• September 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « May    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 281 other followers

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts


  • Reviewers’ Comments

    "Great read every day. Makes me smile as Rab muses about music and his irreverent views on the EU. Tune in, you won't be disappointed."

    "Excellent 'Blog' which can be controversial at times, while maintaining it's humour. Keep it up Big Rab!"

    "Updated every day with doses of good humour, political satire, a running commentary on the progress of author's home football team and his life."

    "Pure brilliant, so it is - I never miss it, though God knows, I've tried."

    "An inspiration to start my own blog"

    "For dipping into it's better than pakora sauce"

    "Anyone who doesn't like the EU and has a soft spot for Albion Rovers can't be all bad"

    "Facile and False"

    "Populist,puerile and prosaic"

    "Utter pish! Keep it up, I love it!"

    "People may also find the Ben Lomond Free Press blog illuminating, interesting and/or amusing. It’s not mentalist as such but familiar themes emerge. I particularly like accounts of encounters with strange elementals (of course! ELEmentals!) from elfin safety. And the fact that the blog is run by someone who plays in a blues band called Harmonica Lewinsky."

  • Hit Me!

    • 1,214,400 hits since January 2008
  • Top Rated

Helensburgh Whisky Tasting Club

 

Stewart Harvie has a great job. He has put his qualifications as a bio-chemist to good use and is the master blender with Inver House Distillers.

He gave a very interesting talk last night about the processes involved in producing a single malt. There is a great step by step presentation HERE

He also spoke of there being an element of 'black art' involved in the process of producing good whisky. This is why the Japanese for example struggle to make a comparable product.

I was invited along to the club's last meeting a couple of months ago. I am no expert on malt whisky but as the saying goes I know what I like! My friend Keith on the other hand who invited me along is what you would call an enthusiast. So much so that he has a huge sideboard full of various brands of malt whisky, some of which he buys and sells at auction. He has many books on the subject and is fascinating when he talks on it.

Last night's tasting centered on the product from two distilleries. Pulteney in Wick is the most northerly distillery in mainland Scotland.  Knockdhu which although officially classed as a highland distillery, produces the aCnoc brand which has the typical characteristics of a Speyside malt.

 

 

  The club is the brainchild of Duncan Reid who as well as being the manager of the local Oddbins branch is a learned and passionate supporter of quality single malt whisky. He is ably assisted by Dr. Jim Schultz.

 

 

Jim, originally from Millwaukee in the USA is a chiropractic doctor who is also a big music fan and has done the sound for my band on a couple of occasions. He has also become involved in the Whisky Club and seems to pop up everywhere!

 

 

I will give my comments on each whisky as it was served

 

1) Old Pulteney 12 year old. Made in second fill Bourbon casks this has hints of vanilla apple and oak with a spicy salty finish (Impressed?)

2) Old Pulteney 17 year old. A kind of rasin, chocolate taste. There are two hogsheads of Spanish sherry added to this at the final stages which adds to the rich colour and flavour. A bottle of this'll set you back £45

2) a) a cleansing ale to get the palate back in to line here

3) Old Pulteney 21 year old. I can definitely tashte bananash here. Very nishe. Did you know that Pulteney dish….dishtillery has only a manager and shix shtaff?

4) aCnoc Now thish ish a whishky which I buy now and again. A very good all rounder.

5) aCnoc 1993. Awfy nishe I wash thinking that whisky shtands the tesht of time better than mosht things! You wouldn't buy a 1993 car would you? Thish tashtes of Christmas cake and almonds.

6) aCnoc 1975 Thish was made when old Harold Wilshon wash the Prime Minishter! Smooth shweet and full bodied – no not Wilshon  the whishky! ha! ha!

7) Old Pulteney 30 year old. We are honoured! the firsht people in the world to get a tashte of thish! Not even on the market yet! Altogether now! For Stewart's a jolly good fellow!

 

 

 

Some facts about Malt Whisky

1) It is always matured in previously used oak barrels. The majority are American Bourbon barrels because these must be new and used once for bourbon. A good business arrangement for all! Sherry casks are also used.

2) Stewart reckons it really doesn't matter much whether the barrel has been used for sherry or bourbon as any flavour from the barrel comes from the oak.

3) The 2% lost during evaporation in the process is known as the 'angel's share'.

4) The current popularity of Scotch whisky has caught producers unawares. There is a serious shortage. It is a notoriously difficult business to predict.

5) Complexity of flavour is the key to a good whisky. There have been 350 compounds identified in whisky but Stewart believes that there are another 650.

 

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 281 other followers