That Boutique-y Whisky Company Chinese New Year Minis Tasting Set

The minis are back!! With an interesting set brought to us by That Boutique-y Whisky Company in celebration of Chinese New Year. Who cares if we actually cracked it open in September 2020 – these are strange times and one makes the most of any opportunity!

I absolutely loved the packaging – it instantly transported me to marvellous times spent celebrating Chinese New Years in various parts of Asia… with an extra bonus of whisky! Felt like my birthday, Christmas and all sorts of other occasions came early!

As for the goodies this lovely pack contained? Feast your eyes on this range:

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Whisky Lady – June to August 2020

I could say time flies when you are having fun… but in my case, like many others around the world, its been a bit rough. Newly relocated to Germany, I was not permitted to return home to India for a visit and for nearly nine months, was kept apart from my (much!) better half!

The enthusiasm to crack open a dram all alone in Nurnberg dwindled and waned – hence this wee blog has been much neglected.

Late August, as I made plans to join my husband in Scotland, I wondered whether any whisky explorations would be possible? As feelers went out, it was quickly apparent that things remain far from normal with distillery visits – the tours of yore are no more, tastings requiring advance booking with limited spots, and overall both care and caution.

Stay tuned for my rather limited adventures in September! In the meantime, here is a wee amble through a few posts over the last couple of months…

I finally got around to sharing tasting notes from our Whisky Ladies & BMC Japanese Blends – Old and New with Suntory Excellence vs Old 40% and Nikka Super Rare Old 43%. While they weren’t the BEST whiskies we’ve ever tried, it was such a rare experience to sample from the same distillery the same or similar expressions bottled some 30-40 years apart!

Months without tasting sessions has left me rather bereft! However the expanding North Star collection was most tempting… so I took the liberty of cracking open a few whiskies!

A bit of an anomaly, I also grew to enjoy more and more Taiwan’s Nantou Distillery – Yushan Blended Malt 40% – particularly with a splash of cold water which didn’t dampen the pineapple and biscuits. Yum!

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s semi-monthly summaries:

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North Star Line-up

Don’t laugh… but I seem to be developing a wee obsession… And I completely blame the folks at North Star for bottling such tempting drams!

Since moving to Germany a whole world of possibilities opened up to order whisky! The initial challenge with deliveries were I was always at work so never home. Then our world changed and I was always home, available to accept… Definitely a silver lining in these strange times… So what have I picked up so far?

North Star German Collection….

Don’t expect a full set of tasting notes anytime soon… however as opportunities present, I look forward to sharing impressions.

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Whisky Lady – March to May 2020

How our world has changed…

It was already clear when we wandered around Whisk(e)y-Messe Nürnberg THE VILLAGE late February that this was likely the last such whisky festival for quite some time. How dramatic and comprehensive the impending ‘shut-down’ would be globally was still unthinkable.

That weekend now seems a distant but fabulous memory, augmented by the company of a lovely fellow whisky lady. In addition to what we sampled at the festival, we also cracked open a couple minis:

My minis continued to come in handy! I’ve so desperately missed our Mumbai whisky tasting groups. Thanks to everyone being shut in, we used technology to catch up online and taste different whiskies together. For me, this meant I could virtually join from Nurnberg where I tried the following:

What else? Not knowing when it would be possible to start tasting with others, I began to carefully collect a few interesting whiskies from independent bottlers… waiting in the wings for the right opportunity. What has made it into my wee German collection so far?

Let’s see how things evolve… for now I wish you all health and happiness where ever you may be in the world!

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North Star – Auchroisk, Glenturret, Inchgower, Fettercairn, Caol Ila

I used to think folks who would write about the whiskies they added to their collection without tasting were a bit daft. After all, for me it is the journey – discovering something more about a whisky through experiencing it – preferably with others.

Then along came my experience ordering North Star… My brand new Nurnberg Whisky Cabinet was practically empty (save my Old Pulteney 12 year) and it was time to start to build a wee collection, in anticipation of finding or creating a new tasting group in Europe.

What better way than something from the fabulous independent bottler North Star!?

So there I was placing an online order – selecting their reasonably priced options from £56 to £70… I was in no rush for the bottles to reach as had in mind a future experience to be held in some indeterminate evening.

These lovelies were successfully ordered and the wait began…

Then a remarkable thing happened, things got a wee bit delayed at North Star and these amazing folks decided to add a little bonus:

Plus a great bag and brilliant cap which is now my favourite sunshine companion for walks in the Bavarian forest. Huge thanks to Iain and team…. the problem now is finding the right opportunity to crack open these beauties!

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Return of the Minis – Cambus, Glenlossie, Glenturret, Dualaine

Well lads and lasses! It is time to surface from work hibernation and re-start whisky explorations.

Up first is a quartet from my advent calendar minis!

The first two were cracked open with a fabulous Sharing Angel late February when we had the pleasure of enjoying one of the last whisky festivals in Germany pre-COVID.

We had great expectations… but alas were not entirely satisfied:

Whereas the balance were tasted in the virtual company of two different Mumbai whisky groups and each were enjoyable in their way:

For 3cl bottles, you may be surprised to learn all of them had a bit remaining, so before finalizing my notes, I had a chance to try them again…  curious to know more? Check out my tasting notes over the next few days.

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Gorgeous Chorlton Trio – Miltonduff, Blair Athol, Macmyra

Many months ago we were introduced to the independent bottler – Chorlton during a quick trip home to Mumbai. The Chorlton tasting was conducted completely blind and we were floored by the pedigreed character of each whisky – Miltonduff 9 yearOrkney 9 year, Glenturret Ruadh Maor 8 year.

With the reveal, we also fell in love with the gorgeous labels!

I knew I wanted to explore more, however was in the midst of my move to Germany, finding a place to live, getting up to speed in a my new job with – shocker – whisky a low priority in my juggling act!

Fast forward to early 2020 and the COVID crises changed our world completely. During the initial phase of working from home, I decided to start selectively planning for future sessions – a mythical time  where I could either re-unite with much missed tasting groups in Mumbai, join something existing in Nurnberg or create a new community of fellow whisky explorers.

And this is where Chorlton came in… knowing their stock is in limited supply, I still took a chance to see if anything was available directly from this fabulous independent bottler and was in luck! This delightful trio was possible to order online and, even better, make its way from the UK to Germany.

Here is what I chose:

  • Miltonduff 11 years, 1st fill bourbon, 62% 1 of 176 bottles
  • Blair Athol 12 years, Hogshead undiluted, uncoloured, unchill filtered, 56.6% 1 of 268 bottles
  • Mackmyra 12 years, bourbon barrel, undiluted, uncoloured, unchill filtered 50.2% 1 of 278 bottles

While they don’t say when they were bottled, presumably it would have been 2019/2020.

To say I was excited on their arrival was an understatement! However when I will actually crack them open remains to be seen. I’m much more of a social imbiber – what I enjoy most is the exchange and range of impressions an interesting bottle can evoke from a small group tasting together.

As such an activity seems very far away, I will simply leave you with this visual teaser and hope you are healthy and happy where ever you are in the world!

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Whisky Lady – February 2020

Back in Germany, we have Whisk(e)y-Messe Nürnberg THE VILLAGE happening this weekend! I can’t wait to share impressions, experiences and more! It will be my first foray into whisky events in Europe since moving here.

While I’m still getting set-up in Europe, you can imagine something every whisky explorer wants a whisky cabinet! Though I haven’t started a new collection, I did both acquire a cabinet (of sorts) and even an old favourite whisky – Old Pulteney 12 year – to grace its glass shelves.

In Nurnberg, I finally cracked open my Drinks by the Dram advent calendar to sample with a friend. What did we try?

And on this blog, I continued to traipse down desi memory lane with:

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Advent Minis – 1st batch

Thanks to the lovely lads and lasses at Master of Malt, we were finally able on the 3rd attempt to get my 2019 Advent Calendar to Nurnberg, Germany.

Whilst I’m still not yet properly set-up, I simply had to crack open the calendar before catching a flight to India for Christmas… I didn’t have my favourite Glencairn glasses but “made do” with a pair of capita wanna be’s… Even better, I co-opted a friend to join in a small tasting quartet!

So what did we try? Here are the ones we dove into from the advent calendar minis:

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Whisky Lady – January 2020

A new year, a new chapter in whisky tasting adventures.

2020 kicked off with a real milestone in my whisky explorations – a celebration of 1,000 Whisky Lady posts! There are so many prolific and profound blogs out there, however I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all who have been part of this journey.

As I reflected on what brought me to this point, I shared a few insights:

As for new tastings? 2020 also began back home in Mumbai where we had a celebration combining our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai and Bombay Malt & Cigar club exploring something incredibly unique – two Japanese standards, bottled some 40-50 years apart:

  • Suntory Excellence from the 1970/80s compared with Suntory Old from today
  • Nikka Super Rare Old from the 1970/880s and 2019

Given we had no idea if the old bottles would even be drinkable, an Iwai and Hibiki were kept on hand to accompany dinner and a cigar.

I also shared notes from a remarkable Mumbai evening with Chorlton Single Casks:

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