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The evening we had all been waiting for has come and gone, leaving in its wake an enchanting tapestry of whisky flavours, stories, and newfound friendships. The "Anything But Scotch Whisky Tasting" hosted by us Drink Finder at the fantastic Royal Cornwall Yacht Club (now open to all members and non members) was an exceptional journey into the world of whisky, offering an exploration of unique expressions from around the globe.
Once the event commenced, it became abundantly clear that we were in for a treat, with Scotch whisky taking a back seat for the evening. Our palates were delighted by the realization that the world of whisky is a vast and diverse realm, filled with distinctive flavours and traditions.
On arrival our guests were able to enjoy a highball of this Canadian Whisky with ginger beer. A perfect way to settle into the evening and clearing the palate ready for the whiskies to come. This is a creative single grain offering with bold, smooth and complex grizzly beast with a spicy finish - the perfect combination to go with ginger beer.
Where better to start the night of interesting and different whisky producing countries than Mexico. Not exactly the first place we all think of for making whisky. This certainly got conversations flowing. Abasolo Whisky is a unique and distinguished spirit hailing from Mexico, known for its innovative approach to whiskey-making. Crafted with 100% Mexican Cacahuazintle corn, this whisky showcases the rich agricultural heritage of the region. The use of ancestral techniques, including nixtamalization, results in a flavour profile that's both earthy and slightly sweet, with hints of roasted corn and toasted oak.
Second in the line-up of whiskies from around the world we head over to somewhere closer to home, Ireland. Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey is a remarkable expression that exemplifies the quality and craftsmanship of Irish whiskey. Distilled and initially aged in ex-bourbon barrels, it gains its name from the final finishing touch in Oloroso sherry casks, imparting a rich complexity to the spirit. This whiskey boasts a harmonious blend of sweet vanilla, honeyed fruit, and subtle spice, creating a well-rounded and immensely enjoyable drinking experience.
Third up on the evening we tasted something from New Zealand. Pokeno Origin is a true gem from the Kiwi whisky scene, reflecting the craftsmanship and unique terroir of New Zealand. Distilled with the utmost care, this single malt boasts a distinct character with notes of honeyed cereal, ripe fruits, and a gentle underpinning of oak. What sets it apart is the local influence of New Zealand's climate, which imparts its own signature to the whisky's maturation process.
It was at this point that we took a break, allowing our guests to indulge in the cheese and meat platters put on by our host.
This was something new, so new in fact as it had just been released a few days prior to the tasting. This new release is the first time that The English Whisky Co have got to a stage where they are able to add a sherry casked whisky to their core range. And wow did this turn out to be an exceptional expression, aged in sherry casks, which offers a rich and complex flavour profile. With notes of dried fruits, warm spices, and a hint of nuttiness, it combines the traditional elegance of sherry influence with English whisky's unique terroir. The result is a beautifully balanced and velvety single malt, representing the dedication and innovation of The English Whisky Co. in producing world-class English whisky. This was Andrew's favourite whisky of the evening.
This was the whisky that was purchased the most at the end of the evening
Next up we moved on to what was Mark's pick of the night - the whisky that has been crowned as the best single malt of 2023 by the World Whisky Awards, it is nothing short of a masterpiece. This Israeli gem showcases the art of whisky-making in a region that's been gaining well-deserved recognition. Aged in sherry casks, it boasts a complex and harmonious flavour profile, with rich, fruity notes, a subtle sweetness, and a refined spiciness. This well-deserved accolade not only speaks to its exceptional quality but also solidifies its place on the global whisky stage, highlighting the innovative spirit of the Milk and Honey Distillery in Israel.
Jon's favourite whisky of the tasting, the Morris Australian Single Malt Whisky Muscat Barrel, is a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship coming from Down Under. This Australian single malt has been meticulously finished in Muscat barrels, and it offers a sensory journey like no other. With its rich and luscious flavours, a beautiful marriage of residual sweet Muscat wine and the nuances of whisky, it's a delightful representation of the ingenuity and creativity within the Australian whisky scene. Jon's choice reflects the distinct and delightful character of this exceptional whisky from Morris Distillery.
We took another short break, allowing the customer to fill their plates up with a few more nibbles.
Returning to whisky tasting we poured a truly remarkable spirit with a rich history. Named after the pioneering African-American distiller, Nathan "Nearest" Green, who mentored Jack Daniel, it pays homage to an often-overlooked figure in whiskey history. This small batch whiskey offers a balanced and flavourful experience, with notes of warm vanilla, toasted oak, and a touch of spice. The palate is graced with a pleasant sweetness, creating a harmonious and memorable sip.
What sets this bourbon apart is its unique production process, which includes the use of a pot still, typically associated with Irish and Scotch whiskey production, rather than the more common column stills found in American bourbon distilleries. Balcones Pot Still Bourbon is characterized by its rich, full-bodied flavour profile. It typically features prominent notes of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch, creating a sweet and indulgent taste.
To finish the evening off we head to Denmark to discover Stauning's Smoke. In terms of flavour, Stauning Smoke offers a distinctive and robust profile. As the name suggests, it is known for its smoky character, which is reminiscent of traditional peated Scotch whiskies. Although what makes this different is that no peat is used during the production, instead they use heather for a unique point of difference.
This was the second most purchased whisky at the end of the evening
After reading about the fantastic evening of discovery packed with great whiskies from around the globe, you most probably have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). To ensure you do not suffer with this, make sure to sign up to the mailing list to get notifications of upcoming evenings. Or you can check out the Events page to see what is up coming.