Master class with David Stirk

Last Friday I went to a Master class hosted by David Stirk (owner Creative whisky company) in my home town Zierikzee organised by The World of Drinks. I was already warned that it would be very entertaining with more jokes and less talking about the whisky’s at hand, and boy they were right. It was great fun and we were laughing a lot, whilst enjoying seven of David’s excellent drams. At the end we could buy the tasted whiskies with a 20% discount and it went very fast displaying the excellent price/quality ratio.  If you would be able to visit a master class by David in the future: Do so, you will have a great evening! Now get back to business, what whisky’s did we taste ( apologies for my very short tasting notes, listening and laughing about jokes while trying to write some tasting notes didn’t work very well 😉 )

Exclusive Range Royal Brackla 2000 11 years old 45,8% Hogshead (approx € 50)

Beautiful starter. Quite light in the smell and taste. Nice sweetness, with a little bit of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Wood tones of pineapple (would do great next to a Christmas Tree) and oak. Gentle dram with flavours of light smoked barley, some malt and freshly mowed grass. Nice soft finish with some slight smokiness and just a tiny bit of salt. Super dram to start the evening.

Exclusive Range Glen Ord 1997 14 years old 45,8% Hogshead (approx € 50)

More power on the nose, with more sweet citrus fruits (orange, mandarin and just a touch of refreshing lime). The taste is more full bodied with again a leading role for the orange marmalade. Oily and waxy. Somewhat peppery, tangy in your mouth, but never overpowering the full flavour of sweet fruits. Finishes with some hints of wood spices and an ever slight hint of tannins. A little bit too alcoholic in my opinion, but still a very good dram.

Exclusive Range Macduff 2000 10 years old 45,8% Sherry (approx € 50)

Influence of sherry very present, dark raisins, nutty, coffee and chocolate displaying on the nose. Good balanced with red fruits and a touch of positive sulphur on the nose. Taste very very warming and oily. Again dark chocolate appears with some hints of fruits and the obvious raisins. The finish is long and warming. Wow I could see myself enjoying this dram surrounded by candle light and nice music. Excellent dram. Good sherry cask.

Exclusive Malts Clynelish 1995 16 years old 55,5% Refill Sherry (approx € 75)

At first heavy sulphur and glue on the nose, which disappears very quickly? Displaying some dates and of course the raisins and chocolate. Opens up slow, probably to slow for such a tasting. Dark, powerful and interesting. Very waxy and oily. Warming dram. Suffers from lack of time to figure it out, leaving undefined and sometimes a little bit strange flavours wondering around in my mind. (Almost sold out, last bottle from the stock of WIN was sold this evening (not by me)). Don’t know what to think about this one. Potentially great, but lacking time to figure it out.

Exclusive Range Bowmore 2003 8 years old 45,8% (approx € 50)

Definitely a young and playful Islay with the distinct Bowmore style. Quite sweet smokiness and lots of fruits. Very spicy (smoked paprika, different types of peppers). Soft and gentle smokiness, somewhat perfumed and lots of barbequed or smoked tropical fruits. Stunning dram!

Exclusive Malts Caol Ila 1980 30 year old 49,8% Hogshead (approx € 160)

Beautiful old Caol Ila. Smokiness and saltiness mellowed down by the age, but still present. Somewhat sweeter then usually, but still with powerful earthy, peaty notes. The taste is powerful with some nutty influence and the salty smokiness with slight hints of sweet vanilla. The finish is balanced between the sweet salty smoke and some cacao. Superb old Caol Ila.

Exclusive Malts Laphroaig 1990 20 year old 50,6% Hogshead (approx € 130)

Hmm missing the power of young Laphroaig’s which I like so much. Quite sweet, medicinal notes are quite gone, displaying a more diesel oil smell instead.  Also tar like influence present, next to sea weed and luckily the medicinal notes are appearing in the taste. Finish is quite long, but tar like. Still definitely an Islay whisky, with lots of peat, although it needs more time to arrive, but I am not sure this type of Laphraoig I like.


Very entertaining night with David while tasting excellent whisky. Both the older ones I would rather taste again, giving them more time and without the influence of the other whiskies. Overall David knows what he is doing and you should look out for his drams as they are usually very good and reasonably priced. Most people didn’t go home empty handed nor did I, so expect some revisits in the future.


About Admin

Whisky enthousiast. Loves Whisky, Wine, Music and a good meal.
This entry was posted in Bowmore, Clynelish, Coal Ila, Glen Ord, Highland notes, Laphroaig, Macduff, Royal Brackla, Whisky tastings/festivals and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Master class with David Stirk

  1. indeed david does a good job. had a few of his… sounds like great fun!

  2. And a 20% discount is very nice too! I have only started to taste things from his company in the last two years but there is some very good stuff there! Especially the cask strength series that aren’t finished (Exclusive Malts?) appeal to me.

    • gjr71 says:

      At first Rob Plas and me thought that the mentioned prices allready had the 20% discount. By checking out it didn’t add up, so the mentioned prices above are the normal prices of this liquor store, so for example 40 euro’s for that Bowmore is a superb price/quality ratio. You are right about the Exclusive Malts, the third series is the Exclusive Casks (different oak casks wine, port etc).

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