BMC “shabby chic” evening

Date juggling with the Bombay Malt & Cigar gentlemen can be a challenge as we all travel extensively and, let’s face it, have busy lives!

So when one member could not join our originally scheduled August date, we decided to shift from a planned tasting of curated closed bottles to pulling out something open from our whisky cabinets to share.

As they didn’t earlier have the pleasure of trying Shelter Point – yet heard so much from all my past experiences – I decided it was time they experience – even if oxidized dregs!

And yes – the plan was to bring just one but when there was so little left, how could I resist bringing all four?

While there were other bottles on offer, here is what I recall:

As for the cigars, it was a revisit of Gurka Seduction, also from an earlier session.

I must confess I took narry a photo nor tasting note that evening – what I’ve shared here are merely recollection of impressions rather than specifics.

This was an evening where we simply came together, sipped our drams, planned our upcoming sessions and September Scottish whisky tour with the whiskies taking a supporting role rather than featured cast.

Which sometimes is exactly what you ask of a good dram – to be the best possible accompaniment to a rather enjoyable time with friends.

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Whisky Ladies Highland Treat – anCnoc Black Hill + Rùdhan, Glen Garioch

Sometimes with our tasting order we realize – oops! A different approach would have enabled a more interesting experience aligned to the whisky character.

However at other times we get it spot on! Which was completely the case with our Highland Treat trio!

And the Whisky Ladies? We had a Highland Treat with:

  • AnCnoc Black Hill Reserve 46% – Honeyed treat, lovey and well balanced
  • AnCnoc Rùdhan 46% – A peatier persuasion, spice, apples, interesting…
  • Glen Garioch 15 year Sherry Cask 53.7% – Coffee candy, heavy sherry and brilliant paired with cheese

Read on over the next few days for more details on what we discovered!

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Whisky Lady – July 2019

July is often quieter on the whisky front here in Mumbai as one of our regular clubs skips this month to kick back, relax and enjoy monsoon or traverse the globe. Which provides a great opportunity to catch up on all the posts I didn’t manage to share from June!

Two groups did meet – Bombay Malt & Cigar Club and the Whisky Ladies. What did we try?

Our Bombay Malt & Cigar club went in a completely different direction to explore the range of possibilities based on Kentucky Rye:

And the Whisky Ladies? We had a Highland Treat with:

  • AnCnoc Black Hill Reserve 46% – Honeyed treat, lovey and well balanced
  • AnCnoc Rùdhan 46% – A peatier persuasion, spice, apples, interesting…
  • Glen Garioch 15 year Sherry Cask 53.7% – Coffee candy, heavy sherry and brilliant paired with cheese

I also caught up on tasting notes from the Whisky Ladies session with Whiskies having tales to tell:

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Whisky Tales – Sild, Shackleton, Gerston

Whisky and story telling naturally go hand-in-hand. So what better theme for a Whisky Ladies session than whiskies? We tracked down three distinctly different drams that each had a tale to tell.

Here is what we explored and discovered…

Whisky story telling drams featured:

Curious to know more? Just click on the Whisky links above for all our detailed tasting notes and more…

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Whisky Lady – June 2019

June brings much needed relief from the heat with monsoon showers. This particular June  also included a jaunt to Germany with a bonus weekend in Berlin where I met up with a fabulous Sharing Angel! Plus a quick pitstop in Istanbul before returning home to Bombay…

And on the whisky tasting front?

Our original group explored a Compass Box Trilogy:

The Whisky Ladies discovered whiskies with tales to tell:

In Berlin, thanks to a Sharing Angel, I enjoyed a rather marvellous whisky haunt – The Union Jack Pub – with quite a terrific array of unique whiskies. We chose:

  • North Star’s Royal Brackla 11 year 55.2%, Series 004
  • Spirit Shop Selection Speyside
  • Mannochmore 25 year (1990/2015) 53.4%, bottle 0251

While our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents took a hiatus, I had the pleasure to sample a quintet of Marvellous Minis featuring:

Stay tuned for what’s coming next…

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Minis Return – Edradour, BenRiach, Glenrothes

Our last minis session featured That Boutique-y Whisky Co (TBWC) exploring a few distilleries we don’t often find on retail shelves like  Dailuaine, Glenlossie, Strathmill, Fettercairn.

And this time? We decided that we wanted to compare our “Drinks by the Drams” with a couple of minis picked up in an earlier jaunt to London’s The Whisky Exchange.

So what did we try in our minis evening?

Definitely all were worth trying!

Miniatures or small ‘dramples’ are a great way to explore… when shared with another person, you still have plenty to get a real feel for the whisky. If anything, small samples helps you slow down, really pay attention, even see what can be understood from just ‘whetting’ the tongue with a few drops. Intersperse that with a few proper sips and you have a full experience.

In the case of the “drinks by the dram” approach, it is a terrific way to try something that is otherwise far to expensive or limited release.

Or in our case, given the time lapse between acquiring and opening, it turns out that none of the minis we sampled are currently available! Which is a pity as they were all quite terrific in their unique ways.

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Whisky Lady – May 2019

May brings even more heat to Mumbai but in our universe, it brought some interesting single malts too!

Our Whisky Ladies decided to experiment with Unusual Finishes:

Whereas our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents explored a quartet of merry Irish whiskies:

And our original club? Our evening reminded us that sometimes our preferences are contrary to price!

I also had a chance to catch up on tasting notes from April where the Whisky Ladies explored Highland Peaty Drams:

And Mumbai’s newest tasting group – The Drammers Club – held its 2nd session with an insane exuberant overabundance of whiskies for one night!

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Preference vs Price – Hazelwood, Dalmore, Glenglassaugh

Sometimes it is good to have a reminder that money doesn’t always mean you will encounter a marvellous malt! And that on our journey of discovering, hype doesn’t necessarily equate to a worthy exploration. This is one of the best reasons to taste blind – free from any preconceived notions or perceptions.

What did we try?

Alas I was late that eve, arriving just in time for the 3rd dram… which meant I began with the Hazelwood. Then continued in reverse order with the Dalmore, closing with the Glenglassaugh. Whereas my fellow malt explorers started with what was clearly the most robust (Glenglassaugh) then proceeded with lighter (Dalmore) and lightest (Hazelwood) profiles.

It was also an evening where we were reminded that price doesn’t necessarily mean quality – or at least our palate preference.

If we were rank by our blind-taste preferences we would have certainly put the cheapest first – the Glenglassaugh (approx $40), followed by the Dalmore (approx $200, but not worth that price!) and finally the Hazelwood (approx $100).

Curious if others have any different opinions?

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IPA, Madeira, Port Finishes

Once upon a time ex-Bourbon casks and ex-Sherry casks reigned supreme. However the world of whisky has been shifting for some time… It is relatively common now to find whiskies finished in Port Pipes, Rum and even Cognac.

Our Whisky Ladies are no strangers to this development. We’ve discovered some we’ve loved like Arran’s Amarone Cask and Brenne’s Cognac Cask, others less successful like Hellyer’s Road Pinot Noir, with a few in between such as Glenglassaugh Port Peated, Jameson Stout.

So we decided to dedicate an evening to finishes other than Sherry… we put out the call and here is what we brought together:

  • Glenfiddich IPA 43% – Part of the Glenfiddich Experimental Series, The Speyside Craft Brewery created a beer which was aged in ex-Glenfiddich casks for a month before they were returned to the distillery and filled with whisky for a three-month finishing period. It has been available since 2016 and can readily be found in most duty free.
  • From Wales, Penderyn Madeira 46% – Launched in 2004, I tried Penderyn’s Madeira before and was delighted to share it with the Whisky Ladies… While not found everywhere, it isn’t impossible to track down and once upon a time could even be spotted in some duty frees.
  • Tomatin 14 year Port Wood finish 46% – This expression joined the Highland Tomatin core range in 2014. The finish in Port Pipes is for around a year to round off 13 years in ex-Bourbon barrels. You won’t find this one in travel retail but its still possible to track down.
  • From India, Amrut Port Pipe Peated 48% – By contrast, there are only 100 bottles released India as part of The Vault Bianelle festival edition. This single cask whisky combined 3 year Virgin Oak and ex-Bourbon matured peated malts then finished in a 30 year old Port Pipe from Portugal for 2.5 years.

Curious to know more? Just click on the whisky links above to read our tasting notes and more about what we explored!

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Whisky Ladies Peaty Highlanders – Aird Mhor, Inchmoan, Ballechin

When you think peat, typically Islay distilleries come to mind – with their range of peats from sweet grass to medicinal to ash tray.

However on this particular evening, we explored peat from Highland… and what a trio!

Whisky Ladies Peaty Highland drams:

What an interesting exploration of peat… and hope you enjoy too!

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