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A Tussle In The Townhall

The evening opened with a 'Spice Tree Winter Punch' whisky cocktail courtesy of Compass Box-er John Glaser. The action then moved to the ring. With over half a century of whisky knowledge, challenger Richard 'The Nose' Paterson of Whyte & Mackay wants to teach young Sam a hard lesson. Defending champion Sam 'The Doctor' Simmons of The Balvenie is a specialist in noses, broken noses, this Doctor doesn't take appointments, he makes them!

The fighters are ready, the whiskies are ready. Ladies and Gentlemen... It's time to start dramming!

  • Simon 'The Reverend' Roser - The ringleader presiding over The Tussle In The Townhall © Colin Hampden-White

  • Franchi 'Jawbreaker' Ferla - Keeping the ringside action under control © Colin Hampden-White

  • Simply Whisky Fight Night Contender - Whyte & Mackay's Richard 'The Nose' Paterson © Colin Hampden-White

  • Simply Whisky Fight Night Contender - Balvenie's Sam 'The Doctor' Simmons © Colin Hampden-White

  • Locked in battle in three rounds of heavyweight dramming - Ding Ding! The Fight is ON! © Colin Hampden-White

  • Simply Whisky Fight Night Judge - John 'Compass Box-er' Glaser © Colin Hampden-White

  • Simply Whisky Fight Night © Colin Hampden-White

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Ringside Commentary

In Round 1 The Balvenie Doublewood came out strong double barrel boxing the robust Dalmore 15 around the antlers, but it was too close to call. Round 2 then saw a head-to-head battle between the six select cask brutality of the Dalmore King Alexander III vs. the Single Barrel simplicity of the Balvenie 15 Year Old. Tense. With the atmosphere in the ring hotting up Round 3 was a masterclass in the use of port pipes as The Balvenie 21Year Old vied for for supremacy over Dalmore's Mackenzie 17 Year Old. Enjoying the great taste of all the drams led John Glaser to declare whisky the winner, but the pernicious audience ringside wanted more. Sensing his opportunity 'The Nose' tricked 'The Doctor' into losing the deciding arm wrestle, gleefully holding the Whisky Fight Night battle belt aloft. This isn't over!

The Balvenie Doublewood12 Year Old 40%
A great place to begin your whisky journey

Dae ye ken?
The Balvenie Doublewood goes very nicely with Blue Monday cheese (created by Alex James of Blur)

Cask
Initially American oak bourbon before being finished in European sherry oak casks

Nose
Sweet fruits, Oloroso sherry and vanilla

Taste
Sherried top notes with fruitcake, vanilla crème anglaise, almond nuttiness and spicy oak undertones culminating with spicy honey

Finish
Long and warming

Distillery Info
The distillery still grows its own barley, malts in its own traditional floor maltings, has coopers to tend all the casks and a coppersmith to tend the stills

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Dalmore 15 Year Old 40%
A robust, yet elegant spirit

Dae ye ken?
It is rumoured that Dalmore master blender Richard 'The Nose' Paterson has insured his incredibly important nose for £1 Million

Cask
Twelve years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, then a three year finish in three different sherry woods - Amoroso, Apostoles and Matusalem oloroso

Nose
Raisins, mandarin, chocolate and prunes to tantalise

Taste
Clementine, ginger, coffee and christmas cake

Finish
Warm and deep with returning mandarin followed by vanilla, ginger and red apples

Distillery Info
The traditional Dalmore distillery dunnage warehouses, located on the shore of the Cromarty Firth in the Highlands, feature some of the oldest whisky stocks in the world. Being sited at sea level, enveloped by sea air, is of critical importance for the maturation process

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Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old 47.8%
Once it's gone, it's gone. So buy two

Dae ye ken?
Each bottling forms a limited edition of no more than 350 hand-numbered bottles - so each bottle is unique and unrepeatable

Cask
Drawn from a single traditional American white oak ex-bourbon whisky cask of a single distillation

Nose
Fragrant aroma of vanilla, honeyed sweetness, hints of heather and dry oaky notes

Taste
Rich and complex, suggestive of years of careful ageing, it has a honeyed maltiness with vanilla, oak flavours and delicate spice notes

Finish
Long and complex with a hint of liquorice

Distillery Info
Balvenie pot stills have a ‘ball’ to concentrate and sweeten the flavours….and you can see this shape echoed in the neck of the bottle

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Dalmore King Alexander III 40%
A remarkable feat of blending from Richard 'The Nose' Paterson

Dae ye ken?
In 1263, an ancestor of Clan Mackenzie saved King Alexander III of Scotland from being gored by a stag whilst out hunting. This whisky was crafted in honour of this brave act

Cask
A unison of six specially selected casks including American white oak ex-bourbon casks, and European Matusalem oloroso sherry wood, Madeira barrels, Marsala casks, port pipes and Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques

Nose
Orange, tangerines, chocolate and plums

Taste
Mixed spices, coffee, christmas cake and citrus fruits all intermingle

Finish
Cranberries, orange, oak, spices and vanilla followed by claret notes in the tail

Distillery Info
Every bottle of single malt whisky produced by the distillery is adorned with a stag's head - a ’12 pointer’ or ’Royal - a right granted by the grateful King, which is intended to symbolise the supremacy of Dalmore

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The Balvenie Portwood Finish21 Year Old 40%
Perfectly balanced, naturally rich and smooth is the wording on the label; the ideal summary of this striking malt

Dae ye ken?
‘Balvenie’ means ‘Village of Monks’ in Scots gaelic

Cask
American white oak ex-bourbon followed by a marriage in Portuguese port pipes which have previously held fine port wines

Nose
Perfume of fruity and ripe raisin notes, backed by a brazil nutty dryness. A distinct mustiness in the background verifies the age

Taste
Refined with remarkable character, it is creamy and silky with fruit, honey and spice notes. Deep and complex

Finish
Long, gentle and nutty

Distillery Info
The distillery was built in 1892 around a haunted mansion. Today the distillery is still independent and family owned by William Grant and Sons

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Dalmore Mackenzie 1992 17 Year Old 46%
An unforgettable experience? You decide...

Dae ye ken?
Reportedly a significant proportion of profits from the sale of this whisky go towards the upkeep of Clan Mackenzie's ancestral seat at Castle Leod in Easter Ross, Scotland

Cask
Matured initially in American white oak ex-bourbon for eleven years, then transferred to port pipes from Oporto, Portugal for a further six years

Nose
Notes of plums, citrus fruits and marzipan

Taste
Pears, chocolate and marzipan predominate

Finish
Smooth, lengthy and soft as cranberry, crushed apples and ginger gently interplay

Distillery Info
The Dalmore distillery has been producing single malt whisky since 1839 and, for almost a century, was owned by the Clan Mackenzie

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