28 August 2016

Tasting different kinds of Sherry

Tasting actual sherry was one of the things I set out to do. I have been blogging about the influence of sherry on a whisky. How better to do this than by tasting and nosing sherry.

First up is a bottle of amontillado medium dry sherry! 

Medium dry tells me there is some sugar in this, but less than PX. 

First impression is that this is mush less in your face than a PX I tasted some while back. 

I'm trying to get my head around the nose. I do pickup smells I found in bruichladdich MP3 sherry matured spirits. Something siropi. Very slight alcohol tingle. I want to say sultanas. Fruity. Dried fruits. Not sure which ones. (Need more training I guess) can't spot any nutty tones. Wait! Slight cashew nut. 

To get the smell of nuts I buy them unsalted. I smell the whole nut first, usually in the basket I bought them in or "fresh" from the market. Then I crush some in the palm of my hands and smell the crumbs and the oils that are on the palm of my hands.   

The taste of this sherry is also way less sugar than the px, which personally i like better. This doesn't linger long ones I swallow it. Green apple? Bit sour. Drying after swallowing. Something oaky? 

This stuff is far from what I like but it's not as vile as PX. Dryer. Much dryer. I am glad I opened this bottle up and had a taste. It's not my thing but I did spot some notes I found in whiskies I had. Cool!! 

Next up is a "fino" sherry. It's cooling down in my fridge. Says to do so on the label! Who am I to argue! 

The fino sherry I tried over the period of some days. The dry, meaning just about no sugars in there. It's the freshest sherry I had till now. Fruity like a white wine only than with a fortified taste. I may actually like this! Shockers! The lightness and dryness of this type of sherry almost gives me the feeling that this would only very slightly give whisky a hint of "sherry" notes. Since this sherry is "white" it's not having any effect on the colour of the whisky, except maybe lighten it. The color that one associates with sherry matured whiskies won't come from this kind of sherry that's for sure. 

Nice experience so far! More to come!

15 August 2016

Islay! Here we come!

As the title of this blog suggests we are going to visit Islay!

Just to give the people of Islay a heads up that we are coming I'm informing you, the people of Islay, that two men are Islay bound on the 13th October 2016. 

We, a Dutch Viking called Fjodor, and a Dutch dad called Rombout (Rumbold, but no Saint) are apologising up front for: 

  • waving back at you, 
  • being kind,
  • trying to talk Scottish,
  • trying to talk Gaelic, 
  • driving on the right side of the road, 
  • bumping into the top beams of your door posts. I'm 187 cm and the Viking is 208!
  • not terrorising your terroir, 
  • indulging ourselves in local cuisine, 
  • trying to not insult your culture.

What we will not apologise for is breaking wind after eating beans, bacon and eggs for breakfast! That one is on you! 

We will be gone Sunday the 16th. Just so you know when we will be gone!

How will you spot us? We will be the tall guys in the way to small rental car!  

7 August 2016

a Superfood Fitness Low Carbs Gluten free Salmon, omelet and pesto

Next to learning about whisky I do like to eat healthy now and again. I wanted to share a meal I just made and by doing so hopefully let you taste some wonderfull flavors while you enjoy a good meal too!  No Carbohydrates. It's Gluten Free, with Eggwhites, Salmon, Veggies for all kinds of healthy energy! 


  • 150g salmon fillet (I used 2 pieces) 
  • 1 egg (fuck it! I added 3!) 
  • ½ zucchini
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Pepper and salt
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch dill (couldn't find dill)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (let's use 2)

Cut the omelette zucchini , red onions and peppers into small cubes. Break the egg and beat it out into a bowl using a whisk or fork. Add to this some pepper and salt. Fry the vegetables for 2-3 minutes in a frying pan with some olive oil. Add the egg to the vegetables and cook the omelette over low heat until tender. 

Puree the pesto parsley, dill and garlic in a blender or in a food processor and add slowly until a nice smooth pesto olive oil. Bring to taste with salt and pepper. 

Bake the salmon fillet in a grill pan over and over cooked until the meat is nice rosé. Season with salt and pepper. 

Put the vegetable omelette folded on the plate and top with the salmon, make off with the herbe Pesto.


Whisky nosing Don'ts

There are a lot of do's and Don'ts when it comes to nosing and tasting whisky. I'm sure there are more Don'ts but here are some I learned till now.

Nosing Don'ts:
- do not clean your glass with scented soaps or any kinds of soap for that matter. Clean water only! 
- do not dry your glass with any cloth/towel that potentially has any oils / scents etc on it. 
- do not wear aftershave,
- do not wear eau de toilette,
- do not wear deodorant,
- do not wear perfume.
- do not smoke. 
- do not scent the room you are in by vaporising stuff or burning a nice fire in the fireplace or having poopy diapers around, overripe bananas, wet dogs, backing French fries, etc.

In short your nose will get used to these smells and overpower or change your nosing experience. If the dram has a smell about it that is also in your room than chances are your nose won't get the smell how it's coming from the dram.

Do shower off course to prevent body smells.  

Do not try any intelligent nosing while having a running nose or having a sore throat. When your sick, you could use a nice dram to kill some germs but that's not nosing ;) 

Tasting Don'ts
- same for cleaning your glass, no soaps, no perfumed papers to dry, no oils etc. 
- do not eat foods that have strong smells or flavours. I avoid garlic, red peppers, onions. 
- do not brush your teeth 5 minutes before a tasting. I say 5 minutes but any time shortly before depending on the mint level of yours toothpaste.
- do not eat anything with your whisky while tasting, unless you mean to reset your palette. 

This blog is not about what you should do. That is entirely up to you, but here is what I do. 

I clean my glass with hot tap water running in it for a while. Then I rinse with cold water. I dry my glass with a clean dry paper towel or a new clean micro fibre cloth. I'm sure there are better ways, but I seriously am not putting in a oil free high pressure air pistol system to blow dry my glass. Let you glass get to room temperature before starting.

I clean my palette by drinking water and giving my mouth a good rinse. This desolves any sugars left in your mouth or any other water soluble stuff. A small piece of 70+ % pure chocolate helps me "reset" my mouth. Followed by a rinse of water. 

Resetting my nose is harder. So I try airing the room to take away smells from cooking. I don't have a dog. Kids are no longer in diapers. I do not smoke, so no problem there either. I sometimes intentionally smell coffee or some other familiar smell to give my nose a reference point and hit sorta hit reset. 

If you do not live in a climate controlled lab intended for standardised nosing and tasting than you have to make sure you are at least aware of your surroundings and how they could influence your senses. 

Organising your tasting session besides an industrial place that produces fish might not be to smart. 

Note to myself: add humoristic video here about nosing and smelling.

6 August 2016

Bruichladdich Laddie Classic Edition_01

Yesterday's dram was a Bruichladdich Dram that I think is my personal favorite when it comes to the classic laddies and even for all Whiskies.

This dram is the reason why I call myself "iLaddie". The "laddie" is obviously from this dram, the "i" is from my Apple appreciation. So my choice of blogging name is in honor of these two but mostly to honor Bruichladdich.

The photos below are made by me.

Why do I like this dram and its siblings? 

I love the fruity nose. The mellow smooth influence of this blended single malt dram that is made from a combination of ex bourbon matured casks but also ex Sherry etc. you can see the recipe on this page when you give in a bottle number. Try 14/009 or see this blog entry  three recipes of classic laddie compared or bruichladdich classic laddie rotations

This combination of casks and barley malts gives this dram a wonderfull balance and complexity which I like. The 50% ABV of the Classic Laddie lets you play with the water you add yourself so you can find your sweet spot. When you add water the oils in this dram come out of the alcohol solution and give a wonderful mouthfeel. This is not a peated dram from islay, but it is my favorite dram from islay when it comes to a every day drinking dram. I have enjoyed it in all four seasons now and I cannot find a time when I would not be able to enjoy this dram.