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Keepers of the Quaich

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Brother Bop Brother Bop
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Sensational Single Malts

Talisker 18
Glen Grant 21
Glen Scotia 17
Ledaig 15
Springbank 21
Lagavulin 16
Highland Park 18
Laphroaig 18
Clynelish 14
Balblair 1989
Glengoyne 17
Fettercairn 26

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Just came across this tidbit over at Masters of Malt (thanks to them for the heads up):

“In October 2017 Diageo said it was going to revive the closed Brora Distillery. Where we’re not quite sure, given that Clynelish overlaps on its original footprint. The build is due for completion in 2020 so we’ll soon see!”

Given the plethora of recent reports about shortages in single malt scotch production it makes sense that Diageo would see an opportunity here. The Brora facility would seem to conflict with the operation of Clynelish but I’m sure Diageo has a plan that makes sense and will be exciting.

Blind pours ready for the tasting

Brother Randall hosted a blind tasting featuring six (it’s been a loooooong time) expressions. His choice were fun and bold (more on that in second) but his most impactful contribution may be the addition he brought to the blind tasting format: the 30 expression landscape, within which the 6 actual expression lay. Here’s “the 30”:

Balvenie 12 Single Barrel
Balvenie 12 Doublewood
Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve
Glenrothes Vintage Reserve
Glenrothes Peated Cask Reserve Islay Cask Finished Speyside Malt
Edradour 10
Edradour 12 Caledonia
Macallan 10
Macallan 12
Macallan Double Cask
Glenfiddich 10
Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve
Glenfiddich Experimental Series Release # 1 Finished in IPA Cask
Laphroig 10
Laphroig Triple Wood
Laphroig 18
Laphroig Quarter Cask
Tomatin 12
Tomatin 18
Tomatin Cu Bocan Lightly Peated
Glenkinchie 12
Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition
Ardbeg 10
Ardbeg Kelpie
Ardbeg Uigeadail
Lagavulin 8
Lagavulin 16
Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition
Oban 14
Oban Distiller’s Edition
Oban Little Bay

Now, notwithstanding the fact that we’re not sure anyone can tell the difference between The Macallan 10 and The Macallan 12 this landscape proved inspired and at times treacherous. I really like having “the 30” and it made identifying the expressions much more feasible rather than the traditional completely industry-wide open ended format. I definitely don’t think it made it too easy either. After all I had the best score of 2 out of 6 as I identified The Macallan 12 and the Lagavulin entry. For the record here were the expressions in presentation order, with my guess, followed by the actual expression:

1) My guess: Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve; the right answer: Ardbeg Kelpie
2) My guess: Tomatin 12; the right answer: Oban Little Bay
3) My guess: Balvenie 12; Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve
4) My guess: The Macallan 12; the right answer: The Macallan 12
5) My guess: Edradour Caldonia; the right answer: Tomatin Cu Bocan
6) My guess: Lagavulin ‘D’; the right answer: Lagavulin 8

After the pours. It was fun to do 6 expressions again in one tasting (it’s probably been 15 years).

More generosity from Brother Bluff who brought his unopened Ardbeg 21 *retails for over $600 at Master of Malt* to an unofficial (homemade) sushi pairing tasting at the home of Brother Bop. Demonstrating his status as a model ambassador of single malts, Bluff shows the proper way to transport Ardbeg 21.

Ardbeg 21 buckled in for the ride home

I thought I’d share this article from one of our featured links, scotchwhisky.com, listing out the exciting list of distilleries set to open in 2017.

In June, 2016 Brother Bluff opened his spirit armoire to an unofficial tasting for all those able to attend. By no means representing the full extent of the wonder contained therein, his generosity for this tasting focused on his largesse of new and unusual expressions which, outside of perhaps Ardbeg Alligator, were completely new experiences for all in attendance. Bluff may very well be the premiere single malt purchaser and consumer in the Chicago area when perspective, experience, creativity, dedication, and personal means are all factored together.

Ardbeg Alligator

Ardbeg Dark Cove

Balblair 1999

Craigduff 32 Signatory Cask Strength Collection

Longrow 18

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival

Lavagulin 8

Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition

Finlaggan Old Reserve Islay Single Malt

Wolfburn Initial Release (3 yo)