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Closing off - Smoke Stacks Session 1, 2016

Author: Matt Wooler - Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Thanks for attending

This is a late post in closing off Smoke Stacks Session 1 for 2016. Sydney has been smashed by flu and I was no exception.

Each year we look to run at least 1 Smoke Stacks session which focuses on rich smoke filled whiskies. It is not a focus on Isaly whiskies either, but rather whiskies that give a hint of smoke right through to those big hits of high phenol notes.

Smokes Stacks Session 1 was held at Crooked Tailor in Castle Hill on the 20th August to both Dramnation regulars and many new faces. It was an exciting day as we tasted whiskies complimented with a setting of sensory items, matched palate cleansers and some hot smoked bourbon rubbed pork sausage (always a crowd pleaser), and then a final round of classic Crooked Tailor sliders.

As always the event was started with a cocktail. This time it was a Crooked Tailor favorite the Ardbeg Whisky Sour made up by the lads behind the bar. We love doing a intro cocktail to get these events going as it shows the versatility that whisky can have, especially when using such an iconic smoky whisky.

Wafting smoke, breezy smoke, campfire cinders and ashy embers gave an incredible mix to our curated whiskies on the day. Starting with the the Glenfiddich 125 Year Anniversary Edition we saw the elegant details Speyside peat can give to a whisky. Following we looked at the Ardbeg Dark Cove 2016 Feis Ile limited release that celebrates those sweet Ardbeg youthful coffee notes and charcoal fire elements. Followed on the back we also featured the very recently available Lagavulin 8 Year Old 200th Anniversary which was recently released in celebration of the distilleries milestone. Our thrid part of our Scotch Malt Whisky Society feature saw the 3.212 Anti-Aphrodisiac which is a well nurtured, independently bottled, 19 Year Old (Bowmore) Single Malt. Lastly, and you can’t have a smoke stacks session without the trumpet call of the smashing youthful untamed Bruichladdich Octomore 7.1 heavily peated (being seriously heavily peated at that).

It was an eclectic mix of drams with all attendees having a couple of favourites. Would it be fair to say there was a clear winner? Certainly not. All whiskies received a cracking applause as they stood side by side on stage. We make our choices on what we have experienced and know will build up to a great experience. It was a hard choice in considering what to feature at this session with several changes right up until the week before our session commenced.

As always a big thanks to Crooked Tailor for hosting our event and to the brands that could jump on board and help us in our cause, and our guests who allow these tastings to continue.

To get the full visual experience of the evening we have an album over on our facebook page.

See you at our next event.

Whiskies Tasted

Following are Dramnation's personal notes we supply at our tastings. We want to emphasis that we have listed, in many cases, ages for these whiskies even though they do not carry an age statement. This indication is an average only as a means to show how youthful whiskies display strengths and characteristics longer aged whiskies cannot. It is to be expected that these average ages will vary from batch to batch and year to year.

Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary Limited Edition

Distillery: Glenfiddich Distillery
Region: Speyside, Scotland
ABV: 43%
Age: NA
Wood: Ex-Bourbon & Ex-Sherry
Nose: Fresh creamy green floral notes, some mint, apples, with a medicinal salty smokiness much like burning pine needles by the beach.
Taste: Creamy & oily, rich marmalade citrus & a hot dry woody cinnamon spice that soon builds quickly in the mouth and chest.
Finish: Gracefully vibrant while long, warming & a good deal of continued spice prickle.
Other: The peat used to smoke the barely is gathered from the local forests of Speyside. This was the only peated Glenfiddich single malt in recent times created as a throw back to 125 years ago. There is rumor a new peated release is coming soon. Was available through duty free & major chains. Look carefully as some Vintage Cellars have old stocks on the shelves still.

Ardbeg Dark Cove 2016 Ardbeg Day Limited Edition

Distillery: Ardbeg Distillery
Region: Islay, Scotland
ABV: 46.5%
Age: NA
Wood: Ex-Bourbon & Ex-Sherry
Nose: Dark smoked pork sausage, bacon fat, lemon zest, cocoa, sweet sherry, ashy gun smoke, wet beach fire coals, marginal sulphur.
Taste: Rich sweet figs with dark preserved cherries, high cocoa ginger chocolate spice, medium oil & salt.
Finish: Lasting with bright sweet notes returning to the palate & dry charcoal dust.
Other: This is the public Ardbeg Day release for 2016 to celebrate Feis Ile the Islay Festival Of Malt & Music. Each of the Islay distilleries is nominated an day during the festival to open their doors to the public. Ardbeg Distillery is always on the 7th day which is the last day of the festival. This release celebrates that day.

Lagavulin 8 Years Old Limited Edition

Distillery: Lagavulin Distillery
Region: Islay, Scotland
ABV: 48%
Age: 8 Years Old
Wood: Ex-Bourbon & European Oak
Nose: Both cereal, sweet, sour, salty & smoky all at once. A jaffle iron raspberry jam toasted sandwich over a hot wood fire.
Taste: A clean whisky sitting very high in the palate with sweet overtones. Some dark chocolate, almonds & cranberries appear later.
Finish: Long & lingering building a taste of cigar leaves as dry smoke breeze builds while getting nutty in the mouth.
Other: Created to celebrate Lagavulin Distillery’s 200th Anniversary in 2016. This whisky is just being released into stores.

SMWS 3.212 Anti-Aphrodisiac

Distillery: Bowmore Distillery
Region: Islay, Scotland
ABV: 55.7%
Age: 19yo
Wood: Ex-Sherry
Nose: Shucked oysters, prawn shells, wet cut grass starting to brown, fruity boiled raspberry sweets. 
Taste: Oily & vegetative with assertive spices exploding yet still the sweetness shines. It changes to drying oyster shells & hot smoky tar.
Finish: Extra long & drying it creates memories of spilled diesel oil at a beach side fuel stop (that cut their grass a week before).
Other: Scotch Malt Whisky Society only bottles Cask Strength Single Cask releases. It is assumed that each release will go typically against the grain of what to expect from a distillery’s official bottlings. Try this whisky with a few drops of water to release a creamy sherry nose.

Bruchladdich Octomore 7.1

Distillery: Bruichladdich Distillery
Region: Islay, Scotland
ABV: 59.5%
Age: 5 Years Old
Wood: Ex-Bourbon
Nose: Explosively rich sweet malt, herbal, coal trains, iodine and wet salty band aides.
Taste:  BOOM! Oily butter, dry hospital bandages & well worn salt crusted leather sandals.
Finish: Long & ashy as bitter sweetness defines this whisky.
Other: Classed as the worlds most heavily peated whisky it is the youth of the whisky that gives balance to the phenol elements. The PPM (Phenol Parts Per Million) scale is measured from the dry barley & not in the final spirit product. Depending on the way the grain is fermented & how it is distilled this scale can be quite different in the end product. 

Introduction Beverage

Ardbeg Whisky Sour

Whisky: Ardbeg 10 Year Old
Ingredients: 2 parts whisky, 1 part lemon juice, ½ part sugar syrup, ½ part egg white, cubed ice or crushed ice.
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake hard for about 10 to 15 seconds.
Strain the into a ice filled glass and garnish with the a cherry. The egg white give the foam effect. Pour over additional ice if using crushed.
Glass: Tumbler / Rocks Glass

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