The Whisky Tasting Club The Whisky Tasting Club

I Want to Know Whisky

Five premium whiskies in luxury packaging and membership of online experience "I want to know whisky" (RRP £25). A great gift to both educate and entertain for £75.

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For those about to embark upon their whisky “journey”, it is often difficult to know where to start. How the various types of whiskies differ? What do all the weird and wonderful terms mean? Does age matter? How is whisky made? Well, in conjunction with the good people at I Want to Know Whisky, you’ll be able to start on your journey and find answers to these questions, whilst drinking some damn fine whisky.

Of course, we’re not going to be able to do the vast range of whisky justice in a single pack, but we have selected a range of different styles for you to try so you can better understand how they differ, which ones you like and which ones you don’t.

This is accompanied by membership of an exciting new venture I want to know whisky, designed to increase your understanding and appreciation of Scotland’s national drink.

It offers you

• An online experience full of fascinating whisky facts
• An opportunity to gain a certificate endorsed by whisky guru Charles MacLean
• Access to exclusive content including recipes, tasting notes and distillery reviews
• A wonderful way to increase your understanding and enjoyment of whisky
• Easy to access and simple to enjoy; it is compatible with PCs, laptops, tablets and mobiles
• Comes as a boxed gift including membership card and booklet

Perfect for those who are either just starting their whisky journey or those who are already on the journey but who want to learn a little more.

Compass Box Hedonism

Hedonism is a 100% Scottish grain whisky. Grain whisky is whisky made from grains such as barley, maze, wheat or rye as opposed to malt whisky that must be made exclusively from malted barley. Grain whisky is typically distilled in a continuous column still (as opposed to batch mode pot still used for malt), resulting in a lighter spirit. Bottlings of just Scottish grain whiskies are very unusual, since most of the grain produced in Scotland goes into making blended whisky (a combination of grain and malt). Hedonism is a combination of grain whiskies from Cambus (a distillery that closed in 1993), Carsebridge (closed in 1983) and Cameron Bridge grain whiskies from 14 to 29 years old. The whisky has been matured in top quality 100% first-fill American oak barrels or rejuvenated American oak Hogsheads. Hedonism produced in annually from small batches from especially selected casks.

Retails for around £55

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Dalwhinnie 15 year old

From the central Highlands comes an old favourite. Dalwhinnie is the second-highest distillery in Scotland (after Braeval) and is situated halfway between Perth and Inverness. This 15 year old is the standard expression from this distillery and is heathery, voluptuous, honeyed and, underneath it all, smoky. This is one of the best selling single malts in the world. After you’ve had a sip, you'll know why.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Light dusty oak and a merest hint of peat. Tapioca pudding and mangoes.
Palate: Oak gradually building, before being joined by honey and soft tropical fruit.

Retails for around £35

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Glendronach 18 year old

A personal favourite of mine, this is the second expression of Glendronach we have used in our packs and I don’t think it’ll be the last. Although closed from 1996-2002, the distillery (owned by the same people who own BenRiach, so you know it’s going to be good) is back with a vengeance with its high-quality sherry-casked whiskies. This 18 year old is like one of those wonderful old Boal or Malmsey Madeiras, rich, tangy and voluptuous, with an avalanche of fruits.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Rich and Christmas cakey. Chocolate caramels. Salty and buttery. Ripe grape. Camp coffee.
Palate: Rich. Immediate spice. Tangy. Sweet. Salty. All at the same time. Underlying toffee smoothness. Smooth and lightly-spiced licorice at the finish. Almost Madeira-like.

Retails for around £55-65

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Lagavulin 16 year old

One of the holy trinity from the Southern coast of Islay, we are delighted to welcome our first (official) Lagavulin to the WTC party. Like the Highland Park 18, this is one of the all-time greats. Lagavulin take their time, not just in the maturation but also in the fermentation and distillation processes to ensure the spirit retains its robust character. Very different from its near neighbours, Ardbeg and Laphroaig, this is a rich and powerful malt, oily and salty, peaty and iodine, with notes of coffee and gunpowder tea. Once drunk, never forgotten. A bit like Oliver Reed.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Rockpools. Peat. Iodine. Salty, Oily. Bitter orange. Coffee. Gunpowder tea. Soy sauce.
Palate: Dark and brooding. Enormously peaty yet light and minty, smoothed by the sherry influence and a almond cream. Light oaked. Chicory. I’m not sure I have a sufficient vocabulary to articulate this. I’ll let you do it.

Retails for around £45-55

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Craigellachie 17 year old

Craigellachie is a Speyside distillery owned by Bacardi. The vast majority of the maximum 4 million litres production goes into Dewars blends and single malt bottlings have always been rare. This changed in 2014 when Bicardi launched a range of elegantly packaged bottlings at the unusual ages of 13, 17 and 21 years. This is no bland Speysider. There is a complexity in all three drams. I think the 17 is the best of them.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Not the most complex nose, gentle fruit and vanilla.
Palate:  A very savoury, quirky dram. It starts with a familiar Speyside smoothness, but a deep woody note soon takes charge, feeding a certain fieriness and filling the mouth with warmth. In the end, gentle fruitiness wins out over wood and earth.

Retails for around £85

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