New Epicurean from Douglas Laing on Taste; Islay Classic Car Tour Service; Glen Moray Cocktails; A Slap for Whisky Cask Investment.
First off this time, I‘d like to give a shout out to Billy Sinclair on Islay who has set up a new classic car Islay touring service with occasional help from his wife, both of them driving and guiding their modern classics. They will also do mainland trips for clients. The cars available – so far – are 1959 Rover P4 100 (on right); a 1960 Vanden Plas Princess Limousine; a 1972 Vauxhall Victor FE and a 1983 Mercedes 230E. I‘m sure I‘ve seen the Rover being driven on the island before just as a personal vehicle. It’s a beauty and this pic doesn’t do it full justice. Apart from being an Islay resident, Billy has been involved with distillery visitor centres at Bunnahabhain, Laphroaig and Lagavulin/Caol Ila so there‘s plenty of knowledge there. It‘s such a lovely idea for a more individual chauffeur-driven motor vehicle visit. Check it out if you‘re thinking of going to Islay and find out more at www.islayclassictours.com .
This column‘s only whisky on taste is the new The Epicurean Finished in Ex-Cuvee Casks from Douglas Laing & Co. Bottled at 50.4% abv, no added colour and not chill-filtered. This is their Lowland Blended Malt and this expression is a limited-edition blend of single cask single malts, „enduring a lengthy finish in some of the “finest” French ex-cuvée oak casks“. Length of that finishing isn‘t disclosed.
Appearance: Light tawny/pale amber with brass highlights.
Nose: Soft caramel; oak wood and vanilla; fresh with a green herbacious quality; lemon sherbet/zest. Some sultana fruit. With water, a bit more oak and vanilla at first. Cream cheese, touch of milky or white chocolate and more lemon.
Palate: Slightly mouth-coating and very mouth-drying. Wood tannins. Malty with some grain and grass sweetness. Slight sherbety spritz on the tongue. Citrus zest bitterness, fresh almonds and white pepper.
Finish: Medium length with citrus zest bitterness and almond notes. It‘s really quite refreshing. A sip of water right afterwards brought out some more grassy flavour.
This is available now in UK and overseas at a price of around £55/Euro 64. There were only 5,100 bottles produced.
Glen Moray is encouraging consumers of its Twisted Vine expression to get creative with cocktails. The first in a series of partnerships is with the duo behind the drinks magazine, website and podcast ‘The Cocktail Lovers’, Gary Sharpen and Sandrae Lawrence. „This first partnership in the series will be rolled out over social media and other online platforms over the coming months, whilst Glen Moray followers will be encouraged to reimagine how they too can elevate their single malt whisky experience.“ The first recipe in this campaign is one I‘d certainly like to try:
The Pineapple DiVine
50ml Glen Moray Twisted Vine
25ml homemade pineapple syrup (recipe below)
20ml fresh lemon juice
Grape for garnish
Shake the first three ingredients over ice and strain into a large wine glass filled with ice cubes. Top with the Prosecco and garnish with a grape.
Homemade Pineapple Syrup
¼ fresh pineapple
120ml brown sugar
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
Cut the pineapple into small chunks and add them, along with the sugar, mixed spice and water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for around 30 minutes, occasionally mashing down the pineapple to make a puree. Leave to cool and strain off the lovely pineapple syrup. (Don’t throw away the remaining puree, its great mixed with ice cream for dessert.)
The Advertising Standards Authority has slapped down two companies, Whisky Investment Partners and London Cask Company, over misleading and unsubstantiated investment return claims and not indicating investment risks in ads from 2022. There’s a third one in their report lists too. I‘ve commented before that I find these claims and cask investment offers generally unacceptable and buyers should most definitely beware. Find out more about these and other recent ASA whisky related rulings on www.asa.org.uk/codes-and-rulings/rulings.html .
Next column will be some time in September after my return from holiday.
Till then, happy dramming.