19 August 2016

Non whisky-related blog entry

Today I have had an experience that was so odd to me that I just have to write about it. 

Situation: 
I am sitting in a train in a compartment with only baby boomers. We are waiting to depart from the station. The announcement informs us that we cannot depart yet because a person is on the track trying to commit suicide. 

The response of these baby boomers was that it was "ridiculous" that we should have a delay! 

When the train departed, slowly, to make sure not to kill anyone, the reaction to all this, by these baby boomers was again "ridiculous"! Why should they suffer a delay due to this all!? 

I wanted to shout out: "IN ORDER WE DONT KILL ANYONE!!"

This complaining went on the entire train ride. The conductor announced that luckily the delay was only 13 minutes.

The response of these baby boomers was again "ridiculous! Shame! Complain this, complain that!"

I was truly and deeply saddened by this response. Were we to run over the suicidal person so these baby boomers wouldn't have a delay of, just, 13 minutes? 

I do hope I will never again witness such an outpouring of frustration, loathing and disrespect ever again! 

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! 


Necessities:

  • 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)


Preparation:
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.

Enjoy!


























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. 

30 July 2016

Selective Congener Distillation

The whisky industry knows a lot of distillation technology but today (30th of Juli 2016) I got introduced to a distillation technology that could change the distillation landscape forever.

The distillation technically is based on realtime identification of individual congeners during distillation and allowing them to the final product or not. 

The technology behind this has been developed by Thieu Smakman, Head Distiller of the Turv Exloo distillery in the Netherlands.


He got his idea for his distillation technique from the molecular cooking technology used by El Bulli. Identifying each flavour component and recombinating them in new ways to produce a new tasting experience.

Smakman explained how he selected congeners from a distillation run. 

First a short recap for how spirits can be distilled using "Cuts". 

Uncut (no pun intended) 
- the total Distilation is used in the final spirit. This is not normally done by whisky makers that have some understanding of production. 

One cut
The foreshore, middle cut and feints are generally identified as being three time stages in a Distilation process. When The foreshot is seperated, only one cut is made. 

Two cuts 
This is the "normal" way in which I know a distillery works. Separating the foreshot and the feints. Only the middle cut is used in the final spirit. This is an oversimplification because most distillation feeds some of the feints and foreshot back in the pot still. 

Other distillers also identify three separate sections in the middle cut, called heads, hearts and tails. 

Selecting between the cuts is made in a classic spirit save. At "the right time" the spout is swivelled, thereby altering the flow of the spirit to another receiver. At the "end" of the run the spout is moved away again.


N + 1 cuts
So in "Normal" distillation the most flavours are selected from the "middle cut" or "hearts". The other cuts are normally rejected but even these have congeners in them that are favourable for having in a final dram. These are not available for other distilleries because that would mean the distiller would need to swivel the spout multiple times during a run. This is not done, but with "Selective Congener Distilation" this is done and the favours become available.

How? In layman's terms Smakman can identify the Congener he wants, allow it to his final product or redirect it if he doesn't want it. All real time throughout the entire distillation run. In this way he both optimises the flavours but also the efficiency of the use of each mash. How many cuts can he make? As many as he wants. 2, 6, 125? (N +1) All possible.

How does he identify the Congeners? You will need to find that out for yourself by visiting his distillery because that part Smakman did not explain! (he sorta did to me but not in detail, but I think I understand how.)

What "Selective Congener Distillation" also alows is making multiple spirits from the same mash. 

All these options, combined with the pot still, followed by two colomn stills and a condenser allow Smakman a flexibility that the Scotish distillers can only dream of! He can choose to distill his spirit for at least ones, but then upto 101 times in one run if he wants to. You will figure out how when you visit his distillery but if you look at the photos you can get an idea too! 

I was given the option to taste from this still the flow of spirit at multiple times in the 2,5 hours of distillation. The result of the run changed each minute and even the foreshot tasted amazing. Even the 93% ABV (no error in typing) spirit that flowed from the still to my finger to my mouth was incredibly smooth, fruity and not at all fiery or bitter.

Conclusion? OMG!!

Is "Selective Congener Distillation" an official term? Nope, I thought it up! I just like the sound of it.




29 July 2016

Why I drink whisky and collect empty bottles

On a personal note. Why do I drink my whiskies?

I used to collect and resell Lego collectables. I still do! It's fun to buy something, put it aside for a year and then sell it for anywhere between 25 to 400% profit. After doing this for a while I notice that the only thing I got out of it was:

  • spending time hunting the web,
  • paying bills, 
  • putting boxes on shelves, 
  • advertise the boxes, 
  • getting paid for boxes,
  • taking boxes of the shelves,
  • taking boxes to the post office,
  • repeating the same steps over and over.
What I got out of it all was the gratification of seeing a number increase on my smartphone as I checked my bank account. Not to much fun I must say. I didn't learn anything and I could not play with the Legos without decreasing the value enormously. So very little fun in the here and now. All aimed at saving for later, for a future that was supposed to be good. But I realised that the future would never become the present. I would remain in the circle of buying, investing, making profits then reinvesting. 

So I thought, why not, keep the first two steps the same, but then enjoy something in the here and now. Why not learn and experience life for all its beauty.

So I swapped from Lego to
Whisky! Now I still sell my Lego with 400% profit, buy a beautiful dram, an educational dram, a sentimental dram  and learn about what makes a good whisky good. But most of all I enjoy the flying fuck out of it before I die! 

I do this because I lost my younger sister and realised it only takes one moment of shear dumb luck to end a life. Only then did I truly understood "Carpe Diem" for the first time and now I choose not to wait for life, to save money for future life, but to live now! While I can! 

That is why I don't collect full bottles, I collect empty bottles and I collect moments I spend with friends enjoying life while drinking a fine dram!