10 April 2012

08/04/2012 Northern Highlands

A theme we have touched already. However, the region is so rich we could have one every month for the next decade and never drink the same thing twice.
The suspects: dom666, Psycho, kruuk2, JS, ruckus and myself.

We arrive early, so have to have a dram before the proper tasting starts:
Springbank 12yo 1989/2002 Rum Wood (54.6%, OB Wood Expressions, 5700b) (dom666's for me): citrusy to the extreme with a touch of cereals.
Rosebank 19yo 1990/2009 (50%, DL Old Malt Cask 50º, Refill Butt, C#DL5700, 670b) (dom666's for JS)
Rosebank 21yo 1990/2011 (53.8%, OB, 5886b) (JS's for dom666)

The menu:

Glenmorangie Cellar 13 2nd Edition (43%, OB, b. ca 2006) (brought by Psycho): nose: liquorice, ginger bread, forestry. Mouth: creamy, custardy. Finish: herbs. A lot better than in my memories. Probably because I have forgotten the 1st edition, by now. Would love to drink those two face to face. 7/10

vs.

Glenmorangie 10yo (43%, OB, b.1980s) (Psycho): nose: a lot more herbal. Mouth: cream again, very nice. Some vanilla and herbs. Finish: a hint of flint. This is lovely, as usual. 8/10

Glen Ord 11yo Very Cloudy 1998/2009 (40%, SV Un-Chillfiltered Collection, Hogsheads, C#3469+70, 881b) (ruckus): it looks like mead, or even honey; bizarre. Nose: honey! It is mead! Seriously, is it whisky? Touch of lemon. Mouth: fresh, milky, diluted. Finish: gentle and pleasant. Very nice surprise, this one. Probably the first Glen Ord we try at a tasting and it is distinctly better than any other I have had.

125.55 10yo 2001/2011 Nursery Tea (60.4%, SMWS Society Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 304b) (JS): nose: wood, varnish -- it is the first cask strength of the lot and it makes a difference. Cedar wood. Mouth: sawdust, bitterness, chocolate, coffee. Finish: banana! :-) Apple, apple seeds (hence the bitterness), watermelon (Psycho), green tea. Always nice, this. Dram of the day for Psycho. 8/10

Balblair 1989/2001 (46%, OB) (kruuk2): nose: herbs, forestry. Mouth: creamy, peeled Brazil nuts. Finish: chocolate, torrefaction, light and long.

Glen Mhor 21yo 1976 (43%, TWS Glenkeir Treasures The Gold Selection, 299b) (me): first ever Glen Mhor, here. Nose: old school! Old cardboard, some nuts. Mouth: cream, flint, candle wick. Finish: pepper and vanilla. Very excited with this one. Dram of the day for me.

Enter the food: cheese, delicatessen, bread, goodness, happiness. Bemont cheese: is that Swiss? Nope, from Namur: le Cheval Ayard et les quatre Fils Bemont. :-)

Dalmore 30yo 1973/2003 (42%, OB, Matusalem Sherry Cask) (dom666): long time no see. This was a favourite of mine; let us see if it stands the comparison with the nobler things I have tried since. Nose: sherry. It lacks complexity, perhaps. Mouth: yep, there it is, the apple juice. Finish: apple. This is smashing indeed: bit of sherry influence and a hint of rubber. Nice. It is still not great to confront one's memories, though: although a good whisky, it needs being downgraded a point or two. 8/10

Dalmore 19yo 1980/2000 Lomond Stills (45%, SV for LMdW Stills of Scotland, C#1118) (kruuk2): the only evidence I have found Dalmore have used Lomond stills. Great memories about this one too. Nose: nail varnish, bit of musk (musketeers, naturally). Mouth: ginger bread. Finish: citrus? Something distinctive that I cannot place. Excellent whisky without a doubt. We empty the bottle and shed a tear. 8/10

Clynelish 13yo 1992/2006 (46%, IML Dun Bheagan, C#15097--15099, 762b) (ruckus): nose: quite neutral. Nothing noteworthy at this point, which is good, considering what I usually think of Clynelish. ;-) Mouth: bit of cream and tons of sting. Finish: long and fresh. This is not an exceptional whisky, but the best Clynelish ever to these taste buds. Or the only one worth drinking. 7/10

G5.5 18yo 1993 (65.4%, SMWS Society Cask, Virgin Toasted Oak Hogshead, 243b) (me): nose: wood juice, varnish etc. Mouth: pencil shavings. I stop taking notes at that point. Great dram, this, and dram of the day for ruckus and kruuk2. 9/10

Excellent times, as usual. It felt even more relaxed than ever. The food was delicious, the drinks superb and the puns awful. Unfortunately, SauronTNT did not come, this time, preventing the group from trying a Teaninich, and unfortunately, we had to split off on the early side. It is also odd that we had no Pulteney at all, seeing as we are rather fond of the distillery. Other than that, great.

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