As I sit in our wee cabana in the country, just outside of Mumbai, there was no doubt I would have loved to remain just there – enjoying the sound of the birds, cicadas, the perfume of our garden wafting on the summery breeze, our cats curled up contentedly…
For me, the month (and year) began on a plane… starting without any fanfare… the pilot almost forgetting to remark on the change from 2020 to 2021… no bubbly…. no exuberant toast… we simply quietly, exhausted slipped into the new year to be greeted by 6 hours of various procedures, waiting and a specially designated ‘quarantine’ bus to our respective hotels scattered around the city.
Our European chapter had closed 2020 with a new discovery – Maison Benjamin Keuntz exploring their delightful ‘core’ range…
- (D’un) Verre printanier 46% – fresh delight, verdant spring
- Fin de partie 46% – wee energizer to accompany an evening that stretches companionably on…
- Aveux Gourmands 46% – buttery salted caramel decadence in a glass
We were so impressed and curious that we requested a follow-up evening – a chance to revisit our samples together with the team from Benjamin Keuntz. In my case, I brought both my samples and a 500 ml bottle of our favourite – Aveux Gourmands – with me to Mumbai. This lovely bottle was my ‘quarantine’ companion – stuck in a hotel room for a week, I sat on my window ledge, overlooking the Arabian sea and sipped away watching the sun set… impatiently waiting to finally go home after a year away!
Re-united with my dwindling collection in Mumbai, I began with enjoying the last few drops of Wemyss’ Linkwood 20 year (1995/2015) Summer Breeze Cask #20877 46% – one of my favourite bottles opened in 2019.
Further remembering drams gone by with a short post on whisky collections – The long haul, long gone… Contemplating what to do with the few bottles that remained in my once robust Indian collection, I decided what better way to go than share?
So I packaged up two sessions worth of whiskies – in such a way they could be shared both virtually and physically in India followed by one that could also be joined by our lovely ladies in Europe too…
We managed to hold one evening with the fabulous Whisky Ladies of Mumbai, featuring an Arran Lochranza Distillery Vertical which closed with a bottle acquired on my one and only 2020 trip – to Scotland and Isle of Arran no less!
- Arran 14 year 46% – Lovely balance
- Arran 18 year 46% – Everything we loved about the 14 year taken up a few notches – superb!
- Arran 23 year (1996/2020) Sherry Hogshead Cask No 436, 52.6% – For some it was simply too much whereas for others, it was an exceptional intense sherry delight (I’m in the later camp)
As a bit of a bonus, the remaining Aveux Gourmands was also shared.
Then what? Carrying on in our country sojourn, I virtually re-united with our European chapter to explore offerings from a German independent bottler – Whisky Warehouse No. 8 with:
- Auchentoshan 18 year (12/1998 – 02/2017) 48.3%
- Linkwood 11 year (06/2007 – 01/2019) 58.2%
- Dailuaine 12 year (11/2007 – 01/2020) 61.5%
- Benrinnes 19 year (10/1997 – 10/2016) 52.9% for me, the Tomatin for those in France…
Another homage to my adopted home Germany, I shared tasting notes from another discovery – this time from Spreewood Distillers outside of Berlin:
And with that… I say farewell both to January 2021 and to my country home for likely another 6 months or so… hopefully able to return for monsoon.
Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s 2020 semi-monthly summaries:
- Whisky Lady – Farewell 2020
- Whisky Lady – Sep to Oct 2020
- Whisky Lady – June to Aug 2020
- Whisky Lady – Mar to May 2020
- Whisky Lady – Feb 2020
- Whisky Lady – Jan 2020
- Celebrating 1000 whisky posts!
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