Wow, what a day: It was a lazy start. My love and I huddled under the duvet well past ten in the morning, trawling the internet. A twitter notification would soon force us to pick up our pace. My love had tagged me in a competition retweet. This was rather surprising, he isn’t big into competitions, but this competition involved Scottish whisky. We were chuffed when my retweet was picked as the winner. So, we rolled out of bed and headed for a whisky tasting at the WhiskyBrother Bar in Sandton courtesy of Ardbeg – which is one of the most awarded Scottish whiskies. Ardbeg is generally a peaty whisky (from Islay). Either you love the smoky flavour or you don’t. I LOVE PEAT!
#ArdbegDay is an annual event held on the 2nd of June and marks the distillery’s open day during Feis Ile, the Islay Festival of Music and Malt. It’s also when the distillery releases its annual limited release whisky which this year is Ardbeg Grooves.
While I have been to the WhiskyBrother store in Hyde Park often this was my first visit to the bar. Tastefully designed the WhiskyBrother Bar is inviting, warm and relaxed making it easy to forget that its located in a popular shopping mall. The bar boasting a collection of more than 800 whiskies, from around the world is drool inducing!
Our tasting included the Ardbeg 10-year-old, Ardbeg Grooves, Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail. Grooves clearly is a complex whisky, offering a lightly smoky, spicy and fruity taste but it was a bit sharp around the edges. The Corryvreckan and Uigeadail were my favourites. Corryvreckan had a wonderful sweet and smoky nose – if this whisky scent could be made into a perfume, I would be thrilled. The Uigeadail blew my socks off! The peat finish is just sublime. Sitting amongst all the bottles and slowly savouring every mouthful of liquid gold I was reminded of my love of peat and Islay. Who wouldn’t want to sit back, relax and sip on a glass of whisky in this beautiful space surrounded by like-minded people.
As for the WhiskyBrother Bar, I am already making a list of whiskies to try ahead of my next tasting. The owners are polite, professional and always eager to share their whisky knowledge. They even helped source my previously pre-ordered bottle of the new Glenlivet Code, so that I didn’t have to go all the way to the Hyde Park store. The Glenlivet Code is the follow-up to last year’s Glenlivet Cipher – whiskies without tasting notes that leave whisky lovers to “decipher” the flavour profile until the official tasting notes are released later in the year. I’m looking forward to unravelling this mystery and finding out to what extent the flavours I identify match with those of the master distiller!
APOLOGY: I enjoyed the tasting so much, I completely forgot to take pictures of the bar:(