Saratoga Whiskey Club

Tastings, Distillery Visits and Whiskey Info

Tasting #12 Recap: Scotch Malt Whisky Society House Tastings – November 2017

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #12 on various nights throughout November, 2017.  It was the first time we tried doing more informal tastings at people’s houses. This was also a different tasting in that we did it as a blind tasting.  None of the guests knew from what distillery any of the bottlings came from.  They also did not know how old each whisky was or the price.  It was very interesting to see what happened when the bias was removed, the pre-conceived notion that a whisky has to be good because it is from a certain distillery or because of its price.  We had a good turnout of 22 people over the course of four different nights, both members and non-members. We had eight different whiskies at our tasting.  Here is a list of what we tasted:

  • We started with a beer and this varied from house to house
  • SMWS 41.89 ‘Tarte Flambe’ Dailuaine 12 Year
  • SMWS 37.83 ‘An odyssey of flavor’ Cragganmore 12 Year
  • SMWS 55.31 ‘Sparkling, lively and playful’ Royal Brackla 17 Year
  • SMWS 36.114 ‘Tap-dancing tongue teaser’ Benrinnes 13 Year
  • SMWS 54.42 ‘A washing day in Spring’ Aberlour 9 Year
  • SMWS 46.45 ‘A two-way street’ Glenlossie 23 Year
  • SMWS 48.74 ‘Coffee kisses and lucky tatties’ Balmenach 10 Year
  • SMWS 73.79 ‘Hopped-Up!’ Aultmore 16 Year

Overall it was a fun tasting and it made you think!  It’s amazing how much more difficult it is not knowing what you are tasting.

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings. Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

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Cheers!

Tasting #11 Recap: Islay Exclusives From Our Trip

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #11 on two nights, October 11 and October 25, 2017. The focus of the evening was bottles that we hauled back from Islay on the first Saratoga Whiskey Club trip to Scotland. These were very special bottles as most were distillery exclusives and not easy to find.  We had a great turnout of 30 people, both members and non-members. We had eight different whiskies at our tasting, one from each of the eight distilleries on Islay.  Here is a list of what we tasted:

  • We started with a Charlie Wells Dry Hopped Lager from England
  • Lagavulin Jazz Festival Bottling 2017
  • Ardbeg An Oa
  • Caol Ila Distillery Exclusive 2017
  • Laphroaig Brodir
  • Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2017 Moine Port Pipe
  • Kilchoman Distillery Exclusive 2017 – Rum Finish
  • Bowmore Warehousemen’s Distillery Exclusive
  • Port Charlotte Valinches Cask Explorations 16 & 17

Overall it was a fantastic tasting with lots of special whiskies!  It is always great bringing back bottles that are not available locally.

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings. Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

It was a great evening full of stories from our trip to Islay.

Please let us know if you are interested in futures tastings by signing up for our newsletter.

Slainte!

Tasting #10 Recap: World Whiskey Dinner

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #10 on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017. The focus of the evening was a World Whiskey Dinner where each whiskey was paired with a dish from that country. We had a large turnout of 35 people, both members and non-members. Five different whiskies were tasted, and the evening started with a Japanese cocktail.  Here is the dinner pairing:

  • We started with a Japanese highball using Mars Iwai Whiskey
  • Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Single Cask, Cask Strength – Taiwan
    • Paired with San Bei Ji Wings
  • Paul John Classic Single Malt Whiskey – India
    • Paired with Sweet Potato Pastry Spirals and Gujarati Wilted Cabbage Salad
  • Mackmyra First Edition – Sweden
    • Paired with Almost Famous Swedish Meatballs, Roasted Potatoes & Lingonberry Preserve
  • New Zealand Whiskey Co. 24 Year 1989 Bottling – New Zealand
    • Paired with Smoked Leg of Lamb with Asian Pear & Kiwi Salsa and a Carrot, Date, Mint & Seed Salad
  • Domain de Hautes Glaces Single Malt – France
    • Paired with Gateau Breton and a selection of French cheeses

Overall it was a wonderful evening of food and whiskey!

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings. Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

 

 

Thanks to everyone for coming!  We look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Cheers!

Tasting #9 Recap: Kentucky Bourbon & Rye

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #9 on two nights, June 14 and June 28, 2017. The focus of the evening was Bourbon and Rye bottles that were recently brought back from Kentucky from the 9 Maple Bourbon Tour. We had a very large turnout of 36 people, both members and non-members. We had five different whiskies at our tasting, four bourbons and one rye.  Here is a list of what we tasted:

  • We started with a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout from Alltech Brewing
  • Old Bardstown Bourbon Bottled in Bond
  • Maker’s Mark Private Select Bourbon – Bill Samuels, Jr. Edition
  • Old Fitzgerald 12 Year Old Bourbon
  • Wild Turkey Master’s Keep ‘Decades’
  • Angel’s Envy Rye

Overall it was a fantastic tasting with lots of special whiskies!  It is always great bringing back bottles that are not available locally.

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings. Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

The lineup

It was a fun evening!  Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date on future events.

Cheers!

Tasting #8 Recap: SMWS – Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #8 on two nights, May 10 and May 24, 2017. The focus of the evening was a special selection of bottles from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. It was a great turnout of 23 members. We had four different whiskies at our tasting, three from the Speyside region and one from Arran. Here is a list of what we tasted:

We started with a Bell’s Lager of the Lakes
SMWS 7.133 ‘A Boiled Bag of Sweets’ – Longmorn 12 Year Old
SMWS 39.110 ‘Builders At Breaktime’ – Linkwood 14 Year Old
SMWS 121.89 “Sweet As A Nut’ – Isle of Arran 16 Year Old
SMWS 44.65 ‘Subtle Complexity’ – Craigellachie 24 Year Old

Overall it was a fantastic tasting with lots of special whiskies!  This was our first time sampling some of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society bottles.

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings. Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

The selection.

One of our three tables.
Dram of the Day May 10, 2017.
Dram of the Day May 24, 2017.

A fantastic tasting and really excited about the casks that the SMWS selects.  Cheers!

Tasting #7 Recap: Scotland Islands (non-Islay)

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #7 on two nights, April 12 and April 26, 2017.  The focus of the evening was Scotch single malts from the islands around Scotland, excluding Islay (since we did this in December 2016).  It was a great turnout of 30 people. We had five different whiskies at our tasting and did a journey around Scotland as we started with the island of Arran and worked our way up to the Orkney Islands.  Here is a list of what we tasted:

  • We started with a Belhaven Scotch Ale
  • Arran Smuggler’s Series: The Illicit Stills, Volume I
  • Arran Smuggler’s Series: The High Seas, Volume II
  • Montgomerie’s Rare Cask Select Tobermory 21 Year Old
  • Talisker 18 Year Old
  • Gordon & MacPhail Highland Park 15 Cask Strength

Overall it was a fantastic tasting with lots of special whiskies!  In the future we do plan to go to Scotland and do this trip visiting the islands on the west coast and ending in the Orkney Islands.  2018!

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings.  Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

 

The selection
The setup

Dram of the Day

A great tasting overall!!

Tasting #6 Recap: Rye Whiskey

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #6 on two nights, February 15th and March 1st, 2017.  The focus of the evening was Rye Whiskey.  It was a great turnout of 35 people. We had five different rye whiskies at our tasting.  Rick Sicari from Albany Distilling, a member of the club, was also there to present information on his distillery and rye, Ironweed.  Here is a list of what we tasted:

  • We started with a Guinness Rye Pale Ale (a great new beer from Guinness)
  • Ironweed Rye
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye
  • Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye
  • Redemption 8 Year Barrel Strength
  • High West Midwinter Night’s Dram

Overall it was a fantastic tasting!  This was the first time that we had to break up our tastings over two nights because of membership size.

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in learning about future tastings.  Sometimes there are extra spaces available for non-members.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

Our lineup

 

Special Ironweed Rye Warehouse Edition aged in brandy casks
Table prep

Two great evenings of tastings.  Next one coming up in April.  Stay tuned!

Hillrock Estate Distillery Visit – January 28, 2017

A group of us from the Saratoga Whiskey Club visited the Hillrock Estate Distillery on Saturday, January 28th, 2017.

Our day started with a great lunch at Fish & Game in Hudson, NY, and continued with a 2pm tour and tasting at Hillrock.  Our guide, Bobby Haight, did a good job explaining the process at Hillrock.  It was an interesting day as they had malted some rye which is not something you normally see.  The visit ended with a tasting of 5 different Hillrock expressions and we had some local cheeses to taste as well.  We also talked with Tim, the operations manager, who answered a lot of our questions and gave us some insight into Hillrock’s future plans.  It is a great distillery.  Here are some pictures from the visit:

If you are interested in joining us for any future distillery visits, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter which has more information.

Tasting #5 Recap: Islay Single Malt Scotch

The Saratoga Whisk(e)y Club had Tasting #5 on December 14, 2016.  The focus of the evening was Islay Scotch.  We announced on the same day our first international trip for the Saratoga Whiskey Club.  Next September we plan to go to Islay in Scotland.  We had four great Islay whiskies at our tasting:

  • We started with a Scotch Ale called Belhaven Scottish Ale
  • Bowmore Devil’s Cask, Batch III
  • Kilchoman 100% Islay, Edition #4
  • Ardbeg Perpetuum
  • Laphroaig Lore

Overall it was a fantastic tasting!  We are very much looking forward to going to Islay next September and bringing back some unique malts from the island.

Please sign up for our quarterly newsletter if you are interested in future tastings.

Here are some photos from the tasting.

 

9 Maple Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour – May 2017

Quite a few members from the Saratoga Whiskey Club are going on this Bourbon and Horse-Racing tour in Kentucky in May, 2017.  Check it out!  It’s going to be a really great opportunity to get on the Bourbon trail and do some tours and tastings.

9 Maple Bourbon Trail & Horse Racing Tour, May 17-21, 2017

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