Afternoon dram (meant to be a night cap but ended up being bookends) at Wendy's: PC-5, seemingly lovely and smooth medium level peated Islay without the R23 to compare to.
Arrived and already the line up was huge for the masterclasses so we didn't bother with the tickets but got into the classes we wanted anyways (barely).
From memory (as always):
Attended two masterclasses:
John Glaser, food matching (sitting at the front of the class):
Double Single (15yo 'C' single grain [Cambus, Carsebridge I thought] with 12yo single Clynelish made exclusively for the Craigellachie Hotel) with parmesan cheese
Spice Tree (Clynelish, Glen Elgin, Teaninich and Dailuaine with SWA no-no french oak end staves in the barrel) with Quebec sheep cheese (not quite as strong as he'd intended the cheese to bad[ed: to bad? to be, perhaps not quite as clear as a bell]; the parmesan had been stronger)
The Peat Monster (mostly Caol Ila) with smoked salmon
Magic cask (Madeira Linkwood, 14yo Clynelish with some raw Madeira only allowed under Canadian whisky laws so only sold in Ontario) with a ginger 'cupcake'
Tatsuya Minagawa from the Highlander Inn talking about Japanese whiskies with a scotch thrown in to see if we could find it (I was fooled, I thought the Hanyuu was the Talisker as it was so spicey):
18yo Yamasaki (sherry cask high ratio, some bourbon and Japanese casks as well, some nice fruity notes [I thought melon, he thought Strawberry])
15yo Yoichi (wanting to try this for ages, not bad but I prefer the 12yo; others found sulphur but I did not)
1988 CS Hanyuu (favorite of the Japanese whiskies by far, a recently revived distillery, very spicey, chilli, pepper).
Talisker 10yo (I swear this wasn't Talisker 10yo, wasn't very spicey to me whether I tried it before or after the Hanyuu). Didn't finish it.
Just wandering around, small samples, only a few actually finished (the Yamasakis):
Yamasaki 12yo and 18yo again. Very different, both very smooth. The 18yo is more sherry casks in the blend while the 12yo is more bourbon. Both have a small amount of Japanese oak casks as well which I think must give them their unique tastes. Spoke with Satoru Shimizu (I was studying the kanji of his name on his business card when he explained that his family name means 'clear water', a very good name for whisky business!), a sales and marketing manager from Suntory.
At the CityBites food matching table: Bushmills 10yo with a blue goat cheese; this was the cheese John Glaser was thinking of. I was wondering what on earth I could use to cleanse my palate from this cheese (varsol perhaps?). I think I'm missing another one I tried before the three matches by Tracey Edelist of "A Taste For Chocolate" and I'm afraid I'm forgetting the single estate chocolates but they were very yummy with Forty Creek Barrel Select, Woodford Reserve and The Peat Monster.
The Jura 21yo and Superstition were all gone so I missed them (some will say luckily) but tried The Dalmore 12yo again which has been off our shelves for a while but which should be coming back soon.
Spoke with a Corby/Pernod rep who says the lack of Laphroaig in Ontario (or all of Canada) rumour is false and that new shipments to Ontario at least will be in the fall.
At the Yoichi table I've got their 10yos and 12yos at home but tried some Kakushi (Kakubuchi?) Gura (shochu, not sure of the meaning or spelling of any of these Japanese words) which is essentially a barley based sake. I like it better than sake (which I dislike) but it still isn't my thang. Spoke with Shotaro Ozawa, their importer.
Tried The Glenrothes 1985. Didn't like it, found it quite rough. Haven't enjoyed any of the recent (as in since 1983) distillations of The Glenrothes (ed. which is too bad as stuff from the '60s and '70s is just wonderful).
Tried a few of the Canadian Premium Bottlers offerings: Royal Lochnagar, Linkwood, Glenlossie, Strathisla. The Linkwood and Royal Lochnagar were good, the others were alright.
Worst whisky of the night: The Glenlivet French Oak. Just undrinkable IMO. Sorry Highland distillers...
Great event overall again. I really hope it is held again for 2008.
Later on, after party at The Duke of Argyll pub with Wendy, organizers Johanna and Charles, Regis 'Whisky Mad', Diageo Master of Whisky Martin, Jeff 'NOT Richard Branson': two drams of Lagavulin 16yo OB 'til they turned the lights out. Surprisingly good drams after such a night of drinking, better than they usually seem at home.
Nightcap: another PC-5. Somehow it burned more than it did in the afternoon where it had been smooth! Guess my throat was raw by that point.
Woke up this morning clear as a bell though a bit tired, surprised but pleased at that.
Last edited by hpulley
on Sun May 13, 2007 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.