Archive for the ‘Whisky’ Category

Weekend in Dullstroom

Posted: December 2, 2018 in Family, golf, holiday, Whisky

Many friends and family head to Dullstroom in Mpumalanga Highlands, mostly for trout fishing and whisky tasting. So when Nicole mentioned her and good friends of ours were arranging a getaway there I was in two minds.. One, I’m not a fisherman so what the hell am I going to do all weekend, and two.. Hmmm, Whisky tasting..?!

Fortunately, I found a championship golf course in the area, Highland Gate rated number 15 in the Golf Digest Top 100 Golf Courses in SA.

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Each hole representing different trout fishing flies

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Beautiful 340m par 4 hole, teeing off down a 50 m drop, which I smashed a drive onto the green..

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Designed by the golfing legend Ernie Els, this was certainly a challenging round, filled with brilliant shots and disastrous ones alike.. and the odd curse or two and of course a few balls lost (and found).

We stayed in a quaint wooden cabin at elandskloof trout farm with friends and their daughter. A friendship which has strengthened with “R” becoming a Brother.

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A relaxing weekend away, braaing under the African sky, free from artificial lights, bright stars and milky way providing a beautiful canopy above our heads.

Of course, a trip to Dullstroom wouldn’t be complete without Whisky and Gin (for the ladies) tasting.

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…An incredible array of fine whisky’s from a menu to choose from…

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…in the “porn” section, as our connoisseur host described the top collectables… 

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I went for the Glenmorangie tasting, sampling 6 of their best single malts

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… umm….yea, I always knew gin was dodgy…

In the end, a great weekend away

and lets not forget the willy warmers

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Over the past year, I’ve developed a taste for whisky. For many years my thought of whisky was one of diesel fuel, however, this changed a year ago after a friend won a quality single malt in a raffle at an open evening we held at my Masonic Lodge.

A deep breathe and preparing to expel the vile liquid, I took a sip of a 5-year old Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, and immediately felt this delicious, warm honeycomb gold fluid flowing down my throat.

Having dispelled my youthful drinking sprees many years ago, I’m not one to drink  at home or in a social environment. One glass of red wine would suit my evening.At times, even a glass of wine tends to be too much.

I finally found the perfect sundowner, which minimal quantity provided relaxation and stress relieving downtime. I have tried different versions of whiskies, from single malts to various blends and distilleries. From cheap to expensive, I’ve found my favourites and those that could pass off as Jet Fuel.

When Hillbrow Lodge hosted a Whisky tasting evening, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. An incredible evening, complete with a 3 course meal, had us pairing 3 Single Malts with various types of chocolates, under the guidance of our District’s resident whisky connoisseur, Simon Knutton.

IMG_4132 Expert knowledge and experience had our small group of Masons, wives and guests enthralled with the history of whisky, the methods of distilling and tasting Simon’s choice of “The good, the bad and ugly”

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My favourite of the three, was the Glenkinchie.  Matched perfectly with white chocolate, adding a creamy sweetness to the fresh fruity and oak palate.

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In 1837, the Glenkinchie distillery was founded in the  south of Pencaitland, drawing its waters from the Lammermuir Hills in East Lothian. Marketed as ‘The Edinburgh Malt’, the Glenkinchie distillery is just fifteen miles away from the city.

After the main course, we were treated to the Ardbeg. From where we were seated, as the glasses were filled on the presentation table, we could smell the strong aroma of fruity peat with a hint of vanilla.

IMG_4129Paired with dark Orange chocolate, my mouth was overwhelmed with sweet vanilla and lemon and lime, with a smokey caramel after-taste.

Dessert served, with the ambiance in the room bubbling with newly formed  whisky enthusiasts, the 3rd whisky was presented.

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Aberlour’s long-running A’Bunadh range, matured exclusively in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks and bottled at cask strength.

Simon explained that Aberlour sits at the base of the rugged mountain range, Ben Rinnes. Nestled in the village of the same name, the distillery was founded by Peter Weir and James Gordon in 1826, though Peter was to pull out a year later. The village lies on the Lour Burn, which converges with the River Spey just 270 metres from the distillery. The 6th century Celtic saint St Drostan, baptised local chiefs in the distillery’s water source.

Whisky experts describe the nose as Jamaican Ginger cake, chocolate buttons, a kick of black pepper and sugary coffee.

Me?… well, It reminded me of Christmas Cake!

Now this whisky is aptly referred to “the ugly” by Simon. No, not the taste, as it had a delicious sweet palate with flavours of chocolate and rum soaked rum. Its the staggering 60% alcohol/volume content that makes this a very slow sipping sundowner.

A big thanks to our host, the Worshipful Master of Hillbrow Lodge, and the insightful talk and presentation by Simon Knutton.