Last night I went to Boisdale, that well known London haunt for whisky, cigar and red meat lovers, for the launch of The Balvenie Craftsman's Reserve No1, The Cooper...
We were all huddled into this tiny room waiting for the screen to come alive with malt master David Stewart taking us through the necessary from the distillery's cooperage in bonny Scotland. Unfortunately, it never happened and poor old UK brand ambassador, Andrew Forrester, talked himself hoarse explaining what it was all about, eulogising and answering all the esoteric questions from the glitterati of London whisky aficiondos.
The 15-year-old comes from two European oak sherry butts so there are only about 500 bottles available worldwide. Although a snip at about £65, it is only available to members of the Balvenie's website club, Warehouse 24. By the time the February issue of DI comes out, the allocation will probably have been snapped up. But be patient, it probably won't be long before the likes of Whisky Exchange will be offered a bottle.
It was a cosy evening, jammed into this little upstairs room. It turned into a bit of love-in as the invited participants savoured The Cooper, which as it is also No1, we can assume there will be more. The aforementioned whisky is quite sweet with the sherry influence much to the fore.
Briefly there was intense speculation, arising apparently from tweets and blogs, as to what food would ideally suite The Cooper (seriously, how many other than true whisky geeks and Burns Night diners, drink whisky with food?). Roast ham or bacon - a Nigella Lawson recipe with spices - was enthusiastically cited.
The blogging and tweeting was frenetic. Heads down, bowed over iPhones, Blackberrys. What on earth did we do before them?
Anyway, a splendid time was had by all. Full credit to Andrew Forrester for managing to keep the show on the road and sate all the geeky curiosity, despite the failing technology.
The interest in whisky worldwide is staggering even to an old diehard like myself. Once there was a 'whisky loch'. Now the whisky industry can barely satisfy demand for the Scottish water of life.