Adelphi will be participating in the following future events. Please click on the event for further information, and come along to visit us there!
Willowpark Whiksy Fair Calgary...a roadshow in Denmark...and Sweden...Whisky Fair in the Hague...Glasgow Whisky Fair...a roadshow in Switzerland...
Importers' Gathering 2010
Glenborrodale Castle 2010
(photos courtesy of Claus Fisker, Denmark)
Every September we are delighted to welcome as many of our overseas importers to Glenborrodale Castle to sample some unadulterated Scottish hospitality, weather, whisky and the occasional midge.
We are always amazed at how many hardy importers complete the arduous trek to Ardnamurchan, and 2010 welcomed Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and, of course, Scotland.
The calm before the storm
This year we were really happy to welcome back Chris Pepper from Germany – quite probably the most dedicated and talented whisky chef you will ever find. Chris and Marion operate the famous Whiskykoch out of Darmstadt, and unlike most of us who have tried to match whisky and food, Chris will only match the food to the whisky, not the other way round. This involves samples being sent well in advance of any dinner, and tasting notes and a menu being returned ahead of the event. Not surprisingly, Chris did us proud on the Tuesday night – more to follow.
Monday evening was all about relaxing with a little work – the first part of our Christmas releases tasting. 4 new whiskies to start:
Longmorn 1992 18yr old cask no. 48429, boiled sweets, honey and garden peas in mint; Breath of the Isles 1995 15yr old cask no. 1792, allspice, ripe red apples, chilli pepper and liquorice; Bowmore 1998 12yr old cask no. 800017, fireworks, cordite and molasses; and Breath of Islay 1999 11yr old cask no. 5882, smoked cheese, bath salts and jasmine.
A sunny Tuesday morning saw us on a bus to the magnificent Arisaig House http://www.arisaighouse.co.uk/ recently reopened as an incredibly luxurious place to stay. A tour of the property and a delicious lunch, a huge thank you to Emma and Sarah, and we were off again to Mallaig to board the Jacobite Express – made famous by the Harry Potter films,
the steam train runs a round trip from Fort William to Mallaig and back, and we managed to find enough seats for the return leg. Chuffing and puffing, carriage full of steam, this is a truly special rail journey.
Bit concerned at how Claus managed to take this photo...
The bus then returned us to the castle for an evening of tasting and Chris’s dinner. Part 2 of the Christmas releases included:
Glen Garioch 1990 20yr old cask no. 2691, ginger, maturation warehouse, bitter chocolate and dried orange peel; Bunnahabhain 1998 12yr old cask no. 6037, 1st fill sherry notes of burnt sugar, maple syrup, caramelised bananas and dark chocolate; Ardmore 2003 7yr old cask no. 800019, the real surprise of the night with Hessian potato sacks, steam train (funnily enough), liquorice, aniseed, buttery smoked ham and coal smoke; Caol Ila 1982 28yr old cask no. 687, real class here with tropical tinned fruits, chimney soot, intense smoke a waxy mouthfeel.
8.30pm, dinner served:
Coffee & herb soufflé with Bunnahabhain 1968 41 year old Islay, 41.2% vol cask nos. 12401/12403 – this really brought out the sweetness of the old Bunna, and it just kept changing; hot smoked salmon with almond hollandaise sauce on a rocket and hop salad with Bowmore 2000 10 year old Islay, 54.7% vol cask no. 1883 – what a magnificent salmon supplied by Christoph and Christine Ewers of Ardshealach Fine Foods, www.ardshealach.de; roast pork on an apple and pear bed, half-baked potatoes and green bean tartlets with Macallan 1996 13 year old Speyside, 58.8% vol cask no. 11096 – some mention that the “half baked” potatoes were caused by Donald not paying the electricity bill…and to finish, apricot pancakes with warm honey and herb syrup with
Glen Grant 1985 25 year old Speyside, 55.0% vol cask no. 10192.
Mr MacLean searches for his nose
The weather arrived on Wednesday reminding us where all the west coast greenery comes from, but the departing departed and we are all looking forward to 2011.
Our huge thanks to the new team at Glenborrodale, Chris and Marion Pepper for an amazing dinner and all the importers that made it over.
Agents' Gathering, Glenborrodale 2007
The third Adelphi Agents' Gathering proved to be a culinary triumph.
Meeting at Glengoyne Distillery, we were given a very informative tour and a great chance to blend our own whisky...delicious. Our thanks to the team at Glengoyne for their hospitality.
The convoy then sped north to Glenborrodale to be greeted by cakes and cups of tea followed by an excellent dinner. We were joined later in the evening by top Scottish chef and owner of Mhor, Tom Lewis. Tom's mission for the weekend was to source and prepare the best local produce possible. All this while trying to explain what he was doing to us, and match each masterpiece with a chosen Adelphi single cask whisky.
The Adelphi Dancey Man flutters in the wind above Glenborrodale Castle
Saturday started off with a trip to Mingary (for the less squeamish) to witness Tom butcher a huge stag that had been culled on the hill the previous week. He explained the benefits of the French Cut, keeping the joints as tender as possible.
No sooner had he finished in the larder than we were back collecting Chanterelle mushrooms from under the trees at the Castle.
Tom then set to work in the kitchen with an attentive audience watching his every move. He had already planned his menu but was adapting with every new mushroom that appeared. The whiskies were added to enhance flavours, not over-power, and we were finally dragged, kicking and screaming back up for the annual tasting.
Tom prepares a culinary masterpiece...notice the empty bottle...
This year we lined up 7 new cask samples ahead of Christmas sales. First up, a fresh Ben Nevis from 1996, cask no. 846 - vanilla pods, home-made ice cream and then banoffee pie; then a magnificent 35 year old Breath of the Highlands, cask no. 1753; these were followed by a nutty, sherried Dalmore, cask no. 7327; a sweet and peppery Breath of the Isles, cask no. 3197; a massive, sherried Inchgower 1980, cask 14155 (one of the darkest whiskies we have ever seen), full of dark chocolate and spice - so popular that it was on allocation before we had finished pouring; and finally 2 peaty monsters - a heavily peated youngster from Bunnahabhain 1997, cask no. 5265 and another complex Breath of Islay 1992, cask no. 5348.
Exhausted and elated, we were not prepared for the feast that followed.
First up was Tom's west coast version of Cullen Skink - scallops with smoked haddock in a delicate cream "soup". We all agreed that this was probably the best we had ever tasted. It also matched perfectly with the Glen Garioch 1990, cask no. 2689.
Tom then managed to squeeze in a sneaky mushroom delight - chanterelles (hand picked and cleaned!), beautifully presented in just a dash of Glen Spey 1977. No rest, as the venison was next up. Flavour, texture, it had it all, and a great match for our ever-popular, heavily sherried Glenrothes 2000, cask no. 2413.
Tom managed to appear to taste his own cooking, and to great applause, caught up with us as pudding appeared. We were finishing on a high - Tom had earlier done a taste "test" on us with locally picked raspberries vs. overseas. While the foreigners looked the part, the concentration of flavour and texture in the locals was truly special. These were then incorporated in a superb Cranachan matched with Breath of Speyside 1991, cask no. 4299.
The festivities continued into the night...
Sunday...a few sore heads, but the invitation to join Sandy and Liz on the incredible Seaflower soon blew away the cobwebs.
the Wee Shyte ferries more able seamen and women on board the Seaflower.
Rescued from a sandy grave several years ago, the Seaflower has been brought back to life by boat-building magician Sandy Macdonald. It is a beatiful boat, and we were priviledged to be aboard for a short trip past the Castle, followed by a hearty lunch of soup and sandwiches.
the castle as seen from Seaflower
It was then time for good-byes and the long and winding trip back to Glasgow Airport.
A fantastic weekend only made possible by Sharon and the team at the Castle, Tom Lewis (please visit him at http://mhor.net/), and all our highly adventurous and supportive agents that keep us going.
Here's to 2008!
Alex Bruce, Keeper of the Quaich
The Keepers of the Quaich, the exclusive Scotch whisky society with a wide international membership, met on the 9th October 2006 to welcome 48 new members as Keepers of the Quaich and 1 Master of the Quaich.
The Society was founded to represent the Scotch whisky industry worldwide, it promotes the goodwill of the industry and honours those who have made a significant contribution to it. Keepers of the Quaich have served the industry well for a minimum of five years and being made a member of the Society is considered a position of great honour.
Amongst the new Keepers on this occasion was Alex Bruce, Sales & Marketing Director, Adelphi Distillery Ltd.
Adelphi's Breath of Angels
In recognition of the “Angels’ Share” (the alcohol that evaporates from a cask during maturation), and their resulting sweetest of breaths, Adelphi launched a new label at the end of 2005 to enable it to bottle exceptional whiskies from the “unnameable distilleries”. While it is still possible to obtain casks from these distilleries, they prefer independent bottlers not to name the origin.
In the past, Adelphi has only bottled one cask from such a distillery – the glorious 50 year old The Whisky That Cannot Be Named. However, it seemed a pity that the casks that met Adelphi’s highest standards of selection should then be rejected simply because they could not be named. In addition, the Adelphi name alone has come to signify extraordinary quality in the bottle.
It therefore came to pass that when an unnameable cask was found it should henceforth be known as a Breath of its region.
To date Adelphi has bottled several award winning Breaths from Islay, the Isles, the Highlands and Speyside.
It should be noted that, not only are all these whiskies still from a single cask, from a single distillery, bottled at natural strength without chill-filtration or colouring, they also exceed the Adelphi quality benchmark.