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Other Live Tastings

Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:53 pm

Subject: September 2008 Live Tasting - Preliminary Poll

ryguy wrote:
Ganga wrote:With how limited some of the Lowlands are, mainly because distilleries are closed or intermittent production, I have suggested doing a closed Lowlands tasting. If we were to do this, I would suggest that Rosebank, St Magdalene, Inverleven, and Littlemill. The other three (Kinclaith, Ladyburn and Glen Flagler/Killyloch) could be included should anyone have a sample or bottle.


Good idea Ganga, will this be part of the monthly tasting, or a seperate Live Tasting of it's own? It may be easiest to have it seperate from the monthly tasting, but I'm in either way! :D :D :D


This topic began back in the September Preliminary Poll and I thought it would be better to give it its own space for discussion.

I know that there is some interest in some of the closed Scottish distilleries? What do you good people think of someone planning a tasting on an irregular basis that has some kind of theme? This could be Closed Lowlands, Irish, Bourbons, whatever.

If there is enough interest in doing this, my suggestion is that plenty of notice is given (month?) and that it takes place in the first half of the month.

Well, what do the good denizens of Whisky Mag Forums think?
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Willie JJ » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:09 pm

I know the fact that that the recent vote went to Mortlach erodes my argument a little here, but I believe that the regular tastings will inevitably gravitate towards mainstream distilleries, if for no other reason than folk will tend to vote for what they have. I'm not complaining about this because these events force me back into the mainstream and away from my normal pursuit of the obscure. however, if we want to see less prominent distilleries visited in the online tasings then I think we need a separate stream for them.

What I wouldn't be particularly keen on is if these 'specials' become exclusive events for a few folk that have a wide range of stock (much as I like y'all :D ). I reckon we could make this more inclusive if we give lots of notice so that perhaps those that don't have any relevant stock have enough time to source a bottle or two if they are interested in the theme.

Another thing that we might consider is everyone buying a bottle and splitting it into samples for distribution so that we can all be tasting good variety and common drams. Again this takes a bit of time.

I'll stop rambling now, but the gist of it is; let's do it, but let's have time to get organised.

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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:07 am

I do like the idea of having something like this, maybe not monthly but bimonthly or quarterly with decisions early enough to allow everyone to organize, ie sample distribution.

Some thoughts would be:

Japanese
Bourbons
Ryes
Closed/mothballed Lowlands
Closed/mothballed Highlands/Speyside
Irish
World Whiskies
Canadien
Maybe by distillery if enough available
Or a focus on a more specific region (ie Kentucky)

I like the idea of splitting a bottle or two between folks.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:14 am

Ganga wrote:Some thoughts would be:

Japanese
Bourbons
Ryes
Closed/mothballed Lowlands
Closed/mothballed Highlands/Speyside
Irish
World Whiskies
Canadien
Maybe by distillery if enough available
Or a focus on a more specific region (ie Kentucky)


Good suggestions. I would add a little known Speysider tasting (might need to be more specific) and an American malt tasting, although the Europeans would need help there I think.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:13 am

I'm in, and I like the idea of splitting up a bottle as well. As mentioned this does take some time, so a months notice would be about right.

Choose the theme, and I can start hunting for a bottle of whatever need be. Obviously Canadian whisky is abundant here for me, and that would be really easy, Japanese on the other hand, not so much. But I think we can make it work, and it would be fun. :D :D

Also add 'undeclared' malts to that list. :thumbsup:
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:42 pm

How do we want to organize this little adventure? I don't think polls for something like this would work nearly as affectively as they do in the monthly tastings.

Do we want to form a committee or use an individual to select the theme and date?
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:58 pm

Ganga,

Good point, and I do think this is something that needs to be discussed. But as you said, a poll doesn't really help here. We also want to make sure all other members feel welcome, and as far as I'm concerned the more that particpate, the better. This is a great way IMO to try and experiment with new whiskies, and it also groups tasting notes together for one particular whisky, or for a small group of whiskies (Kentucky, Lowland, Japanese etc).

I'm also all for purchasing a bottle, or taking turns buying a bottle here and there to be split amongst the group of people who'll be participating. Just not sure about how to go about that, and how to determine what's being tasted.

I'd say we start by following up with who's interested and go from there. Any thoughts anyone?

New members thoughts are welcome here, and don't hesitate to ask any of us questions, even if you think it's been asked before. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby mikeymad » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:04 pm

- "I'm voting for yours truly"

- "Well I'm voting for yours truly too"

- "Okay... I'm with you fellas"
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:12 pm

Likewise mikeymad! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I got thinking, since closed Lowlands brought this discussion up, why not just start there? Just a suggestion though, what does everyone else think?
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:40 pm

Well I vote for Captain Swan. :D

My reasoning for making a small group (maybe an individual) responsible for the selection is that folks will vote towards what they stock (see Willie's post above). My vision for this tasting would be to take people a little out of their comfort zone.

How about setting up basic rules for this tasting? Here's a start for discussion purposes.

1. A discussion period (1 to 2 weeks?)
2. The decision on theme for tasting
3. Selection of date first half of the month (at least a month in advance)
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby TheTross » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:47 pm

I also think this a great idea and I'd love to take part in it! Gives everyone a chance to try bottlings they might otherwise not have been able to.

Willie JJ wrote:Another thing that we might consider is everyone buying a bottle and splitting it into samples for distribution so that we can all be tasting good variety and common drams.


I'm happy to do this as well, though there are a few issues that need addressing:

1. In my opinion the minimum sample size to allow for a decent tasting would be 50ml; there are fourteen 50ml measures in a 70cl bottle - I'd have a serious issue with sending that many samples out owing to postage costs and general logistics, particularly if overseas members are involved!

2. That sort of raises the next point: How would the 'bring a bottle' club be set up? The fairest way would be to allow any member to take part, but if we're splitting bottles into samples there has to be an upper limit placed on how many members take part. That means deciding on a sample size. For me, as stated 50ml is the bare minimum to allow for a decent evaluation, with 100ml being better but only permitting seven members to take part.

3. Do we set a price limit on bottles purchased specially for the tasting? Some members invariably earn more than others, and I for one would feel a little guilty at receiving a sample of an expensive whisky whilst sending out one of much lesser cost, even if quality is not an issue.

Another thing we could do from time to time is pool some money together to buy one expensive, hard-to-find bottle, then split that into samples. But then logistics comes back into it, and you have the added problems of unanimously deciding on a bottle and nominating someone willing to collect members' money, buy the bottle and sort the samples out.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:50 pm

OK I agree with Willie's suggestion too. And I like the idea of being forced away from my 'comfort zone' and trying new things.

I think that 1-2 weeks is good for a discussion period. As long as we give sufficient time for some of us to send out samples, especially to our friends on the other side of the pond when need be. :D

So who's in charge? A small group is a great idea, and I think we need to make sure we have at least one rep from here, and at least one from the UK involved. That will help on availability of product for everyone I think.

Good points Tross, and it's something that definitely needs to be worked out. I think it's a great idea, but it would be nice to iron out a few things first.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:55 pm

Good thoughts Tross. We'll have to give some consideration to your concerns obviously. I would think that the international shipping could be mostly avoided unless we get down to a theme where it is difficult for some participants to get a hold of a bottle.

I like the idea of maybe getting some of the more scarce whiskies for tasting. I have yet to try Killyloch, Glen Flagler and Ben Wyvis.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:03 pm

ryguy wrote:So who's in charge? A small group is a great idea, and I think we need to make sure we have at least one rep from here, and at least one from the UK involved. That will help on availability of product for everyone I think.


The sound of everyone stepping back. :D
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:14 pm

I know from my perspective that October is pretty bleak. To get something in early September would require making it something kind of accesible to everyone. If we went with early November, it could be something a little less available.

BTW, blended scotch whiskies or some subset could be included.

I'd suggest Irish, Canadien or blends if we go for September kick-off. With Irish and blends it could be more specific such as Bushmills or JW.

If we want to go with a November (or October), then how about Japanese, Closed Lowlands or Bourbons?

I'd suggest that Ryan has a good point of making up a committee that sort of has a little geographic representation. One Euro, one NA to start? Maybe need to split NA into US and Canada. What about Euro? Do we need a split there? Volunteers?

I do think a set of general guidelines would be good. But these can be fine tuned and amended as we go. Thoughts?
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:26 pm

Ganga wrote:
ryguy wrote:So who's in charge? A small group is a great idea, and I think we need to make sure we have at least one rep from here, and at least one from the UK involved. That will help on availability of product for everyone I think.


The sound of everyone stepping back. :D


If everyone is ok with it, I would volunteeer to help out. But I also agree with Ganga, it should definitely be a group of people (3-4 maybe?)

As far as trying scarce whiskies like Killyloch, Glen Flagler and Ben Wyvis, they all sound like good options to me. This will be easy for me to find things to try, as I've not tried nearly as many kinds as some of you others.

On that note, do any of these sound like good or bad options. They are all distillieries that I've barely heard of, let alone tried. Each were available to me last I checked through the SMWS. Miltonduff, Dufftown, Tamdhu, Dailuaine, Teaninich, Auchroisk, Glen Spey, Glenburgie.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:28 pm

lawschooldrunk wrote:I think the first stage is agreeing on the bottle of the month. the second stage should be who can find it the cheapest. third will be, either ship the sample containers to the bottle holder, or the bottle to the one that already has the sample holders; whichever is cheapest.


It's good to hear from you LSD, and you've made some good points. As far as sample containers, I use either 50ml minis, or 60ml Boston Rounds, whatever I have on hand at the time. It would be safe to say that's what would be used, as they are most readily available. Plus 50ml is a pretty good sample, it really gives you a chance to try it out.

Maybe I'm making an asumption thinking this is the easiest way, but I'm going to throw this out there. I thought the best way as far as splitting up the cost of a bottle would be to set an approx. $$ amount range for our monthly tasting bottle(s) and take turns within the group paying for it on a monthly basis. You buy this month, then I buy the next, so on and so forth. So if we have 8 people and we choose 2 bottles monthly, everyone will be buying one bottle every 4 months. Does this make any sense? It would save from exchanging money on a monthly basis between the people participating. I'm just trying to keep it as simple as possible. Thoughts / comments appreciated here.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:50 pm

lawschooldrunk wrote:I just don't want to see a civil war in the forums when someone says, hey why do you keep buying on the lower end of the price range when I continuously buy on the high end of the price range...

As to dealing with money every month as opposed to every four or 8 months (or whatever), I honestly think it's not so hard to mail a check or use paypal (although I don't have an account!). And i think this will keep the fights out if everyone shells out exactly the same amount.

don't get me wrong; I don't truly think you need to keep everything exactly equal. I believe in altruism and what goes around comes around, especially among friends. I just don't want to see fights going on around here.


Fights around here??? No, surely not, can't be. That doesn't happen does it? Ok I'm kidding. :P :P

On a serious note, I do agree with you here LSD, we need to find a happy medium to make it easy and also fair for everyone. At this point we are still in the discussion stage, so any other ideas would be helpful.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:55 pm

In some cases, someone may want a bottle but willing to dole out samples and keep the remainder of the contents. I, myself, do like LSD's idea of paying up regularly. In part, people won't always be able to participate for whatever reason. Also, I believe that some have better access to various whiskies than others.

Also, my original suggestion was to go bimonthly or quarterly as we want to have time to organize and get samples out to everyone if needed.

I can't see something like Irish whiskies being a big problem in either Europe or NA. But, other whiskies could be more of a problem.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:28 pm

I'm very flexible here, whatever works best for everyone else works for me too. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Dram fine idea » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:31 pm

I would be interested in additional 'theme' based live tastings.

To simplify the logistics, perhaps we choose bottles that are available both here and in the US. Or to emphasise the importance of the whisky, we disregard the logistics and send whisky back and forth across the pond.
I guess we could decide on a tasting by tasting basis?

The members of the group(s) could vote on the bottles to be used for each tasting. As for the money side, the group(s) could decide amongst themselves, for each tasting, the bottles to be bought and add on the costs of (miniature bottles and) postage and packaging, and divide into equal shares. The value/price of bottles introduced from a member's own stock could be agreed amongst the members, if the members vote to use that bottle for the tasting.

I guess a rota should also be agreed so that each member takes a turn in buying the bottles, decanting and posting, to share the work.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Dram fine idea » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:43 pm

On a related theme, for the Mortlach tasting, I have a full (unopened) bottle of the G&M 15 year old up for trading/sharing. Can I post only within the UK? I also have 25/50 ml measures of the following Mortlachs for the tasting -
16 yo Flora & Fauna
15 yo Cask Strength Berry Bros & Reid (measure bought at Grill pub Aberdeen)
1970 Gordon & Macphail (measure bought at Grill pub Aberdeen)
If you can offer something different, or just fancy a sample, please PM and let me know. I'm feeling generous - it's my birthday on Monday 11th. Slange.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:03 pm

I agree with Ganga, that a Bi-monthly tasting would be better here, and it would give us all more time for planning, sending samples out etc. Early October possibly for the first?

Now all we need to figure out is who's interested and assign a board of directors, so to speak, to determine exactly what we are tasting and when.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:53 pm

How about October 3 or 4? WhiskyFest is the following weekend and I think I really start to get hung up the rest of the month.

There's certainly enought time to look into Japanese and Irish whiskies - two that have been suggested in the September poll. I believe there is decent access to both Europe and North America on this one too.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:01 pm

The 3rd or 4th both look ok here, and I'm up for either Japanese or Irish Whisky. Japanese would be more interesting for me to begin with, because I'm far less familair with them. I'm in either way, I'll go with what the group decides. :thumbsup:
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby TheTross » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:14 pm

Sounds good to me! I think I'd prefer Irish though, as I haven't tried nearly enough of them and this'd be a good reason to buy some :D
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:15 pm

TheTross wrote:Sounds good to me! I think I'd prefer Irish though, as I haven't tried nearly enough of them and this'd be a good reason to buy some :D


I can't name 3 Irish or 3 Japanese off the top of my head, so I obviously haven't tried enough of them either. I'm up for it either way. :D
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:27 pm

Bushmills
Jamesons
Connemara
Middleton
Cooley
Several others

Yamazaki
Nikka
Yoichi
Oh hell: http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com/catego ... _id=W_JAPA

I can get my hands on lots of stuff here.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:17 pm

We're looking at Oct 3 and/or 4. Anyone have opinions on Fri v Sat? I'm indifferent.

Japanese or Irish? Probably interested more in the Irish at this point.

I think it would be good to hammer out the choices in the next week or so.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:49 pm

I'm flexible with the date, and let's go ahead and do Irish. Works for me. I'm all up for pitching in for a bottle or two or three to be split up. Who's interested and which date works better for you?
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:24 pm

I've taken the day off so I am going to stop by W&L Depot this afternoon. I'll have some ideas for the US folks that want to participate. :D

Where's the Euro contingent? Someone should get IWC in here.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:13 pm

Hmm this thread has moved fast and i wasn't paying attention. Sorry.

I just want to clarify what I had in my mind wrt to sharing. I thought the easiest way to do this would be for there to be a decision on a theme and then for those that want to participate to go out and buy a bottle and send samples of their bottle to the others. That way the number of samples we have to try is limited only by either the number of people that join or the number of samples that come from a bottle (sample size to be decided).

I fully accept what the Tross says about postage, but if we can, wherever possible, minimise, or eliminate, transatlantic/international postage then it shouldn't be too bad. This could perhaps be arranged through local(ish) groups. Also if it is only happening every two or three months then it is not such a huge commitment.

As far as what people buy, I thought they should just buy whatever they are comfortable with. There are plenty good malts out there for folk to source at reasonable money and if those with deeper pockets occasionally want to introduce pricier bottlings then fine, that's their choice and everyone else wins.

I think the way it is shaping up at the moment looks like it is going to create a lot of work for one or two individuals, as well as a lot of faffing about collectng payments, organising purchases, etc., etc.

I'm not trying to throw a spanner in the works here, so feel free to carry on and ignore these comments, but I fear it could be a little cumbersome the way it is going. I will go along with the majority view though.

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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ryguy » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:46 pm

Good thoughts Willie, I'm flexible and as far as I'm concerned, whatever works for everyone else, works for me. I'd have no problem buying a bottle every other month or so for this.

Ganga, looking foward to hearing what you find out. I've looked locally already here, and it seems Bushmills and Jameson are the only 2 Irish available. Then there's always Binny's where they have tons of stock.
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Wave » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:12 pm

I'm also game though my only problem is my crazy work schedual. As far as getting bottles for these events there's a nice shop in town (Friar Tuck's) that carries a nice assortment of whiskies from around the world including at least a dozen different Irish's, the Japanese Yamazaki and a few Canadian whiskies along with SMSW.

Cheers!
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Re: Other Live Tastings

Postby Ganga » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:10 am

In part Willie, I had some of your thoughts in mind when I suggested every two to three months. One, it allows for logistics of deciding do we need to get bottles to split and if so, to get them out to the people.

As for the Irish whiskies, I have lots of stuff immediately available. It wouldn't be too much of a deal to get 3, maybe 4, bottles to split up. W&L Depot has several shelves of Irish, twice as many bourbons. Darn it, I forgot to look at the Japanese but I did take note of a couple Yamazaki.

As far as Mikey and Ryan go, we ship enough samples back and forth that it isn't really any additional effort to incorporate those in, whoever buys. It would probably only come down to additional folks that want to participate on this side.

As far as more rare things go (market based too), we can work that out at the time. I'm sure that it wouldn't be too much to get a bottle or two of bourbon or rye back to the Euro folks to distribute.

So, who would like to be part of the committee that makes final decisions of theme and date?
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