Full text of announcement below.
Federal Wine & Spirits 29 State St. Boston MA 02109 617 367 8605
"One of America's Top Wine Shops" - Food & Wine
"Boston's Best Specialty Wine Store" - Improper Bostonian
Single Malt Master Class
with Master Distiller Jim McEwan
of Bruichladdich Distillery
Boston Harbor Hotel
April 3rd. 6:00 P.M. Start
We are proud to sponsor Boston's first Single Malt Master Class. It will be with Jim McEwan, one of Scotland's foremost master distillers and feature the fine whiskies of Bruichladdich. Jim's passion for whisky and his love of the small isle of Islay was instrumental with the reopening of the Bruichladdich distillery. He has been named Distiller of the Year three times and has received many other awards.
Four of the six malts will be will be new expressions. The six are:
Weapons of Mass Destruction II (Yellow Submarine)
Turnberry Links10th. hole
Moine Mhor -(3D 2nd.ed.)
15 Y.O. 2nd. ed. (25 weeks of D'Yquem (Sauternes) Casks)
Flirtation 20 Y.O. 2nd.ed. (Mourvedre Casks)
and the last dram
Bruichladdich 1973 30 Y.O.
This is a great chance to taste single malts over time to taste and enjoy with the man who selected the casks. Precious malt goes in the bottle. So does a lot of heart and soul as you will see and hear if you haven't have not met Jim.
This is a tasting you don't want to miss but it is very limited and will sell out quickly. Tickets are $110.
Included in the ticket price is a coupon good for a bottle of the 2nd. Edition 15 Y.O. D'Yquem Cask Finish Bottle signed by Jim. He let me taste the new D'Yquem bottling at 15 weeks in cask. It was AMAZING.
Contact me with credit card info to secure your place.
WMDII is my currently open bottle, the second one I have opened and I am still surprised by it.
Not quite what I perceive as a 'standard' Laddie, but very nice.
I found the Moine Mhor to be inferior to the original 3D "Peat Proposal", but there again I found the original 3D to vary greatly between bottles.
It was an issue of 12,000 bottles and I certainly found the lower numbers (Below No. 4000) to be by far the best.
However, after April passes I'll be ready to get back on the horse & do one of those weeknight tasings.
McEwan, in full formal kilt, was piped in (by a Boston cop in an Irish tartan, but never mind), and told us that he is not a salesman or "brand ambassador", but a guy who makes whisky, who rose through the ranks from apprentice cooper at 15. He is wrong; he is as good a salesman as there is, in the best sense of the word. As he led us through a tasting of seven Bruichladdichs, he gave us various tasting tips (such as telling the age of a whisky by where it burns the tongue...sorry, still don't get it!) and gave us insights on what it means to make whisky in Islay. And of course, there were stories. Most were humorous, many involving culture clash with Japanese distillery workers sent by Suntory for training at Bowmore ("Jim-san, my people want to go to karaoke bar"), or such stories as Duncan MacGillivray's adventures in Chicago. Others were touching. He showed a slide of workers in the bottling hall, including a young woman with Down syndrome who puts all the pamphlets into the metal tubes. He told of his first mentor, a cooper who put off his retirement to give McEwan his apprenticeship, lying on his deathbed years later, whispering to McEwan that he'd left him a gift under the floorboards of his shed, something to ensure that McEwan "would never be poor". It was his cooper's tools. And he told of standing alone in the Bruichladdich warehouse, sampling the two remaining forty-year-old casks, realizing that they would have to be bottled soon as they had fallen almost to 40%, and knowing that everyone who'd had a hand in making that whisky was dead. Their legacy was there in the casks.
A quick rundown on the tastings:
-We were encouraged to drink the 10 as we came in, as a welcome dram. A nice aperitif, with honey, pear, and lemon notes.
-WMD II, "Yellow Submarine", with a nose of strawberries. Another hilarious story about a salvaged MOD drone sub.
-The most recent Links, Turnberry, 14yo, all bourbon with four weeks in Pedro Ximenez, just enough for a kiss of sweetness without being overpowering. This was the standout dram for me, and I will buy one as soon as I see it.
-The second 3D, Moine Mhor, comprised of '91 and '94 Bruichladdich and four-year-old Port Charlotte. As the one peated offering, this was very popular with the folks; I thought there was something odd about it--the peat seemed kind of green to me, like hop pellets.
-The second-edition 15yo, which spent 26 weeks in Yquem sauternes casks; viscous, honey/winey. McEwan says this will not be repeated, as the casks are not available. I wanted to ask him if the casks will have had a second fill, but I didn't get around to it.
-The second-edition 20yo, the infamous Flirtation, six weeks in Mouvedre syrah, tangy fruit on the palate and a long finish. McEwan said no water with this. He also told us that the third edition 20yo is now available, and the vatting for that was executed by Joe Howell, our host, when he was at the Academy last year. He said that Joe worked through lunch, even eschewing cigarette breaks, to get the vatting done by himself.
-The final dram was the 1973 vintage, distilled the year I first tasted alcohol. (So it was Schlitz...whaddya want?) I'd have sworn this was a fine old calvados, and would have thought that my overloaded palate was playing tricks, had I not nosed it earlier, before drinking anything, and thought the same thing then. The dram was but a tease; I think one would contemplate and puzzle over a bottle of this to the last drop, and would wish for another bottle to puzzle some more. A very deep and unusual dram.
The evening ended with us all standing left foot on our chairs and right foot on the table, delivering a lengthy and complicated Gaelic toast that I feel sure was obscene. It's a wonder no one got hurt. I left feeling so abuzz that I had to phone a friend immediately to babble about it. We'd started at 6:15 and finished at 9:40; the time flew.
It was a marvelous event, and effusive thanks are due to Joe Howell for his efforts to make it happen. And thanks also to the friend who encouraged me to go when I was sitting on the fence. Well worth it.
So fat I've had the 10, 15 and 17 (only a mini). I liked the 15 a lot but was not so keen on the 10. I've also got a mini of the old 15yo waiting to be sampled courtesy of Scotchio
Would this (the new links) be your recommendation for less than £40 ?
Thanks in advance,
And a very happy Easter to you as well, Wendy.
yes CNN did have a 1 minute film about Bruichladdich on this week , Mary was telling us last saturday that the film is a short series about peoples dreams coming reality , they were on islay for 2 days to do the film ( nice work if you can get it springs to mind ....) it started showing on Easter Monday and has continued all week at certain times during the day , it's amazin' what you get to know about while applying labels in the Laddieshop !
If anyone's going to Laddie in the next few weeks give the "Tonga" valinch a try , it's a lovely Rum finished Laddie . I tried the WMD II when i was over and was totally convinced it was a straight bourbon Laddie !!! Didn't find out until i got back it was A.C.E.'d , have a look in the Laddie bottling display as well when your over , you might just spot something unusual......
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