It seems that everywhere we've gone this week people have been talking about one thing in particular: the mysterious bottles that have washed up on the shores of Islay containing messages written by "Doc" Emmett L. Brown way back in 1859!
This was, as you may know unless you've been living under a rock (you do read all my blogs with avid enthusiasm, right?), part of our third competition for Feis Ile 2013. Everybody who found a bottle was told to meet at the clock tower at Laphroaig distillery at 12 noon on Wednesday 29th May 2013 - their prize for doing so was a full bottle of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's brand new Caol Ila (worth £54.95) AND the chance to feature on our next cultish comic book-style label!
Some lucky bottle finders!
It was fantastic to see them arrive one by one, some had put in some serious graft especially to hunt a bottle down whilst others stumbled upon them accidently, knowing nothing about them beforehand but still turning up to help the Doc!
With everyone assembled, we commenced That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Islay Ultra Competition Showdown Throwdown Extravaganza 2013 To The Extreme Lucky Best Time...
Ben gathers everybody in...
Competition rounds included trivia on Laphroaig, Back to the Future and That Boutique-y Whisky Company...
...as well as a blind nosing contest of this years five Feis Ile festival bottlings released so far (I say blind, I think they all got the pink one).
Having narrowed the field to two competitors, we were getting close but... (come on then Connor, now's your chance...)
"There can be only one!"
Our finalists were given a set of cryptic clues, which (almost) led them off around the distillery to find subsequent clues, eventually leading them back to the clock tower!
The finalists receive their first clues, who will be victorious?
..and it’s Jon Bryant from Living Room Whisky! Congratulations!!!
Titans of Trivia.
Speaking of flourescent skateboards, as we were, if there's anybody who enjoys them as much as Back to the Future's Marty McFly it would be Bart Simpson. Now, Wednesday was also Bowmore day at Feis Ile with Bowmore distillery having been founded by John Simpson. They also purchase a large proportion of their malt from Simpsons!
Bowmore's maltings: they can produce up to 40% of their own requirement.
To celebrate these facts and the day itself we set about making our own version of the Flaming Moe: The Flaming Bow!
First though, let’s take a look at Bowmore’s bourbon matured festival release: 1,000 bottles of bourbon matured yumminess. It's cask strength and non chill-filtered. They also released a commemorative bottling of a 1988 Bowmore, of which only 300 were available.
Bowmore Feis Ile 2013 – Bourbon Matured – 56.5% abv
Tasting Note for Bowmore Feis Ile 2013 – Bourbon Matured
Nose: Predominantly Haribo Goldbears, some lemon sherbet boiled sweets (before you get to the middle) but no peat.
Palate: Toffee and a little mango.
Finish: Rich with a hint of Rich Tea biscuits.
“Happiness is just a Flaming Bow away...”
The original Flaming Moe (or ‘Flaming Homer’) was made with “the little bits that were left in every liquor bottle”. Our Brown Drink would therefore be the perfect ingredient (creating a Flaming MoM), but we are of course using Bowmore single malt scotch whisky for our Flaming Bow.
Specifically, we're using Batch 2 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Bowmore. Instead of children’s cough syrup however, we will be using a concoction of all sorts of gubbins that’s said to produce a cough syrup-like flavour profile. The recipe is more than a little disconcerting but it allows us to maintain the ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ vibe as Ben’s lovely wife Becky described it.
Bowmore – Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 49% – £52.95
Not quite there yet...
15 ml Bowmore – Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
15 ml Rumbullion!
15 ml Vodka
15 ml Red Wine
30 ml Cranberry Juice
120 ml Ginger Ale
On tasting, this doesn’t really work. It’s not unpalatable at all but there’s far too much ginger ale - the flavour is dominated by ginger rather than providing the cough syrup goodness we hoped for. There is a little red fruit and clove but we can do much better...
“It’s not without its charm...”
The Flaming Bow
30 ml Bowmore – Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
50 ml Rumbullion!
20 ml Red Wine
30 ml Cranberry Concentrate
(fire still to come...)
On the nose the spiced Rumbullion! comes through as well as Milkybar White Chocolate buttons bizarrely. The Palate and finish is spiced again, with anise, spearmint and more herbal notes cut through by some bitterness and cranberry tartness. As Moe says of Homer’s creation, it wasn’t “without its charm”, but what happens if you set it on fire???
“I don’t know the scientific explanation but fire made it good.”
The technique here is to shake everything but the Bowmore in a cocktail shaker with ice before creating a float of Bowmore on top, which can then be lit from the spoon as you finish creating it. Extinguish, stir and serve. (This was really cool until Ben said the phrase "simple fluid dynamics".)
Let's all go to Flaming Bow's...
Tasting Note for the Flaming Bow
Nose: Cigar boxes.
Palate: Cranberries, blackberries and the inside of a cigar.
Finish: Berry goodness.
It wasn’t to everyone’s liking but I thought it was alright! Fire made it something or other alright. “...and my phlegm feels looser!”
With that fun over with, Ben made us each an entirely superior rum & marmalade old fashioned from the ingredients available in the kitchen, top work.
The Never Ending Road (Trip)