11 February 2013

09/02/2013 A mixed six-pack

First tasting with idealrichard this year. It was unclear until the last minute who would be there and who would not, so there is not really a theme. I choose a few things to try and match what idealrichard has brought.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label (40%, John Walker & Sons) (idealrichard): yep, I have tried the most common colours, but not the blue one. This one was sold as a fifth of a Power-Ranger pack and idealrichard thought it was a good way to try it. Yay. Nose: not very assertive. Toffee, burnt caramel, some leather. There is definitely a sherry influence. Some alcohol. It smells a lot more noble than Red and Black, as silly as it may read (poor Stendhal must be turning in his grave). Mouth: faded leather, milk coffee, latte, even. Finish: mocha, mostly. It is rather nice, in fact -- rich and interesting on the discrete tip. 7/10

Mac NaMara (40%, PrĂ ban na Linne, b. ca 2010) (me): a blend against another blend, obviously. Nose: light, with hints of grain and distant coffee. Mouth: fresh and custardy. Finish: grain again, as well as coconut. There is nothing to dislike here at all, though it is not assertive enough to make a strong impression either.

Ardmore 12yo 1994/2007 (46%, SD Single Malts of Scotland, Hogshead, C#578+598, 745b) (idealrichard): we seem to try quite a few Ardmore bottlings, these days. Nose: light peat, feet (in a good way, if that is possible), moss and heather. A bare-foot hike through a heather-covered peat moss, then. Mouth: light again, grainy and fruity, with orange skins and bananas. Finish: has an edge to it, maybe the bitterness of orange peel? It is nicely balanced with marmalade sweetness too. Quite sugary, actually. Brillaint.

Amrut Portonova (62.1%, OB) (me): something with cojones to match the Ardmore. Nose: ginger, gingerbread -- it smells like an old grain whisky, today. A spray of nutmeg, perhaps. Biscuitry. Yummy! There is even some violet in the back, which makes me wonder if I poured Invergordon by mistake. Mouth: peppery and lively, with another (small) serving of violet. Finish: cooked apple, pepper, this is punchy -- it feels like an old grain again. Very nice, in any case (thanks Fixou for the sample). 8/10

'My presence here is a complete quince-intense'
Glenturret 34yo b.2012 (47.6%, BBr Selected by Berrys', Cask Ref 2) (idealrichard): nose: lots of citrus -- Seville and blood oranges. Juniper, quince, quince jelly. Mouth: jammy alright! Still quince, with a weakish punch, but that is a good thing. When  drinking quince juice, being overwhelmed by the ABV seems inappropriate. This is very well balanced. Finish: more lovely quince jelly. The first sip is slightly too dry for my taste (unripe orange bitternes), yet that dryness disappears soon enough and lets lychee emerge. The dominant is quince, though -- quince-eegence, so good it cannot be a quince-intense (boom-tschhh!) Delicious stuff. 9/10

idealrichard loses his head over Lossie
Glenlossie 1968 (40%, GMP Connoisseurs Choice, b.1980s) (me): that Glenturret needs a worthy opponent. What better occasion to open this one? Nose: rich, wide, though not wild, at 40%. Faded, weathered leather (think an airman's flying jacket in April 1945), distant rotten oranges (or decaying, at least) and some ashes from a wood fire. Mouth: sugary, with more oranges (what is it with those, today?), coffee brewing in a flat across the corridor, (very) dark chocolate. Finish: we now even get cocoa beans, as well as blood oranges and orange skins. Really happy with this one -- I blind-bought it as a filler and it turns out to be a really good pick. The Glenturret is unbeatable, today, yet this is far from ridiculous, next to it. 8/10

idealrichard then tries a Laphroaig Triple Wood as a night cap. Good times.

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