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News > Alumni News > OI Whisky Tasting Event 2019

OI Whisky Tasting Event 2019

Who knew there was so much to know about Whisky?

A very enjoyable single malt scotch whisky tasting evening was held in the pavilion on 15th November, hosted by former president Tim Passmore and attended by around 20 Old Ipswichians. It proved to be a very enjoyable and interesting evening.

The Scotch whisky industry is worth £5.5 billion per year to the United Kingdom economy, with exports worth £4.7 billion per year; the industry also provides more than 40,000 jobs directly and indirectly and the 133 distilleries in Scotland welcome more than 2million visitors each year.

Overall eight different malts were presented, starting with one of the most well-known global brands, Glenfiddich and, as a comparison, the second whisky was one of Glenfiddich’s experimental range where the liquor is aged and matured in old IPA beer casks. Many of us could detect the subtle ale flavours present.

Next up was a classic Speyside “The Glenlivet 12-year-old” which is one of the most popular drams in the large USA market - it slipped down a treat and was very popular with all those present.

The Speyside theme continued with a particularly smooth version of, “The Macallan” which is aged in two different barrels:- American oak and sherry casks. Again proving popular there was not a single drop left at the end of the evening.

We then moved across to the west coast of Scotland and sampled a 12-year-old, “Bowmore” from Islay. There are eight distilleries within 25 miles of each other on the island and the whisky's they produce all have a very distinctive peaty and phenolic nose. This time opinion was much divided with some of us (myself included) really enjoying that distinctive taste. On the other hand, somebody else described the experience as akin to drinking cleaning fluid!

Back to the Highlands and the Dalwhinnie distillery which happens to be the highest distillery in Scotland and it's whisky is renowned for its exceptionally smooth feel on the palate. We sampled the new version of "Winter’s Gold" which was served chilled and it certainly did not disappoint - many of the ladies present had a soft spot for this one.

The final Speyside available for us was from the Arberlour distillery which is one of the bestselling whiskies in France and Italy, with having strong notes of sherry and a beautiful deep, rich, golden brown appearance.

Lastly it was over the sea to Skye! Here the Talisker distillery is the only one present on the island and it's whisky has a highly distinctive fiery and peppery nose with a long, bold after taste and some described it as very pungent - which it is!

Overall, a great evening accompanied by a first-class buffet and who knows, perhaps the event can be repeated again soon!

Tim Passmore OI (1966-1977)

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