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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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None of this thank you very much!

None of this thank you very much!

It has emerged that Clynelish Distillery (or North Eastern Spirit Facility 2-48-B as it is affectionately referred to by staff) is to close for at least ten months after previous efforts involving expansion and modernisation were unsuccessful in stamping out the distillery’s persistent individuality and character. Lance Jabberwocky – head of spirit homogenisation at Diageo – said while being decanted into his suit:

“It has proven particularly tricky to bring North Eastern Spirit Facility 2-48-B down to the requisite level of mundanity. Despite all attempts at what we like to call ‘Glenordification’ we have been left with no alternative but to shut down production for a few months so we can really get on top of the situation.” 

Efforts to bring the level of flavour in the distillate under control have variously involved tearing out the old cast iron intermediate spirit receivers, battering the wort to death with distiller’s yeast, placing a ‘wax filter’ on the spirit safe, smothering the new make in first fill, palletised bourbon barrels and playing Barry Manilow albums extremely loudly in the warehouse. Lance Jabberwocky further explained:

“While all of these efforts have made some level of contribution towards personality eradication, they have not quite thus far been able to fully bring North Eastern Spirit Facility 2-48-B in line with the same kind of success we’ve had at North Eastern Spirit Facility 2-48-A, or ‘Teaninich’ as I believe it was once known by the locals. Before we fed them all to Ivan Meneze’s lizard children.” 

Lesser distillates succumbed swiftly to such torture.

Lesser distillates succumbed almost instantaneously.

The new period of silence at Clynelish will be used to add lots of nice shiny stainless steel, give everything a good scrub down with caustic soda and wire brushes and have the Diageo efficiency stormtroopers carry out a thorough appraisal of the plant. Lance Jabberwocky said while goading himself into a state of extreme arousal by rolling naked in piles of efficiency charts and spirit quotas:

“We’ve got our work cut out but we’ll get there eventually. After this it’s just Lagavulin and then ‘Vanillarisation’ will be complete. Then we can begin phase II of Operation Deathmouth and… I’ve said too much!”

It is almost complete...

It is almost done…

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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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Annandale Distillery before someone ruined it by shoving a 'craft distillery' inside.

Annanfail Distillery before someone ruined it by shoving a ‘craft distillery’ inside.

The recently re-built Annanfail Distillery has announced and elite and exclusive car boot sale of casks and other highly desirable distillery memorabilia that will be of immense interest to elite and exclusive Asians with more money than sense or possibly Donald Trump. Headlining the sale will be cask number one; the distillery’s first cask of new make spirit which is available for £1 million. This is closely followed by cask number eight which is available for £888,000. This is a number traditionally associated in China with being lucky enough to have £888,000 you can afford to spend on 200 litres of nail varnish remover that cost about £5 per litre to produce and a $50 wooden tank to keep it in. The rest of these handy rollable paint stripper transportation kegs will be available for £100,000 each.

He also enjoys Sushi and early Jon Woo films.

He also enjoys Sushi, early Jon Woo films and the character of Short Round from Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom.

The mastermind behind ‘Operation Asian Titty Suckle’ is distillery owner Doctor Cyril Crisp. He spoke to Whiskysponge journalists while downloading seven terabytes of Anime tentacle porn onto his hard drive.

“Some of the casks have been filled with ‘Man O Turds’ which is a tribute to Robert Burns and the whisky is noticeably farmy and earthy. Then there is ‘Man O Chib’, which I was inspired to distill by the recent revelation that Robert The Bruce was in fact a total Ned, this one possesses a distinct greasiness and is almost chip-esque in character. Our final and most exclusive distillate is ‘Hunners O Money’ which is very much an allusion to the price tag itself. This really is a terrific opportunity to own the whisky industry’s most valuable cask, it’s just so utterly valuable. So much more valuable than those casks of 1940 Macallan that G&M have or the 1972 Broras that Diageo still hold. They are but dog piss in wooden buckets compared to the majestic ‘VALUE’ of our beautiful Annanfail cask number one.” 

The Annanfail car boot sale is destined to take place at some point in the near future codenamed ‘The Sweet Spot’, which is when everyone at the distillery is both out of bed and still sober. Apart from the hollow wooden vessels of diluted ethanol there will be a number of other exciting and exclusive shiz and bling up for grabs including – but not limited to – the following:

Fourteen hours in a small cupboard with Molly the distillery Mouser (not a cat) £14,000

Doctor Cyril Crisp’s used toilet paper: £5 per sheet

All the leftover rivets that weren’t used during renovation: £80 each or a bucket for £50,000

A brick from the old distillery: £70,000

Two bricks from the old distillery that are kind of smooshed together with weird old cement: £120,000

A bic biro someone found in the filling store: £700

All the toenail clippings that Leroy the hobo leaves in the visitor centre car park at night: £1000

A set of 8 golf balls each containing unfermented wort and numbered 8 : £8 million

A non tame Pine Martin with ebola that lives somewhere in the warehouse: £250,000

A signed copy of Dr Cyril Crisp’s book ‘Greed, Whisky & Asians: Or How I Spent My Wedding Night’ : £888,888,88

There is speculation that the pen may also have belonged to Leroy.

There is speculation that the pen may also have belonged to Leroy.

The car boot sale will go on until they’ve reached their fundraising target of £11 million or until everyone dies. The target of £11 million is exactly what it will cost for Doctor Cyril Crisp to get his ethnicity reassignment operation and finally become the creepy generic Asian bloke with tentacles that he’s always dreamed of being. He added:

“People think it’s something to do with funding the distillery. They couldn’t be more wrong…” 

 

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Today Whiskysponge is pleased to offer an exclusive guide to whisky investment by Jasper Clementine, the beloved Brora hoarder, convicted moustache nurturer and writer of award-repelling personal online whisky stream of consciousness: whiskybling.com.

Jasper as a young pineapple at Umbongo University.

Jasper as a young pineapple at Umbongo University in 1978.

Wow. Thanks to Whiskysponge for such a great opportunity to write something I had always been meaning to witter on about on whiskybling but just never found time and also the general crappyness of the website is an obvious hinderance which really says long. Anyway (cut to the chase Jasper!) here is my kind of crappy guide to whisky investment which I’m sure someone who is a professional and not just some total amateur such as yours truly will really be able to come along and do a much better job of (Japer it’s really time to leave that poor bush alone). Here we go…

Jasper’s Guide To Whisky Investment

Step 1… First thing you need to do is get interested in whisky in about 1998.

Step 2… Be intelligent.

Step 3… Start two internationally successful marketing companies in the early 1990s.

Step 4… Buy a lot of bottles of Brora, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Bowmore, Talisker, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Port Ellen, some Macallan, many old blends such as Mackies and White Horse, some Longmorn, Highland Park and numerous other excellent Speysiders and Islays.

Step 5… Put them in an underground bunker next to some old Joni Mitchell CDs, a Ducatti, a VHS of Frank Zappa in concert from 1974 and more broken watches than is strictly necessary.

Step 6… Hide everything amongst about 3800 half empty sample bottles.

Step 7… Avoid inviting Scottish people to any birthdays/bar mitzvahs/funerals/distillation parties/pet funerals/graduation ceremonies/dinner/halloween/fancy dress parties/acid trips/cocktail afternoons/coffee mornings/grouse shoots or wine tastings.

Step 8… Leave to marinade for upwards of a decade and then post photos of yourself drinking them on the Malt Manaics Facebook page until 6000+ whisky geeks crowd fund you to stop torturing them.

Step 8… If further funds required sell the Brora 1972 Rare Malts to engineers looking for fuel capable of breaking the land speed record.

Alternatively you can sell everything at auction. Here are my latest notes on selling bottles at auction.

At first you find small bids on bottles with a big emphasis on the peat such as Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Talisker but there can also be surprises in the form of Ledaig and after a while even some Mezcal. The whole is very gripping and engaging right from the start where prices really start to open up and rise once you give it some time. Zzzz zzzz zzzzz… right where are we? Wow! The Highland Park and the old Glen Garioch have really exploded with some very clear top bids. Quite incredible the way it holds your attention. Lets add some job lots…. with job lots you have all kinds of prices really starting to make the whole kind of complex and difficult to follow. It really starts to diversify in quite a bizarre but captivating way. We like mucho this style of auction at Whiskybling towers.

In the mid-auction straight away you have the impression with this amount of time that the Cognacs, Rums and Whiskies are really beginning to converge which can really happen with these spirits if they are given sufficient time in auction I find. You really get similarities between them becoming quite apparent. Now out of nowhere BAM: aged Tequila, just coming through in small bids here and there, totally unexpected. But overall it is the peaters that you really get the feeling are finally beginning to dominate, all these big bids on aged Port Ellen, vintage Laphroaig, rare Brora; it’s really quite a showstopper towards the finish.

The finish is now really long – there are STILL people bidding – it really fades and fades quite beautifully…especially as it is my bottles that are being sold. Quite astonishing in the finish really. All these little fluttering bids of Longmorn, Strathisla, old herbal liqueurs, aged Pinot Noir and even something of Gentian eau de vie. Finally wet dogs (I’m sorry Pongo, we didn’t mean to sell you).

Winnings: 98/100 bottles sold!

 

 

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With the whisky industry grappling with the fast paced and ever evolving modern world in an increasingly ungainly and haphazard fashion – not unlike a drunken homeless man wrestling with a large angry pig – there are some fascinating and unusually difficult to believe developments afoot in 2015.

It's a visual metaphor.

It’s a visual metaphor.

January

Loch Lomond distillery releases long awaited Croftengea ‘Isotope’. A special radiation-themed NAS edition produced using barley grown at Sellafield. Distillery manager Edwin Custard said through one of his seven mouths “It’s a remarkable product and we’re all very proud. Kevin the distillery cat can leap directly through walls now. And it’s quite easy to find in the dark.”

First dedicated Ardbeg release of 2015 ‘Ardbrogue’ hits shelves in the Distillery’s bicentennial year. Ardbrogue comes in a dedicated shoebox presentation case with bespoke leather fixtures, a special Ardbeg-branded manure removal spike and brown glass nosing shoe. The release comes with the typically nauseating tagline: “Come take a smoky tip-toe through the peat beds with us in our historic year”. The whisky comes from the same random cask, age non-specific vat that they used to make Ardbog, Ardbeg Day, Kildalton, Rollercoaster, Auriverdes and Corryvreckan. Everyone complains about it while simultaneously desperately seeking a full case like Indiana Jones looking for the antidote in the opening scene from The Temple Of Doom.

Give me the ARDBEG!

Give me the ARDBEG!

February

Diageo releases a special app that allows angry single malt nerds to wake Nick Morgan up in the middle of the night with loud, self-righteous questions about caramel and why Haig Club isn’t a 1966 Glenlochy instead of a grain.

Whisky Magazine accidentally prints an article criticising Talisker Storm. The following issue is a 137 page apology.

Dangerous increase in number of novelty releases aimed at cashing in on Valentine’s Day is matched by annual rise in number of jokes on Malt Maniacs’ forum about ‘Valentin’s Day’.

March

Jeanette Krankie becomes new face of Auchentoshan leading to the sharpest drop in sales since Ian McGollum once drunkenly admitted to dipping his testicles into every 32nd cask to leave the filling store.

Noel Harrison and Joel Snedley launch new TV series on Sky Hipster. ‘New Age Statement’ follows Noel and Joel on their escapades as they travel the length and breadth of Shoreditch drinking traditional Diageo products and recounting tales of their days working as stunt doubles on the latter-day series of The Chuckle Brothers. Don’t miss episode three where Noel is devastated after he accidentally leaves home without his polkadot riding cravat and Joel, realising his best chum doesn’t possess the correct dress code, has to try and get them both into the new trendy nightclub – Twilight Moussakka – by sheer ingenuity. Eventually the doorman agrees to let them in if Joel will stop giving away free copies of their books to passers by. Directed by Darius from Pop Idol. Featuring music composed by Noel on his 1968 Mk IV Mellotron with additional whistling by Joel.

To me, to you. Noel and Joel back in their hey day.

To me, to you. Noel and Joel back in their hey day.

April

Jasper Clementine is exposed for accepting bribes from private collectors to publish low scores for old bottlings on whiskybling.com. Jaspergate carries on for several months involving seven lawsuits, thirty seven ticketed tastings and the publication of at least three tell-all biographies.

Owing to an increasing glut of single grain whiskies and diminishing amount of single malts on the market, the Malt Manaics change their name to the Cereal Killers.

Jude Law watches that advert for Johnnie Walker Blue Label that featured him gibbering on a yacht and dancing like a pillock and publicly commits suicide as a result.

It was the only honourable thing to do.

It was the only honourable thing to do.

May

Ardbeg and Laphroaig celebrate their Bicentenaries at the 2015 Feis Queue on Islay. Laphroaig unveil a brand new visitor experience where visitors to the distillery can be locked in an active kiln without breathing apparatus and not be allowed out unit they have eaten a large bowl of the drying malt and three whole bricks of peat. Anyone that makes it out without pleading and banging on the kiln door like a spluttering ball of cancer will be given the opportunity to buy a bottle of the special festival edition Laphroaig Carcinogen. Meanwhile Professor Jill Bumsden appears on the Graham Norton chat show and unveils jokes that many in the media describe as ‘older and more offensive than Prince Philip’.

Queue watchers beginning to appear at Islay Festival.

The new queuing system at Lagavulin in operation.

The new queuing system at Lagavulin in operation.

June

Glenlivet distillery begins exponential expansion of production which is matched by exponential decline in visitor centre hospitality. The skill of making whisky that tastes like depressed grass is honed to a fine art.

Ailing micro-distillery Abhainn Dearg on the Isle Of Lewis attempts to boost its fortunes with the launch of officially branded selfie-sticks.

Jim Sweep is hospitalised after attempting to operate an espresso machine while under the influence of several gallons of  Pina Colada.

July

M$rcin Mi$$er, head of Number One Drinks sells his last cask of Karuizawa and reveals from a massive cage full of money on board his all powerful sky blimp that there never was such a whisky as Karuizawa and all the casks he’s been selling for gazillions over the past decade have been cask strength Bovril he’s been re-distilling in his shed in Norfolk.

‘Tropicana’, an epic four hour long biopic of Bessie Williamson is released in cinemas world wide. Tropicana is directed by Peter Jackson with an estimated budget of $250 million and featuring an incredible motion capture performance from Andy Serkis in the lead role of Bessie. Described by Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian as “…a completely unashamed orgie of direct fired distilling, deep cut peat burning on explicitly shot traditional floor maltings with glaringly naked wooden washbacks slowly fermenting throughout. I exited the cinema feeling as though I had been swathed in Umbongo and Lilt by a hebridean chemical wizard.” The Daily Mail described the summer blockbuster as “…better than that communist, pinko filth The Angels Share but not as good as Taken 3.” Tropicana also stars Hayley Joel Osment as a young John Campbell and Samuel L Jackson as Marcel Van Gills.

That is a TASTY Laphroaig!

That is a TASTY Laphroaig!

August

To celebrate over 600 videos and reviews posted online, a special back to back screening of all Ralfy’s vlogs is arranged by Scottish Screen. A plaque is erected three weeks later to commemorate those who died during the event.

Jan Birch, Speyburn’s inter-galactic brand soothsayer and gatekeeper of the world renowned Drumnadrochit Gay Highland Resort, is finally promoted to distillery manager. He immediately marshals his workforce and begins an aggressive military campaign against all other distilleries in the Speyside area. Within a fortnight Glen Grant, Glenrothes, Macallan and Strathisla have all fallen, been renamed Speyburn and have quadrupled their production capacity. The Spey Hordes are eventually driven back by the Allied Distillers who unite to defeat Jan Birch’s unquenchable thirst for Speyrian Supremacy. He receives a written disciplinary from Inver House Distillers the following week.

September

Dominique Miraclegrow accidentally becomes leader of UKIP.

All Scottish ‘craft distilleries’ decide that their production processes are so identical that they can safely have a nice game of musical distilleries.

Whyte & MacKay is finally sold to Monsanto provided that Dalmore not be included in the sale on ethical grounds.

October

All the bottlings of Hanyu and Karuizawa bottled in those comedy neckless decanters that people were paying over £1000 a bottle for throughout the past two years are starting to evaporate at an alarming rate.

BIlly Walker confirms he fucking hates Benriach as the latest batch of single casks once again reveals perfectly delicious mature single malts that have been mercilessly butchered to death in some fetid and pointless wine casks like unwanted, mewing kittens tossed into a lake in a stone laden cloth sack. This latest batch of once beautiful whiskies features Shiraz, Tobasco, Irn Bru, Ice Wine, Chardonnay, Vodka and Smoked Twiglet finishes.

November

Dark Molesty performs an eighteen hour live version of Whiskyshaft direct from his bedroom featuring interviews with fictional whisky characters in his head and a thirty seven minute segment of him screaming furiously at an old snow globe demanding it answer his questions about the merits of wheat in the Buffalo Trace mashbill. The episode features at least five instances of Dark rendering himself accidentally unconscious, one of hour of live weaving and a particularly sinister segment where Dark simply eats his way through forty eight old Ardbeg Committee newsletters while providing live tasting notes. The March 2004 issue scores 94/100. The programme is listened to by almost nine people.

Diageo announces the 2015 Special Releases and their accompanying price tags:

Lagavulin 12 year old : £90

Caol Ila Bawsack Unpeated NAS : £85

Brora 37 year old : £1950

Port Ellen 35 year old 15th Release : £2300

Mannochmore 22 year old rejuvenated european oak hogsheads : £350

Talisker Hurricane NAS 63.8% : £675

Glenkinchie 28 year old Cognac double matured : £480

Singleton Of Dufftown 12 year old finished in the empty casks of 1960 Malt Mill that were accidentally drowned in a batch of Johnnie Walker Premier five years ago : £13,000.

December

Jim Murray announces his number one whisky in the world for 2016 as a direct tie between a 1965 single cask Laphroaig and a 3 year old Luxembourgian single maize whisky matured in a 12 litre heavily charred Retsina cask in a lockup on the outskirts of Junglinster.

Oliver Kermit takes an annual trip to the UK and publishes a 37,000 word blog post about everything that is wrong with British food before completely fucking loosing it and going on a rampage with a crossbow in a Luton branch of Marks & Spencer wearing nothing but a hastily constructed Bratwurst sporran.

He didn't even wait for them to cool down before putting them on!

He didn’t even wait for them to cool down before putting them on!

That’s it for 2015!

Whiskysponge hopes that you all enjoy yourselves over the New Year and don’t forget to make audible your disdain for any of that ‘drink responsibly’ shit. Please also make sure you remember that whisky is a pleasant and rightly passion inspiring drink but in no way should you fall into the trap of believing this somehow gives you the right to spout ill conceived, opinion inseminated drivel on facebook or twitter about it.

If in doubt just remember that ultimately your existence and the existence of all those you have ever known or loved – all humans that will ever exist and all that they achieve – is destined to slowly fragment into an unimaginably thin scraping of photons, positrons, neutrinos and electrons across the vast universal toast of eternity.

So stop getting all worked up about NAS and just enjoy a cuddle or a log fire.

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Yes they are nice and of course they are expensive. Now continue reading shit on buzz feed until it's time to go home.

Yes they are nice and of course they are expensive. Now continue reading shit on buzz feed until it’s time to go home.

Whisky aficionados of the world have reacted to the release of this year’s Special Releases from Diageo by scrolling past the various announcements and blog-reactions on their Facebook feeds in droves. Gunter Von Moonter, a German whisky collector said:

“Apparently there is some kind of special releases out again. I am sure they are tasting quite wonderful and looking like excellent bottles but unfortunately I must this year continue to once again eat food so I will not be buying any bottles. Except of course the Lagavulin and Caol Ila obviously.”

He added:

“Possibly also the Rosebank.” 

The announcement has aroused muted and wistful commentary; pregnant with the unmistakeable air of ‘meh’ from numerous whisky lovers across the globe. Speaking from the top floor of an Edinburgh tenement whilst allowing his eyes flit across the rain-greyed stonework that seems to underpin the melancholy in his heart, whisky gatherer Tom Simonson said:

“There was a time when the Special Releases were like the viagra to the metaphorical penis of my whisky opinions. Once a year they would become swollen and engorged with delight, anticipation and thrill. Now I’m just struggling to nurse a semi.”

Special Releases 2004

Special Releases 2004

Julia Crostini, a ‘glass half full depending on the whisky’ sort of person said:

“I’ve no doubt that the whiskies are really excellent and it is a shame that I will never be able to afford them or even taste them, except for the Lagavulin and Caol Ila. I do understand, however, that Diageo exist to make money and the pricing is a direct response to the rising influences of the secondary market on the still-niche premium single malts sector. If they can make lots of money selling them for these prices in the far-east then we should not be surprised. I do still feel that they are perhaps missing a goodwill marketing opportunity with the steep upwards trajectory of their pricing but I am not in charge of Diageo. Obviously if I were pretty much all blending would be cancelled and I would turn the world’s largest drinks conglomerate into an official boutique independent style bottler. But, as previously established, I am not (yet) in charge of Diageo for some reason. In conclusion then, I’m just going to buy an old bottle of Glendronach 12 year old from the 1980s for £120 on this online auction site and drink it like a big happy pig wallowing in a pile of wonderfully mineral, waxy, distillate-driven, old style, elegant, fruit-laced, full-bodied shit!” 

Max Hindenburg, director of ‘Saying ‘PFFF!’ Obnoxiously In The Face Of Whisky Enthusiasts’ at Diageo said while quaffing a half pint of Singleton Of Glendullan 38 year old and coke with some Chinese ambassadors in the Buckingham Palace gift shop:

“We feel that this year’s special releases offer something for everyone wealthy enough to employ an accountant to help them evade tax. Not to mention the sublime quality of whiskies such as this scrummy Glendullan 38 year old, the Port Ellen 14th release and the stunning Brora 1978. These are indeed world class whiskies and as such it should be pretty damn obvious that we’ll have some world class prices to attach to them. I honestly, hand on my wallet, cross my legs and hope to pee, stick a bung extractor in my knee, promise that I – that WE – believe these whiskies to be fairly and realistically priced. After all, this is capitalism baby. Apart from the NAS Clynelish for £500 obviously. That was this year’s comedy entry. It wasn’t even supposed to be in, it only got through because Kevin at head office sent over the wrong file last thing before the weekend.” 

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