The 2016 Roundtable Discussion


This feature came about following positive feedback and comments around my interview with Justine from Kask Whisky. Listeners appreciated the relaxed vibe which verged on bar chat, as we talked about some of the things on the horizon whilst tasting a couple of releases from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Now to create a forum of sorts to discuss the issues around whisky today? Whenever I'm at a tasting or in a shop the conversation always tends to drift towards whisky matters and trying to put these wrongs to right. It's all in theory of course but I do find it makes for stimulating conversation. It seemed a logical progression to bring these discussions into the plush environment of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society members room on Queen Street in Edinburgh and press record.

Once again I find myself sat at a table with a trio of invited guests to hopefully deliver a stimulating conversation with the gentle vibes of the a whisky bar in the background. We'll also be tasting a couple of whiskies as we go along from the bar and dip into these characteristics to break up the flow of the conversation. I'll put these whiskies at the bottom of this article if you want to know what they are in advance. As for my guests these are:

Barry from the Whiskyphiles
Justine from Kask Whisky
Tom from Toms Whisky Reviews

Prior to the recording which is unedited and completely organic, I asked each of my guests to bring along a topic to discuss. This could be anything whisky related and then reveal this to the table amidst the recording. They could also put aside a back-up topic just in case we had some duplication.

The agenda of sorts was sent out in advance to the meeting just to ensure some prior awareness. I felt this would offer nice contrast to the topics suddenly revealed live. So the agenda as it was initially:

1. The highs and lows of 2016
2. Whiskies by the post subscriptions - a new format? (20 minutes)
3. The premiumisation of Longmorn, Mortlach and others (34 minutes)
4. The blogger cull of 2016, why stop writing? Is writing fading versus new formats? (49 minutes)
5. Tweet tastings a viable forum? (118 minutes)
6. A question from Mark at Malt Review (129 minutes)
7. Guest questions (x3) (203 minutes)
8. It's a wrap!

I had no set expectation regarding timing, but felt around 2 hours might be reasonable this was slightly off the mark. The recording is also being made available via all the websites of those involved as every one participated in the discussion and contributed to the final piece. Hopefully you'll enjoy this roundtable discussion and if it goes down well, then expect another as we're never short of topics to discuss!



The whiskies from the bar:

1. 37.81 Orange Turmeric Margarita (Cragganmore), 13 years old, 56.6% vol, 270 bottles, 12 years ex-bourbon hogshead then a Sauternes cask for the remainder of its maturation.
2. 72.49 Totally Scrummy! (Miltonduff), 11 years old, 60.7% vol, 264 bottles, 1st fill ex-white wine hogshead.
3. 42.29 Marvellous maritime margaritas (Ledaig), 9 years old, 57.3% vol, 228 bottles, refill ex-bourbon barrel. 

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