November 2019: Talisker Single Malt Whisky

This month features a range of Talisker Single Malt Whisky.

This past summer, Chris Crow and I joined Lee Bullock to celebrate his birthday in Scotland.  Of course, our trip focused heavily on Scotch Whisky.  Nearly all that time was spent on the island of Islay, enjoying the immense peat that this style of whisky is famous for.  I wanted to bring that experience back to Flight Club, but truth be told, the intense peatiness of much of the Islay Scotch is not for all.  Or more likely (I theorize), that style of Scotch takes some getting used to.  Someone new to peat may taste nothing but smoke and ash, but those used to it can see beyond those intense flavors to the other exciting nuances of the whiskies.

Continue reading “November 2019: Talisker Single Malt Whisky”

October 2019: Port Finished Scotch

Port Finish Scotch

Tonight, we will be tasting five different Scotches. Each bottle varies in ABV, age, and finishing/maturation time in port barrels. I chose to do this tasting to introduce you to varied whisky styles from different regions while combining a common theme among them.

The bottles come from five different regions of Scotland, depicted below:

Port Finish Scotch

 

The “cocktail” was chosen to be a pour of tawny port to aid in identifying the port specific characteristics in each of the whiskies.

Continue reading “October 2019: Port Finished Scotch”

August 2019: Cask Strength Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain

After recent trip to Scotland, Flight Club members Lee BullockScott Hill, and Christopher Crow wanted to try and recreate an experience from their favorite Scotch distillery – Bunnahabhain.

At the Bunnahabhain distillery, they had the opportunity to taste five cask strength barrels pulled directly from the barrel.  Our tasting lineup featured four bottles at cask strength and a bottle from Bunnahabhain’s signature line.

Continue reading “August 2019: Cask Strength Bunnahabhain”

July 2019: Solera Bourbon

What is a solera style bourbon?

The solera process is a method for fractionally blending liquids so that the aging casks are never emptied, and the average age of the finish product gradually increases. Generally, the way to understand the solera process to picture a barrel rack three high. The uppermost barrels hold the youngest spirits and the lowest level holds the oldest spirits. As the lower level is fractionally drained and bottled the middle level barrels are fractionally drained to refill the bottom barrels and so on.

The idea behind the solera process is that a reliable style and quality is achieved over time. If a spirit is aged in a three-level solera process over the life of the process (more than 20 years) the average age of the final product converges on 5 years. Traditionally this process has been used for sherry, madeira, port and other wines and vinegars. The use of the solera process in bourbon is quite new. The bottles in this tasting event represent all available expressions of solera bourbon.

Solera

Continue reading “July 2019: Solera Bourbon”