Friday, October 29, 2010

Old Pulteney/Balblair/AnCnoc tasting

Had a great time last night at Umami, a new restaurant opened by my friend Noon, where we tasted the lineup of Old Pulteney, Balblair, and AnCnoc single malts.

Leading the tasting was Iain Baxter, Marketing Director of Malt Whiskies for International Beverage Holdings Limited, the operating company of the three distilleries from which we were tasting whiskies. Also attending was Liza Weisstuch, a freelance writer who has scribed articles for Whisky Magazine, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times, among others.

Kevin with Iain Baxter and Liza WeisstuchKevin with Liza Weisstuch and Iain Baxter.

Pulteney is still one of my absolute favorite distilleries, not just because it produces some awesome spirits, but also because it is decidedly unique. Located in Wick in one of the where-the-hell-are-we parts of Scotland, Pulteney is the northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland. It produces only about 1.4 million liters (sorry, "litres") of spirit a year, which is fairly diminutive compared to what most well-known distilleries crank out. It also calls itself the "genuine maritime malt" and, I believe, rightly so - its aroma and flavors bring to mind the seashore and a fishing vessel...appropriate, since Wick used to be a prominent fishing port.

I was also turned on to Balblair and AnCnoc a few months ago, and you can see my reviews of a few of those whiskies on this blog here and here. I think these whiskies are even less well known than those of Pulteney, but I'm happy to help spread the word, as they are making some great products.

Thanks to Noon from Umami for hosting us all in her new venue, and to my friend Brian Johnson from International Beverage for working out the schedule so we could all meet!

Kevin with Liza Weisstuch, Iain Baxter, Noon, and othersLiza, Iain, Noon, and other folks enjoying the tasting.

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