We’ve got some exciting news about The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show today on TWE Blog, as I’m announcing the first of this year’s Masterclasses! And you’d better strap yourselves in, because it’s a stunner…
To maintain the standards of previous events and deliver the extraordinary levels of of awesomeness that our many fans have come to expect and demand, we’re really pushing the boat out for the Masterclasses at this year’s Show. The first of our whisky shows in 2009 featured classics from the Rare Malts series and a now-legendary Port Ellen Annual Releases verticale, while last year’s event featured an astonishing Clynelish / Brora face-off hosted by the maestro himself, Serge Valentin, AND a mindblowing Dalmore masterclass where one lucky punter got to try the Dalmore Trinitas. Tough acts to follow, you might say.
However, with this being the first year of The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show as a solo act, we thought we’d better pull out all the stops once again. In truth, dreaming up fantasy whisky tastings and then making them happen is one of the most fun aspects of organising the UK’s greatest whisky event (it certainly beats comparing the relative merits of fancy shell schemes for the exhibitors, believe me).
So we’re delighted to announce that we’re launching our Masterclasses for this year’s inaugural Whisky Exchange Whisky Show in style with a full-blown, lock-up-your-tastebuds Managers Dram Sherry Heaven tasting. Our friend and co-conspirator Colin Dunn from Diageo will be taking us through this high-octane thriller, with a selection of FIVE cask strength sherrybombs from the classic Manager’s Drams range bottled in the 1990s by United Distillers / Diageo.
Now, let’s clear up any possible confusion here right from the start. Not to be mixed up with the recent Managers’ Choice series, the Manager’s Drams are a selection of phenomenal cask strength whiskies which rarely see the light of day. Only one Manager’s Dram whisky is chosen each year by Diageo’s distillery managers after extensive tastings of their finest stocks; these special single malts are normally only available to company staff and consequently are spoken of only in suitably reverential hushed tones by the nerderati.
Obviously, then, these whiskies are not normally available to the public, so we are doubly thrilled to be able to bring you a one-off tasting of the very finest of these extremely special drams. As far as we’re aware, this is the first time ever that a line-up of these whiskies has featured in a public tasting. All of the drams in question were bottled in the 1990s, and all are over 60% abv. Seriously.
Cragganmore 17yo / 62% / Released 1992
Glen Elgin 16yo / 60% / Released 1993
Oban 16yo 200th Anniversary / 64% / Released 1994
Caol Ila 15yo / 63% / Released 1990 (Incidentally, if you can get your hands on one of these Caol Ilas nowadays, expect to pay around £800-£1000)