When COVID-19 started to become a reality in South Africa I spent a fair amount of time reading about remote work, self-isolation, fake news and rigorous hand washing. I realised something was missing, however – how was I going to stay sociable while locked up at home?
I had as they say, a dramspirational moment, and after some collaboration with some fellow Cape Whisky Club
nerds aficionados we arrived at our plan: We would use the tools provided to us by our corporate overlords for the greater good and have a Virtual Whisky Tasting!
So on Friday evening, the first day of lockdown, we dialled in from our respective whisky lairs and covered a number of topics on work, life and whisky while we shared a dram or two. It was good fun and I vastly underestimated how long we could actually keep it going for – two hours passed in no time and Hardy and I still carried on for another hour after that.
I suppose this wouldn’t be worthy of a Cape Whisky Club article if I didn’t share some details on the whisky…
Teeling Small Batch
The opener: Probably needs no introduction. A fine Irish whisky that should be in everyone’s collection, and is often where I start my whisky evening. It’s easy going, yet has quite a bit to offer while it gently guides you down the path to the whisky crossroads – from which you can go anywhere!
Nikka Coffey Malt
I tasted this for the first time at a Wade Bales event in 2017, poured by a good friend to the CWC, Hector Macbeth. At that stage it was unobtanium locally and remained so for quite a while. Lovely rich nose. First sip, might be a bit hot, but once you get past that it’s creamy and chocolatey. I find this to be somewhere between a Jameson Select Reserve and something with a splash of sherry like a GlenDronach 12.
I’ll admit that this was one of those whiskies I bought after skim reading a few reviews to get my cart to whatever it needed to be to get free shipping (we’ve all been there I’m sure). I think Glenmorangie 10 fans would certainly feel at home, with its light cereal notes. And without that heat that you sometimes get from highland whiskies.
Kilchoman Loch Gorm
What can I say? I’m unashamedly a huge Kilchoman fan, they can do no wrong. Natural Colour, non-chill filtered, 50% ABV (and up) is pretty much the standard with all their expressions. What we have here is beautiful Islay peat wrapped in sherry goodness. If you’re not a fan of sherried expressions, kick off with their staple offering Machir Bay: Lightly peated, slightly sweet and a good introduction to Kilchoman’s style.
Tamdhu Batch Strength
Finally we get to an often overlooked and underrated distillery: Tamdhu. The Batch Strength is their massive ABV sherry monster. It’s right up there with Aberlour A’Bunadh and some of the GlenDronach offerings. What is surprising despite the high alcohol content is how easily this goes down. A drop of water wouldn’t hurt, but I never felt it needed much! Tamduh has a catchy phrase in the form of their “can-dhu spirit” – certainly something we all need in these interesting times. Cheers!
Join the Cape Whisky Club!
Every month the Cape Whisky Club hosts whisky lovers from all over the mother city to join in a shared whisky tasting. Anyone is welcome to join! If we like you, we’ll invite you to the private group and start sending you invitations for whisky tastings.