Why This Bottle?
This month we are celebrating the return of The Victoria Highland Games. If you’ve never been to the games, well frankly you’re missing out. It’s a weekend full to the brim of unique experiences and entertainment. Watching folk throw ridiculously heavy things is just the start. There’s also highlands dancing, celtic music, a beer tent, cultural presentations, bagpipes, kilts, cannon fire, marching bands, wonderful food, and of course – whisky.
The whisky school at the Highland games is a favourite attraction for many, as it’s essentially a mini version of the Victoria Whisky Festival – in a tent! Presenters have travelled far and wide to show off their wares at the event, and this year I’ve put together an extra special tasting to showcase The Dram Association with some whiskies that are exclusively available at The Strath (including the debut of a BRAND NEW global exclusive single cask). Tickets can be purchased for that tasting right here – and it includes entry into the Highland Games! https://victoriahighlandgames.com/attractions/whisky-school/
So with all of this emphasis on Strath Exclusives, I thought that this month’s drams should follow suit. We start off with a very limited edition from the incredible new Adelphi distillery called Ardnamurchan. The last time we had this distillery in our club it wasn’t quite a whisky yet (under three years), but now enough time has passed that we get to try their spirit as a full-fledged single malt Scotch whisky. What’s more, it was matured in a very unique cask – Champagne. Unique in two ways, firstly because I don’t believe that there has ever been a single malt matured in Ex-Champagne casks before. Secondly because as far as I can tell, only one Champagne producer uses casks in their production!
It also just so happens that the May long weekend marks the Dram Association’s birthday – and this year we are turning five! More on that will be announced later this month…
Adam’s Tasting Notes
In my initial exploration, the nose was a dazzling display of herbs and spices. Lemongrass, mint, thyme, earthy coffee and dried chillies are being ground together in an old-school stone pestle and mortar. The palate took an interesting turn with dried pineapple, Rowntree’s fruit pastels and white chocolate with the lemongrass coming through on the finish. A complex zesty and herbal summertime dram.
On a later revisit, the nose had become more classic vanilla, with a pastrylike butteriness to it. The herbs remained but were more of a garnish than the main feature this time around. The palate however had done the opposite, and those thyme and coffee notes especially were coming to the forefront. The finish was lighter and fruitier, with a touch of strawberries and black pepper – which happens to be my favourite way to enjoy strawberries.