21 January 2013

17/01/2013 A few drams to shake off the cold

We could not find a suitable date for a tasting in January, therefore decided to go for a couple on a school night. In order to prepare ourselves for the journey through the cold streets, we thought a few drams would be ideal.

Tobermory 15yo (46.3%, OB) (me): no comment, apart from the observation it gives out more figs than usual.

F has a Balvenie 14yo Golden Cask which seems to get her approval, while Fixou tries the Port Dundas 34yo C#128321 again and finds it OK, but not blinding. Same verdict as in December, then.

GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 1 (54.3%, OB, b. ca 2012) (F, Fixou and myself): nose: white coffee, grain, frangipane, a little tobacco, perhaps, milk chocolate. Mouth: pepper and nut liqueur. Finish: varnish, cola, marzipan -- this is beautiful and unexpectedly complex. I cannot claim huge familiarity with the distillery, yet this one explains why it is popular a lot better than the 15 and 21 do, I think. It wears its underwear over its pyjamas to distribute slaps as if they were going out of fashion. 8/10

We then head off to the local, as that is the idea, today. F tells us which bears to look out for, how to avoid being attacked and how quickly exposed flesh freezes by -52ÂșC (35s). Funny what they teach in primary school in Canada!

The SMWS is busy, yet not overly so. We quickly grab a table and order our first round.

4.171 21yo 1991 Perfumed and Sultry (53.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 256b) (Fixou): nose: smoked kippers, leather. Mouth: light and smooth as velvet. Finish: it is definitely fruity, though we struggle to identify which fruit. I go with papaya.

71.36 27yo 1985/2012 Two seasons in a dram (58.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 206b) (F): nose: forsythia, wax, some colone. Mouth: flower stems. Finish: the flowers are identified -- dandelions. I find this one has the bitterness of dandelions' stem juice, partly balanced by an agreeable sweetness.

35.80 21yo 1991/2012 Steamed apple sponge pudding (59.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 2nd-fill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 190b) (JS): nose: bakery and fruit (cooked apple, gooseberry). The mouth is very light, with cooked pears' running juices. Finish: jammy, though thin jam. Pears and diluted oranges. Some sponge cake too Delightful -- dram of the day for me. Better without water.

A string of great Clynelishes
26.90 27yo 1984 Elegant, subtle, balanced - in total harmony (55.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 508b) (myself): I ask about 7.80 and am told the staff were disappointed. This comes recommended and I liked 26.89, so... Nose: fruity. We are being treated to a string of great Clynelishes, which I did not think I would ever say. Tiny bit of solvent, some white fruit (apple), honeysuckle, watermelon (Fixou). Mouth: ginger, wood and light fruit again. Finish: pepper, ginger, some cedar wood. It is not very well balanced at first. Oxidation makes it better.

We take a long time to decide on the second, between gut feel, obvious picks (two old grain bottlings stare at us behind their old-school labels, G2 and G4.1, but I have tried them previously) and staff recommendations. We end up going for:

G5.8 19yo 1993 Baked Goods (64.2%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 231b) (me): Invergordons are becoming really common, but hey! can I sleep on a new grain? Nose: violet, bakery, black currant. The more-than-typical 'gordon. Mouth: thin and feinty, with more violet bitterness. Finish: full of unripe black currant and violet again. There is not too much bakery action at this point. Boy, is the violet invading! Not too taken by this one. It is more of a curiosity or an introduction to Invergordon. 6/10

29.121 20yo 1991 Seafood party on the beach (55.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 526b) (me): the new bar tender recommends this one as a favourite. Nose: smoke and peat, lovely. Mouth: surprisingly easy and light, now. Even fruity (strawberry?) Finish: smoke comes back a little, though it is kept under good control, balanced by sweetness and more fruit.

127.1 8yo Harbourside barbecue (66.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 231b) (Fixou): a few old bottlings have emerged back onto the shelves, including the first Port Charlotte. Yay. Nose: peat and barley, meaty and big. We are firmly in young Islay territory, here. Mouth: rather neutral -- surely, my buds were annihilated by the grain. Finish: peat and barley again. What it does, it does simply and without fuss, but efficiently alright. Good stuff.
Manly enough to eclipse the staff
It is much later than planned and we leave as the place is closed.

No comments:

Post a Comment