Friday 20 January 2012

Famous Grouse 100 Best Pubs

In 2010, my publican buddy, Jim Robertson of The Kempock Bar in Gourock, was included in The Famous Grouse's 100 Best Pubs in Britain. The brand had created a Grouse statue with logos for each of the top 30 pubs - and The Kempock was amongst these 30. Jim had never seen the statue so, as he was at Gleneagles today, I suggested that we go to view said statue.
I headed north to The Glen through snow; there were three smashes northbound at Blackford this morning and there was a 45 minute hold up and queues back to Greenloaning, so I turned off on the Crieff road at Greenloaning and cut over a snow-covered, very slippery and windy back road down to The Glen. Picked him up and drove his Land Rover Discovery in 4 wheel drive through the snow to Crieff; slithered a wee bit on a couple of corners, but no problem. Saw no fewer than 3 snow ploughs out on the road.
The statue sits at Glenturret distillery, or as they like to call it nowadays, The Famous Grouse Experience, in the foyer outside the shop. See the pics. The Kempock's log is the jukebox and the musical notes on its upper right chest

Scotch Whisky Trail course

The latest running of the course started on Tuesday. Pleased to see some women back. After the past couple when it has been all male. Not quite sure of their backgrounds, the college yet again got the applications wrong. The student listed was of 16 students, the register was of 18 and the class was of 19 with one no show. Student Services?
Quite an animated bunch with more feedback than from 2010's entry level students, I'm looking forward quite excitedly to the rest of this spring's course. Trying to get a visit to Deanston, visitor centre doesn't open until after the course, but trying nonetheless as, in 14 years, the course hasn't visited Deanston. We'll see.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Happy New Year & Glenmorangie Artein

I hope that you all have had a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Christmas for me was good, Santa was very generous, but at New Year, I was hit by the winetr vomiting bug. I only had one dram at Hogmanay - it was at midnight and I only had the one, a normally very pleasant Aberlour a'Bunadh, which I didn't enjoy very much at all. Fortunately, the nausea only lasted around 24 hours, so the rest of the season was enjoyed thoroughly!
Scotland has been batterd, bruised and beaten by the wind in the past few weeks. I can never remember a succession of winds as strong or sustained as we have experienced over the past 6 weeks or so. Many trees down, 30,000 electricity customers cut off at one point, people without power for 3 days. In 2012, we are supposed to have the technology to prevent all this happening.
Glenmorangie released Artein on 4th January. Artein is the third release in its award-winning Private Edition range. Artein is the Gaelic for "stone" and the name links together the distillery's hard water supply from Tarlogie Spring with the stony soil of Sassicaia's vineyards in Tuscany's Bolgheri.
‘Artein’ is an assemblage of 15 and 21 Years Old Glenmorangie, finished by extra maturation in these Supertuscan wine casks.
I think that it is a great addition to their range (see my tasting note on my website) and, in my experience/opinion, supertuscan casks have done a fabulous job of finishing the whiskies they were involved with.
I am very humbled to have been voted "Whisky Man of the Year 2011" by whisky bloggers