Search

2020, is it over yet?!

Updated: Jan 15

So much for regular blog updates! If ever there was a year to forget things, 2020 was it.


Things have certainly changed since March, it seems like forever since our Kilchoman Club tasting, we almost put the entire club on hold until the pandemic is over. In the end we only cancelled one tasting, the Feis Ile. All of our events have now moved online. This has bought various challenges with it, both the logistics of getting the packs filled and posted as well as the technical difficulties of getting everyone online. It seems for the near future at least this will continue to be the norm. In 2020 we managed to run 12 tastings, 2 of which contained pre-release bottles of new products.


Going online does have it’s benefits though, we’ve now expanded our little club of around 100 members, based around the Bristol area, to nearly 500 and stretching across the length and breadth of the UK. We’re also looking to bring in hosts that would normally have been unable to travel down to Bristol, opening up a unique insight into the whiskies we taste. I guess the one major benefit though is being able to attend a tasting in your PJs!



We’ve tasted through 78 bottles of spirits in 2020, including for the first time, rum. As someone who’s worked in the bar industry for quite a while I’m well aware that there are incredible brands out there across all spirit categories and I’ll be putting one tasting aside each year to delve deeper into one of these. If our rum tastings were anything to go by then we’re in for a treat. Out of the 78 bottles we tried my top 3 drams this year were:


• Chichibu, Black Rock Single Cask

• Ardbeg Alligator Committee Release

• Murray McDavid, Afficionado Range, Glenturret 34yr, 1977, 1 of 6 bottles


Last year we also managed another Dusties Club Trip, previously we’ve been to Islay and to Murray McDavid’s Warehouses. Last year 6 of us headed to the Glenfarclas Distillery and had a private tour with George Grant, culminating in a once in a lifetime warehouse tasting of some exceedingly special casks. We were sworn to secrecy so I can’t reveal what we tried but next time we’re allowed out buy me a dram and maybe I’ll share a few pics of the distillery… Fingers crossed we’ll get back over to Islay this year if the Feis Ile goes ahead and I’d also like to visit some of our local distilleries with the group. There are some really exciting new brands popping up all the time and I think we owe it to ourselves to try and visit as many of them as possible!



Last year we also launched our club whisky bottling. A share of a hogshead from Glenlossie yielding 120 bottles at a cask strength of 52.4%. Punchy yet sessionable there are still a few bottles available of this fine example of the distillery through Independent Spirit in Bath.



So what tastings do we have in the works this year? Well we’re starting strong with a pair of American Whiskies, Whistlepig in January and Heaven Hill in February. In March we have our first charity tasting, thanks to the generosity of Speciality Brands and Nathan Shearer. We have donated all the profits from the event to the Bristol ARC, a local animal rescue centre who have been hit hard by the pandemic. In April we’ll be welcoming Stef Holt to the club as she hosts Mark Reynier’s new venture Waterford. The rest of the year is being finalised as we speak, but with one tasting each month it’s going to be a busy year.



I’m going to finish by saying thank you to everyone who’s got involved in the club, it’s the members that keep it going and allow us to try all these awesome bottles. I’ve made lots of new friends from the group and it’s the conversations and drams that we share that make my efforts feel worthwhile.


I’m positive that 2021 is going to be a great year!


Cheers,


Dan p.s. I’ll leave you with the full back catalogue of Dusties bottle kills.


***2018


• Ardbeg, Galileo,

• Ardbeg, Ardbog,

• Ardbeg, Auriverdes,

• Ardbeg, Perpetuum,

• Ardbeg, Kelpie,

• Ardbeg, Dark Cove,

• Ardbeg, Grooves Committee Release,


• Caol Ila, 2007 Feis Ile,

• Caol Ila, 2011 Feis Ile,

• Caol Ila, 2012 Feis Ile,

• Caol Ila, 2013 Feis Ile,

• Caol Ila, 2016 Feis Ile,

• Caol Ila, 2017 Feis Ile,

• Caol Ila, 2018 Feis Ile,

***2019


• Murray McDavid, Auchentoshan, 19yr,

• Murray McDavid, Clynelish, 21yr,

• Murray McDavid, Ledaig, 17yr,

• Murray McDavid, Invergordan, 30yr,

• Murray McDavid, Young & Old, 7yr Blended Whisky,

• Murray McDavid, Cask #900045, Caol Ila 7yr, French wine cask,

• Murray McDavid, Cask #900024, 7yr, Koval Bourbon cask,

• Murray McDavid, Bunnahabhain, 31yr, 1976, 48.1%


• Redbreast, 21,

• Redbreast, Single Sherry Cask LMDW,

• Midleton, Single Sherry Cask LMDW,

• Midleton, Dhair Gaelic, Finsells Wood, Tree 7,

• Method And Madness, Chestnut, Batch 1,

• Red Spot,

• Midleton, Warehouse Sample, 6 years bourbon, 24 years port finish,


• Bowmore 1995, 23yr. Feis Ile, Single Sherry cask,

• Caol Ila 22yr, Feis Ile,

• Lagavulin 19yr, Feis Ile,

• Octomore Event Horizon, Feis Ile,

• Bunnahabhain 2001, 18yr. Sauternes cask, Feis Ile,

• Kilchoman 11yr, Feis Ile,

• Laphroaigh, Cask Strength Cairdeas Triple Wood, Feis Ile,

• Ardbeg, Drum, Feis Ile,

• Bowmore 15yr, Feis Ile,

• Bunnahabhain, Moine, French Oak, Feis Ile,


• Weller, Special Reserve,

• Weller, 12,

• Weller, 107 Antique,

• Van Winkle, 10,

• Van Winkle, 12,

• Pappy Van Winkle, 15,

• Pappy Van Winkle, 20,

• Pappy Van Winkle, 23,

• William Larue Weller, 2018,


• Yoichi, 10,

• Yoichi, Rum Finish,

• Miyagikyo, Rum Finish,

• Miyagikyo, Sherry Cask Edition,

• Yoichi, Decades 2000’s,

• Yoichi, Peaty and Salty,

• Yoichi, Sherried and Sweet,

• Miyagikyo, Sherried and Sweet,

• Miyagikyo, Fruity and Rich,

• Tsuru 17, Ceramic Decanter,


• Eagle Rare, 17yr, 2017,

• George T Stagg, 2018,

• Sazerac, 18yr, 2018,

• William Larue Weller, 2017,

• Thomas H Handy, 2018,

• Buffalo Trace, Single Barrel Pick,


• Bruichladdich 1998, 10yr, Manzanilla Cask,

• Bruichladdich 1989, 20yr, Rum Finish,

• Bruichladdich Valinch 13, Jim McEwan, 23yr, Fino Cask,

• Bruichladdich 1984, Golder Still, 23yr,

• Bruichladdich HB 90/27,

• Port Charlotte, Pc5 First Cut,

• Port Charlotte, Pc6,

• Octomore, 2002, Futures, 5yr,

• Ocotmore, OBA#2,

• Octomore, 10.4, 3yr,

***2020


• Glenfarclas, 15yr,

• Glenfarclas, 21yr,

• Glenfarclas, 25yr, London Edition,

• Glenfarclas, 30yr,

• Glenfarclas, 175th Anniversary,

• Glenfarclas, 105, 22yr,

• Glenfarclas, 1980 Family Cask, 38yr,

• Glenfarclas, Marriage of Casks,


• Ardbeg, 19yr,

• Ardbeg, Supernova 2019,

• Ardbeg, Alligator, Committee Release,

• Ardbeg, Black,


• Kilchoman Club, 1st Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 2nd Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 3rd Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 4th Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 5th Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 6th Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 7th Edition,

• Kilchoman Club, 8th Edition,

• Kilchoman, Port Cask Matured 2018,

• Kilchoman, 100% Islay, 8th Edition,


• Flora Fauna, Bennrinnes 15yr,

• Flora Fauna, Mortlach 16yr,

• Flora Fauna, Mannochmore 12yr,

• Flora Fauna, Rosebank 12yr,


• Johnnie Walker, Old Harmony,

• Johnnie Walker, Swing Superior,

• Johnnie Walker, Black Label, Current,

• Johnnie Walker, Black Label, 1970’s,

• Collectivum XXVIII,


• Hampden, OWH Single Cask, 2012,

• Foursquare, Patrimonio,

• El Dorado, Port Mourant & Diamond, 2001,

• Neisson, Cask Strength, 2007,

• Savanna, 20yr, 1999,

• Caroni, Boutique-y Rum, Batch 1,

• Caroni, Navy, 100th Anniversary,

• Mount Gilboa, 2008,


• Murray McDavid Afficionado, Laphroaig, 20yr, 1990, 1 of 7,

• Murray McDavid Afficionado, Bunnahabhain, 3yr, 2007, 1 of 12,

• Murray McDavid Afficionado, Caol Ila, 14yr, 1992, 1 of 9,

• Murray McDavid Afficionado, Glengoyne, 14yr, 1999, 1 of 6,

• Murray McDavid Afficionado, Glenturret, 34yr, 1977, 1 of 6,


• Foursquare, Principia,

• Royal Navy Tiger Shark,

• Antigua Distillery, Catch of the Day,

• Chamarel, Blend 2010 – 2014,

• Forsyths, 2006,

• Lemon Hart, Overproof, 1980’s,


• Octomore, 10.3,

• Octomore, 10.4,

• Octomore, 11.1,

• Octomore, 11.3,

• Octomore, 10yr, 2020,


• Balvenie, 8yr, Pure Malt,

• Balvenie, Classic,

• Balvenie, 14yr, Peat Week,

• Balvenie, 15r, Single Cask,

• Balvenie, 21yr, Madeira Cask,

• Balvenie, 25yr, Double Wood,

• Balvenie, 25yr, Single Cask,


• Hanyu, 15yr, Final Vintage,

• Ichiro’s Malt, MWR,

• Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Ltd Edition,

• Chichibu, On The Way, 2019,

• Chichibu, IPA Cask Finish,

• Chichibu, Peated 10th Anniversary,

• Chichibu, London Edition, 2019,

• Chichibu, Black Rock, Single Cask,

• Chichibu, Coedonado Beer, Single Cask,


• Johnnie Walker, Red Label, 1950’s,

• Johnnie Walker, Black Label, 1960’s,

• Johnnie Walker, Red Label, 1970’s,

• Johnnie Walker, Pure Malt,

• Johnnie Walker, John Walker’s Oldest,

• Johnnie Walker, Blue Label, Casks Edition,

• Johnnie Walker, Blue Label, Ghost & Rare, Glenury Royal,