Pokkel

To the manor born


Written by Charl du Plessis (Pokkel)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions on 19 Apr 2013 at 14:20
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Not so long ago I heard a knock on my door, and on answering, found to my surprise a coat-tailed man-servant with a rather mud-splattered but still elegant letter for me. Before I could question this strange personage further, he had touched his forelock, leapt onto his matt-black, brass-adorned coach, and giddy-upped his horses into a fair trot down the road.

Rather mystified by this unexpected occurrence, and not recognising the coat-of-arms melted into the wax seal of the missive, I couldn’t contain my curiosity and immediately pulled out an a few sheets of expensive looking and Old Spice-scented paper filled with a flowing script.

To my pleasant surprise, it was from my dear friend Squire Pokkel, whom last I had encountered whilst meandering through the Natal Midlands with his lovely family. He had given in to my pleadings and deigned to share some of the joys of country life with me. I could almost imagine him sitting in the smoking room, nursing a stiff drink with only the sonorous tick-tock of the grandfather clock and the scratch of his fountain pen as he gave this little peak into his life…

“On a cold and wet Friday there are few things that warm the soul and the body more than a wee dram. According to Wiktionary the definition is as follows:

  1. (euphemistic) A shot of Scotch Whisky; a single malt Scotch, for example from Glenmorangie or Laphroaig or a blended whisky like The Famous Grouse or Black Bottle.

 

I have always enjoyed a wee dram but it was my good friend Culling Song showed me how to really enjoy and experience a good whisky. He started the Whisky Appreciation Society in a town in rural KZN. He started the club with 9 members and the goal of the club is to taste great whiskies. We each contribute R100pm and the person hosting the meeting would buy a whisky. Only the host would know which whisky we would drink that night so the rest of us would basically be doing a ‘blind’ tasting. We would then rate the whiskies according to it’s nose, taste and finish and finally give it a score. Only once everybody has scored the whisky does the host reveal what whisky we were tasting on the night.

In the beginning we didn’t really have a clue to be honest but as we became more experienced we started to really identify the intricacies and the different flavours that are found in whiskies. We were able to identify the region in Scotland where the whisky was produced because of the different characteristics of the different regions.

We keep detailed tasting notes and this might sound like a lot of work but again there was method in Culling Song’s madness. After we’ve tasted a couple of whiskies he started to send our tasting notes to the liquor distributers and before long they started sending us whiskies to taste. We would then taste the free merchandise and send them feedback. The distributors even started arranging private tastings for us. They would send two reps from Durban to come and introduce us to their whiskies and get our opinion. They once arrived with whiskies that retailed at about R 5000.

We have tasted 30 whiskies in a little bit less than 2 years and what we discovered is that more expensive whiskies are not always better. We also discovered that some companies are fantastic at marketing. We discovered tastes that we never knew existed.

My personal top 5 whiskies

Ranking Date Tested Name Score/100 Price
1 19 Apr 2012 Bunnahabhain Un-Chill Filtered 18 Year Old 89.8 R 800
2 20 Aug 2012 Glenmorangie Signet 88.3 R 1635
3 20 Sep 2012 Laphroaig Un-chilled filtered 18 year old 87.7 R 1100
4 20 Aug 2012 Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 87.0 R 1516
5 15 Jun 2011 Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix 83.9 R 689

 

Best value for money whiskies

12 21 Jun 2012 The Black Grouse 82.3 R 190
13 16 Feb 2012 Chivas Regal 12 Year Old 79.2 R 300

 

Most overrated whiskies

21 21 Jul 2011 Johnnie Walker Blue Label 71.7 R 1250
23 17 Jan 2013 Johnny Walker Platinum label 18 years 69.3 R 820
25 20 Oct 2011 Dimple 15 Year Old 65.3 R410

 ”

There was more written further down the last page, but by the looks of it, the old Squire had spilled a few precious drops of his stock onto the paper, and his indecipherable wisdom was lost to posterity.

Not being much of a drinker myself, I immediately thought of all the epicureans we have on SW, and thought to share this insight. However, I must admit that I am tempted to sample that liquid fire of which I have read.

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the life of the landed gentry – keep your eyes peeled for when next I hear the clopping of hoofs and the jingling of harness coming up my driveway…


43 Comments

  • Thanks for taking the time Pokkel – there may yet be hope for us unwashed masses! 😉

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.04.13 14:35:21 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • Been wanting to try the Black Grouse for a while now, think its time i give it a shot

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.04.13 14:52:13 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 2) : Black Grouse is well worth it; superior to the similarly priced Black Bottle, it is excellent bang for your buck

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.04.13 14:58:44 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
     
  • Black Grouse is definitely worth it, Johnny Walker most overrated – can only agree with the above.

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.04.13 14:59:21 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • But no Irish Whiskeys?

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.04.13 15:00:09 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @Morné (Comment 5) : we had our first Irish Whiskey last night but the scores haven’t been tallied yet. We had the Connemara Cask Strength and it was very well received. Will probably break into the top 10.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.04.13 15:05:57 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 2) : Black Grouse is my everyday drink. Better than whiskies many 100’s of Rands more expensive. We rated it better than Johnny Blue.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.04.13 15:13:08 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) :

    Would be interested how you guys rate Bushmills Black Bush

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.04.13 15:36:56 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @Morné (Comment 8) : I’ll put it on my wishlist for sure. Did you enjoy it? Wasn’t your avatar a pick of a bottle og Glenfiddich at one stage?

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.04.13 15:40:04 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 9) :

    Might have been, love my whisky…

    Black Bush similar to Black Grouse – real value for money, good whisky.

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.04.13 15:44:50 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @Morné (Comment 10) : Is Black Bush also a peated whisky? I was under the (potentially incorrect) impression that Connemara is the only Irish distillery that uses peat

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.04.13 15:48:16 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 10) : the problem we have in a small town is that we don’t really have a good selection. We often have to order on-line if we want something out of the ordinary.

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.04.13 15:49:23 by Pokkel Reply
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  • The best part of the whisky club is that you get to taste whiskies that you will probably never buy for yourself.

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.04.13 15:51:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • i keep a lot of Glen Grant for my ‘beer drinking’ friends who just like to pose with a wee dram for the chicks… 😀

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.04.13 15:54:58 by Megatron Reply

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  • Jaso now im going to go and spend some money i hadn’t planned on

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.04.13 16:03:21 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 14) : Just pour it into a expensive looking bottle.

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.04.13 16:06:47 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 15) : That’s a common problem… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.04.13 16:24:05 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
     
  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : Im sure with a name like Connemara it has to score very well with you especially.

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.04.13 16:34:24 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 18) : ??

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.04.13 16:48:42 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) : Not sure about Black bush but none of the other bushmills whiskeys is peated whiskeys

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.04.13 16:48:47 by BR Reply
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  • Ag jinne tog joe larneys…gee my sommer Two keys en eks heppy… 😈

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.04.13 16:50:14 by Ice Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 19) : Connemara Black….a classic traditional fly that needs to be in your flybox, it will save the day at some time or other.

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.04.13 16:55:16 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 22) : oh okay.

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.04.13 16:58:39 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Very grown up. Black Bush? And not a single suggestive remark? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.04.13 17:24:17 by McLovin Reply

    McLovin
     
  • @Culling Song (Comment 11) :

    Sorry had to run for a bit there – not peated mate. And you are right as far as I know too, only Connemara uses peat.

    @McLovin (Comment 24) :

    Us whisky guys are classy, you know! 🙂

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.04.13 17:40:47 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 24) : average age on the blog is young. Bush is not a common occurence…

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.04.13 17:41:51 by robdylan Reply
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  • You guys tasted this Jura stuff?

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.04.13 17:43:40 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) :

    Can’t say I have…

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.04.13 17:44:43 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 26) :

    Did I pick up you’re in the US?

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.04.13 17:45:04 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @Morné (Comment 29) : I was ja. Got back this morning

  • Comment 30, posted at 19.04.13 17:46:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) :

    What did you do wrong to get sent there?

  • Comment 31, posted at 19.04.13 17:49:11 by Morné Reply
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    Morné
     
  • @Morné (Comment 31) : ag, more of the same shit I usually do 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 19.04.13 18:29:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • I’m surprised there’s no Vat 69 or J&B whisky on your list Pokkel. 😈

  • Comment 33, posted at 19.04.13 19:52:11 by wpw Reply
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    wpw
     
  • @wpw (Comment 33) : 😆 👿

  • Comment 34, posted at 19.04.13 20:12:51 by Big Fish Reply
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    Big Fish
     
  • @wpw (Comment 33) : There are worse whiskies on the complete list, Wesabi!

  • Comment 35, posted at 19.04.13 20:14:34 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 35) : We don’t discriminate.

  • Comment 36, posted at 19.04.13 20:17:34 by Pokkel Reply
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  • How about Auschebtoshen (or however the hell it’s spelled)

  • Comment 37, posted at 19.04.13 20:52:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • So I’ve just poured a grouse… Not the black one. Just the common 10yo.

  • Comment 38, posted at 19.04.13 20:56:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : Triple distilled Scotch… Bit of an oddity. Haven’t tried it myself

  • Comment 39, posted at 19.04.13 20:58:24 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 39) : Auchentoshan. It’s very nice. Would be interested in your view.

  • Comment 40, posted at 19.04.13 21:04:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 40) : not sure of the availability in SA; never seen it here. Will keep my eyes peeled

  • Comment 41, posted at 19.04.13 22:20:20 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
     
  • Lagavulin is supposed to be a connoisseur’s tiple, but I can honestly say it’s the most vile whisky I’ve ever had the misfortune of pretending to like. Wish I wasn’t such a gracious guest sometimes… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 20.04.13 13:01:38 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 42) : I liked the Lagavulin but I agree it’s an acquired taste. Exceptionally smoky. After we had the tasting at my house one night my wife came home and asked who had been smoking in the house.

  • Comment 43, posted at 20.04.13 13:41:21 by Pokkel Reply
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