20 May 2013

18/05/2013 Grain week at the SMWS

Big month, May is. In the middle of the month, the SMWS releases ten grains, some of them from past outturns, some brand new and some that were previously released on other shores. Although a recent trip to Speyside means spendings should be on the backburner, it is difficult to give this one a miss.
PS and C are there, sipping away. I happily join them before JS completes our group.

G1.9 21yo 1990 The palate gets a Ping! (62.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill Hogshead) (me): this one comes highly recommended by PS. He knows nothing about grain, yet I decide to trust him. Nose: typical grain, this -- nail-varnish remover, hair lacquer and some less usual coffee. Mouth: black-coffee bitterness, mint freshness. The second sip brings pleasant, dark, hot chocolate (cocoa powder in hot water, that is). Finish: a bit drying, with more cocoa. Nice, but not the best.
"To Pringle or not to Pringle?"

G3.5 33yo 1979 Chocolate Cafe Latte (49.6%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 159b) (JS): it took me a while to finally buy a Caledonian, thinking it was a now-or-never thing, then the usual happened: every other bottler released one or five of them. Nose: lots of wood, varnish, cedar wood, some bandages too, in a good way (if that makes sense). Mouth: so sugary it hurts. Green pepper and dark, muscovado sugar, crushed banana with cane sugar. Finish: long and warming with unidentified herbs. Nice, this one. 8/10

G9.1 11yo 2000 Sweet and Sour Mélange (57.8%, SMWS Society Single Cask, 187b) (me): yes! It is here at last! This one got everyone excited six or seven months ago (or more?), yet we never saw it. It was a Canada release that was also presented at a tasting in Leith, but it never made it Daahn Saahrf. Nose: lots of paint thinner with orange and melon. An unexpected combination that works a treat. Mouth: apricot shavings swimming in skimmed milk. Finish: milk coffee and vodka orange. Excellent. Well glad I was able to procure a bottle (thanks CD). 9/10

G7.5 28yo 1984 Smoky Werthers Original (58.9%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 275b) (JS): I remember a time when Girvan was a very rare sight. And when electronic music was all fields. Nose: more downplayed and flowery than the above. Vanilla-sugared whipped cream. Mouth: green pepper and honeyed milk. Finish: very milky, now, with hints of milk chocolate. 8/10

Magdalene comes out of her box
Linlithgow 26yo 1982/2008 (63.7%, SD Single Malts of Scotland, Butt, C#1622, 601b) (all): as is often the case, a bottle materialises from the ether and, upon my noticing what it contains, full glasses appear in front of everyone. Nose: peach stone. It burns the hair of my nose, actually, which is hardly surprising, at nearly 64%. Past that, there is definitely some fruit in there (mirabelle plum  is my guess) and flowers (green forsythia). Water makes it seem more aggressive, but also fruitier -- melon, blackberries, raisins. Lavender (JS). Mouth: light and sweet with a grain or two of ginger powder. Very easy on the palate, considering the manly ABV. Water makes it silky smooth. Finish: mirabelle plum it is, and cappucino. Water enhances the flower impression. This is lovely (thanks PS).

G1.5 24yo Corn fields and oak forests (60.7%, SMWS Society Single Cask, Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 245b) (all): PS is not one to offer one drink. This one is a favourite of his and is back behind the bar. Nose: this one burns the nostrils a lot more than the St Magdalene -- but then at 60.7%, it is not exactly for little girls either. Butter-based bakery overtaken by a pepper plantation. Mouth: herbs and dough. Finish: a drop kick in the tonsils, this! PS feels he has to add, 'Show me on the doll where the whisky touched you,' which amuses everyone immensely in a non-apologetic way. Lots of bakery activities going on, old-fashioned violet sweets, foxgloves (digitalis purpurea) (thanks again, PS).

Good times. We went for a dram and to pick up a bottle and ended up in there for several hours.

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