Hello
there, today I’m writing about the “Falstaff Cocktail- & Spiritsgala 2015” in Vienna. Beforehand I’d like to apologise because there are no
pictures from the venue in this post. This is because of two reasons I’m about
to tell you.
First I
was not able to leave work early enough (Yes I have a day job, this blog is
merely a project in my free time) to be at a decent time at the location of the
gala. Which was in the world famous Vienna Hofburg Palace. To be exact the
venue was located inside the “Redoutensäle“. I’m not sure if these
can be visited during a normal tour but if so, take it! The architecture is
stunning! But I digress. So guess what, I had to hurry a little bit and forgot
to take a spare battery out of my camera bag for my X100T (I figured it would
be swamped there – how right I was -, so I decided to take just my camera and
my tasting notes book with me) and the battery inside my precious X100T died
instantly upon my arrival. My bad, my bad I know.
The
second reason was that I was there as a “normal” guest, not as a
“press person”. Therefore my access to the stage or behind the bars
was limited and in front of the bars was literally no space at all. And it was
dark as sh**. No problem with my X100T but as you might remember I had no spare
battery with me. And my iPhone isn’t very low light capable, although you can
get great shots out of it. As long as there is enough light of course. I
decided to focus on the other task at hand -that is: tasting whiskies and
stuff. Well I had one Rum and a few (more or less) interesting
whiskies nothing else. After all I’m “That Whisky Guy”…

So I
started in the bigger of the “Redutensäle” just to find out there’s
no Whisky to be found, except from
Hermann Rogner. I like his whiskies despite
they are made (fully or partly) of rye. I don’t really like the taste of rye, but
Hermann’s doing a great job of adding lot’s of other interesting flavours to
his whiskies
 and balancing the rye taste! I had the “Rye – Whisky No.13” which is made from 100%
rye and seasoned in ex-brandy casks. Sweet notes from nougat combined with just
a hair of smoke can be found as well as some rye (what a surprise)!

After
that I started wandering around and found some Whiskies in the smallest of the
three rooms, but it was just as crowded as the other two rooms. I had to be
patient to get my share of Whisky and heard in that time some funny statements.
The best was “This (Kilbeggan 8yo Single Grain) Single Grain Whisky is
made of two or sometimes even more different kinds of grain.” I guess he
just mixed up the two Kilbeggan’s they had for tasting, the “8yo Single
Grain” which is made from a single – thus ONE – grain and the “21yo Limited
Edition” which is a blend of grain and malt Whiskies. I choose the latter
one. Quite interesting for a blend, even the finish is longer than you would expect.
I found that Whisky quite sweet but combined with the sourness of a golden
delicious apple and some spices.

After I
had the “Hibiki” (quite flat in the nose but a nice prickling sweet
on the palate) and the “Balvenie 15yo” (toffee and some spices on the
palate and a muffled sweet in the nose) I spotted the “Johnny Walter
Platinum Label”. Priced a little bit below the “Highland Park
18yo” I decided to compare the two. I know that this isn’t a fair battle but
I did it anyway. While the Platinum presents lots of sweet from honey the Highland
Park is much more restrained at the nose. As soon as you start drinking them
there is much difference! While the Platinum just keeps being sweet the
Highland Park is quite round and mild with some interesting spices and apple
notes. The Finish on the Platinum is, well let’s say, wait, what finish?? But
what to expect from a blend? Interestingly both Whiskies are labelled as 18yo,
but they are like day and night. I’d prefer the Highland Park, but I’m biased
as I like the most northern distillery of Scotland very much. Although I don’t
like their pricing scheme especially concerning the “Warrior
Series”…

After as “26yo
Glenfiddich” (apples and toffee, very mild and round) and an
“Auchentoshan Three Wood” (ex-Bourbon, Oloroso and PX casks; toffee
and iodine at the nose; salt, iodine and just a hint of toffee at the palate) I
decided to call it a day. Mainly because I thought it was way to full and the
music was quite loud. It was quite difficult to get information from the
personal. On one side there were many (too many) people trying to get something
to drink and on the other side the music was way too loud. Okay, you might say
that this venue is more a social event than a tasting event and you may be
right but the music was really loud. But after all it was a nice evening and I
could taste some interesting Whiskies!

Slàinte,

Lukas

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