Knackered after a busy Saturday and suffering the first really autumnal day of the year, a few drams seemed the ideal source of comforting.
Rosebank 21yo 1990/2011 (53.8%, OB, 5886b): nose: vanilla, custard, then some wood. The dominant note, however, is definitely varnish or nail polish. Also a very distant mixture of mineral and vegetal fragrance -- moss on a rock it is, then. Subtle, though. Clean laundry and honey later emerge. Herbs and rocks again in the narrow palate. Finish: a metallic flash, then wood shavings. Maybe a pencil sharpener blade (come on! we have all licked it as kids, just to see!), then pencil shavings. Not much else is left after a long oxidation. This is not the most agreeable or impressive Rosebank, it is quite steeply priced, yet it remains very nice. 8/10
Amrut Portonova (62.1%, OB): nose: bakery, sweet wines, corn syrup, then alcohol after a bit. Mostly bakery all the same (pâte à choux, caramel, cinnamon). Also some wood and varnish. Thirty minutes in, vanilla and custard kick in. Mouth: fortified wine, caramel, cough syrup, Grand Marnier, cloves and pepper. Finish: cough syrup all the way, meaning liqueur-like with a slight bitterness. Then, a bit of faint mocha (bitter and dry), morphing into cocoa powder, ground cloves, ginger bread with a peppery feel, ground black cardamom. A well-balanced sherry, this. I have always thought Indians were masters in the kitchen; it seems their expertise now includes the cellar too. 8/10
128.3 5yo 2006 Chestnut puree and new hiking boots (61.3%, SMWS Society Cask, ex-Bourbon Barrel, 229b): nose: bubblegum, all sorts of sweets (not a connoisseur, so no enumeration!), some medicine (nose spray?), bandages, wood varnish. Mouth: smooth and mellow. Finish: round and full of vanilla, followed by milk chocolate, nutmeg and a touch of ground cardamom too. Oxidation has transformed this one dramatically. The hiking boots are but a hazy memory, the clogged sink has disappeared completely. I first thought I had poured some Tyrconnell -- it has become that delicate. 7/10
Still sore, still raining, but happy times all the same.
(Thanks to Colin and JS for the Rosebank, to Fixou for the Amrut sample and to FN for the Penderyn)