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.
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!
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Read Full Post »