The LA Scotch Club was treated to a special tasting with Balvenie’s Ambassador, Lorne Cousin. It was a lot of fun.
That Cask 15916 (1970, 40.9% ABV) was my favorite dram of the night.
In 2015, the LA Scotch Club returned to the Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest for Tree Dramming, an event that I have been waiting for for the past year and half.
I had an incredible time in 2013, and was bummed to miss it last year; I forget the reason why I could not make it. In any case, I made up for my absence this year by doubling my camping trip to 4 days and 3 nights. Last time, we stayed at Moses Gulch, which was nice and peaceful.
This time, we took over a big portion of the Hidden Falls campground, and it far surpassed my already high expectations. We set up camp at sites 5, 6, and 7. I stayed at 6, and think I had the best spot, which overlooked the Tule River.
The sweet sound of flowing water 24 hours a day. It was exactly what I needed to help decompress and get away from city living.
On the way up the mountain, we encountered cows on the road.
Day 1. KP, FP, and I showed up before everyone else to secure and get our pick of the 8 sites. After a 4 hour drive, we did not do much except for set up our tents and make some dinner.
For this trip, I contributed a Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso, a Laphroaig 10 year old, and a couple bottles from independent bottler Berry’s – a 20 year old Bruichaladdich and a 14 year old Dailuaine.
On Day 2, we played around with slingshots, relaxed around the campsite, and awaited the arrival of a few more LA Scotch club friends.
When they arrived, they generously added to the group’s whisky collection.
On Day 3, the last of our group arrived. After everyone unpacked and set up shelter, we set off on a 3 mile hike that turned into a 7-8 mile hike! (we got lost)…..Anyways, that was quite an adventure.
In the evening, we ate some amazing tacos, made s’mores, and drank Laphroaig cider (secret recipe).
Day 4, before heading home, we revisited a few sites around the area, including The Hercules tree. We checked out a few other neighboring sites for potential future events but the consensus was that Hidden Falls is the place to be.
This time around I packed a sweet camping chair and a headlamp. Both, great investments. Next year, I plan to pick up a portable shower and tent set up, and additional big lanterns for the main tent. Can’t wait. I may have to revisit before the year is up.
A handful of the LA Scotch Club membership were treated to a great evening with Compass Box’s charismatic US Ambassador, Robin Robinson, who entertained us with funny stories, educational material, and tasty whisky!
Every bottle was good. However, the standout of the night, for me, was Hedonism, a Scotch grain whisky that was easy sipping. In fact, it was the first “dead soldier” (empty bottle) of the night. It was sweet and had notes of vanilla, custard, oak, citrus rind, and coconut. It was an elegant dram.
On the other side of the spectrum, I revisited Peat Monster which I spent a significant time just enjoying the bold nose – peaty, smoky, and savory. The mouth feel was definitely enchanting.
Our group was also treated to the Lost Blend, Compass Box’s attempt to recreate Eleuthera, a previous bottling. It was complex with its mixture of sweetness and spicy notes. It was nice to try.
There was a fun story that accompanied the Oak Cross and the Spice Tree. Both, solid drams.
The Great King Street blends, I must say, are great value for the money. They are just good. The regular version was one of the first bottles of whisky that I kept around when I was intially getting into Scotch whisky.