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Thursday, 6 January 2011


Finally, The Ashes is coming to an end. And what a great conclusion it is. If you’re English!

I’m sitting at home, in sight of one of England’s most famous cricket venues, The Oval, which was also the stage for the first ever FA Cup final in 1872, between The Wanderers from Battersea who beat The Royal Engineers 1-0 in front of 2000 people. Two years later, the losers from the first final were again beaten, this time 2-1 by Oxford University. Not quite Oxford United, but we might claim this for our trophy cabinet...

As I sit here with my dram, BBC’s Test Match Special on the wireless and a stream of the TV broadcast from some dodgy site in God-Knows-Where, myself and my housemate have been playing a new game: whisky related cricketers. So far we’ve come up with:

Talisker Cook

Glenfiddich McGrath


Ian Bells.

I thank you!

Any one for any more? I think it is time to tweet @TMSproducer with this as an idea for a rain-delay topic...

The choice for this evenings (celebratory) whisky is the sister bottling of a much lauded dram from 2010 and a BIG Award finalist, Glenfarclas 40 Year Old, but this time we’re saving ourselves 15 years, with the Glenfarclas 25 Year Old, my “splash-out” bottling for Christmas. Thankfully, I have just enough left for it to see my through the last 3 wickets. Hopefully....

Glenfarclas- 25 Year Old – 43% - 70cl

I’m often confused by the ‘farcals bottling. Not the stuff inside, but the tube which proclaims “Single Highland Malt” despite certainly being a Speyside whisky... odd.

Nose: Wonderful butterscotch with vibrant notes of apple & cider sauce. With time, the sherry notes of rich fruitcake and dark, polished woods emerge but always backed with juicy, green apple notes and sweet sugared tea. Really tempting and complex. Vanilla appears with a long time in the glass.

Palate: Vanilla and strawberry notes tingle the tongue and as the spirit gives off the fruit notes, it is underpinned with dark wood dryness, a hint of dark chocolate and some coffee notes.

Finish: Even and rounded. The age gives just enough dusty, sandy notes with some of the apple from the nose spiking through, but also the rich vanilla, strawberry, some apricots and finally the subtle wood notes.

Overall: Currently sitting somewhere around £85 a bottle (eighty five quid a bottle!), this is a super dram at a super price. Wonderfully smooth and rounded, if you can level an accusation against this whisky, it’s probably that it is too easy to drink for a 25 year old sherried whisky. With a whisky this age, you almost want something that provides greater complexity. But at this price point, who cares?!

As the rain comes tumbling down, not only here in Central London, but also in Sydney, I’m off to think up some more whisky / cricketer puns. Now, who is this chatting away on the radio? Oh, its Auchentoshan Warne.

I’ll get my coat.