Leslieville Scotch Society

A couple of guys left giving each other scotch on birthdays.

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23
Oct 2010
Whisky Live 2010 / Laphroaig Nosing
Posted in Scotch Nights by Matthew at 4:33 am | No Comments »

Well, Rod and Matt headed down to this year’s Whisky Live full of optimism only to be dashed a little. Granted, there were some surprises, but not what you would want.
Firstly, the absence of Glen Fiddich who kinda stole the show last year with their overlooked 18 being poured so freely,,,3 out of the five of us went and bought Fiddich 18s shortly there after, and then this year; no Glen Fiddich at all. In fact the show seemed quite a bit smaller than previous years… But enough about that. This year was a different kettle of fish, to be sure. The first bit of good news is Nikka, the Japanese distillery have a new release of Yoichi 10 year old. They have a wonderful expression of what has the smokieness of an Islay, combined with a honey-ness that is not speyside, not lowland, but it it’s own thing. We tried a 12 Vatted malt and a Ten single malt. Both really outstanding examples of this Japanese hybrid, although the Ten was just that much more bold. Really sweet with vanilla giving way to a musty finish. Next after that was a Highland Park 18 for me which was fully justified in every award they have won. I mean “come on. If you don’t love Highland Park 18, you might as well give up drinking whisky.” Well. Rod and I tried various things but, let’s face it, we’re becoming snobs when it comes to whisky. It’s hard to get excited when whomever trots out their 12 year old or even their 15, as something to be impressed by, and we’ve got 18′s and 21′s of their’s at home. None the less we had some awesome scotch…

Before I forget, BOOTH OF THE YEAR goes to the guys running the Dun Bheagan / Hart Brothers booth. Thank you Robin for your time and info. They had an awesome variety {Mortlach, Caol Ila, Glen Dullan, Gragallachie among others} and gave really fair pours for 1 ticket. Rod and I also enjoyed the Bowmore table, although I had really expected to see the 18 because I saw some at Cooper Street last night.
At the end of the night (4:20 AM) I have to say my favourite of the night was the Hart Brother’s Mortlach 13. Candy apple. caramel and a round end note to finish. Just fab. Well now it’s goodnight for I am going to a Laphroaigh tasting at the Harbor 60 Restaurant tomorrow and need some recovery time. Adieu.

Insert your own mental image to describe the rapid passing of 30 hours…

Unlike this year’s Whisky Live, The Laphroaig nosing at Habour 60 was an absolute treat!

Rod, Richard Lewis and I arrived at the uber swank steakhouse and were ushered into the bar where we were greeted by waiters serving a Laphroaig cocktail called “Smokey Bitter” that had been created by Franco, the resident mixologist. It was a pretty good icebreaker and something to sip while all the guests arrived (about 50). Our host, Simon Brooking was just awesome. His quick wit, love of Islay, toasts and even singing made the overall experience truly memorable. After all the guests were assembled in the bar, he suggested a group photo outside. Seeing as it was pouring rain, the plan was adjusted with the lobby as the location for the picture, but it was just too crowded. Ah, bugger it. I mean this is real Islay weather going on outside, so with a smile, and on a lark, we headed out in to the rain and posed for a picture that will end up on Laphroaig’s website. We headed back in doors a little damp and were seated in the lower dining room.  Simon sang a song to begin the event that spoke of a love for that damp corner of Heaven, Islay. We started with the Quarter cask and all the while Simon spoke and showed slides at the front of the room, describing the origin’s of Scottish whisky and about the regions and their traits. He said “Islay is known as the Happy Island…there are 3000 residents and 8 distilleries!”
We moved on to the Ten year old,  which is returning to the LCBO within weeks and toasted Bessie Williams who over saw the Laphroaig distillery for a great many years. I think Simon’s toast was: “I raise my toast to another and the other I toast to is She (Bessie), in the hope that she’ll toast to another, and the other she toasts will be me”. I really wish I could remember all his toasts for they were wonderful and we had one before each new dram. After the Ten we had the 18. Well well well…this is among the best whisky I have ever had, Islay or otherwise, so perfectly round, so balanced, so sublime and even though we moved on to a 25 and then something called Dargous? (rhymes with Gorgeous), but I was still sort of missing that 18. The good people from Beam Global informed us that the 18 will be in the LCBO at the end of November at $179.00. Already the wheels were turning and ‘should I get 1 for myself or should the group buy 3′ oh wait a minute, be here now, there is still some 18 in my glass, and returning to the present, I had another sip.
Through out all of this there was an incredible ever changing plate of food.

Here is the menu from this awesome nosing thanks to the very helpful Harbour 60 manager Virginia Adams:

B A R   F A R E

Double Smoked Bacon
Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Assorted International Cheeses
Prosciutto

Kalamata and Picholine Olives served with Feta Cheese and Guendilla Peppers (first – on the tables prior to arrival)

P L A T T E R S
Mini crab cakes with red pepper aioli
Smoked salmon with herbed cheese
Roquefort cheese with grilled pear
Seared scallops with Soya and ginger
Seared Ahi tuna with wasabi mayonnaise
Mini lamb chop with mint oil
Braised Short Ribs on Grilled Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomato and Basil 
Grilled Chorizo Sausage
Mini Sliders (burgers) with Truffle Mayo

Dark Chocolate Grand Marnier Truffles

So many yummy things and all these images of Islay…it is settled, the good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, Rod and I and family and friends will be going to Islay the last week of May 2014 for our 50th birthdays.  All and all, this was an amazing, really well run event.
Well done Harbour 60 and thank you Beam Global!


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