Sunday, 10 May 2015

the Beast of Dufftown

Over the past few years, we have tasted our fair share of Mortlach whiskies, and except for the rare Diageo bottlings, most of them were only available from independent bottlers, and most of the ones we have tasted we in private collections other than our own (hence the lack of proper notes).

Times change; Diageo announced mid 2014 they will be releasing a Mortlach single malt range comprised of three different expressions and a travel retail version, starting in the UK. Since the UK release there was a lot of buzz about the pricing, size and availability of the bottles, and May 7th 2015 it was time for the Benelux release party of "the Beast of Dufftown" in Brussels, and WhiskySpeller was invited to enjoy Luxury Whisky Ambassador Georgie Bell's presentation and create our own opinion.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Spirit of Speyside Bake Off

The Whisky Shop Dufftown recently ran a competition to find the best Speyside whisky inspired Cupcake of Muffin. Contestors had to think whisky, and invent a whisky inspired cupcake or muffin. Of course a (well available) Speyside whisky had to be either in the cupcake, or had to fit the recipe in a pairing. After a couple of rounds, the judges and organisers had come up with a series of cupcakes and muffins that would be judged in one final round by the festival visitors, the first weekend of May.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Speyside Incident

This is what we called it amongst ourselves for the last year because the Police had asked us not to talk about the incident online (close to impossible for bloggers, we tell ya) until the perpetrator was caught, and here is our breaking news from earlier today: Ladies and Gentlemen: they've got ‘em! The guy confessed, and is convicted and put away for several years. Like a friend of us mentioned today “may his darker parts get so worn out, an endoscopic camera does not need any artificial lights to operate”.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Benromach - touch, feel, smell and experience...

Recently we received a set of samples from the Benromach Distillery, their lovely 10 years old and the Organic 2008. The 10 years old consists of whisky from 80% ex-Bourbon barrels, 20% ex-Sherry hogsheads and had a final finishing year in first fill ex-Oloroso casks. The Organic 2008 is a certified Organic whisky from start to finish and fully matured in virgin oak casks. Some lovely expressions in the line-up Benromach has put out there.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A Sensory trip through the Seasons

After an amazing 10 course opening dinner we told you all about in an earlier post, we had some more food and whisky combinations during the Whisky Festival Noord Nederland

We were lucky enough to have obtained tickets to another of Martine Nouet‘s masterclass where she paired eight different bites - four sweet and four savoury (all prepared by Inge Lanckacker) with four different whiskies. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Whats cooking...?

Almost two years ago we made our first quick visit to Zuidam Distillers in Baarle Nassau, in the south of the Netherlands. Plans to go back to them were made a while ago already, and we were looking forward to seeing the place again with their new stills added to the distillery and other changes they have been going through recently.

Because the place is crammed beyond every reasonable square centimeter, we received the news the family have purchased a second site nearby to build a larger distillery and more warehousing, that they badly need.

It makes our proud Dutch hart beat a little faster to see this growth in this Dutch distillery, that is more and more getting the appreciation they deserve around the globe. Craft, passion and attention to details show from their products, and with every chance we get, we tell anyone who want to hear about their line of products.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

WFNN 2015 opening dinner

The earlier mentioned WFNN tenth anniversary opening dinner was in one word; fantastic. As we might have hinted on some occasions, we are experimenting with food and whisky for some time already, in order to find what fits well in combination with one another. We got tipped that the organisation had planned a ten-course dinner in honour of the celebrations, where each course was paired with a different whisky. Eight out of ten whiskies were sponsored and chosen by Douglas Laing’s Jan Beckers and presented beforehand to the whisky-chef Martine Nouet, who in her turn collaborated with the new chef of bistro Het Gerecht in Groningen to create a ten part masterpiece.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Ten years old

In Groningen, up North in the Netherlands, the Whisky Festival Noord Nederland (WFNN) has celebrated its tenth anniversary. Because we have been regular visitors to this festival and always had fun, we decided to dig deep into our pockets, and have them entertain us during this extra-special edition from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon.

On this stormy Thursday in March 2015, we found ourselves traveling by train to Groningen, packed with fresh clothes so we could refresh between sessions and after parties. In the lobby of the Martini hotel we ran into Martine Nouet with Hans and Becky Offringa, before we went to our room and undo ourselves of the luggage. During a quick lunch at the restaurant we came to realise that the long weekend-party we were looking forward to, was really here. And so were we. Ready as we could be, or so we thought.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

whisky and food pairing

Late March 2015, Spring has just begun and we were invited to a whisky and food pairing in our own city of Almere, the Netherlands. Almere does not have a rich history of whisky (nor, for that matter, a history at all), but the organisers had managed to get about 25 people together in restaurant Krab aan de Haven in the harbour - of the oldest part of Almere. Dutch Glenfiddich ambassador and whisky enfant terrible [meant lovingly] Tony van Rooijen was selected as our host for the afternoon, and had, together with the restaurant’s chef, cooked up a line-up of six different whiskies paired with six small dishes.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

de Molenberg Distillery

After a weekend away in the lovely town of Maastricht, in the South of the Netherlands, we decided to make a little detour on the Sunday we drove back, and visit de Molenberg distillery in Blaasveld, Belgium, number 59 on our list of visited distilleries since the start of our crazy adventure in April 2012.