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#29829 - 29/04/09 02:01 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: MrTH]
yogi Offline
Full Member


Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Edinburgh
I found Bunnahabhain Darach Ur nice but the nose was confussing (Strange) still I though it was a good but complex dram (Courteous).
As a golf nut a referred to Curtis Strange won two major's 1988/1989 U.S Opens and then kind of disapeared....talanted but as the surename strange career.
My notes as I remember on the bunna it was a sea weedy tingely flavour..typical bunna peat.. nice and fiery but I got a feel of a twig in my mouth, not a fan of new oak cask.....how good would this spirit be in ex a refilled bourbon cask I wonder?
My favorite on the night was Pultney followed by Springbank...
Another great tasting Mark...still a wee bit disapointed on the Kuruizawa..maybe I had to high expetations after previus Miyagiko(I think it was)tasting with Mark.
All the best lads /Johan
"Caol Ila bring it on...can't wait for next tasting"
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#29831 - 29/04/09 02:53 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: yogi]
Leither Offline
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Registered: 19/10/06
Posts: 285
Loc: Edinburgh
Good to see you here Johan/Yogi - is Boo-boo going to contribute too?
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Today's rain is tomorrow's whisky

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#29834 - 29/04/09 03:41 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Leither]
Willie JJ Offline
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Registered: 21/11/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Midlothian, Scotland
Hey Johan, nice to see you on the forum.
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#29837 - 29/04/09 09:04 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Welcome to the Forum Johan. The last Japanese we tried was two different Yamazakis. I got delivery today of the Forum's 25yo Caol Ila, thanks Willy, so all the pieces are in place for the next tasting. It'll be very interesting to see how they perform especially after the good performance form the Laphroaig and Bowmore official bottlings compared to the Ardbeg.

I'm off to Speyside on Friday so if anybody from the Forum is up make yourself known. I'll be at the Cadenhead stand at the fair inDuffftown. I'll also being doing a tasting on 5.30 on the sunday:-

Convalmore 30yo

Cooley 16yo Peated

Glenglassaugh 23yo sherry cask

Glenburgie 11yo

Glenlossie 14yo port cask

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#29839 - 30/04/09 09:19 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
yogi Offline
Full Member


Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Edinburgh
Thanks guys for the warm welcome!
'Wish I could make the Speyside festival, hopefully next year...
I'll go up to Elgin in september though with some golfbuddies and hopefully then get some time at Gordon& MacPhail's, the boys won't let me in to any distilleries (I tried, believe me).
I absolutely love the area, especially by the coast.
Enjoy the festival for you lucky people who are going.
Slainge /Johan
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Yogi - Slainte Bear

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#29891 - 02/05/09 10:23 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: yogi]
butephoto Offline
Full Member


Registered: 14/02/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Hi Johan. Good to see you here.
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#30071 - 15/05/09 10:45 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: butephoto]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Apologies but only the briefest mention of last night's tasting as we're going off on holiday tomorrow so no time for a proper write-up. Also I'm pooped after two tastings in a row and can't smell or taste a thing due to a cold. But thought you might like the results.

Official bottling 55% NAS 62% satisfaction which is very respectable. The official bottlings certainly seem to be popular and good value. Although the Ardbeg results might be the exception that proves the rule.

Next was the red herring and after the last effort, Ledaig in amongst Bowmores, I tried a little harder with the result that a few didn't spot this as the cuckoo in the nest. Cadenheads Ardmore 11yo Bourbon hogshead. 53% of possible scores with some even voting it their favourite.

Next at a score of 52% Cadenheads Caol Ila 13yo Bourbon Hogshead. Lower points indicating something fine but not remarkable. Only one person could think of having tried a Caol Ila that was poor. A remarkable record.

Next Golden cask 11yo 56% again comments of a simple youth which although not bad didn't gain widespread respect.

Second last Bladnoch Forum 25yo from a hogshead. This had people more animated with a good score of 69%

Finally Gordon and Macphail 2 butts vatted. I think for the first time there is a tie break with this one also claiming 69%. Perhaps someone who had the bottles as carry out could add their tuppence to give us a winner.

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#30153 - 21/05/09 04:40 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
MacDeffe Offline
Full Member


Registered: 29/09/04
Posts: 834
Loc: Århus, Denmark
Just enjoyed a 11yr 57.1% Ardmore miniature suggested by Jolly Toper as what to bring back as a souvenir

Excellent Ardmore, more peaty than any others I had with intense tecture and loads of apples and pears mixed in the peat

thumbs up, might look for a 70cl Ardmore next time !
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#30205 - 24/05/09 11:57 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: MacDeffe]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 555
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
For the sake of completeness please indulge me as I beef out the bones of the report from the Caol Ila tasting.

For the first glass we had the official bottling. As I said on the day of the tasting my nose and palate had gone on strike so I made full use of a visit from Bruce on the morning of the tasting and got him to place them in ascending order of weight/intensity. By putting the official one first the game of hide and seek was quickly over but this is secondary to enjoying the drams. Unwatered the no age statement offering is pleasingly drinkable with a kick as if from a mule with slippers on- you get the impact of the peat while the alcohol doesn't bring winces and a reach for the water jug. Indeed a cautious dilution took away most of the fun from the character. Incidentally a rapid turbidity answered any concerns over filtering, I don't have the bottle in front of me to see if they boast the absence of chill-filtering as a quality, they should. As no age is stated the blender is free to use the casks needed to offer the quality desired. If consistency is important avoiding the restrictions of a minimum age will also allow for a wider catchment for appropriate casks. For unscrupulous bottlers missing an age statement will allow the use of immature young casks without admission of time in oak. As there seems to be a lot of whisky out there which is well made spirit in top quality casks mature young malts are more common, possibly than ever before. For those au fait with the possibilities of cask maturation this is neither surprising or a problem but to those who know a dangerous amount- enough to make incorrect assumptions, the absence of age on a label can suggest a problem. As producers sometimes have difficulties with stock levels a very interesting development is high cost bottles without an age statement. For so long the simplicity of quality/value by reference to time in cask has made selection during shopping apparently simpler when a consumer is faced with so many choices. For some bottles this measure of value is not available for the more casual drinker. Johnny Walker Blue label has been viewed as the the summit of the regular bottlings in the range but has always come without an age statement, as if it was above such vulgarity. But newer expressions from high profile brands like Glenmorangie and Macallan are forcing some buyers to regauge old yardsticks while spending. Scoring for this (62%) was strongly centred around this point with only slight straying.

Next was Ardmore from Cadenheads 11yo 57.1%. The red herring. Bruce was not sure wether this should have come first or not. Perhaps the breadth of the palate and the length of the finish impressed him enough to shift it away from the first spot. Certainly voters showed a range of opinion with only the lowest and highest scores not included. A nose of almost pongy mintiness and a cocoa chocolate finish really give character to an example of a malt for too long neglected by it's owners as a contender. 53% was the record of enjoyment although more than one person felt it was the best of the night and others were tricked by the heart of Islay from the fringes of Speyside. More please.

Cadenheads 13yo Bourbon hogshead. A proud nose of salt n vinegar and the mule has taken off the slippers. While we had this in the shop I remember it's popularity as being typical of Caol Ila. When we have Caol Ila it is often the best selling cask in the shop. So I was curious at the cool 52% it picked up in the voting. We have a sample bottle available for most of what is on offer but Caol Ila often sells on reputation and I could not think of any reason not to recommend this example. Although the nose seems to shift around even offering Colgate toothpaste on a smelly old toothbrush. As if Mr Mule has a bit of the halitosis. None of this on the palate though. Not particularly complex but still enjoyable, a bit like an easy crossword. I already mentioned only one person could think of only one Caol Ila they didn't like, the Distiller's Edition. Can you think of a bad one? For me Mortlach still has an unbroken run of success, Talisker has failed me, rarely but to be so consistently good with so many examples tried deserves a Distinguished Service Order if not a Victoria Cross for 'the sound of Islay'. With water what is lost is replaced with a terrific mouth feel and a shift closer to the organic side of the dram.

Next was Golden Cask with 56% of possible points. A wonderfully endearing clear confident nose (Johnstones talcum powder?) and palate. For the second time I have found elements of Bowmore in this line up. However I have always found, especially with single casks, difficulty in picking out the Islay distilleries when tasting blind. More practice is required. With water I'm back in the bathroom cabinet with a digestive biscuit and a roll-up. 56% of votes and a broad spread of opinion but distributed symetrically with a healthy cluster in the mid-range.

Thanks to incompetance on my part everybody beleived No.2 was the Golden Cask (when it was Cadeneheads) but as the two ages and strengths were similar no fuss was made but when I thought everybody was drinking number 5 (Bladnoch Forum 25yo) when they were actually drinking Golden Cask 11yo I began to worry. All was sorted out apart from my red-face. Why Bruce felt this deserved a later spot in the line up with the fiestier teenagers early on is curious. Perhaps the steadying hand of wisdom from the senior example would bring a settling to the excitement of the earlier bravado. Even at full strength the mouth feel of the Cadenheads with water is revisited. A much slower pace is indeed welcome after the previous full on, sharper personalities. For the first time in the line up I'm regretting not purchasing more than one bottle. On the palate orange or more possibly tangerine (although I've no idea the difference between a tangerine a mandarine and a clementine). This, for me is the nose of the night. This is mellower than even old most Port Ellens, how much did this cost? £45 to Forum members? The mule is now playing Barry White and getting it on. This is the kind of dram its so hard to finish as there will be none left but so easy to finish because its so damned tasty. Luxury. Having said that there were a few low scores. I'm guessing the voters were die-hard peat freaks who were disappointed by the stalling of form from the kiln or found the potential musty element too much for comfort. 69% of possible total score.

Finally with the same score- Gordon and Macphail, two sherry casks vatted. For some reason the saltiest dram of the night. So different from the Bourbon casks its difficult to compare. Its the nose and the initial palate that are most distinct from the others but the mid to late palate come through with the spirit trumping the casks, The only zero out of nine of the night was recorded here so perhaps the cask was the difference for at least one of us but the remainder of scoring made up the difference with no ones, twos or threes at all. Like most peaty
drams sherry casks are very much the exception rather than the rule but when they're good they're very, very good.

Next tasting June 4th Glen Gyle Kilkerran 1st official bottling, John Scott Millar's 38yo Blend (4(?) small first fill sherry cask Highland Park and one cask Invergordon), Ardbeg Supernova, Signatory's very rare Glenisla, mystery dram and another that I've forgotten- check out http://www.jollytoper.co.uk for the full listing. Just remembered, its Bladnoch Forum Invergordon 30-something but I'll keep the plug in for the site.

Live long and prosper.

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#30331 - 05/06/09 09:22 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
butephoto Offline
Full Member


Registered: 14/02/08
Posts: 106
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Superb tasting again last night. Looking forward to the write-up!
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