Whisky and More, Lausanne, Switzerland 4-5 October 2013


For the photo gallery, click here

Following the success of the Whisky Schiff in the German speaking part of Switzerland, it was time for the French speaking part (la Romandie) to have its dedicated whisky fair, an initiative of the retailers Whisky Time in Lutry and Magnins vins in Cully.

Located at the Beaulieu exhibition hall, the access by public transportation was easy. With the entrance fees of 22 CHF was included a Glencairn glass. The price of the whiskies was between 2 and 7 CHF per cl.

The entrance to the Palais Beaulieu

Since I was part of the first visitor, I had all the leisure to walk through the stand for a first round of observation The location was spacious and convenient, with a nice balance between rarities and the latest new products.

le collector Patrick De Schulthess caressing the bottles he opened for the Saturday Master Class.

My first stop was a visit to my friend and malt maniac Patrick de Schulthess and his wife, who took care of rarities whiskies. My first dram was an old robust and old fashioned slightly peaty Glenlochy 1974 from Gordon & MacPhail as part of their Connoisseur’s choice. The Balvenie Founder’s reserve from the 1980s was charming, with a pleasant sherry and honey influence.  The Springbak 12 YO OB 46% for Auxil was mineral, clean and peaty, suggesting a Springbank distilled in the early 1970s. The nose of the Bablair 1964 smelt the influence of an excellent sherry cask.

An old sherried Balblair from Gordon & MacPhail

I moved then to caskstrength.ch to taste some of the new releases of The First Edition, with some casks coming the legacy of the Douglas Laing legacy. The Glen Elgin 1975 was smooth, but intense and spicy, while the Isle of Jura 1995 was still rather oaky although it has spent 18 years in a cask. The Mortlach was elegant and much to my liking.

Reto Stöckli and The First Editions

The wall of the Bar du Nord was very appealing, with only old whisky bottles. I could not resist very long to the Oban 30 YO 1963 from Cadenhead’s a dram I wished to taste for many years. The nose, with its mineral, slightly peaty and strong sea breeze flavours was excellent, with a delicious and elegant flavour development in the mouth. A superb whisky.

The stand of Bar du Nord with almost only sealed bottes.

The next one was an old Berry Bros and Rudd Pure Single Malt 1967, with a slightly aromatic and floral nose, completed by some peaty and smoky notes, with a slightly resinous mouth feel and some heather flavours. An old Glenlivet?

Since I did not have a chance to the Glen Garioch 1984 with its flashy red label, this was my third dram at the stand: a very floral and fragrant whisky, with strong lavender and violet flavors. Rather unpleasant. Finally, I went for a Mortlach 1966 bottled for Jas Gordon. The nose was excellent, on big rich and spicy sherry notes, but unfortunately with a short finish, probably due its 40% abv. Well, this is was only a proportion of their whisky range. Tempting?

The famous Oban 30 YO from Cadenhead's

By Magnin Vins, the selection was very large, including the full new range of just bottled Blackadders and The Whisky Agnecy, completed by most of the new Samaroli range. The owner of Samaroli was present on the stand. He bought the company with a partner from Silvano Samaroli including casks that Mr Samaroli acquired during its career. The Glen Grant was rather docile, as for the Highland Park, with very mild peaty notes, but with rather present honey-heather flavors. Le nose of the Laphroaig 1988 was excellent and charming, with a seducing peatiness and leaving a most enjoyable impression on the palate. One of the best Laphroaig recently bottled that I have tasted. This Laphroaig had been re-racked twice to reduce the peatiness of the Laphroaig. Well, this Laphroaig was still very peaty to me. For the Tomintoul 1967 and Coilltean 1965, they will be tasted quietly at home, as for the Tamdhu 1983 Private Stock or the Inchgower 1986  from The Whisky Agency. The new labels of The Whisky Agency with reproductions of stamps mislead me, since the label carried the mention “Republique of Haiti” that could indicate a Rum.

Partial view of the stand Magnin vins et spiritueux

From Blackadder, the new Amrut Peated 63% was very plesant, smooth and balanced while the Amrut 62.3% was rather rough when consumed straight. Diluted, the Amrut 62.3% the profile changed to a very smooth whisky, creamy and on toffee.  A whisky to drink with water.
Before moving from Magnin vins and a long chat with its owner, I was served with a Tomintoul 1967 42 YO Rivertown, a round and very mellow whisky, with some nice fruit notes, but fading rather quickly.

The excellent Laphroaig Samaroli

At Angel’s share and Peter Hofmann, the latest Arran and Glenrothes were available for tasting, as well as the full James MacArthur range, where I tasted a Longmorn 16 YO and the latest Glen Elgin. With the time running, I stopped by The Stillman’s and Daniel Kissling to taste the peaty and rather oaky Port Charlotte 2001 Cooper’s choice as well as the smooth, rich and rather bold Royal Lochnagar 2002, a distillery rarely seen as independent bottling. A whisky worh tasting.

The stand of Angel's share

I ended my day with 2 Swiss whiskies, the Langatun Old Deer cask strength, a nice smooth whisky, with a pleasant and rather discreet Chardonnay cask influence, slightly creamy and leaving a nice feeling on the palate, while the Old Bear, the peated version (about 25 ppm phenols in the barley) was dominated by a strong spicy, winey and tannic influence from the Chateau-neuf du Pape wine cask. Both malts showed a remarkable maturation for being 5 years old.

A small part of the The Stillman's selection: Cooper's choice

Several master classes, with a nice selection of whiskies, were organized during the week end, but scheduled too late for me. It was time for me to take the train home after a long but lovely day.

The Swiss whiskies of Langatun

This was the first edition of this well organised whisky fair, spacious and with a range of whiskies that should satisfy the novice as well as the whisky expert.  Moreover, the contact with the retailer and between the visitor was very easy and pleasant.

The stand of Latelin

Of note, in addition to the stands mentioned above, Lateltin was present with a wide choice of Springbank, Glendronach and Bruichladdich, as well as Whisky Time Lutry with the Ardbeg ranges, the malts from the Chivas group, including the latest bottling of Strathisla and other Diageo products that I will taste over the week end in London at the Whisky Show.

A part of Whisky Time Lutry stand with the new Macallan and Glenfiddich range.

See you next year!
Patrick Brossard, 06 October 2013.