Tobermory 10years

Tobermory 10 years

We got ourselves a sample bottle of the Tobermory 10 years old , nice little thing like you get on a flight , for a tasting for two people it was a good quantity and as we were in a very relaxed place more would have been a waste .

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 .

Get them while you Can

As we discussed in previous posts the Hicks & Healey Cornish Single Malt Whiskey is quite a good dram for such a young and new commer to the market of Whisky.

The inital batch was sold out very soon after it’s launch,but now a new batch is being released.
Hicks & Healey Cornish Single Malt Whiskey


Cornwall’s first whiskey in 300 years was born from a handshake between two local, forward-thinking, independent family businesses; St Austell Brewery (brewer of the South West’s favourite ales and the region’s leading pub company and wholesaler) and Healey’s Cyder Farm (the award-winning craft cyder farm and Cornwall’s only brandy distillery). The partnership brings expertise in brewing and distillation together for the first time in England, resulting in a quality whiskey made with passion and integrity. The idea was initially the inspiration of St Austell Brewery’s Head Brewer, Roger Ryman, who has nursed his passion for whiskey since cutting his teeth in the Scottish drinks business several decades ago. Made with Maris Otter barley grown in Trerulefoot, south-east Cornwall, and clear, soft spring water, the wash was mixed at St Austell Brewery’s traditional Victorian brew-house, before being transferred to Healey’s Farm and passed through a double distillation in a unique, traditional copper pot still (made by third generation coppersmiths, Forsyths, in Rothes, Scotland). At only 1200 litres, it’s the smallest legal still in the country and ensures longer interaction between the spirit and the copper. The best cut was then collected and filled into high quality American bourbon charred casks where it has gained character and colour as it has rested in the steady, Cornish climate for seven years. Notes of spice, honey and barley combine with delicate fruits and hints of cocoa and caramel before a late vanilla finish, to make this whiskey “faultless and almost beautiful beyond words” Jim Murray.

Hicks & Healey Cornish Single Malt Whiskey

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.

    The music in whisky

    If you ask a large number of people what does whisky (or whiskey) means to them, and what is the first thing that comes to their head when they hear the word, 9 out of 10 people will talk about the drink’s characteristics,the sensations, some might talk about the hangovers they had, but a rare few will talk about the music that the word conjures in their mind.

    To me the word brings to mind music. Music not in the traditional way of instruments playing a score, but more of the music of nature: the whisper of the wind blowing over the hills of Northern Scotland, the mellow flowing waters of the Spey river, the roar of crashing ocean waves onto the pier near the town of Tain near the Glenmorangie distillery and even the braying of the bulls in the pens. The musical sounds of Whisky country!

    It is something that all those that travelled Scotland to savour this wonderful liquid experience but may not take the time to notice and appreciate; it is a sensation to be absorbed and appreciate slowly, much like a good dram.

    Most distilleries have a stream or pond they use when making whisky, and each plays its own tune. Some streams are slow-churning flat stream-beds and some are thunderous cascading waterfalls. It is sometimes difficult to hear the music around you when there are distractions such as other visitors, cars and any other source of noise, but in those rare moments of silence and social isolation, it is then that the echoing sound of the place can be heard and sip into your mind, as slowly as the flavours of the dram descend on the palate in the first taste, that is how the music of a place enters your ears and your mind: bewitching, mesmerising and beautiful.

    This has dawned on me in the Glen Grant distillery I visited a long time ago, the drink itself was not to my palate, but the gardens and the music of the stream with its surrounding ambiance enticed me deeply, I felt that the place was so “right”. It was fulfilling in a sense that other distilleries have not been until then. Since then, I always strive to find a moment to listen to the home of the whiskey, and once I heard the music of its birthplace, its place in nature’s symphony, only then do I step inside and experience what the musical composition tastes like; and if I didn’t hear it, I go inside and see maybe the drink will show me the song.

    So in the next time you travel Scotland, take the time to listen to the land and it’s music.


    Arran Sleeping Warrior

    The Arran Sleeping Warrior 11 years old , was given to members of the Maltgeeks while on tour in the distillery , it is an 11 years old bottling in a cask strength of 54.9% , and one of only 6000 bottles made.
    ARRAN Sleeping Warrior 54.9%
    In some circles 6000 units is considered a large number, but in Whisky 6000 bottles is a very low, and there for the privilege of having such a limited dram is something we appreciate and savour.

    When we approached the tasting of this bottle, we took the time to enjoy it as once it is gone , chances are we will not be able to got another one.

    Nose: The Aroma draft is easy and smooth providing scents of Leaves, Almonds ,Moss and Caramel. Very gentle and interesting in it’s combination.
    Colour : Light brown , slightly golden in hue , clear with a very smooth swirl.
    Palate : The dram is very powerful, with a strong kick on the tongue and a burn in the throat , if you drink it unprepared if will cause you to choke due to it’s spirit content.
    Once you are past the cough seizure the traces are :Caramel,Peppers and Bananas.

    As is with all high spirit content drams a bit of water might be needed , and since this is a tasting review a dash of water is added to review the dram watered down(and maybe quench the fire it carries with it) :

    Nose:The nose is not affected by the added water,if anything it feels as if the water acts as a re-laxer to the aroma as it is drifting out even slower but still full and still powerful.
    Colour:The colour becomes even a deeper golden hue with a shimmering quality , but retaining the smoothness it had before.
    Palate: The brunt force of the dram is diminished to a more managed and “tame” dram , it is now gentle in the mouth but still provides the deep burning sensation in the gut and a easy after taste in the palate. Traces of Almonds ,Caramel,Bananas and Apricots .

    Conclusion : This Whisky is a very lovely Dram , but it requires water. At a cost of £57.95 it was a very good buy, but now out of stock in the major stores.
    It will go well with a Rabbit or Game .
    3.25 out of 5 .

    Jura 16 Year old

    As part of the trip to the Isles , a stop in the Isle of Jura was a must and so was the acquisition of a bottle.
    So now this small 35cl bottle is sitting on my desk ready for me to give it a try , as I have no idea what to expect , this is exciting :

    Jura 16 Year old

    Colour: Light Tea , or more like a tea with honey , but clear through.
    Nose : light and easy on the nose ,faint traces of smoke easy enough to not disturb those that dislike smokiness in the whiskey ,apricots, vanilla and very faint trace of mint.
    Palate : gentle on the tongue ,smooth and slow in producing the warm glow in the stomach without any burn or after burn as it goes down. When going down it is leaving traces of caramel ,pines and almonds in the mouth .

    And now with a drop of water :
    Colour : A small drop of water does not affect the colouring much , slightly lighter golden hue.
    Nose : The drop of water brings out the aroma of Bananas,Figs, and some traces of sea front smell , on the nice side the traces of smoke is completely gone.
    Palate: The smoothness of the dram , with the water added turns it to a powerful bland drink, the warm glow is still present but the mouth is empty of the sensations of the dram.

    Conclusion : A very mellow dram that stands on it’s own with out any need for water ,most stores indicate this bottling as out of stock , which is sad since this dram can go well with almost any event . 4 out of 5 .

    Tobermory 15 Year old Limited Edition

    The name “Tobermory” is derived from the Gaelic “Tobar Mhoire”, which means “Well of Mary” and relates to the well and chapel of St Mary – there was a small Christian settlement in Tobermory from early times. The original name for the distillery, Ledaig (pronounce Led-chig) is also Gaelic and means “Safe Haven”.
    Tobermory Distillery is one of the oldest operational Malt Scotch Whisky distilleries and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 1998
    Today Tobermory distillery produces two different styles of single malts. The first one is a lightly peated malt called Tobermory. The second is an extremely peaty malt called Ledaig.

    Two members of MaltGeeks visited the distillery and came back with bottle:

    Tobermory 15 Year old
    The whiskey is bottled at 46.3% and as such might require water, the only way to know is to try:
    Colour: Honey gold , smooth and clear with a fluid swirl .
    Nose : Gentle on the nose not over powering but dissipates very quickly. Traces of Pines, Peat, Vanilla , faint Peppers.
    Palate : Nice mellow burn , and a slow after burn in the gut , lingering traces of pines and caramel , the tastes evaporate from the mouth very quick .

    Now with a drop of water :
    Colour : A drop of water lightens the colour , making it a shade of pale honey.
    Nose : The aroma is getting a mixed treatment, with the more prominent scents feeling repressed with traces of vanilla and cinnamon coming out .
    Palate :The burn is still there but takes more time to come out, but once it is out it is slow and building nicely , going down smooth and providing a good burn in the stomach. Traces of Caramel , Pine , Vanilla and Peppers.

    Conclusion : very mellow dram with a nice kick and burn, going down smooth but can go to the head fast.
    For a price of £75 it is bit over priced (but it is a limited edition) , a good drink for the end of the night 3.6 out of 5 .