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Posts Tagged ‘Whiskysponge’

Whiskysponge has noticed how you humans enjoy assigning each other individual assortments of letters and sounds known as ‘names’. With this in mind here is a handy name generator so you can change you current rubbish name into a special proper whisky one. Simply take your first and second initial and combine the two corresponding names to find out what your exciting new name is. You’re welcome.

 

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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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Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow. All the hot people are just out of shot.

Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow. All the hot people are just out of shot.

It’s that time of year when attractive people in Scotland come out of hiding and men decide that it’s very important to wear North Face shorts, build a lacklustre fire outdoors and dangerously undercook some meat before it rains again. It is also the season of whisky festivals all over the world. As a result of this Whiskysponge journalists have worked intermittently at divergent locations on the clock face to bring you this bullet point guide to whisky festivals.
Feel the sweat...sniff it...TASTE IT!

Feel the sweat…sniff it…TASTE IT!

The Whisykysponge Guide To Whisky Festivals
1: Whisky Festivals are descended from the SciFi themed nerd herdings of the 1970s. They first appeared in the early 2000s as a means for agoraphobic beardy men to conquer their fear of women and break out their collection of ironic t-shirts.
2: Early prototype whisky festivals carried out in Scottish places such as Glasgow were deeply harrowing. The mass graves and ‘chip bins’ of these sites can still be visited today so that future generations of whisky enthusiasts may learn from the mistakes of their forefathers. Some areas of early whisky festivity still carry a half-life of 100+ years and scientists remain unsure as to when we will be able to go in and recover the thousands of ‘premium dram tokens’ that nobody bothered to use. It is also rumoured that a man named Angus McThump has been trapped in a port-a-loo somewhere near George Square since Whisky Live 2005.
3: Modern whisky festivals are prevalent across the globe, here are some of the most popular:
.The Whisky Lounge puts on several throughout the year with shows in Antarctica, Svalbard and Scunthorpe planned for 2015.  
.Limburg in Germany is themed around the enjoyment of rare and modern whiskies in a sauna-like environment where large European men stagger around on the brink of cardiac arrest under the weight of enormous rucksacks overflowing with sample bottles.
.There is The Whisky Sexchange show in London in October, Berlinda Binge’s sex,whisky and hipster themed festival is always a popular draw, with the infamous tagline ‘Putting The ‘Cock’ In Cocktails’. 
Number 3 on the menu is known as 'The Flaming Bawbag'

Number 3 on the menu is known as ‘The Flaming Bawbag’

.The Lindores Whisky Society hosts a micro festival in Oostende in Belgium once a year where anyone caught with a bottle of whisky distilled after 1973 is lined up against the back wall of Hotel Giro and shot with a blunderbuss full of old spring caps.
They have to open about 3 cases of these each time they want to reload.

They have to open about 3 cases of these each time they want to reload.

.Then of course there are the Whisky Live festivals which vary from city to city around the globe, they range in quality from pretty good to eye-blisteringly shit.
.Glasgow has it’s own whisky festival nowadays, functionally called the ‘Glasgow Whisky Festival’. It is very much in the same vein as the original Whisky Live shows, except in a smaller more cramped venue so it’s easier to dispose of the bodies afterwards.
.The Islay Festival Of Malt And Queues, or ‘Feis Queue’ in Gaelic, is held from the last week of May into June. It is a popular festival for whisky enthusiasts and queue watchers alike, featuring the kind of shameless, sprawling, corporate cash-in bottlings that have helped systematically stamp out the traditional music side of the festival in recent years.
4: Etiquette at whisky festivals is intricate and mythical. Anyone found guilty of the following can, by law, be subjected to a Loch Dhu enema:
.Farting at tastings
.Agreeing with Jim Murray
.Turning up with a fuck off sack of sample bottles
.Hanging around in the vain hope of being offered something from ‘under the table’
.Eating Munster cheese
.Secreting miniatures in the lining of your massive trousers
.Puking on the floor
.Crying like a bitch
.Demanding that Eddie Ludlow do press ups
.Harping on about how you used to buy Black Bowmore for £70 a bottle in the 90s
.Not having a beard
.Not being / being a hipster (location dependent rule)
.Telling everyone about your interesting recipes for Draff
.Being Scottish
.Not being Scottish
.Showing everyone photos of the amazing bottles you didn’t bother to bring along
5: Whisky Festivals can be dangerous, always remember to bring a rucksack with enough water for 4 days. 16 hotdogs. A small bar of nauseatingly posh chocolate made with sea salt or Moroccan chili flakes or Condor tears. A large notepad which you tire of recording tasting notes in after 15 minutes. 37 pens. A ball of strong elastic bands, enough to suspend 4 bottles of Ardbeg Mor from a Chinook Helicopter. A small stack of kindling and tinder box. 3 family size packs of Kleenex Tissues to mop the sweat from your brow throughout the course of the festival. 1 extra strong condom, in case you drink enough whisky that you feel like experimenting. 
6: Food is now served at most festivals after the dark days of Glasgow 2005 and ‘Chundergate’. 
7: You will meet an intriguing variety of people at whisky festivals from many walks of life who will delight in discussing whisky with you. Do not let this fact delude you into thinking that your opinions are of value at other times and locations out with the festival boundaries. 
8: If you encounter Jasper Clementine of Whisybling.com at a festival remember that other people want to have their photo taken with him as well so please be quick and try not to gush all over his feet like a slavering thirteen year old girl attempting to mate with Harry Styles from One Direction.
(sub point) Jasper Clementine’s movements throughout Europe in summer can be accurately tracked by photos of him on the Malt Maniac’s facebbook page sporting a crow-barred on smile and a thousand yard stare next to some over-excited, weeping middle aged man clutching a bottle of Speyburn.
Just keep it to yourself!

Just keep it to yourself ok!

9: You are statistically unlikely to die a horrific and agonizing death at a whisky festival. It is however recommended that you draw up a will before attending. 
10: Above all else Whisky Festivals are a time of joy, sharing, passion, knowledge, fun, friendship and great memories. 
11: You have to enjoy whisky for point number 10 to apply. If you do not they are a simmering circle of blether-tinged, sweat inducing hell that will bring you as much joy as an epileptic dragon riding a nest of hornets up your left nostril. 

 

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Here are some of the whisky highlights of the coming year ahead.

January

Diageo’s Manager’s Choice series receive further heavy discounts in an attempt to sell at least some bottles. Despite this stocks remain prevalent in retail for at least another five years.

February

The visitor centre sells lovely tea towels.

The visitor centre sells lovely tea towels.

The Scotch Default Whisky Society release their first cask from distillery number 133, Minge Distillery just outside Tomsk in Russia.

Fiddlers Bar in Drumnadrochit outside Inverness has it’s first annual Open Bar Night, where all whisky, food and accommodation is free. Jon Beach, somehow the owner of Fiddlers, describes the event as: “Potentially very damaging for business but almost certainly a huge laugh.”

It's all free!

It’s all free!

March

The whisky festival season begins in earnest with Whisky Live Cook Islands and Whisky Live Siberia.

Also in March Jim Murray conducts a live Twitter tasting from the bottom of the Mariana Trench in an effort to exclude all traces of food, perfume, body odour, smoke or any aroma that might infringe upon his Godlike interpretation of Bruichladdich Waves.

April

The Universal Whisky Experience 2014 takes place in Las Vegas. The show is Universal by name and by nature and as such is attended by every creed, ethnicity, age, gender and sexuality of billionaire.

Whiskysponge guest edits Whisky Magazine

May

Rob Allanson is fired as Editor of Whisky Magazine after multiple crippling lawsuits.

May 17th is International Whisky In-fighting Day. Look forward to 24 hours of bitter, petty, bitchiness, vitriol, piss-taking and general all-round misery.

World Whisky Day loyalists advance on the Glasgow Whisky Festival factions.

World Whisky Day loyalists advance on the Glasgow Whisky Festival factions.

June

Whiskybling.com publishes its 10,000th picture of a Ducati with a failed MOT.

The great 2013 Speyburn investment bubble comes to an end as secondary market values return to a more natural £15.47 per litre.

People may finally come to their senses.

People may finally come to their senses.

July

Dramboree, the Scottish version of Maltcock Festival is held for the second year running. The idea of passionate whisky lovers from all backgrounds coming together to open special bottles and share in their mutual love of whisky is transplanted successfully to Scotland as 50 Glaswegians descend on a shack somewhere in the central belt with 2 litres of Bell’s each and 40 cases of Tennent’s Lager.

'Get it doon ye!'

‘Get it doon ye!’

August

The first episode on the new series of Doctor Who starring Peter Capaldi airs on BBC1 in which the newly Scottish Doctor glasses a Cyberman with a half-consumed litre bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask before head-butting a Dalek. A move which henceforth becomes known as the ‘Gallifrey Kiss’.

September

The number of online whisky auction sites finally surpasses the number of distilleries in Scotland.

Macallan open a new chain of roadside distilleries.

Scotland gains independence in a historic referendum. The newly independent economy that follows is largely based upon the inevitable, inexhaustible melee of special commemorative bottlings and their years of trading at auction sites.

October

Ralfy Mitchell arm wrestles the head of the Scotch Whisky Arseociation live on Sky Sports 1 to determine whether caramel should be banned from whisky production.

A man from China realises he has bought all 2012 bottles of Macallan Diamond Jubilee. He swaps them for a jade figurine of a dragon with a massive erection from Mr Cho down at the old flea market.

November

Dalmore unveil the new ‘Black Hole’ series of bottlings as they disappear up their own arse.

It consumes everything, especially all hints of shame and common sense.

It consumes everything, especially all hints of shame and common sense.

Diageo Special Releases for 2014 are revealed along with their prices to global scenes of mass indifference:

Port Ellen 14th Release: £2300

Brora 37 Year Old: £1800

Lagavulin 12 Year Old: £80

Caol Ila ‘Unpeated’ 5 Year Old ‘Mezcal finish’ 72% abv: £65

Coleburn 1978 36 Year Old: £600

Royal Lochnagar 1990 24 Year Old Virgin Oak matured: £400

Dailuaine 1974 40 Year Old: £1200

Mortlach 30 Year Old: £500

December

Word gets out that Diageo still had two casks of Malt Mill sometime around 2009 that they managed to tip into the mass malt grave that is Johnnie Walker Blue Label.  The entire senior Diageo whisky team is sentenced to a massive punch in the face.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 edition is published in pop-up format with a cutout and keep Panama hat.

Victoria Shagging Barfly is finally assassinated in Glasgow, police draw up a shortlist of just over 8,000 suspects.

Who wouldn't want to...

Who wouldn’t want to…

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Another circumnavigation of the local star is complete and your puny ape-scented race has survived yet  again against all odds. As such, Whiskysponge feels it is time to dole out some awards to those of you in the whiskysphere who each, in your own way, contributed slightly to the inevitable downfall of your species.

1: The ‘Outstanding Achievement In Highlighting Everything That’s Wrong With Modern Whisky Marketing Award’ goes this year to….

Tomatin for this piece of pure genius:

“Cù Bòcan has stalked residents of the remote Highland village of Tomatin for centuries, his legend embellished by the hellhound’s increasingly fractious behavior. Sightings are rare, once in a generation, always terrifying. A distillery worker, out walking late, was once relentlessly pursued by an imposing black beast, steam spiraling from flared nostrils, teeth bared. Compelled beyond all natural reason to feel the hound’s dense fur he stopped and reached out, hand trembling, only to see the ghostly specter – Cù Bòcan – dissolve before his eyes leaving nothing but a vacuum of deathly silence and an inky blue cloud of smoke, soon spirited away across the peat moorland…”

Sadly no one got the Donnie Darko reference.

Sadly no one got the Donnie Darko reference.

2: The Special Whiskysponge Award For Excellence In Filthy Jokes

Winner: Professor Jill Bumsden of Stoat Kedgeree.

Professor Jill has overseen the development of Ardbeg and Glenmorangie in the past decade  with a keen eye for advanced wood technology, innovative production methodology and a veritable smogasboard of willy jokes. There was really no competition.

3: The Award For Frequently Mentioning That They’re Afraid Of Being Mentioned On Whiskysponge Without Actually Already Being Mentioned On Whiskysponge For Some Reason…

Winner: Mark Gillespie. Presenter of Whiskyshaft.

Over the past year Mark has mentioned several times of how afraid he is of being tangled up in Whiskysponge. Despite these cooing attempts at evasive flattery, Mark, for some inexplicable reason has not yet been part of our newsfeed. As a result this award is yours Mark. What do you win we hear you cry? The answer Mark, is knowledge, knowledge that your time will come, Whiskysponge will come for you Mark, maybe when you least expect it. Maybe when the ministrations of time and liquid legions  of free whisky have dulled your senses as you sit in comfort by the fire, the dark tendrils of night fusing with its waning flicker and lapping at the edges of your ebbing thoughts. It will happen, there is no safe haven and no respite, your prize is this knowledge, one day Mark…one day. That and a t-shirt. Congratulations.

4: The ‘Macallan’ Award For Being Far Too Easy To Poke Fun At

Goes again to Macallan this year

5: Bland Ambassador Of The Year

Winner: Mark Watt of Cadenhead for his work masterminding their excellent new range of bottlings that really stole the show this year while at the same time staying awake for 287 straight days wearing full camouflage.

Mark Watt seen here leading a tasting at Maltcock 2013.

Mark Watt seen here leading a tasting at Maltcock 2013.

6: Blonde Ambassador Of The Year

Winner: Georgie Bell of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

7: Best Supporting Ambassador 

Winner: Rachel Barrie for filling in for Iain McGollum while he was having a wee cry.

8: Award For New Distillery That Sounds Like A Breakfast Cereal

Winner: Gartbreck Distillery. Islay. The ‘full fibre’ single malt of the future.

A sneek peek at the label for their first bottling.

A sneek peek at the label for their first bottling.

9: The Whiskysponge ‘Whisky Sex Icon Of The Year’ Award

Winner: Charlie MacLean (again)

He's still got it...

He’s still got it…

10: Special Award For Most Unexpected Career Change

Winner: Jim Murray

There's some surprisingly fluid finger work on display.

There’s some surprisingly fluid finger work on display.

11: Whiskysponge Lifetime Achievement Award 2013

Winner: Blow Hairman.

This year's trophy is particularly suited.

This year’s trophy is particularly suited.

Happy new year. Normal services will be resumed shortly.

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