Bladnoch Forum
Page 25 of 82 « First<2324252627>Last »
Topic Options
#32294 - 10/10/09 12:02 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: yogi]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 553
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I'll begin.

A sell out with 26 of us joining in. This was not a themed tasting so something old (25yo+), rare, sherried, unusual and peaty plus a mystery dram.

First was a dram I'd looked forward to for a long time before first trying at the Dufftown whisky fair this year. Antiquary 21yo 43% blend. I was very impressed with it, surpassing hopes which were reasonably high. A smokey old mellow thing was going on, much to my liking. Spotting it at RMW whisky fringe (or frisky minge as I believed its called in some quarters), I thought I'd try it again, really only as I fancied a nice old blend. My experience was repeated and nothing but pleasure was enjoyed. This made up my mind to include it in a tasting, I've hoped to use more blends than has been the case to date. However while preparing the line up and test driving my bottle I couldn't find the mellow richness I expected. Far from poor the dram failed to deliver any of the hallmarks of old whisky. Although noticably blended there wasn't the comfortable aged grain contribution and no whiffs of the kiln at all. Having already substituted 2 drams from the orignal line-up I was reluctant to pull a third and felt the overall quality of drams allowed the inclusion of something a bit below par. Unfortunately the room showed their disappointment with some very low scores. Only a string of 6 out-of-nines rescued this venerable brand from humiliation. 43% of total possible marks, not a complete disaster but I think had we some from the batch sampled at the fairs the results would surely have been more flattering. Special mention to the presentation of the bottle. Not only have we the odd cut crystal style vase type bottle (very iconic in a Matteus rose way) but the extra yard was gone when the label and box (inside and out) was lined with felt. This bottle would not have been out of place on the back seat of a Ford Capri next to a bottle of Brut. A suspect Rangers FC blue too. 'A girly whisky', 'not good for a hangover' I suspect this means not good if you've got a hangover as I imagine it would be very helpful if you wanted to have a hangover, 'doesn't take water', 'Robin the boy wonder', 'Barley sugar condom', 'cod/haddock', 'marmalade', 'Barbara Streisand: big nose doesn't always deliver'.

Moving swiftly on we came to the first new entry. Requiring a sherry cask for the line up I'd initially gone for a 17yo Highland Park at 64% but felt it might have been a bit testing so elected for a very recent Cadenheads 13yo Arran from a fino sherry cask at full strength. Incredible sherry notes explode out of the glass and ravage the nasal passage which had up to this point only been lightly tickled by the Antiquary. Cadenehads have done a very impressive run of early vintage Arranaend this is up there with the best of them. A sweet lip-smacking character gives way to a drying aspect which forces you to keep drinking. Returning to the nose, this is text book sherry cask, wonderful fruity notes just make it so easy to keep dipping in and out. An almost pink blush is confused with a browner tinge on the colour adding to the overall good impression.After last tasting's Macallans I'm right up for more of the Spanish influence, winter is coming afetr all. Without water everything is very well held together and well proportioned. With water a coastal edge seems to come out but the nose loses its fullness, the mouth feel becomes gloopy and expansive the finish as long but gentler. A cracker, especially neat. 61% with even a zero, a one and a two being recorder. The high number of 6s, 7s and 8s show the main feeling. 'Sea horse', 'horrid rotting banana smell, after taste is like a MacDonalds milk shake or that Frijj stuff. a bit frilly, some sort of tropical fish you'd never eat: small and brightly coloured', 'summer dream', 'very smooth and sweet', 'gooseberry jam', boiled sweets (custard and cream) berries some spice, constantly changing', 'spider girl: cute and deadly', 'Barry Manillow: big nose, poor finish'.

Next French single malt Amorik from Warengheim in Brittany, courtesy of Bruce. NAS 40%. Again with the classic European nose. Where does that aroma come from? A faint fishy akwardness. On the palate a not unpleasant sweet note lives long but is accompannied by a not so fresh edge. Having dipped into this over many months I'd be more than happy to have a bottle in the hoose but wouldn't rate it as a treat. But at £14 a bottle this is worth a punt. But a miserable score of 29% wouldn't back me up. Altough a big spike at the bottom end of scores did have a false summit at the higher end to rally the cause. 'Drinkable like a soft drink', 'a cheese eating surrender monkey of a dram', 'X-men's Cyclops, I just don't like him, boring lad', 'rank', 'apricot jam', 'musty/mouldy', 'kermit', 'plaice, nice after the Arran'.

Originally a Forum bottling of 25yo Glenburgie was lined up but as the range of flavours wasn't diverse enough I substituted it for a 7yo Hazelburn from Cadenheads. The bottling was very unusual as it was a mix of four small casks yielding about 300-'odd' bottles. By this time this was what we were needing. A pick-me-up. A full rich, chocolatey nose with the now familiar 90s Springbank leathery body. Loads going on with everything from balsamic through the links course to Black Magic (that Capri again). At a shade below 50% water isn't essential but doesn't spoil the party either. These cask were very small and matured the whisky rapidly at the cost of unprecedented Angel's Share. People buying this size of cask would be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the yield, Mike. The current Springbank 2001 vintage was from the same trial with wee barrels. Hence the price matching the earlier 97 vintage. The winner on the night (just) with 76%. Scoring starting at 4 ending with a long string of 8s and a 9. 'Sea otter; meaty, lovely, warm and fuzzy without a bit of attitude', 'smooth and deliciuos, balanced and beautiful', 'strawberry jam', 'tropical fruit', 'like Daredevil, wise beyond his years, all personality, no nonsense', 'classy'.

Next from Royal Mile Whiskies a 1976 28yo 50.8% Glenglassaugh. For me a 9 out-of 9. But one voter marked it as low as zero. However more than half the votes were 8s leading to the high score of 74%. One of those warmly inviting musty but tropical noses. Exquisite palate with sweet hot bananas and barley sugars. If I remember they were giving it away at whatever the price was. Worth twice the money. When so many of the staff took it as their Christmas bottle you've got to pay attention. 'morish', 'almost perfect' 'Batman, brooding dark knight, no super powers just super awesome', 'peanut butter', 'lacks finess', 'perfect harmony', 'swordfish'. Painful to finish as I don't expect I'll ever have another bottle or even a dram, boo hoo.

Last up was perhaps the biggest lure of the night: the ever so ellusive Kilchoman Inaugral Release 3yo 46%. Once again we are indebted to Bruce for his tenacity in getting this. From overseas, he could have put this on e-bay and paid for his own bottle but no he knew the pleasure it would give so many to at least find out was there any magic behind the expectation would out-weigh the fiscal rewards. Having glimpsed the spirit in new make and 2yo form I expected a clean, frank and confident dram, exactly what we discovered. Being a victim of their own success, selling casks in advance of production I believe then later to hit difficulties resulting in lower than planned stocks, the problem of having so little to sell to so many buyers perhaps encoraged the dilution to 46%. I'm sure most drinkers would take the full strength option even if it meant less chance of getting a bottle. What about 50cl bottles at full strength, this would have roughly given the same number of people the chance to try it. Never happy, are we?
Anmyway this is proper whisky, no fannying about with colouring or filtering, done slowy on a small scale. Kudos to you. 'Promising youngster' was one comment. I don't think we have to wait for this work in progress to be ready, its arrived. However it will be great to see what years will do to the character, if they can aford to keep some casks for older bottlings. A sweet peat reminds of Caol Ila or Laphroaig but where is Kilchoman different? A grainy textured sootiness is also something familiar to other Islay drams. Late citrus is a bit unique though. Anybody else tried it and can point to its USP? 67% was a great score but a bit lower than perhaps expected, the peat heads were turned by other riches perhaps. 'Smells green with a hay or straw, not quite right overall, very young? needs longer?: anchovy, a characterful fish', 'simple Minds: promised me a miracle', 'marmite', 'young Superman, strong but not much personality', 'good for what it is'.

So there you have it.

Next tasting 'anonymous' Islay malts at 40% Thursday 22nd October £22/19.

Clan Denny vatted malt: Caol Ila, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Bunnahabhain
Wholly Smoke blended malt (Oddbins)
Frasers Reserve single malt (G&M)
McLeods single malt 8yo
Special Guest: Brora 25yo 56.3% bottled 2008 300 botles

Top
#32300 - 10/10/09 10:56 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Willie JJ Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/11/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Midlothian, Scotland
Another excellent tasting there Mark. I thought all the drams were worthy. The Antiquary was a bit of a movie set though; great front, but nothing behind. I'm struggling to understand how anyone gave any of the others, with the exception of the Armorik, a zero. The Arran and the Hazelburn were both great drams and the Glenglassaugh (my winner) is one that will cause me to weep when I get to the bottom of the bottle I have open at the moment. The Kilchoman is as good as you could hope a whisky of that age could be. The Armorik certainly attracted the usual Euro-dram yuks from the die-hard Scotch drinkers, but I was impressed with it. These continental whiskies are always a change of pace but if you take your time and give them a chance there is usually something interesting there. The Armorik didn't make me work hard to find its good points. All in all a great selection.
_________________________
Willie

Top
#32377 - 16/10/09 10:56 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Willie JJ]
yogi Offline
Full Member


Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Edinburgh
 Originally Posted By: Willie JJ
The Antiquary was a bit of a movie set though; great front, but nothing behind
.
Totally agree Antiquary was a bit of a dissapointment "proves to me that you loose a lot of character when blending".
The Glenglassaugh was absolutely spot on, had everything I would expect from a top notch dram.... oh and what a nice finish. Kilchoman was very impressive for it's age, leathery tones a'la Port Ellen. What to be for the future !!!
_________________________
Yogi - Slainte Bear

Top
#32544 - 24/10/09 12:34 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: yogi]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 553
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Its that time again. This tasting examined 5 un-named Islay malts all bottled at 40%. Some carried age statements while others didn't. Some were singles others vattings (oh no the SWA will revoke my licence for using that kind of foul language). The object was to see if there were any undiscovered beauties in the bargain basement. Being at 40% was possibly a disadvantage not only for the lack of control of favour but also for the nasty filtering involved. And where the filter monster lurks its side-kick Caramel is usually not far away.

First up was a Clan Denny 5yo vatting of Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila and Laphroaig. Firstly the unusual step of listing components was interesting, but being a demanding bunch we want proportions and ages. Also unconventional was the bottle size, 750ml, bottle shape, square decanter, and closure, naked cork with no plastic grip. This was also the most expensive of the selection. A classic Islay nose giving away the Laphroaig and Caol Ila. A well mixed vatting with everything knitting together rather nicely: many had this as a single. On the palate perhaps a bit watery if cask strentgh is your norm but emminantly drinkable, Bowmore coming out in the finish. However only 34% of possible votes surprised me, 112222245556 was the list of scores. "a Cowdenbeath of a whisky" "doesn't seem worth the price" "Findus crispy pancakes" "far too insipid- you can taste it is young" "too young but grew on me".

Wholly Smoke blended malt 10 y.o. I think exclusive to Oddbins. Quieter, subtler nose but with a bit more depth and weight on the palate. Smokier than the Clan Denny. I'd understand if people commented on a certain lack of edge but there is a nice hot ball of flavour which lingers after the fading of the main body. At 42% there was a marked increase in appreciatio on the first one but still not an impressive score. At a little over £20 its hardly a rip off. "North Queensferry on a windy day", "good price", "Greggs (the bakers) pastie", "smells sweet, not much depth of flavour", "smooth but dull". Scoring: 122334455556.

No.3: McLeod's single malt 8yo. Certainly a fine example of rounded maturation below the now expected 12 years. The creamy texture makes up for the brief finish. Closer to the weight of the Wholly Smoke than the Clan Denny but lacks the presence when it comes to the staying power. Which is a shame as otherwise everything you want is there. Being that Lagavulin is typically experienced older and stronger could this be the result of less time in the cask and the thinner aspect of a diluted-to-the-max Southerner? I've always struggled with telling the Islays apart blind and often find others do too. I'd love to have the veil lifted on these bottles to build my reference library. A 59% reflects a general sense of well being from the assembled 16 tasters: 344555666677. "Dancing in the streets of Raith", "fish finger sandwich", "not much nose but complex taste".

Next: Fraser's Reserve single malt, a subsidiary of G&M. For me Bowmore jumps out on the nose (this is one Islay ticket I do seem to have stamped). A much more elegant dram compared to the punchy coal tar soap of the previous offerings. A fair length of finish allows for some development and the tell tale lavender/parma violets this still seems to have as its exotic floral signature. Green shoots after a coastal forrest fire. A dip in score back to 52% but still admirable: 133455556668. "a poke of chips", "complex, strong and kicking", "tastes of soap and bitter", "complex flavours, didn't llke any of them".

Penultimate dram: Signatory single malt 5yo. An almost lack of colour is inviting and would draw plenty comments and a few sales too I hope. If its not Ardbeg it must be Caol Ila, surely. But then again maybe Laphroaig. Curse my lack of confidence/intuition. Who cares, this rocks. How much more evidence is needed to prove "young" can be mature. Sweet, coal tar soap, menthol and medicinal. Yum. A resounding 64% has this the winner on the night for the IBs and at the price, barely £20, this is what we want. I propose more research into this category, all I need is 25 assistants. Forward in the good name of discovery, our now extended bold 5 year mission to seek out new drams has just taken a further quantum leap into the unknown. Keep them coming. New livers please. 455556666678. "homemade chicken daal", "depth and body, very good, the best", "delicious".

Finally our treat for all that hard work: Brora 25yo 56.3% bottled 2008 3000 bottles. 74% says it all. I often get asked what my "favourite" is and I smartly reply I have none. I don't have a favourite book, song, meal, child etc either. People sometimes want things to be labeled best, its easier that way. But if I was asked what my desert island dram is I'd have to say a SMWS Brora: 61.9 19yo. This is a close relative of that dram and at £195 is 3 times the price. This is why God gave you taste buds and the reason I do what I do. Mathematics, teaching and being a postie were never this rewarding. Very little of the Islay style this distillery is known for but, again, who cares. If the nose doesn't get you the palate will. However one man's Masaratti is another's British Leyland: voting- 1(!)2(?)5788888899. "homemade roast chicken dinner", "the best", "by far the most complex, a different level, but No.3 my favourite due to the price". About £195. I wonder if people would rather have 9 or 10 bottles of their favourite anonymous 40% Islay or one of these. With this damned recession the price of old whisky is just going up and up. Lets hope theres no financial melt down otherwise even Black Grouse will cost a week's wages. Still Diageo need to make a few more bob to be safe.

Next tasting Thursday 5th November (remember, remember) £20/17:-

Cadenheads Laphroaig bourbon hogshead 11yo 61.3%
Cadenheads Rosebank bourbon hogsheasd 20yo cask strength
Cadenheads Royal Brackla bourbon barrel 16yo cask strength
Wood and Winters Garnheath single grain 35yo cask strength
Duthies Clynelish 14yo 46% sherry cask
+ a mystery dram

G'night, hopefully off to Speyside tomorrow, Mmmm, the Buckaneer.

Top
#32545 - 24/10/09 02:06 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
MrTH Offline
Full Member


Registered: 16/02/09
Posts: 792
Loc: Springfield Massachusetts USA
 Originally Posted By: Jolly Toper
Next tasting Thursday 5th November:-

Cadenheads Laphroaig bourbon hogshead 11yo 61.3%
Cadenheads Rosebank bourbon hogsheasd 20yo cask strength
Cadenheads Royal Brackla bourbon barrel 16yo cask strength
Wood and Winters Garnheath single grain 35yo cask strength
Duthies Clynelish 14yo 46% sherry cask
+ a mystery dram

What, no bonfire?

Always a good read. I'm going to have to try to make one of these next time I'm in town.
_________________________
www.mrtattieheid.com ~ Travel Journals & Photographs

Top
#32633 - 30/10/09 05:16 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: MrTH]
Livvy Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/03/03
Posts: 1974
Loc: Cupar
Hey Mark...do you know Frank Gunn Moore and his wife...they are both lecturing at my uni..just found out from Frank that they often join the tastings. For 5 mins I was in heaven in my practical class today as we blethered a bit about whisky...then he realised he had a class to teach lol!
Top
#32656 - 01/11/09 02:25 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Livvy]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 553
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Indeedly L. They're infrequent regulars. Always a giggle in the air with Mrs Frank around. They'll be at the Dec. 17th tasting if you fancy a trip to Mbru. Could even supply the sofa if you don't mind getting to bed at 1am and up at 6am.
Top
#32657 - 01/11/09 04:34 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Livvy Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/03/03
Posts: 1974
Loc: Cupar
yeah..why the hell not...he did say there were about 10 of them goin through for the December one. I have not met Mrs Frank as yet but it is she who has the SMWS membership. Was wishing I had booked the train to get to London on Friday, rather than taking the overnight bus..then I could have been at the Thursday one...but hey ho..I want to make time for the Natural History Museum..hence the bus! I am just about to head out the door..going to The Caves to see a gig..but yeah..put me down for a ticket..been too long since Ive been!
Top
#32659 - 01/11/09 10:20 PM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Livvy]
Jolly Toper Offline
Full Member


Registered: 18/01/08
Posts: 553
Loc: East Calder, West Lothian, Sco...
Thats great. Is it the Caves in Edinburgh?

Don't have the 17th line-up sorted but have listed the 3rd below. I got a 1937 50yo which I might use but it's blown the budget for the other drams, and it might be poor too!

December 3rd normal 6 dram tasting
Signatory Cambus single grain 27.7.9 - 10.9.9 18yo refill butt 664 bottles 51.9%- another rare grain.

Longrow 7yo 55.8% 1 1/2 years in Gaja Barolo Italian red wine cask- youth, wine and peat might sound a difficult combo but this is a best selling dram.

Cadenheads Highland Park 1992 - 06/09 17yo 64.0% butt 512 bottles- bit of a wildcard but I've faith some will go for it in a big way.

Highland Park 25yo 50.7%- a classy drop from a quarter century of maturation

Ballantines 17yo 43%- voted best blend by Jim Murray.

+ a mystery dram

Top
#32660 - 02/11/09 12:03 AM Re: Edinburgh/Canongate Regular Tastings [Re: Jolly Toper]
Livvy Offline
Full Member


Registered: 21/03/03
Posts: 1974
Loc: Cupar
nice line up! Yeah..was meant to be the Caves in Edinburgh..but floods and landslides meant trains were cancelled..so not the best but at least my home isn't flooded like some folks! And my mate who was there managed to get me a signed poster..happy days!
Dont think I will make the 3rd of December tasting as I am going to the Joe Bonamassa gig at the HMV picturehouse on the 5th..but I will see..may be able to swing it..but defo put me down for the 17th..cheers!

Top
Page 25 of 82 « First<2324252627>Last »


Moderator:  Raymond 
Hop to:
Who's Online
0 registered and 21 anonymous users online.
July
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 0.022 seconds in which 0.01 seconds were spent on a total of 14 queries. Zlib compression disabled.

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