|The Woodford Reserve selection of offer|
|Some of the lads enjoying a few brews and chips prior to entry|
|The Oak barrel rooms before the crowds decended|
A great show was put on by many of the Australian distillers and I was particularly impressed with The Nant's progress and really looking forward to where they go in a few years. I was also pleasantly surprised with where Lime Burners is now going and found it quite humorous to be speaking with the Great Southern Distilling Company rep as he even agreed what they had been outputting over the last few years was not great in comparison and the early stuff was just 'rough' to quote.
|Tiger Snake by the Great Southern Distilling Company|
|George T. Stagg|
To add to the fun we were all treated to a well served dish of haggis which was actually quite delicious (though I have had it many times before this one I must say tasted the best). To announce its arrival a Piping In and a well delivered recital of the famous poem by Robert Burns 'Ode To A Haggis'. Thanks to Oak Barrel Syndey a recording of the recital has been made available to viewing below:
Following is the complete transcript of the poem as I am sure you will be wanting to have your own recital at your Burns Super on the 25th January:
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race! Aboon them a’ ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace As lang’s my arm
The groaning trencher there ye fill, Your hurdies like a distant hill, You pin wad help to mend a mill In time o’need While thro’ your pores the dews distil Like amber bead
His knife see Rustic-labour dight, An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright Like onie ditch; And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reeking, rich!
Then, horn for horn they stretch an’ strive, Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve Are bent like drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive Bethankit hums
Is there that owre his French ragout, Or olio that wad staw a sow, Or fricassee wad mak her spew Wi’ perfect sconner, Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash, As feckless as a wither’d rash His spindle-shank a guid whip-lash,His nieve a nit; Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash, O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed, The trembling earth resounds his tread, Clap in his walie nieve a blade, He’ll mak it whissle; An’ legs, an’ arms an’ heads will sned, Like taps o’ thrissle
Ye pow’rs wha mak mankind your care, An’ dish them out their bill o’fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware That jaups in luggies; But, if ye wish her gratefu’ pray’r, Gie her a Haggis!
|A fine selection of Bourbons to dram through|
Water was in ample supply as always and really good to see.
Real disappointments on the night for me was in fact Bruichladdich. Bruichladdich was made available only to VIP guests the hour before and then locked down but left out on the tables for all to view. Pride of place on the table was the elusive Laddie 10 and for such an now iconic release for Bruichladdich, and following the sale of Bruichladdich only months before, to withhold it from everyone was a real shame and a bit of a piss off. In saying that I was still able to sample a dram for myself due to entering right on the close for the VIP session and the guys manning the table had not resealed the bottles. In the one dram I had there was extreme measure of Aniseed on the pallet. Very different to previous vintage Bruichladdich 10yo and I would like to have more. Honestly though if the product is not for tasting and infect nothing from that distiller is not for tasting then pull down your signs, get the hell out of my way and stop wasting our time, we are not paying to look but not touch.
Overall though a good time was had by all. I really enjoyed myself and the intimate experience offered by the smaller venue at The Oak Barrel. I will be looking forward to next years event. If I was to give a dram for the event a good 6 out of 7.