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Keepers of the Quaich

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Category: Meeting
Full lineup of 13Q2 Meeting

Full lineup of 13Q2 Meeting

At our 13Q2 meeting last night at Delilah’s in Chicago Brother B Funk designed a terrific Speyside themed lineup. We started with the classic: Glen Grant 16. The star of the show, Glendronach 15 “Revival” was next. Benromach Peat Smoke was a big favorite as well. The fourth malt was Strathisla 12 which was followed by the surprise of the evening which was a private bottling by the very bar we were in: Delilah’s.

Delilah’s 14 was the celebration of Delilah’s 14 anniversary in operation. Mike, the proprietor, creates a private whiskey bottling for the bar’s customers to enjoy. 2006 was the 14th year and Mike chose single malt for that year’s private bottle expression. The identity of the source malt is a closely kept secret but the malt had strong Speyside characteristics and likely came from either Macallan, Glenfarclas, or Aberlour or similar. Mike is of Scottish descent and the bottle label features his family’s tartan.

Delilah's (Chicago's rock & roll whisky emporium) bar's single malt private bottling

Delilah’s (Chicago’s rock & roll whisky emporium) bar’s single malt private bottling

Back label - Chicago's rock & roll whisky emporium in a bottle.

Back label – Chicago’s rock & roll whisky emporium in a bottle.

As was reported at our 10Q2 meeting by Brother Bluff, on-line retailer and store of tremendous single malt knowledge Master of Malt is now offering single dram ordering options for several spirits including some single malts. Although their aim is to eventually offer a dram size (“Try before you Buy”) ordering option for all spirits in production they are not limiting the “Drinks by the Dram” offering to spirits which are in production.

Although this does allow us access to silent and even dismantled distilleries not all rare and “out of production” runs like Springbank 21 will available. Yes, I will spoil the fun right off and let everyone know that Springbank 21 is NOT available as of this posting as a Master of Malt “Drink by the Dram”.

I went through the list of what is available and, although I won’t tell you how to spend your money and that I have no idea what the shipping costs to the US might be, here are some drams that I would recommend:

  • Imperial 18 Chieftain’s Choice (Ian McLeod) £4.95 ; a mothballed Speyside
  • Kinclaith 35 1969 (Signatory) £34.35 ; a very rare dismantled Lowland
  • Port Ellen 27 1983 Cask Strength Collection (Signatory) £9.15 ; famed dismantled Islay
  • Port Ellen 30 1979 Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing) £13.85 ; famed dismantled Islay
  • Rare Ayrshire 34 1975 Cask Strength Collection (Signatory) £7.75 ; a very rare, dismantled Lowland (Ladyburn distillery)

A link to the “Drinks by the Dram” section of Master of Malt has specifically been added to the right-hand menu for your convenience.

For those of you who missed it here’s the Forge Club menu that was enjoyed at our 09Q4 meeting. For those who were there enjoy the reminder!

Forge Club 09Q4

Here is our lineup for 10Q1:

Port Charlotte 7
Glencadam 15
Fettercairn 26
The Macallan 17 Private Edition
Linkwood 17 1990 Cask Strength

On Jun 14, 1825 John McMurray (b. 1765), his wife Jane, and three of their children: sons Henry and Hutchinson and daughter Esther landed in New York harbor having emigrated to the United States from county Armagh, Ulster, Ireland. From there begins the story of the McMurray family which begat KOTQers Bob, Jay, Chas (Mary), Mark, and John.

The names are known to 1765 with John to Henry to Peter to John Albert to John Kenneth but the story of the broad McMurray clan goes back much further…into their native land: Scotland.

The McMurrays are originally from Moray a village in the Speyside district meaning ‘seafarer‘. The McMurrays were the ‘sons of the seafarer’ and our tasting lineup will follow their historical migration from the failed rebellion of 1160, and the impact its aftermath had on the McMurrays, to the plantation of Ulster in 1608 and the Scottish famine of 1695-1699. All of these events would combine to bring the McMurrays to Ulster, Ireland from where John and Jane would embark to their new world.

We’ll start our journey at the beginning in the village of Moray,

* Glen Moray 12 (Distillery bottling)

explore the general Morayshire area a bit,

* Glen Elgin 12 (Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore bottling)
* Longmorn 16 (Distillery bottling)
* Glen Grant 21 (Gordon MacPhail)

we’ll then move down to the remote district of Galloway deep in the Scottish Lowlands for,

* Bladnoch 12 (Signatory bottling)

whose owner, Raymond Armstong, fittingly comes to Galloway from Northern Ireland.

Given the relationship of the local peoples to their distillery histories and output it is not a stretch to say that Glen Moray (pronounced “Murray” in Gaelic), is the spirit distilled to relect the local peoples of Moray and clan Murray making this the “McMurray family single malt scotch”. Likewise Glen Grant and clan Grant which has a direct connection to our McMurray family tree as, in fact, Peter Kilpatrick McMurray’s (1850-1930) maternal grandmother was a Grant (Mary Grant). So, two single malts in this tasting have a direct, personal connection to the McMurrays.

As an additional tasting element bonus, two of the five single malts are un-chillfiltered (the Bladnoch and the Longmorn) giving the group an opportunity to explore the effect this technique may have on the finished product.

Further recommended ‘reading’ for those seeking to see this journey to its completion (to be completed on individual’s time):

– Northern Ireland’s single malt whiskey ‘Bushmills’
– Kentucky’s ‘Maker’s Mark’ (Pennsylvania’s Whiskey Rebellion, which was quite near where Henry eventuallys settles albeit 45 years later, led directly to the formation of the present-day bourbon industry in Kentucky)