big boy was over the top smoke and wood. It is a second edition finished in a quarter cask and went smoothly with a chocolate covered cookie offered to participants. The chocolate rounded out the rough edges of the Kilchoman, which definitely needed rounding out.
Eight whiskies can be too many in a given evening, but the pace was moderate and interspersed with anecdotes and worthwhile information. The break in the middle gave folks a chance to discuss amongst ourselves, as well as time with the hosts and presenter. The bottles were available for folks to saunter up to for an additional tasting. A discount offered from a local liquor store – Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors – was a fine touch.
The flyer for the event was entitled ‘Straight Up’ – A Spirited Whisky Tasking Event. Indeed it met all my expectations and I left with the intent to purchase a few bottles ASAP.
My final ranking for the eight, from favorite to least:
Chapter 7 19 YO
SCN Ben Nevis 20 YO
SCN Ardmore 8 YO
SCN Girvan 10 YO
Tamdhu Batch 001
SCN Glenrothes 8 YO
Tamdhu 10 YO
Yes, I have been shopping. The top four have made it home.
I raise a glass to NSWC and Joshua Hatton for the ‘Straight Up’ adventure. Keep a seat open for me!
On occasion the whisky tastings that I lead are purely for my own very not-so-scientific analysis. My palate swings wildly through the whisky spectrum, though I tend to experience a bit of ho-hum with a number of the Highland Region whiskies. Anyway, discovering where guest whisky tasters’ preference lands fascinates me. This past week I served thirteen guests as part of a fundraising event. The group was eclectic… male, female, some new to whisky, some experienced, and some who were willing to drink anything regardless. Chef Peter Davis, of Henrietta’s Table in Cambridge MA, donated delicious appetizers and served through out the evening, keeping us all smiling from ear to ear!
The opener and closer for the evening was a rare Irish gem: Jack’s Choice. My intent was to learn if tasters felt the same about the Irish after tasting four other whiskies.
Jack’s Choice is an 11 YO, 40% alcohol, finished in Sauterne casks. Aptly named “Jack’s Choice” by Jack Teeling, son of original Cooley owner, John Teeling. The expression was bottled by Vom Fass using Cooley stock that remained in the Teeling Family portfolio after Cooley was sold to Beam Suntory. Yes, a rare whiskey.
Description: Big burst of flavor, sophisticated and spicy. Light as with most Irish, wonderful on its own. the sauterne shows in the finish. For more on this whiskey, see an earlier blog that highlighted the Cooley products.
The formal part of the tasting began with the Westland 2 YO. This expression was bottled by Single Cask Nation (Jewish Whisky Co.). As many are aware Westland was recently purchased by Remy Cointreau. To me, the purchase is an obvious signal that Westland, an American Distillery from Seattle Washington, is a solid whisky with room to grow.
Description: At 60% alcohol, and aged in 1st fill Oloroso barrels this whisky is a sherry bomb that blasts at the palate.
Tasters defined the taste: from dirty caramel, rubber, smoke to honey, wood, dark heat
The second pour, The Enduring Spirit, comes with a knock out storyline. It is the re-creation blend of bottles found below the ice that belonged to Shackleton’s failed expedition to the South Pole over one hundred years ago.
Description: Grassy, spicy, with thoughts of a Lowland whisky
Tasters defined the taste: clove, spice cake, smooth, pecan butter, fruit
The third pour was a marked shift from the first two. Jura Superstition, found most everywhere, is a constant.
Description: Distilled on the Isle of Jura, just a stones throw from Islay. This is a no age statement 43% alcohol, aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The peat is evident immediately but doesn’t overpower. The spice controls the peat.
Tasters defined the taste: cinnamon, butterscotch, burnt sugar, cinnamon then peat
The fourth pour is my personal longtime favorite to introduce those new to whisky – the Islay classic Lagavulin 16 YO.
Description: 16 YO 43% alcohol, aged in oak casks. Rich and deep with lingering and intense peat that is both smooth and warm.
Tasters defined the taste: from paint, chemical to marshmallow dropped in ash, peat and orange blossom.
Now my not-so-scientific analysis. Tasters used a whisky flavor wheel to help them determine the profiles they experienced. The score sheets were handed out, with some more completed than others. Whisky drinking does bring out the les serious side of note taking!
The Jack’s Choice, the outlier, showed its purity both before and after the formal part of the tasting. As a side note: A point to keep in mind, is that I highlighted the fact that this is a hard to find independently bottled whiskey. “Specialness” and “uniqueness” and “high cost”, in my experience, influences tasters thoughts and oft their tasting preferences.
By the numbers: Nine tasters completed their score sheets. Four tasters either gave all the whiskies a four or a one – so these score sheets were not included in the results.
Scoring: 1 = never buy this 2 = Honey, buy this for me, maybe 3 = Yes, buy this for me 4 = Yes, honey buy me two
Westland and Lagavulin either thrilled or insulted tasters. Both received four “1” scores
If a taster gave Westland a “4”, then they gave Lagavulin a “1”. Same for the Lagavulin vs the Westland. Either they loved or hated the peat or sherry. Therein lies the Even Steven!
The Enduring Spirit did not receive any “1” score, or any “4”. Steady!
My score, not included in the numbers and in relation to each other: Lagavulin = 4 (no surprise), Westland = 3, The Enduring Spirit = 3-, Jura = 2+.
As an added bonus – with the intent to raise more money for the Nahant Council on Aging, I offered tasters a dram of Octomore 1.1 – Yes, the inaugural bottle. Now opened! This beautiful expression wowed the group with its over the top 131 ppm. Jim McEwan during his tenure at Bruichladdich was so far ahead of the curve.
What a delightful evening with enthusiastic tasters and wide range of whiskies. Donations exceeded our expectations, and that my friends fills me with heartfelt thanks.
Tis the season for giving. I raise a glass to those who donate in support of non-profit causes. For me, The Nahant Council on Aging is irreplaceable on our tiny island. Gotta take care of our seniors!
This is the fourth installment of my 10-4-10 series of interviews with people who are swirling winningly in the wide world of whisk(e)y. Up this time is Joshua Hatton, the President and CEO of Jewish Whisky Company, Single Cask Nation.
Thanks again to Joshua for taking the time to provide detailed informative answers to my ten questions; and here goes….
What was the impetus behind the creation of JWC/SCN?
From 2008 – 2010 I was actively looking to leave my current profession as a Director of Sales and Marketing for a manufacturer of Industrial Storage Supplies for something that was more near and dear to my heart: whisky. I spent a good amount of time looking for band ambassadorial work but for various reasons things never did work out for me as a brand ambassador. As a lover of independent bottlers and all of the special, and given my entrepreneurial spirit, starting my own independent bottling company seemed the way to go. I brought the idea to my friend and fellow whisky blogger, Jason Johnstone-Yellin, and he loved it. I instantly asked him to be my VP.
Thankfully we have many friends and contacts within the industry that have supported us from the beginning to help get the company started. We went from bottling 3 casks in our first year to upwards of 18 casks in 2015. We hope to bottle around the same in 2016 – we shall see…
Please explain how JWC/SCN membership works.
Currently there are three levels of membership: White Lite Level, White Level, Silver Level.
Regardless of your level of membership, purchasing your Single Cask Nation membership allows Nation members exclusive access to all our whisky releases. This is the number one benefit as a member of Single Cask Nation.
Our $36 White-Lite membership level simply grants you access to our whiskies.
White Level, provides Nation members with a full 750ml “Welcome Bottle” of one of our finest Single Cask, Natural Cask Strength Whiskies available. The choice of “Welcome Bottle” is completely up to the new Nation member. White Level members also receive two Single Cask Nation whisky posting glasses, a membership card, SCN or JWC t-shirt, and a copy of the latest Malt Whisky Yearbook by Ingvar Rhonde. Membership lasts one year and can be renewed for only $36.
Silver Levelmembership allows new members to choose 2 full 750ml “Welcome Bottles” (again, new members get to choose the welcome bottles). Silver Level members also receive 6 SCN nosing glasses, membership card, copy of the latest Malt Whisky Yearbook, an SCN embroidered work shirt, and no membership renewal fees until the 4th year of membership.
Unlike a wine-of-the-month club, we will not ship members any whisky they have not ordered or do not want. As a member of Single Cask Nation, you will have complete control of your purchases and choice of your “Welcome Bottle(s).”
Did you have any “this is not going to work” moments that you would like to share?
As with any new business, there have been rocky moments but we are continually amazed that we run this fantastic business. No, we always knew this was the right thing to be doing!
Where do you see JWC in five years?
Wow – interesting question. We do have a 5 year plan as well as a 10 year plan. However, much of it is very hush-hush. All I can say is “watch this space.”
Care to share what bottles you will be launching this upcoming year?
We’re very excited about the 28yo Bunnahabhain & 10yo Loch Lomond we just bottled. That will arrive to the US in a couple of months. We *just* released a 2yo Westland single malt that was chosen by us and 20 SCN members at the distillery. Also in the pipeline are the following: 8yo Craigellachie (sherry matured), 10yo American Light Whiskey (two different casks), Glen Moray Madeira Cask (6 years bourbon matured, 6 years Madeira matured). We’ve got a few other casks up our sleeves…
What have you learned about the world of whisky that has surprised you?
The stark differences between independent bottling as it’s done in Scotland as compared to how it’s done in the US. In Scotland, and our model follows suit, on the label is the bottler’s name and the name of the distillery where the whisky was produced. Here in the US, it’s more common to create a brand around whiskey produced at this distillery or that (usually MGP). As a result, our ability to source American spirits *and* put the distillery name on the label is limited. That said, we have bottled whiskey (both rye and light whiskey) from the Midwest Grain Products distillery (MGP) and put their name on the label. To our knowledge, we’re the first and only bottler to do this.
Do you have particular SCN favorites? They are…
While I am proud of all our bottlings, right up there would be the 6yo Laphroaig we bottled and the 2yo heavily peated, sherry cask matured Westland. That said, our 18yo Glen Elgin, 12yo Glen Moray and 13yo Arran are nothing to shake a stick at. I find these whiskies in my glass quite often (well, the ones we still have stock on that is).
Do you collect any whiskies from around the world?
I’m a terrible collector in that I open nearly every bottle I own. I do have some bottles that I have duplicates of so I don’t mind opening only one of them and I do have some that I’ll open *at the right time*
With regards to whiskies from around the world — before Jim Murray gave his “Whisky of the Year” award to the Yamazaki sherry cask, I had quite a few Japanese whiskies in my collection. Karuizawa, Chichibu, Hanyu, Yamazaki, Chita, Hakushu, Yoichi… you name it. Whiskies from these various distilleries are now untouchable and that saddens me greatly.
We have met at the Saratoga Whisky Obsession Festival several times. Tell us more about your Whisky Jewbilee events.
Whisky Jewbilee is a festival we started in 2012 and is now in three cities. We started in NYC but have expanded to Chicago and Seattle. In short, Whisky Jewbilee is a festival for whisky geeks by whisky geeks.
We cap the attendance for all of our events to ensure that attendees can comfortably move around and have a chance to talk with the exhibitors behind the table. What’s more is we have a no models policy. Everyone behind a table at Whisky Jewbilee must be distillery or brand direct and be able to talk in depth about their brands.
At any given Whisky Jewbilee event, attendees can expect 40 exhibitor tables which will have between 80-100 brands, and a total of 200-300 different whiskies.
There is no VIP hour, everyone is treated as VIP and we ask our exhibitors to bring in special bottles to pour for those that are truly interested in their brands (not just asking for the oldest/most expensive stuff).
We are the only American whisky festival that features a special festival bottling to celebrate the event. So far we’ve worked with Heaven Hill, High West, Westland Distillery, MGP, and Wild Turkey for our festival bottlings. On Sept 1st we will have our 2nd annual Whisky Jewbilee Chicago event and our partner for that festival bottling will be Chicago’s Koval distillery. We will be bottling one of their oldest single cask bourbons for that event.
All of the food served at Whisky Jewbilee event is kosher so that all can comfortably enjoy the event. While this is the “Jewbilee,” the event is focused on Whisk(e)y first and foremost. *All lovers and appreciators of brown spirits are welcome*
And do you have a fun or unusual story or experience when speaking with attendees at any festivals that you have participated?
Two stories for you:
o A few weeks prior to Whisky Jewbilee NYC 2016, I found out that a friend of mine from NYC was good friends with my favorite comic book writer (Garth Ennis, writer of Judge Dredd, Hellblazer, Punisher, and among many other things, Preacher which is now a TV show on AMC) and that that writer was also a fan of brown spirits. I asked Garth to be my guest at Whisky Jewbilee and he graciously accepted the invitation. Having a chance to share whisky and pints with him made the 6 months of planning for our event that much more meaningful.
o This next story is a heart touching one (for me). One of our table runners needed me to talk to an attendee of our most recent NYC event. At first, I thought something may have gone wrong and I wanted to make sure all was fine. I went to meet the table runner and the gentleman that needed to speak with me. The gentleman pulled me to the side and said to me, quietly, in my ear, “you’re treating the Jewish people with respect.”
o Now, we do our very best to make sure that ALL are welcome. Jew, Gentile, men, women; all are welcome. But there is no other event like ours that makes sure kosher-keeping Jews are fully taken care of. I guess this gentleman saw and felt what we were doing with the event and it touched him enough that he had to tell me how much he appreciated our hard work. That made me feel great.
Are there authors, bloggers, tweeters that you recommend readers of this site follow?
First and foremost, I highly suggest everyone stay up-to-date with Malt Whisky Yearbook. It is THE source for yearly updates on all things malt whisky related. I’ve always been a fan of Dave Broom as a whisky writer. My go-to blogs tend to be: whiskyfun.com and whiskynotes.be. maltimpostor.com is amazingly good fun though you may need to bring a dictionary and some sort of pop culture guide that spans from 623 BCE to today to fully grasp what they’re doing.
As a proud member of SCN, I can attest to the high quality whisky members and the general public will find through this young and growing independent bottler. Again, thank you to Joshua for participating in my 10-4-10 series.
What can you say about the middle of the road? It’s not the beginning nor the end. Not the best nor the worst. Not a great place to be standing with traffic rushing by. Safe, average and not flashy. Maybe a safe way to drive when near an edge of a cliff. Boring but not the worst. The Beatles sang “why don’t we do it in the road?’ Did they mean the middle? Oddly enough there was a pop-rock group in the early 1970s from Scotland called “Middle of the Road.” Who knew?
Well, this foolishness can go on for pages, but let’s not!
I recently wrote about my latest tippling foray at a whisky festival…17 whiskies tippled, many yearned for, some completely overlooked. Found a few I will definitely purchase, such as Kilchoman 2008 Limited Release, Aberlour A’bunadh Batch 52 and Single Cask Nation Glen Elgin 18 YO 2nd fill bourbon hogshead. Yet, there were nine whiskies that I tried that simply said, “middle of the road” to me. None were god-awful and I wouldn’t say absolutely don’t waste your money on any of them. BUT, it makes me wonder. Am I becoming too zeroed in on specific countries, regions, big peat, no peat, lots of sherry, no sherry? Should I get a sample of each of the nine and retest them alone, side by side, over the course of several days?
Such is the quandary of my whisky life. How deep in can I go, should I go? I want to try them all, but we know that will never happen…money, time, common sense, etc. OK, so I primarily taste-seek out-purchase Scotch whisky and a smattering of everyone else, with the booming USA whiskey products that are assaulting the market taking up the rear. (I want to catch up somehow.)
Am I becoming a fickle consumer, bored with the recognizable names? Rigid in my likes and dislikes? Do I need to focus on the outliers hovering just under the surface of world fame and domination? Should I attempt to write another book about whisky? (It has been one year since I self-published; time flies.)
I read blogs and more blogs by other enthusiasts across the world. Their words compel me to try new whiskies, learn more, share more and enjoy this passion. (Thank you bloggers.) Introducing new whiskies or whisky for the first time to others is stimulating and rewarding. I don’t want to get caught in the middle of the road. Ha! That’s it! I want to find the edge and keep it sharpened.
Why did I call the nine whiskies middle of the road? The jury is still out, but in the meantime…..fellow enthusiasts, let me know how you rank the following whiskies – middle of the road or otherwise. Tell me what I am missing, if anything, from your point of view. My ranking is 1 to 4, with 1 being absolutely don’t purchase, 2 – middle of the road, 3 and 4 good and wow, must have. Occasionally I add a + or a – to my ranking.
Glen Grant 16 YO
Glencadam 21 YO
Tullibardine 500 PX Sherry Cask
Forty Creek – all four expressions
Crown Royal Northern Harvest (whiskey of the year, really?)
Whiskey Obsession Festival in Sarasota was on my “must do” list this spring. The brainchild of Turner C. Moore and hosted at Michael’s on East, it satiates my want of whisky exploration while away from my New England turf. I have attended three of the four years it has been operating. This year marked a distinct change from the previous festivals – specifically the grand tasting. The crowds were larger, younger, there were more women in attendance, and most obvious was the increase in the number of American products. Whiskey production on a smaller less corporate scale is back in full swing and I believe bringing in the younger drinkers. My goal at the festival, as always, is to first try single malts that have alluded me in the past and/or new to the U.S. market. Then, if time and the capacity to actually handle any more alcohol, I would move to American products. I never made it to the Americans – perhaps next year I should change my focus and start local.
This year I pre-read the list of 200 whiskies to be presented and narrowed the field down to 30 potentials, including whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, France, Japan, Canada and the U.S. Being realistic, I knew that by the end of the evening at most 20 would be tasted. I had to be sure to make a concerted effort to sip and spit. Sometimes, that is terribly difficult! At every festival we have all seen what happens then enthusiasm for sipping results in complete drunkenness. What a waste of good whiskies. For me, the final count was 17. Too many to write about this week!
My Top 3 are very different from each other, both in taste, region, age. I surprised myself when I went back to review my notes at how these three stood out in the crowd.
My number 3 choice: Single Cask Nation (SCN) Glen Elgin 18 YO 2nd fill Bourbon Hogshead
After meeting Joshua Hatton at the 2015 Obsession Festival, I became intrigued with his Jewish Whisky Company’s membership business plan. His offerings last year completely amazed me, his excitement for his products was contagious. I visited his web site and was completely drawn in. I now have at least a half dozen of his bottles in my scotch cabinet. Hell, I even bought the SCN work shirt!
This festival I sampled three of this bottles, all of which received strong scores, but the Glen Elgin, a Speyside whisky, stood out. The nose was light and the first impression on the palate was light as well. Quickly the palate had a burst of floral and a hint of spice. SCN web site states, “This cask bottling, distilled in November of 1995, spent 18 years maturing in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. It was bottled at a natural cask strength of 54.9% ABV in March of 2014. Cask #1661 yielded 277 bottles.” I give this a 3- out of a score of 4. I will be purchasing a bottle. Note: Joshua will make an appearance on my 10-4-10 interview series sometime in the next few months.
What can I say? The A’bunadh series continues to grab my attention with its big alcohol content – this one at 60.5% cask strength. It wallops with a massive sherry bomb and hints of chocolate. I give this a solid 3 score. A bottle will grace my scotch cabinet.
My number 1 choice of the evening: Kilchoman 2008 special release.
Back in September of 2009 I was visiting Islay not long after the inaugural release of Kilchoman’s first whisky. None were to be found on the island except behind the bar of the local establishment. I asked if I could buy the bottle? Bartender laughed. So crafty me, bought some shots and asked him to pour the shots in a water bottle that I was carrying (minus the water, naturally.) I brought that bottle of Kilchoman home with me – a perfect souvenir, long since emptied. As you can imagine, I now have a soft spot for all that is Kilchoman.
Ryan Kohl, District Manager of the Southeast Region of ImpEX Beverages, energetically manned the pours this year. As a side note: Ryan said to watch for Kilchoman’s Sanaig. this new expression has just launched.
The Kilchoman 2008, a 7 YO, bottled at 46%, doesn’t overwhelm, the taste is smooth with some tropical fruit that blends nicely with the peat that lingers and whispers Islay. This is a perfect dram to enjoy on a quiet evening. I score it a 4-. Must hunt down a bottle!
The remaining 14 whiskies that I sampled at the festival will make an appearance in the near future. The scoring for these bottles range from a 2+ to a 3-. Most are middle of the road, which is not a bad thing, but doesn’t hold enough of my attention to warrant purchasing a bottle. Drink, probably, but only if someone else is pouring.
I raise a glass to the opportunity to attend whisky festivals. Thanks Turner for Whiskey Obsession Sarasota – see you next year.