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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Haig Club

I found it quite interesting that the whisky world largely ignored the introduction of a David Beckham endorsed whisky.  Maybe it is because it is a "celebrity" whisky?  Maybe it is too cheap or too ubiquitous to garner any real online buzz because no-one feels special drinking or reviewing a whisky that costs under $50 and is available on large scale?  After reading many times over in the whisky media that "grain whisky is the next big thing" and considering the fact this is a single grain  scotch whisky (Note: it is made made from a 90% wheat and 10% malted barley mash and the "single" refers to the distillery not grain) it would suggest that we should consider the possiblity that the "next big thing" just arrived?  However it seems everyone with a whisky fetish and a broadband connection remained unwaiveringly focussed on the proper, hard to find, bloody expensive whisky.  However I am also pretty certain that is fine with Messers Beckham and Diageo who give not one flying-you-know-what about whatever the "blogosphere" has to say about this one.  (Sorry if that comes as a shock to any of my whisky blogger brethren).  Bottled at 40% ABV (as you might expect for an entry level scotch) the nose on Haig Club is quite light and sweet, perhaps even floral.  The taste, at first, is a rather brash clash of pepper and spices and sweet caramel and toffee.  With time some biscuit and grain notes come through as well and it sort of balances out into something quite drinkable, however it clearly blended for the addition of ice (as depicted in all the asscoiated  media).  The finish is spice led with cayenne and some more floral, even perfumed notes.  Like Mr Beckham himself, smooth and more complex than you might expect but if this is the next big thing then I am going to just wait for the next "next big thing".

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  • Monday, 29 December 2014 21:23

    The End of the Road?

    Written by

    Some diligent readers may have noticed that I have posted less material online in recent months than Julian Assange. There are a number of reasons for this (fortunately being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy is not one) but I don’t think it is a coincidence that my lack of output followed soon after completing my goal to find, taste and post my notes for all of the whiskies in Ian Buxton’s book “101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die”.

    When I look back at 2011, when I started this website and blog I wrote about using the Ian Buxton’s first book “101 Whiskies to Try before You Die” as a guide.  As I wrote then I felt I needed some structure to my journey, a goal or destination, or I would risk wandering aimlessly

    I have to say I do feel now like a goal has been met and a destination reached. Perhaps by setting a clear goal in some ways I doomed my website and blog as it had a defined “end point” from day one. It had a purpose and that purpose has been achieved. My work has also intervened and this blog will always come third after my family and my career. I also look back and reflect that the blog started at a time I was very unhappy with my career and  it is clear my interest in whisky grew as my interest in my job at that time declined.

    However this cannot be the end. Whisky has permeated my life in no small way and will be harder to remove than the last in-law at Christmas. I have invested (rather more than I intended) in a craft distillery in London that looks like it might return my investment about the same time that my nine year old daughter graduates college and I have made some real friendships that will go beyond a shared love of distilled grains aged in oak barrels.

    So to paraphrase Winston Churchill perhaps this is not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning. Therefore I intend to continue post tasting notes as I find whiskies of interest (increasingly hard to do by the way) and will restructure website to be more focused on those tasting notes and less as blog, but from time to time you can still expect me to post an ill-informed opinion.

    And what would be a good new goal for this revamped website? As I write today I have reviewed 566 whiskies, so 1000 seems like a nice round number to aim for…. perhaps as a nod to Ian Buxton I should say 1001 Whiskies (yes I know that is another book by another whisky writer but you get my point) and then see what happens.

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    Whiskies Tried...

    Total to Date: 565

    Distilleries

    Visited to Date: 52

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    Random Whisky

    Drambuie 15 year old

    This is my first whisky liqueur review but I am including it for 2 reasons.  Firstly I am / was a secret fan of this stuff.  I saw a bottle on sale at the Auchentoshan distillery shop in 2011 and bought it.  I had found the "rusty nail" cocktail a few months before and thought this would make an excellent "top shelf rusty nail".... and it did.  I will comment a little more on the rusty nail in my review of Drambuie.  Thw second reason is that Ian Buxton has included 4 different whisky liqueurs in his recent book 101 World Whiskies To Try Before You Die... and while orignally a bit sceptical I have decided if it is good enough for his book it is good enough for my website.   The nose has sweet ginger cake, honey and a green note, like pine needles.  The taste is rich and quite unctious, more ginger spice, sweetness and herbal tea.  Some peppery notes as well in the sweet finish.  if you cant't bring yourself to put ice in scotch or haven't got the taste for bourbon.... try this with lots of ice on a hot day.