Showing posts from April, 2016

[Review] Lagavulin - 8 years old 48%

After having mentioned it a couple of weeks ago in the Lagavulin 16 post, here it is finally, the Lagavulin 8 years old. This is the first release of the year for the distillery which celebrates its 200th anniversary. I had pre-ordered a bottle with the WhiskyShop a couple of months ago, but for around £50, I thought I would buy a second to open and hopefully enjoy, and here I am! You can probably already tell whether I like it or not just by looking at the amount missing from the bottle after a week or so...  Many people commented how expensive the bottle was compared to the 16 year-old one, saying it would only be a money-making dram, selling young whisky with a limited edition badge on it, and to be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure what to expect either. I did ask about it at the distillery at Easter (they didn't have it in the shop or to try as it hadn't been released yet) and the people there told me it was a great whisky (I know, they couldn't really say otherwi

[Tasting Session] Whisky shop - Whisky and Food 23/04/16

I haven't really mentioned many of the tasting sessions I attended at the WhiskyShop Manchester since the Old and Rare one at the end of November. I was there a week ago for a customers' favourite session which was rather busy and had some decent bottles for us to try (anCnoc 12, Benriach 10, Old Pulteney 12, GlenDronach 12, Bunnahabhain 12 and we finished on the Loch Fyne Living cask -a peated vatted malt- served with some blue cheese, which announced the theme for this weekend). I was back again this Saturday, this time for my first whisky and food pairing session. 5 bottles on offer and 5 (bite-size) food to go with them. So let me tell you more about what we got to try and mix together. The first dram was Woodford Reserve's Straight Rye, served with a glacé cherry and mint leaves. I think they wanted to try a somehow deconstructed "Old Fashioned" cocktail. For me, the Woodford was the star of the night and the combination of cherry and mint worked a

[Review] Lagavulin - 16 years old 43%

As I received a call yesterday telling me my Lagavulin 8 year-old 200th anniversary was ready for collection at the Whisky shop Manchester, I thought it was time I reviewed my bottle of 16 year old Lagavulin. The Lagavulin 16 is one of these bottles I had heard and read a lot about even before getting properly into whisky. So I decided to get myself one a few months ago to see if all the talks around it being one of the benchmarks as far as peaty single malts are concerned, were justified. I remember opening it and having a bit of an "Amelie Poulain" moment (French mega-successful film!). By that, I mean that I had heard so much about it, when I actually got to try it, it just didn't blow my mind as I was expecting. But like with the film, the more I get back to it, the more I enjoy it. And having just poured myself a dram, it continues to be true! It is definitely a rich and complex dram in my mind for which you need to be in the right frame of mind. As much as I like

[Trips] Islay Trip - Part 4 - Ardbeg distillery, Lagavulin distillery and Laphroaig distillery

Last day on Islay today with quite a line-up: Ardbeg at 10:00, Lagavulin at 12:30 and Laphroaig at 15:15, and all that on foot! So after a good breakfast of smoked haddock and poached eggs, we set off from Port Ellen, heading towards Ardbeg, the furthest distillery on the southern coast from Port Ellen. We soon found a brand new tarmac path which runs all the way from Port Ellen to Ardbeg so it’s great for walking and perfect if you’ve got a bike on Islay. And to top it all off, the sun was out. Timing-wise, it took us 30 minutes from the B&B to Laphroaig, then 20 more minutes to Lagavulin and 20 minutes again to Ardbeg, walking at a decent pace but stopping here and there for photographs. Good breakfast at Askernish! On the path between Port Ellen and Laphroaig We reached Ardbeg distillery on time for our 10:00 visit. We started from the shop/café (which has really good reviews but we couldn’t verified them as we ran out of time at the end of the visit!) and headed