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battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

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battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:06 pm

Campbeltown Loch 21yo blend 40% - from Springbank distillers

North Port (Brechin) 21yo Dec. '76 - Feb. '98 62% single cask Cadenheads

Glengoyne 21yo 43%

Balvenie 21yo 40% portwood

Benriach Authenticus 21yo 46%

This tasting's mystery dram will be at least 25yo

£20 non-members, £17 members/first timers - these drams can be mailed out
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:09 am

Is there a venue for this?
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Leither » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 am

BP - they are held in the Toolboth Tavern, Canongate (bottom of the Royal Mile), here in Edinburgh. Mark, who runs the Cadenheads shop over the road from the venue, takes the tastings.

Other threads headed up Jolly Toper refer.

WillieJJ and myself are regulars, as well as other forum members (and lurkers) who also enjoy these informal tastings.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:00 pm

Hmm, I might make it along to this.

Who do I need to contact if I decide to go?
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Leither » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:43 pm

Contact is Mark at chws@wmcadenhead.com
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:44 pm

Cheers.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:29 pm

Sorry BP, and eveyone else, I posted this in a bit of a hurry and can't always check replies daily. The tastings are not part of a secret society. All are welcome. The members/non-members bit is a reference to the discount (£3) offered to those who wish to pay £10 for 13 months membership. All first timers qualify for this benefit. 2nd year's membership is £5 and subsequent years free. A £17 membership option comes with a caraf and two lidded nosing glasses which retail in the shop for a total of £14.50. I should say they are Cadenheads branded.
The tastings last about three hours. Although it might be known what is included in the line up each glass is taken blind in the interest of open mindedness.
There is a raffle at the end of the evening where everyone entering 'wins' a miniature filled from any remnants from previous tastings. Entry to the raffle is an addition £2 with any further donations going to world Vision's sponsor a Child scheme, to date we must be near £2000 raised over the years. These 'prizes' vary from Mekong to 50yo Glenlivet from G & M.
Although I work for Cadenheads Whisky Shop these tastings are my own sideline and admittedly they do heavily feature Cadenheads and Springbank but only because I can easily try before I buy. It is not unusual to find other independent bottlers in the line up as well as official bottlings. I'd only include something I'm proud to offer and as it is my own business I have an obvious interest in making people enjoy the night enough to come back, hopefully with friends.
When stock and time allow there are auctions to sell off any remnants in the bottles, again profit is given to world Vision.
Chocolate, oatcakes, shortbread and occasionally Mrs Toper's tablet are all included.
Contact myself (Mark Davidson) through the shop on 0131 556 5864 or via mail here or chws@wmcadenhead.com
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:02 pm

jmrl wrote:2nd year's membership is £5 and subsequent years free. A £17 membership option comes with a caraf and two lidded nosing glasses which retail in the shop for a total of £14.50.

When we get to the subsequent years membership can I opt for the carafe and tasting glass option? :)
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:05 pm

would sir like them full or empty?
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:36 pm

jmrl wrote:Sorry BP, and eveyone else, I posted this in a bit of a hurry and can't always check replies daily. The tastings are not part of a secret society. All are welcome.

Although I work for Cadenheads Whisky Shop these tastings are my own sideline and admittedly they do heavily feature Cadenheads and Springbank but only because I can easily try before I buy. It is not unusual to find other independent bottlers in the line up as well as official bottlings. I'd only include something I'm proud to offer and as it is my own business I have an obvious interest in making people enjoy the night enough to come back, hopefully with friends.

Contact myself (Mark Davidson) through the shop on 0131 556 5864 or via mail here or chws@wmcadenhead.com

I cannot commend the Jolly Toper tastings highly enough. The whiskies are invariably interesting, often very good, and offer a chance to try whiskies you wouldn't otherwise get to try. Mark's style is not high and mighty like some whisky tastings - he is down to earth and by the second or third dram, it is a conversation between everyone in the room rather than a lecture. Sometimes, too, Mark manages to get little gems for the interval act - like new make from Springbank and Longrow - or malt peated to different levels - or different types of chocolate.

But the real highlight - forget the 50yo Taliskers and flights of Brora - is the raffle at the end. The expectation as you see other people walk off with old Cragganmores; the bafflement as you end up with Fishsky yourself, and the agony as you taste it (slowly, for two days...) is what it is all about.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:59 pm

Nick Brown wrote:But the real highlight - forget the 50yo Taliskers and flights of Brora - is the raffle at the end. The expectation as you see other people walk off with old Cragganmores; the bafflement as you end up with Fishsky yourself, and the agony as you taste it (slowly, for two days...) is what it is all about.

I couldn't agree more Nick. I love the Raffle. :thumbsup:

And the bloody Fishky! I think I can still taste it now :yuk: .
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:29 pm

If Fishky tested your limits then Rapphanock (forgive spelling) might just redefine your commitment to bravely seeking out new drams.,,,

The relatively new feature of Mystery Drams gives the chance to taste something from the strangest of angles. I've got a few beauties lined up.

Was at a chocolate tasting the other night so might move up a gear in that department too.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:55 pm

jmrl wrote:If Fishky tested your limits then Rapphanock (forgive spelling) might just redefine your commitment to bravely seeking out new drams.,,,

Heh! I'm interested already. I think I must be barking.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Elagabalus » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:26 pm

This would be fun!!!!!!!! :P
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:19 pm

I've got some of the ice wine cask Glen Breton too. Not to mention some Potters from KelownaBritish Columbia for the Canada-curious. That Rappahannock is also known as Wasmund's, its all of 4 months old!
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:42 pm

jmrl wrote:I've got some of the ice wine cask Glen Breton too. Not to mention some Potters from KelownaBritish Columbia for the Canada-curious. That Rappahannock is also known as Wasmund's, its all of 4 months old!


I was looking for the Ice Wine Glen Breton in February when I was over in Edmonton. Couldn't find it anywhere, but the price seemed to be really high, matching the prices of the actual Ice Wine. It will be good to try this having tried a little of the ice wine.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:11 am

Oh, and what time will this start at?
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:46 pm

It starts pretty sharp at 7.30, but I usually try to get there a little early to have a beer and blether with Mark D.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:43 pm

Willie JJ wrote:It starts pretty sharp at 7.30, but I usually try to get there a little early to have a beer and blether with Mark D.


Thanks, just checking as I'll be leaving Glasgow around 6-ish and didn't want to be running in the door if it started at 7.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:58 pm

Looks like I will be running in at 7:30 anyway - the cheap train tickets don't start until the 6:30 train.

Grrr...

:evil:
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:33 pm

butephoto wrote:Looks like I will be running in at 7:30 anyway - the cheap train tickets don't start until the 6:30 train.

Top tip - that train will be full of 2 hours worth of cheap day return ticketholders. They open the gate about 30 seconds before the train leaves - you will thank yourself for putting yourself into pole position for a sprint to the train to get a reasonable seat. All the seats around you will be taken, so don't hope for a clear seat next to you.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:50 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
butephoto wrote:Looks like I will be running in at 7:30 anyway - the cheap train tickets don't start until the 6:30 train.

Top tip - that train will be full of 2 hours worth of cheap day return ticketholders. They open the gate about 30 seconds before the train leaves - you will thank yourself for putting yourself into pole position for a sprint to the train to get a reasonable seat. All the seats around you will be taken, so don't hope for a clear seat next to you.


Oh, joy. Thanks for that. I think you can get through the gates at Queen Street as soon as you have a ticket. Might be wrong, though.

I'll get there anyway, and I'll actually be able to go home first so I can pick up a little treat for those of you at the tasting...

:iwbrnt:
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Newbie » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:05 pm

Just to let you know I'll be participating in this tasting as well :D



Before you get all excited / suicidal at the prospect of meeting yours truly, unfortunately I can't make it in person. But Mr Davidson has been kind enough to send me a set of drams so I will be there with you in spirit!

I am quite excited as it will be my first tasting and I look forward to sharing opinions on the various whiskies on offer.

This maybe the closest I'll get to sharing a drink with you guys. So slainte Leither, Willie, Bute and Nick Brown and hopefully I will make it up there one day and share a drink with you!
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:34 am

Excellent night. Cheers Mark! An interesting a varied selection of whiskies.

And I came home with the remains of the North Port bottle for £13.

:iwbrnt:
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:58 pm

I'll post a review of the evening when I get the chance. Its me 40th birthday right now so have to do something memorable - perhaps a trip to the Ratho climbing wall to WATCH. Otherwise - nice to finally meet a fellow forum friend in Mark - thanks much for the chance to taste Ian Buxton's/Royal Mile Whikskies' Port Charlotte my buddies there offered me a dram but discovered they had scoffed the lot. Newbie - I'll hopefully get your drams in the post tomorrow so you can add to the discussion soon.

Campbeltown Loch 21yo blend from Springbank distiller's was a fine start to the evening but those who had tried it before felt this bottling lacked a bit of the depth and luxury of earlier batches, still they were giving it away at £26.20 - its now discontinued and we've got none left in the shop.

to be continued......
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:03 pm

jmrl wrote:I'll post a review of the evening when I get the chance. Its me 40th birthday right now so have to do something memorable - perhaps a trip to the Ratho climbing wall to WATCH. Otherwise - nice to finally meet a fellow forum friend in Mark - thanks much for the chance to taste Ian Buxton's/Royal Mile Whikskies' Port Charlotte my buddies there offered me a dram but discovered they had scoffed the lot. Newbie - I'll hopefully get your drams in the post tomorrow so you can add to the discussion soon.

Campbeltown Loch 21yo blend from Springbank distiller's was a fine start to the evening but those who had tried it before felt this bottling lacked a bit of the depth and luxury of earlier batches, still they were giving it away at £26.20 - its now discontinued and we've got none left in the shop.

to be continued......


Hey, Happy Birthday! Good to meet you too and glad I had something for you to try that you hadn't in return.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Newbie » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:16 pm

Thanks Mark, I'll have to get up early and wait for the postman tomorrow!

What did everyone make of the Port Charlotte, I am considering getting a bottle is it worth it?
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:28 pm

Newbie wrote:Thanks Mark, I'll have to get up early and wait for the postman tomorrow!

What did everyone make of the Port Charlotte, I am considering getting a bottle is it worth it?


The short answer - yes.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:39 pm

butephoto wrote:
Newbie wrote:Thanks Mark, I'll have to get up early and wait for the postman tomorrow!

What did everyone make of the Port Charlotte, I am considering getting a bottle is it worth it?


The short answer - yes.

I agree. Yes!
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Newbie » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:42 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
butephoto wrote:The short answer - yes.

I agree. Yes!


Argh you guys, my credit card was hoping you would have said no! But guess I might have to reluctantly order a bottle now :wink:

Nice line up of whiskies you had at the tasting, were all the whiskies included in the tasting or did people bring some bottles to share?
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:55 pm

These were the 'official' tasting drams:

Campbeltown Loch 21yo blend 40% - from Springbank distillers
North Port (Brechin) 21yo Dec. '76 - Feb. '98 62% single cask Cadenheads
Invergordon 35 yo single grain (Bladnoch bottling)
Glengoyne 21yo 43%
Balvenie 21yo 40% portwood
Benriach Authenticus 21yo 46%

Bute brought the Buxton PC and the others were from the raffle, which traditionally you have had to be there to take part in.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby jmrl » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:19 pm

Newbie no need to have an early bed as I'll be posting minis tomorrow so keep an eye on Monday's postie, smell his breath if he hasn't got something in a small box marked 'definetly not worth nicking'.

RE RMW PC: young....50cl...46%...£35ish....very nice but one can still get Alchemist PC 70cl for about same price, haven't tasted it though while Ian Buxton's bottling good enough to recommend, the rest up to how well your palate gets on with your pocket.

Back to tasting review.

Dram 2- North Port 21yo screen print Cadenheads 62%. Quite sedate for its high strength otherwise a pleasant enough dram of delicate style, having desperately scoffed a plate of chilli before tasting made finding the the inner charm of the whisky a bit challenging. Most still felt we were at the warming up stage.

Dram 3 this was the Mystery Dram Bladnoch Forum 1972 35yo 47.2% Invergordon single grain. Personally I though it top class and was almost unanimously a thumbs up. Most present found it difficult to place, guesses of Bourbon edged towards the identity. Guessing its age was also hard going but it seems the combination of spirit and casks lead to grains of great age retain a light body where malts would commonly display a weightier or tired character. These drams tend to be cheap due to lower production costs but lack the depth and body which make old malts attractive so its hard to say even at £60/70/80 these bottlings deliver the expectations of age/price. I'll keep buying them though. Young grains are harder to find but I'm not sure if that reflects how easy it is to find mature stock at early age or another reason.

dram 4 Glengoyne 21yo 43%. I tried to get the recent added sherry bottling but was happy to use an earlier batch after those lovely people at RMW gave me a try of the newer style- I found this somewhat simplistic sherry-head pleaser had much narrower appeal. Popular but perhaps thin whereas even earlier bottlings (Millenium pack) had exception value as well as great depth and luxury.

Dram 5 Balvenie Portwood 40%, topper of a nose, I thought smokey but didn't have many agreeing. easy drinking but port influence subtler than I remember of earlier bottlings.

Dram 6 Benriach Authenticus 46% autumn bonfires a go-go. One experienced taster noted Amsterdam coffee shops but that must have been some magic beans in the grinder. As with some of the other drams there appeared to be a change in style from earlier batches. Not better or worse but less assertive. Still very good whisky.

Sorry can't remember winner!

The lessons: 21yo whisky much dearer than ever (2001 Sringbank 21yo 46% circa £45 2008 Glengoyne 21yo 43% circa £70. Fuel costs are rising much higher than inflation but 21yo malts are exponential in comparison.

When paying the £60+ I wouldn't like to get 40% (the legal minimum which equates to the least they can give us, least flavour, least choice, least price). even an extra 3% should only make a relatively small price change. But if people are buying it then they must have got their sums right.

Consistency is not necessarily a quality of the big batch bottlings.

Next tasting April 24th, details to follow.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:26 pm

jmrl wrote:Sorry can't remember winner!


The winner by a nose was the Invergordon which got 5 out of 17 votes. A couple of the others got 4 so it was close.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:32 pm

jmrl wrote:Young grains are harder to find but I'm not sure if that reflects how easy it is to find mature stock at early age or another reason.

The one notable exception, though, is Cameron Brig which is bottled by the owners at young ages. Apparently it is popular in Fife.
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Re: battle of the 21yos Edinburgh 03/04/08

Postby Newbie » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:11 pm

jmrl wrote:Newbie no need to have an early bed as I'll be posting minis tomorrow so keep an eye on Monday's postie, smell his breath if he hasn't got something in a small box marked 'definetly not worth nicking'.


Wish I read this before confronting the postman this morning!

Was pretty excited so when the postman showed up with a parcel this morning, I ran out of the front door and almost rugby tackled him for it!

Unfortunately the parcel was for my neighbour.... :oops:

At least the Bladnoch new make turned up, nice one Willie :thumbsup:
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