31 December 2012

30/12/2012 10, 20, 30, 40 (but not in that order)

A couple of things that have a dangerously low level and need finishing, plus another couple to complement. Let's go!
Yeah, let's go!
Tobermory 10yo (40%, OB): nose: it starts off pleasant, if far from noble -- feinty, spirity and full of grist (crushed cereals). Ethanol-flavoured porridge. Rather one-dimensional, apart from that note of apple. Mouth: dry, light and simple. Pleasant alright, yet not a monster of complexity. Finish: more porridge, distant alcohol, very light cough syrup, wheat. Pleasant finale. Again, it is on the low-brow end of the W spectrum, yet a nice dram for beginners, as an aperitive, or as a non-pretentious, every-day drink. Does exactly what one would expect from a whisky of that price. 6/10

Tomatin 40yo 1967/2007 (42.9%, OB, Bourbon Hogshead, 1614b): I had this at the Whisky Show: it was OK, not blinding, hence its early position, today. Nose: delicate leather, a pan of pommes rissolĂ©es with mushrooms and walnuts. It is all very nice, but it is not the most expressive dram! Everything in the nose is subdued and downplayed. Mouth: very refreshing, with berries (blackberries and black currant). Finish: it finally delivers a bit -- exotic fruit (mango, jackfruit), berries again (red and black currant, black- and blueberries, this time), strawberry jam and a little marzipan. There is even some passion fruit. This could be great, but it feels really tired to these taste buds. It was not more assertive when I had it straight out of a fresh bottle, so I doubt it faded away in my flask. It is simply too expensive for what it is at ca 400£. 7/10

125.36 20yo 1989 A tapestry of tropical tastes (51.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, First-fill Barrel, 279b): this one will not stop agonising -- still one dram to go in the bottle, even after pouring for this session. Nose: melted butter, which was my impression the first time I had it, in February. Stale cream. This one has said all it had to say and is now out of words, it would seem. Mouth: the alcohol feels not very well integrated. Caramelised butter on the tongue with an annoying bitterness. Finish: at last, it speaks. Passion fruit emerges as in previous tastings. I still reckon the bottle is now too empty for the W to still be expressive enough. Oxidation all but killed it and it is collapsing. :(
A fun, great whisky that needed being tamed to be enjoyed. It is now too faded to let one ride its wave, though. Thanks Fixou all the same for the sample. 8/10

Lochside 30yo 1981/2011 (54.9%, Cadenhead's, Bourbon Hogshead, 246b): that's right! Gotta finish in a bang and this is a sure shot. Nose: quite bluntly, this is wood and lichen. Dunnage warehouse obscenity. It promises so many other things it hurts, though. A bowl of freshly-rinsed, dark cherries, some wood varnish, an omelette (I would say three eggs and chives -- not too sure), a wine cellar and a basket of indistinguishable fruits on the kitchen table. There is passion fruit in there, for sure. Mouth: velvety, coating, fruity in a dark-cherry jam sort of way. Finish: this is really where it is at: the fruitiness explodes on the tongue in a debauchery of passion fruit, overripe, dark cherries, mango and jackfruit. However, it still manages to maintain that balanced bonded-warehouse feel too, with its lichen and damp floor. A magnificent dram if there ever was one. My only regret is to not have bought a second bottle when I had a chance. 9/10

Home vatting of all of the above: let me go wild. Nose: it turned a lot more animal, all of a sudden! Then it settles down and goes back to fruit -- after all, it was a common denominator, tonight. Peach, apricot, guava. With water: a cascade of passion fruit, guava, mango, jackfruit, a little lichen and dark cherries. Mouth: marmalade, quince jam (not to be confused with Quincy Jones), apricot jam with a passion-fruit impression. With water: vitamin/fruit cocktail, a bit thin, perhaps, but oh! so fruity. Finish: this is actually quite outstanding. The Lochside shines through, despite there being very little of it. The Tobermory gives the youth's lightness, while the 'morangie unleashes the horse powers and the passion fruit. The Tomatin gives the whole an additional depth. Very happy with this blended malt, I must say. Pity it is limited to one dram. :D
Dram of the day. Ridiculously fruity at all stages and (believe it or not) it is even more ridiculously fruity with water! Proper multi-tropical-fruit-mix juice with a little alcohol in it. The rare kind I give 10/10 to. Trying hard to not be too self-indulgent, here: I was helped by great base products and a lot of luck in the proportions. In no way am I a good blender or trying to be one. If blenders were as lucky on a regular basis, I would buy more blends is all. 10/10


  1. Ca a l'air bon ton home vatting.
    Send the recipe to compass box :)


  2. Finished 125.36 tonight. It was great again, with a huge wave of pink grapefruit in the finish.