Whisky Lady – May 2018

May had some terrific sessions! All three Mumbai based tasting groups met plus we had a few extras too! Plus I had a chance to catch-up on previous tasting sessions notes as well.  Read on…

All three tasting groups met, with most notes to follow next month…

The Whisky Ladies enjoyed a theme of “Northern Lights” exploring:

Whereas our original group tasted two Highland drams and an Irish pot still whiskey:

For our Bombay Malt & Cigar gents, I took them on a European Tour with:

In addition to our normal tasting evenings, we were fortunate to have a few industry extras in April and May with:

  • An evening with Caitlin Hill, Brand Ambassador for Bruichladdich and Botanist over a  quartet of cocktails and food pairing*
  • An evening with Stuart Harvey, Master Blender for IBHL with Balblair 05, 99, 00 and Speyburn 15 year*
  • An evening with Samantha Peters, Digital Marketing for IBHL with Speyburn 10 year 43%, Balblair 05 46%, Old Pultney 12 year 40%*

Which was augmented by a terrific evening at KODE with Keshav Prakash featuring a trio from the Vault Collection – Compass Box Asyla, Kilchoman Machir Bay and Edradour Caledonia.

In May, tasting notes were shared for our original club’s April session featuring The Vault Fine Spirits Collection, ably penned by our Guest Writer Nikkhil:

There was also a Minis evening playing around with finishes:

An informal evening with a few friends resulted in revisiting a few drams and sampling for the 1st time Shelter Point Cask Strength 2017 Winter Release 57.2% (Bottle 594/1088)

And for a final bit of “catchup”, back in March, the Whisky Ladies took a  remarkable “Trans Tasman Tour” to New Zealand and Tasmania, Australia:

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:

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Northern Lights – Flóki Young Malt 47%

Our intrepid Whisky Lady host brought back from her trip to Iceland some remarkable images, memories and yes a malt too! She shared how she considered  the Sheep Dung (smoked with Icelandic sheep poo) but settled on the Young Malt.

As we opened the bottle, she told us tales of her winter adventures in Iceland. With others chiming in with their experiences too. Stories swirled about a remarkable land of exceptional natural landscape, socializing in hot springs, quixotic nightlife, music and more…

Flóki Young Malt 47% 1st Impression

  • Nose – Lots of hay, like being inside a granary, dusty, a bit yeasty, young, a little metallic, quite organic
  • Palate – What a contrast! Cinnamon candy, a bit peculiar- not necessarily in a bad way just something very unfamiliar, a tough whisky with a hint of light leather from tannery, rubber
  • Finish – Back to hay with a bit of spice, had an almost “flat” quality with cedar

At one point we joked that we’d stumbled inside a barnyard! It was quite rustic, unique and definitely different. We began to joke it was like wandering into a set of Game of Thrones.

There was no doubt it would be welcome after hiking in the glaciers! Very apt for Iceland.

Here is what the folks who create Flóki have to say:

100% Icelandic locally grown barley. Named after one of Icelands first explorers, Hrafna-Flóki (Flóki of the ravens).

Carefully distilled using our custom made distillation equipment to extract the full flavor of the barley and then matured in new wood american oak barrels.

Flóki is a complex and unique malt with a blend of characteristics you´d expect in Bourbon, Irish Whisky and Scottish Highland Whiskys.

Not sure I’d call it complex, but it is certainly unique and worth exploring for the novelty!

Whisky Ladies Northern Lights:

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Northern Lights – Crown Royal, Flóki, Mack

It can be a lot of fun playing around with a whisky theme. With the right combination, you can discover something different even in a familiar dram, or appreciate nuances in a spirit you may otherwise dismiss.

It was one of those kinds of sessions, held together by a distinctly “northern” theme. So while it it was swelteringly hot outdoors, we retreated to the cool ac of indoors and enjoyed our Northern Lights evening of:

While none would be considered outstanding, yet each was unique and as a set, enabled us to appreciate their different dimensions.

Talk turned to affordability… these days in the quest for something special, prices can become daunting. This was a terrific reminder that in the right company, context and frame of mind, there is no need to spend a “bomb” to obtain something quite enjoyable.

Case in point, when we looked up prices discovered:

  • Northern Harvest Rye $32
  • Mack $42
  • Flóki $52

From our perspective, these are all eminently affordable for quite affable drams.

What was even better was the tales of how each made it from their respective locales to Mumbai… details coming over the next few days!

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Celebrating 30+ European whiskies!

In the grand scheme of things, trying 30 whiskies is no big deal.

But when you live in India and those happen to be European whiskies… it is an accomplishment!

Let’s face it, exploring the world of whiskies behind a crazy custom’s “curtain” that restricts access not just bringing into India but state by state… means relying on individuals making an effort to source directly from far-flung lands rather than simply strolling over to a corner liquor store.

Hence it is indeed a celebration – with thanks – to share a summary of European samples! Now… just providing a list alone isn’t fun.. so with each, I’ve shared a fleeting impression so you can see what might peak your interest to read more…

European Whiskies  

Many of the Nordic whiskies came compliments of 

The Europe page is continuously updated as we explore more whiskies, so feel free to check back anytime to read of more!

PS – Anyone spot the ‘malted spirit’ rather than proper whisky??

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Nordic Explorers – What a journey!

Over the past few months, a fellow whisky lady and I have slowly been working our way through a delightful dozen 20 ml bottles representing five Nordic countries and seven distilleries.

There were some highlights and lowlights and it was a fascinating tasting travel. For those who missed the individual posts, I thought I would share a short synopsis of our Nordic journey…

Sweden - Smogen + Box

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Nordic Whisky Set

*** Thank you again 

Now… to fill these bottles back up and return the favour. What shall we chose for Thomas to try??

PS These are not the only Nordic whiskies we’ve sampled… Check out the Europe page.

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Nordic Explorers #9 – Iceland’s Flóki Young Malt 47%

My Swedish friend and I took a few months break from our Nordic Explorer‘s sessions however are now back to finish the last quartet!

Iceland has two new distilleries – Thoran and Eimverk – from which the later is now releasing limited early editions of their fledgling spirit Flóki. Let us be very clear – this isn’t yet whisky – more akin to new-make spirit that has touched a little wood.

Flóki produce their whisky using 100% organic Icelandic-grown barley, malted by hand and then pot still distilled. As Icelandic barley is slow growing and low in sugars, distillers have to use 50% more barley per bottle.

Photo: Whisky Saga

Photo: Whisky Saga

Flóki Young Malt 1st Edition, Barrel 3, 47%

  • Nose – Raw, sour, dry mash, unfinished
  • Palate – Exceedingly raw, tingles and prickles the lips, peculiar and a bit difficult
  • Finish – Remarkably, had a nice after taste

Overall impression my companion had was of cheap vodka or home brews of her Nordic youth… more like new make spirit or moonshine than whisky.

When we returned to the Floki after sampling the other three, the aroma was almost akin to sour garbage. Hmm… definitely not what I want in my “nearly” whisky.

This young malt was released late 2014/early 2015, aged from 1-2 years. I understand this particular edition was from barrel 3, aged 12 months in fresh 200 litre American Oak barrels, medium toast and char level.

Whisky Wafflers had this to say about Flóki:

Pretty good for such a young whisky it must be said. The nose is really curious; it’s really, really floral and fruity (pineapple, mandarin, pear) with a slightly salted caramel edge that keeps you sniffing. You know what, if you’ve ever had the chance to try some new-make spirit, then you’ll know what this smells like.

On the mouth the Flóki is sharp, slightly bitter and prickly. It pretty much jumps off its longship and starts jabbing away with its spear, although part of the reason for that is probably the 47% strength. The finish coats the tongue with that raw, grassy, hay-like quality that seems common amongst very young whiskies, followed by a lick of spicy fruitiness.

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

For more information, do read Thomas’ posts on Whisky Saga. Specifically:

A fascinating journey so far with our Nordic whisky experiences:

  1. Smögen Single Cask 7/2011 4 year old 57.3%
  2. Smögen Sherry Project 1:4 57.2%
  3. Box Whisky The Festival 2015 54.5%
  4. Shareholders 2016 52%
  5. Mackmyra Preludium:01 – De Första Dropparna, 3 year 55.6%
  6. Mackmyra 8 YO Dram Good Whisky 54.4%
  7. Mackmyra Bachair 3 YO Private Cask
  8. Audny Series 3 4 year 46%

With another three to go, our Nordic whisky adventures are nearing  a close…

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Nordic Whiskies – Explorer’s Edition

Once upon a time there was a Swedish lass who wandered her way to India…

She came upon a gal from the Canadian prairies

Who just so happened to have a penchant for whiskies

Which became a shared passion

And their forays into further malty discoveries commenced…

Along the way, the Swedish lass decided it was high time to check out what her erstwhile home and native land could produce. Hence the distinctive Mackmyra Svensk Rök made its way to the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai.

However it merely whetted their appetites for more… Yet how to quench this thirst for Nordic whiskies in merry Mumbai?

20160713-NordicWhiskyTo their rescue came a kind gentleman with a collection of Nordic whiskies – vast and wide! He hand-picked a special ‘Nordic explorers edition‘ of remarkable whisky samples.

This care package wound its way first from Norway to Sweden then on to India… the precious cargo revealed a goodie pack of whiskies… and the lasses could not contain their excitement at receiving such bounty!

Coming soon will be tales of Nordic tastings… a delightful dozen representing five countries and seven brands.

Denmark

Finland

Iceland

Norway

Sweden

Nordic Whisky Set

Stay tuned for notes on our Nordic whisky experiences coming soon!

*** Whiskies courtesy of 

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