As a reminder, the concept is to get a little taste of the new bottlings over a limited period of time (a couple of hours). With that in mind, notes are sometimes thin.
7.78 20yo 1992/2012 French patisserie in a bluebell wood (53.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 293b): 7.76 was well to my taste. What will this give? Nose: pine tree forest, moist soil, faint, red wine (not knowing anything about that, I cannot comment too much). Mouth: wine-marinated chestnut. Finish: there are definitely nuts, here (macadamia?) as well as some vanilla. 7/10
|Pouring liquid gold|
48.35 8yo 2003 Let the summer arrive! (62.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, First-Fill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 230b): nose: honeysuckle, bubblegum and a very distant dunnage warehouse smell. Sawdust, after a while. Mouth: peppery (white and pink, according to my pepper consultant). Finish: a hint of pepper again, some vanilla, and a touch of lichen, all well balanced.
30.72 11yo 2001/2012 Take a break and have a... (57.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Port Pipe, 752b): a whisky fully matured in a Port cask? That is usually not something I fall for. Nose: animal skin, liqueur, sweetened wine, vegetable broth (green beans in particular). Mouth: liqueur, syrup. Finish: some more sweetness, cough syrup, corn syrup. Not my thing, though I cannot say it is bad either.
76.92 26yo 1986/2012 Ticks all the boxes (60.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 196b): nose: medicine cabinet, pill mix, Lance Armstrong's urine sample, then humus, decaying forest floor, soil. Mouth: herbal tea, narrow on the tongue, but mellowish. Finish: surprisingly spicy, with ginger and cardamom. 6/10
35.72 23yo 1988 Vinyl Revival (63.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 257b): nose: some oil, oil lamp. After the first sip, boiled sweets show up, as well as some soap -- not in an overpowering way. Mouth: mocha. Finish: coffee, chewing tobacco. Tamed and under control, which is odd, considering the obscene ABV. Wanted to like this one more, with such a name as Vinyl Revival, but no.
71.36 27yo 1985/2012 Two seasons in a dram (58.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 206b): always intrigued to try a 'burgie. I cannot remember having had one I really liked, so far, but a few have been very interesting (71.34 anyone?) Nose: seems very neutral, then, all of a sudden, a little dunnage warehouse and lots of nuts. The former ends up taking over. Mouth: marmalade, old wood. Finish: more warehouse, cooperage, lichen, idle stacks of wood. Interesting again. Not a seducer at all, but rather good all the same.
73.51 23yo 1989/2012 Mead, sherry & butterscotch (57.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 206b): nose: coffee, leather (did you say 'sherry'?), some Seville orange in the back. After a sip, roasted chicken. Mouth: bitter-sweet, marmalade? Finish: orange-water spiked coffee. Quite nice, though the lack of water and food is starting to affect my perceptions. I get really excited that it moves to roast chicken until I put my glass down and can still smell roast chicken. A quick investigation reveals the table in the room next door had roast chicken served a minute ago. I feel a right plonker, but happily laugh it off with the bar tender.
66.36 10yo 2002/2012 Milano salami and a tropical fruit kebab (58.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 702b): another outturn, another 66. Many of them, lately, which is weird, considering how tough it was to find anything from that distillery, a few years ago. Nose: leather, leather gloves, leather handbag, leather trousers, leather hat, leather jacket, leather factory -- can you see where this is going? A bit of leather barbecue as well, burnt Apericubes. Mouth: no notes. Finish: smoked meat, laether belts, caramelised (burnt?) pineapple. This is a bit too much for me today. It has also very little to do with the 19 year-old SMoS I tried recently. Heavy sherry with reasonable peat -- maybe something Fixou will enjoy.
3.195 14yo 1997 Cigar smoking dragon (58.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 609b): time to hit the Islay ones, then. Nose: rubber, wellington boots, dead animal skin. Mouth: jammy, with a hint of metal. Who knows if that impression is right, at this point Finish: smoked meat, marinated in pineapple juice. That then makes room for ash and barbecue. This is my favourite of the day, I think.
53.171 21yo 1991/2012 Strangely fascinating (52.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 253b): nose: peat, smoke and some barley. Mouth: sweet and "light", while still lively. Finish: hay, some animal skin, lively again.
29.124 20yo 1991 Pregnancy Tea Mix (56.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 549b): and the last one is... the 29 of the month. Nose: delicate (for a Laphroaig). Mouth: smoke, alcohol, young and fiery. Finish: barley. A decent 29, nothing ground-breaking.
A little disappointed with the selection, this month. None of the whiskies was awful, yet none was a star either, in my opinion. Good times all the same and very glad to have been invited once more... but:
-There was not enough water and the few jugs were often left empty for too long. I think the staff of The Don was in charge of that, but did not do a stellar job.
-Not enough to eat. I fully appreciate this is a free tasting and I am grateful there is something to nibble on at all. However, two plates of cheese bites for 15 people is hugely insufficient. Too little cheese and no crackers with lots of W right at supper time could be dangerous. The catering at previous ones was better. Weird it was so different here as I hear the restaurant's owner is the same as that of the other venues it has taken place at.
-The venue, although nice (a vaulted cellar), was a bit stuffy after a while. Still better than air conditioning, of course. :-)
|The mf Don|
PS: 'A teenage Caol Ila is like a teenager wearing his father's tuxedo: trying to look smart. And failing.'
And for those with a little knowledge of French pop culture:
Chercher partenaire particuliere
Debloquee, pas trop timide
Et une bonne dose de tourbe"
(Yeah, I also think that is enough alcohol for the day.)