On Wednesday 23rd January the club came together for the first congregation of 2019. With Christmas and New Year behind us, and people watching the pennies after the holiday period, it seemed fitting to theme the evening around value in whiskies. As usual, within that theme we kept things quite open so the only rule was that each bottle must cost £75 or less. Although that is still quite a high figure, in this day and age, to get real value you often have to spend this kind of money. Although the law of diminishing returns generally fits the quality/price ratio of whisky like a warm winter glove, if you reach a little above the standard £20-£50 there are some gems to be had. It’s still possible to find the Glendronach 18 for under £80 and Cadenheads keep reminding us that it is perfectly possible to put out excellent, natural and age stated whiskies at very reasonable prices.

The evening itself was set to be a cracker, we had our biggest turnout yet with 11 people booked, excited to get out of the wintery cold and into a wee dram. Most of the usual suspects were present with the exceptions of Conor and Jason. That included Jez, Shiv, Mikey and myself. It was great to welcome Zander and Caroline back, they’re starting to become regulars now and always bring great warmth, great drams and a lot of knowledge. For once they weren’t the only couple though, as Toby and Michael, who are also starting to become regulars, showed a closer relationship than usual ;-). I only jest, as always they brought good humour and good whisky. We also had the pleasure of welcoming 3 new faces to the group, Kieran, Daniel and Sattu. They fit in immediately and helped make the night a real success.

When it came to this months whiskies we limited everyone to one bottle so as not to have too many on the table. The list is below but as you can see there was a really good variety of styles, distilleries and price points. There was a big range of opinions as to which was peoples favourite. I went with the Pulteney from Cadenheads but it was a close run thing between a number of them. 

Speyburn 15yo 46%

Glen Marnoch 1988 40%

The English Smokey 43%

SMWS 125.73 Cream Horns Glenmorangie 11yo 59.3%

Cadenheads Pulteney 11yo 55.8%

Cadenheads ‘The Cage’ Springbank 10yo 58.3%

Tamdhu Batch Strength 002 58.5%

North Star Orkney 11yo

Berry Bros & Rudd Islay Blended Malt 44.2%

Laphroaig 10yo 40%

SMWS 29.256 Firemen in Fishnets Laphroaig 7yo 64.6%

This month also saw the first appearance of the new club copita glasses which can be seen in some of the images. Jez did an incredible job with them and they’ve turned out great. They proved very popular on the night and can be purchased for £10 a glass. It was all around a great evening and looking forward, February is shaping up to be a great event too. Going forward the club will start to advertise dates, themes and locations much further in advance (the aim is about 6 months) so that people can plan attendances in good time. February is already set with a blind tasting of some stellar whiskies and the chance to win a miniature bottle of 40 year old Glenfarclas. March is looking like a tasting hosted by one of the most improved and exciting distilleries in Scotland, Loch Lomond, and we will shortly publish April and the following months details as well.

Once again, thanks to everyone who attended and look forward to seeing you all at future events.