20 December 2012

18/12/2012 Three Invergordon (Ramsay)

On my way to meet a friend today, I walked by Gordon Ramsay's restaurant. That convinced me my idea for a small solo tasting was the right thing to do.

Invergordon 40yo 1964/2005 (48.1%, Dewar Rattray Cask Collection, Bourbon Cask, C#57633, 105b): nose: gingerbread, that box to keep the butter in (beurrier, in another language), kitchen utensils -- knives with wooden handles, to be accurate (that is wood and metal, then) -- lukewarm, white bread, maybe some cereals with milk. Mouth: stainless steel, a metallic bitterness, yet it is also velvety smooth -- almonds with the skin, macadamia nuts, also with the skin. Finish: more almonds, almond paste, the metallic bitterness seems more present than in any Invergordon I have had (pencil-sharpener blade) but there is something else, there: violet and sugary syrup. Croissant with a violet jam, perhaps? Macadamia-nut spread. Very long, but I cannot decide if that violet taste is enjoyable or not. I like the alcohol balance at 48%, though. You do not get the impression your teeth will fall off as much. 8/10

G5.2 17yo 1993 Strumming the strings of the soul (65.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, New Toasted Oak Hogshead, 248b): nose: it sat there, breathing, for a good 30 minutes and it is now very grassy, after the vanilla assault it unleashed earlier. Dried sage, verbena, gentian, ginseng. With water, herbs come out even more. Dried fern, dead leaves, pencil shavings. Mouth: punchy, peppery, yet balanced. Black-pepper doughnuts. It is alcohol with icing sugar and it is lovely, even though a little anaesthetising. With water: more herbs and flower stems. Finish: long, warming, with pastry and pudding. Still a fantastic dram. Frangipane and marzipan. With water: violet marzipan, fudge and dried fern... and a little drying lichen or even verdigris. Great, but I am less seduced than the first and second times I had it (thanks PS for the sample). 8/10

G5.5 18yo 1993 Rich, sweet and comforting (65.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Virgin Toasted Oak Hogshead, 243b): thirty minutes in and it has become very similar to G5.2 -- herbs and metal, with violets behind. The black pepper is more present in the nose, though. Mouth: smoother, mellower. Strange, in fact, as it is bottled at higher strength. Verbena, gentian. Finish: massive violet-candy discharge, some metal (that pencil-sharpener blade again) and more verbena, before Paul, the town's baker, takes his residence. From that point on, it is more akin to the first dram: croissants with a violet jam, raw waffle dough, chocolate eclairs, and even mincemeat bites, which is quite topical on the 18th December, everyone will agree. 9/10

Yep, Invergordon can be nice, but also a bit weird.

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