19 September 2012

15/09/2012 Heading for a fall

Another autumn-related tasting, which, one has to admit, is quite topical in mid-September. A heavy one on a Saturday evening, as people were busy on Sunday. P could not make it (holiday) while JD was suffering from food poisoning after a trip to the promised land.

The suspects: adc, JS, dom666, Psycho, SauronTNT, sonicvince, ruckus, kruuk2 and myself.

The menu:
With a mystery bottle on the left
Glenmorangie Cellar 13 2nd Edition (43%, OB) (brought by Psycho): fits the theme, because it reminds Psycho of Maschinenfest, which takes place in autumn. For the record, a bottle of the first edition was downed the first time kruuk2 attended the festival with me. Nose: custard, flowers, a florist's stall (SauronTNT), very distant wood, raw potato (sonicvince). Mouth: custard, vanilla, slightly woody and very seducing. Finish: butter (?), bakery, more custard. This one is always a pleasure to drink.

Listening to Thomas P. Heckmann - The Lost Tales Vol. I

Whisky Ecossais IML Blend (40%, Saile & Sabga Connoisseur Exquis) (brought by kruuk2): fits the theme, as the packaging is hardly thicker than a leaf -- it comes in a plastic bag. Nose: a bit of peat, sulphur, not very appealing. Mouth: sweetish with some ash, not too bad. Finish: caramel, apple, pear? This one is surprising: we all expected it to be disgusting (it comes out of a satchet!) , but it is not so bad after all, though the nose is not all that. 5/10

Listening to Ambre - Enclave
Enters the lovely pumpkin soup.

A blurry king though!
Laphroaig 40yo 1960/2001 (42.4%, OB, 2400b) (brought by me): in theme, since it is golden as autumn leaves and tastes of light peat/earth. Besides, one of us turned the same age last month. Nose: light peat, citrus, lots of fruit (red, white, citrus), dried fruit and bacon (Psycho), bosc pear (adc), custard (sonicvince); this is so rich and complex it hurts. It is well subtle, though. Teenagers in search of extreme feelings, piss off! Mouth: smooth and velvety, honeyed (ruckus) and, well, to cry for. Finish: long, with grain (in a forty year-old!?), cold ash (SauronTNT). I was completely paranoid this had collapsed (it was not too impressive the last couple of times I had it), but it has not. Still the king of drams. 10/10

"Parmesan, baby sick, ..."
Enter aubergines alla Parmiggiana.

Penderyn Peated (46%, OB, b. ca 2012) (brought by adc): in theme, as it is peaty, which reminds us of autumn. Nose: hint of rubber, baked apple (sonicvince), ginger bread (Psycho), Stollen, nail varnish. Mouth: not too expressive, really. Finish: hiking boots after a hike, clogged sink, in line with 128.3 tasted earlier this year. Psycho, 'Penderyn are planning a Mezcal finish, which they will call Pendejo.' This one had the worst position in the line-up (right after a legendary dram), yet did not seem ridiculous or out of place. We allowed some time for the Laphroaig to vanish from the taste buds, got some food in and so on, after which this one went down a treat. 7/10

Listening to jube - disconnect, incorrect

Gentleman Jack (40%, OB) (brought by kruuk2): we stop trying to justify the appearance in the line-up, since everyone starts using the lame golden-leaf excuse. Nose: wood, vanilla, marzipan -- predictable and great, just like a good grain. Mouth: velvet, more marzipan. Finish: mint bubblegum (Psycho), overripe banana sponge cake. This seems better than when we tasted it at the Pacific War tasting a while ago (not on blog yet): it sticks out more.

Dailuaine 23yo 1988/2012 (43%, Mackillop's Choice, C#3549) (brought by SauronTNT): this one was distilled in June and bought during the summer, so off-theme. Bah, good enough. Nose: candlewax (kruuk2), wet hay, wet papaya, melon (SauronTNT), lemon, citrus with a whiff of cured ham. Mouth: slightly stringent, lemony again. Finish: lemon and hay. A good dram that does not change my perception of this overlooked distillery. Comparisons with my own bottle start to fuse, so I pour it to those who have not tried it:


Dailuaine 27yo 1982/2009 (46%, SD Single Malts of Scotland, Hogshead, C#809, 230b) (brought by myself, though I do not sample it): nose: Speculoos (adc, sonicvince), baby lotion -- Nivea, Mustela (SauronTNT, who knows a thing or two about baby lotion). Mouth: carbonic (SauronTNT).

Psycho leaves, at this point.

Listening to Alcove - Universal Implication

Balblair 1989 3rd release (46%, OB, ex-Bourbon Barrels) (brought by sonicvince): nose: rainy evening in front of the fire place (adc's poetry machine is in full motion), light and subtle. Mouth: coating, though dryish. Finish: nice and floral, with a slightly stringent note and an impression of lichen. Glad to finally get to try a recent Balblair, and looking forward to have it with kruuk2's own 1989. 8/10

76.82 15yo b.2011 (56.7%, SMWS Society Cask) (brought by JS): nose: rosemary (adc), tarragon, parmesan (ruckus apparently has some food stuck between his teeth). Mouth: stinging and peppery -- SMWS does not know water. Finish: digestive (kruuk2), warming and soothing. A cracking dram again. 7/10

SauronTNT leave us at this point.

Tomatin Decades (46%, OB, b.2011, 9000b) (brought by sonicvince): nose: the 1976 passion fruit shines, then it unveils a bit of nuts and burnt bread crust. Mouth: silky, light single cream. Finish: passion fruit, palm nuts (?), a little ash. Lovely indeed. 9/10
Coagulated cow juice

Listening to Depeche Mode - Violator
Enter the cheese.

Old Pulteney 21yo (46%, OB, b.2012) (brought by dom666): nose: cask, dunnage, ripe nuts. Mouth: pepper, toffee, banana fudge. Finish: hazelnut, fleeting vanilla. The nose is really meh, yet mouth and finish make up for it.


Old Pulteney 21yo 1990/2012 (56.7%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Bourbon Barrel) (brought by dom666): nose: wider than the official bottling, with green hazelnut and vanilla. Mouth: very peppery, Cayenne pepper, even. Finish: more pepper, nutmeg and some toffee. Mixed feelings on the results: sonicvince and kruuk2 prefer the OB, ruckus is undecided, JS and I prefer the Cadenhead.

Listening to raison d'etre - The Empty Hollow Unfolds

Only four bottles
Ardmore 19yo 1978/1998 (46%, Cadenhead Original Collection) (brought by me): strange that we never had a Cadenhead bottling at a tasting with this group, and we have two back to back, this time. Nose: quite discrete; maybe some very distant smoke. It is a bit overshadowed by the Pulteney, probably. Mouth: smooth and gentle, with distant smoke again. Finish: there is a tiny touch of peat in there, but it is mostly malt and custard. A bit underwhelming. 7/10


Ardmore 13yo Rhum Clement Wood Finish (44%, F&O, 4b) (bottled and brought by kruuk2): nose: much, much more assertive, reeks of rum with a whiff of peat smoke in the back. Mouth: slightly drying, bonded warehouse, some dark cherry and a hint of smoke again. Finish: lots of rum, cough syrup, medicine, perhaps marmalade. 7/10

Listening to R.I.C. - Distance

Talisker 1996/2008 Double Matured (45.8%, OB Distillers Edition, Amoroso Sherry Finish) (brought by ruckus): nose: quite neutral, at this point. Mouth: some sting, mocha, caramel. Let us face it: we are not able to comment on this one, right now. Finish: coffee. Coincidentally, everyone forgets about the hot coffee in the kitchen. This one comes too late in the line-up, but even then, it seems underwhelming.

Listening to Wicked Messenger - The River Disappeared Sidewards

Enter apple and cocoa/coconut cakes.

Ardbeg 12yo 1999/2012 Galileo (49%, OB, Marsala Finish) (brought by SauronTNT): we poured this one a while ago, since SauronTNT left early. It has had a lot of time to breathe. Nose: cold barbecue, ash, coal, plum (SauronTNT), burnt prunes. Mouth: teriyaki sauce, smoked meat, pastrami. Finish: ash, burnt meat, a bit of cereal. Meh. Another marketing ploy.

Drams of the day (Laphroaig 40 is not in the competition for obvious reasons):
kruuk2: Dailuaine 27
JS: Old Pulteney 21 Cadenhead
sonicvince and myself: Tomatin Decades
adc: Dailuaine 1988
dom666: Gentleman Jack
ruckus, SauronTNT and Psycho could not tell.

Epic tasting. We had to skip the Bowmore Tempest Batch 3 that ruckus brought, as we were not going to enjoy it. Lovely company, good drams altogether (including some interesting experiences), nice food, fantastic music (to my taste, at least) and cheerful atmosphere. It all ended around 3:30 AM, which tells a lot.

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