Day two started, obviously, with a queue 🙂
I figured the line would be shorter on the second day, since there were still tickets available, so I allowed myself to get to Vinopolis just a tad later. In actuality, the line was longer and I stood further back in it, but it wasn’t raining and I chatted with a lovely couple from Sweden until it was time to go in.
As I got into the show, I was off like a bullet to the TWE stand, to taste my two rather oaky Karuizawas (the 29 year old ex-bourbon cask and the 30 year old sherry cask). These weren’t my first Karuizawas, but these two casks really give a side by side insight to the different wood maturation in comparable time frames. For good measure, I added the very sherried Hanyu Joker to my morning tasting. I’ll be back for the 33 year old (very delicious) Karuizawa, tomorrow!
At 12:30, I had a date with Ian Buxton (@101whiskies), who presented a masterclass based on his new book, 101 Legendary whiskies You’re Dying to Try But (Possibly) Never Will. There was a selection of five whiskies featured in his book: A Girvan No. 4 grain, Green Spot, Hibiki 12 blend, Michter’s 20 Bourbon (not bad…for a bourbon) and the Talisker 25 (Thank you Diageo). Thanks to Frank, a fellow blogger and new whisky friend, I also got to taste, with Ian, the Brora 22 – Also featured in the book.
I now had 2.5 hours before my next masterclass, featuring six special independent bottlings from way back. With zest and guile, I got back to my tastings, although I wasn’t taking notes during this time, with the exception of the Glenfarclas 1966 Fino Sherry Cask which was absolutely outstanding! I did better with lunch this day, getting there in time to have the lamb.
Then came time for the I Did it My Way – The History of the Independent Bottler masterclass led by Dave Broom.
Six IB were represented each with a typical expression, with Dave giving his entertaining take on the whiskies as well as the IB companies. We had the Cadnhead’s Glenlossie 21 year distilled in 1957, the SMWS Springbank 27.11 distilled in 1967, the Signatory Bowmore 1968, Gordon and Mcphail Highland Park 30 distilled in 1955 (this one came from Sukinder’s private collection), a Samaroli Longrow from 1974 and a Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask 1975 Ardbeg in a sherry cask. This was a rather costly masterclass (£100) explained to me that these bottles, valued at £6500 were bought by TWE for this event out of a collection. Each of these was marvelous in its own way, and each merit (and will get) a review.
The final hour of the day was spent chatting and nosing for the most part, as my palate was quite satisfied with the afternoon offerings, with one exception – I took a dram of the Hakushu 25 as a “nightcap”….
There’s one more day to go, the trade day – and if these two days were fun, the trade/press day is fully a working day. Fun work, but work 🙂
p.s. You’ll find my report on day one here.