Sunday, 18 August 2013

Whisky Fringe benefits

The coming and going of this year's Whisky Fringe has more or less consigned Summer 2013 to history. Autumnal nights of log fires, drams and Nordic-noir beckons as the nights begin to fair draw in again.

As always, a superb selection of drams were on offer. Having seen the Spirit of the Fringe awards, I have to admit that most of my drams of the day were not on it. Indeed, perhaps there should also be a 'Stall of the Fringe' award for the table that bears the greatest weight of liquid treasure? If there had been such an award this year then surely the Adelphi display of fire power would've blown most of the others across to Fife or least to an overpriced George St wine bar.

Adelphi seem to have a knack of bottling seriously fine malts. This year's offerings were both fine and interesting. A 6yo Glenrothes sherry cask? Lovely. The sherry theme dominated and did not disappoint. The Bowmore 17 was neck and neck with the Caol Ila 9 for me. It was also good to hear that Adelphi expect distilling to start at their new Ardnamurchan distillery in December of this year.

I was also more than pleased to discover a preview of the forthcoming Longrow Red #2. Like the previous offering, this is an 11yo but this one enjoyed its latter years in a Shiraz cask. Wonderful, wonderful stuff yet again from Campbeltown's finest.

The benefits this year included the chance to sample the Brora 32 as well as Douglas Laing's 15yo Laphroaig.

On the downside was the Balcones Brimstone. If you forgive the religious analogy, this is more happy-clappy than in-your-face Presbyterian fury. The absence of Laphroaig and Bruichladdich was also noted as was the failure of Glen Moray to supply a sequel to last years superb Chenin Blanc 8yo cask strength. Never mind, at least I have this years Laphroaig Càirdeas Port Cask to welcome in the dark evenings.