A friend of Fixou's in town and they are committed to navigating from one dram to the next on a long ship. It is Friday and I happily join them on their pillage-and-burn raid.
78.40 16yo 1996 Tantalisingly sweet and savoury (55.1%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 562b) (me): how this one escaped me last Saturday, I will never know, but this time, I know what to go for. Nose: very spicy, with unusual sumac, black cumin from Pakistan and black cardamom. Barbecue, mixed herbs and seasoning, ground, black pepper. After a bit, it becomes rather jammy. The dark spices wane after oxidation, but they are really big in the beginning. Mouth: yep, spicy alright! Hydromel, maybe? Mead? -- it remains jammy, in any case. A good dose of pepper and juniper berries, too. Finish: nigella seeds, maybe some star aniseed, a distant taste of dark chocolate and mocha, irrigated with orange juice, next to a pair of hiking boots.. It feels more like my own territory (exotic spices) than the traditional wine-related notes, yay.
26.71 25yo d.1894 The Great Outdoors (57.3%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 464b) (Fixou): the staff discovered a couple of bottles of this one in a dark cellar and Fixou is excited to have secured one for himself. Nose: candle wax aplenty, cooked apples (boiled in water, that is) and a surprising, light ash feel. Mouth: peppery, waxy (paraffin, candle wax), peach in syrup (of course, we talk about pêches-au-thon as usual). Finish: short and pleasant, with furniture wax and more warm candle wax. This is closer to the Clynelishes I do not care for, but it is well made.
3.193 14yo 1997 Baby-faced arsonist (57.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Sherry Butt, 601b) (M): talking about pillage-and-burn, Baby-Faced Arsonist seems like a good choice. Nose: cured meat, barbecue with a bit of yoghurt (tandooried meat, then? ) and a dash of red-wine vinegar. Mouth: smooth as fuck! There is the baby, surely, sweet and easy, with just a bit of green chilli, after a minute. Finish: ash and barbecued meat.
93.55 13yo 1999 Lamb kebab with apples and peppers (61.4%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Barrel, 217b) (all): another bottle Fixou managed to get his hands on (I found it for him, hidden somewhere). Nose: kebab meat, cured meat, shallow-fried potato wedges, grilled swordfish, chargrilled pepper (capsicum), a branch of hawthorn (call me one-track-minded). It is slightly medicinal in the back too. Mouth: punchy and meaty, wild and animal. Finish: lots of meat, cured and seasoned. 7/10
Speaking of meat, we all go for the lamburgerini and, seeing as my comrades are fascinated with Scotch eggs, we share one venison Scotch egg between the three of us -- they love it too.
21.27 39yo 1971 An enticement of sweet oak (46.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 246b) (all): this one is still behind the bar (discounted too, woo) and they have not had it before. Nose: we all think it is a sherry cask, but no -- refill-Bourbon. That has now happened twice in a row, which is odd. freshly-cut pears, flowers (buttercups), a little bit of porridge. M finds it Cognac-y and I can see his train of thoughts: it is vaguely noble-eau-de-vie-like. Honey, rose petals and a minuscule amount of blonde tobacco. Mouth: some jam, rose petals again, noble vinegar (though Fixou claims it is only in the nose), carnation -- this is quite dry, actually. Finish: a fleeting passion-fruit discharge, half a second after swallowing, then pears, cooked in too much butter, stringent grape pits and some mocha. Still a great dram, but a bottle with a steep price, unfortunately. 9/10