Tag Archives: Bunnahabhain

Event Notice: Mac McGee October Whiskey Club Events

One month, one bar, three whiskey events. Mac McGee has a series of scotch events on tap in October for your drinking pleasure.

Ardbeg Galileo Release
October 6, 2012 at 8pm

Come down and enjoy the latest delicious release from the masters of peat Ardbeg. This limited edition 12 year old single malt whisky is a special celebration of the “world first” space maturation experiment.

Ardbeg Galileo is a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg laid down in 1999, all married together to give a sweet, smoky texture. The heart of this limited edition Ardbeg is spirit matured in ex-Marsala wine casks from Sicily that is combined with hallmark Ardbeg matured in first and second fill ex-Bourbon casks. The ex-Marsala casks add fruity aromas and textures to Ardbeg’s famed peaty, smoky house style. We will have the privilege of tasting three whiskies with the Ardbeg Girls: Ardbeg 10 year old, Ardbeg Uigeadail, and Ardbeg Galileo all for $30.

Isle of Arran Tasting
October 10, 2012 at 7:30pm

Tonight we have the rare opportunity to taste with The Arran Malt Ambassador, who will walk us through these exquisitely balanced and savory malts. We will taste a few rare releases from this small island off the coast of Scotland beginning with The Arran 10 year old, The Arran 14 year old, The Arran Sauterns Cask, The Arran
Amarone Cask, The Arran Port Cask, and The Arran Machrie Moor all for $35.

Bunnahabhain Toiteach Release
October 16, 2012 at 7:30pm

Truly a unique release from our friends at Bunnahabhain, the Toiteach is Gaelic for “smoky.” This heavily peated style is an unusual mark form a distillery that is known for delicate fruity Islay whiskies. Bunnahabhain Ambassador Haley Cognata will be here to talk about the lore and flavors of this distinctive distillery, while tasting Bunnahabhain 12 year old, Bunnahabhain 18 year old, Bunnahabhain Toiteach, and Bunnahabhain 25 year old all for $35.

RSVP for all events by contacting the folks at Mac McGee at 404-377-8050 or macmcgees@gmail.com.

Event Notice: Whisky, Cheese, and Chocolate at Mac McGee’s

I really dig what this little bar is trying to do for the whisk(e)y scene in Atlanta. I think it’s a great little place and I’ve enjoyed my time spent there. They have another event coming up in a couple of weeks. This time there will be scotch pairings with cheese and chocolate. Here are the details for those who are interested:

Place: Mac McGee’s Irish Pub
Address: 111 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA 30030
Date: 7:30 PM on Tuesday, November 9th
Pour: They will be serving Ledaig 10, Deanston 12, Bunnahabhain 12, and Tobermory 15. Three will be served as cheese pairings and one with chocolate
Price: $30
Reservations: 404-377-8050

If you’re new to the Burn Stewart whisky portfolio this looks to be a fun introduction. Call soon as space is limited.

Drink wisely my friends,

Richard

Event Notice: Gordon & MacPhail Whisky Dinner

I’m always trying to stay on top of the Atlanta whiskey scene (what little there is). I just heard about another scotch dinner taking place next week. This one is special because it is a Gordon and MacPhail event. Of the limited selection of single malt scotch we get in Atlanta, our access to independent bottlers is even more limited. That makes this dinner a truely special event.

The dinner is June 2nd at 6:30 PM located at the Toulouse Restaurant. $55 gets you in and here’s what the menu and pairings look like:

Fried Chicken Livers with Field Greens and Seared Apples
Benromach 10 year

Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with a spiced peanut sauce
Glen Grant 15 year

Grilled Salmon served medium rare, over Jasmine Rice and Braised Cabbage with a Balsamic Beurre Blanc
Benromach Organic

Sautéed Pork Loin with Apple-Caramel Sauce,Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Squash
Macallan 1988 21 year

Buffalo Meatballs set atop Gorgonzola mashed potatoes drizzled with a Dijon and baby portabella sauce served with steamed asparagus.
Smith’s Glenlivet 15 year

Southwestern-Spiced Chicken Breast with Roasted Corn Salsa served on a bed of spinach sprinkled with cheddar cheese
Bunnahabhain 11 year

Call Toulouse for reservations at 404-351 -9533.

Enjoy!

Whisky On The Hudson ‘09

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you already know that Thursday night was the Whisky Guild’s annual Whisky On The Hudson booze cruise.  You also know that I forgot my ticket and had to wrangle a new one (which makes this the most expensive tasting event I’ve ever attended.  Not the Guild’s fault, but there it is). Despite my ineptitude, Thursday turned out to be a really great night.  I schmoozed with industry insiders, helped turn other attendees on to new things, and most importantly I learned a lot.  I was even surprised a couple of times.

The boat was bigger this year, but the number of presenters was about the same, which made for a more comfortable socializing experience.  The down side was that things looked a little sparse for a while.  I decided to get the lay of the land first and to seek out some friends.  First I headed to a part of the boat where Glenmorangie had set up a little jazz club, where you could taste the whole line (including many Ardbeg’s) and relax a bit.  Of course, there was a mob around the Signet.  Even though I love Glenmorangie, I was on a mission (I grabbed some of the new Ardbeg Supernova on the way out though).  I didn’t want to be sidetracked.  However, I am easily sidetracked.

I found a boat map to help look for the William Grant & Sons tables.  I know I will find Dr. Whisky there.  On my way, I get turned around and end up talking Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery in Virginia.  Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky (hmm, he leaves out the ‘e’ even though it is an American Single Malt) is a pot stilled whisky that uses barley malted over apple and cherry wood.  I tried it last year and was not impressed, but a trusted source said that they have improved the product, so I was willing to give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised.  You can taste the influence of the fruit woods, but it does not come off as overly fruity.  It’s bold, round and balanced.  To sweeten the deal, Rick was also pouring an aged rye (containing both rye and his proprietary malted barley) and white dog* of both whiskies.  I’ve tried a lot of white dog in the past couple of months (it seems to be the it whisk(e)y these days).  I have to say, these were my favorites.  The malting process really smoothes out the rough edges commonly associated with white whisky.  The most interesting thing Rick has to offer is a box set that contains two bottles of the white whisky and a miniature charred oak barrel.  You can age your own whisky!  He had a second fill barrel there with five month old whisky.  It was different from the bottled stuff.  The wood was really bold.  This is a must have for any whisky nerd (like myself).  Here’s the rub.  Wasmund’s is only available in the D.C. area right now.  They are working on getting New York distribution, but the rest of the country is still without fruit wood malted single malt.

Once again, I was off to find Dr. Whisky.  He’s always good for a laugh and some quality information.  In route, I caught a glimpse of a Jefferson’s Reserve bottle.  “I wonder if they brought the Presidential Select,” I think to myself.  It’s not on the table.  I ask and they deliver.  Trey Zoeller, V.P. of Bourbon Operations for Castle Brands, comes over and we start talking about this whisky from the now defunct Stitzel-Weller distillery.  This is one of Malt Advocate’s “Must Buy” bourbons (but you already knew that).  It’s every thing John Hansell says it is (we’ll have a formal review someday).  As Trey and I reminisce about dead distilleries (we agree that the Hirsch <Michter’s> 16yo is superior to the 20yo), he tells me that he has another batch of this Stitzel-Weller bourbon that he plans to release next year as Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18yo.  I can’t wait.

Finally, I make it back to the Balvenie table where I find a bearded(!) Dr. Whisky pouring the entire Balvenie line.  We have a chat and I try the new 17yo (Madeira cask).  This is a good one folks.  I was a little disappointed with the Rum cask 17yo from last year.  The palate did not deliver on what the nose promised.  The Madeira 17yo is just the opposite.  The nose is a little weak and uninteresting, but it really delivers on flavor.  Later, I came back and tried the 21yo.  A very fine dram indeed.

Much of the remainder of the night was a flurry of schmoozing and tasting (I even ran into Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast).  I reacquainted myself with the Glenlivet 15yo (aged in virgin charred Limousin oak).  Limousin oak is used in Cognac barrels and is tricky to work with but it makes a damn fine whisky.  The 15yo is the only Glenlivet to use Limousin oak casks.  This specialty oak gives the whisky a richness and boldness that round out and compliment the sharp, fruity qualities common to Glenlivet.  This is smoother and richer than the standard expression.

I had the opportunity to try the PC6 and PC7 (both distilled at Bruichladdich).  These are both good drams with a fair amount of peat.  I prefer the PC6.

Dave Conroy of International Beverage Company, Inc., took me through his whiskies from Mull and Islay.  I don’t remember ever trying Bunnahabhain before and I think I would remember an unpeated Islay.  I liked it at every age.  There is a sweetness and complexity that I associate more with the mainland.  This is very approachable whisky.  Dave also introduced me to Tobermory and Ledaig (both from the Isle of Mull).  Really good stuff, the Ledaig especially is a must try for any peat lovers out there.

Other things that stood out for me that night were the Knappogue Castle 1995 Irish whisky, the Hibiki 12yo Blended Japanese whisky, Deanston 30yo, and Tuthilltown’s New York Whiskey.  However, the topper had to be the tasting lab led by Master Ambassador for Laphroaig, Simon Brooking.  We tasted peated barley, he lit a peat brick on fire, and each dram was accompanied by a song (or a joke) and a toast.  Simon is a real showman.  We tasted Ardmore 30yo (loved it), Laphroaig 10yo, Quarter Cask, 15yo, 18yo, and 25yo.  I really like the Quarter Cask (and the 25yo of course).  The 18yo is a new addition that will be replacing the 15yo.  They are very different whiskies, so if you are a fan of the 15yo, stock up.  Personally, I prefer the 15yo, but I seem to be among the minority in the critics’ circles.  Maybe I’ll have to give it another go in a less overwhelming setting.

So, that was my Whisky on the Hudson experience.  I’m already looking forward to next year.  The Whisky Guild does several of these events around the country each year.  You should check it out.

* “White dog” is a common term for whisky straight from the still (non-matured, no water added).  I’m not sure if Wasmund’s non-matured whisky is unwatered or not, but it is pretty high proof.

Drink well.  Drink responsibly.

-Matt