The Day Suntory Lost Their Whisky
Well, well well – how good was our day at Auchentoshan Distillery.
Whisky Boy Jim received an invite from Laura Duncan to attend the Auchentoshan Festival. Unfortunately Whisky Boy Dougie and the lovely Catherine were off on an alternative visit to Bladnoch (for Bladnoch’s Folk and Jazz 3 day festival) so couldn’t come along, but Jim managed to extend the invite to Whisky “Boy” Nicola, Jacqueline (wife) and Bruce (friend from America) so off we all popped to the event.
I am very familiar with the area as I grew up at the bottom of the road from the distillery and I could not believe my eyes when we came over the hill – the car park was chock-a-block.
The distillery was very well organised and had loads of stalls selling hot food, home baking, jewellery, soap, smoked products – you name it was there. There was a beer tent, another large hospitality tent where drams were being given out. Just as we arrived there was a cocktail demonstration of how best to use Whisky in cocktails. Jim, Nicola and Bruce sampled the delights of Auchentoshan and Bowmore, where as I the nominated driver was a good girl and had some water.(Boo hoo)
So from the cocktails we headed off to the visitors centre (sorry got to mention that they had the most posh portable loos I have ever seen – I, as a serial toilet checker was well impressed).
So off to the very well presented visitors centre. The shop is a really elegant comfortable area with a selection of Whisky products, books, accessories etc. We headed upstairs to the bar area where, again it is set out in a sophisticated fashion, with comfortable couches and one wall area outlined the component scents in jars that would be found in many of the Auchentoshan products.
Needless to say I had a cup of coffee and an excellent muffin and Jim sampled a healthy measure of Auchentoshan Three Wood.
The highlight of the afternoon was the presentation by Dr. Koichi Inatomi providing a history and the evolvement of the Suntory brand and a tasting of 5 Fabulous Whiskies, ( Yamazaki 10 Year Old, Yamazaki 12 Year Old, Yamazaki 18 Year Old, Hakushu 12 Year Old, and a 17 Year Old Hibiki Blended Whisky ) finishing off with fantastic sushi with a glass of iced Whisky with a little water added. This was a fantastic afternoon session, with one slight issue, it all had been delayed a bit because the Distillery could not find the Suntory Whisky that had been delivered the previous night. As you can imagine an urgent driver was dispatched to Springburn – which is quite a distance from Auchentoshan, to acquire replacement bottles of Suntory’s finest. In the interim, while we waited, the delightful oriental lady behind the bar in the blenders room was very generously providing the waiting audience with a dram or two and plenty of entertaining chit chat.
Eventually the presentation got underway and I must say I found it very informative. Eventually the replacement bottles arrived and the tasting began. If to tell the truth I did not anticipate that the Whisky would be to my palate, but what a surprise. I was not keen on the Hibiki, which is a blend, but the 18 year old single malt was to die for – but as the nominated driver (by Jim) I had a couple of sips and then would coat my lips and spend the next 10 minutes licking them. You have to remember I am not a Whisky drinker, but the 18 year old Yamazakie Single Malt could convert me. I should also mention to you, that the Hibiki bottle is the prettiest Whisky bottle I have come across (would make an excellent decanter). The Sushi provided was by far one of the best that I have tasted and as predicted the chilled iced Whisky complimented the food perfectly. So my overall view, is that an excellent day was had by all. Well done Auchentoshan, and thanks Suntory for losing your Whisky, it gave us a chance to sample some of your other sister products and the wait only raised anticipation which your product fully fulfilled.
To finish our day Bruce, Jim and I went to Glasgow and had a pre-theatre meal in Rogano (fantastic fish restaurant) and dined on the best fish and chips in the area. Nicola, although invited, unfortunately had to go home and was dropped off at Queen Street Station.
So I would like to thank Laura for inviting us, Dr Koichi Inatomi for educating us and Mr. Shinjiro Torii for creating a fabulous range of Whisky.
All I can suggest is that you other fellow Whisky Wife’s get out there and try as many of these oriental jewels.
If you go over to the section Whisky Festivals you should find Jim and Nicola’s report on the festival.