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Category: Meeting

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)

Kudos to Brother Bluff who threw a great meeting on Saturday, October 28th. Definitely one to remember…

The topic was essentially marrying sushi and single malt whisky. I have a number of notes piecing many things together from the meeting, so Brothers, please feel free to edit anything I have written here.

Bluff’s Theorem – Pair a like whisky with a like sushi – (e.g. a whisky with iodine characteristics may pair well with an iodine nigiri)

Bop’s Law – Pairings will differ along the color spectrum of sushi – from mollusk (translucent) to tuna (red)

Irving/Lakeview Thesis – Balancing the strengths of the whisky/sushi with opposing strengths of the sushi/whisky leads to an excellent marriage

Some pairing findings:

Mollusk paired well with Lowland- in this case Linlithgow 28 (Blackadder bottling)
Balvenie and Balblair tested well within the group across the entire sushi color spectrum
Moon River roll (shrimp tempura with jalapeño) paired very well with Balblair 16 (which was deemed to be a great whisky by the majority)
Inside – Out Dragon Roll = Ardbeg 1977
Irving just didn’t like the rainbow roll so didn’t really pair it.
The scallop nigiri was the bomb!!!


Balblair 16
Balvenie 12 – Doublewood
Ardbeg 1977
Linlithgow 28 – Blackadder bottling
Ledaig 20
Glen Elgin – Cask Strength


Scallop nigiri
Toro nigiri
red snapper nigiri
clam nigiri
inside out dragon roll
moon river roll
spicy tuna roll

Other considerations from the group:

More discussion / homework needed around the boon years of the 1890’s from a whisky perspective
OFFICIALLY – What are the 3 oldest distilleries?
When cutting a cask strength whisky, is there an official cut %? If so, what is the source?
Group needs to further define Islay more granularly given its broad acceptance.
Group needs to do a bar tour to determine which establishments have the best whisky selections in town

Have we determined who will be hosting 2006, 1st Qtr meeting yet? Any dates work best? March is quickly coming upon us. If we are unable to set the date this week, I suggest we cancel the 1Q06 meeting and get back on track with an early 2Q06 meeting.

I regret that I will not be able to attend the Feb 25th 4Q make-up meeting due to long-standing plans for that date. Maybe the host, Brother Lakeview, will be so kind as to invite me over for a private tasting some other time. 🙂

Q3 2005 Meeting

Nov 4
Posted by in Meeting

Brother Tao hosted yet another great tasting. As always, the dinner spread was excessive including the now-famous grilled muscles. The toast of the night was the new recreation room including, shall I call it, the Tasting Salon. Brother Tao pulled together a great blind tasting. The photos.

THE lineup

Kick Ass

Jun 18
Posted by in Meeting

So how about that kick ass tasting!!! Nice going brother Bluff–over the top. I’m sure this will be the beginning of many postings about the evening, what we learned, what it inspired in each one of us. To begin, here are some photos of the night. (Chancellor, we may need a new categoty here for our tastings). The photos.