Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Strathmill Flora and Fauna needs replacing


Just finished this Strathmill. Anyone going to London want to pick up a few for me?
Nose: Dry, nutty amd airy. Dried banana on muesli, green grassy notes, tea leaves, walnut. Palate: Very soft and attractive and flows straight down the middle. Medium sweet with some vanilla and nut. Finish: Soft. Overall: Attractive and delicate. (MJ's review)

Here is the story with the Flora and Fauna Series from the "Master of Whisky" - Steve Beal:
These editions were created primarily and originally with the appreciation that many UDV/Diageo single malt whiskies were never available to the public in proprietary distillery-sanctioned bottlings. Just as it is today, most single malt production (90%+) is for blending. The company wanted to have expressions available which reflected the best practices and proprietary styles of each distillery. They also wanted to have available local distillery expressions for the tourist and visitor market and of which local distillery workers could be proud and enjoy themselves. This required allocation of a small amount of spirit to this project without effecting the growing production requirements of major blends (such as Johnnie Walker, Buchanans, etc.). Production of the F&F series would always be quite limited. Until this point (mid 1980’s) most single malts, other than well-known brands, came thru merchant bottlings. Some are very good. Some are not. Few reflect the distillery character in exactly the same way that a distillery bottling would. This meant that what was out there came from casks which had become available on the open market because blenders or brokers (a) didn’t need, (b) chose not to use for some reason or, (c) needed to sell to raise some cash.
Some of these whiskies may have been bought as new make spirit in bulk from a distillery, having been made to a bender’s specs rather than those for the traditional spirit used for the distiller’s signature single malt. The bulk spirit was often trucked to a different site, and filled into casks over which the original distillers had little control and then aged in a variety of places and conditions also out of the care and control of the makers Such whiskies may or may not pass the muster of their original makers, and May have little in common with them, yet carry the same name or origin or regional designation. Merchant bottlings create some confusion among consumers. The Flora and Fauna series met this need very well until, of course, the great world-wide enthusiasm for Scotch whisky began to take hold in the 1990’s. More and more consumers and enthusiasts are clamoring for not only the well-known brands and expressions, but also specialty items. UDV/Diageo launched the Classic Malts of Scotland ® series in 1986 (or thereabouts) originally with the six, now famous, regional variants. A large number of other single malts originally found in the F&F series, have been now included in what is now known as the Classic Malts Selections ® Not all of these are available in every market or country due to limited production and allocation.

BTW - on the Masters of Whisky. We are all professional whisky people from a variety of backgrounds and experience, united by our uncommon passion for the product and the industry, its people and its history. Each member has a very unique story. We’ve traveled and trained together in Scotland, Ireland, The US and Canada and many of our distilleries. There are 14 or 15 of us. Most represent the Diageo portfolio.

Bio: Steve Beal, Senior Master of Whisky, Diageo Spirits USA, is one of the world’s fifteen Masters of Whisky, Steve is also a writer and well-known chef. In 2003 he received the Spirits Ambassador to the World Award. He has been a Judge at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition since the year 2000 and a presenter for Bon Appetit magazine’s “Wine & Spirits Focus”. He serves on the Board of Directors of the US Bartenders Guild Master Mixologist program. Steve has also served as contributing editor of Patterson’s California Beverage Journal, The Tasting Panel Magazine. He appears on the Food Guy and Marcy Show, a nationally syndicated food, wine and entertainment radio program with Guy Fieri and Marcy Smothers and has been seen on a number of Food Network© shows as well as the History Channel ©, the Discovery Channel © and MSNBC ©. He also writes a column, “The Liquid Archaeologist.”©

2 comments:

got cholent? said...

Gemma and I are headed London Way next month, but i doubt that there will be any smiling faces for us at the World of Whiskies. Duty free is going to get slammed after this weekends flight non-sense;(

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