In October a wonderful time was provided by Brett who organized his favorites as a tour of Scotland's Regions. We began with Auchentoshan 15 YO, then moved to Dalmore 21 YO, Caol ILA 15 YO, Glenmorangie 12 YO and finished with a Glenrothes 17 YO. Surprisingly, the Caol ILA was the clear winner among those tasting followed by Auchentoshan, Glenrothes, Glenmorangie and Dalmore.
November featured our first blind tasting in memory. Pat and Brett provided a comparison of single malts to vatted malts and it proved to be a humbling experience for those of us who consider ourselves to have educated palates.
Congratulations to Chuck Cooper for figuring out that tasting one was a vatted malt (and to Sheri Dunbar for figuring out it was Century Malt) and that number two was a single malt (Glenlivet). Congratulations to Bill Wakefield for identifying the 4th malt as Glenmorangie 10 YO - even though most of us thought number 3 was a single. it turned out to be a new vatted malt called Glen Salem.
The highlight in my mind was the Glen Grant 23 YO - at 111 proof the addition of water opened up a beautiful Speyside taste.
December saw the first vertical tasting of the year featuring a wonderful selection of Linkwood bottlings. We began with 11 and 12 YO Signatory bottlings followed by a 15 YO Gordon and Macphail, an 18 YO Cadenhead and finished with a 21 YO Gordon and Macphail. The 21 YO was the favorite by both the 18 and 15 YO bottlings had strong support as well.
Our January tasting featured distilleries along the river Spey. We began with Glen Keith which, while not having an age statement, was very well received. Strathisla's 12 YO was next, appropriately since it is across the road from Glen Keith in Keith, Banffshire. Next was our old favorite Macallan 12 YO which surprisingly did not receive any votes for the first time that any of us can recall. We finished with a surprisingly good Tomintoul 12 YO and the Glenlivet 18 YO which finished as the top choice.
The new year really is kicked off with our Mega Tasting on January 17th that features the finest offerings ever including:
1/4 peg 1946 Macallan 52
everything else is 1/2peg
Ardbeg provenance Very Old
Our Spring Newsletter will highlight the results of this outstanding event. An additional treat will be the attendance of Jule Vieau, a fellow traveler of the ScotchWatch Society from Austin, Texas and Single Malt Aficionado Bev Blackwood from Houston who has his own televison show devoted to Malts. Those interested can check out Bev's Web Page devoted to Single Malts at:
http://blackwood.rice.edu/scotch.html February is our salute to the crown jewels including Royal Lochnagar, Royal Brackla, Laphroig and a few TBA's. March will include the Ides of March (in other words 15 YO's) including Glendronach, Glenturret, Glenfiddich, Aberlour and Craigellachie. April will be our annual ALadies Tasting@ and we will have to wait and see what Shari and Sheila have in mind for all of us. May is our salute to Phenols including vertical tastings of both Ardbeg and Laphroig. We wrap up the year with Pat's Choice based on his best additions since the beginning of the year.
For those who want more information on the tastings and highlights you can check out the Dundee Web Page at:
Worth a visit any time.
Recently Ian Baker posted a listing of the status of distilleries. While always in flux it was a very helpful understanding of which are still open, which are mothballed and which may be gone forever. Here is his list with some comments from Ulf Buxrud of Sweden who is our international watchdog on such things:
|dallas dhu||closed (1983)||45|
|dumbarton (inverleven)||closed (1991)||20|
|dumbarton (lomond)||closed (1985)|
|girvan (ladyburn)||closed (1975)|
|glen albyn||closed (1983)||69|
|glen mhor||closed (1983)||57|
|glen scotia||mothballed (1994)||93|
|glenburgie (glencraig)||closed (1981)||104|
|glenury royal||closed (1985)||75|
|loch lomond (inchmurrin)||operating||112|
|loch lomond (old rhosdhu)||operating|
|miltonduff (mosstowie)||closed (1981)||109|
|moffat (glen flagler)||closed (1985)|
|moffat (killyloch)||closed (1985)|
|north port||closed (1983)||74|
|port ellen||closed (1983)||43|
|st magdalene||closed (1983)||49|
|strathclyde (kinclaith)||closed (1976)|
In comments to this list, Ulf noted the following:
The list did not include the Isle of Arran (recently opened), Ben Wyvis which was closed in 1975, Strathmore that was closed in 1960 but still makes grain. He also noted that a secondary production of what was called Malt Mill should also have been mentioned that closed down in 1960 and which was located on the Lagavulin premises.
Ardbeg is back in production and owned by Glenmorangie
Glen Garioch and Glendronach are back in production (we think)
Dumbarton/Inverleven as well as Dumbarton/Lomond were separate productions and should correctly be listed separately. The same is true for Glenburgie/Glenburgie and Glenburgie/Glencraig as well as for Miltonduff/Miltonduff and Miltonduff/Mosstowie
Loch Lomond/Inchmurrin and Loch Lomond/Old Rhosdue are made in the same production process although somewhat modified but Ulf would count them as one distillery. He also feels this is the case with Moffat/Glen Flagler and Moffat/Killyloch (Lillyloch) which he describes as the same distillery with "different recipes"
According to his sources Brora and Clynlish were three distilleries over time. Brora (A) was built in 1819 and was called Clynelish (A) later and until 1969. In 1969 the distillery was re-built in such a fashion that it became a "new" distillery and hence was given a "new" name. The name Brora (B) reverted. Brora became silent in 1983. A completely new distillery called "Clynelish" was erected in 1968 and is still in operation.
Peter Wood from New Zealand weighed in with the view that Brora was just a new name, not a new plant. Horst Luening noted that Auchentoshan was in part-time operation, that Balmenach was operating again, that Bladnoch had been partially dismantled, and that Pittyvaich is mothballed pretty much since 1993. Iain Russell noted that Imperial was also mothballed. Ian Baker noted that Glen Keith may soon be mothballed and doubts that Glen Scotia or Littlemill will ever re-open.
Thanks to Ulf , Ian and all the other folks for this great information.
For those interested in subscribing to the Single Malt Listserv, Here are the Instructions
Email to the following address:
Leave subject heading blank. In the body of the message write the following:
SUBSCRIBE MALTS-L (YOUR NAME)
You will then receive instructions on how to complete the subscription. It's a wealth of information on our favorite topic!!
John also hosts all our previous (and future) newsletters and they can be found at the following address:
Bev Blackwood's page was mentioned earlier. A couple of other pages of note are the islay whisky page ( http://www.islaywhisky.com/), the home page for The Malt Advocate, John Hansell's excellent magazine devoted to premium beer and single malt scotch ( http://www.whiskypages.com/) and Ulf's Web Site is a wonderful source of all sorts of information on single malt scotch ( http://www2.sbbs.se/hp/buxrud/linklib.htm). Enjoy!!!
(to be formatted)
|Water # 4Spirt Still Size Wash Still Size Foreshots Middle Cut Feints Mash Tun Wash Back Yeast/Mixture|
|Glenkinchie||60||70||80||20998 30963 20 minutes 3/4 hours 3/4 hours 42000/steel Larch Pine 500/42000|
|Strathisla||65||73||8593 8000 12000 20 minutes 2/3 hours 5 hours 5 tons/steel 24500/ 63/24500|
|Royal Lochnagar||63||7583||5450 7410 20 minutes 2/3 hours 2 hours 32000/ 27000/Larchwood 120/32000|
|Macallan||62||80||90||4000 10600 5 minutes 6/8 tons/ 36000/steel 137.5/36000|
|Laphroig||67||85||95||3630/1=7270 10910 45 minutes 3/3 hours 3 hours 8.5 tons/leuter 42000/steel|
|Bowmore||63||85||100||14750 30940 1 hours 3 hours 1 hour 8 tons/iron/steel 40000/pine|
|Lagavulin||66||79||82||18000 30 minutes 5 hours 3 hours 25000/steel 21613/Larchwood 1.8% per liter|
|Ben Nevis||64||74||90||4965/5000 9000/7883 15 minutes 3 hours 2 hours steel|
|Glenmorangie||65||85||100||8200 11400 20 minutes 3 hours 2/3 hours 9.5 tons/steel 48000/ 175kg/48000|
|Dalmore||64||75||75||8865 13411 30 minutes 2/5 hours 2 hours 42000/steel 49500/oregon pine 150kg/49500|
|Caol Isla||65||76||77||6500 7775 20 minutes 1/3 hours 3 hours /steel 65000/can. Pine 250kg/65000|
|Glenturret||64||72||89||12600 oregon pine/5m|
|Fettercairn||64||74||84||13638 17274 20 minutes 2/3 hours 5 tons/steel 26000 100kg/26000|
The ScotchWatch Newsletter is a joint venture of Bill Wakefield and B.J. Reed. Anyone with comments or who wishes to contribute an item may contact B.J. at 402-556-5509. or e-mail at email@example.com