Jim’s Whisky Year 2010
What a great year, 2010 has been and there were many great moments and the odd disappointments.
The year started off well with Nicola and Jim attending athe Black Bottle Whisky Blending workshop, held in the grand Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Friday the 15th of January 2010. Nicola has said several times that this is one of her highlights of 2010.
We had some great Distillery visits and these included Kilbeggan over the water in Ireland and closer to home we really enjoyed Tullibardine, Glenkinchie, Deanston and our unexpected visit to Oban.
Our at home tastings this year were great and we certainly travelled the world in search of a grand dram, in October we only tasted Bourbon and this was with the support of Master of Malt. Other great tastings came from Japan and a little closer to home, Wales and not to forget Ireland. All the guest tasters we had invited during the year, had some extra special tastings could only speak highly of our evenings and the drams we had chosen.
We had several invites this year to attend some extra phenomenal tastings and always very high on our list is The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, with Olaf Meier always being our host. These nights are fabulous, the hospitality and the drams chosen were equally outstanding, roll on 2011.
Some other grand nights also included a double tasting where we enjoyed a Glengoyne Whisky tasting at Leslie’s Bar with Joe and Arthur, two wonderful Ambassadors from the Glengoyne Distillery. Following right after this tasting we headed into the heart of Edinburgh where we were guests at the sell out Highland Park Whisky Tasting Masterclass which was hosted by Gerry Tosh, Head of Brand Education at Highland Park. (and later in the year Gerry was voted Whisky Ambassador of the Year 2010, and well deserved it was).
The festivals we managed to visit this year were Auchentoshan and Whisky Live in Glasgow. Auchentoshan is now in our calendar for next year but we were slightly disappointed with Glasgow’s Whisky Live albeit great to see Helen Stewart of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society at there first time exhibiting at this festival.
It was the inaugural Glasgow’s Whisky Festival in the Arches in November that took the honours for the best festival of the year, it had the highest attending exhibitors and the atmosphere was second to none, to top it all Jim and Nicola met many friends from the world of Whisky, a fantastic day was had by all. We have already purchased tickets for 2011 and would urge our readers to do the same, tickets can be purchased from Glasgow Whisky Festival.
Some disappointments of the year were:- we were unable to visit Islay in May for the festival, but Jim managed a wee week in February and did our usual visit to all our favourite distilleries. We were happy to hear that Glengoyne were having their Christmas festival on the 4th of December, but all was shattered when it was cancelled due to the severe winter weather the central belt of Scotland suffered starting late in November and continued well into December.
All in all it was a good year, with few disappointments but with many high’s. Lets hope that 2011 is as good or indeed even better than this year, Jim and Nicola are looking forward to meeting old friends and new, and having many a grand tasting.
Jim and Nicola are going to make a real effort to visit several distilleries in Speyside in the coming year, but this, as always will be dependant on finances and time, so many distilleries so little time.
2011 will soon be here and Jim and Nicola are now at the stage where they have to start listing drams for a tasting, guest lists for us to share good evening tastings.
Look out for Nicola’s Whisky Year 2010.
To end this Jim and Nicola, The Whisky Boys can only wish all our readers and all our Whisky friends a very happy and memorable 2011,