15 October 2012

Whisky Show 2012

The third outing of our yearly trip to the Whisky Show in London. A cold (ish) morning, brisk, and the unwelcome discovery of no coffee on the train. Ah well, I wasn't likely to have any as we were pottering around Borough market before the show.
Monmouth was, as expected, packed, so we went to the coffee stall at the back of the market. It does make me happy having good coffee, shame I have to head to london for it.

After acquiring some chocolate to keep S happy, we wandered through the whisky shop, where I singularly failed to convince Alec to buy me expensive bottles of whisky. Bastard.

And so we queued. Or rather, I queued, and Alec ran his virtual news service.

This year we had decided we may go for quality rather than quantity, and thus not get too drunk (foolish thinking!). And, although ruining the experience for Rich, I'd decided not to make full tasting notes, rather just note what we'd drunk. Therefore the latter sections of this blog won't have the translational issues of previous years - where 'sweet' could be variously read as sweet / sushi / salmon / sordid etc.
Links to buy from our favourite indie booze store Loch Fyne Whisky as/where I coudl find them.

And so it begins...
Glendronach 14yo oak, very sweet, long finish 7/10

BenRiach 20yo, very very nice, long finish  8.5/10 [my notes say, buy a bottle] LFW

BenRiach 16yo peated, very nice 8/10 LFW

Glenfarclas 105 20yo, sweet sherry lovely, all the goodness of the 105 but subtle, mature - 9/10

Adelphi blend hey it's cheap, it tastes damn good, and it gets my thumbs up

Adelphi Springbank salty very long 8/10

Adelphi Macallan light pretty typical Macallan, not really liking this one 6.5/10

Glen Moray 16yo kinda light 6/10 LFW

Glen Moray 25yo (new cask sample) - mushroom!! 8/10

Glen Moray Chenin blanc, I liked htis, shame I can't seem to find it anywhere 8.5/10

Glengoyne - first bottling 7/10
Note, Glengoyne have just refreshed their lineup and website, worth a look...

Glengoyne - 18yo  43% which is replacing the 17yo. Hints of apple, but still sherry goodness. Very tasty 8.5/10

BBR Clyneish 1997 14yo 7.5/10 it appears Clyneish are improving...

BBR Aberlour Cask #3919 quite a kick on this one

BBR Glenlivet 1973 (tho I think the link is the 74) 8.5/10

BBR Cognac XO spicy 8/10 I keep meaning to try more cognac, but get sucked into whisky instead...

Kilchoman Single Cask exactly what I want from an Islay dram, cask strength, ballsy, great 8.5/10

Brora 35yo - this is what I spent my dreamdram token on. I love Brora.
Nose: sweet, lovely floral, marshmallows, sarsparilla
Palate: sweet, floral
Finish: mid-long, absolutely wonderful.
I'm biased, but 10/10

Johnnie Walker Double Black (£35) 7/10; Platinum (£70) 6/10
hey we've no excuse other than it was something we wouldn't normally drink. the double black was much better than expected.

Talisker 25yo
Nose: dead
Palate: quite nice, interesting, smooth
Finish: short
8/10 yeah before this I didn't like talisker, but this was very nice

Talisker 30yo LFW
Nose: very oily; Palate: sweet, saltiness;
9/10 - my notes say 'fuck!!!!' as this totally blew my preconceptions of Talisker out of the window. But at £250+ I wont be having it in my collection anytime soon.

Caol Ila 25yo LFW (think it was this one)
Nose: great. petrol, rubber, salt, rhubarb, custard
Palate: sweet, salt, peat ??
Finish: peat, short

Balblair 1979 nofinish 5/10

Balblair (I think) 12yo doublewood very nice, the notes either say very sweet or hairy sweat, your call 7/10

Balblair New spirit. Quite smooth, not nearly as exciting as the Kilchoman, but in interesting.

Dalwhinnie Rum Caribbean not much flavour, very sweet 5/10

Dalwhinnie Single barrel 15yo

Benromach 30yo apples!  but very nice 8/10 LFW

Linkwood 25yo G and M 9/10

Strathisla 1970 apples on nose, leather and sherry notes, oak, lingering sherry, short-med finish 9/10

English whisky company Chapter 12 Sherry cask 46% 8.5/10

English whisky company Chapter 11 peated 8/10

Penderyn Madeira - very sweet, green apple, and something indecipherable 6/10

Penderyn peated, very weird 4/10

Glenrothes John Ramsey bottling 9.5/10
Glenrothes 1995  LFW
Glenrothes 1988
Basically, you can't go wrong with Glenrothes. Never had a bad one...

Glenglassaugh NEW! but sadly i can't read my notes :D I have a feeling the next release is called Evolution, but whatever it was, I gave it 8.5/10

Glenglassaugh 26yo 40% bloody nice, but I already knew that

and possibly something else, the notes are illegible. It appears to be a Glen something.

All in all a very very good day. We managed to get home (an achievement) with minimal damage to anyone else. And I survived Freshers Fair on Sunday morning, although it's fair to say I'd rather have been lying in bed.

Love, B

14 October 2012


Periodically Thurs Night Music Night gets a thematic makeover, last week I decided to go with everything had to be at 45rpm, hence Life@45rpm.

Out of a sense of wanting to share the excitement with everyone, here's the list of what was played, along with some videos where (in)appropriate.

This worked so well, and I've still a large number of 45's which weren't played, that there could be another night or two in the future. Sadly for listeners, not much more cheese of the Alf/The Firm/Europe/Spitting Image level, so some cheap second hand purchases may have to be made.

Rush - Time Stand Still 12"
Fish - Suits (ok, so it's an album, but the vinyl was pressed for 45rpm)
Freddie Mercury - The Great Pretender 12"
Queen - I'm going slightly mad 12" [with the brilliant Lost Opportunity]

Marillion - Lavender 12"
Talk Talk - Living in another world 12" (orig)
Alf - Stuck on Earth 12" [best 25c 12" I've bought]

Dire Straits - Twisting by the pool 12"
Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls 12"
Pineapple Thief - Sherbert Gods 7"  [I can see what he was trying to achieve, but it's also pretty clear why he disowns this!]
Admiral Fallow - Beetle in the box 7"

Trembling Bells - New Year's Eve's the loneliest night of the year 7"

Europe - The Final Countdown 12"

The Firm - Star Trekkin' 12"
Spitting Image - Santa Claus is on the dole 12"

Queen - Breakthru 12"
Marillion - Sympathy 12"

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome to the pleasure dome (12xztas7)
FGTH - Power of Love (12ztas5)

Love, B

Gigs: Karnataka

I got hooked on Karnataka a couple of years ago when they played as a support act at the Summers End festival. As happened to at least three bands I discovered that year, they promptly imploded. In the spirit of Steve Austin (or dolly), they've been rebuilt. And so I toddled along to their gig on Friday in Leicester.
The wins
Hayley, the new vocalist, is brilliant. Power, passion, and technically seems to absolutely nail it. I'm not a huge fan of female-vox as they can get a bit screechy (I'm all about delicate). But she's perfectly in tune, and didn't push her voice to painful limits.
Gathering Light material and older stuff sounded fab, really gutsy.
Guitarist was on fire for the older stuff

The losses
Sadly the Y theatre was too big for the number of punters, although having a doors time of 830 and the band turning up onstage at 840 seem to have caught some people out as more turned up about 20 minutes in.
There did seem a number of people upstairs, and most were buying CDs so hopefully not too damaging for the band.
Guitarist seemed out of tune, I'm all for bending notes, but the plan there is for them to resolve correctly - this seemed more of a problem for the new tracks, so maybe it's a work in progress.
The new tracks, they didn't grab me. Bits of the new stuff later in the set seemed better, but none had the hooks of Gathering Light. At times it all seemed a little AOR, not bad, just not grabbing me.
Sound was muddy and unbalanced. And this wasn't just me, ended up talking to a couple of other people who made the same comment. Ian's bass was very muddy, which was unfortunate as all the cool runs in their music got lost. Keys were also very low in the mix. To a certain extent

Overall, an enjoyable gig. I'll probably get the new album when it comes out (2013) to see how things improve in the studio. I was disappointed by the new material, but hey I'm more than happy to wander down for a gig. I'd recommend going along to the rest of the tour...details here.

And a sample :

12 October 2012

Gift horse articles in the news

You can't make this stuff up, courtesy of France and the USA. Two stalwarts of quality news.

Yes, I'm not sure the word 'euro' makes any difference there either. The key, and brilliant, points to this story:
  • person is unemployed
  • the bill was more than 5000x the GDP of France
  • "...told by shrugging staff there was nothing they could do."
The real bill was E117.21. 

Which the company eventually let her off paying. Damn socialists.

Todays vital lesson, don't try cooking squirrels with a propane torch.

Sadly the winner who did this isn't a contender for the Darwin awards. But the potential is there, go team Propane Squirrel !!

Coming soon, possibly a book blog, a whisky blog, and a music blog. 

No really, I'm feeling in a bloggy mood.

2 October 2012

iphone and i'm not dead

In the wake of the continuing Samsung v Apple court cases:

I'm waiting for the pr0n industry to sue over the iPhone6.