good will

Inaugural Young Whisky Enthusiasts Event

Posted by: Mooresy

Throw away your soft-caps, pipes and tweed vests, it’s time to bring whisky out of the dusty gentlemen’s clubs and into the open where it belongs. Whisky is unique in that it’s both an ancient and emergent industry at the same time. Old recipes hold their timeless elegance and modern distillers are creating experimental creations: between them there is a flavour for everyone.

Increasingly more young people are keen to get into the whisky scene. They either know what they like and are excited to try more, or they are new to the drink and want some guidance. Either way, they often don’t want to attend tastings full of middle-aged people with years of knowledge, and they often don’t speak up when they think they have guessed a flavour or a smell.

This is a great loss, and I want to change that.

That is why I started the Young Whisky Enthusiasts, to encourage interested people to get more involved. The tastings have been small but due to the support they have received, we are moving venues and getting bigger. Through the generous in-kind support of the Lark Distillery, we are saying farewell to small tastings and welcoming bigger and better things.

Mooresy: "there is a lot of whisky in this photo"

Mooresy: “there is lots of whisky in this photo”

The first of our tastings at the new venue will be held at 7:30 PM on 5 November 2014 at the Lark Cellar Door in Hobart. There will be rare and expensive whiskies on the tasting table, so contact me (0417 382 542, alexandermoores@gmail.com, or on Facebook) to secure your ticket. Price is $30 and includes at least 5 special drams.

At this first distillery tasting we will do a world tour of whisky taking in many countries and flavours, as well as voting on the name of our group and doing a people’s choice award which will help shape the next tasting.

It’s your community too, so get involved and help us forge a future for young whisky enthusiasts.

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Talisker 10 Year Old

Reviewed by: Nick

Talisker 10 whisky waffle

I will forever be filled with immense amounts of good will towards Talisker distillery and with good reason, as mentioned in this ‘whisky musing’ post. Of course, this could potentially leave me viewing their products through ruby-tinted glasses. However, my love affair with Talisker whisky began long before my visit, and was initially kindled by the quality drop that is their flagship release, the 10 Year Old.

There is something special about the way the Talisker balances smoke with sweetness. In fact, if this review were written on a more succinct whisky review site then it may be summed up in two (conveniently rhyming) words: sweet peat.

It’s there immediately on the nose. It doesn’t hit you over the head with smoke, but you know it’s there. The sweetness is akin to the scent of melting brown sugar. It’s spicy when it first hits the palate; a subtly higher bottling strength of 45.8% gives this whisky an extra layer of complexity. The flavours in the mouth are full and confident with notes of oak and pepper before the smoke makes a welcome return.

The finish is perhaps the highlight of this whisky. It’s lengthy and peaty, full of hints of the distillery’s island location and yet does not lose the toffee caramel notes. It’s memorable and long lasting, and certainly a more than appropriate selection to conclude a night of tasting.

The Talisker 10 year old is a fine whisky. It somehow combines the best elements of Islay and Speyside and assembles them into one impressive drop. I will always think fondly of this distillery, but despite everything, I think the main reason for this is simply the quality of their whisky.

★★★★

My trip to Talisker Distillery

There is a wonderful sense of community associated with whisky. I’ve witnessed it in many forms. A group of revellers at a bar in Scotland. A celebration between good mates. The support offered between establishments in the Tasmanian whisky industry. Talisker distillery.

The Isle of Skye is a breathtaking place full of beautiful scenery and quaint, friendly villages. Sadly, my time there was cut short, including my tour of the distillery Talisker. I was lucky to be afforded a half hour visit to cancel my booking and simply see it with my own eyes. While there, the distillery was able to fulfil my wishes and dreams, despite the shortness of my stay.

At Tallisker

Upon arriving I inhaled the wonderful sea air and hints of peat smoke emanating from the premises, and got a helpful tourist to provide photographic evidence of my presence. Then, upon entering the visitor centre, I told the tale of the unfortunate reasons behind my early departure from Skye and cause of my booking cancellation.

The response was immediate. “Have you got a couple of minutes”, one gentleman asked, and upon my positive reply escorted me into the maturation warehouse usually only seen upon a formal tour of the facility. We discussed their aging of the barrels and the variety of casks used in the process. He was interested in my little state of Tasmania and the whisky being created there. Then a tour group arrived and we quickly scurried back to the tasting area.

“While you’re here, you had better do a tasting”, he proclaimed. I did not protest. “I’ve tried the 10 Year Old,” I confessed “and liked it very much”. “Ok,” he replied “have you had the 18 Year Old?”

Twenty minutes later, and my visiting time elapsed, not only had I discovered my new favourite Talisker expression – but I had done so twice – for after the magnificent 18 Year Old, he produced a ‘Triple Matured’ dram only available to the ‘Friends of the Classic Malts’ several years prior to my visit. And this special Distillers Edition was exceptional. Smoke balanced with sherry, dryness balanced with typical Talisker brown sugar. A wonderful, memorable whisky, given to me at no charge.

Talisker, on this day, really solidified in my mind the community that comes with this great drink. In Scotland, or anywhere around the world where it is created, there is a sense of comradery and good will. In fact, as I write this I sip upon a dram of Talisker 10 Year Old, not belonging to me – my good friend Ross left a bottle here after a pleasant night of catching up and one or two (or more) tastings. He will likely only discover my cheeky nip upon reading this post, though I am confident that will embrace the spirit that I have mentioned here and simply say: “Sláinte”.