Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Wee Dram

Last week, we finally got around to going on a whisky tasting that the other half received for Christmas. (Gifts for two, my favourite). He received a Groupon deal through Whisky Mavericks, who you can find here.

We were a little apprehensive when we arrived, having never been to one of these events before. I’ve always seen them through voucher deals and websites, but never actually gone for it. However, the Mavericks website ensures a snobbery free environment, and their mission is ‘Saving the world from whisky bores’. I’m sold. None of this spitting the wine out business for me, please.

We were the first ones there, and worried we’d be the only ones. That didn’t last too long however, as in walked a group of lads dressed up on a nautical themed stag do (the jellyfish hats were particularly admirable). Completely outnumbered in a ratio of about 30 men to…well, me, we headed down into the basement.

In a cosy little room at the bottom of Mocka Lounge, Cardiff, we filed into little booths and were presented with a whisky punch. Fruity and light, I really enjoyed it. Our tutor for the day was exactly as promised, super chilled and enjoyed the whisky as much as us. A detailed explanation of the whisky punch was given while we sipped it back...

A chat about the origins of whisky then ensued, whilst the first whisky was poured, a Jim Beam bourbon, explaining the differences between Bourbon and whisky. This was surprisingly good, as I’m normally a Jack Daniels drinker but I actually found this a bit easier to drink.

Next up came Grants Cask Edition #2: Sherry Cask. I found this whisky to be a bit boring, no real depth of flavour and barely any finish at all. Not my favourite of the afternoon. Not bad at all, just unremarkable. Didn't do much to change the feelings I already had on Grant's whisky. (Now who's the whisky snob?)

Third up was a wee dram of what turned out to be my favourite, Tomintoul 10yr. I fell in love. I’m a sucker for a smoky whisky, but this was that and more. Subtle for a Speyside whisky, it managed to be both smoky and sweet at the same time. Most certainly the winner of the day for me! A really great find as I'd never seen this one before, but I shall definitely be hunting it down now. 

At this point, some much needed sustenance was provided in the form of some lovely crumbly Stilton and dark chocolate digestives. Odd choice…but they did go together quite nicely with the whisky!
Then a very close runner up for me was a Bowmore 12 year old. The big hit of the peat smoke is countered by the delicate honey in the background. Very smooth and went down very easily…I could happily drink this all day.

Last but not least was a Glenfiddich 15yr old. Husband’s favourite and I think the general group favourite. I liked it, however I think two smoky whiskies are very hard to follow up in the flavour stakes for me. I found it very fruity with a bit of sweetness and spice. Yum.
By this point, I may have been wobbling a little! As a final toast, we all had another dram of whichever whisky was our favourite. Obvious choice was the Tomintoul for me!

Overall, the afternoon was a definite success. We had really good fun, met some lovely people and tasted some awesome whiskies. My only disappointment was that I was already well aware of at least 3 of the whiskies tasted, as I thought there would be a few lesser known and some curveball whiskies, rather than the usual big names that you can find in most bars and supermarkets. Having said that, I still came away with a new favourite that I hadn't heard of before!

We rolled out into what was left of the daylight and stumbled home, after a surprisingly fun afternoon with a nice warm glow in our bellies!

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