After the disappointing end to 2014 and start of 2015 of having to cancel out trip to Islay , the 2015 Whisky Festival Season is nearly upon us . Once again Melanie and Myself shall be representing Amrut on behalf of Ashok at a few festivals over the coming months , the first being our home town festival , The Newcastle Whisky Festival 2015 , on the 7th March at the Civic Centre Banqueting Hall . Further Dates will be posted when confirmed……
It looks like being an exciting year on the Amrut front , We’re certainly looking forward to kicking it off in Newcastle at Eddies Whisky Lounge festival and meeting fellow Amrut Fans !
Details of the Newcastle Festival can be found at http://www.thewhiskylounge.com/event/newcastle-whisky-festival-2015/
Our Fourth and final festival of the year took us to Manchester , The venue was the Bridgewater Hall in the Centre of town , quite a modern venue and the area was quite spacious . By now we were getting the hang of setting up the table…..
(Click on the photos to see full size)
We had the same offerings as the previous festivals ( Amrut 46% , Amrut Cask Strength , Amrut Peated 46% , Fusion and Intermediate Sherry Matured along with the two token drams , Single Cask Bourbon and Peated Port Pipe) .
Our Location in the Hall .
This was to be the busiest festival of the four , 750 punters expected through the door !
The Gorgeous Melanie waiting for the Hordes……
Once again the day flew over and once again there were lots of new people to introduce to the delights of India’s finest Single Malt Whisky and i have to say most were quite impressed and very surprised by the quality of the product ! By the end of the day i think the ISM had just pipped the Fusion for the most popular Amrut .
Other Whiskies were available…….
The 2nd best Table at the Show , after ours….. the Berry Bros stall manned by my good friend Rob Whitehead , all round good guy and purveyor of Fine Drams !
So that’s it for this year , Hopefully we’ve done a good job for Amut over these Festivals , we’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had a great time , Cheers for now !
So after Liverpool , we headed off to York for the Yorkshire Whisky Festival , the Venue was the Race Course……
Under Starters Orders
A rather nice setting in the stand to the right , we arrived at about 11am and set up at our allotted table
Melanie ready for the off…..
Once again we had the Amrut 46% , Amrut Cask Strength , Amrut Peated 46% , the Fusion and the Intermediate Sherry . The White dram was the Single Cask Bourbon and the Black dram was the Single Cask Peated Port Pipe .
The Calm before the storm
Once again the Fusion and Sherry provided to be very popular , We had a great day at the Races , the crowd were fantastic and the venue superb , light , airy and plenty of space , plenty of places for the punters to sit down with a dram including a nice terrace at the front and the stand at the front looking across the course . Many thanks for all the kind words and the great craic !
After the success (i hope !) of our adventure behind the table at Newcastle , Ashok asked us if we would do 3 of The Whisky Lounges other festivals so here is our second session behind the table…….
The Liverpool Festival is our second venue , we headed off south at the crack of dawn , there is only one problem heading that way at the moment , Roadworks ! They are upgrading part of the A1 into a motorway and making part of the M62 into a “Super Motorway” (whatever that is….) , after a stop off for Breakie we arrived at Liverpool in plenty of time to set up . The Venue was a bit of a strange one , The Crypt Hall of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral , The Cathedral is known locally as “Paddys Wigwam”…..
Don’t know where they got that from……
I have to say the Crypt is a pretty impressive place to hold a whisky Festival……
The Calm before the storm !
So we set up our little table and waited for the masses , this time we meant business , we had 2 Banners !
We had the same lineup of drams as Newcastle……
- Amrut Single Malt 46%
- Amrut Peated Single Malt 46%
- Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength 61.8%
- Amrut Fusion 50%
- Amrut Intermediate Sherry Matured 57.1%
- Amrut Single Cask – Bourbon #3446 62.8% (White Token Dram)
- Amrut Single Cask – Port Pipe Peated #2714 (Black Token Dram)
The two most popular drams of the day were the Sherry and the Fusion , but we did set a new record for ourselves with the Black drams , we got up to 8 ! We still trailed a long way behind a certain Mr Dunn but we’re getting there !
It’s amazing how many people have never heard of Amrut but they certainly have now and a lot of people are certainly impressed with the Quality ! After 5 hectic hours We headed off to a hotel to lie down in a darkened room and look forward to the next one !
After the Success (well we thought we did well…..) of our appearance behind the table of the Amrut Stall at the WhiskyLounge Newcastle Festival , Ashok has asked us to represent Amrut at some more of the Whisky Lounge Festivals later in the year . It is a pleasure for Melanie and myself to carry the Amrut banner at these Fests !
Saturday 6th September - The Whisky Lounge Liverpool Whisky Festival
Saturday 13th September - The Whisky Lounge Yorkshire Whisky Festival , York
Saturday 25th October - The Whisky Lounge Manchester Whisky Festival
Details of these Festivals are available by clicking on the links above .
We look forward to meeting the good people of Liverpool , York and Manchester at these events .
I’ve taken quite a shine to Hakushu , i prefer it to Yamazaki (though that is still a good malt) , and everytime i go down to Hugos at the Coast on Tynemouth High Street i take advantage of their generous offer of a double 12yo for £5.70 ! I did have a bottle of a 12yo i bought at Bowmore Distillery (C’mon own up who said it was the last decent bottle bought at Bowmore ?!?!) ages ago (they don’t sell it there anymore) but i’ve nearly drained that and decided to buy the ‘All New Presentation’ of the 12 along with the ‘All New’ Distillers Reserve . Here are my thoughts on them…….
Hakushu Distillers Reserve
Pale gold in Colour and bottled at 43% (must be a Suntory thing….) , Wow ! very green on the nose , fruit , herbs , mint etc etc but with a waft of the Hakushu smoke . A very pleasant nose and i can’t believe how oily it is in the glass ! So to the palate , pretty much the same as the nose , incredibly silky smooth across the tongue , a real joy , the finish is quite spicy with a lingering smokiness , very satisfying ! This is so incredibly easy to drink , probably dangerously easy but it is a lovely soft dram that does give you a kick on the finish , definitely a summer drink , let’s just hope it’s a long hot one !
So on to the 12yo , again 43% but this time its a lovely bright shiny Gold , the initial nose seems to have a bit more of a robustness to it , This one seems to have tropical fruit on the nose as opposed to green fruits on the DR , a touch of sweetness (honey) and smoke . Again oily in the glass , initially across the palate it is quite thick , again loads of tropical fruits and a lovely honeyed sweetness with a touch of lemon , absolutely fantastic ! Did i mention the smoke ? The finish is practically the same as the DR , it hangs about for a little while…… What can you say ? it does what it says on the
can bottle , as the HHGTTG would say ‘mostly harmless’ , i would add friggin addictive and could be deadly !
Two more stunning drams from the Asian Continent , the 12 is the more ‘Heavier’ of the two but don’t overlook the DR , both should grace any serious Single Malt fans cabinet !!!!
We were recently over in Toronto at the invitation of the Johanna and Charles , the Organisers of the Spirit of Toronto Whisky Gala to host a Islay Masterclass and Whisky Lounge (see Islay Visits…. Go west to Toronto for full details). Per chance Mr Amrut , Ashok , was there as well ! He was also doing a Masterclass , at the same time as ours so we never got to see each other in action , and serving at the Amrut Table . We actually met up the night before when Johanna and Charles took us all out for a meal at the Steak house ‘The Keg’ .
I also finally got the chance to meet Raj Sabharwal (@Whiskyraj) , the North American Importer of Amrut , nice seeing him in person after speaking to him on Twitter for a while . Ashok was premiering the Bourbon and PX Single casks in Ontario on this visit , the table was very popular when we finally got a chance to visit , they also had some of the standard bottlings on offer and the Blackadder Peated that won the Malt Maniacs award .
Say Amrut !
Relaxing with a Fusion at the end of the show
The Toronto and Newcastle Chapters of the ‘Companions of Amrut’ Convene a meeting with the Chairman !
(L – R Wendy Harker , Ashok , Gordon and Melanie )