Rosemary's Blog

Chichester Whisky Women’s verdict on my Essential Whiskies for Winter

I think we need to be quite up front and straight about the fact that Chichester’s Whisky Women are probably the type of girls that you would expect to be drinking whisky: verging on mature with quite a bit of life experience. We are not youngsters exploring whisky with as much gusto as any other spirit or cocktail base: we know what we like and that’s why we meet and share such fun tastings.

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My Winter Whisky Collection - 5 whiskies to complement your cooking and warm you up in January and February

My cooking has always been seasonal, with dishes dictated not only by what is in the fridge but what comes in the veg box, is ready at the community garden or is best in season from around the world. What would January be without Seville oranges, for marmalade and for other dishes too?

Winter is probably the season when most whisky is drunk, the natural time to appreciate its rich and warming characteristics. With pork and beef a welcome change from the Christmas turkey left-overs and root vegetables, dark green leafy veg such as kale and watercress, and citrus fruits all at their best, this is a time of year to be inspired in the kitchen. Pulse vegetables and generous seasonings of herbs and spices all make for satisfying and warming dishes, so let’s find some whiskies to go with them.

This is a brief introduction to my Winter Whisky Collection and there will be more detail about each one in the next few weeks.

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Scotch on the rocks - a tale for Hogmanay

Happy Hogmanay! Here's a whisky quiz for you. There are 52 whisky references - distilleries, drams and whisky words. Some are a slight stretching of Gaelic pronunciations, so please forgive me for that!  They’ll all be highlighted for you in the text for this tale on my website,, on New Year’s Day. Have a good one!

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Introducing the Auchentoshan Three Wood single malt whisky, one of my Autumn Essentials collection for 2015.

Mists and mellow fruitfulness translated into day to day living means mixed weather, cold nights and warmer jumpers, overcoats and Ugg boots! The Auchentoshan Three Wood reminds me of the finer tailoring of an Autumn wardrobe - it is elegant, complex, spiciliy warm with rich dried fruits on the palette: like a new coat that you have spent a lot of money on and which makes you feel great! The Auchentoshan has the same elegance and offers the same comfort.

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Whiskies for Autumn - The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14yo single malt Speyside

Autumn - pumpkins and spice - The Balvenie Caribbean Cask leapt into my gastro consciousness on first tasting, begging to be part of my whisky selection for this sometimes mellow yet oft-times stormy season of the year. The Caribbean Cask was a huge hit with Chichester’s Whisky Women when we tasted my Autumn Collection ‘15 as it is rich, warming and very easy, yet opening out to present a surprisingly different whisky experience when held briefly in the mouth.

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Whisky with Water - cruising through a whisky tasting.

You never quite get around to doing the touristy things in the place where you live, do you? When I suggested an evening cruise on the Chichester Canal for our September tasting - Whisky with Water - I was delighted that so many Chichester Whisky Women said that this was something that they really wanted to do!

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1st September - my Independence Day!

After 40 years of working I can say with a great deal of certainty that I have never planned my career: it has just happened. I think that is probably true for most of us - things crop up and I have certainly drifted from one opportunity to the next, although they have always been to do with food. I have tried to be the grapefruit that caught Oscar Wilde’s imagination when he declared of citrus “A grapefruit is a lemon that had a chance and took advantage of it” - but I have not made my chances myself.

"I am now determined to follow my own agenda of making whisky a fun tasting experience for everyone

I hope it is not too late to take control of my own destiny? How I admire younger people who have a goal and go after it while they have mortgages to pay and many other work and personal commitments. I am now determined to follow my own agenda of making whisky a fun tasting experience for everyone, of matching it to seasonal foods, and to demystify the spirit, especially for lady drinkers. 

(I’m also going to try to spend more time gardening at home and at Tangmere Community Garden, and playing the piano and upsetting Archie by getting my trumpet out more often. I think he thinks I should stick to cooking!)