Thursday, 29 September 2016
Everyone who has even the slightest interest in whisky must by now have heard of the term NAS (no age statement). The regulations for Scotch whisky say that if an age is stated it must be the age of the youngest component in the bottle. In recent years (although NAS is much older) it has become a trend in the industry to omit that age statement. The reason is that distilleries want to mix younger stocks in the blend but don't want to write an age statement of let's say 5 years on the bottle. Some people see the disappearance of the age statement just as a natural development others are a bit more sceptical and other people see it as a monster that is haunting the industry. I still remember when I started drinking whisky and the Macallan, a distillery that was a favourite of many Scotch lovers announced that it replaced their age statement series with no age statement whiskies and people almost started running riot.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
When I announced on twitter that I was going to Scotland I got a messsage from fellow whisky lover Justine Hazelhurst if I wanted to meet up in Edinburgh. Of course I wanted and so we arranged everything. Through a coincidence we chose a hotel in Leith which is the very same part of the city where Justine lives.
I was really excited to finally meet someone from twitter in real life and the evening with Justine didn't disappoint.
First we went to a Pub called Teuchter's Landing where Pascal and me finally got to drink a well deserved beer (We wanted to drink one in Folkestone but we didn't get the chance). After our pre dinner drinks we got a taste of a British classic - Fish n' Chips. We were quite hungry and we really enojoyed the meal. After the dinner we made our way to the bar to grab some drams.
Thursday, 25 August 2016
In July me and my friend Pascal made a dream come true and went on a roadtrip to the holy land of whisky. Since we got into drinking Scotch we were always talking about going to visit the distilleries and the beautiful country and now we finally made it happen. Because there is so much to write about this will be a write up in multiple parts and I intend to make a few in depth portraits of some distilleries.
After a long time of planning and calculating we decided to drive all the way from Switzerland and back. We both really liked the idea of a massive roadtrip and so everything was set to go. Pascal came and picked me up with his Volkswagen Passat which was the ideal car for this trip because there was so much space and we could take everything we needed with us. We had decided that we would make the trip to Edinburgh in 2 days because it is a 17 hours drive. On our first day of travelling we had to drive to Dunkerque where we then wanted to take the ferry to Dover. We had planned everything ahead and already got a ticket for the ferry and had a reservation for a hotel in Folkstone.
|Our trusty VW Passat|
|Pascal on the Ferry|
|Beautiful sunset over the English coast|
The night in Folkestone would have been nice hadn't it been for a baby seagull right outside our window that started making noise at 3 o' clock in the morning. Nevertheless we were really excited for the second day of our adventure because in the evening we would reach our destination, Edinburgh. The second day of driving was very quiet and apart from some heavy rainfall in the Midlands nothing noteworthy happened. In the afternoon we arrived at the Scottish border and of course we stopped to take some pictures. The last hour on our way to Edinburgh was nice and I have to say that the Borders Region is beautiful and I regret that we couldn't really discover and apreciate it.
Finally we arrived in Edinburgh and after finding our hotel we prepared to meet up with a fellow whisky blogger. You can read all about that meeting in part 2 of this series of write ups.
Monday, 4 July 2016
I was quite surprised when last week the postman delivered a package from Dublin. Inside the package was a sample bottle of whiskey alongside a letter from the Teeling Whiskey Company who invited me to review their latest release. That whiskey is the Revival Vol. II which is a commemorative bottling to mark the first anniversary of the Dublin based Distillery.
Teeling is the first distillery in Dublin for over 125 years and was founded by Jack Teeling who was previously at the helm at the Cooley Distillery but left the company after it was purchased by Jim Beam. The spirit that is currently bottled by Teeling was produced by Cooley.
The Revival II consists of whiskey that was distilled in 2002 and that was matured for 12 years in ex-Bourbon casks. It then got a finish in 250 litre ex-Calvados casks for another year. It is bottled at 46% ABV with no chill filtration. It is limited to 10'000 bottles and a bottle will cost around 100€.
Calvados is a French apple brandy that I am not too familiar with but I really liked what I have tasted so far. At a French wine tasting I was able to sample some really stunning Calvados called Pays d'Auge Coeur de Lion that was produced by Christian Drouin. I tasted some very old expressions including vintage bottlings from 1958 and 1967 that were absolutely fantastic.
I've never had a Calvados matured whisky before but as I just mentioned I quite like the apple brandy on its own and I am also a sucker for apple desserts so I'm quite interested how this whiskey is going to be.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
|In the city of Lille|
|Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel. A great beer from Bruges based brewery "de Halve Maan"|
Friday, 27 May 2016
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
The first whisky that we poured was a Glen Keith, distilled in the year 1993 (which is my birthyear), bottled by Cooper's Choice. This whisky was matured in a hogshead for 19 years and was bottled at 46% ABV. This is a really lovely whisky that has a very fruity character and some delicious vanilla notes aswell. The perfect start for this evening.
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
After the official tasting flight with the 5 aforementioned whiskies the night wasn't over yet. First we had the chance to sample some other expressions from the current SMWS outturn for 5 Swiss Francs a dram. I thought that this is a great deal because in a bar you would pay much more for single cask whiskies of this quality.
The first expression that I tried was the 35.140 called "Kreatives Füllhorn" or "Cornucopia of incredible creativity". This malt was distilled at the Glen Moray distillery in 1994 and was matured in a first fill toasted oak hogshead for 20 years until it was bottled at 55.5% ABV in 2015. Olaf explained to me that this toasted oak hogshead is the same type of cask that is used to mature the Glenmorangie Astar (Glen Moray belonged to the same concern as Glenmorangie until 2008). This whisky was absoultely incredible. On the nose I got cinamon and gingerbread aswell as some nice caramel notes and it also had a stunning mouthfeel. I think out of all the whiskies that I tried that night this was my favourite.
The next whisky that I tried came with a warning from Olaf. He told us that the name "Zorn der Götter" which means as "wrath of the gods" (In UK this expression is called "gritty-turned-pretty") doesn't lie and that everyone should try this at his own risk. This whisky from the Ardmore distillery was matured in a refill Gorda for 17 years, from 1998 until 2016 and was bottled at 57.5% ABV. I found this one absolutely incredible but I totally understand why a lot of people, including Olaf, don't like that one. It was a dirty sherried whisky with a lot of meaty and sulphury flavours and it got also some medicinal and ashy notes to it. I would recommend this to everyone who likes that style of whisky which is sometimes associated with sherried Ben Nevis or Mortlachs but someone who isn't into that style might pass on this one.
Friday, 15 April 2016
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Tuesday, 5 April 2016
Then the tasting began and they kicked it off with the a travel retail exclusive - The Glenmorangie the Tayne. This expression of the Glenmorangie is the second in a series called the Legends Collection. It was matured in ex-bourbon casks (surprise, surprise, it's Glenmorangie after all) and then got a finish in amontillado sherry casks. It was quit a nice in the nose but for my taste it lacked depth and power on the palate.
Thursday, 24 March 2016
|Rick and me posing with some Douglas Laing Remarkable Malt Whiskies|
Thursday, 10 March 2016
After travelling to Lucerne with my buddy Pascal we went to the whisky ships first and enjoyed a few drams. We went for some grain whisky because we wanted something light so we wouldn't overwork our palate. After an hour or so we went to the ship where the masterclass took place. It was all set up very beautifully. There was a total of 12 glasses at each place. 8 drams of whisky and 4 glasses of either sherry or wine.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Thursday, 3 March 2016
Next Thursday I will take part in the #Benromach35 tweet tasting. On March 10th from 19:00 GMT me and other whisky people on twitter will write our thoughts on this three expressions. You can follow the event by using the hashtag #Benromach35
Thanks a lot to the Benromach Distillery and to Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire for giving me the chance to be a part of this unique night.
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
This week is gonna be quite a whisky fueled one. Tomorrow I will travel from Zurich to Basel where I will meet up with a friend. We will then go to a whisky tasting where you can try whatever you want out of 50 different whiskies from all over the world. The after I will go back to my beloved Zurich (people from Zurich and Basel usually don't like each other) where I will work in the whisky shop. Just a day later me and one of my highschool mates will make the trip to Lucerne where we will go to the whisky ships. This is one of the biggest whisky events in Switzerland. We will attend a masterclass with the topic 'whisky meets wine' hosted by one of the greatest german speaking whisky experts, Jürgen Deibel. I am really looking forward to this and I am already very excited.
Next thursday will be another special whisky day but you will have to wait a little bit until I will break the news.
I hope you all have great whisky plans too and as always enjoy responsibly.
Slàinte mhath, U
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
The guests were a group of 4 Germans. One of them recently moved to Zurich and his 3 friends came here to visit him. They weren't really experienced with whisky but they told me that they frequently went to wine tastings. They were really nice and they made it easy for me because they were very interested in all the steps of the whisky making process, different types of casks and the different styles of Scotch and whisky from all over the world.
Here are the whiskies that we tasted:
- Benrinnes 1998-2013 Old Malt Cask bottled by Douglas Laing, 14 yo, cask no. 9631, 50% ABV, matured in a refill sherry cask
-Tomintoul 1989-2005 bottled by Scott's Selection, 56.9% ABV
-Edradour 1998-2014 Sherry Decanter, 14yo, cask no. 2124, 58.2% ABV
-Balmenach 1988.2015, bottled by Signatory Vintage for Helvetian Selection, 27 yo, cask no. 3240, 49.6% ABV, matured in a hogshead
-Glenturret 1986-2015. bottled by Signatory Vintage for Helvetian Selection, 29yo, cask no.302, 49.1% ABV, matured in a hogshead
-Cask Islay by A.D. Rattray, 46% ABV
-Laphroaig 1998-2014 Signatory Vintage unchillfiltered collection, cask no. 700357, 46% ABV, matured in a Sherry Butt
The Balmenach and the Glenturret were bottled exclusively for our shop by Signatory Vintage. I will thell you mor about them in another article.
The guests genuinely enjoyed all of them with the Glenturret being the unanimous favourite.
It has been a fantastic evening and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to my guests and a special thank to my boss marcel for all the trust he always puts in me.
Friday, 26 February 2016
This action earned them a lot of compliments from all over the whisky world because it was full transparency which was really nice if you think about all those NAS (no age statement) whiskies that are released at the moment.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Monday, 15 February 2016
Thursday, 11 February 2016
Friday, 29 January 2016
Sorry that it was so quiet on this blog recently. I had to write exams and didn't have much time to enjoy whisky or write about it. Now that I'm finally through expect me to be more active from now on. I got some whisky lined up and I want to share my thoughts with you and I have already some events in mind which I'm intending to attend.
In the near future I also want to start a series of articles called "How I Got Hooked" in which I want to present the story of fellow whisky freaks and how they got into enjoying the water of life. I hope the different stories can show people that when it comes to whisky and starting to enjoy it there is not a certain blueprint. Some people try one certain dram and immediately fall in love just like it happened to me. Other people may not have such a moment but develop their love for whisky over a longer time. This series should encourage people to try whisky even if there can be some setbacks sometimes.
If you have an interesting story how you got hooked to whisky and you want to share it with fellow readers of this blog you can contact me anytime by writing an e-mail here.
Now please excuse me as I have a lot of whisky waiting to be reviewed, a lot of articles waiting to being written and also some tastings to be attended.
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Monday, 4 January 2016
As had to go to the library again today to study for my exams it got really boring so I thought it was about time to write a new blogpost. Being the egocentric prick that I am I couldn’t think of a better topic to write about than myself. Therefore I will tell you my whisky adventure so far.
As you may already know I started to drink whisky shortly after my 18th birthday. I’ve already stated in the last post that first me and my mates only drank some cheap blends on Ice to look though rather than because we genuinely enjoyed it. After my first taste of a Glenfiddich 12 years old I got more into it and after the first few sips of a Lagavulin 16 years old I got very serious about all things whisky.
Sunday, 27 December 2015
My name is Julian and I'm a 22 year old history student from Zurich, Switzerland. First of all I would like to explain the name of this blog. The name Julian is in German pronounced as Yulian and my nickname is Ju (speak Yu) or - as my girlfriend started writing it - U, hence the name Whisky-U.
I started drinking whisky at the age of 18. Back then me and my friends just drank Ballantines on the rocks when we were at bars to look tough.