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The 24 Hours of Whisky

The Black-Bull sponsored Ecurie Ecosse BMW competing in British GP action at Snetterton on June 16. The team is preparing for next year's 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. Photo courtesy Ecurie Ecosse.June 15, 2014 – If you’re a longtime WhiskyCast listener, you’re probably aware that motorsports is one of my other passions. I’ve been a racing fan since I was old enough to have a toy checkered flag and race cars as a kid growing up in Indianapolis.  For years, I’ve dreamed of going to France to watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans…and it’s one of the things on my “bucket list.”

Since I couldn’t make it this year, I decided to do the next best thing…

The 24 Hours of Whisky.

During this year’s race, I posted a new tasting note each hour on the Tasting Notes page, and tried to tie in some of the whiskies to Le Mans or racing-related subjects. In the interests of transparency (and responsibility), I did not stay up for 24 hours straight tasting whiskies. While I did taste 17 whiskies during the weekend, the remaining notes came from recent competitions I helped judge blindly and received the entry lists later, allowing me to cross-reference my notes against the entries and add them to the site. Here’s the complete list with links to each tasting note:

9:00am (3:00pm in France): The race begins with Sazerac Rye 18’s 2013 Edition
10:00am: Cutty Sark 12
11:00am: Wiser’s 18
Noon: Stauning Young Rye (9-time Le Mans winner and this year’s runner-up Tom Kristensen is from Denmark)
1:00pm: Zuidam Rye from The Netherlands
2:00pm: Label 5 Extra Rare 18
3:00pm: J.R. Ewing Private Reserve (“Super Tex” A.J. Foyt is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, and Le Mans)
4:00pm: MaQintosh Silver Edition from India
5:00pm: Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year Old 
6:00pm: Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask
7:00pm: Nikka Yoichi 10 (Toyota’s LMP1 car was leading Le Mans at the time)
8:00pm: Lark Single Cask #659 (in memory of the late Sir Jack Brabham, the first post-war racer to be knighted)
9:00pm: Halfway there with the Col. E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon
10:00pm: Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye (the closest distillery to Le Mans legend Mario Andretti’s home)
11:00pm: Blackadder Raw Cask Macallan 1990
Midnight: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
1:00am: Ron Burgundy’s Great Odin’s Raven (Le Mans is “kind of a big deal” in racing)
2:00am: Last Mountain Private Reserve from Canada
3:00am: K5 Himalayan Whisky (Hemingway said the only true sports are auto racing, mountain climbing, and bull fighting)
4:00am: OYO Michelone Reserve Bourbon from Ohio
5:00am: Gordon & MacPhail 1991 Balblair (finished in Crozes-Hermitage casks from France)
6:00am: Arran 1997 Sherry Single Cask
7:00am: The Macallan Cask Strength
8:00am: The final hour, and a French single malt seemed appropriate: Armorik Classic 2013 Edition

Links: 24 Hours of Le Mans | Sazerac Rye | Cutty Sark | Wiser’s | Stauning | Zuidam | Label 5 | J.R. Ewing Bourbon | MaQintosh | Old Rip Van Winkle | Glenfiddich | Nikka | Lark | Col. E.H. Taylor | Dad’s Hat | Blackadder | Ron Burgundy Scotch | Last Mountain | Spirits of Bhutan | Middle West Spirits | Gordon & MacPhail | Arran | The Macallan | Armorik