Eclectic band of marauding skinflints forever seeking gratis tastings & the eternal buzz while disseminating questionable whisky knowledge... Yes, we will run your tasting and try to be as professional as possible ;)
After these 5 we took a short break so folks could grab some water, cheese/crackers, pretzels, chips and to cleanse their pallet before our last (very special) Scottish selection. I'll just note here that it was our intention to have hot appetizers during this break but the oven at the Club did not want to cooperate. We did get the broiler working however the results were not ideal and by 'not ideal' I mean they kind of sucked (apologies all around)...
6 - Glenrothes 1978 vintage reserve 43% ABV
if you want this bottle you will need to hand over about one thousand US dollars...
Japan, Taiwan & USA Collection:
The Nikka is not depicted here but if you look closely it is photo bombing the
Glenrothes one above - Ha! Silly Nikka bottle...
7 - Nikka Pure Malt Blend 43% ABV (Japan)
8 - Kavalan King Car 46% ABV (Taiwan)
9 - Westland Single Malt 46% ABV (Seattle - USA)
10 - Old Portero Straight Rye 45% ABV (San Francisco - USA)
So there's you have a 10 selection whisky tasting! Our comprehensive review? They were all wonderful and some more wonderful than others. Boom...
Fish & Game people as well as a couple of Kelly's friends
These guys are extras from Goodfellas (not sure how that slipped in there)...
There's that Nikka Pure Malt bottle with Ben & Darren!
Many many thanks again to Kelly for bringing so many fabulous selections we will see you again at a future event I'm sure!
How we didn't take a picture with Kelly I'll never know (I blame whisky...) so here's a photo from last October when we saw her at the Twin River Casino Whisky Tasting event.
Darren - Kelly - George @ Twin River
So the news is that the Benriach and Glendronach distilleries have been sold so Kelly will not have them in her line up going forward. Do we feel special that we were the last ones that she presented those products to? Yes, yes we do.
What an amazing event at MIT's Endicott House, Dedham, MA this past Friday night 4/8/16.
NSWC was well represented (George, Darren, Shaun & Patrick) and helped in presenting and hosting tables once again this year. This is our 4th year attending and it seems to get better and better each year. Following is a short summary of events along with a smattering of photos we were lucky enough to snap.
As guests arrive they are greeted with sounds of Scotland (Ryan the Bagpiper)!
Darren, Shaun, Patrick, Ryan, Tom & George
This year's theme or focus was about non-age statement vs. traditional age statement whiskies with differences & opinions on both. Presentations were made by Patrick (NSWC member) and Tom and each took a side presenting the whiskies. Patrick took NAS while Tom presented the age statement products and they both did their best to convince us that their group was best.*
Light appetizers and plenty of water were provided as the presentations begun.
Below we have Shaun & Mike Fitzgerald who is the General Manager of the estate and our host for the evening. Mike does such a great job of setting up the entire evening logistics-wise and his staff is absolutely top notch. This picture was taken to be sent to Shaun's dad (one of Mike's favorite people) who has joined us in years past but because of a prior engagement he could not this year.
* - by the way, regarding AS vs. NAS it all comes down to what you enjoy. Don't be swayed one way or the other by so called "experts". There are some wonderful NAS products out there so our advice; Don't ignore them, give them a taste and make up your own mind!
After we tasted and debated, Ryan again played us into the dining room where we were treated to a 5 star dinner. The selections were bone-in lamb cutlets or filet mignon and both were completely off da hook! Our compliments to Eddie Cerrato who is the Executive Chef!
We were all treated to a pint of Guinness with dinner as well as a taste of Springbank 15 y.o. (lamb) or Yamazaki (filet). As if that wasn't enough, Strawberries Romanoff with Irish coffee for dessert. Out. Of. Control.
Some History & a Toast:
Following dinner we repaired to the Gun Room (I didn't even know it was broken...HA!) where Mike regaled us with the history of the family, the house and how it came to be owned by MIT.
The Gun Room is loaded with dead animals and... well guns, silly.
Next we had a toast of Jameson's Caskmates, a fairly new offering from Jameson which has been matured in stout beer casks and our tradition of playing "The Drunken Scotsman" song.
Chag - DMac - Hub
a.k.a. George - Darren - Shaun
For most people this would have been a complete night but not for MIT Endicott House & NSWC! You see, 2 years ago at this very dinner - a few of us asked Mike if we could bring a couple of bottles down from our guest rooms after the party broke up. He loved the idea and a new addition of the event was born - The After Party! This is reserved only for those who stay over at one of the 37 guest rooms they have on the property and has now grown in size just as the popularity of the dinner has.
Basically we each bring a couple of bottles from our private collections and host the after party which is a great time to chat with folks and answer any questions they might have regarding what they are tasting. It's a wild scene man and this year was no exception.
After Party guests of honor
This is obviously one of our favorite events of the year and we can't wait to begin planning the next one! Many thanks to Mike Fitzgerald and his fabulous staff for the first class service and attention to detail. If you are interested in attending next year's MIT Endicott House Whisky Dinner you can ask to be included on their mailing list or keep in touch with us here at our blog or on Twitter @noshwhiskyclub
Darren and I had the pleasure of hosting a single malt scotch tasting for Mr. Steven L. at his home in Swampscott, MA last evening (4/2/16).
Steven's wife Laurie reached out to us a few months back looking for recommendations for her husband's 60th birthday. After some back & forth she asked if we would be interested in providing a scotch tasting for a party she wanted to put on for him. We of course agreed and the date was set.
We arrived about 6pm and began setting up the television monitor and distributed the glasses at each place setting.
Originally there was to be perhaps 40-50 people and we thought, wow pretty nice crowd! By game-time we had over 80 people in attendance! Holy Scotch-balls!
[Apologies for such bad camera work/lighting - all done with the iPhone so not optimal]
Such a wonderful tribute to Steven that so many turned out to honor him on this special day. We tried to keep the presentations short and informative. The two main challenges were pouring that many whiskies (from only 1 bottle) in such a crowded room and keeping their attention for long enough through the presenting.
In between selections Steven had toasts prepared for various friends and members of his family They all had nice things to say about their relationship with Steven and the impressions he's made on them. Some moments were very touching indeed.
As the evening came to a close we had many guests come up, try a bit more of their favorite and chat with us about all things whisky.
Glenkinchie 12 y.o. (Lowlands)
Glenmorangie Milsean (Highlands)
Balvevnie 15 y.o. - Sherry Cask (Speyside)
Highland Park 18 y.o. (Islands)
Bruichladdich - Port Charlotte Islay Barley (Islay #1)
G&M - Caol Ila Cask Strength 10 y.o. (Islay #2)
Steven was a fan of the more smoky & peaty scotch and he requested 2 from the Islay region. The selections highlighted the vast differences from each region and gave the guests who were not familiar with drinking scotch an appreciation for just how different malted barley, water & yeast can be.
We finished up with an "under the table" surprise for Steven by pouring him a dram of Darren's Octomore 6.1 which, of course, is one of the peatiest Islay whiskies one can buy. After a quick toast to the birthday boy we finished packing up, said our goodbye's and departed.
A wonderful event and we are so grateful for Steven and Laurie for inviting us to participate in it.
On Saturday, March 19th, I (George) had the pleasure of providing a scotch tasting for a fabulous local group in Winchester, MA called the Winchester Neighbors Club.
Elana, who was tasked with researching and procuring this portion of the evening's "entertainment", contacted us to see if we were interested in running a small tasting for some of their members. We began trading e-mails and soon the date was set. Darren, unfortunately was not able to attend so I agreed to do this one solo.
This club, Elana explained, was formed as a kind of 'newcomers club' to help welcome new residents to the neighborhood. They have various events throughout the year such as wine/whisky tastings, golf outings, paint nights or simple cocktail parties which rotate at a different member's home each time.
Elana did not want anything too large in scale and she thought 3-4 selections would certainly suffice (I, of course, offered 4 because let's face it, 4 is better than 3). With that, I thought a "short tour of Scotland" might just do the trick and selected these chaps.
Macallan 12 yo (Speyside Region)
Oban 14 yo (Highland Region)
Highland Park 18 yo (Island Region)
Ardbeg Uigeadail (Islay Region)
I arrived, introduced myself and got set up - the house was ideal for a tasting of this size as you can see.
These pictures were all taken in the interim timeframe - after set up but before all the guests arrived.
This was to be an informal presentation (no PowerPoint needed) and so I got to it perhaps around 8:15pm after Elana introduced me to everyone.
It was confirmed that the group was made up of mostly (if not all) novice whisky drinkers so the presentation was prepared accordingly. I'll spare you all of the gory details but we covered some NSWC information, our humble beginnings as well as some of the events we attend. I had a few visual aids like a complete list of active single malt distilleries, a 'whisky process' illustration and the map of Scotland which also had the distilleries listed on it.
I covered the ingredients that go into any whisky, how it gets it's flavor as well as the different types from around the world (scotch single malts, blends, bourbon, Irish etc. etc.) and how they differ. With that we got right to the real stars of the show - The Whisky!
I must give a shout out to "Tom The Bartender" who was hired for the evening, helped pour the whiskies for everyone and collected the glasses for me at the end of the night. During the tasting I provided the producer's nosing/tasting notes and we also touched on the various types/differences in glassware.
It seemed the favorites from the bottles tasted were Macallan & Highland Park (I mean, can you blame them?). This was such a great group - engaging, interested and asked great questions. My goal was to provide a basic level of education so that when they're out at their local liquor store or restaurant, it's a little less intimidating looking at the wide selection of products out there.
The Winchester Neighbor's Club is open to any Winchester resident and Elana said they are always looking for new members. I can't thank her enough for inviting me and would not hesitate to do it again if they'll have us!
This past fall Darren and I had the pleasure of meeting Author, Blogger & Whisky Enthusiast Linda Peterson a.k.a. The "Dram Good Whisky Lady" @dramgoodwhisky on Twitter.
We met at a wonderful local restaurant in Lynn, MA (Blue Ox) and got to know each other over dinner. After dinner she graciously invited us back to her place where she forced us (you know, twisted our arms) to sample some of her vast collection and we about thought we'd died and gone to some sort of whisky heaven.
Not long after our meeting, Linda boarded a flight down to Sarasota Florida where she stays for the winter. You can be sure she has many whisky friends down there (as well as another collection of whisky) and she will be attending the Sarasota Whisky Obsession Festival that will be happening later this month into April.
We recently received an email from Linda asking us if we wanted to participate in a project she is currently working on. We of course quickly agreed to take part and the interview can be found on her blog site at the link below.