So Barry Crocket is the master distiller at Ireland's Midelton distillery. I tasted one of the batches and was impressed. This is bottled at 46% and retails around £150.
The Nomad is a Whyte and MacKay style blend over 5 years old that is further matured in Pedro Ximenez casks for a year in Spain with Richard Patterson in charge. Good sherry notes and pretty affordable. This went down very well when I poured it at a Lothian Police Whisky Society tasting.
The Bowmore is the first in a series of 4. This one highlights the salty influence the No.1 Vaults warehouse donated to the malt. Apparently the oldest whisky warehouse in Scotchland. 51.5%.
The Tomatin cask strength (old red packaging) 57.5%. Admittedly not to everyone's taste but about half the folks that try it like it. I noticed how our sample bottle blossomed as the air worked some magic.
The Kirrin blend is from Fuji-Gotembo, is 50%abv, not sold in the UK and is half malt and half grain with 10% of the malt being 20yo. Thanks Dave.
The tastings vary in price but are normally about £20. There's no sales pitch - just a bunch of folks trying 5 or 6 drams. I host, steering the discussion - very informal but I'd like to think fun as well as informative. We've been at it for 10+ years and have tried whisky from all the Scottish distilleries since Maltmill on Islay shut.
here is a link to the TripAdvisor reviews:- https://goo.gl/NmxaMW
here is the Jolly toper website:- http://www.jollytopertastings.co.uk
and here is the Facebook page: https://goo.gl/umOyF8
Hopefully see you there one day.
Mark (Jolly Toper)
We started the ball rolling with a Kirin 50% blend - half and half malt and grain and 50%abv. Typically 'coy' for a Japanese whisky its subtle notes either being lost on a dulled/demanding palate or coming across with delicate appeal. The guys were pretty stumped by the 'dimensions' - age, strength, designation. Good stuff if a little thin- a mixed reception with comments of 'rough' and 'short finish'. £19 a bottle though : )
Next was Barry Crocket Irish pot Still. Classic bright, fresh, lively and fruity stuff. Think Bourbon cask matured Red Breast. Generally well received with often astonishment with the benefits of water. Wild under guessing of price - its £155.
To might pleasure the Tomatin cask strength - the just recently replaced 'tall round' packaging generally went down well. A real belter of a full bodied dram buckets of dried fruits and a touch of sour sherry notes. The nose alone is a delight. I'm not sure about elsewhere but RMW have this reduced to £43.
Anther bargain is Nomad. A blend touched by Richard Patterson. 41.2%abv NAS finished in sherry casks actually in Spain. For some to0 lop sided for others a treat of cask domination. Butterscotch and caramel were frequently cited notes. £27 with two free glasses! Think the chocolate mousse that was the Sheep Dip 1990 oloroso-amoroso.
Finally the winner on the night by a Royal Mile - Bowmore Vaults No.1 - allegedly displaying salty notes derived from the warehouse location (behind a sea wall) - this had almost a collective thumbs up which is unheard of for peaty number. Well done folks, another triumph.
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