This was my first Harrow Whisky Festival visit and this venue is a wonderful place for such an event. The surroundings are breathtaking and looking back, I wish I had planned for more time around the event.
Nevertheless, I arrived about 20 minutes early to the start of the event and I had the opportunity to chat to some of the locals who were at the start of their adventure into the whisky world. Events like this around the country are providing a wonderful opportunity for many individuals to divulge into whiskies that they would never have thought about even trying.
The first whisky that caught my eye, was the Kilkerran 8 yr CS which and it was a delightful start. Jason (@JasonWhiskyWise) was quick to introduce me to Ben, who recommended me the quite sweet, soft caramel Treacle Chest.
I’ve met Adrian from Claxton’s, who runs a family owned Independent Bottling. He was able to give me some insight into the ups and downs with so many learning curves in the process of their history, as I’m sure it would be with many Independents. And their whisky is fantastic, I tried their Linkwood 11 yr, which had floral notes to savour and a Cambus 25 yr I thoroughly enjoyed.
Paul John is the very well known Indian Whisky and I was very lucky to find the SMWS 134.2 6 yr of which Craig, let Jason pour me a dram of which, in short, was outstanding!
I ventured to another family run independent bottler, where I’ve met Georgina, Becky and Ben from Bartels. There was Port Ellen on offer and I always jump at any opportunity to try some, delightful as always. There were many people who recommended the Arran 20 yr Sherry Butt first fill, so I had to taste it. Without a doubt that was the dram of the day with oozing sherry notes of deep dried raisins, ginger oak, and orange peel, I highly recommend that if you see it, have it.
On to the ever-popular That Boutique-y Whisky Company and I had a nice surprise when I saw that Dave had brought along their exclusive Japanese 21 yr Blend. The rest of the range on offer was fantastic and the stand was always busy. I had to try their Indian Whisky, Irish Whisky and Swedish Whisky. The label designs are unique and fun, like the Laphroaig 12 yr with the Back To The Future label, which is really eye catching and the whisky is delicious.
Venturing downstairs to Elixir Distillers, I saw the Ben Nevis 20 yr Single Malts of Scotland which Ely of @thescotchwhisperer on Instagram, had raved about to me, and I can see why. Sherry fruit notes with hints of cinnamon and ginger lingering and makes this a hit.
I felt quite privileged that the Cotswold also had a stand there, and it’s wonderful to see such a young single malt making a great impression in the World of Whisky.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Harrow Whisky Festival and meeting so many wonderful people. I’ll definitely be going next year!
Written by CJ (Instagram)
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