Order Online or Call Us

01793 765 071

My Basket
0
View

Glory of The Grain Tweet Tasting

Grain Whisky Tweet Tasting Banner 2As promised, here’s my review of the ‘Glory Of Grain’ Twitter tasting arranged by our friends at Arkwrights and Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire.

Not having had much experience of grain whiskies (other than an enjoyable dram of Hedonism by Compass Box) I did a little bit of homework… Grain whisky tends to refer to any whisky made from grains other than malted barley. This could include corn, wheat or rye although grain whiskies may contain a percentage of malted barley. Grain whisky tends to be distilled in a column still as opposed to the pot still that most of us are familiar with. This results in a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) but less flavoursome spirit. Some reviews I read in advance of the tasting suggested that grain whiskies tend to be smoother or “less harsh” than single malts. However surely that is down to personal taste more than anything.

Grain whisky samplesAbout two weeks before the event I nipped into Arkwrights to collect the samples, the urge to crack them open for a cheeky sniff and little taste was great so they were tucked away in a kitchen cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind (sort of!) In the run up to the tasting, we received an email from Steve with details for the evening itself. As with the Bowmore tasting last month, there was a list of people to follow on Twitter, however rather than just the ‘key players’ so to speak, he also gave the Twitter handles (names) of the tasters to be involved on the night itself. A few of them I recognised from the Bowmore tasting, the majority were new. There were 20 participants in all and the first major difference I noticed between the two events was the more global audience this time round. There were participants from Spain, Holland, Israel, England and Scotland, including a father and daughter who write excellent blogs on their experiences with whisky. My daughters are only eight months and three years old, but I’d love it if one day in the distant future I too will be writing whisky blogs with one or both of them!

The other obvious difference between this and the previous event was that this was a blind tasting, we had no idea what whiskies we would be tasting on the night. I like this idea, it removes any preconceptions that may come attached to certain distilleries, age or price even. It also gives you the opportunity to hone your palate to try to ascertain things like age or even nationality of whisky which we may not consider the majority of the time.

So not long after 7pm, once all participants had gathered and following an introduction from Steve and Fran, we moved on to Number one! My tasting notes are below.

Grain whisky sample 1#1 Nose            Thick and sweet like marzipan with strong hints of rolling tobacco.

#1 Taste           Not as sweet as the nose suggested it would be, still with a toffee like quality to it though with a liquorice finish. Adding a few drops of water did nothing to improve or open up the whisky.

#1 Summary     It seemed young, a bit ‘spirity’ as if it needed more time to develop. However this was an enjoyable easily drinkable dram.

Steve invited us to guess what was in our glasses. Having not had much experience of grains I didn’t really have a clue! Eventually he revealed we were drinking Cameron Brig Single Gran (40%) available from Arkwrights for £24.99. One person did guess correctly which impressed me!

We moved on to the next two samples. Again, here are my notes on each.

Grain whisky sample 2#2 Nose            More pungent than the first. Citrus, cut grass with a bourbon like sweetness in the background. I found the scent slightly overpowering.

#2 Taste           The initial taste is pleasant, hints of pepper and wood with a coffee like quality too. However it dies away a bit too quickly for my taste. A few drops of water open it up slightly giving rise to raisins and a mustiness.

#3 Summary     It’s more complex than the first. I don’t dislike it but I find myself questioning it too much! I almost can’t decide if I like it enough to really enjoy it.

This was an Irish expression from the Cooley distillery - Greengore 8 year old single grain whiskey (40%) priced at £36.99

Grain Whisky Sample 3

 

#3 Nose            “Summer in a glass” warm, ripe fruits like peaches and pears. Hints of hay. A delicious nose.

#3 Taste           Doesn’t disappoint after such a wonderful nose! Mellow fruit crumble with a dollop of rum raisin ice cream. Added water which opens up a sherry sweetness but I prefer this without.

#3 Summary     A remarkable whisky! Truly excellent. On my list to purchase next time I’m in Arkwrights

On offer here was Nikka Coffey Japanese grain whisky (45%) which at £36.99 is an absolute bargain in my opinion!

 

As the event progressed, it was amusing to see how the flow of tweets increased, much in the way that the volume increases during an evening of tasting at the Stanton House Hotel. I guess that as whisky lubricates the vocal cords, it would appear to have the same effect on a typists fingers! Admittedly it did make it difficult to keep up with the chatter for whiskies three and four, however it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the event. The beauty of twitter is you can always look back on the tweets retrospectively to ensure you didn’t miss any gems.

Grain Whisky sample 4I’ll leave you with my notes from the fourth and final sample. And a recommendation that, if you haven’t before, give grain whisky a try! Ken and Fran have sets of the sample bottles from this tasting session available to buy, it’s a great introduction to something a little different to the norm and I’d urge you not to discount grains when your making your next purchase.

#4 Nose            Rich fruit, like a Christmas pudding with a subtle hint of smoke. It’s very inviting.

#4 Taste           This tastes well aged… and over 46% ABV. It’s thick and treacle like, with chocolate and raisins coming through, finishing with the subtle smokiness that was detected on the nose.

#4 Summary     This has a long finish and is very enjoyable. Would be a perfect whisky to enjoy on a cold winters night. It’s very warming and relaxing!

Our final whisky turned out to be a real treat. Clan Denny Invergordon 1966 – 45 years old (47.1%) £129.99. As with all the others, this is available from Arkwrights.

Until next time, Slainte!

Kieran Smyth – 29/04/13

Compare Products

You have no items to compare.

Welcome to Arkwrights

Whisky is our passion and for some years it's been our business as well. Available from both our whisky shop in Wiltshire and our online shop is a superb range of single malt whiskies, wines, spirits and beers from around the world. At the last count we had over 800 different whiskies in stock so we are usually able to despatch your order the next working day at the latest.

Latest News

Whisky as a gift

choosing whisky for a gift

how to select the best whisky for a gift? click here

Delivery That's Confidence Inspiring...

Delivery

We deliver all over the world and are committed to providing a delivery service that you can always rely on.

Sign Up for our Newsletter

Get the latest news and information from Arkwrights Whisky and Wines.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter

Twitter Feed...

Need some Help?

Contact Us On 01793 765 071
Shop with Confidence Payment Methods
Designed by
Icons of Whisky 2011

Adding to Cart

Please wait while we update your cart...

Failed to Add to Cart

Successfully Added to Cart

Continue Shopping Continue to Checkout

Updating one moment please...

need help?

Need Help?

You can use this section to inform clients what to do if they do not know where to go on the website or if they cannot fine spefically what they are looking for. Sed eget justo quis justo pharetra sodales nec ac mauris. Nam elit sem, elementum sed mattis a, dignissim quis lacus. Nam ullamcorper posuere tortor vitae pretium. Vestibulum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed id tortor tellus, quis venenatis ante. Mauris semper tincidunt consectetur. Nunc eget ligula enim. Donec consequat nunc et eros aliquet tincidunt accumsan nisl fermentum. Pellentesque viverra mauris non mi sodales et lobortis enim rutrum. Phasellus ut neque sed tortor malesuada tincidunt at a metus. Cras accumsan dolor nec lacus rhoncus venenatis. Nam congue tristique mi vitae tempor. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse enim enim, eleifend non porta quis, aliquam in urna.

Vivamus odio lorem, pretium eu condimentum sit amet, ullamcorper et odio. Cras rhoncus varius lorem sit amet adipiscing. Nam nec arcu et neque pretium euismod. In scelerisque venenatis imperdiet. Mauris et arcu nibh. Etiam congue tortor ut elit laoreet adipiscing. Integer a tellus urna, at placerat mauris. Etiam ornare lobortis enim, id dignissim arcu facilisis viverra. Integer quis metus faucibus orci mattis volutpat. Aliquam ultrices quam ac nisl iaculis et ultrices magna ullamcorper. Curabitur quis diam ac leo aliquet lobortis. Maecenas semper cursus ultricies.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed id tortor tellus, quis venenatis ante. Mauris semper tincidunt consectetur. Nunc eget ligula enim. Donec consequat nunc et eros aliquet tincidunt accumsan nisl fermentum. Pellentesque viverra mauris non mi sodales et lobortis enim rutrum. Phasellus ut neque sed tortor malesuada tincidunt at a metus. Cras accumsan dolor nec lacus rhoncus venenatis. Nam congue tristique mi vitae tempor. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse enim enim, eleifend non porta quis, aliquam in urna.