Whisky Collections – Mumbai Edition

For one whole year I could not go home. I won’t go into the long, convoluted, COVID complicated reasons… suffice to say I’m, finally back in India and could not be happier!

I’ve also been re-united with my dwindling whisky collection, which was significantly dented by deliberate efforts before I left, and further reduced by redistributing the balance open bottles to a fellow whisky explorer / frequent host to imbibe during the strict lockdown when booze shops were closed.

For me, much of the fun in picking up a bottle here and there is to craft a creative tasting evening where something new is discovered by trying different combinations or gaining insights in context or correlation that likely would not be possible in isolation. It is the interplay between whiskies, different palates and perspectives that is so engaging. How I on my own perceive a particular dram is obviously limited to my background and experience. What better way to temper such bias than with others?

And now? My collection is quite sparse and further diminished as I packaged up some bottles into smaller miniatures for virtual tasting sessions, dispatching the ‘dregs’ to upcoming hosts.

The balance were carefully cleaned, their paraffin seals checked and in a few cases replaced… put back into storage for my next trip home when hopefully life will be a bit more normalized and we can more freely gather together.

Til then, this wee post serves as a reminder for me of what once made it to Mumbai. I’m curious if others delight in the ‘hunter / farmer’ phenomenon needed to put together sessions? Where both a determination to discover is tempered by tremendous patience to share in the right combination?

A trio from Scotland’s Campbeltown region was cracked open during this trip, distributed (well beyond India!), with the remaining drams happily split between a few Whisky Ladies:

Also experienced was an Isle of Arran – Lochranza Vertical with sessions held while I was in Mumbai and revisited with samples I brought back to Europe:

Patiently waiting in India is the balance Isle of Arran – Lochranza and Lagg expressions:

  • Arran Lochranza Reserve 43%
  • Arran Port Cask Finish 50%
  • Lagg Peated Bourbon Barrel 1st Batch 60.4% (200 ml)

There is also an interesting Australasian trio with contrasting styles and approaches:

  • Australia – Lark (Feb 2010) Single Cask No LD116 43%
  • Japan – Ichiro’s Double Distilleries 46%
  • Taiwan – Kavalan Solist Bourbon Cask B111202001A, Bottle 117/200 57.1%

While it may be a curious mix, I thought to put together Old World (European) / New World (USA)

  • USA – AD Laws Secale Rye 2 year (375 ml)
  • Germany – Slyrs Marsala Finish L1140 46% (500ml)
  • Netherlands – Millstone 100 Rye Whisky 50%

Closing with a Scottish Mix ‘n Match – which could be combined in a few different ways – with some bottles I’ve intended to keep set aside for a few more years… or join just the right occasion!

  • Highland
    • Balblair 18 year 46%
    • Edradour 12 year (28 Aug 2006/8 Nov 2018) 1st Fill Sherry Butt #900127 60.1% (Signatory Vintage Local Dealer Selection)
  • Islay – Elements of Islay Ma1 54.2% (500ml)
  • Speyside
    • Glenrothes 18 year Elders’ Reserve 43%
    • Glentauchers 8 year (2005 / 2013) 48.2% 2144 bottles (Sansibar)
    • KinInvie 17 year 42/6% (Batch 1, 2014) (500ml)
    • Macallan Estate Reserve 45.7%

And that’s it! How massively it has been scaled back from years of collecting efforts… The earliest bottle was acquired 7 years ago (KinInvie)… The most recent was picked up just a few months back at the new Lagg distillery… interestingly both were 1st batches.

Naturally I could change my approach, playing around with combinations as more get added or subtracted. And from the above picture – many are already gone with the sessions kicked off before leaving India!

PS Those who are observant will spot the vomFASS – also enjoyed!

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