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Whisky Fringe

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Whisky Fringe

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:28 pm

Is it worth going to?
How does it compare with Whisky Live?
Anyone thinking of going this year?
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:13 pm

Yes ( great event , great venue , not too crowded , great value for money ).
Don't know (never been to a WL and probably never will ).
Yes ( with the usual suspects ) :D

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:23 pm

Thanks Gordon -
Sounds good. I may have to venture down 8)
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Re: Whisky Fringe

Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:25 pm

Crieftan wrote: Is it worth going to?


Yes. Do not miss.

Crieftan wrote:How does it compare with Whisky Live?


Cheaper and easy to buy stuff as well. No goody bag last time, though. Lots of small fry. Whisky Live is a big boys event, by comparison.

Crieftan wrote:Anyone thinking of going this year?


Never missed it. 8)
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:46 pm

Will I see you both there?
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:12 pm

Hi Bruce ,
Me and the Missus will be there on the Saturday , we're actually stopping the Friday and Saturday night in Edinburgh (good excuse , if one's needed , to hit the Vaults as well !) .
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Whisky Fringe

Postby Casey » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:59 am

If anybody has any spare tickets I'd be delighted to take them off your hands. (Saturday only).

Face value paid for them.

I'll check here every day.

If you don't ask.......................
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Postby Casey » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:44 pm

Got a couple!!
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:39 pm

Casey wrote:Got a couple!!


See you in there on Saturday Big man !

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Postby Casey » Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:21 am

For sure Gordon!
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Postby MAMS » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:04 pm

I've got a couple of spare tickets for Sunday, face price if anyone wants them, i'm out and about tomorrow so call me 07906753236 and i can sort you out.
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Postby MAMS » Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:27 pm

Anyone who was there today want to tell me how it was?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Really sad to miss this event. Too much to do and couldn't spare the time :cry:
Next year I'll be there :wink:
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Postby MAMS » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:57 pm

Crieftan wrote:Really sad to miss this event. Too much to do and couldn't spare the time :cry:
Next year I'll be there :wink:


Shame, the 25year old Bunnahabhain was simply stunning
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:56 pm

Best drams were DTC's Whisky Galore 1990 Bruichladdich, which was delicious. Benriach 12 was excellent. Benromach Organic is very rich for a young whisky. G&M 1993 Auchroisk was the best Connoisseur's choice I've had, by miles.

Michel Couvreur's whiskies were interesting.

Greenore Irish Grain whisky was wonderfully light and fresh.

Van Winkle's 10 year old bourbon was very pleasing to the palate.

Loads of highlights.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:17 pm

The Whisky Fringe just keeps getting better and better IMHO .
We had a week-end up in Edinburgh , spending the friday night in the Vaults . we started off at lunchtime with the usual wonderful meal and a 23. 53 ( 17yo Laddie) .The evening session starts off with a 1.133 , a 20yo Glenfarclas , not bad for a young Farclas (young as in what the SMWS bottle !) , then various drams were tried unfortunately I didn’t write them down but the ones I can remember from memory.....
53.100 – 12yo Caol ila , a HUGE peat monster , Imagine chewing your way through one of the peat bogs on the low road and you’ve got it !
26.47 – 22yo Clynelish , not a bad clynelish , I can now see why they used it as a replacement in Johnnie Walkers blends when Caol ila was being rebuilt .
44.31 – 12yo Craigellachie , not a bad speysider but I prefer older ones from this distillery (gotta go something to beat the RM bottling).
87.8 (I think) – 21yo Millburn , it was definitely a 21yo Millburn whether it was that cask was another thing ! My first Millburn from memory , it was very lowlanderish , very easy draming but nothing to write home about . But it was the malt of the moment so reasonably priced !
33.60 – Well what did you expect as the final Dram ? 7yo Ardbeg !!!

So onto The saturday fringe , I tried to be selective from the list , when there’s 150+ malts to choose from and only 4 hours you need to be ! So I tried to avoid the “Standards” (but failed a bit!) , the one’s I tried were ....
DTC 1990 Whisky Galore Laddie (a very , very good Bruichladdich) .
DTC Glen Grant 1969/1970 , a sherried beaut ( Mels Fav of the day ) .
DTC 1970 Lornach Glenrothes ( bargain of a bottling for a very good
Glenrothes ).
Douglas Laing OMC Bunnahabhain 1989 17yo (very good bunny) .
Douglas Laing OMC Port Ellen 1980 25yo ( still not convinced by
PE’s )
Bunnahabhain 18yo ( the more I try this the more I’m liking it !) .
G&M Secret Stills 2.1 (40yo Cragganmore , really , really good ) .
G&M Secret Stills 4.1 (1989 Bowmore , hugely peated , nice Bowmore for once ) .
Aberfeldy 12yo ......Hmmmmmm.....
English Harbour Rum (what ! rum !!!) yes there was a rum stall , being manned by David Broom and Arthur from RMW , this was really good (used to enjoy many a rum and coke ) , smooth and bursting with flavour , good choice Arthur !
Ardbeg Uigeadail …..old habits die hard……
That was the table top stuff ..... there was of course the under the table stuff ....
40yo Glenlivet , , best Livet I’ve ever had !
30yo Glenmorangie sample . WOW !!!! Damn good stuff , again probably the best dram I’ve tasted from this distillery .
16yo Cask sample from ……Ardbeg ! The stuff that’s going into the new 1990 16yo , it’s peaty , it’s smoky and **** ! it’s good ....Roll on
autumn !!!!!
After all that we still hit the Cask and Barrel for a drink.....

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Postby Jan » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:19 am

Spirit of Islay wrote:16yo Cask sample from ……Ardbeg ! The stuff that’s going into the new 1990 16yo , it’s peaty , it’s smoky and **** ! it’s good ....Roll on
autumn !!!!!


Sounds like you had a smashing time Gordon.

But what's this about an Ardbeg 16yo? A new OB? Please tell.... :D

Cheers
Jan
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:52 am

I thought the Ardbeg 1990 was splendid, although I wouldn't have marked it down as a peat monster - although the predominant flavours were peat, it was far more subtle and complex than that.

The notes I have are:

Nose: medium peat, bacon, brine
Taste: Smooth, sweet, dry peat fires, dried fruit, oranges, really complex and slightly minty
Finish: Sweet, lightly smoky, chocolate, drying salt, spices and herbs, more dried fruit

I was very impressed by all the Bunnahabhains I had - not a distillery that had impressed before - and the OMC 17yo was the star. Really salty and powerful, but with ripe, tropical fruit thrown in.

I really liked the OMC 25yo Port Ellen too:

Nose: Wildly fruity, melon, pear, oranges, christmas cake
Taste: Elegaqnt, perfumed, salty but some sweet chocolate
Finish: Fruit and spice - almost Kildalton - teeny hint of smoke, dry, salty, dry smoke at the death

Adelphi had a Ben Nevis 34yo single blend, which also hit the spot:

Nose: tangerines, spices, sweet milk chocolate, fruitcake
Taste: Chocolate, orange, coffee, spice
Finish: Coffee and orange, warm, toasty, faint mint, vanilla

Auchentoshan had a very good 18yo with really good grassy notes set against fruit and spices. Duncan Taylor had a good Springbank 35yo with a wonderful nose and taste, but which was let down a little by a nondescript finish. The An Cnoc range was interesting, and in my view far more challenging than anything Islay has to offer. One day I'll understand it. I tried a couple of the Michel Couvreur range and was disappointed. The noses were OK, but the rest was thin and nonexistent. I have no idea what they were trying to do and can't understand how they can charge the prices they do.

I visited the Bruichladdich stall in an ongoing effort to understand them - know your enemy! I was actually quite impressed with the Infinity, although the Hoylake was an exercise in blandness. What struck me though - for the second year running - was that they tell you about the various woods they use, and labour on about being unchillfiltered, etc. but can't actually tell you anything about how the whisky tastes (beyond the flavour of the strange wines that used to be in their barrels). I do wish they would concentrate on their products, rather than their methods.

There was a very odd Benriach Authenticus - peated Speyside. I am used to orangey notes under the peat from the Islay whiskies, but this had floral notes. V weird and rather nice.

Obviously, I got through plenty more and have tasting notes on most of what I sampled, but these were the highlights.

Except, of course, to say that the best whisky at the Feis was the Scotch Malt Whisky Society 38yo Longmorn. It is simply an excellent example of what old sherried whiskies should be - and it is reason enough to join the society.
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Postby bamber » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:21 am

Sounds like a great day Nick. I really need to get out to more tasting events.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:24 am

I cheated - I did two days!
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Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:21 pm

I was surprised that Signatory, Praban Na Linne and Tomintoul were not there.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:13 pm

Jan wrote:
Spirit of Islay wrote:16yo Cask sample from ……Ardbeg ! The stuff that’s going into the new 1990 16yo , it’s peaty , it’s smoky and **** ! it’s good ....Roll on
autumn !!!!!


Sounds like you had a smashing time Gordon.

But what's this about an Ardbeg 16yo? A new OB? Please tell.... :D

Cheers
Jan


Hi Jan ,
We certainly did have a good time , it was great to catch up with old friends and enjoy some great malts , it certainly should be more peaty and smoky than the Seventeen and the Allied 15yo from a few years ago but it'll be interesting to see how it turns out especially when the rest of the casks get put in the mix and we tried it at Caskstrength and it'll be released at 46% . The 1990 L.E. Caskstrength was a stonking Ardbeg and i've very high hopes for this release , 1990 seemed like a very phenolic year !
The Early 1990's Ardbegs have been interesting and it's been nice to see how they've developing with age .
I've been following the Murray McDavid 1991 Ardbeg releases , they started at 9yo and are now up to 14yo , and it's just been the past 2 releases that have really started to mellow out , part of my notes for the 14yo were "This is the most relaxed Ardbeg of all the releases , it glides across the tongue leaving delicate touches of peat , smoke and gentle iodine " .

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:17 am

I wonder whether they had two Ardbeg 1990s - the one I had, whilst more phenolic than the 17yo, was really elegantly restrained. They told me it was already at 46% and vatted - just not yet in an official bottle.
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Whisky Fringe

Postby Arthur Motley » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:52 am

Great to hear you enjoyed this year's Fringe, and interesting to hear what you thought about the whiskies - especially as I was stuck behind the rum stand with Dave Broom and didn't get to sample anything malty.

Heard consistently good things about that Ardbeg, and the Adelphi range got good feedback too.

Sorry to hear the Couvreur range wasn't enjoyed by Nick - I think Michel is a really interesting character and I like his dogmatic and individual style, like another John Glaser but a decade earlier. Prices are a little higher than the usual admittedly, but the Clearach is unique and brave and I like that. He buys some good sherry casks too.

Any suggestions for improvement for next year? (Sorry, goody bags are a nuisance! We're not bringing those back and think the event is good value enough without a few minis...

See you at Live in Glasgow.
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Postby Aidan » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:07 pm

I'd love to go next year. Is accomodation hard to come by during the Fringe? Is it held at the same time as the arts/comedy festival?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:11 pm

The one thing that would really improve the event would be some standing height tables for writing tasting notes on. Special Whisky Fringe engraved glasses (as per beer festivals) might be nice too. Having said that, it is hard to improve upon something so good.

I thought the selection this year was first rate - we can all lament the absence of favourite brands (and a Cadenheads table would have been interesting), but there was so much good quality and unusual stuff that I, for one, could happily have filled a third day without ever needing to repeat a dram.

I wonder whether it might be worth inviting people to vote for a champion dram of the festival, with the top three or four getting a taste off by an expert panel. The Douglas Laing stall was superb - the quality of their selection was impeccable. I am sure they would have won the trophy this year.

Congratulations and thanks to all who helped to make my weekend!
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Postby Arthur Motley » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:15 pm

Aidan - To be honest accommodation can be a bit difficult to get hold of in August, but there is lots of choice and you can still get value if you book early enough.

Nick - not sure if it was yourself who suggested the 'champion of whisky' idea, but it was brought up at our meeting this week and we're going for it. Great idea, thanks!
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Re: Whisky Fringe

Postby BruceCrichton » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:18 pm

Arthur Motley wrote:

Any suggestions for improvement for next year? (Sorry, goody bags are a nuisance! We're not bringing those back and think the event is good value enough without a few minis...

See you at Live in Glasgow.


The only annoying thing was that I got to the shop, faster than anyone else who didn't leave early, and discovered my pick of the fringe wasn't there - A Whisky Galore Bruichladdich from 1990.

Do you really stock all the whiskies, available to taste, at RMW?
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Postby Arthur Motley » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:29 pm

Bruce - Sorry, although we try our hardest it is just impossible to stock sufficient quantities of all the whiskies at Fringe, simply because of the number of malts on tasting versus the tiny size of our shop. It is also difficult to predict the real hits of the show, especially when alot are new bottling we haven't tried either, like that Laddie. We'd be happy to get that one in for you for collection or mail order. E-mail me arthur@royalmilewhiskies.com if you'd like it...
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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:29 pm

Cheers, Arthur. 8)
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