I sometimes tend to complain a lot on the lack of whisky-themed events here in Southwestern France, but it seems like someone heard my prayers lately as many new events are currently taking shape (huge thumbs up to La Maison Du Whisky for that)!
Last weekend, I was invited over in the picturesque setting of the Château de Camille (around 1h drive away from Toulouse but worth the journey!) near Auch (no one is going to blame you if you don’t know where Auch is… but you probably do if you’re into Armagnac and/or duck-based treats) by a nearby whisky merchant (SNC Laran) who was organising a special Scotland VS Wales tasting (any reference to an actual 6 nations rugby game happening that day would be no coincidence at all).
We had the honour to be guided through 7 drams by the world-famous Jan Beckers from Douglas Laing (who doesn’t need any introduction now) and Penderyn French ambassador Gaëlle Picard.
In order, we had:
Douglas Laing – Epicurean
A lowland blended malt from the excellent Douglas Laing that’s “city born and bred” and is personified by the 1930s cheeky chappy and all-round connoisseur on the label (don’t you find a resemblance with Fred Laing here?)!
A 2015 addition to the Penderyn range of Welsh single malt whiskies! This is the Penderyn Celt, which enjoys a finishing period in peated casks, resulting in a subtle, elegant wisp of smoky peat coming through…
Douglas Laing – Rock Oyster
Rock Oyster is a magnificent maritime marvel made with single malts distilled on Scottish islands including Orkney, Jura, Arran and Islay. As ever from Douglas Laing, this tasty, coastal dram is very handsomely presented from top to bottom.
Douglas Laing – Double Barrel (Islay & Highlands)
One of those rather popular Double Barrel bottlings from Douglas Laing, this one featuring anonymous distilleries (pssst… Let me tell you a secret… We’re talking about Laphroaig and Macallan)! This is a blended malt made with one cask of single malt Scotch whisky from an undisclosed distillery on Islay and one cask of single malt Scotch whisky from an undisclosed distillery in the Highlands.
Penderyn Madeira Finish
The core expression at the heart of the Penderyn range, this was finished in Madeira casks. A beautifully packaged Welsh whisky.
Penderyn Rich Oak
With lots of vanilla, fruit (think green apple and banana) and burst sugar notes, this is a rather generous single malt Welsh whisky from Penderyn. It was drawn from three specially selected casks from the distillery, chosen by Master Distiller Dr. Jim Swan (RIP).
Yula (2nd release – 21yo)
This is the second release in Douglas Laing’s Yula trilogy – a 21 year old blended malt made with whiskies from Islay and the Islands. The name comes from the Norse goddess Yula, who searched for her long lost love with an apron full of stones (which would become islands – the last stone would become Islay, which is Yula’s resting place).
Now you’re wondering who was my winner of the day? My two finalists were Penderyn Rich Oak & Yula 21 (I feel like there wasn’t much suspense here…) but I must admit, while I was really blown away by the richness & complexity of the Penderyn, my heart still fell for Scotland…
A lottery was also organised but as you can imagine, I didn’t win anything 😉 #BadLuckFTW
As usual, let me leave you with some pictures!