Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2009

Big thanks to all who organized and publicized WhiskyFest San Francisco. Had a wonderful time and was dazzled by dozens of whiskeys… and I hope to try them all in greater depth in the coming months (some of the spirits sampled at the show weren’t even “finished” with their aging and bottling).

Bummed by the absence of a few much-desired spirits (Ardbeg Supernova) and distillers (Pappy Van Winkle), but it’s hard to complain when there was so much quality on offer.

My full rundown (with scribbled notes) of some 31 whiskeys (and a little cognac) sampled follows:

  • Tomintoul 27 Years Old / A / chocolate + marshmallows, always a favorite
  • D&M Wines & Liquors Caol Ila 15 Years Old / B
  • D&M Wines & Liquors BenRiach 17 Years Old Gaja Barolo Cask / A- / big wine kick
  • D&M Wines & Liquors Auchroisk 16 Years Old / B+ / hot as hell
  • D&M Wines & Liquors Duncan Taylor Glen Grant 37 Years Old / A / Tried last year, was one of my favorites then and it still is now, incredible spice and sweetness
  • D&M Wines & Liquors Scapa 19 Years Old / A- / candy, flowery, nougaty — quite unique
  • Glenmorangie Signet / A- / caramel with a touch of smoke
  • Glenmorangie Astar / B+ / big wood and smoke bomb
  • BenRiach Tawny Port 15 Years Old / B / hugely peaty
  • GlenDronach Batch 1 1992 cask 1140 16 Years Old / B+ / blazing hot
  • Springbank 18 Years Old / A- / balanced peat and sweet, like it
  • Duncan Taylor Lonach Glendronach 42 Years Old / B+ / surprisingly mute for a 42-year-old whisky, nutty
  • K&L Wine Merchants Gordon & MacPHail Highland Park 8 Years Old / B+ / needs time
  • K&L Wine Merchants Murray McDavid 2000 Caol Ila Ridge Zinfandel Cask / B / simple
  • Wemyss The Spice King 8 Years Old / B+ / as the name implies
  • Elijah Craig 18 Years Old Single Barrel Bourbon / B+ / flowery
  • Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 Years Old Bourbon / A- / big, good
  • Benromach Peat Smoke 10 Years Old (American debut) / B+ / simple
  • Gordon & MacPhail Tomintoul 1967 33 Years Old / B+ / big wood and spice character
  • Beltramo’s Highland Park 19 Years Old / B+ / crazy structure, huge
  • The Macallan Fine Oak 17 Years Old / B+ / easy honey character
  • The Macallan Cask Strength / B+ / also easy, with some earth to it
  • Highland Park 30 Years Old / A- / crazy good, nice sweetness
  • The Dalmore Gran Reserva / B+ / peaty
  • The Dalmore King Alexander III / A- / easy drinking, nice honey to it
  • The Glenrothes 1975 / B / bittersweet
  • Arran Malt 10 Years Old / B / medium peatiness
  • Arran Malt Pomerol Cask Finish / B+ / different, curious
  • Pierre Ferrand Grande Champagne Selection des Anges 30 Years Old Cognac / B
  • Pierre Ferrand Grande Champagne Abel 45 Years Old Cognac / B+ / a little bitter
  • Pierre Ferrand Grande Champagne Selection des Anges 70 Years Old Cognac / A- / very good, but no Hors d’Age

Apologies for the lack of pictures. Camera was wholly unprepared for the task. Next year, I promise!

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One Response to Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2009

  1. Pingback: More Tastings From Diageo's Special Release Single Malt Whiskies | Whisky Party

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