Last Friday was that special night when people come together with food, drink, music and poetry to celebrate the life of Robert Burns! Our friends at Shelter Point Distillery were kind enough to host a Shelter Point Whisky Club Burns Night Tasting and I was pretty excited to have the chance to don my kilt and show off my new Harris Tweed!
We started the evening off by being piped into the distillery by a local piper by the name of Brian Shaw and Brian, Shelter Point’s “Spirit Guide,” drumming on the bodhran. We found our places at the tables and raised our bonus drams to toast the piper and drummer. We then settled in and began our blind tasting of 4 whiskies. The only clue we had was that were, indeed, all from Scotland! After a little while of sipping and chatting amongst ourselves it was time to pipe in the Haggis! Once again Brian fired up the bagpipes and I had the honour of bringing in the haggis. Leon then performed an amazing toast to the haggis and then we enjoyed more music and poetry while we nosed and sipped our way through the selections.
Near the end of the evening it was time for the reveal! The first whisky of the night was a Cragganmore 12 Year Old. This is a classic Speyside Malt was sweet and floral on the nose, malty and sweet to the taste with hints of smoke. This dram surprised me with its complexity. The 2nd whisky of the evening was Glenmorangie Nectar D’or from the Highland region. This is a no age-statement whisky bottled at 46% ABV and finished in Sauternes (French dessert wine) and did not disappoint. The next whisky we sampled was a pleasant surprise. Morven is made at Wolfburn Distillery and is the northern most distillery in the Highlands. This distillery re-opened in 2013 and I was really impressed by the complexity of this 3 year old whisky. Although it was not my favourite dram of the evening, I have added it to my shopping list! The 4th and final expression stole the show for this peat fan! Bruichladdich Octomore 9.1 from Islay, bottled cask strength at 59.1% ABV had me from the first smoky hello! Even more so than the 158 PPM peat level, I am truly a cask strength, no chill filtered, no colour added whisky nut and this one ticked all the boxes for me! Blind tasting arealways tough, especially when the host likes to throw in a curve ball once in a while. I have noticed that the more you do blind tastings however, the better you get at it!
Slainte! Blue Collar