The first masterclass of the festival and according to everyone traditionally late. Being approximately half an hour late the Speciality Drinks mastertclass began. There were five drams in front of me from their line so all was ready to go.
Since, officially, most of the whiskies were from undisclosed distilleries there wasn’t an entire lot of information to be shared but it was fun nonetheless with more focus on the whisky than on anything else. That was, until the fire alarm went off and wouldn’t stop. Evacuation and all, and of course, continuing the tasting outside.
My thusfar internet-only pal Billy Abbott hosted the tasting. It was absolutely great to meet him in real life and have a chat that is not limited to 140 characters per statement.
Port Askaig 12 (45.8%)
The newest one in this line which can’t be much else than Caol Ila. Lightly grassy with sharp smoke and not too much wood influence. After a couple of minutes or airing you get a bit more fruit. Not too interesting but probably very fairly priced.
Bowmore 1985 – Single Malts of Scotland (54.9%)
A mid-eighties Bowmore, which means soap and lavender to almost anyone. This one was no exception to that rule but it wasn’t as soapy as some others. Well, without water at least. With a drop of H2O it went full laundry detergent FWP.
Karuizawa NAS – 48%
Lots of sherry and wood, as to be expected from a Japanese whisky. It’s smoother than expected with some fruit as well. But still, quite astringent and ‘very Japanese’.
LP2 – 64.1% – Elements of Islay
A sherried Laphroaig. You wouldn’t say that because of its colour, but the flavour is rather full and clear. Typically Laphroaig with light peat, flowers, bandaids and lemon. Very good stuff.
Pl1 – 60% - Elements of Islay
The first from this ‘distillery’, this Port Charlotte is great (as are most Port Charlottes). Loads of fruity sherry with allspice and malt. Not too much depth, but very interesting and hopefully nicely priced too!