The Edinburgh Whisky Blog 5th Birthday Bash
The Place: Micheal Neave’s Kitchen and Whisky bar, Edinburgh just off the Royal Mile
The Date: February 17th 2014 at 7pm
The Purpose: EWB‘s 5th Birthday Bash
Having just enjoyed a hugely entertaining evening from Chris and Tiger at their Prohibition tasting it was rude not to come along and support and thank them during their 5th birthday bash in the centre of Edinburgh’s old town. During a relaxed soiree we and other Water of Life Society (WoLS) members from Edinburgh University got to meet and chat all things whisky with the boys from EWB.
During the evening as well as regaling tales with Tiger regarding his making the Scotland on Sunday’s top eligibles of 2014, we were treated to a a small but very select line-up of beer and whiskies that complimented the EWB boys sense of taste and style.
As well as a couple of great beers from the Harviestoun Brewery we were treated to a few choice drams including:
What else; the EWB‘s own labelled:
Glen Keith from That Boutique-Y Whisky Company, 51.2% ABV, £45.95 for 50cl, NAS, 176 Bottles
Score: 86/100 A delicious cereal-filled dram with oodles of malted barley and oaty character on both the nose and palate, slightly moreish and one which I kept going back to for further nosing.
What they say:
The first batch of single malt Scotch whisky from the Glen Keith distillery, bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company, is here! But who’s this on the label? Why, it’s those chaps from that there Edinburgh Whisky Blog: Turbo, Lukasz, Chris, Tiger and Graeme! Which, if nothing else, is proof that people shouldn’t be allowed to choose their own nicknames! (I mean, what kind of a name is Lukasz?)
The tourists seem very excited to see them, and why not? Not only have they chosen some wonderful whisky to adorn, but their blog’s logo is flying high above Edinburgh Castle!
Tasting Note for Glen Keith – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
Nose: Green apple flesh and juice, sweet lager syrup (it’s a thing), sweet pea and sugar snap peas (two very different things), a touch of pitta bread too.
Palate: Apple slices, honey and distant ginger biscuits. Quite rich but never in danger of becoming heavy.
Finish: Good length with a little more ginger and a dollop of treacle.
Overall: A gorgeous dram, it’s really no surprise that the chaps from EWB selected it.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48% ABV, £47 for 70cl, 5 year old + 7 months in QC
Score: 82/100 Presenting that Laphroaig signature peaty peanut flavour, though a little less sweet and a lot less harsh than the 10 Year Old. This toning down in palate made it much more drinkable / easy drinking, but then I don’t drink Laphroaig to feel ‘safe’…
What they say:
Laphroaig Quarter Cask offers an irresistible doubling of flavour, due to the double maturation in two barrels made of American oak. Still-maturing whisky from our standard ex-bourbon barrels is transferred to quarter casks and left to rest in our warehouse just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic shore.
This process represents Laphroaig breathing new life into a once-defunct tradition: the use of the smaller cask size, which ensures increased contact with the oak, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig’s distinctive peatiness.
On the nose the sensation is toffee and caramel, caused by the vanillas and tannins of the American oak, plus a dryness from the wood oil. The finish is long and alternates between this sweetness and smoke.
COLOUR: Full sparkling gold
NOSE: Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas
BODY: Full bodied
PALATE: Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness
FINISH: Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice
And finally the zenith of the evening:
BenRiach 42 Year Old 1971 – Single Cask (Master of Malt), 40.8% ABV, £469.95 for 70cl, 42 year old distilled in 1971
Score: 88/100 Fruity tangerines, floral roses, herbal rosemary, sweet heather honey and Demerara sugar sweet woody sugars, a hint of citrus and then amaretti biscuits, zabaglione ice-cream / dessert and further almonds and marzipan lingering into the finish.
What they say: We’re properly over the moon about our incredible single cask bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the BenRiach distillery! It was distilled in Serptember 1971, 6 years after the distillery reopened following a 62 year-long slumber. It then matured for a massive 42 years until November 2013, when we went ahead and bottled it up for our Single Cask range.
Nose: Wowsers – fruit salad, Fruit Salad sweets, in fact. Floral notes too, with a little freshly squeezed orange juice. Buttercup cough syrup and travel sweets. Honeysuckle, gooseberry and soft oak.
Palate: Quite syrupy before orchard fruit and light oak take hold and finally gorgeous blood orange develops.
Finish: Long and creamy with grapefruit, melon and more boiled sweets.
Overall: This is a gorgeous, limber 42 year old! Full of flavour, it’s simply stunning.
To top all this off we were treated to various culinary delights such as mini fish & chips, breaded haggis bon-bons (Paula’s favourite), Venison and The Hive whisky pasty (My favourite), and various quiches all cooked up by Micheal Neave himself. We also got to chat a fair amount of whisky banter with a great bunch of whisky geeks. I think it is fair to say that a fantastic evening was had by all! Cheers guys and here’s to 5 more years!