Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Impressions from Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015

I will start by saying that living in the UK has made me spoiled rotten when it comes to whisky events, that being said the I will now give my review on the event and the whiskies I have sampled during Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015.

To start of the entrance funnel was also the exit, which made coming in or going out very difficult as you had to push your way past the masses going the other way (which ever it might be in that particular moment in time).

Once you made it in there wasn’t any flow to the positions of the presentations and placement of booths, I suspect that this is due to the variety of importers and the amount each was willing to pay for their position.

The options for sampling, considering the heritage of the name “Whisky Live” was rather limited and catered to the more well-known expressions from the distillers and parent companies, with some exceptions to the rule. Some Brand ambassadors and members of the industry were present, but not in a ratio that gave the feel that the companies they represent don’t care much about the local market.

One of the main attraction in this event was meant to be the new local distillery, and you’d think they will put them front and centre so they can be easily accessed, but they were hidden in the corner off the main hall.

Given all that, the event gave you large serving bars in the main hall with 7 major Drams available and each had it’s industry representative (be is brand ambassador or in the event with Tomintoul – The Master Distiller), you had the chance to bottle your own bottle from a selection of small barrels (Rum, Vodka, Whisky, Bourbon) and you could participate in a blind tasting event.

Criticism over, now I will review the whiskies I sampled:

Jura 21 years 44% Sherry Matured

Jura 21 years 44% Sherry Matured

Nose: Traces of Sea weeds,citrus, peppers and cloves.
Colour:Deep honey, smooth swirl, no legs.
Platte:Smooth down, no after burn with a slow release of flavours, traces of Almonds, Caramel, Pines and Bannana.

Added Water
Nose: added traces of Peppers, the aroma is much more pungent almost obtrusive.
Colour:No discernible change.
Platte:Strong after burn, too over powered and a slow release.

Overall : Nice dram, but nothing out of the ordinary from Jura.

Tomatin 14 years 46% Portwood finish

Tomatin 14 years 46% Portwood finish

Tomatin 14 years 46% Portwood finish

Nose : very subtle almost nonexistent hints of smoke and mold.
Colour : Amber red.
Platte : For a 46% dram the flavors are very subtle, hints of dates, honey, and peppers. A slow after burn

Added Water
Nose: All gone.
Colour : No change.
Platte : Just a Burn, but no flavors.

Overall : Water ruin the drink, it is a good drink without it and the port finish really shows and feels in the drink.

Jameson Black Barrel 40% NAS (Blend of Pot still + Grain whiskey)

This is a new Jameson expression that I have not sampled before and was very curious to try. I had a nice conversation with the Brand Ambassador Aislinn O’Keeffe, which seemed to have been surprised to find an Irish Dram fan among all the Bourbon and Scot Malt enthusiasts.
Jameson Black Barrel 40% NAS (Blend of Pot still + Grain whiskey)

Nose :Very soft aroma coming from the glass, very faint traces of smoke, some plums and touch of honey.
Colour : A like caramel honey, almost hazel.
Platte : Very delicate, smooth, almost like a velvet drink – on the border to becoming too smooth, no pungent after burn, traces of Banana and Chocolate.

I have not added water to this one – as the stand ran out of water at the time, but I very much enjoyed the Dram and the conversation while drinking it.
Overall -I liked this expression, and would like to have another run at with with some water, For any Irish whiskey fan it will be a treat.

Tomintoul 21 years 40%

When approaching the stand for this bottle, I was happy to find the Master Distiller standing near the booth and talking to visitors, we had a wonderful chat and I got an invite for a tour in the distillery(generally closed to the public) when I am next time in Scotland – hopefully not to long till that happens.
We talked about places we both know and appreciate in Speyside and he shared my excitement and wonder for the magic of the Fiddich Side Inn , then he suggested the 21 for sampling.
Tomintoul 21 years

Nose :Gentle, full of Pines, Honey, raisins and freshly cut grass.
Colour : A strong tea, light golden hue.
Platte :Chocolate,Peppers,Honey and Vanilla, a wide range of flavors come out of this dram, and it goes down smooth with no strong burn, it has a slow release once down in a good way.

Then there is the added Water
Nose : The Pines come out to be more dominant, but other then that no big change.
Colour : no change.
Platte : Again very subtle changes, the Peppers are more extenuated, and a burn is felt.

Overall very nice dram, suitable for every day – if not for the price, it is meant to be discontinued due to stock shortage, 4/5 .

Dalmore King Alexander 40% NAS

Dalmore King Alexander 40% NAS

Dalmore King Alexander 40% NAS

Dalmore King Alexander 40% NAS
Dalmore are considered a “exclusive brand” and hence fairly expensive, which is why I have not had the opportunity to sample them in the past, hence I was happy to pay a little bit for the cost of tasting one of the range provided.

Nose : Soft drift of smells, Grapes,Honey,Caramel and Pines are felt.
Colour : Honey, but it feels like there is some caramel in the coloring too.
Platte : Strong burn in the first touch, then the flavors come out: Milk, Citrus,Banana and Peach, and then the after burn comes in with a fast release in the stomach.

Sadly no water was available for comparison.
Overall – Nice Dram , but not something I would keep in my stock.

Notes from The Open Tasting

As we advertised we had our first open tasting on the 18th of March, It was not desigend as a big event or anything that might be too complex for a whisky novice.
The venue was a local club and comprised of 3 tables in the corner of a room where the participants sat and shared the evening.

The theme for the tasting was “south to north” which comprised of 4 bottles from a private collection:
* Penderyn SherryWood
* Jura 10 Year old
* The Macphail’s Collection GlenTurret
* Glenfiddich 14 year Rich Oak

We had 4 participants and 2 members of the MaltGeeks Crew in the evening, when at one point a member of the Club came to inquire to our satisfaction and ended with a dram on Jura in his hand(he did not protest too hard).

For some of the participants this was the first “tasting” event – they have drank whisky before but have not done the complete process of evaluating a dram by colour, aroma, palate and adding water.

We had some mixed reviews and favorites of the night, however the “winner” of the evening or I should say the favorite of most was the Penderyn.

All in all it was a good evening, and we might consider doing another withing a month.

Maltgeek Open Tasting

World Whisky Day Is Just 2 month away , to be held on the 18th of May, We at MaltGeeks are very happy about this event and will enjoy it each in our own way.
As We will be unable to participate in a large event on the day we will be hosting a more modest event on the 18th of March in the Cotterells Club in Hemel Hempstead ,182 Cotterells, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1JW .

This will be a small event with a short selection for tasting and sampleing.

For more information contact .

Midlands 2012

On the weekend of the 19th of may two members of the Maltgeeks group went to the Whisky Lounge annual event in Stratford Upon Avon for some whisky fun.

The venue was nice and intimate in size, with 16 stands all around with the SMWS holding the centre of the room and commanding the respect and attention as entitled to them by any whisky lover.
We sampled many drams (mostly new things we have not tried before , but also some old and familiar friends) during the visit and enjoyed some surprises (for better and for worse) from the ones we did not know.
This is the list of the items we tasted ,We might provide sampling notes later :

  • Scapa 16
  • Auchentushan A
  • AnCnoc 12
  • Bruchladdie organic
  • Bruchladdie Fino Cask
  • Balbalair 1978
  • Girvan 1989 46%
  • Inchgower 1982 54.5%
  • Macduff 2000 60%
  • Glenfarclas 30
  • GlenKinchie 12
  • Benromach 25
  • Bunnahabhain
  • SMWS 7.72 21 years
  • Old Pulteney 12 year old
  • Old Pulteney 17 Year Old
  • Old Pulteney 21 Year Old
  • We debated if we should sign up to the scotch Malt Whisky society(SWMS) but the price was a bit too high at the time , though we did agree that it is something we have to do in the future.

    When we left it was with high spirits and a joyous step, and not just from the golden nectar flowing in our veins.

    Campfire – Jamie Milne Of Glenfiddich

    I first learned about campfire from a posting in Whisky Isreal blog , and thought I might give it a try .
    The event was held in a nice location although if you are not local – finding was a bit of a quest ( hidden in a office complex behind a pub ) As i am reading the “Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy” now – i thought that the only thing missing was the “beware the Leopard” sign to make it complete.

    The evening itself started very nice with a good atmosphere , with wine and 12 Yrs Glenfiddich for a warm up. A lot was written about this dram so I will skip on …
    Jamie’s story was a very light and flowing , and keeping and interesting pace while finding the common thread of Glenfiddich in his life , and during the story we were presented with a dram of the 15 Yrs Glenfiddich . Again an age old dram that the is worldly known , so i will skip describing it too !

    When the presentation of Jaime’s ended we were presented with the star dram of the evening : Glenfiddich 14 years Rich Oak

    Glenfiddich 14 years Rich Oak , Personally i thought the first image of the bottle (presented as a wood carving) was much more appealing then the actual bottle , but I guess it was not a good way to sell .

    We’ll start of with the color : The Dram has a light gold ( almost honey hue) with faint traces of almonds , and in some lightings it has the hue of a light rust on a thin sheet of metal – all in all a good color and very promising .
    The swirl in the glass is very smooth and leave nice light silky legs on the rim .
    Nose : The first scent is a very sharp and hiding many of the properties , once you let your nose settle into it the currents of Vanilla , Peppers , Caramel and a Dry leaves emerge to give a nice lingering sensation in the nose.

    Taste : The dram rolls very smoothly in the mouth and leaves some unfamiliar feeling in this “young” Glenfiddich dram , it’s presence on the palette is very light and easy , no burn on the back of the mouth and no after burn going down in the stomach . Once it clears the mouth there are traces of Caramel, Almonds , Cream and an oily feeling that leaves you wondering what it is hiding.
    No Tasting will be complete with out adding a splash of water , so that is what i did and was very much surprised at the results :
    Color : To my surprise the water had no effect on the color , but it did make the swirl become even smoother .
    Nose : Again not much change , but an emerging scent that creeps out of the altered dram is of soft Klin dust with a pine over tone.
    Taste : The water gives this Dram the little push it needed for the nice burn it was lacking before , and that kick is dominated with a flavor of peppers coming out in force ( relatively) to compliment the others .

    All in all a very nice dram from Glenfiddich , and one I am happy to have experienced as it differs from the regular path of the Glenfiddich ( to me ) .

    London Whisky Live -2010 – or not so much

    I wanted to go to this event for a long time ( 4 month), and I was in london free to myself on the day – but I hate to drink alone and I had no one to go to the event with me .
    I also had a crappy morning before I got in to the city , so all in all I was not in a safe place to go near a location with free (relatively) good booze , so I made the active decision to miss the event and head home , and a good thing i did – I almost fell asleep even with out the booze .

    I hope to have someone to go to other events I can report back on .

    Whisky Live London 2010

    The up coming whiskey exhibition had me contemplating on selfish thoughts , should I go on my own or suffer the same destiny as my drinking mates and maybe wait for the next one – that is due in September 2010 in Glasgow with the hopes that some of them might be able to join me ?

    The main issue is that if we do manage to gather all the Drunks in one place it will be a small clan going to this event with 2 offsprings to off set the amount we can sample .

    Decisions , Decisions ….

    I have a month and some change to make up my mind .