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Announcements, Antwerp, 2014-02-24

Since I am a self-proclaimed avid Whisky enthousiast, it’s about time I introduce you guys to the Maltlovers. The group is founded in Belgium by Ben Floren (Boefie) and Jeroen Van Dyck (PDG), they have being going strong for the past 3 years and have done 12 tastings up till now.

In anticipation of their 13th tasting this Saturday, I’ll be telling you about the last tasting they had mid-December. The theme was Whisky & Foodpairing. They usually focus on the whisky itself but the focus this time was on how good or bad the combination was between the particular whisky and their appetizer. There were 7 whiskies in total with their own specific appetizer and the tastings are always done blind. You find out which whisky you’re drinking after you’ve tasted them.

We started off with an American Bourbon, Evan Williams, in combination with a tasty apfelstrudel. A good starter, a bit sweet with vanilla extracts. Bourbon is required by law to be matured in oak barrels and to contain off at least 51% corn. Fun fact for the diet conscious lads or ladies among us, 1 glass contains 65cal. so drink up folks !

The second whisky came with a tailor made whisky filled chocolate treat. A single malt, 20 years old and released by an independent bottler The Whisky Mercenary. Bottled at cask strenght 57,5% so you should try adding a few drops of water to make it more enjoyable. (but no ice, please don’t ever use ice when drinking whisky pure) Distilled in 1992 and hailing from the Speyside region where the whisky tends to taste more floral.

The next bottle will be much loved by many a Star Wars fan since the profits go to saving Skywalker’s house. Save Lars Whisky is Mark Dermul’s own Auchentoshan (A Toshan Man), 24 years old matured in a single bourbon cask from the lowlands (near Glasgow). As a trekkie I wouldn’t go for this bottle but as an Auchentoshan lover it’s good, a bit spicy yet it tasted very fresh and young which is surprising. It was paired with a nice toast with goat cheese on and (sadly) a bounty bar (I really dislike coconut, sorry i’m not sorry).

The 10 years old Glenturet (16.32) that was next was again bottled by an independent bottler, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society this time. Matured in porto casks and deliciously paired with a yule/christmas log provided by Boefie’s mother and some great prosciutto. It was also interesting to know that the Society uses a secret panel to write the descriptive texts on the back of their bottles.

After the fourth bottle we had a little break and me and my group decided to drink some more in the bar downstairs so by the time we started the fifth bottle I was already a bit more tipsy than anticipated (the great amount of water and bread didn’t help quite as much as I hoped) so I apologize in advance for the lack of information below this point.

We started off strong though with a single malt matured on sherry casks and bottled at cask strenght 52%. Paired with a perfectly cooked saddle of hare and a delicious sauce to boot this Glendronach was one of my favorites. A mixture of old and young whisky and hailing from the eastern border of Speyside.

We’re nearing the end so it’s about time to bring out the more peated whiskies, starting off lightly with a nice 10 years old Laphroaig paired with a fine bit of trout as well as blue cheese on toast.
Last but certainly not least we have a Bowmore (3.196) that is again independently bottled by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Surprisingly paired with white chocolate and raspberry sauce, and trout with beetroot.

The top three consisted of the Glendronach first off, the Laphroaigh and the Bowmore. The peated whiskies take some more time getting used to or even liking at all but once you give it a chance you will not be disappointed, and never be ashamed of adding a few drops of water to your whisky when needed.

 

There’s been a change in date for the next maltlovers tasting, see you Saturday March 29 instead !

Love and cheers,
l.