Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Beer and Jazz Festival 2010

If you like whisky then festivals, tastings and fairs are a great opportunity to go out and try some whiskies. For me its an opportunity to try a lot of whiskies. I really wan't to try everything out there, and it's not possible to buy a bottle of everything, who's got the rooom, and the money for that ?

I don't !

Halloween Beer and Jazz Festival is organised by Århus' local real ale pub : Cockney Pub. Beside having a great selection of ales and beers, they also got a nice malt whisky section. A decent turnaround and an ongoing changing line-up which makes this a desirable whisky pub. And the prices are affordable as well!

I have visited Cockney Pub earlier

Mike Wilson, Cockney Pub

4 days of jazz and blues music, and 40 beers/ales, what else can you ask for ?. Whisk(e)y off course :-)

In Denmark, we have 3-4 major operators as whisky agents/importers. One of them is Juul's from Copenhagen. This year Juul was manning the whiskystand at the Halloween Beer and Jazz Festival

Nikolaj Jørgensen from Juul's and a couple of happy visitors!

Juul's are the importers of Gordon and MacPhail (includes Benromach), Springbank, Arran, Chieftains, Murray McDavid, Glenglassaugh, Glencadam, Elements of Islay etc. Beside this they have their own bottlings, in the past there was the PING series, more recently the FLYING series and the LINE series

Apart from this they have a rum selection that matches their whisky selection and also a lot of Cognac's

This was a great opportunity to dig into some set groups of whisky and do some research. As I did attend Juul's mini whisky fairs in Hadsten spring 2009 and 2010, I had the background research well and solid done, it was time to look for new bottlings, and also sections I missed or omitted before.

First subject was the Arran selection. I've been through most of this before. Juul's is actually one of few places  left on the earth where you still can buy the legendary Arran Peacock, which is one of my all-time favourite whiskies!. Today I was aiming for the bottling released to celebrate Arran's 15 year jubilee. An approximately 11yo amontillado finished cask strength. I don't like wine, and I don't like wine finishes. I didn't like this sherry finish either and was just glad I didn't have to purchase a bottle to try this. Next one up was the 14yo new OB which was a much better whisky and I enjoyed that one! 

Next Section to look at was the Springbank/Longrow/Hazelburn

Kilkerran - Hazelburn - Longrow


I wasn't particular sure on some of these, couldn't 100% recall which I tried and which I didn't try before. Just to be safe I went through the following : Springbank 12yo, Springbank 2001, Longrow 18, Springbank CV

All great malts. I am not sure Longrow will ever do it for me when it comes to peaty malts, I actually like Springbank better when it got a peaty touch

I also had to test one of my old time favourites, the Springbank 100 proof. Seemed like it changed, didn't seem to have the same delicate ex-bourbon character as I remembered. I'll research this in less than a fortnight hopefully. Nikolaj Jørgensen from Juul's did produce a couple of samples as well. Juul's will very shortly, begining of November, release a couple of single casks for the danish market. A Hazelburn 56.4% 8yo ex-oloroso cask, and a Springbank 14yo rum wood. I particular like the Springbank, but if you are fan of ex-sherry whisky I bet you will love the Hazelburn!

Next part I had to look at was the Gordon and MacPhail's. I allready tried everything from Benromach so I ventured over to their new releases

Gordon and MacPhails line up

Imperial 1994, Glenburgie 1990 and Balblair 1996, all at 46% and bottled 2010. 3 magnificient drams

A section I avoided was the Murray McDavid section. Almost all of these had a weird finish. I know there will be 1 or 2 of them I would like, but I can't be arsed to go throgh 10 of them, of which I would probably dislike 5, 3 will be indifferent and the last 2 I would like.

A couple of them caught my attention. Port Ellen 1982, 27yo, Chateau D'Yquem Finish, Murray McDavid Mission, 48.6 - No I didn't try it, it just reminded me that Plowed just had a discussion last weekend about the pronouncination of this. It was a agreed on a general concensus that it must be pronounced "dick'em"! 

Well, I got around to taste a peated Bunnahabhain 2005 and Ledaig 5yo (sherry cask) from Murray McDavid, both very good drams and surprisingly young. Yet another proof, that whisky doesn't have to be 10-12 years or older to be worth drinking

Specialty Drinks, a label by The Whisky Exchange has a series called Elements of Islay

Apart from Port Ellen, this is all no-age-statement young Islays

Elements of Islay

I REALLY liked the Lg1, but also the Br1 and Ar2 fell has my thumbs up. This series is allready legendary and if you're a fan of young Islay's here's something for you

This fair, albeit being mainly a beer and jazz event's does attract quite a few of the local whisky entusiasts, over the weekend I met around 10. I did drag some of them with me myself, and its always nice to sit down and talk about whisky while drinking them. 

Here's 4 of them, the 5 of us just had a minor plenum discussing the origin of a blind sample served to us, we couldn't really agree on the region!

Blind sampling is hard but fun

Lowland, Highland, Speyside, Islay or Island??. 

Well I think I was the winner. I guessed on Arran which is an Island Whisky, and last time I looked NEW ZEALAND was an Island.....

It was a Lammerlaw 12yo 40%, a nice dram which only suffered from a low ABV imo. No one had a clue guessing this :-)

Thanks to Nikolaj from Juul's for this educating experience

Flying, Elements, Glen Garioch, Glencadam, Glenglassaugh, Murray McDavid, Chieftain's

From the Chieftain's Choice I selected a 15yo Tomatin and an Ardbeg 11yo 46%, I particular liked the Ardbeg 

Bourbon Time

I don't know that much about bourbons so it has been area I have been researching quite a lot here in 2010. This weekend I a chance to taste a Wheat Whiskey. Bernheim Wheat Whiskey which I really enjoyed. Also Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey (Aged less than 30 days) and three versions of Old Fitzgerald, last three also from Bernheim Distillery in Louisville Kentucky. I particular liked Fitzgerald's 1849, a charcoal filtered bourbon.

This was a long weekend, and also a fun weekend. Juul's brought a couple of boxes with "leftovers" and you could aim for one of these by the fishing pond method

Glenallachie 1969-1987 on the hook

Some of the dregs

From the dregs boxes I was blessed with the fortune to taste the following

Caperdonich Connoisseurs Choice 1968-2004 (yum yum)
Highland Barrel no 4255 Ian Mcleod, sample,  1996-2008 59.9% 
Craigellachie Hotel, Craigellachie Distillery 1982 57.7% (Best dram of the weekend)
Speyburn Connoisseurs Choice 1977-2006
Aberfeldy Connoisseurs Choice 1988
Glenallachie Connoisseurs Choice 1969-1987
Ledaig Connoisseurs Choice 1990
Glen Spey Connoisseurs Choice 1995-2007
Arran Robert Burns 250th
Old Potrero (A 2½yo Rye malt Whiskey from Anchor Distilling Company, SF, California)

Potential purchases ?

Lg1, Balblair, Glenburgie and Imperial from G&M, Old Fitzgerald 1849, 14yo Springbank single cask rum wood soon to be released and probably a few more :-)

1 comment:

  1. I like this post!
    The Longrow for me is a real bucolic malt (without any "finish"of course).
    Craigellachie,Aberfeldy..hmm...every member of Dewar family in my heart,you know:))
    The Connoisseurs Choice..I took the first steps by this range.
    Nice post,nice weekend,nice event,jealous reader..:))