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Posts Tagged ‘Bowmore’

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Black Bowmore 50 Year Old: the ‘redistribution’ edition.

The profits from the new release of 50 year old Black Bowmore are to be distributed equally amongst families of the poorly paid, borderline alcoholic men who actually made the whisky in the first place.

Mango Reinhardt, head of Tropical Fruit at Bowmore, said:

“Well the cask has been sitting in the warehouse for over fifty years and we basically bought some shiny bottles and wooden boxes which are a different colour to the ones we used on the last few occasions where we massively profited from the skilled labour of men who never saw proper recompense for their work. So we figured we should redress the balance this time by distributing the profits equally amongst those who made the whisky in the first place. I mean, hands up, we did kind of build a global reputation off the back of that Um Bongo flavoured nectar they were churning out back in the sixties so it does only seem fair.”

 

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“It’s just like that only our’s is ‘single fruit’…”

Ex-Bowmore distillery worker, Wee Jock MacPineapple, said:

“I’ve just had three inches of new make spirit with my morning porridge – who needs money!”

Suntory chief archivist, Dr Takeshi Maracuya, said:

“After careful study we of course now understand that Bowmore was far superior in the 1960s due to the lower production levels. This enabled far higher proportion of in house floor maltings, longer fermentations in wooden washbacks using gentle brewer’s yeast, slow and careful distillation – using direct fire prior to 1964 – and, of course, magnificent, fresh sherry casks.”

He added:

“Of course it helped that we had a workforce dosed up to the eyeballs on free new make spirit each morning. Although, this was also important as it contributed greatly to the slow pace of production and prevented them from being able to form sentences such as: ‘Can I please have a raise?’ Instead preferring to say things like: ‘I’ll tak’ a double Hamish!’.” 

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A new independent bottler, Golden Decanters, has brought yet more innovation to the already crowded category of whisky themed gibberish with its new set of silly things.

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Why not invest in your own stupidity?

The company is offering four new single cask whiskies of varying age and distillery origin for sale only as a complete set. The Golden Decanters are each named and specifically targeted at in-bred people with enough money to buy Svalbard but insufficient IQ to strike a match.

Company director, Julialalalal Mackenzie-Flounderer VonTrapp O’Bovril III, said:

“We just feel there isn’t enough out there in the whisky world that caters for the immensely gullible, stupid and ignorant. What about rich idiots who don’t know anything about whisky? Will nobody think of them? The poor wee mites!”

Co-director, Meddling Annlock, added:

“These releases are just so groundbreaking and totally innovative precisely because they eschew all those silly ‘old’ things that made other whiskies collectable. You know, very good whisky sold in limited quantities for a fair price which lots of people buy, open and drink and so the demand increases on the secondary market and collectors and drinkers seek out the remaining bottles thus pushing the price up. None of that nonsense for Golden Decanters thank you very much. We’re going to just go ahead and cut out all that middle stuff and just get people to pay thousands of pounds for the whiskies straight away without having tasted them and with zero brand history. I can’t wait for the money to come rolling in…”

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Why not buy several sets and use them in place of clay pigeons?

The Golden Decanters first series features four whiskies:

Bowmore 1989 26yo ‘The High Drive’

This bottling takes its name from the time Julialalalal and Meddling took all their delightful chums on a jolly little Grouse shoot and had a few too many lines of Cocaine and ended up shooting one of the beaters in the face. LOL!

Glenlivet 1981 34yo ‘The Tight Line’

Named to commemorate the solemn day when Julialalalal got a ladder in her tights and had to be airlifted to Harrods.

Auchentoshan 1993 22yo ‘The Golf Widow’

Named after that time Meddling beat her caddy to death after he refused to retrieve her favourite ball from a nest of Japanese Hornets.

Ben Nevis 1996 19yo ‘The Highlander’

Named because they ran out of ideas for other stupid names.

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Comes in a box with stuff on it.

There are 180 sets available for £7250 each. Some have speculated that this is actually a top-secret pilot project to identify and rid the world of 180 total pricks. Whisky conspiracy theory enthusiast Elberto Achman said:

“It cannot just be a coincidence that this comes along at the same time as a new Macallan 40 year old. I mean, if it’s real and not just some clever trap designed to snare people that should not be allowed to have money or the ability to pro-create then I would say we are finally entering phase 5 of the end times. That or it is all the fault of the evil Professor Jill Bumsden who, as we all know, is a baby eating lizard jew from space!” 

 

 

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Scores of level 5  whisky nerds are gaining significantly more satisfaction from showing off about bottles they’ll be bringing to Limburg on social media than they will derive from the actual event itself.

Gerhard Strudelnoodle, a Moon Import series collector from Dusseldorf said:

“This morning I posted that I was bringing a bottle of Ardbeg 1967 Kingsbury – I will of course be submitting it to Herr Kruder for his very stylish 1990s whisky auction upon my arrival. But just seeing all the little comments from people who are assuming that I will be opening it is gratifying to such an extent that it is difficult for me to put into words the erection I am feeling.”

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“If I show them only this image they will be unaware that there is no bottle of the actual whisky present. The level of humour emanating from this is quite intoxicating.”

Gerhard added:

“Perhaps later I will also post this picture of a Bowmore Sherriff’s 18 year old pear shaped. It is an extremely rare version that was imported to Germany in the late 1960s with a slightly higher ABV. I will simply post an image of the label and say ‘Looking forward to Limburg’. I will of course deliberately omit the information that it is a photo of an empty bottle I discovered in a bar in Munich in 1998.”

It is traditional at this time of year for Facebook and Twitter to become clogged up with images of bottles that people plan on not actually bringing to Limburg. Or exhibitors who show bottles they’ll be opening but don’t mention the €200 price per dram. Another common one is pictures of samples which they will drink themselves while taking selfies.

Roland Autobahn, who specialises in collecting only whiskies which were distilled during the six days war of 1967, said:

“I am quite sad that in less than 48 hours I will have to stop posting things on Facebook and actually go to the Whisky Fair. It is so full of glistening, whisky flavoured men, if it wasn’t for the run-up on social media I would probably only go for the Sunday session.” 

Limburg festival organiser, Ersten Carlich, said between large gulps from a jeroboam of 2005 Zind Humbrecht Clos Windsbhul Riesling:

“Next year the Whisky Fair will just be a very big Twitter tasting.”

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Europe’s premier sweat and lanyard conference gets underway.

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Who is older? The bottles or the men? Science cannot yet provide the answer…

Which is older? The bottles or the men? Science cannot yet provide the answer…

This weekend sees the 10th and final Lindores Whiskyfest take place in Ostende in Belgium. For those of you who drink modern whisky, here is a short reference guide to what a bundle of European whisky nerds will be getting up to this weekend.

It was a particularly rare Ardbeg...

It was a particularly rare Ardbeg…

Who or ‘what’ is ‘Lindores’???

Lindores is Belgian for  ‘Sundried Tomato’. The society name is a reference to the time one of the Founding Father’s (Beert Giro) became so aroused by a particularly rare singe cask Ardbeg that he caused heat-blistering to a nearby basket of fresh Plum Tomatoes in a branch of Asda just outside Alness in Scotland. It was particularly troubling to the locals as they had never seen a Sundried Tomato before – not believing the sun, or Belgian genitalia, to be capable of creating such witchcraft. Beert and the rest of the burgeoning Lindores Whisky Society were run out of town by angry teuchter hermaphrodites armed with flaming pitch forks and Ferguson Tractors. They were forced to seek refuge on a nearby oil rig until the European Parliament authorised their rescue by hovercraft just over 13 months later.

It was due to this experience that they decided to issue special ‘arousal proof’ underwear to all existing and future club members. The underwear is an inexplicable shade of beige that scientists have described as “non-existant in all of nature”.

Caithness Local Council recently erected a plaque to the men who endured such hardship. Especially those that had to listen to the Belgians talk about their respective whisky collections for 13 months on end.

Cromarty Local Council recently erected a plaque in memory of all the men who endured such hardship. Especially those that had to listen to the Belgians talk about their respective whisky collections for 13 months on end.

Yes but who are these people???

Good question. Lindores is centred around certain key members. Here are some of the current most high profile members. (Note: The Lindores Whisky Society is a bit like The Apprentice in that people can be fired at a moments notice. This list is accurate at the time of going to press as far as Whiskysponge understands.)

Luc Zimmerman – Grand High Wizard Of Lindores 

Favourite Distillery: Glenfarclas

Hobbies: Cigars, Glenfarclas, i-Phone apps, Clay Pigeon shooting with bottles of Samaroli Bowmore Bouquet, being chased naked through the streets of Las Vegas by George Grant, recording intricate but subdued later period solo albums in his inimitably gravel-flecked vocal stylings.

Most prized bottle: A very rare Nebuchadnezzar of Glenfarclas 105 rotation 1973 he once managed to smuggle back from Myanmar duty free in his cabin luggage by pretending it was his pet Donkey Gertrude.

Beert Giro – Lindores Club Mascot (Partially Failed Tintin Clone) 

Favourite Distillery – Ardbeg

Hobbies: Talking about his Ardbeg Collection, Collecting Ardbeg, Telling people about his cases of Laphroaig, the history of the German Coastguard, rubbing €50 notes into the oily remnants of still-warm chicken carcasses before presenting them sheepishly to disgruntled waiting staff.

Most prized bottle: Ardbeg 1950, 21 year old, official single cask bottle 1 of 1 for distillery staff. Bottled 1972. Signed by Richard Branson. Geert would like you to know he has THREE cases of this one!

Dominiek Bumbag – Lindores Musical Director 

Favourite Distillery – 1960s Bowmore, or 1960s Clynelish – Bowelish perhaps?

Hobbies: Weeping over expensive guitars, telling the younger generations about the horror that awaits them in the ‘testicle department’, bumbags, rubbing himself in 19th century Madeira and making devastatingly sticky love to exotic women.

Most prized bottle: The partially destroyed 1.13 litre bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label that John Lennon once tried to ‘bottle’ Donovan with while he was trying to force down a third plate of Lentils in Rishikesh under the watchful gaze of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (or ‘Jim Murray’ as he was later to be known) while Mia Farrow was hiding in a cupboard.

Only through transcendental meditation can we escape the earthly vileness of sulphur...

Only through transcendental meditation can we escape the earthly vileness of sulphur…

Dirk Vantaliban – Lindores Chief Of Security 

Favourite Distillery: Port Ellen

Hobbies: Playing in his sandbox, undermining the operational capabilities of the Taliban by destabilising the poppy crop and thereby affecting their ability to produce and sell Speyburn on the international Black Market, Ping Pong.

Most prized bottle: If he told you he’d have to kill you!

Christophe ‘Billy’ Bloefeld – Lindores Alternative Entertainment Supervisor 

Favourite Distillery: Whatever maaaaaan!

Hobbies: Chilling out, eating Doritos, telling the other Lindores members to ‘chill the fuck out!’, eating spicy Doritos, watching The Big Lebowski, drinking whisky from a bong while watching the Big Lebowski and eating Doritos, cuddling the people he loves, Hi-Fives, laughing, laughing in Scotland, pretending he’s not from Belgium, secretly eating Doritos under the table at expensive whisky tastings.

Most prized bottle: Somewhere in the downstairs cupboard under the stairs between the toboggan and the pre-1970s Chemistry set. Or maybe it’s the one next to that old poster of The Grateful Dead that has about seventeen telephone numbers on the back that all go to answer machines of one guy called Kurt who lives in Luxembourg and can ‘pretty much find it if you give him a weekend and €500 in miscellaneous operational business costs’. That one.

This is what it's all about…

This is what it’s all about…

Lindores 10th Anniversary Festival Schedule:

Friday

10am: People begin to arrive. Beert Giro has been awake for 17 days straight already.

12pm (midday): Anyone from Scotland is already drunk after 3 bottles of Duvel.

2pm: The kitchen at Hotel Giro has run out of steak tartar.

4pm: The festival is officially opened. Everyone celebrates with a nap.

7pm: The great welcome tasting. Tasting lasts 90 minutes with a line-up of 87 bottles. €150 per head.

9pm: The ‘Nocturn’. Everyone can attend so long as they bring a bottle. Luc Zimmerman and Beert Giro stand guard and asses every bottle that passes the door. Anyone deemed to have brought an inferior bottle is allowed in anyway but is glared at from the corner of the room by Belgian men brandishing particularly lethal looking shrimp croquettes. Scottish man who brings a €6 bottle of Albarino is inexplicable popular with everyone!

1am: Annual trip to the chicken place.

2am: Beert Giro deposits a large amount of VERY greasy Euro notes at the all night dry cleaner in Oostende.

4am: Patrick begins dancing.

Saturday

8am: Breakfast. Seven grown men attempt to sufficiently navigate a continental breakfast bar without creating widespread destruction.

11am: Main festival open.

11.30am: Jolly, hairy Italian man renders entire process of appreciating delicate, ancient single malts entirely mute by force feeding everyone golf ball size chunks of 8 year old Parmesan cheese smothered in Balsamic vinegar the colour and consistency of Satan’s bone marrow.

1pm: Luc opens a 1922 Lagavulin and charges people €250 to watch him drink a measure.

3pm: Olivier Humbrecht totally fucks everyone up by feeding them three Jeroboams of Vendage Tardive Pinot Gris from the Rangen that makes people stick to each other at the liver.

5pm: Dominiek Bumbag plays a 20 minute live set on the hammond organ during which he consumes an entire bottle of 1965 Clynelish in the first ten minutes…

5.10pm: …Serge Valentin joins him for a piano solo on ‘Hallelujah’ and gets started on a bottle of 1972 Rare Malts Brora.

7pm: Open cellar evening at Beert Giro’s ‘Ardbeg Lounge’.

7.02pm: Open cellar evening at Beert Giro’s ‘Ardbeg Lounge’ closes.

9pm: People take turns to tell Patrick that it’s not time to start dancing yet.

10pm: Dirk Vantaliban appears in full camoflage after three hours of unexplained absence.

11pm: Back to the chicken place…

11.05pm: Thrown out of the chicken place, back to Hotel Giro…

12pm: Scottish people take over hotel, total fuck storm ensues.

9am: Everyone departs vowing never to return.

9.30am: Surviving members of Lindores Whisky Society begin planning Lindores Whiskyfest 2016.

 

 

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It is time...

It is time…

And lo winter is upon you. The world turns and the night rises in hunger to gobble your days at both ends. The air takes upon itself the keen chill of steel, it nibbles roses into cheeks and draws your breath in wreaths.

Yet about you scurry – another dweller in the freezing northern wastes. Catching the comfort of some condensation-dampened bar like the muggy twinkle of old tinsel in half-forgotten memory. Your friends – both real and imagined – huddle with you; witnesses round the campfire of your foaming ale. They are comrades in your endurance, drinkers from a fellow mulled cup. While outside lies only cold and darkness, furrowed by the brightly strewn viscera of festive retail, the lights of which burn as coldly as the darkness they percolate. And so you step – a sorrowful leap of faith – from the precipice of autumn into the long arms of winter.

So, with that in mind why not chase away those winter blues with Whiskysponge’s second collection of 40 fun facts about whisky.

You’re welcome!

1: Did you know… Whisky was invented in 1836 by Bruce Forsyth.

2: Did you know… The newly expanded Glenlivet Distillery was based on the novel 1984 by George Orwell.

Founder's reserve, double plus-good!

Founder’s reserve, double plus-good!

3: Did you know… The first whisky in space wasn’t Ardbeg, it was actually a large measure of Dalmore Cigar Malt that someone accidentally put in their mouth and promptly spat into orbit.

4: Did you know… The Islay Calmac Ferry has a small boat constructed entirely from spent grains from the Islay distilleries mash tuns. It’s called a ‘Lifedraft’.

5: Did you know… Ralfy is actually a Druid.

6: Did you know… Speyburn distillery is home three exceptionally frisky Salmon called Alvin, Simon and Theodore and they all have their own offices.

7: Did you know… Nikka have forgotten they own Ben Nevis Distillery on at least nine separate occasions.

8: Did you know… Donald Trump tried to buy Karuizawa Distillery and rename it Trumpruizawa but he was defeated in an arm wrestle by Marcin Miller.

Remarkably little upper body strength.

Remarkably little upper body strength.

9: Did you know… Scientists predict that by 2082 all remaining stocks of Drumguish will have to be contained within a tungsten-carbide exo-shell with a protective anti-matter outer core if we are to prevent the formation of a black hole here on earth. Or a Boutiquey Whisky Co Drumguish bottling – the jury is still out on which would be worse.

10: Did you know… The 1976 erotic Japanese/French art film ‘In The Realm Of The Senses’ was based on some early tasting notes of Hakushu 18 year old by Jasper Clementine.

11: Did you know… When Edradour Distillery failed to clean out their Low Wines & Feints receiver for seventeen years in a row, when they finally opened it up they found they had created Kanye West.

Part Ballechin. Part Edradour. All twat.

Part Ballechin. Part Edradour. All twat.

12: Did you know… The Auld Alliance in Singapore is predicted to be a Nuclear power by 2018.

13: Did you know… You can build your own blazing oil well at home by burying a super-soaker loaded with Loch Dhu in the ground and setting alight its subsequent jet.

14: Did you know… In less than five years time 90% of all whisky retailers will be older than 90% of the products they sell.

15: Did you know… Bowmore Distillery are hosting a new reality TV show in their Number 1 Vaults warehouse called ‘I’m A Whisky Nerd Get Me Into Here’.

16: Did you know… Noel & Joel are to have their own TV series in 2016. It will be a one-off special loosely based on the Hunger Games only with fewer winners.

17: Did you know… The upcoming Dornoch Distillery will be built entirely from Lego and be run by cats.

Mr Pushkin - the new Distillery Manager - describes his approach to whisky making as both 'aloof' and 'food centric'. He also hates lego.

Mr Pushkin – the new Distillery Manager – describes his approach to whisky making as both ‘aloof’ and ‘food centric’. He also hates lego.

18: Did you know… The novel Finnegan’s Wake was actually written by Allwind Kilt when she spent an entire month in the shower while stricken with the Norovirus.

19: Did you know… The architect Charles Doig released a string of wax cylinder recordings of rap, r’n’b and dubstep works which were surprisingly unpopular in their day. His effects laden, multi-tracked rendition of ‘Kilning My Phat Pagoda Bitch’ is now recognised as an early masterpiece of the trance genre.

20: Did you know… Brewdog are widely expected to place a competitive bid to buy Diageo in February next year.

21: Did you know… Dark Mollesty – presenter of Whiskyshaft – was created when a waxwork of Captain Haddock was struck by lightning.

22: Did you know… Jill Bumsden’s White Paper was recently used by Jordan to blow Peter Andre’s nose after he had a tantrum in Lidl.

23: Did you know… A new film adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles starring all the employees at The Whisky Exchange is currently in pre-production. It will star Willie Bishop, Dr Chilton, Andy Pandy and Rocky V as Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo respectively. The role of Master Splinter will be played by Enrico Linguini, while Berlinda and Raj will play Rocksteady and BeBop. The film will be directed by Dame Maggie Smith with a score by DJ Tim Forbes and is scheduled for release in December 2016.

There is still some contractual grumbling over who gets the most lines.

There is still some contractual grumbling over who gets to do the big soliloquy at the end.

24: Did you know… Drambuie is actually Gaelic for Discharge.

25: Did you know… Tampons are still considered a taxable luxury item in the UK because the Scotch Whisky Arsociation still refuses to acknowledge the existence of menstruation.

26: Did you know… The film Avatar was shot entirely on location in Bruichladdich’s paint storage shed out the back of warehouse 12.

27: Did you know… Since the introduction of distillers yeast to whisky production on Islay in the 1970s cases of Scurvy have more than quadrupled due to the lack of fruit in the Ileach diet.

There's a distinct lack of this sort of thing these days.

There’s a distinct lack of this sort of thing these days.

28: Did you know… Fiddler’s Inn in Drumnadrochit was recently awarded the prestigious Golden Sting award by David Attenborough for its pivotal role in Wasp Awareness Year.

29: Did you know… Scapa Distillery was founded in 1885 and is widely regarded as playing a decisive role in France’s victory over the Chinese forces in Đồng Đăng in northern Tonkin during the Sino-French War. The fact that France later went on to claim victory over the Chinese at Kép the same year is also seen as no surprise whatsoever given the successful commencement of distillation at Scapa some weeks earlier.

30: Did you know… An Artichoke is anywhere between 30-34% Highland Park Dark Origins.

31: Did you know… The staff at Disaster Of Malt were the original inspiration for most of the puppets on Sesame Street.

32: Did you know… http://www.sausagefun.org by Oliver Kermit is the most accidentally visited whisky website on the planet.

It's the wurst kind of joke!

It’s the wurst kind of joke!

33: Did you know… Aberlour A’Bunadh is the only whisky legally made from cocaine instead of barley.

34: Did you know… Macallan’s new distillery will have a large toilet facility stationed over a huge pit containing a library of all their old bottlings so that visitors and staff alike can literally shit all over their legacy.

35: Did you know…  Diageo are getting quite close to just giving Victoria Barfly a lot of money to take her Scotch Chatter and ‘just go away’. they plan to later recoup their losses by crowdfunding her assassination.

36: Did you know… None of the staff at Bladnoch distillery have yet had the courage to tell the new owner it is not a yoghurt factory.

37: Did you know… Craft whiskies are mostly bollocks.

38: Did you know… The letters of last resort in Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines stipulate that if – upon surfacing – Lagavulin 16 year old and Talsiker 10 year old have both been replaced with NAS expressions the Captains are instructed to initiate total global thermonuclear war ‘on principle’.

The last Pete & Jack strip.

The last Pete & Jack strip.

39: Did you know… Jim Murray died in 2005 and Jim Henson’s creature workshop has been operating him around the clock 24/7 ever since. They even won several awards in 2010 for creating something ‘scarier than the Skeksis’.

Jim Murray seen here hosting a tasting at Whisky Live Damascus 2015

Jim Murray seen here hosting a tasting at Whisky Live Damascus 2015

40: Did you know… whisky tasted better when it wasn’t made by accountants who confuse efficiency with quality and ‘maturity’ with ‘vanilla’.

 

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It's all happening again...

It’s all happening again…

It is that time of year again where people gather to celebrate whisky, queueing and complaining about the lack of Karuizawa at the London Whisky Show. This year’s show promises to have something for all serious whisky lovers to enjoy. However, these shows can be myriad and complex, with this in mind Whiskysponge has compiled a handy guide to the show to help those attending better navigate their drunkenness and to sufficiently frustrate all those unable to attend.

Masterclasses

Masterclasses are an essential part of the London Whisky Show experience, all the ones worth going to this year are totally sold out so here’s what you’re missing if you didn’t manage to get a ticket…

Ambulances will be on standby.

Ambulances will be on standby.

Three Legends Of Whisky

Jimbob Paterson, Richard McEwen and David Stewart will be laying down some face-melting beats in a midnight whisky rave before crowning the event off in the small hours of Sunday morning with an epic blenders themed rap battle. Richard has already promised to “Bring the lyric down hard” on his fellow blenders. Each legend has been asked to select three of their personal mixes, one they created specially for the rave, one they consider legendary, and one that is suitable just for getting a ‘bit off your tits to on a week night’. David Stewart – or the ‘Dubmaster’ as he’s known in Dufftown – said attendees can expect “Shit to really fly when I get in my groove and totally work those decks! Shit be like coaxing honey from a sweet lady-bee.”

Generations With Gordon & MacPhail

Attendees will have the opportunity to sit in a room and watch Stephen Rankin drink an entire bottle of the new 75 year old Mortlach with Eastender’s hard man Danny Dyer. Stephen said attendees can expect “Plenty of righteous banter and good few japes. At one point I’ll probably slosh about two grands worth of Mortlach down Danny’s front, I recon he’s the sort of rascal who’ll be well up for that sort of tomfoolery!”

Danny plans to use the empty bottle to make flavoured oil in.

Danny plans to use the empty bottle to make flavoured oil in.

Laphroaig 200 Years Of Peat

Distillery Manager John Campbell talks attendees through his collection of old peat bricks – some of which hail from the early 19th century. There is likely to be a surprise screening of his old audition tape for the role of Begbie in 1994’s Trainspotting at the end as well.

Karuiazawa Nepal Charity Tasting

At £6000 a ticket you’re probably not going to this one but given that most of the people who did get a ticket will turn up, collect their bottle and then immediately fly back to Taiwan and Singapore it’s probably worth hanging around outside to catch a few spare sets of drams.

Gone But Never Forgotten

Colin Dunnage gives us a glimpse into his extensive archive of holiday snaps from years gone by. Includes such classics as the trailer tent holiday to the cornish coast from 1978 and the Berlin sex series from the late 1980s. (Please note: due to the age and complexity of these photos there may be a few images of Colin’s recent loft conversion amongst them)

Other ticketed events include: 

The Arran Bar Mitzvah – Arran Distillery faces up to its actions and accepts responsibility for silly packaging.

The Balvenie And La Fromagerie – Charlie MacLean reads extracts from his sexually graphic new erotic thriller about a young French cheese maker who spends a summer working as a tour guide for William Grant & Sons in the early 1990s.

Dalmore Cigar Pairing – Attendees get the chance to mix up various Dalmore single malts with old cigars in blenders to see if it does anything to improve the whisky.

Might as well give it a shot.

Might as well give it a shot.

Dream Drams (Highlights)

1 Token:

3 year old Glenlivet Experimental Cask ‘Visitors Edition’

Glenfiddich 1991 ‘Selfie Edition’

Berry Bros Caol Ila 1983 new ‘LoL Price’ series

Parkmore 1927 Gordon & MacPhail for Poundland

Bowmore 25 Year Old – Douglas Laing Moderately Aged Perpendicular Faux-Victorian Try Too Hard Edition

Amrut Heat Death Edition. Single cask, bottle number 1 of 1.

2 Tokens:

Some of the old Ardbegs from back when it was good.

Bowmore 1980 Queen’s Bubble Bath

Queurizawa 1980 Show Exclusive

Port Askainahabhain 45 year old

Yamazaki Jim Murray Finish

3 Tokens:

Glenfarclas 1956 (Note: Served only as slammers in a head to head drinking battle with George Grant)

Glenmorangie Shame

Highland Park 1968 Orcadian Spillage

Tobermory 42yo Bovril Finish

4 Tokens:

Auchentoshan Triple Wood

100 Tokens:

Speyburn 12yo Flora & Fauna

Guests Of The Show

Each year the Whisky Show attracts some of the biggest and baddest names in Whisky. This year they’ve pulled out all the stops:

Noel & Joel: The Whisky world’s answer to Bert and Ernie from Sesame St will be wandering around giving interviews to their imaginary childhood friends.

Jim Sweep: You can find him over on the Pina Colada stand. Why not pose for a punch in face and some traditional, indecipherable Scottish abuse.

It's best to keep at least five feet away at all times.

It’s best to keep at least five feet away at all times.

Charlie MacLean: When he’s not reading from his new erotic thriller he’ll be on the floor.

Professor Jill Bumsden: She’ll be mopping up at the end of the show with her patented ‘White Paper’

Liam Buxton: Liam will be giving a demonstration of live bear wrestling while wearing a 1940s scuba suit full of wasps at about 3pm on the Sunday. Popcorn provided.

Colin Dunnage: The inimitable raconteur will be catapulting bottles of 1972 Brora from the roof of the building from 11pm on the Saturday night until 8am on Sunday. Why not sleep in the carpark for your chance to sup the precious liquid from between the razor sharp shards of broken glass.

Allwind Kilt: Allwind will be smothered by a sweaty smog of fawning, drunken, sexist buffoons. Why not join in and further bring masculinity into disrepute?

Ian Logan: Ian will be teaching you how to use Falconry to avoid ever having to drink Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve.

You'll never have to taste it again. Guaranteed!

You’ll never have to taste it again. Guaranteed!

Dr Nick Morgan: Dr Nick will be lashed to a crucifix behind which the entirety of Diageo’s whisky marketing team will be quivering like pigs at a Tory conference.

Frank McHardy: Frank will be proving his name by beating everyone at the show at arm wrestling.

Ingvar Ronde: Ingvar will drinking the blood of virgins and attempting to evade natural light. Bring some garlic!

 

 

 

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To celebrate international whisky day, Whiskysponge has managed to secure a rare interview with the drink itself.

Whiskysponge: Hello.

Whisky: ….hi

WS: So…how are you?

W: Ok, I suppose. I’ve been blended a lot lately and left to sit around in Asian warehouses for quite some time which is undeniably testing but there’s not much to be done about that so I probably shouldn’t complain.

WS: Right…

W: What exactly is a ‘whiskysponge’?

WS: Well…I absorb you I suppose.

W: I see. Couldn’t you just drink me like everyone else?

WS: Well I’m a non-human, partially metaphorical construct. And also I don’t have lips.

W: I don’t have lips either and I’m also a partial metaphor.

WS: So are we going to struggle to conduct an interview in the traditional question and response mode?

W: Well let’s find out but can we make it snappy because I’ve got to be nosed and tasted by a significant number of people today so I’m really quite busy.

WS: Yes of course, sorry. Where exactly are you from Mr Whisky?

W: I’m sorry but why do you assume I’m male?

WS: Just the thing to do really; a bit like God I suppose.

W: Well I can assure you that I am a thoroughly genderless liquid.

WS: Right…sorry.

W: And what’s more – despite all this ‘Angel’s Share’ and ‘Devil’s Cask’ pish – I remain thoroughly agnostic. At least until the Pope and Richard Dawkins agree to participate in an unnecessarily violent bar brawl whilst reeking of me to determine the ultimate existence of any deity or higher form of being.

WS: Ok, well I don’t think we need to involve a third potentially metaphorical construct, certainly not one as flamboyant as God at any rate. So, where are you from ‘Whisky’ ?

W: I’m from Scotland, Ireland, Japan and most of North America but I also have a little Indian, French, Swedish, German and Australian in me. Not to mention a family tree that stretches quite far back to ancient Chinese, Persian and Egyptian cultures. Although, I was a different sort of character in those days mind you. All fireworks, eye shadow and surprisingly few parts per million phenol.

WS: How would you define yourself these days then?

W: Well ever since I graduated from 13th century monastic brewing culture I suppose I just sort of stumbled into being a malt based distillate. I used to be all about clarity and herbal infusions and providing methanol-induced infertility – but since I got into wood ageing I’ve never really looked back.

WS: Is there a particular age you enjoy being bottled at?

W: To be honest I don’t really have a preference. It all depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Sometimes I just feel like I’m five years old and I want to run about the place being totally off my tits on wood sugars, being lively as fuck and bouncing off the walls. But then there are more melancholy or pondersome days where I would really just rather lounge about from the ages of twenty to forty and be kind of relaxed and mysterious. Usually I’m quite happy to just flop along in a slightly adolescent ‘hands in the pockets’ ‘I’m off to develop an obnoxious taste in music’ teenage fashion.

WS: And what about when you’re bottled without an age?

W: Do you mean when I’m ‘NAS’?

WS: Yes.

W: Well – now I know people are getting their knickers in a twist over this lately – here’s the thing. I’ve actually been bottled as NAS for well over a century now. Even if you put blending aside – that’s another thing, I really don’t like it when I’m forced to share a room with my rather uncouth sibling Grain. But I digress, even just as a single malt I was bottled without an age statement ever since people stopped guzzling me direct from wooden transport casks in Victorian ale houses. I don’t really mind being vatted together and bottled as NAS, it can be a bit of a mind-tangling girofuck at times but it’s generally ok in principle. It’s just that there’s a rather disconcerting trend of giving me silly names and ever sillier price tags all the while hiding any real information about what I really am. Do you ever have those days where you just feel like you’re loosing your identity a little bit? It would drive me to drink but what does an alcohol do to drown its sorrows I ask you?

WS: I’m not sure there’s an answer to that. Is that what makes you such a caustic and edgy sort of character then?

W: Well, having said all that I suppose what irks me most is the things I’m forced to wear nowadays. I used to be kind of left to my own devices in some lovely, rather tasteful little refill hogsheads but now its all ‘vanilla’ this and ‘coconut’ that and ‘extra matured’. I hate vanilla, it really is such a vulgar flavour and yet that’s all they ever seem to dress me up in these days. Sometimes I just look in the mirror and I’m like’ give me some fucking minerals Goddamn it!” And I’m forever being evicted, just when you get comfy and settled in onc cask some burly men come and upend you into some horrid and completely overactive new cask. I barely ever have time to pack up my hemicellulose from my old cask.

WS: Do you want a tissue?

W: No. Why?

WS: Well it’s just that you’re crying?

W: Metaphors don’t cry!

WS: Right, of course, sorry. Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

W: In ten years time? Well, it’s hard to say, it really depends on what my commitments are abroad. Apparently they’re having some sort of issues with me when I’m blended where there’s rather a lot of me and sales are ‘stagnant’. If that keeps rumbling along I suppose things could get more relaxed for me when I’m in my native malty format. I’d quite like that to be honest, and my sibling Grain is managing to keep itself pre-occupied these days, hanging out with David Beckham all the time. If things kick off again though then it could all go tits up and I’ll just spend all my time being made in only four different distilleries by 2040.

WS: You mention your sibling Grain, has there been a long history of sibling rivalry between you?

W: No not at all. For a long time Grain and I were really just there to be blended for mass market consumption. Not an ideal situation but that’s just the way things evolved – bloody capitalism! It’s only recently that Grain has been getting all up in my face and being like “Look who’s the big important grain based alcohol now! I’m getting bottled as single cask and everyone loves me.” And I’m totally like “Whatever, they only pretend to love you because they can’t afford me anymore darling!”

WS: Do you have a favourite distillery to be made at?

W: Well I’ve never really enjoyed the distillation process at Mortlach or Springbank, it always feels like I’ve been on a particularly boke-inducing roller coaster going through all those half-distilliation bits and pieces. And don’t get me started on Glenmorangie, it’s basically a very very long uphill hike, the view at the top is undeniably pleasant but you’re only there for a few seconds and then BOOM you’re condensed again. I don’t mind being Clynelish but I’m not sure the wax is really good for my hair.

WS: Can partial metaphorical constructs have hair?

W: I like to think I have hair.

WS: Ok….but any distilleries you actually enjoy…?

W: Hmmmm, I used to very much enjoy being Laphroaig and Bowmore back in the 60s. Short stills, no rush, and so much tropical fruit I was getting well over my five a day at the time. I also always used to have a soft spot for being Speyside because I could sneak off and have a nap. It was great until someone ruined it with Michael Owen. Now I have to go and be Loch Lomond whenever I don’t want to be noticed or disturbed.

WS: What is your relationship like with other spirits?

W: Well when I’m young I don’t really get on well with any of them, although as I get older and wiser I suppose that I get closer to Rum and Brandy and we tend to get on a lot better together. Don’t get me started on that trashy slut Vodka though, and I can’t understand a word that Tequila says. I have always had a secret youthful soft spot for Mezcal but it is eccentric to say the least.

WS: What about wine?

W: It’s a tricky one. Sometimes I have to share a cask with that poncey bitch and it really is the roommate from hell but at other times there’s a grudging respect for one another. The best of times is where someone consumes a large amount of both of us over one night. We kick up a right storm then, it’s undeniably hilarious.

WS: How do you like to relax on your time off?

W: Oh, a nice big refill european oak butt with plenty of leg room, a quiet coastal dunnage warehouse and the chance to just catch a few decades of me time.

WS: What advice would you give to people interested in getting into you?

W: I’m a chilled out kind of drink, no need to be afraid of me or treat me with too much reverence. I enjoy a laugh as much as the next grain based, wood aged distillate. Sure I can be a complex character at times but I’m easy going and open, and if you take the time to get to know me we can have a lot of fun together over the years. Just remember not to take me too seriously.

WS: Nice.

W: Well that’s what it says on my Tinder profile anyway. Took me fucking ages to think that line up!

WS: Any luck with Tinder so far?

W: Mmmm, not really. Got a match the other day but I told them the story about how Jim Murray once had sex with some brazillian half-wit over a cask of me in a warehouse and I haven’t heard from them since.

WS: I’m sure you’ll find someone sooner or later. Maybe just don’t lead with that story next time.

W: I’ll bear it in mind.

WS: So what’s next for you Whisky and how will you be celebrating your international day?

W: I’ve got a busy year – particularly on Islay where I’ve got to be a bewildering amount of special Ardbeg and Laphroaig in a couple of months, I’ll have to work on my peatiness for that and probably go to the gym as well. Other than that just the usual crazy running around doing lots of day to day being whisky stuff and a few special events where I’ve got to be lots of older bottlings at nerdfests. Did you know that once a year in Limburg a load of Germans wear me round their necks in little tasting glasses on string? I mean it’s all well and good being a lovely old 1965 Longmorn but I have to dangle between a pair of sweaty German man boobs for hours on end. It’s a tough metaphorical existence sometimes I tell you!

WS: Ok. And what about International Whisky Day?

W: Well it’s all undeniably very flattering, it’s so nice to get all that attention and be enjoyed by so many people.

WS: What about your memories of Michael Jackson?

W: It was always a pleasure to be tasted by Michael, he really got me. Not to mention the fact that he was a great friend to my cousin Beer, especially when it was going through a period of time when it really had very few friends.

WS: Anything else you’d like to add?

W: Not really, I think we pretty much covered everything.

WS: Great, thanks for taking time to speak to Whiskysponge.

W: My pleasure.

 

Merry International Whisky Day from Whiskysponge. Xxx

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