I’m not usually one of those types that are checking their phones every other minute, but with the San Francisco Giants on their way to winning the World Series, it was hard not to check the score…repeatedly…during the first half of the recent Bruichladdich tasting at the City Club of San Francisco. The irony here is that I’m really not that big of a Giant’s fan, but SF’s been electric the last couple of weeks because of baseball and it’s hard to not jump on the excitement bandwagon that’s united pretty much the whole city. Anyway…well done Giants, and well done San Franciscans for not burning down too much of the city on Monday night, you jackasses.
So, where was I…Bruichladdich. I was excited to attend this one right away. I’ve not tried to many ‘Laddies and the distillery’s range is always interesting and unique so a chance to taste several together seemed like a no-brainer. The event was held in a beautiful room in the Art Deco masterpiece City Club of San Francisco. The City Club’s been around a while, since the late 30’s, under its former guise of the Pacific Stock Exchange Lunch Club and has that exclusive, conservative, financial tycoon vibe going that you’d expect. Sliding past a lounge filled with people watching the ballgame, I walked up the stairs past a surprising Diego Rivera mural…not what I expected in this old school banker’s club.
Thanks to Whiskies of the World Expo and San Francisco’s The Whisky Shop, Bruichladdich’s Islay-bred Grand Ambassador and Production Manager, Jim McEwan, was on-hand to riotously lead us through eight expressions of his whisky:
- 12 Year Old, 2nd Edition
- Organic 2003
- 16 Year Old Cuvée “E” Chateau D’Yquem
- 1998 Oloroso
- 17 Year Old Rum Cask
- Black Art
- Octomore 2
I’ll post some quick notes on these in the following days.
Mr. McEwan was a fun, dynamic and engaging host, holding his own against the rising tide of cheers and car horns outside. He was by turns informative, incisive, sarcastic, opinionated, hilarious and heartfelt. Family is very important to him, his own as well as his extended Bruichladdich family, and it’s clear he’s worked very hard and very passionately to make Bruichladdich a proudly original and independent Islay distillery. He places just as much value on tradition as on innovation and that has made Bruichladdich one of the more exciting distilleries out there. In perfectly apropos fashion, the evening ended with us all standing on our chairs and tables, toasting and downing shots of Octomore…