The Whisky Tasting Club

Whisky World Cup qualifying round 3

The truth about our whisky tasting group is that one flight is never enough, so we held rounds three and four of the whisky world cup on the same night. Please bear this in mind when reading the tasting comments below.  Our usual pubs were being used by regular paying customers, so at the last minute I asked my local Micawbers Tavern if we could occupy the back of their bar.

Mines a large bone please

Arby is a regular in Micawbers, it’s an old style boozer with excellent real ales (including my favorite pint Nelson’s Revenge) and an eighties jukebox. Dom was in his element, at least he was until Pat got at the jukebox and for some reason put on 6 tracks by The Doors.  Attendees were Tony, Pat, Michelle, Derek, Susie and Andrew. Opinions below are Tony’s unless otherwise attributed.

Anyway, the whisky. I’ll do the two rounds as separate posts. The way it works is that Dom tells us what all the categories are, but we don’t know the actual whiskies and we taste them randomly. This is good because preconception cannot effect our votes, but it does mean upsets are likely. It also means we cannot control the order and some whiskies over power others.  Oh well, it’s all just a laugh anyway.  We also mark quite harshly on these events and tend to use the whole range from 0-10. I will perform a spline point adjustment if I put these on the Connosr website (hey, its just like an exam board!) 

Group 3: (in the order we tasted them)

Australian:  Bakery Hill Peated:

Official notes say: “Rich gold russet of evening sunset. A rich subdued peat aroma combined with a natural leathery earthiness with overtones of kumquat and fruit mince tart.” Yes, well. We say: Sherbety, lemon and honey, peated but rounded with a spicy middle. I thought it tasted quite young and barley, only partially masked by the peat. Michelle thought it was slightly floral with a soft smooth finish. I’ve always been very disparaging about ozzie whisky and some we have had have been truly awful. However, this goes some way to bringing me round, it was very drinkable. I had a quick search and I can’t find it on sale in the UK, let me know if you better. It retails for 8oAUSD, which is about £45.  

Australian score: 7.17

Scottish Blends: Johnny Walker Gold Label.

 (err, isnt this a blended malt? Ed.) So lets say straight off that we were all really surprised when Dom told us what this was, because none of us liked it that much! I love black, green and blue (fly first class with Thai Airways and they will pour you a healthy dram of JW Blue and leave you the bottle, but that’s another story).  However, the Gold was not to my taste. Licorice nose, some porridge (when pressed on what type, Andrew says Ready Brek). Creamy taste, slightly oily with a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste (Tony). Creamy initially, spicey, pleasant bitterness, very long complicated finish, quite harsh though (Michelle). We generally thought it complex, but not all that nice! Its available from the Whisky Exchange for £48.95, but I dont think they will sell many off the back of this review!

Scottish Blends score 6.08 Blimey, the Scottish blend scores worse than an Australian whisky and could be going out.

American Rye: Sazerac Rye Whiskey

And bang there go our tastebuds! I went back and tasted the first two again after trying this and they were completely different. It’s somewhat the luck of the draw really.  Anyway, this rye is really nice. “Smells like a small Greek supermarket” say Susie, and who can argue with that? Nose: malted milk. Taste: Woody root beer, soft easy drinking, says Michelle. We seem to be developing a taste for rye. This is very reasonably priced, its £26.95 at
The Whisky Exchange I think I will be buying a bottle.

American Rye score: 8.07  Scottish blends are out! Hard to beat this score.


French: Eddu Gold

Every single one of us who nosed this recoiled in horror. It reminded me of my mispent youth, loitering in parks sniffing Tipp- Ex thinners. Michelle said “Can’t nose it, it’s too disgusting”. It doesnt taste like whisky either, its more like cognac, but not a good one. There are two countries whose whisky I always slag off: France and Australia. I have to kerb my ozzie bashing  after the Bakery Hill, but this just reaffirms all my prejudices (although strangely it’s not full of sulphur like the other frenchies its been my misfortune to taste). I don’t know how much it costs and I don’t care, I’m not going to put a link to it!

French Score: 5. Say no more.

Irish Standard: Powers Gold Label 12 Year Old 

Guessing the countries in this round was easy, and the apples on the nose gave this away immediately, even after the palate numbing blast of the rye and the french paint stripper. It’s a lovely smooth dram, very easy to drink.  Not much more to say really, neither Michelle nor I are huge fans of Irish, but this is a very good example of why the style is much loved.
£39.95 from TWE

Irish Standard score: 8.08.

So an American rye and an Irish standard go through, a shock exit for the Scottish blend and the Australians put up a good show but don’t quite make it.

This entry was posted in whisky tasting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • The amazing little blueberry has emerged as nature’s number one source of antioxidants among fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • This has been a great cup outside the ref screwing the USA. Go USA

  • @Loyd, I agree, I love blueberries. Not sure what it has to do with our blog, but thanks for sharing
    @Chris, good luck to the states, 0-0 at half time

  • USA do it in the last minute! Come on Ghana

Leave a Comment