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ULF BUXRUD's Mega-Macallan Tasting in London

April 2002

In April 2002 Sir Dave (of the Local Barley) presented me with an offer I just couldn't refuse:  he offered to pick up all the other expenses for a short weekend trip to London if I'd simply get an airline ticket. 

The reason for this trip?  Well, Dave had been invited as the PLOWED representative to participate in Ulf Buxrud's 60th birthday bash at the Landmark Hotel in London.   Ulf hosted the tasting of 53 expressions of Macallan from his collection to an invitation-only group of single malt whisky enthusiasts selected from Ulf's tasting groups.  We reasoned that although the tasting was restricted to the invited 35 participants (35 x 20 ml drams = 700 ml bottle) and panelists, that I might be able to get a seat if on of the invitees didn't make it to the tasting.  So in typical PLOWED style I said "Sure, I'll go along and "crash" Ulf's tasting with you Dave" - although I did have more than a few reservations about this rather unorthodox approach.  Dave convinced me it would all work out fine and promised we'd have also have a tremendous weekend FOAFing and dramming in London on either side of this event.  Since I decided I'd be perfectly happy viewing this extravaganza from the sidelines in the event I didn't get a seat I agreed and booked myself an airline ticket to London.

Well, as it turns out Jim Murray couldn't make it and Ulf graciously pulled me from the sidelines and offered me his seat, allowing me to participate in this amazing event.  It was an astonishingly amazing day that offered me the opportunity to meet many of the top whisky enthusiasts and authors, as well as sample a range of Macallans I'll probably never have the chance to taste again.  I'll write up my impressions of this tasting in the coming weeks and post some of my photos here, but for now here are some links to other web reporting on this mega-tasting:

There are several discrete morals I believe are associated with my participation in this event, as follows:

Always ask for forgiveness rather than permission;

Never decline any whisky-related event suggested by Sir Dave;

Creative visualization is the key to the locating the edge; and

of course, always be "Proud to be PLOWED!"

Ulf, thanks again for allowing me to participate in this historic tasting.  Although I once again drammed my age that day I did it with a stern sense of control and emerged fully alert and in a very pleasant mood following lunch.  (following the event we cabbed over to The Whisky Exchange with Sukhinder Singh and I emerged from his establishment burdened with parcels and a bit "less" coherent) 

I'm still dramming from my take-home bottle of Macallan vatting from that memorable day - it's now just dropped under the 300 ml mark - so I get to revisit this day at home regularly.

I hope to see you at Ardbeggeddon 4 Ulf...  I've set aside a couple of drams for this event I hope you'll find interesting!

last update on 8/28/02