The suspects: Jenny, MJ, SMcD, PS, KidJ and myself. Lots of new faces, which is great.
-Whirlpoolteney 1994 Sauternes (brought by me): from good to dodgy appliances and now whisky. Whirlpool are jacks of all trades, it seems. Nose: fruity and musty, with a touch of brine (PS). Caramel, banana. Not particularly challenging a nose, but I like it a lot. KidJ reckons it smells of urine. Mouth: soft and easy, full of caramel and banane flambée. Finish: long, coating, though not invading. 'If you think of a white wine, you can taste it,' says MJ -- he is right: it is very sweet and wine-like. Again, one of the best Sauternes finishes around, if not the best. A dram that will not floor you, yet is great to start with or drink on a sunny afternoon.
-Scapa 16 (brought by MJ): Scapa comes from an island, my kitchen has an island, there is your theme. Good effort, there. Half a point. Nose: barley, marmalade and little else. Mouth: too soft, today. It seems watery, with a dash of caramel. Finish: shortish, with caramel again, and some fruit (raisins). Later on, burnt bakery comes out, hot dough. A nice dram, but disappointing, today. Batch variation? Wrong circumstances?
|Littlemill's last distillation|
Enter pastries brought by KidJ. Apple cake, pecan tart and chocolate/hazelnut fondant. Finger-licking.
PS -If that guy is the Chinese Richard Branson...
me -Richard Bransing?
-Invergordon C#60478/63675 (brought by PS): Invergordon Ramsay, king of the rude kitchen. nose: custard, crushed banana, some small flower from rocky ground (saxifraga, perhaps?) Mouth: creamy and more pungent than the ABV hinted at. Plum-infused pudding. Finish: creamy pudding it is, with a "green" sort of bitterness to it.
-26.75 (brought by PS): it is quite barbecue-y. Now, an open-fire barbecue is not usually something one finds inside a kitchen, but it is linked to culinary activities. Good enough, try and do better next time. Nose: musk, furniture polish, smoked bacon (KidJ and myself, others are less convinced about that, at this stage), bread butter (KidJ). It suddenly strikes me: walking through a glade, surrounded by red deer. Waxy bacon, which becomes smokier and smokier to reach barbecue levels. Later on, dust from a wooden attic. heated by direct sun rays on the very roof it sits under (MJ, waxing lyrically, by now). Mouth: powerful, very peppery, balanced out by nice honey. Finish: lots of wax, alongside the smoked bacon. Strangely enough, it is also a very short finish. Water underlines wax in the nose. KidJ gets all enthusiastic about it: 'I must insist, it is beeswax, not candle wax.' I rated this 4/10 the first time I had it, which is quite harsh and no longer deserved. It simply is not a style I am extremely fond of.
MJ -We've been to Austria three years in a row on summer holiday. We went one year, then we went the following year...
PS -You realised you'd left your phone charger behind?
-Oven Mittyvaich 20 (brought by me): nose: unripe, cut pears, gravel, cut grass, beeswax, honey and lots of sweetness. Wonder if the wax is the remainder of Clynelish on my palate, as it is unexpected. Mouth: pink pepper sprinkled over a teaspoonful of honey. Some red chilli as well. Hotter than the first time I had it, actually. Finish: pepper, punctuated by the bitterness of plants, to a degree. Pink pepper on a teaspoonful of honey again. MJ tries it twice, hoping to "get" it, while PS and KidJ have it thrice -- "getting" it very well indeed, it seems. Top dram, thanks adc for the bottle.
-Glen Esk-tractor fan 1984/2004 (brought by me): quite proud of this one. I liked it so much, in fact, that I decided offering a third bottle would not be too many. Plus, Esk is so rare it is sure to be a first for at least one person at any tasting and 1984 is the distillation year of one person today. Nose: fresh urine (KidJ, who has a one-track mind, today). Old books and decaying pears. Musky old books that have been pissed on (PS), some herbs with orange rinds. Old school and rather austere. Mouth: oh! yes, lots of orange rinds, now, sprinkled with black pepper, dusty shelves. Finish: beautiful, full of dusty books and stale marmalade. I feared it would be weak after the higher-strength drams, but it is not. Not an enticing dram for newbies, yet exactly my style. Yes, that sentence reads pompous -- what can I do about it?
|PS's favourite fucking chef|
PS blends 26.75 and the Cárn Mòr Invergordon to a rather convincing result.
MJ disappears into the night, while SMcD makes a late entrance and sprints through the previous drams.
|Whisky geeks will recognise the MacKenzie motto|
also used by Dalmore
Off-tasting, we are treated to Teeling 21. SMcD has to leave already. To round off the evening, we also have:
-Ardbeg 1978/1999: nose: merbromin, chloroform, very medicinal with a twist of balsamic vinegar. Subtle peat then emerges. A crayfish platter with peat growing in intensity. Mouth: oh! man, the balance! Balsamic vinegar, sea water. Finish: typical Ardbeg barley, peaty hay sprinkled with some balsamic vinegar again. This is outstanding, as it always is.
A bit disappointed in the minimal effort on display to find something that would fit the theme (I suppose new faces did not yet know how seriously I take my puns). Other than that, splendid tasting. Attendants brought too much junk food for our own good and left some bottles behind. Thanks, but please do not, it is unnecessary.