Magnus Fagerström
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20 Rare Malts in a day

The Ardbegtastings in 2008 were such big successes that I soon after started to plane for next big tasting. To find a theme wasn't so hard, but then I have to find the bottles too and to a price that people were willing to pay for a tasting.

During the summer of 2008 I came in contact with a collector who lived nearby me who was going to sell off his whole Rare Malts collection. I saw the chance to get a really fun tasting out of it. My good friend Bengt Carlsson got to pick the bottles he was missin in his collection first and then I picked out 20 bottles to have on a big Rare Malts tasting. Invitation to the tasting was sent out and it was quickly fully booked so I could go and buy the bottles.

The tasting was held October 18, 2008 and we kept the format of starting at 2 pm and ending up at 10 pm after three flight of whisky and two foodbreaks.
20 cask strength whiskies with 12 of them over 60% takes it toll, especially when it's served 2 cl of each! You had to make sure to eat properly and drink a lot of water and also pour some leftovers in the leftoverbottle. After 8 hours of tasting everyone had their own unique vatting of 20 different Rare Malts.

I learned a very important lesson this day. Do not allow anyone to sit down while distributing the glasses with whisky. When we were carrying out the last whisky we all of a sudden had the dilemma that somewhere someone had gotten 2 glasses of the Caol Ila as we were standing with two Port Ellen extra, which was the last one. Someone had lifted one glass to nose it and then placed it wrong. Having to go through all the glasses to find out where it had gone wrong was a challenge. After tasting 14 different whiskies I had to nose my way to where it was two Caol Ila instead of one Caol Ila and one Port Ellen. Not the easiest task but I found it eventually, so now noone is allowed to sit down and mess things up while we are carrying out the glasses! And this may also answer the question that many asks about these big tastings. Can you try that many whiskies and taste the difference? And don't you get really drunk? The answers are yes and then no.

As the tasting was held just two days before my birthday we started the tasting with a MacDugan 1965, 8 Years Old, as a warm up whisky as I am born in 1965.

These are the whiskies we tasted this day.

Flight 1:
Millburn 1975, 18 YO , 58,9%
Rosebank, 1979, 20 YO, 60,3%
Royal Brackla 1978, 20 YO, 59,8%
Dufftown 1975, 21 YO, 54,8%
Benrinnes 1974, 21 YO, 60,4%
Dailuaine 1973, 22 YO, 60,92%

Flight 2:
Glendullan 1972, 22 YO, 62,6%
Glen Mhor 1979, 22 YO, 61,0%
Inchgower 1974, 22 YO, 55,7%
Glen Ord 1973, 23 YO, 59,8%
Royal Lochnagar 1972, 24 YO, 55,7%
Hillside 1970, 25 YO, 61,1%
Cardhu 1973, 27 YO 60,02%

Flight 3:
Linkwood 1974, 30 YO, 54,9%
Teaninich 1972, 27 YO, 64,20%
Dallas Dhu 1975, 21 YO, 61,9%
Clynelish 1974, 23 YO, 59,1%
Brora 1977, 21 YO, 56,9%
Caol Ila 1975, 21 YO, 61,3%
Port Ellen 1978, 22 YO, 60,50%


Magnus Fagerström, July 2012