Another month, another outturn. This one looks interesting, which is a sign to go as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Seeing how busy the venue is upon arrival, it was a good idea.While I am chatting with P, minutes after getting in, idealrichard joins us, then JS, a few more minutes later.
58.14 23yo 1989 Ye olde sweetie shoppe (57.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 222b) (idealrichard): this one is obviously one that triggered our curiosity; a very nice, unsung distillery, and not a common one at the Society. Nose: honeysuckle, balanced by a touch of mustard -- the grainy kind. The mouth reminds me of a nicely peppered bake. Finish: it is now a mixture of milk chocolate and vanilla. Lovely indeed.
37.54 27yo 1985 A contradictory dram (52.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 215b) (JS): nose: an abundance of honeysuckle, as well as juicy peach. Mouth: smooth and mellow, soft as baby skin, with peach again. Finish: longish and fruity (yep, more peach) with a spray of pepper. 8/10
G3.4 27yo 1984 Pride of Bengal (57.5%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 219b) (me): if asked whether they would bottle this again, I would have bet no... and would have been wrong. The description is all about curry and spices. What will this give? Nose: oregano, thyme, gentian, verbena, caraway seeds. idealrichard and JS agree with it being the curry W, even finding cumin. I am less convinced, but if it is cumin, it has to be black cumin. Maybe some black cardamom too -- it turns into an obscure-spice name-dropping, really, and at that game, I am close to unbeatable. Mouth: thyme infusion, the same kind mothers pour in a child's bath to make them sweat a cold out. Some honey too (in the dram, not in the bath). Finish: it is now a strange mix of barley sugar and aromatic herbs. The waiter reckons it also tastes of pumpkin. Although not bad at all, this is more interesting than great, to be perfectly honest and, since I already own a Caledonian, I pass on this one;
idealrichard makes his way, busy as he is. We quickly move from the table to the sofas and engage in a conversation with a Canadian member on his first trip to this venue.
121.58 10yo 2002 Pure pleasure (57.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 131b) (JS): nose: honeysuckle, a hint of vanilla, meadow flowers and buttery bakery. Mouth: lots of pepper and honeysuckle again. Finish: this is nice and gentle, with a touch of papaya. Arran is becoming a well pleasant distillery;
93.55 13yo 1999 Lamb kebab with apples and peppers (61.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 217b) (me): staff recommendation. Nose: this was obviously finished in a bacon cask. Pork rinds, barbecue-flavoured crisps (Grills). There is not much else, really. Mouth: Barbecue crisps again; this is uncomplicated, yet enjoyable. Finish: aye, more barbecue-flavoured crisps, spare ribs with Jack Daniel's barbecue sauce. I like it. It is slightly one-dimensional, but it works. Makes me think of a more subtle PC8. 7/10
Nice session. A couple of drams, then off we go. Except that, at this point, PS and the party he is with start pouring us drams:
Ledaig 32yo 1973/2005 (45%, IML Chieftain's, Hogshead, C#2800, 240b): nose: earthy with a velvety feel and gooseberry. Mouth: more earth. It is still quite smooth, though slightly drying. Finish: overripe, dark red fruit, a hint of coffee and maraschino cherries. This is miraculous work and the best Ledaig I have had (thanks, PS). 8/10
Glenrothes 1990/2009 (TWE Straight from the Cask): the Whisky Cyclist pours us this, apologetically telling us he found it good when he tried it, he bought it, but does not know if it is worth our while. Nose: lots of animal skin. Rotting pears on leather. Mouth: slightly drying and it seems tannic to me. Finish: long, a little drying again, though also fruity (in the distance): black currant, dark cherries. The nose is off-putting to these nostrils, otherwise quite nice (thanks, Whisky Cyclist). 6/10
29.129 22yo 1989 Leather and lime in a smoky room (55.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 562b) (our Canadian guest): nose: farmyard aplenty. Mouth: lots of cherry, despite the light colour. This is from a Sherry butt (albeit refill), and the influence does come through. Finish: sugary, long, soaked in dark cherry skins. 8/10
41.56 24yo 1988 Rabbit in soured cream sauce (51.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 280b): nose: this is animal too, though not in an overpowering way. Clynelishy, with candle wax, some fruit (jack fruit?) and clear butter (fresh, not melting). Mouth: flower stem juice, unripe melon, perhaps (cantaloup). Finish: acrid, in a nice way. Could not find the rabbit or soured sauce in there, though. Strange that 37, 41 and 44 are not the most common distilleries here, yet bottles tend to be released simultaneously (thanks PS).
Great session, much longer than anticipated, due to the usual suspects' generosity, and animated with many a chat with known and unknown guests.
|Some guests wanted to show more than generosity. We had to draw the line.|