After a few hours sleep, it was time to get up for breakfast, courtesy once again of the Highlander Inn in Craigellachie. You’ll have to believe me that below the cheese and cold meats in the photo above are eggs, sausages, bacon, black pudding, haggis, mushroom and tomato!
This year I decided to give the ‘detox walk’, once again hosted by Jan Iedema and Dennis Hendricks of The Glenrothes a miss, opting for a further snooze.
- The Whiskies
Now, obviously one of the main attractions of Maltstock is the whisky. As mentioned in part 1 of this write-up, everyone brings a bottle (or more if they wish) for the communal tables, and some of this are not whiskies either. As for me, it’s more about sitting, enjoying the whisky and discussing it with others, I decided not to write notes, but to simply photograph the interesting ones instead. So here goes:
- Masterclass – Balvenie or Glenfiddich?
My second (and final) masterclass of the weekend was to be a Balvenie tasting with Global Brand Ambassador Dr Sam Simmons. Sadly Sam was otherwise engaged, but thankfully Dutch Glenfiddich Ambassador, Tony van Rooijen stepped into the breach.
We entered the room to find just two glasses there and were told one was Balvenie (for which Sam had sent some goodies) and one was Glenfiddich (for which Tony would lead us through a tasting from this distillery) and we would decide which tasting we ended up with. I chose the dram on the left, a lighter coloured, but much more complex and interesting whisky, along with only around a third of room. It goes therefore without saying the majority went with the darker, but less complex whisky with a rather short finish. After watching a video (filmed entirely in Dutch but we got the gist), it turned out the lighter dram was a Balvenie and the darker was Glenfiddich 12 with some caramel (E150a) added to alter the colour.
We were therefore treated to a deconstruction of Glenfiddich 21 Year Old. I again failed to make notes but we were given four drams – one of the 21 year old itself, one whisky from an ex-bourbon cask, one from an ex-sherry cask and finally a rather green rum (as we couldn’t age our attempt for four months in a rum cask as the real thing is!) and were tasked with recreating the ’21’. I’d like to think I got fairly close, although Glenfiddich’s Master Distiller Brian Kinsman would no doubt disagree. The tasting then finished with a treat – a ‘recreated’ example of 8 year old Glenfiddich from the 1960s, something the distillery don’t sell and only show to selected lucky recipients – we felt honoured.
- Back to ‘The Kiln’
After the masterclass (and another kip), the evening loomed, which means only one thing on the Saturday of Maltstock – BBQ! Supplied again by the experts at BBQ Guru. Last year there was a full on hog roast, but this year they decided to make things a bit easier and the pig arrived already cut up. At around 7.30pm all was ready, as was the rain as the heavens decided to open at this exact moment and we formed a (semi) orderly queue, got our food and rushed inside.
Then it was time for the traditional campfire, of which more in part 3…