Bladnoch Forum
Page 16 of 82 « First<1415161718>Last »
Topic Options
#28319 - 31/01/09 05:05 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Willie JJ Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/11/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Midlothian, Scotland
C'mon, c'mon, what's keeping you? ;\)
_________________________
Willie

Top
#28320 - 31/01/09 05:20 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
butephoto Offline
Full Member


Registered: 14/02/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
We know the Talisker won it. Easy.

;\)
_________________________
www.whiskywhiskywhisky.com

Top
#28322 - 31/01/09 05:29 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: butephoto]
Willie JJ Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/11/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Midlothian, Scotland
I concede that the Talisker is the best whisky, but the Kilkerran is just such good fun I couldn't help voting for it.
_________________________
Willie

Top
#28326 - 31/01/09 07:07 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
Par Offline
Full Member


Registered: 13/11/03
Posts: 2231
Loc: Gothenburg, Sweden
What's keeping Mark?

Probably the Chancellor of the Excheq, wanting his wallet and right arm...

Talisker does sound a none too unlikely winner though...but also very good to vote for character rather than quality, within certain boundaries of course. The Glengyle, sorry Kilkerran, seems to become an oily little number.

/ Pär

Top
#28328 - 01/02/09 01:24 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Par]
Willie JJ Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/11/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Midlothian, Scotland
The Kilkerran seems to have improved a lot in a year Pär and I thought it seemed very promising last year. Too early to tell of course, but I have high hopes for it as a mature malt.
_________________________
Willie

Top
#28339 - 01/02/09 11:23 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 554
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Better get on with it....

A gentle opener from the much underused Longmorn. Long cherished in its 15yo form at the unusually generous 45% strength I've yet to try the new 16yo offering but have been led to have my expectations lowered. This offering from Cadenheads at 18yo diluted to 46% from a Bourbon hogshead. There was clear evidence of the oak with sweet notes and gorgeous light gold hue. Buttery and fresh its a good gift whisky if you don't know what the receiver is in to, whats not to like?.
An extra attempt was made to elicit comments from tasters so the feedback is not all mathematical. Some inspiring comparisons were forthcoming: Abba- nice but dull, Wensleydale cheese, a golden retriever- a nice comfortable dog. A respectable 53%. 'Now we're talking'

The ice broken the next dram was the mystery. Nobody has a clue to the identity of the mystery so a fare trial is likely. The dram used will depend on the budget left unspent as well as the character and quality of the other drams. Not being one of the main selection the pressure is off to bring something of necessarily high class while if the dram was named it would perhaps not be seen as something luring. This dram was chosen as it impresed during a tasting hosted by the inimitable Richard Paterson. 'A pub whisky' was one comment which was almost astute. The nature of the dram as a blend seemed to have most people surprised. Whyte and MacKay 13yo 40%. The unaged version is certainly pub fare but this older one might not have been flattered by the association. Having used the standard at a previous tasting to a not unfavourable response has given confidence to try and include a blend in every tasting. Bottlings of blends from 10 or more years ago have usually been met with enthusiasm. A few more of this style will definetly be making appearances in the future but interest lies in examining current offerings, standard as well as deluxe/'super-delux'. 'Dead dog' with no further comment and 'Port Salut'. At around £20 this dram didn't perform as well as hoped at only 37%.

It should be mentioned that an unfortunate table had their line-up arranged in such a way that they tasted dram 3 while everybody else was shrugging their shoulders at the W & M. The table in question were in raptures having the rest of us wondering about their sanity. To them I apologise for not warning of the correct order of drams. D'oh.

Next it was time for something more adventurous. This tasting was always going to offer a wide spread of character and influence, a feature that was possibly going to be challenging to some. The tightrope of offering pleasing drams but keeping the selection fresh is often a difficult balancing act. So the work in progress that is Mitchell's Glen Gyle distillery's Kilkerran stepped up to the plate. This was the third time this distillery has been featured in these tastings. Initially as a very drinkable new make almost 5 years ago, then a bottle of it's 3rd birthday expression with this latest example coming from a cask at the distillery only tour visitors get access to. At once the lively nose indicates strength and vivacity. Unlike the port cask 3yo this expression was able to give a closer look at the spirit nature as the cask was less muscular. Incredible wine gum notes with lemonade in the ascendancy. At full strength a marvelous clarity and clean palate mirrored the absence of immaturity and rough edges many remarked at with the Whyte and MacKay. Nearly 5 years in oak had been long enough to give and take in the correct proportions. The company have been selling options of several different woods at 10 years old while this year sees the first general release being the beginning of an annual glimpse on the road to a 12yo. From the evidence here if all cask are of this calibre earler aged bottlings shouldn't be a problem. 'Danish Blue' (the cheese not cinematic variety), 'Jack Russell'. 68%.

Without time to rally defences after the Kilkerran's fiesty youth it was straight into a dram I'd waited years to try and had heard much of. A mix of years from 3 to 11 Old Potrero 100% malted rye from Fritz Maytag in San Francisco had the more experienced palates suggest Europe as orign. This comment was not difficult to understand as the curious mixture of eaux de vie/grappa, bold new oak and something bordering on staleness is cedrtainly most uncommon in standard Scottish/Canadian/Japanese/Iriah/Kentucky practice. About 6 years ago a customer had requested a bottle for a friend and I'd been surprised that a low profile local wholesaler was able to supply us. Since then my curiousity was often teased by articles, mostly in Malt Advocate, about the founder's vision in seeking to resurrect a long lost recipe for the original American whiskey spirit. This expression was 'Essay 10-SRW-ARM-F' 45%. Unable to first hand report the typical nature of this essay to any other, further investigation is something to look forward to. My fixation with styles of whisk(e)y and tastes outwith the norm may at times have some present wonder at the extremes out there and their place in a tasting already containing drams of a quirky nature. But it was more likely the order in which the night's glasses were set up which caused problems. To make the most of the depth and breadth on offer from this unique single malt an earlier placing would have a fresher palate for contemplation and scrutiny. The Glen Gyle seemed to have shocked some taste buds into their concrete bunkers for the night. Descriptve tastings notes are sadly not my forte and I find it particularly dificult to place the many textures and tastes found here. Also a limited experience of rye doesn't help. But certainly this example wasn't as thick as most I've tried. Perhaps it was the range of ages that had the metling pot bubbling but sweetness for example wasn't overt, nor dryness. For me and at least some others it was a facinating experience. Several scores of zero indicated failure to seduce. 44%. 'Labradoodle- wierd' and 'Monterey Jack'

The penumltimate placing was awarded to no less than the wining bottle from the Scottish Field's whisky challenge. Some of the industry's most virtous and high profile palates had chosen this as the one. Gordon & MacPhail's 30yo Strathisla 43%. If I start with the score, 59%, you might understand the difficulty many had with this dram having realised the pole position it took. On the nose 'beguiling' fits the bill. No question for me a stately venerable bouquet worthy of praise. Coffee, dark chocolate, old books, polished teak etc, etc, etc. Devine. But the palate is short and seems watery. Still with a big enough bang having bitter and drying influences. What happened to the promise of a long relaxing nap in the chesterfield? Instead its 40 winks in the back of an old over driven slowly by an, albeit wise, o.a.p.. Robbed! The issues here are the nature of competitions, judges, jurys, and the pricing of whisky. Having bought young and expensive eg PC7, Old Potrero (exchanged at about £50 with a kind traveller) then old and relatively cheap, North of Scotland grain and several G&M fossils, the ultimate good/bad value test is- is it good? can you afford it? Not is it a bargain because its ancient or a rip-off because its a juvenile. But the questions remain. Why haven't they sold out of whisky ath 18yo, 25yo, 30yo+ when the price is comparitevly low? Why isn't whisky so rare bottled at natural stength? The people who care about drinking this level of malt appreciate fine points. I'm not campaigning to have prices raised, I enjoy these whiskies but I feel a compromise has been met without any need. If you are going to be hung for a lamb might as well be hung for a sheep. If price is such an important issue with driving sales would it be an option to keep the low price but use smaller bottles at higher stengths? The same amount of liquid out of the barrel, the same profit but more freedom for the drinker to diliute or not. Obviously a small bottle appears 'less' or 'just doesn't look right' but we can do the sums. Most Bruichladdich bottlings remain exciting and G&M's aged repertoire is Whisky's Historic Scotland treasure trove. 59% 'Old English Sheepdog - shaggy and nice but not an interesting dog', 'mature cheddar'.

Finally Talisker 25yo 2008 edition 77%. The winner after the final count, a straw poll on the night had a draw between this and the Kilkerran. For some reason my expectations were of a good dram but not much more. Can't explain this as all the old Taliskers I've tasted have been nothing short of inspiring. This example is no exception. The solid power of the Hebrides balanced with a grace and finesse. The Cuillins without a cloud in the sky. A butterfly with Doctor Martins.

Next tasting - battle of the Bowmores 19th february sold out then normal template tasting 12th March £17/20.

Slainte

Top
#28341 - 02/02/09 01:32 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Leither Offline
Full Member


Registered: 19/10/06
Posts: 285
Loc: Edinburgh
Nice review Mark - I thought the Talisker was awesome, but older Talisker tends to be so and I'm very much of a fan of the 10yo upwards.

The young, wild and untamed spirit of Kilkerran was remarkably good too - still a bit rough round the edges, but has all the hallmarks of a very good young Glen Scotia for me. Such coastality and Campbeltown character.

It was weird describing it whilst other tables were remarking on the W&M 13yo - polar extremes and a total mix up, but great fun for us regulars.
_________________________
Today's rain is tomorrow's whisky

Top
#28378 - 04/02/09 04:17 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Leither]
butephoto Offline
Full Member


Registered: 14/02/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Yes, the Talisker was superb. A shame it's a bit too pricy for my tastes, though. Glad I had the chance to try it.
_________________________
www.whiskywhiskywhisky.com

Top
#28637 - 22/02/09 01:10 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: butephoto]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 554
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Just time for a quick update on the tastings. Thursday past saw our Bowmore comparison, the second in a series trying 4 independently bottled examples of a malt with the distilery's own example as well as a red herring to spice things up. All drams were cask strength and tasted blind. Initially the scheme features only Islay malts but the hope is to extend it to as many malts as possible.

First was a 1999 - 2008 Golden Cask bottling, one of 300 bottles at 60.1%. No cask type stated but surely an ex-Bourbon refill. Keen to start on a good foot it is my prefernce to use a good dram for the initial taste. This one proved able. Lip licking and oily a zesty oomph set the scene for a fine package of drams. Originally a test bottle from the company was better but ultimately the one used was clean and dependable if not remarkable. Affordable too. A respectable 53%. "petrol"

Next we had a jump in age with the oldest of the night and a 19yo Malt Whisky Buyers Helpline 1989 179 bottles 56.7% £39. This company can offer excellent prices but the previous bottler seems to have the edge on quality but its early days for MWBH and its always with anticipation new bottlings are announced. A gentler nose doesn't prepare for the peculiar scented palate. Having shared a bottle with some of the more enthusiastic regulars some of us have had a good look at this dram. But still I'm waiting for somebody to pin down the perfumey character. Is it lavender or parma violets? Whatever its not a classic distillery signature. It is however a grower and was more popular than the first attaining 62% as well as the wooden spoon for packaging. The distillery cat was suspected of contrabuting to the finish. "Sid Vicious". "Like a tatooed pick-up line in a crowded bar, you could take it as a compliment but wouldn't go home with it".

Next was the mystery dram. Several were contenders including peated Amrut, Ardmore, Ledaig and the new Birnie Moss from Benriach (although disqualified for not being cask strength) but the slot was given to Arran 1.11.04 - 12.11.08 4yo 59.8% Bourbon cask 225 bottles 59.8%. I didn't expect to fool anyone and didn't. The youth was obvious and the peating level modest. However special mention is deserved as the long finish and vibrant new spirit character lit up the palate. I find it difficult sometimes to know when to dominate these comments with my own personal feelings and when to remain impartial. On this occassion I'd like to exppress my pleasure but meter that with disappointment at the high price of this young bottling. £40+. This is not particularly an high amount to expect someone to spend on a good bottle of whisky, especially if it comes with careful and expensive bottling but as always the market will set the price. Not as dear as the PCs but less affordable than other similar bottlings. This distillery continues to impress with the quality of both spirit and cask as well as innovation in its range. Hopefully they are in a position to leave some cask down so we can watch as the years unfold and we look forward to see if the dram develops gracefully in mid and late life. Perhaps this is the price we are paying, in order for the money to be made the stock is sold at a premium in order that sufficient spirit is retained for future older bottlings. If this is the case then the high cost comes with a degree of justification. 47% although voting was the most divided so far with clutches of low and high scores separating opinion. "A warm bed".

Next Cadenheads 1997 - 10/08 11yo Bourbon hogshead 290 bottles 56.7% £42.80. When talking Islay it is my experience to have Bowmore at the bottom of the list for prefernce with peat heads. Top place is so hard to award with Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig as well as Caol Ila enjoying cult status. It must be mentioned though that from Cadenheads stock it is not unusual for Bowmore to be the recommendation when Caol Ila, Ardbeg and Laphroaig are all represented on the shop's black board. The recent 14yo 63.9% bottling saw a breakthrough in my appreciation of Bowmore. Since then I seem to recognise the distillery's best side in quite a number of examples tried. This Cadenheads bottling is another good example. Luscious and luxurious the flavours just keep coming. Maybe my leather tongue is spent but water doesn't seem nescessary but isn't a bad idea either. Like the sweetness which can be found in some independent bottlings of Laphroaig but absent in official bottlings there is often a lack of the smoky gutsey body familiar to official bottlings of Bowmore that is often replaced by a more resonant bounce from some independent efforts. Here there seems to be some tropical fruits at work, those west coast palm trees add to the illusion of a Carribean care-free style. 67% made it a winner be it by a whisker. Unhappily I have no experience of the Black Bowmores nor of any of the ancient apparently sublime bottlings. For my part the 63.9% rivals only a SMWS bottling from a sherry cask (a bottle of which I was bribed with to do a shift behind the bar at the Scociety at Christmas 1999 in order to let the rest of the staff have a night out- one of the best deals I've done). "Like a gorgeous high school sweet heart"

Fifth was time for the official, now discontinued, bottling carrying no age statemant at 56%. Prices varied but I think this was luckily acquired from Oddbins for £35. Scoring a cool 62% the distillery outing held it's head up high this time compared to the poor show from Ardbeg in the previous play off. This builds anticipation for the performance of the Laphroaig and Caol Ila 'tests'. Hotter than any of the previous bottlings this needs tempering with water but the class is clear. According to Andrew Jefford's excellent Peat, Smoke and Spirit Bowmore uses 14% fresh sherry cask. A fair proportion of the mix must have been Spanish for this vatting. Notes of elastoplast creep in to give the first iodine bite of the night. A thin body contrast with the long finish. Did they chill-filter or not? Perhaps at a relatively high temperature. Its certainly reassuring to know such quality is offerd by mainstream bottlings. I'm not sure if the current revamped line up features a cask stength example. Anybody know? "Like a lady wearing a silk scarf that is on fire". The smokiest so far.

Finally A. D. Rattray 15.08.91 - 03.11.08 17yo 56.2% 1st fill butt 520 bottles. 66%. "Dressed to impress". The colour stood out thanks to its pale neighbours. This heavily bronzed beauty confounded opinion with a divide between some very low scores and an impressive run of 8-out-of-10s. It should be mentioned this tasting untypically featured no zeros or full marks in the scoring. My friends at Royal Mile Whiskies told me although they received a sample of this bottling it did not fair well in staff tasing so no order was submitted. I expressed an interest and the supply was fulfilled. Again in conversation today they reitterated their lack of confidence in the bottling. An opinion reflected from half of the scoring but one I, and others, contend. The depth weight, finish, development, audacity all deserve a medal. Susan has earned her wages for the month spotting this for the bottler. I have a collection of bottles some nostalgic distillery bottlings now collectable and discontinued others chosen because of their merit as top class drinking drams (few both) but since sacrificing my Bowmore Claret at a tasting my entry is empty for Bowmore. This bottling must be the replacement.

Next 2 tasting sold out.

Over and out.

Top
#28916 - 13/03/09 08:56 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
butephoto Offline
Full Member


Registered: 14/02/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Looking forward to last night's report which I sadly couldn't make. Sounded like a great line-up!
_________________________
www.whiskywhiskywhisky.com

Top
Page 16 of 82 « First<1415161718>Last »


Moderator:  Raymond 
Hop to:
Who's Online
0 registered and 8 anonymous users online.
October
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Newest Members
Nadadaday, Paulie77, flower1209, killerki, FelixDeSax
3836 Registered Users
Top Posters
5616
Raymond
4085
autism
2494
Alexander
2231
Par
2136
Åke Johansson

Generated in 0.024 seconds in which 0.011 seconds were spent on a total of 15 queries. Zlib compression disabled.

© Bladnoch Forum - Site design & maintenance by kirkmoor.com